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Thread: How old is too old for Rifle Ammo ??

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Everything I have ever read of, seen, and know from chemistry would indicate any old powder would be slow. Next, anything clumped up would be slower still. You can store powder under water if you want. Water won't hurt it, and will cause it to not burn. Without actually looking at, and testing the powder, I still think it was something else.
    That's just what I used to think also . . . prior to watching an M1 turn into a bomb. The bullet hit the target hard and a foot high . . . sound like a squib to you? This scattered rifle chunks 30 feet and cracked the gas tube split when the op-rod couldnít move fast enough. Ballooned the chamber out so hard that it split the front receiver ring in two places. There was no squib or any other obstruction, it was a clean and this was the first shot of the crap ammo right after 8 rounds made 8 splats on steel. I was muffed up and still have tinnitus from the sound of it 16 years later, way louder than a 50bmg with a brake pointed in your face and a WAY bigger dust cloud. Fact is all that energy came from someplace, a Grand wonít blow like that from an obstruction or head separation there just isnít that much energy in normal 30-06 powder charge.


    Those clumps you'd think would burn slow . . . well they burned very fast, super fast, with a poof not a fizzle and just hot as the fires of hell, there is absolutely no doubt that the clumped powder was the issue.

  2. #22
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    Default corrosive primers etc.

    Corrosive primers and mecuric primers are two entirely different things of course.

    While the mercury will destroy the cases period and have not been used for a century or so the corrosive primers just aren't that desructive to brass cases. I've got '06 cases from WWII that were fired 30 -40 years ago that I won't hesitate to use today - there is no corrosion at all in them even in the primer pockets when you knock the orginal primers out. While the WWII isn't that uniform it is very tough and works out well to reform to cases like the .35 Whelen and my .375-06 AI. The case capacity on military cases is less than commercial but that is another matter.

    I'm not sure where some of the corrosion is coming from but it apparently isn't from the primers. The .375 H&H ammo I had trouble with fired off so the primers were still good. The 8mm relaods I have that are corroding I haven't torn down yet- I'll let you know.

    If the powder is loose and smell O.K I won't hesitate to use it. I loaded some '06 ammo with powder that was just starting to go bad- a bit of orange powder present and it still fired OK but I shot it right after loading the rounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by ihntelk View Post
    Ok, before I start I do want to say that I am new to reloading and in no way am I an expert this is just an opinion and should be regarded as just that, BUT, I am also the type who studies something ahead of time to learn all the aspects I can. This particular subject had me intrigued when I was reading it as I was learning. anyway here is my thoughts on the original question

    1) In my ammo collection i have Several boxes of Winchester Silvertip Ammo that i purchased many years ago.
    Actualy they were purchased about 1964 to be exact.

    My Opinion: "IF" the ammo is in fact factory ammo and was made around that time period I would think that cartridge is ok to shoot. BUT, I would inspect the cases to look for any signs of corrosion, cracks, or ANYTHING out of the ordinary and start a pile of anything that made me stop and consider it and a pile of obviously "good, clean" ammo. The questionable I would deconstruct, de-prime, clean and start over with new pwdr. The other I would prably fire but pay particular attention to cases and my gun after firing to ensure no other problems might be presenting themselves.

    and
    2) Oh, what something else ya thinkin


    My Opinion: Commercial ammo upto about 1945 was both corrosively and non-corrosively primed with the later continueing on, obviously. The military had a large roll in this by demanding that any ammo made for the military small had to be reloadable and spent cases were saved and reloaded, during peace time of course. So because early primers were corrosive and cleanliness may not have been the most uniform at the time they could leave a highly corrive deposit that could eat away the nipple or web of the case if not neutralized prior to reloading. This cause a problem specifcally when combined with brass or copper primer cups and brass or gilding metal cases. The mercury would make the brass or copper exteremly brittle. This translated into contaminated loads that could lead to case head rupture. Corrosive primers were still available after 1945 and were used by people like us. The problem is possibly that the catestrophic failure happened due to a corrosive primer and the combination stated above. It is also noted that mercuric primers using fulminate of mercury does contain free, liquid mercury, that could migrate after a number of years thus adding to the problem. The NRA published a list of corrosive primed ammo and should still be available other wise it is listed in THE ABC's of Reloading 9th Edition, which is where I have obtained the above infomation as well. and several manufactures did use corrosive primers all through WWII so check the head stamps. Another way of tell per the book is to take fired cases and place them outside for a week or two in a warm humid environmet stnding them on there heads with a drop or two of water in the case and let it stand over night. if a corrosive salt is present there willusually be evidence of corrosion particullarily near the vent. Also look for a black/green color...


    Again this info is all based upon reading that I have done to learn the in's & out's of safe and as hazard free as possible relaoding. I am new to this and it it just my opinion based on my learning. This could be completely wrong. If there is any contrary info I am missing PLEASE tell me. I want to know all I can.

    With that if anyone has "spare equipment they don't use anymore and would like to "donate it" or sell it "cheap" =) to a newbie please let me know.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  3. #23
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    ihntelk
    Yes they were factory loads, surpluss ammo staked primers and all. There was absolutely no evidence of anything externally on any of these rounds, looking at the outside told us nothing at all about the bomb within. I still have and use some of this same brass, itís good stuff and nothing at all wrong with it even though the powder was a mess in there. They were likely corrosive primed but it wasnít a primer issue, wasnít a case separation it was an all out over pressure. Yes the case head blew off but the case neck is also ripped off wedged in the start of the lands. The body of the case is pretty much brazed to the inside of the chamber. . . broken case extractor wonĎt budge it a bit.


    BTW Iíve got a 4 station Lee turret press kit with 2 plates (everything but dies and shell holder) Iíll sell you for $75. Also Iím going down to AZ the 13th to get a bunch of stuff, there is a rusty RCBS Rockchucker in that stuff we could maybe work something on, needs some work but you canít kill them with desert rusting or much else. Iíll be hitting the Crossroads of the West gun show down there if there is something you want give me a price limet and Iíll keep an eye out, that show is like 20 times the big Wasilla show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    ihntelk
    Yes they were factory loads, surpluss ammo staked primers and all. There was absolutely no evidence of anything externally on any of these rounds, looking at the outside told us nothing at all about the bomb within. I still have and use some of this same brass, itís good stuff and nothing at all wrong with it even though the powder was a mess in there. They were likely corrosive primed but it wasnít a primer issue, wasnít a case separation it was an all out over pressure. Yes the case head blew off but the case neck is also ripped off wedged in the start of the lands. The body of the case is pretty much brazed to the inside of the chamber. . . broken case extractor wonĎt budge it a bit.


    BTW Iíve got a 4 station Lee turret press kit with 2 plates (everything but dies and shell holder) Iíll sell you for $75. Also Iím going down to AZ the 13th to get a bunch of stuff, there is a rusty RCBS Rockchucker in that stuff we could maybe work something on, needs some work but you canít kill them with desert rusting or much else. Iíll be hitting the Crossroads of the West gun show down there if there is something you want give me a price limet and Iíll keep an eye out, that show is like 20 times the big Wasilla show.
    Andy,

    Shoot me an email on your equipment maybe we can work something out

    AJ

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