7 replies [Last post]
Location: Cotswolds, UK
Joined: 07/29/2008
Posts: 33
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

Hi all, just thought I'd show you these that I bought at the weekend:

This is .375H&H in sealed lead packets of 5x5 bullet packs - each hand-written with bullet type and weight. It's Kynock and thought to be circa 1930's....

Ever seen anything like this, and do you think it will shoot?



H&H1.jpg41.71 KB
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Location: new brunswick
Joined: 12/07/2006
Posts: 423
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

LET R' STRIP!!! Thumbs up

Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

As long as it is in good shape I don't see a problem. I'd clean the rifle real good after in case the powder and/or the primer is corrosive.

Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

Look for any tarnishing around the case mouth. That will indicate if the bullet was seated air tight. Also look for any discoloration around the primer pocket. If it's all clean you shouldn't have any trouble with it unless maybe it's over or under pressure. Of course inspect the cases and barrel bore after each shot for any signs of trouble.

I'd keep some stashed away though for collectability or conversion pieces.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

As long as ammo is stored in relatively friendly conditions it should have a shelf life of several decades. The oldest I've fired was some old US Government .45 pistol ammo that was head stamped indiacting it was loaded in 1940. I'm assuming it was part of millions of supplies sent over the Britain during Lend Lease. Likely made it's way into storage once off loaded from the ship, there it sat undisturbed for the remainder of the war and later until being discovered in the late '90s. It fired and cycled just fine out of my Colt 1911. I would not however trust ammo this old stored under unknown conditions for self defense or protection. When I was a kid in the early 1980's I sometimes hunted with ammo that my father had loaded back in the1950's, never a problem there.

Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 361
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

I guess I'm the downer cause I wouldn't shoot it. I'd leave it for keep sake. Why risk hurting your 375? My 2 cents.

expatriate's picture
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?

If it's sealed in lead containers, I'd be pretty confident in it. What kills ammo is degradation of metal and propellants -- and the big factors in both are moisture and oxygen. Your ammo has been protected by both, so its rate of degradation would be greatly reduced.

During the late '70s, my Dad inherited a 1911 my grandpa brought back from WWI. I shot a bunch of government issue .45 ACP stamped 1943 and 1953 and it worked great. I also had some .45s stamped 1917 and 1918, but I just couldn't shoot those -- aside from the likelihood of mercury primers, it just didn't seem right. I also inherited several boxes of Peters .20 gauge ammo from the '40s and shot a lot of birds with it.

Now when I think back on that, I feel like a dummy for wasting museum pieces when new ammo was easily available. 1930s vintage .375s still sealed in the tins? That might be worth more than the enjoyment you'd get shooting it.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
Vintage Ammunition - would you trust it?
remington wrote:
I guess I'm the downer cause I wouldn't shoot it. I'd leave it for keep sake. Why risk hurting your 375? My 2 cents.

+1. I'd keep it pretty much that was to. If you hunt anything you need that much gun for, you can afford a new box of ammo.

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