How Long Do Bullets Last? What You Need to Know


From hunting to target practice, firearms are a popular hobby for many people. But how long do bullets last?

Different types of bullets have different shelf lives due to their varying levels of lubrication, primer type, and other factors. How long does ammo last? Well, it depends, but usually, it’s for a good long time.

Let’s take a look at what determines how long bullets last. How long can you expect each of the main types of bullets to last?

Types of Bullets 

Two of the most common types of bullets are lead-core jacketed soft-point (JSP) and full metal jacket (FMJ). JSP bullets have an exposed lead tip that expands upon impact with the target. FMJ bullets have a solid metal core that is covered in copper or another metal alloy.

The exposed lead in JSP bullets allows them to expand upon impact, making them better suited for hunting than FMJ bullets. However, the exposed lead also makes JSP bullets more susceptible to moisture damage than FMJ bullets. 

Shelf Life       

Regarding bullets and expiration dates, when you consult with ammunition manufacturers, they’ll typically suggest that when ammo is stored correctly, it will last about 10 years. Storing ammunition properly means keeping it away from things like extreme heat and moisture for whatever period of time you have them stored.

When it comes to shelf life, modern ammo, such as FMJ bullets, tends to last longer than JSPs because it is less affected by moisture and exposure to the elements. If stored properly — in an area that is cool and dry — FMJ bullets can last up to 10 years without any loss in performance or accuracy. Some may last even longer if you take the time to create proper ammunition storage.

On the other hand, JSPs have a much shorter shelf life due to their exposed lead tips. These should be replaced after just five years as they may become brittle or distorted if kept around too long.

Sporting Systems Gun Store in Vancouver, Washington 

If you’re looking for answers about firearms and ammunition, Sporting Systems gun store in Vancouver, Washington, has all the information you need. Our knowledgeable staff can answer your questions about how to store ammo, how long bullets last, and more. We can also help you choose the best firearms and ammunition for your needs. We have a great selection of firearms and ammunition so you can get both answers and equipment in one place!

When it comes time to find new, high-quality ammunition or purchase a great new firearm, make sure you visit Sporting Systems gun store in Vancouver, Washington. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you find exactly what you need.

Whether you’re a longtime gun owner or are buying for the first time, let us know how we can help you.


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