Dating old shotgun shells

dating old shotgun shells

Can you still buy old shotgun shells?

It all depends on storage conditions. Even if your old shotgun ammunition doesn’t use paper hulls, the first brand of plastic shotgun shells commercially available in the United States was introduced by Peters Ammunition in 1960. As of today, it is still possible to find plastic shells that are over 50 years old.

What is the original color of a shotgun shell?

Most shotshells in the USA had a red color, but Remington used a distinctive green color and Peters used a distinctive blue color. In 1960, Federal introduced purple 16 gauge hulls and yellow 20 gauge hulls, to help prevent inserting a smaller diameter shell into a larger diameter shotgun.

When did shotgun shells stop being made of paper?

Paper was a ubiquitous material for shotgun shells from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, at which point they began being phased out in favor of more durable plastic. If you have vintage paper cartridges, you most likely have ammunition at least 60 years old.

Why do shotguns have Purple Hulls and yellow hulls?

In 1960, Federal introduced purple 16 gauge hulls and yellow 20 gauge hulls, to help prevent inserting a smaller diameter shell into a larger diameter shotgun (e.g., 10 or 12 gauge), with consequent barrel blockage and explosion of the barrel.

Do shotgun shells have an expiration date?

Quite often, shotgun shells have no specific expiration date. The fact is that no one knows the exact shelf-life for ammunition. It’s not a surprise to find Grandfather’s old ammo perfectly fine. The lifespan will depend on certain things that include; The shell life is relative.

Where can I buy shotgun shells?

Shotgun shells are available at various retailers — even some general-purpose big box stores. As with other kinds of ammo, though, for best quality and availability, online retailers like Ammunition Depot are often the best solution.

Can I use old shotgun shells for a shotgun shell light?

No problem; use old shotgun shells instead. You can get an authentic shotgun shell light string of 35 or 50 lights, which even bear the manufacturers’ names, still on the casings.

Is it OK to keep old shotgun ammo?

I cheerfully accepted the windfall, as I know old shotgun ammunition also does well, regardless of age. Unless shotgun shells are kept at the bottom of Lake Michigan after an unfortunate boating accident, shotgun ammo tends to forgive owners who store them in less-than-ideal conditions.

Why did they change the color of 20 gauge shotgun shells?

The only agreement was that American manufacturers agreed to make all 20 gauge shells yellow because of the higher incidence of 20 gauge shells being slipped into 12 gauge guns inadvertently and causing accidents, etc. If I recall right, the change over occurred arount the mid-60s. +1.

Is there such a thing as a clear 20 gauge hull?

I’ve seen clear 20 gauge hulls but this is rather an exception. Also, note that no other gauge has yellow shells. This is done specifically to provide a visual reference and try to prevent accidentally loading 20 gauge shells in 12 gauge chambers.

Why are 20-gauge shells yellow?

The yellow color of 20 ga shells is not just an unofficial industry standard. If you open the Shotshell Standards file (pdf file) on the SAAMI website, on page 41 you’ll find the following text: The color yellow has been reserved for 20-gauge ammunition. This ammunition shall have a body tube that is primarily yellow.

What are the different colors of shotgun shells?

Today manufacturers have often gotten away color-coding such as this. There are orange, white, and silver colored hulls these days as well as clear ones. However, they often still keep up these old color/gauge combinations for traditions sake. Of course, there are also olive drab or tan colored military grade shotgun shells out there.

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