Depend on the range, they can start fires. Not the most accurate bullets. As far as being expired, not much experience with 5.56 but I have shot some 30-06 made in WW2 and in the 50's and some pretty old 7.62 NATO and they all light off.
if stored in a dry, room temperature environment - it should last just as well as any other ammo.
the chemical preparations used in tracers are very moisture sensitive, so depending on how they are packaged I could see them going bad over time in a high humidity environment... but then again any ammo will suffer in a moist climate.
I've found the best way to store ammo long term is to pack it vacuum sealer bags and suck out all the air (you can leave it in the original boxes)... then stack it in milsurp ammo cans.
kitchen vacuum sealers... best thing since sliced bread
I bought a bunch of these when they were $25/1000. Our local range allows them during rainy weather. I mix a batch of fiberglass resin & hardener, scoop with a plastic straw cut at an angle and apply a drop to the base of each bullet to keep them from lighting. Works with 7.62 pulled tracers also.
Like you said, good cheap range fodder.
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