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Thread: Shelf life of primers?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Shelf life of primers?

    Stored in original packing in a cool dry basement?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I put them in a plastic bag and close it up tight. Maybe not necessary, but it can't hurt. I seem to use them up in less than 2 years, so really don't know the shelf life.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I have used old stock that was purchased in the mid eighties.
    No problems.

    762
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    My amendment can beat up your amendment.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master labradigger1's Avatar
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    I have been using primers from early 60’s for years. No ftf
    Life is so much better with dogs!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I use a lot from the 50's. I see no issues. I do not use them in match or hunting loads just on principle; but have never proven them bad.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labradigger1 View Post
    I have been using primers from early 60’s for years. No ftf
    Me too.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I would assume they will last longer then your and our lifetimes if stored in a cool and dry area. I’ve had primers that are over 20 years old I stored in outside unheated storage for a couple years here in WI and all went bang. I keep mine in the house inside my reloading cabinet now.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Good to hear. I am about to break into a thousand spp that are around fourty years old.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
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    I have primers made in the 50's that I bought in the 60's and have never had a bad one from the bunch . I have had 1 box of 100 CCI's made in the 80's that were junk by the mid 90's . The rest of the 1000 that that box came from were and still are good . Mine are stored in the detached garage and also my bedroom closet in my house in Tennessee and in the garage at the house in Alabama . No special storage , just setting on a shelf . I would not put them in a ziplock bag for fear that it might sweat and expose them to moisture . I am a hoarder and have been since the mid 60's and have several 100,000 primers stored in two states and the one box is all I have ever lost . Neither garage is insulated or has heating or cooling except a wood heater in the winter when in use only .
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I’m loading primers from the 70’s now, no problems at all.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Texas Gun's Avatar
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    I have primers that have been wet dry them out and maybe one out of 100 did not work right They hade been damp long enough for mold to grow on the box’s they where old alcan primers

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    A few years ago I used up over 1000 from the 70's and they were fine. No special storage.

    It was enough proof to me that I could keep adding to my inventory without risk.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    In the late seventies I bought Winchester Staynless Primers, Np. 6 1/2 - 116 in wooden trays, end on boxes stamped SG91L17 from a local hardware store. I was told by an older gentleman that they were used because small pistol primers were not available in WWII for revolver rounds. I used then mostly in pistol rounds and a few in M-1 Carbine rounds. All worked without any misfires. Don't know how old they are but perhaps someone can date them by the above description.
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  14. #14
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    these still work fine


  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I happened to pick up a couple of surplus WW2 bricks of small pistol caps at a Tampa gun show in the mid 60s; I'm 80 now so they are about as old as me. If I didn't know their age I'd swear they were made last year and stored in a yellowed plain paper box but me ... well, that's a different story.

  16. #16
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    These were from the fifties when the wood trays were still used. I had two cases of these and they work just fine.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist


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    I picked up primers that the boxing was showing signs of being wet at one time or another and were old as well had no issues so far and I used over half of them.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  18. #18
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    I got a box of reloading stuff a friend got when his granddad died. There were two or three 100 count boxes of Herter's primers in there. Worked fine.
    swamp
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    If stored properly they probably have a longer shelf life than we do.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Static line's Avatar
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    I just got done loading and shooting CCI 350's that I bought in the 70's for my 44 magnum. They went boom just fine. I have always kept them in the basement where it was cool, in a wood cabinet. Only in the past several years have I run a dehumidifier in the Summer. Winter time I usually don't need to run it. I just store the primers separate from my powders.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check