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Old 07-03-2019, 07:10 PM   #41
safisher
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
So ammo that's been sealed away should last a good long while then?
Yes. A century or more, easily.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:22 PM   #42
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Axles, gears, etc, that are exposed to moisture will tend to corrode and lock up.
Liquid lubricants (grease, etc) will congeal and/or sublimate. Graphite and similar solid lubricants might settle but otherwise won't change.
And note that the latter lubricants don't protect metal from corrosion the way the former do. Some low volatility silicone lubricants might last well if not exposed to the elements too much.
Quote:
Seals (used to hold liquid in or out) will also become brittle and weaken or fail.
Liquids (contained in pipes or tanks) will probably evaporate, leaving residues. If there is an ongoing source of liquid (drains, condensers, etc) becoming clogged is likely.
Also, many plastics will simply fail because they degrade over time even if not exposed to weather and sunlight. After 2-3 decades most plastic containers will be useless. Steel ones won't be any better unless well-cared for (kept rust-free, painted, etc.).
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:22 PM   #43
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Originally Posted by weby View Post
In fact in the early 1990s I shot about 30 000 rounds of 9x19mm that was mostly dated from 1940s to 1960s without major problems, though there were more miss-fires than with newer ammo.
Any firearm firing ammo more than 50 years old I'd give a Malf of 18* to and then treat malfunctions as either misfires or hangfires.

For a misfire, it's just an unfired round, it needs the tap-rack-bang. For a hangfire, it still goes off, but on the next round... so they firer might be aiming somewhere dangerous to themselves or their allies.


* For cinematic reasons if nothing else. If you're already giving it a Malf rating for poor condition, then increase the Malf by one and have it misfire/hangfire when it rolls that specific result.



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... Twinkies have legendary long lives.
Twinkies have a 6 month shelf life because their filling is not made with dairy. Don't let urban myths fool you into eating a decade old Twinkie.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:33 PM   #44
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Twinkies have a 6 month shelf life because their filling is not made with dairy. Don't let urban myths fool you into eating a decade old Twinkie.
It probably won't hurt you, but it's not likely to taste good.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:36 PM   #45
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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I hate to disagree with SAFisher but in my experience a lot of modern canned goods are designed for cheapness and ease of opening not durability and have a limited shelf life, five to ten or so years max with a few exceptions.
I'm just going by this:
WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF A HORMEL® PRODUCT IN AN UNOPENED CAN?
The product is always safe to consume as long as the seal has remained intact, unbroken and securely attached. However, the flavor and freshness of the product gradually begin to decline after three years from the manufacturing date.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:54 PM   #46
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Originally Posted by Christopher R. Rice View Post
Cool. Did not know that. I assume this is personal experience then?
There’s an old husbands’ tale about leaving a car battery on a concrete floor draining it of charge. What actually happens is that cold batteries hold their charge longer—they don’t give it up as readily. The chemical reactions that produce electricity work slower in the cold, so it will give less voltage for a longer period. This can drop the voltage to a point that the battery is effectively dead. Warming up the battery will let the chemical reactions move at normal speed again, seemingly “recharging” the battery. Heating a battery above its designed operating temperature has the opposite effect: the battery will output more voltage for a shorter period.

You may notice a sticker on a gas pump that says, “dispensed by volume, not by energy content”. This is the same principle. Gas stored at a higher temperature has more energy content and will react (i.e. burn) more easily.

And this also affects ammunition. If your ammunition has been sitting in your car for a few hours on a 90 degree day, it will be quite hot. The higher heat present in the gunpowder will result in a hotter burn and higher velocity. Shooting the same batch of ammunition on a cold winter day will result in a lower velocity and possibly a different point of impact. Militaries have been keen to research gunpowders that don’t vary their performance as much with the temperature, but commercial manufacturers are generally trying to hit a price point and won’t bother that much.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:43 PM   #47
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Originally Posted by SimonAce View Post
I hate to disagree with SAFisher but in my experience a lot of modern canned goods are designed for cheapness and ease of opening not durability and have a limited shelf life, five to ten or so years max with a few exceptions.
Assuming 'canned' means an actual can (the type of thing you open with a can opener, no pull-tops or screw-tops), modern cans are thinner than older cans, so they're easier to damage, but if they aren't damaged, they're just as well sealed.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:05 AM   #48
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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Quite true. Also, compressed gasses are good pretty much indefinitely. So, propane, butane, and the like may well still be around in limited quantity. Many forklifts and lawn mowers currently run on propane, and pre-fab homes generate electricity from the same. Producing more requires substantial infrastructure, but if reserves are located someone could be quite comfortable.
How effective are the seals on typical pressurised tanks over the decades?
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:53 AM   #49
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

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It probably won't hurt you, but it's not likely to taste good.
Peanut butter is like that. It's likely to be safe to eat (unless contaminated) for years, though it may have lost all its flavor or become rancid. There's basically no water, so it's very hostile for microbe growth.

As for Twinkies, they have an official shelf-life of about a month. For a baked good, that's an eternity. They manage it with preservatives and a lack of dairy ingredients. If they remain sealed, they are usually safe but increasingly unappetizing for much longer, but that's true of most packaged foods. For the most part, expiration dates are how long a manufacturer promises the product will stay at best quality, not when they expect them to become unsafe to consume.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:35 AM   #50
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Default Re: So What IS ruined after an Apocalypse?

There have been at least two cases where they examined 100 year old canned food and it was still safe. A steamboat that sank and was buried in mud and a warehouse with the supplied for a Arctic expedition that never happened. So yeah, still sealed is calories if not good tasting.

I think in the Villiers books by Panshin it turns out that if you let MREs age for a couple centuries they become wonderful. :-)

Last edited by dcarson; 07-04-2019 at 02:38 AM.
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