If you are thinking about buying secondhand ammunition for your hunting rifle, it is essential that you know how to assess its quality before you make a purchase. While rifle ammunition typically has a long lifespan, not all old ammo will be safe to use. Below is a guide to some of the things you should keep in mind when assessing and purchasing secondhand ammo.
The condition of the ammunition
Ammo can be damaged during storage and transit. For example, if boxes of cartridges are incorrectly stacked, some of the ammo on the bottom of the stack may be crushed out of shape or dented. If you notice any misshapen rounds, you should not purchase them. Deformed rounds can increase the number of stoppages you experience when shooting and in extreme cases can cause the barrel of the gun to explode.
The age of the ammunition
While it is possible to buy and use ammo which was manufactured during World War II, you should typically be more wary of older ammunition. The biggest factor which affects old ammo is how it has been stored. If old rounds have been kept in a dry place and protected from damage, they are more than likely going to be OK. However, if old ammo has not been cared for and has spent years in damp conditions, it is quite likely that it will be dangerous to shoot. A good way of assessing how well old ammo has been stored is to look at the container it is supplied in. If the container is damaged or shows signs of moisture damage, these are signs that the ammo may be damaged.
The source of the ammunition
If the ammo is still in its factory box, you can be fairly confident of its origin. However, if the ammo is loose, you have no idea where exactly it has come from. You should always be wary when purchasing loose ammo. While loose ammo is often sold at a cheaper price than boxed rounds, you should take the time to check if the ammo consist of rounds which have been reloaded by hand. It is never a good idea to buy hand-loaded ammo, as there is no way of assessing how well each round was loaded or the type of pressure it may produce when fired.
If you would like further advice on purchasing ammo, contact an ammunition specialist today.