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Thread: Comment on 40 year old ammo.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


    williamwaco's Avatar
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    Comment on 40 year old ammo.

    This doesn't seem to fit anywhere, exactly.
    Move it if you have a better place.

    I bought a new ( to me ) .44 mag barrel for my TC at a gun show a few weeks ago.

    I wanted to try it out to see how accurate it might be but I didn't have any suitable loads and no empty brass.

    I did have two partial boxes of hunting loads that were loaded around 1970. Much too old to trust on an expensive hunting trip so I decided to empty them and use those cases for my test loads.

    The loads were 12.5 grains herco and 21 grains 2400 with a Lyman 429421 Hollow point. Weight = 232 grains.

    I started with the 2400 loads in my ruger Black Hawk and was pleasantly surprised. They were grouping under three inches at 25 yards with factory sights. That is about as good as I can see.

    I switched to the TC and was really surprised. Three five shot groups came in at 1.68, 1.92, and 1.60.

    Well they were all gone so I opened the Herco loads and was totally shocked. It was always my favorite load because of accuracy but the first five shot group made only one ragged hole. That is .38 Special factory wad cutter grouping. The second five shot group also mad a single ragged hole. ( This ammo is 40 years old and has been stored in a Texas garage. ) The third group was more believable but it measured only 1.12 inches.

    I wouldn't shoot someone elses 40 year reloads but I kept 20 of the Herco loads just in case.

    PS That group on the left is upside down.

    Here's the photo:
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    Last edited by williamwaco; 04-25-2012 at 05:14 PM. Reason: spelling
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/


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  2. #2
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    375RUGER's Avatar
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    The only powder I've had shelf life problems with is AA # 7 or 9. I just don't shoot them anymore.

    Looks like your new barrel is more than capable. I bet you're happy.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    I recently inherited a full box of 60's vintage Herters ammo in .357...........148gr SWC.....they all fired off perfectly. So I am not totally surprised you had similiar good results
    atr

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Sounds like you have been doing something right for the last 50+ years.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by williamwaco View Post
    ( This ammo is 40 years old and has been stored in a Texas garage. )
    that's impressive to say the least,
    a Texas Garage, eh ?
    any chance you documented what lube you used ?
    Jon
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    that's impressive to say the least,
    a Texas Garage, eh ?
    any chance you documented what lube you used ?

    Jon
    I remember temperature extremes during that time of -4 to +118 degrees. Of course the averages would be much less than that.

    The lube was Lyman 50/50 Bees Wax / Alox.
    I pulled one load to verify the powder weight and to refresh my memory on the bullet weight. The lube was black as the ace of spades. It always is when I pull bullets in old loads. I am curious about what turns it black. I do not believe it is exposure to the air. Whatever it is, it does not inhibit the lube qualities.

    The loads were stored in plastic boxes with the bullets down. The powder was resting on the base of the bullet. When I dumped the bullet out of the inertia bullet puller, not one grain of powder stuck to the base of the bullet.

    Since you asked, about lube, I will preach a little. Until I found LLA about a year ago, Lyman 50/50 was the only lube I had ever used. It has never failed me in any load in any caliber. I have been testing LLA a lot recently and I really like it because it is SO FAST and SO EASY to use. I can make it fail but I really have to try.

    You can see the results of my LLA testing with 65 different loads here:

    http://reloadingtips.com/pages/exp_111201a_lla_test.htm


    .


    .
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/


    Where is John Galt?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 375RUGER View Post
    The only powder I've had shelf life problems with is AA # 7 or 9. I just don't shoot them anymore.

    Looks like your new barrel is more than capable. I bet you're happy.
    I am DELIGHTED with that barrel. Can't wait to try it at 100.

    .
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/


    Where is John Galt?

    (If you don't know, you owe it to yourself to find out. )
    .

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I shoot a few 32 Long Colt rounds from time to time, they are almost 80 years old and work well in the 105 year old gun.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 375RUGER View Post
    The only powder I've had shelf life problems with is AA # 7 or 9. I just don't shoot them anymore.
    Have either of them been around long enough to exhibit shelf-life problems ?
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    Have either of them been around long enough to exhibit shelf-life problems ?
    I don't want this to turn into a hijack so I started this thread to answer.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...48#post1689148

  11. #11
    Boolit Master SlippShodd's Avatar
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    I used to shoot that Herco load in my Super Blackhawk and the only good thing I can remember about it was the way it made my friend laugh every time I touched one off. I weighed about 150 pounds back then and that was spread across 6-feet of height. He just laughed like a hyena when that load would rock me back on my bootheels. I imagine in that pressure barrel TC, they rock you a little as well.
    That's some very nice shootin', William.

    mike
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  12. #12
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    Can't say I'm surprised. I'm 42 and still shoot fine.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by SlippShodd View Post
    I used to shoot that Herco load in my Super Blackhawk and the only good thing I can remember about it was the way it made my friend laugh every time I touched one off. I weighed about 150 pounds back then and that was spread across 6-feet of height. He just laughed like a hyena when that load would rock me back on my bootheels. I imagine in that pressure barrel TC, they rock you a little as well.
    That's some very nice shootin', William.

    mike
    That wasn't Annie Oakly style, over my shoulder aiming through a mirror.

    It was off a solid bench with four sandbags. I expect most of the members here could do as well.


    .
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/


    Where is John Galt?

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    .

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    A fews years back, I found a pair of 1911 mags I had loaded with my cast bullet handloads and lost 30 odd years before. I put the mags in a pistol and fired away. Everyone of them fired and went where they were supposed to go. They feed an ejected as normal. There were a few round of nickle plated brass (45 ACP) and they split. All other brass was normal.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #15

    How was ammo stored?

    You mentioned the temperature extremes and location and position of the rounds, but in what was the ammo stored? Sealed ammo can, cardboard box on the shelf, etc? Dry conditions or moist? Thanks for mentioning the lube, you anticipated my other question! I'm curious about the long-term survival of rounds built with cast boolits, and you're demonstrating the answer first-hand!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Not surprised, recently found some old .45 acp 230 cast boolit loads marked 1965, I remember loading them, but thought had used.

    They fed through my 1911A1 and were as accurate as way back when. They went from AZ 120 degree heat, seven years 50 below in AK, WY 10 years, four years in CA, back to WY one more year (I then retired) and for last 20 years back in AZ heat. So I now have no qualms about my old handloaded ammo whatsoever.

  17. #17
    Safe to say my confidence is growing! Hang Fire, can you add any detail about the lube you used or how the rounds were packaged/stored?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by famdoc2892 View Post
    You mentioned the temperature extremes and location and position of the rounds, but in what was the ammo stored? Sealed ammo can, cardboard box on the shelf, etc? Dry conditions or moist? Thanks for mentioning the lube, you anticipated my other question! I'm curious about the long-term survival of rounds built with cast boolits, and you're demonstrating the answer first-hand!

    You will probably not believe this but they were stored in a terracotta planter with no cover.

    ( Yeah, how stupid was that. )

    .
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/


    Where is John Galt?

    (If you don't know, you owe it to yourself to find out. )
    .

  19. #19
    LOL! That's great, man! Here I was stressing over how best to store hand loaded boolits long term, and all I had to do was go to the gardening section at Wally's! Thanks for 'fessing up, 'cause I'm sure not gonna worry about babying my boolits if they're half as tough as yours!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master ColColt's Avatar
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    Hmmm...I reckon this means my two 1992 boxes of Speer's Flying Ashtray will still fire long after I'm gone.
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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check