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I'm pretty new to handloading and am nearing a point where I have a good recipe and want to crank out a bunch. What is the shelf life on pistol rounds and rifle rounds that are hand loaded? What if I seal the primer?
 

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A loaded cartridge is pretty moisture proof. There is no reason to believe they wil lnot last the same as factory ammo if stored in a cool dry place like an ammo can. I have primers from 1990 that I am still loading with & ammo further back than that I am still shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's great. Did you ever find a need to seal the primer pocket or is that mainly useful for waterfowling with shotshell reloads?
 

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That's great. Did you ever find a need to seal the primer pocket or is that mainly useful for waterfowling with shotshell reloads?
Unless there is a chance that ammo will be submerged in water, no real need to seal anything. No moisture is getting past the press fir of a primer or bullet, at least that is ME.
 

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Properly assembled handloads stored in ammo cans with good seals will likely last several lifetimes.
 

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My father reloaded alot of 30-06 rounds between 1972-76 i still have about about 100 of these to use. Only one bad primer so far. So reloads can last a long time.
 

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2 weeks ago my son and I fired off about 60 rounds of .44 and .44mag my father had reloaded in '74. Then went on to go thru 20 rounds of .35 Remington that were reloaded in the same timeframe. They all shot like they did 35 + years ago. I remember we only used CCI primers, can't remember the powder, and I remember casting the .44 bullets in garage.
 

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Even though I generally keep firing pin channels and breech faces oil free I will seal the primers on factory ammo that is not allready that way. I do it in the extreme remote chance oil might creep by and make ammo in guns kept for defense inert. When I reloaded I did the same for hunting ammo or defense ammo. Plinking ammo never got sealed.

I would be more worried about oil than moisture and oil will creep in farther than moisture in the air will.......
 

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Even though I generally keep firing pin channels and breech faces oil free I will seal the primers on factory ammo that is not allready that way. I do it in the extreme remote chance oil might creep by and make ammo in guns kept for defense inert. When I reloaded I did the same for hunting ammo or defense ammo. Plinking ammo never got sealed.

I would be more worried about oil than moisture and oil will creep in farther than moisture in the air will.......
I wouldn't worry about either.

The Box O' Truth #39 - Oil Vs. Primers - Page 1
 

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That "WWB" is the M882 NATO ball you see everywhere in a 50 round white box with black labeling. NATO spec ammo is sealed at the primer aswell as being crimped in. The projectile is also sealed at the mouth.

His test confirmed that sealing a primer will keep even a good penetrating oil out.

I would love to see that test again on some real WWB bulk pack. That ammo is NOT sealed. Even the Q4172 rounds are sealed so they would not work for the test either.
 

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I've got stuff from the 70's that still works. The oldest I've fired was a case of .30-06 from WWI, that was back in the mid 70's.
 

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Since I have recently gotten back into shooting, I have 44 Mag, 30-06, and 30-30 reloads I put together in the mid-70s that still work fine. Keep them stored in a cool dry place and they will outlast us all.
 

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In my case, I term it as a "sickness"! An enjoyable sickness though.
 

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I just shot some .41 magnums I loaded 18 years ago. (I date all my reloads) They fired like I loaded them yesterday.
 
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