Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Old Ammo

When my wife's grandmother was unable to live alone any longer, we trooped on down to Louisiana to fetch her. Her husband had passed a few years before, and when we went in to clean up and move stuff from the house, we found that his bedroom was apparently just the way it had been the day he died. Watch and wallet and pocket change on the dresser -- looked as if Momee had just closed the door and never opened it again.

While cleaning the house out, we came across some guns and ammo in Pawpaw's closet. Nice Winchester-97 12-gauge pump open-choke duck gun, still had a hunting license from 1927 tucked into the stock behind the butt plate. There was a .22 rifle, and an old German bolt-action rifle with a broken-off trigger and the barrel sealed, probably used for drills and marching.

There was a brick of Monark .22 ammo -- a brick being ten boxes of fifty rounds each -- up on the closet shelf. I wound up with that and the guns. This .22 ammo was made in Minneapolis, probably in the late 1940's or early 1950's.

I figured the ammo, after sitting in a Louisiana closet for thirty or forty years was probably bad, so I took a box to the range to try. I think I had one dud, the rest shot just fine, so I stuck the rest of the brick in a lockbox.

Poking around on the net recently, I came across an antique ammo collector, and a little more research showed that this stuff was selling anywhere from five to twenty dollars a box, depending on the condition. Worth more if you have a whole brick in the original carton. Could be worth a couple hundred bucks that way.

Thus making that box I shot up the most expense .22 ammo I ever cooked off ...


Anonymous said...

I don't know. Ammunition that hasn't been fired is a like a bottle of wine that nobody ever drinks. What's the point?

William Adams said...

Well, if you replenish your brick from:

(for $10) and then sell it, we'll never tell.

Though I kind of agree w/ Mendur --- one of my Uncles, when WWII started, went to every store that sold ammunition that he could find and cleared them all out --- he was still shooting the stuff when he passed away in 1980.


Dojo Rat said...

I have heard that the ammo companies are making the gunpowder so it will only last a few years now, presumably so people can't stockpile it.

Steve Perry said...

Lot number would be different, William -- any good collector would notice.

Plus it would be fraud and all ...