View Full Version : Old Shotgun Shells
10-07-2002, 03:30 PM
A guy I work with gave me a bunch of old shotgun shells, some loose and some in the original boxes. Where can I found out how old they are? Would they still be usable? The lot consists of Western, Winchester and Remington high base shells with cardboard hulls.
10-07-2002, 04:05 PM
I might be sharing info you already know, but what the heck, you should be used to that. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
Bottom line, I wouldn't chance it, unless you're *REALLY* waxing nostalgic, just to fire at a range. New lead shot shells are pretty cheap.
Okay, with that out of the way: The cardboard stuff is likely 40 years or older. If properly stored, you're looking at a 100-year shelf-life (if they got smokeless powder and non-corrosive primers). Cool and dry storage is key. Heat and/or moisture = bad. A SoCal garage in the summer is an oven, so do lot of asking with the previous owner.
A geezer tells me the copper primers will dud the most. Did I already say, "be careful?"
Some kinds are considered collectible.
Maybe there's a lot number on the box. Call the manufacturers... I'm pretty sure that's a Frequently-Asked-Question for the folks on the other end of the line.
10-07-2002, 04:51 PM
OK if its unusable how do you properly dispose of it?
10-07-2002, 05:40 PM
As a formality, the lead is an issue. Everything else can go in the trash.
Throwing the whole shell away isn't too dangerous. Outside a barrel, the energy from a potential discharge is dispersed and not directed. If you want to be extra-safe, soak it all in water first.
If you want to be highly conscientious about it -- Cut 'em above the brass. Save the lead for reloading, or put in a can and bring it with you the next time you recycle your car battery (maybe they'll take the lead). The powder can be used for fertilizer (lots of nitrogen).
10-07-2002, 08:14 PM
How many do you have, and are any of them Remington "Shur-shot"? I'd love to toss a couple of those in my gun "room" just for nostalgia. My first gun came with a box of Shur-shot #4s, and just holding one of those old paper-hulls brings back some great memories. I'm not that old, by the way... I'm not sure where those shells came from, but I figure they were just part of my dad's stash.
I also think Songdog or somebody here collects old ammo. Might wanna touch base with them before soaking the whole lot.
10-11-2002, 09:32 PM
When in La Habra, I lived next door to a city Police officer. He gave me about 500 rounds of 9mm and .45 when he moved and a box of shotgun shells. I never opened the box until I moved to Brea. He gave me several boxes of OLD shells. I'd never dream of firing them, yet they look awesome on the mantle and in the shadow box. I know that they're not THAT old, but the "Sears Roebuck" boxes get the most OOOHs & AHHHS.
My kids think that the '63 Slug Bug I owned is the COOLEST. I think the old shells rank right up there.
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