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Besides it being corrosive and requires you to properly clean rifle after shooting, there is now a dynamic no one ever seems to mention. That being this stuff is surplus ammo for a reason, its self life for military (whichever whenever) was over and was sold off. Now, many of us bought it in the last decade and mostly, it fired and was serviceable but now in 2020, most Spam Can ammo is 40 yrs and older. Its deteriorating with age, wasn't meant to last forever so if you are sitting a stash, better think about shooting it or ending up with CLICK BANG...to CLICK CLICK ammo. Of course you can salvage the bullets for reloading purposes if the ammo goes bad.

Shoot it but if you are hoarding ammo, spam can ammo is not an item that has a long life left in it.
 

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Besides it being corrosive and requires you to properly clean rifle after shooting, there is now a dynamic no one ever seems to mention. That being this stuff is surplus ammo for a reason, its self life for military (whichever whenever) was over and was sold off. Now, many of us bought it in the last decade and mostly, it fired and was serviceable but now in 2020, most Spam Can ammo is 40 yrs and older. Its deteriorating with age, wasn't meant to last forever so if you are sitting a stash, better think about shooting it or ending up with CLICK BANG...to CLICK CLICK ammo. Of course you can salvage the bullets for reloading purposes if the ammo goes bad.

Shoot it but if you are hoarding ammo, spam can ammo is not an item that has a long life left in it.
I would also add, while shooting it out, watch out for squibs. You will get puff and a lot of smoke but recoil will be much lighter...check the bore before loading another round into the chamber...
 

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Shoot it but if you are hoarding ammo, spam can ammo is not an item that has a long life left in it.
well...it's a very good point but... In comparison storage conditions of Russian Berdan ammo was nowhere near of air tight spam cans and it's well over 100 years old however if the round is visually clean and corrosion free it'll likely go bang. At least in my experience. Until we start getting mass reports of milsurp ammo misfires we've got nothing to worry for few decades at the very least.
 

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I agree, if the rounds are in good condition then it's probably good to shoot. I've shot a lot of surplus ammo of different calibers from different sources and only occasionally have a dud. I have some Russian 762x54R heavy ball made in 1939 that shoots just fine. Maybe one dud in 500 rounds.

Rob Ski is correct, if you do get an unusual shot you better check the bore or you may well ruin a nice rifle. But that has happened with new ammo too.
 

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Corrosive primers have the advantage of retaining effectiveness over long periods of storage. Noncorrosive primers of that time, particularly mercuric, deteriorated over a much shorter time.

The big unknown about any vintage milsurp ammo is how it was stored. Under proper storage environments - low humidity and moderated temperature - corrosive primed milsurp may have almost indefinite shelf life. But none of this ammo has known provenance these days, so assume the worst.
 

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If any of you have a concern about shooting any old ammo, please send it to me.
The only old ammunition I've personally found that was visually in good condition, but the primers would not ignite. was old Russian Berdan black powder ammo made in the 1880s and 1890's.
Cases do split on older brass and steel cases; harmless neck splits should not necessarily be a reason to condemn a can. Visually corroded cases should however, but I guess you'd have to open up a can to inspect the ammo within to determine this. Signs of high pressure, or case head separations (!) would also be excellent reasons to condemn.
 

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The big unknown about any vintage milsurp ammo is how it was stored. Under proper storage environments - low humidity and moderated temperature - corrosive primed milsurp may have almost indefinite shelf life.
Really this don't even make a big diffrence as long as the can maintains it's seal.
 

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Really this don't even make a big diffrence as long as the can maintains it's seal.
Believe that at your own peril.
I'm a retired field artillery officer. Powder temperature is factored into the fire mission computation.
Ammunition is stored as war reserve until so many years after production. Then it is issued out as training ammunition, to be expended.
There are reasons for that.
 

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Believe that at your own peril.
I'm a retired field artillery officer. Powder temperature is factored into the fire mission computation.
That has no relevance to storage.
Makes perfect sense when you are trying to calculate very precise gas expansion volumes to get the most accurate fire mission computations possible. :thumbsup:
 

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Besides it being corrosive and requires you to properly clean rifle after shooting, there is now a dynamic no one ever seems to mention. That being this stuff is surplus ammo for a reason, its self life for military (whichever whenever) was over and was sold off. Now, many of us bought it in the last decade and mostly, it fired and was serviceable but now in 2020, most Spam Can ammo is 40 yrs and older. Its deteriorating with age, wasn't meant to last forever so if you are sitting a stash, better think about shooting it or ending up with CLICK BANG...to CLICK CLICK ammo. Of course you can salvage the bullets for reloading purposes if the ammo goes bad.

Shoot it but if you are hoarding ammo, spam can ammo is not an item that has a long life left in it.
Take it to a gun show & let someone steal it from you.
 

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years ago i bought a 1896 30-40 krag with 8 or 9 rounds of original ammo that went bang with no problems at all, fired cases looked fine. i cleaned in case of corrosive primers.
 

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I've shot a pretty substantial amount of Soviet surplus 7.62x54, and have had probably less than 5 rounds total misfire. Not a bad reliability rate.

All of the misfires were 1954 yellow tip (heavy ball) Novosibirsk.
 

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I've shot a pretty substantial amount of Soviet surplus 7.62x54, and have had probably less than 5 rounds total misfire. Not a bad reliability rate.

All of the misfires were 1954 yellow tip (heavy ball) Novosibirsk.
That's much better rate than what i'm getting from modern Tula ammo...lol!
 

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That has no relevance to storage.
Makes perfect sense when you are trying to calculate very precise gas expansion volumes to get the most accurate fire mission computations possible. :thumbsup:
The effects of storage under high temperature are cumulative. Once this ammo is removed from hopefully proper storage, there is no telling what conditions it has been subjected to. There is also no guarantee that the ammo was stored properly until it was sold.
 

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1947 Russian has worked for me. Hand soldier with real spam tab. 3, 5 round stripper clips per brown, string tied package. Pro dio et Patria
 

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I've shot thousands of rounds of Soviet 54r and 7.62x39 of all ages and never had one failure.

The only 54r I've had that I did have problems with was some 1954 brass cased ammo where a few had corroded on the inside of the case and some Polish rounds that failed to fire despite a good primer strike

I've seen videos on YouTube where guys in Russia that search for fallen soldiers* pull sealed WWII spam cans out of swamps, open them up, pull a bullet and light the powder and it burns like the day it went in the case and the contents of the can is as dry as a bone!.

*it is quite amazing how many are identified and their relatives are traced.
 

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I’m of the mind that air tight spam cans will last forever. Hide them in the lake and get them when the shit hits the fan. If the can hisses when you open it the ammo is as good as the day it was made.
About a year ago a good customer and friend of mine returned a can of ammo to me with the comment I think you better look and this. I was totally shocked when I looked into the can partially opened (heavy ball in a galvanized sealed can in 7.62x54r Bulgarian) and the ammo was floating in water which was foul and smelly! Never seen anything like that in all my years of shooting and using surplus ammo. Needless to say we replaced the bad can with and apology. I must have gotten one of those lake bottom cans?

I do note many cans I get these days do not hiss when opened but the ammo appears to be ok and shoots good too. We have got to be getting down to the bottom of the barrel in the current supplies so I guess the quality has to go down. Plus as pointed out it is getting older along with us! Bill
 
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