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A very, very long time. I had a small box that I had in a drawer for about 15 years. I simply forgot about it. They were in a paper box, not one of the plastic ones. Took it out and the brass still looked pretty good, but aged. Some of the bullets had turned a lacquery green. I took them out and they fired just fine..
 

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I have an old tin of 22lr of my dads after he passed and opened it up a few weeks ago. Took out a small hand full and loaded my tube fed remmy. Went out back and rock and rolled every round. Now my dad has been gone for 35 years and am not sure how long he had them, so I'd say at least 35 years if kept in the house.
 

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How old is green and yellow box Remington?
I know it's pre 1980.
Still goes bang.
Now you're make me think the ammo I mentioned above was way older than I "guessed". I said 15 years because I knew it was at least that and what you said makes me think the stuff might be more than 40 years old. Some of the rounds I could easily turn the bullet in the casing and it still fired just fine.
 

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For an ammo as filthy as .22 with brands and types that may not be friendly with all guns, the firearm may be a consideration. I have had .22 sitting around for many decades and has slimy green stuff on the lead. I also have cheapo ammo that can have difficulties with some of my guns.

My marlin, savage, and p22 have problems with some ammo while my 10/22 and sr22 will blow through the cheapest and oldest with ease. In the end, most any ammo should last a very long time.
 

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Back when I was a young boy, my brother and I found an old box of .22 LR. I have no idea how old it was but it had the unusual feature of delayed firing. You would pull the trigger and about 1 second later the round would fire. We played like we were firing a flintlock. It was great fun while the box of 50 lasted. That was in about 1953 or so and the rounds were from pre war as I recall.
 
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