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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
20 years ago - my Grandfather bought me a hand gun. I did get the proper permit from the local sheriff's office. I went to the range with my brother - who is former military - and he showed me how to fire it. That was the first year I owned it. He also cleaned it for me after we used it a couple of times.

That was 20 years ago ...Since then it has not been fired. I have kept it in it's case "just in case". The ammo is old now. I recently bought a gun cleaning kit and some new ammo. I need to turn in the old ammo I guess to a gun shop.

Question for those who wish to respond. (I realize that this post might make some of you laugh....) But - now I am a bit leery about firing this weapon - thinking that perhaps something might have gotten messed up while it sat in its case all those years? Should I clean it first before taking it back to the range? Should I just buy another hand gun? I do plan on taking hand gun lessons very soon and getting more fresh ammo.
:eek::
 

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Shoot the old ammo. It's probably fine unless it got wet. I have WWII era ammo I am still shooting.
Guns just get better with age, just sitting in a box didn't hurt it.
 

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Proud American
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i'd say clean it and if you feel weird about it, doesn't hurt to have someone look at it. could even take it to a gunstore and ask them about it and could also get some new bullets from them.

thats what i would do .
 

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Rifleman
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What kind of pistol is it?

First make sure there are no obstructions in the barrel and the pistol functions OK. As far as age I routinely shoot rifles that are 100 years old and older. I also shoot a 1911 that was built in 1913. With care a rifle or pistol can be handed down for generations and safely fired.
 

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Do you feel comfortable cleaning and disassembling the weapon? If you do clean her up, if not MOST decent gunshops or even ranges will have a person there that is at least partially competent to help you out, normally free. They just want your future business, and this help is nearly worthless to them. You could also opt to have a shop or smith clean it, most likely cost about 15-20 bucks, may even quick inspect it for you.

Shooting it? Shoot it. If it malfunctions it may need a set of springs or even just being used a little, my vote is it will be fine. I still fire a pistol from the 50's on a regular basis, only part changed is a new firing pin. That paticular pistol is a .22 with a guesstimate of 40,000 rounds through her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone - i appreciate the quick responses. I did not realize that old ammo might still be good or that old guns can still be safe if properly maintained.

I have a Taurus "Midnight Special". I don't know if this is a good gun or not - but it actually looks new cause it has not been used much. I am going to take it to the gun shop.
 

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The ammo should be fine, as for the gun it self if you store semi automatic magazines loaded for all these years one might want to get new spring for the magazines or new mags for the mags can take "set" after 6 month or better and thus cause alot of feed related stoppages. If it's a revolver it can stay loaded to the end of time it won't hurt a thing.



Rifleman 336
 

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Michigan Gun Nut
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On old ammo, as long as it is dry, it doesn't go bad. My dad learned to hunt back in the 1960s with ammo from the 20s or 30s- those were still paper/cardboard shotshells. Some had faded to odd colors.
 

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25 Or 6 to 4
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Have some ammo stamped with 1923 on the box. Works great. Have more 1943,1947,1952,1953, some through the 70s,80s,90s. It all goes bang as advertised. I fire some of it in a rifle made in 1920 and another rifle made in 1943. No worries, just check the bore for rust pitting and damage, clean,oil and shoot.


As long as the ammo stayed in a dry semi-stable environment it should be fine. The single worry is green corrosion that is spread on the outside like spiderwebs. Throw those away as they may rupture as the green corrosion eats all the way through the brass. Same for large red flakey corrosion.
 

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The ammo should be fine, as for the gun it self if you store semi automatic magazines loaded for all these years one might want to get new spring for the magazines or new mags for the mags can take "set" after 6 month or better and thus cause alot of feed related stoppages. If it's a revolver it can stay loaded to the end of time it won't hurt a thing.



Rifleman 336

That isn't true. Springs just don't work that way. They have found loaded MP40 magazines and they still worked fine. A loaded magazine should be fine if it is made of good quality. I keep mine loaded whenever I have ammo.
 

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Sugar-free
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That isn't true. Springs just don't work that way. They have found loaded MP40 magazines and they still worked fine. A loaded magazine should be fine if it is made of good quality. I keep mine loaded whenever I have ammo.
I heard that you are always supposed to rotate your mags, every 2 months or so. For example, my AK mags. 3 are always loaded, 3 are empty. Every 3 months,I swap the ammo from the loaded ones to the empty ones. That way the spring isnt fully compressed all the time.
 

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That isn't true. Springs just don't work that way. They have found loaded MP40 magazines and they still worked fine. A loaded magazine should be fine if it is made of good quality. I keep mine loaded whenever I have ammo.
Funny the policmen that trained me for armed security warned us about this and to rotate the mags versus having our gun choak at a momment of truth. ROTATE THOSE MAGS!!!!!!


Rifleman 336
 

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Funny the policmen that trained me for armed security warned us about this and to rotate the mags versus having our gun choak at a momment of truth. ROTATE THOSE MAGS!!!!!!


Rifleman 336

K, just because he is a policeman doesn't mean he is right. Rotating isn't a bad idea, but doing it repeatedly WILL make the springs loose strength over time. If you own good quality magazines they will not be weakened by keeping them loaded.
 

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Shooter
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Okay guys, the whole mag spring wearing out thing has got to go away. Its a ford-chevy thing, really. No one can agree on what is best . Everyone has heard of someone who has heard of the right way to do it, yet no one can agree.

On the other hand...

I tend to side with the theory that a loaded mag is fine. The loading AND unloading is what wears the spring. Think of a paper clip (or a peice os srong wire...). If you bend it once....its stays there fine. If you constantly bend it back and forth, it will eventually heat up and break.

But thats just me.

As far as the ammo? 20 years old? Thats hardly even a shelf life! Shoot it!
 

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I was thinking about this the other day and it got me thinking of a spring mattress. A lot of mattresses will be softer where the mass of the persons body lays, and firmer at the head and foot. (one that has at least a year of sleeping on it)

I'm not sure if this would hold true for the springs in a mag or not, I'm sure it is a heavier wire.

I don't know....food for thought.

Pointblank
 

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K, just because he is a policeman doesn't mean he is right. Rotating isn't a bad idea, but doing it repeatedly WILL make the springs loose strength over time. If you own good quality magazines they will not be weakened by keeping them loaded.
But if they "take set" baby won't feed that last rounds and you risk a jam. Your only betting you life here, nothing else. You listen to those policeman for these policeman trained patrol officers with the skills that had to be adherd to if one wanted to live. The changing of mags every three months was an important lesson learned by police officers nationwide overtime thus the practice as standard as washing your uniform everynight after waring it during the day.


Rifleman 336
 

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But if they "take set" baby won't feed that last rounds and you risk a jam. Your only betting you life here, nothing else. You listen to those policeman for these policeman trained patrol officers with the skills that had to be adherd to if one wanted to live. The changing of mags every three months was an important lesson learned by police officers nationwide overtime thus the practice as standard as washing your uniform everynight after waring it during the day.


Rifleman 336
That is the thing, good quality mags don't "take set".
 
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