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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a reloader since 1957. There is no basic difference in the shelf life of reloaded ammunition with jacketed bullets vs Factory Ammunition. This is , if the storage is reasonably constant in humidity and temperature. Cool and dry is the ticket.

I am also a bullet caster. Over the years I have noticed problems with loading large amounts of cast bullet reloads. This is especially true when using Alox or Javelin type bullet lubricant. The cast bullet lube leaches into the powder and reduces the velocity of the ammo. I have never had this problem with Lyman original black lube. It just stinks really bad.

I had a friend that loaded 4000 .38 spl rounds with Lyman 358495 moulded bullets and Alox Lube. I urged him not to do so. I suggested he load 1000 rounds and keep the rest of the components ready to load at a later time. His use of the ammo was about 1000 rounds per year.

Four years later he was firing his S&W Model 52 .38 spl semi-auto pistol and his 4 year old ammo would not function the pistol. It also impacted the target 6" lower than the ammo I had , with the same powder charge and bullet. I pulled some of the bullets and the powder showed deterioration due to lube contamination. His ammo was stored in an air-conditioned home.

I cast a lot of bullets for my pistols but I know, in the future, I will have to cast bullets for my rifles as well. The availability of jacketed bullets and the high cost will probably force me into casting .243", .264", .277", .309", .312" and whatever I need for the rifles I own.

Storing ammo loaded with cast bullets may become a problem for me in the future.

Doug Bowser
 

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Great reminder -- I, too, experienced a similiar situation. Back in the very early '80s, I gave my father a S&W Model 19 (4" barrel) for Christmas. Along with it, I had loaded several hundred .357 Magnum loads using some 158SWCs I had cast. IIRC, at that time in my reloading career, about all I was using for pistol loads was Bullseye and Unique. My father pasted away about 4 years ago and my mother gave the pistol back to me -- along with close to 100 of the original loaded cast rounds (he kept them in a paper bag!!).

Of course, I had to shoot them. The bullets barely left the barrel and I thought I was firing a black powder load from all the smoke it produced (maybe not quite that bad).

Lesson Learned: I only keep about 500 cast reloads for each pistol caliber on hand. However, I have everything ready (polished, sized, and trimmed brass) for the next reloading session. All I have to do it prime, powder, and seat the bullet.

With the exception of the M1 Carbine, I am just getting into rifle casting. I have been working on loads in .309, .311, and .312.

Any ideas on HOW you could store cast bullet reloads that would hold a reasonable shelf life -- 2 to 3 years?

Again, great post!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote

Any ideas on HOW you could store cast bullet reloads that would hold a reasonable shelf life -- 2 to 3 years?

Again, great post!![/quote]

I have .270 WCF ammo that was loaded in the 1970's with cast bullets and gas checks. It was loaded with the olde hard black Lyman bullet lube. This seems to be the best lube for long storage. I have been using it for many years even though it has a real funky smell to it.

With BP ammo, I use a soft beeswax-Crisco 50-50 lube of my own making. In .45-70 and .44 Magnum BP loads, I seat a plastic wad and compress the powder about 3/32". The wads are cut out of a sheet of plastic with a wadcutter. This keeps the lube off the powder.

Doug
 
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