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just finished loading some 45acp with bullseye and primers bought in 1994.hope to find out if they go bang. that date just happens to be the year i got married and bought a house. hope the primers are still good, i got like 5000 of them.:eek:
 

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kept *dry* components seem to last for decades just like completed ammo does. I've loaded and fired powder and primers that were at least 20 years old and not had a problem.

Keeping stuff dry is the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i dont remember my back hurting in 1994 while reloading.in 1994 it was OMG 5000 primers, im almost out, now its a lifetime supply. that's why they call it the good ole days.
 

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Ausmerican.
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Kept dry components seem to last for decades just like completed ammo does.

Keeping stuff dry is the key.
Absolutely.
 

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I have a friend that has given me a few sleeves of Winchester primers marked 75 cents, from the early 70's i am told, and they always go bang. He has a few thousand and they always work for him as well. I know guys that still shoot old cans of Al-Can powder and kegs of Red Dot from over thirty years ago, as long as they stay in the original container and dry they'll keep forever.
 

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I am still using some powder and primers from the 70's and shooting some reloads that are that old.
 

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In 1979 I primed a tray of .30 carbine cases, with CCI small rifle primers,and shortly sold my carbine. I got out of reloading until 2009. I also bought a .30 carbine Blackhawk that year. I loaded those cases with 2400 that I had bought in 1970. They all shot very well and I am still using that same 2400 to load for both my Blackhawk and an M1 carbine I acquired about 20 years ago.
 

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I just opened a pound can of Bullseye that I bought on 2/14/73 for 2.35 and it smells great. I am still using some large rifle primers from the same vintage. Keep the components dry and they should last forever!
 

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Larry the Conservative
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If you ever open a can, bottle or jug of powder that smells like the high school guys locker room, DON'T USE IT! If it smells like the last stuff you used did, shoot away! I've been in military powder bunkers that had cracked and powder got wet, the stench is unforgettable.
 

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kept *dry* components seem to last for decades just like completed ammo does. I've loaded and fired powder and primers that were at least 20 years old and not had a problem.

Keeping stuff dry is the key.
I concur. Remember that the Hodgdon company got started with the purchase of large quantities of surplus military powder after WWII that had been around perhaps many years. Powder and primers have no stated "shelf life", or expiration date, provided they are maintained in a good storage environment, and the lids are kept on. Wherever mold or mildew are problems, powder can eventually deteriorate. With the exception of Hodgdon in the earlier years, which used treated paper containers, most powders have been packaged in sufficiently sealed tins. Powder that is in a rusted container must be presumed lost, too. In the current packaging, it will outlast us all.
 

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Like others have said, if it's been kept in a dry environment, powders & primers can last for 50 years or more.

Just finished a can of Hercules 2400.
No idea on when it was purchased.
But the can was a cardboard tube (about 4") with metal ends & a 2" plastic stopper.
 

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If i have a large amount of primers, is there any downside to sealing them in plastic bags?
As long as you seal the bags on a dry day, that would be fine for a couple or three years, provided they're thick freezer bags. Most standard grocery store food bags are not intended for more than short duration storage, and sandwich bags won't even keep a sandwich fresh much beyond noon time. However, the best is any of the plastic or steel ammo cans available through sporting goods outlets and Army-Navy surplus. They are water-tight, and will serve to protect primers from all hazards very effectively for many years; probably lifetimes. If you have any quantity of primers, the small investment is worthwhile. Also, most such boxes can be secured to deter casual intrusion. Just never, ever remove them from their factory packaging or store them loose in bulk. A very small number of primers has tremendous destructive detonation potential.

Having said all that, unless you have unusually damp, oily, or corrosive conditions, modern primers are very resistant to deterioration, and are particularly unaffected by humidity. They have no unstable properties. As a general rule, the packaging will show deterioration long before the primers, so if the sleeves look good, the primers are 100%. :)
 

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Thank you. I was thinking of a Seal-a-Meal type that seals by melting the bag together. I have access to one of those machines at work.
I'll pick up some of those ammo cans. Aside from the durability, do you think the plastic or metal seal better than one another?
 

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Thank you. I was thinking of a Seal-a-Meal type that seals by melting the bag together. I have access to one of those machines at work.
I'll pick up some of those ammo cans. Aside from the durability, do you think the plastic or metal seal better than one another?
As President Reagan used to say, "Well...."

According to a recent Supreme Court decision the US government has unfettered access to your Dollar, and has a tradition of specifying the very best. Steel has been their selection since they gave up wood. :rolleyes: I've been using government ammo cans now for 40 of them, all made during the 60s, and the rubber gaskets are still supple and they seal tight as a vault. Contents require absolutely no additional moisture protection.
 
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