Is this ammunition safe

Im sure you all have seen this spam can of .30 carbine before. My dad gave it to me 15 years ago and it has sat in my gun safe ever since. My initial thought was not to open it to keep it “sealed” …whatever that means. Then it dawned on me that i could take my 14 year old out to pump a few rounds down range with the old Universal and kaboom…we have a tragedy. I dont want it if it is unsafe. I am NOT a reseller trolling. Just an ex 82nd guy thinking first and shooting second.


No can say with certain whether or not a cartridge is safe to shoot without at least examining the ammunition itself to see if there are any signs of deterioration, damage, etc.

That said, I have shot hundreds of rounds of WWII Carbine ammunition with very good results, although they were shot in a military M1 carbine, which in my opinion, are somewhat better made than the commercial “Universal” ones. The ammo in your can is non-corrosive, by the way.

John Moss

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Hey, Tebby, check out the new 82nd Museum at Bragg’s, may take your son there. I think you must register at that website to see the photos.

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Yeah…the universal one i own is far from a precision crafted swiss weapon…that is my concern.

Thanks John. Is the can sealed well enough to keep for another 50 years…or should i use it up

Leave it sealed and keep it for sentimental value or sell it to a collector and buy some modern ammunition to take your son shooting with.

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Im leaning that way. I just dont feel good about it and i dont need a 40 lb memory lol

I’ve opened a similar can to sell individual boxes to collectors and have not yet been struck by lightning or run out of town by a mob, so the moral issues are minimal.

I have fired thousands of rounds of WW2-Korean war vintage .30 carbine ammo and have never had a problem with a single round. ALL U.S. military .30 carbine cartridges were non-corrosive primed so you don’t have to worry about the potential for quick and nasty corrosion in the barrel if you don’t clean right away as you would for most other WW2 ammo which used corrosive primers. If the ammo is all corroded or split of something then I would not use it, but It will probably look like the day it was repacked in 1945 and be fine for use unless it was stuck in someplace getting up to really high temperatures for the last 50+ years.

The Universal carbines have a poor reputation, mainly due to their changing the operating slide design to a dual recoil spring arrangement and making the handle as a stamped part instead of a heavy forged/machined part. The slide handles break quite often and replacement parts are not available (any spares were used up fixing this problem long ago). If the handle fails it should not have catastrophic consequences although the gun will be useless in the future. YOu may want to consider selling it before it breaks and getting a better gun, like a U.S. military example which is collectible (and getting pricey).

Go ahead, open the can- but instead of using the key and strip around the side of the can, use a manual can opener or “P-38” c ration can opener on the BOTTOM of the spam can, so it will display like a full can.

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Heck, open it up and shoot happily. That tin should take you through a few fun range sessions.

I’m still shooting WWII and Korean War stuff. It works fine.

Too funny…I STILL have my P38 on my original dog tags…too funny

And yes…I looked at upgrading my crappie universal M1 but then I got a little sticker shock. Meanwhile…………back at the ranch I guess M1 Carbines have become popular.
That being said it is STILL the gun of choice for my wife and 15 year old daughter. Women LOVE this thing. Fun and military looking but shoots like butter…smoooooth.

Fifty years might be stretching it a bit. Unless you are a collector of full tins of ammunition, I would say that if it were mine, and I was a bit younger (haven’t fired my own Inland Division M1 Carbine in a many years), I would open it up and enjoy the fun of shooting the carbine. While armed with one for 18 months in the Army, it was the “Cold War” years and I never had to use it except to qualify on the range. I never thought much of the carbine as a weapon - a little under-powered from my point of view - but I have always enjoyed firing the little gun. Accurate enough for plinking or casual target shooting (no Match gun though), and not much recoil!

John M.

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Enjoy shooting that rifle and ammo with your family and the freedom that you have to do so. 22 years ago I had to hand my carbine and other semi-autos back to my government for destruction. A Government that I served for 34 years in several different uniforms and yet I couldn’t be trusted to continue my hitherto legitimate ownership of them. I envy you!

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