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My wifes grandfather passed and her grandmother gave me 2 old boxes of factory shells.

Remington Express 2 3/4 with power piston 7.5 shot

Federal Game Load #8's

These still fine to shoot? I would guess they are 20 years old or there about.
 

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Fire away.

Shotgun shells have a virtually unlimited shelf life.

Those are modern plastic hulled shells, made since World War Two. All of them should go off.

A few years ago in South Dakota, one of my friend's fathers,,,in his late eighties,,,,killed his limit of pheasant with some old paper shells he'd had on hand since the 1950's. He did claim that a couple of them failed to fire, though.

I've shot, and ocassionally still shoot, a few old paper shells from a 1950's stash that I aquired about twenty five years ago. No misfires.

If you were to have a "squib load",,,make sure to clear the wad from the barrel before shooting another shell. Otherwise you can blow up your gun from the pressure of the stuck wad.
 

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The only caution I would give about shooting old ammo is:
:arrow: if there is any corrosion on the metal then toss them!
:arrow: If old paper hulls then do not use them in a autoloader...........EVER! *Always use a break action gun or pump (if your fearless)
:arrow: old reloads of any type........dump them, unless you know the person who reloaded them.

:mrgreen:
 

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They are probably better used as "collectibles"; not that they would not shoot just fine. :lol: :lol: :lol:

/
 

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wb said:
If old paper hulls then do not use them in a autoloader...........EVER! *Always use a break action gun or pump (if your fearless)
wb-
OK, I'm not afraid to show my ignorance. Perhaps you could explain the reason for your warning, or provide a reference for your statement?

Browning A5s were introduced about 1902 and Remington Model 11s about 1905. Plastic shells were not introduced until about 1960. Did paper shells blow up or otherwise harm a lot of Browning A5s, Model 11s, and other early autoloaders (or their operators) during the first 50-60 years of their existence?

Thanks.
--Bob
 

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Bob;
I think that he is being very cautious. Old paper loads have rarely caused problems by separating on firing and leaving a barrel obstruction in a pump or autoloader. I have never seen it, but I have only very rarely used paper hulls. The only problem I have seen personally with paper hulls is that a friend had one that would not chamber all the way on a wet day and got stuck and required a long dowel to push it out of the chamber.
 

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If post WWII paper shells are stored in a dry location and are not swollen or the bases corroded you will be fine with them. Some of them may be collector's items though.

As far as plastic shells go, unless the metal is corroded, they are a go.

I often shoot 50 year old shotshells.
 

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A5guy said:
If post WWII paper shells are stored in a dry location and are not swolen or the bases corroded you will be fine with them. Some of them may be collector's items though.
As far as plastic shells go, unless the metal is corroded, they are a go.
I often shoot 50 year old shotshells.
Ditto. Heaven knows how many blue Peters paper shells my 1100 saw in the early days. Ounce and a quater #4s or #5s was great duck medicine at $3.25 a box from the gas station up at the corner.
 

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Spencer-
Thank you form your response. I can appreciate caution, but the reasons for caution in shotgun shooting are usually based on known possibilities of various things going wrong.

wb implied that firing an old paper shell has some effect that occurs in autoloaders that does not occur in pumps or break-action shotguns. I am having difficulty imagining what that effect might be.

The emphasis of "EVER" indicated this was likely to be either a frequent or an especially bad effect, or perhaps both - like a 20-gauge shell stuck in the forcing cone of a 12 gauge..

If the paper tube separates from the brass head and base wad, it is just as likely to cause a barrel obstruction in a pump or break-action as in an auto. With a break-action, the obstruction is more readily seen, but this is not true in a pump.

A swollen paper shell will jam any shotgun.

I remain mystified by the statement.
--Bob
 

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Bob
Federal still makes target loads in paper hulls and people reload them. if they were going to be dangerous, I doubt that Federal would be selling them.

The break action shooter looks down the bore every time they prepare to load their gun. Auto and pump users do not get to look down the bore after each shot.

I think that you can tell a paper hull that has been properly stored.
 

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pitted bore said:
wb said:
If old paper hulls then do not use them in a autoloader...........EVER! *Always use a break action gun or pump (if your fearless)
wb-
OK, I'm not afraid to show my ignorance. Perhaps you could explain the reason for your warning, or provide a reference for your statement?

Browning A5s were introduced about 1902 and Remington Model 11s about 1905. Plastic shells were not introduced until about 1960. Did paper shells blow up or otherwise harm a lot of Browning A5s, Model 11s, and other early autoloaders (or their operators) during the first 50-60 years of their existence?

Thanks.
--Bob
:arrow: I'm not referring to new paper shells just older stuff that's been around awhile!
Auto shotguns: There's allot more stress on a shell being extracted when fired with a auto, then with other types of actions, even a pump.
Reloads: To many [email protected] fools think they know more then the guys who wrote the manual and tweak the load far beyond reason. so if I know the re-loader and trust that the ammo was stored properly, then I'll shoot it without worry.
As a youngster I had older cousin who bought and sold used guns, gun parts, and we reloaded our own shotgun ammo then.
Back then (pre 1968), I had a chance weekly during duck/rabbit season to shoot and play with tons of old shotguns and ammo my cousin would pick up.

*I learned the hard way what was the smart thing to do!
But sure had allot of fun learning. :mrgreen: :lol:
 

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Though I wouldn't try it with a thin walled double barrel, a quality autoloader should have no problem shooting the wad out of the barrel. I know because I did it twice in one day last season while snipe hunting with old, wet shells. Stoeger 2000 kicked it right out.
 

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I've got some old Western Auto Revelations that were bought back in the middle 50's. They still go bang just fine when I decide to shoot one or two in a old single barrel 16 ga. Iver Johnson.
 
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