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Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:36 pm
by deltaenterprizes
I have a large quantity of 22LR ammo that was under water from Hurricane Katrina that I wanted to salvage the components.
I swage 223 bullets from 22LR brass, so the cases are of value to me, and the bullets are a consistent weight so they are useful as cores.
I made a shell holder on the lathe and mill and a collet with internal ridges for my Hornady Lever Lock bullet puller.
With this set up, I can pull 500 rounds in 15 minutes.
The 40 grain bullets are extruded to fit some copper jackets I bought and make some nice 55 gr hollow point bullets!

Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:34 pm
by Pipescs
Hey Dave

I would not normally get into a discussion on this except I have a copy of "Hatchers Notes" General Hatcher was the an Army Ordnance Officer from World War One thru the second World War. Specifically he was the OIC of the Experimental Department of the Springfield Armory. He outlines in a chapter on Explosions and Powder Fires what you are looking at doing. The Army did a ton of testing on the smokeless powders and cartridges.

You can find his book on line. It covers the development of Service Rifles form the 1903 Springfield thru the M16. It is about 700 pages of enjoyable reading on history and the development and testing of almost everything during that period.

In testing the safety of service rounds:

The army took 500 12 gauge shotgun shell in a card board box and placed them over a fire. There was no explosion although the primers did pop from time to time. the shells were consumed as the powder burned and there was no explosion or propelling of the shot.

In testing metallic cartridges in a fire-they place a "large number" of cartridges and shotgun shells in a fire of oil soaked wood. The cartridges exploded from time to time but there was no general explosion or propulsion of bullets with any great force or distance. Personnel conducting the test remained within twenty feet of the test. They did not explode simultaneously but rather by piece, that the bullets or shot are not projected with any velocity or the shells themselves will not fly more than a few feet.

As the standard service round was the 30-06 which was used from 1906 into the mid 1950 period, I am assuming this was the rounds they put in the fire.

I would recommend an open fire in a safe area. You can always do small batches. But the Dutch Oven Idea with a loose top would work also as it would not build pressure.


Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:38 pm
by steamin10
Thanks for the note, and the book reference. It just shows that many things are mimic-ed or repeated over time. I completed the cook off hillbilly style, and it went like bad popcorn. Not very many active rounds. The pressure cooker shell was loose covered with a gong of plate, and that placed over a pile of hot charcoal between two 4 inch blocks. It was done in about 10 minutes of unimpressive pops, as the lead melted out, and left the brass contained. A quick pour of the lead through hardware cloth, left a small brick of lead, and pile of cases. The hardware cloth opened up, and was useless for any further pursuit, but it was scarp anyway. So all is good.


Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:15 pm
by redneckalbertan
What is hardware cloth?

Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:41 pm
by hammermill
a wire mesh that is a step up from window screen. 1/4 and 1/2 inch mesh is not uncommon . most hardware stores sell it off rolls by the foot.

Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:09 pm
by steamin10
Ya, we collect scraps and remnants for chicken uses. Coon proof vents and the like. Anyway a piece of 1/4 inch melted away the zinc dip, and freed up the wires, but it served the purpose of collecting the brass from the liquid lead. Not much saved tho, hardly worth the trouble except it did not go in the landfill.

Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:29 am
by Pipescs
And of course you have now disposed of something that was not shoot able.

I have a general question on the life of .22 rounds. I have about 3000 of them in my cabinet that we shoot from time to time. no problems with misfires as most of it is less than five years old. The cabinet is in the air conditioned basement.

Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:11 pm
by steamin10
Whats the question? Shelf life? I have held some of the Bobcat bulk ammo for over 20 yrs. Price was market $8.50 a brick. It was in paper board boxes of 50, and an over-box. Humidity and moisture of any kind is to be avoided. Much of my ammo is in original boxes, but in cookie tins that resist air flow, and humidity changes. Nothing more than a label outside to mark whats inside.

The destroyed ammo, was in a 500 box of blow molded plastic, that held water after the sump pump failure. I dunno how long it was in water, but firing tests were dismal. Some other rounds fared no better, so disposal was the only option. What little I have now, is packed in tins, and in a safe with other supplies and a few weapons of minor destruction.

I use a Big store gun cab, in a closet on the main floor, but my Mosler twin door safe carries the bulk of my valuable things. Its a relic of the 30's, but quite stout.

Re: Destroying ammunitions

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:47 am
by PeteH
Shelf life? I've recently fired some Remington .22LR that I bought nearly 40 years ago. Works fine. And to stretch the timeframe a bit more, back around 40-45 years I briefly had a Remington Rolling Block in 7mm Mauser, and I routinely shot ammo that had been made before WW1. IIRC I had a few rare misfires with that stuff.

All depends on how it's been stored.