Ammunition - how do I know it’s ok

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by JLParker, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. JLParker

    JLParker New Member

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    My Dad has an almost full box of pinfire bullets - Lefaucheux 7mm they came with the antique pin-fire revolver he purchased from a dealer. He had them tucked away in a drawer for at least 25 years and if they are the same age as the revolver, that means they could be 100 years old (we think it’s Belguim as found ELG stamp on it)

    My question is about the stability of these bullets. How do I know they are safe and won’t suddenly degrade to become dangerous - or doesn’t it work like that?

    I have suggested he hand these over to be safely destroyed.

    Any advice welcome - thanks!

    078FFB3E-552C-4D83-A023-2D755CDB4A93.jpeg 7C737D1D-3369-492A-A4AD-32982499371D.jpeg BFD2FB11-9DC3-4774-85F5-79BF6A22D0B6.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2018
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  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I sure as heck would not "have them destroyed." I don't know much, if anything, about them or the gun, but they could potentially be worth a bit.
     

  3. Firpo

    Firpo Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Having it destroyed is a BAD idea. They aren’t going to turn into a frag grenade just sitting there so keep them with the gun. If you ever sell it the buyer would pay a lot more having the ammunition that goes with it I’m sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  4. Bandit67

    Bandit67 Active Member

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    Do not hand them over to anyone to be destroyed. There are many Cartridge Collectors who would pay good money for that box. Do some research and make some calls. I wouldn't be surprised if they are worth a few hundred dollars.
     
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  5. JLParker

    JLParker New Member

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    Thanks - I’ve no idea on what shelf life these have - do they have a shelf life? The value issue is one thing , but my dads safety is more important to me .... I’d rather loose the bullets than loose him!
     
  6. shootbrownelk

    shootbrownelk Well-Known Member

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    That ammo is fine. No worries. As previously mentioned, keep them with the gun.
     
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  7. JLParker

    JLParker New Member

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    Ok thanks - we live in UK - I will check on www to see what I can find out
     
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  8. Kvasir

    Kvasir Well-Known Member

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    To test them is simple. Put them in the gun and pull the trigger. If you hear a loud "bang", they are OK.
    ;)
    But seriously, MOST cartridge ammunition does not "go bad" if kept dry. As the cardboard box is still intact, I would expect the ammo to be in perfect working condition.
    Age will never cause them to spontaneously detonate, nor will it make them more volatile. (an impact could cause detonation however.)
    It would be a shame to destroy such a piece of history that would be valuable to collectors.
     
  9. JLParker

    JLParker New Member

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    Ha! He told me he fired it a couple of times on 5 November - so the sound blended into the fireworks going off !! At 93 he still surprises me!! Thanks for the advice, I’m glad to hear it’s safe enough in the drawer. I’ll post some pics of the revolver to see if anyone can tell me about it.
     
  10. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Ask your Dad if they smoked quite a bit. If so, they're black powder and their shelf life is just a bit shorter than eternity. Black is a mechanical mixture of 3 elements, not a chemical compound. As Kva said, if kept cool and dry even smokeless/nitro has an immensely long shelf life.

    As others have mentioned they are definitely collector's items. Anyone who destroyed them oughta have their foot nailed to the floor....:D
     
  11. JLParker

    JLParker New Member

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    Ouch! Point taken ... I’ll ask him about the smoke - thanks for the advice.
     
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  12. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow!! I just saw they were "Made in Prussia". As Prussia legally ceased to exist in....awww...was it 1945, 46 or 47.....and I would suspect those cartridges pre-WWI, they are most assuredly collector's items!!! Heck, still being about 65% Prussian myself, I'd love to have them. But with you in the UK and me in the US that ain't gonna happen....:(
     
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  13. JLParker

    JLParker New Member

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    I never noticed that on the box - guess they will have to go to auction here if he wants to sell them . Don’t know if it’s the best place, but I just put some pics of the gun in the revolver forum to get a bit more info on it. Would welcome your comments if you know anything about it.
     
  14. Firpo

    Firpo Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Sharps you got a boat? :D
     
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  15. Kvasir

    Kvasir Well-Known Member

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    Back in the pre-internet days I had a few antique guns that were impossible to find ammo for. So I would sift through boxes of obsolete individual cartridges at gun shows to find ammo for them. I've never had one fail to fire, and many were over 100 years old.
    Just recently I picked up a few hundred rounds of Nazi marked 8x56 for my M95 Steyr. Those kick like a mule, but always work.
     
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