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Thread: Dealing with corroded ammunition

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question Dealing with corroded ammunition

    I just found quite the stash of ammunition while going through an old storage room and spent most of the afternoon sorting it. Among the lot was a pack of 10 7mm-Mag cartridges that are quite corroded. This might be a silly question, but what do I do with these? Is there a reasonable way to clean the corrosion? If not, how does one dispose of cartridges they don't intend to shoot? I've never had the need to throw away ammunition, so I've never given it much thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I just found quite the stash of ammunition while going through an old storage room and spent most of the afternoon sorting it. Among the lot was a pack of 10 7mm-Mag cartridges that are quite corroded. This might be a silly question, but what do I do with these? Is there a reasonable way to clean the corrosion? If not, how does one dispose of cartridges they don't intend to shoot? I've never had the need to throw away ammunition, so I've never given it much thought.
    Depends on the extent of the corrosion and where it's located as to the safe condition of the ammo. I've used scotchbrite or 0000 steel wool to remove modest corrosion from the case if it's just a matter of cleaning the case so it will chamber. I'd be reluctant to fire the cartridge if the corrosion is severe enough that the integrity of the brass case seems to be compromised. It's a judgment call concerning if it's safe. It may well be safe, but then again it may not. You can always break the cartridges apart (using a bullet puller) and reuse the bullets, destroy the powder and either soak the primed cases in oil to deactivate the primers or simply fire the empty cases to discharge the primers and then discard the cases in the trash. At least that's what I've done in the past.

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    I found a stockpile at our farm in Georgia last time I was down there. I took it all to the National Guard Armory and they took care of disposal. I called the State Patrol and they recommended the Armory.

    Maybe Ft. Rich has a disposal site?

    I didn't want to take a chance. Better safe than sorry and all that...
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    I've done some of that sort of thing.

    The problem is not a serious one.

    Clean'em off with steel wool, or even brass cleaner, then clean that off.

    If you think the corrosion is reely bad, break'em down and check both the bullets and cases for pits.

    If you can clean either, and there’s no pits, it's probably mostly just discoloration, and they're OK to re-use.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've used steel wool to clean corroded cases, you can also use a rag and some brass polish.

    If they show any pitting or you are just uncomfortable shotting them, pull the bullets, dump the powder in the garden as a furtilizer and you can either fire off the primers, or soak the primers in oil. For 10 rounds I'd just toss the bullets and cases.

    It's not worth risking a case dumping high pressure gas through your chamber and potentially back in your face, so when it doubt, dispose of it.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Ammo disposal?
    You can pull the bullets or cut the case open with tin snips if you can’t pull the bullets to get the powder out. Burn the powder a little at a time and put a couple drops of light oil down each case to kill the primer and you have inert trash you can toss.

    I stopped shooting ammo that’s in any way corroded or questionable after my Dad blew up am M1 Garand with water damaged surplus ammo, he was almost killed over cheaper ammo. I have the rifle and will post a pic of it here later tonight.
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    I agree. Not worth it. If there were 50 I might try pulling the bullets and saving the bullets and possibly the brass if it was just superficial corrosion. Call EOD at the nearest military instalation.

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    Default Shotgun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I just found quite the stash of ammunition while going through an old storage room and spent most of the afternoon sorting it. Among the lot was a pack of 10 7mm-Mag cartridges that are quite corroded. This might be a silly question, but what do I do with these? Is there a reasonable way to clean the corrosion? If not, how does one dispose of cartridges they don't intend to shoot? I've never had the need to throw away ammunition, so I've never given it much thought.
    Not to hijack this thread but what about shotgun ammo that is corroded? I had some get wet and set for a while. Mostly high brass 3". Could I polish? I know it isn't the same as Brian's rifle shells but am curious. Thanks, Mark

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    Oil won't kill the primers for long, but primers aren't that dangerous, anyway.

    No point in getting the Guv'munt involved.

    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I've been saving mine up for some time, and plan to take them to the valley and dispose of them in Smitty's burn barrel.....

    Ok, seriously now... if its just green discoloration on the cases hit it with some 0000 steel wool and machine oil and go ahead and shoot them. If they are dented, deaply pitted, split, or otherwise obviously unsafe then pull the bullets (squeese them in a vice and pry the case off if you dont intend to re-use the bullets) and then huck them in the comon trash.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I've been saving mine up for some time, and plan to take them to the valley and dispose of them in Smitty's burn barrel.....
    That would work, if I had a burn barrel. If you put a lid on it, the cases couldn't come flying out.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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