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Old 07-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #1
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Water Soaked ammo

my neighbor gave me a tote box with a bunch of ammo sitting in water...it's mostly .45 auto, .380 auto and 12 ga. He got it out of a salvage operation.

The 12 ga is in cardboard boxes and the bases are all corroded - I'm going to cut them open and save the lead, maybe salvage powder for amusement not reloading.

but some of the .45 - it's all premium Federal with hollow points - some of it is really grody but some of it is just corroded on the copper of the hollow points.

What should I do with this? I've dried off the cases, dried 'em all off - think the un-grody ones can still be shot or should I just unmake it with the bullet puller and salvage the cases?

The guy who ruined this stuff wasted about $400 worth of ammo.

I take great pains to keep my own ammo dry so I've never had experience with this.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:33 PM   #2
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Put them in a case tumbler and clean them up for shooting, not a problem. Long as the cases themselves have not been corroded (where the issue is the brass weakening) they are safe to shoot.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
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I bet that most of the metallic cased ammo will still shoot. Any that are corroded to the point where there might be structural weakness would not get shot in any of my guns though.
Shotgun ammo is not my area of expertise. I recall reading that the brass (more likely brass coated steel) is not structurally necessary on plastic shells like it was in the old paper case days when 'high brass' was an indication of a hotter load. I have no idea if they are sealed well enough to still fire, seems to me that some waterfowl loads advertise being water resistant but ....... If I tried the 12 ga. ammo it would be in the old 'hardware store' single that someone gave me.

Bruce
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:19 PM   #4
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Keep an eye out for squibs. The next shot could be "eventful".
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:43 PM   #5
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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thanks for the tips - the 12 I won't touch, cutting some open, they are soaked from crimp to primer - I'm salvaging the lead for other uses, going to dry out and burn the powder.

I've dried off the metallic, wiping and inspecting every round, and most of it is cosmetic, but I'm going to take a closer look before I do anything with it. Some of the cases are really grody though.

Note on the tumbler suggestion - I read that that can cause issues with the powder due to the mechanical action - something about changes to burning rates with the wear. Anyway, the guy said not a good idea, but most of the damage is cosmetic to the bullets - the cases of this premium stuff are nickel plated so some came thru, some did not.

I think maybe I'll throw in a box with silica gel and leave out in hot sun for a couple of days.
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadillofz1 View Post
Keep an eye out for squibs. The next shot could be "eventful".
Yea, well, the 12 is dead - I don't have a .380 pistol and my .45 auto is a Blackhawk - stout enough I think. But yea, a bullet in the barrel would be a real event - although I've read that in real life, that is not the end of the gun as the pressure behind the second bullet vents thru the cylinder gap but I still think I'd prefer not to have to pound out two bullets...or even one for that matter.
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:53 PM   #7
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I went swimming accidentally during early teel season one year. It was warm, so I continued hunting until I had limit. Probably shot 5 more times. The shells worked. When home I broke down the gun and cleaned well.. Just set shells in open to dry. Broke college student, and duck loads are expensive. Big mistake Early teel is 2 weekends. 4 times to hunt and Teel are DELICIOUS!!!. Next weekend pop, not boom, pop, shot rolled out end of barrel, shot cup stuck. Lost that day.

So, I would not try the shells. Shoot again with obstructed barrel and you could join the ranks of Darwin loosers.

Rod
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:04 PM   #8
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I'd pull a few to see how they look to make sure but they should be OK.

How long were they submerged?
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:13 PM   #9
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...just to clarify, pull a few of the bullets. I wouldn't waste my time or risk injury shooting the shells.

12 gauge is so cheap these days it's really not even worth reloading, so unless you already have powder and shells I wouldn't even waste time saving the shot.

Also, plain old dry rice will work nearly as well as silica for pulling moisture out of stuff.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:33 PM   #10
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Must have been boating. Pull the .45 send me the brass to dispose of.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
thanks for the tips - the 12 I won't touch, cutting some open, they are soaked from crimp to primer - I'm salvaging the lead for other uses, going to dry out and burn the powder.

I've dried off the metallic, wiping and inspecting every round, and most of it is cosmetic, but I'm going to take a closer look before I do anything with it. Some of the cases are really grody though.

Note on the tumbler suggestion - I read that that can cause issues with the powder due to the mechanical action - something about changes to burning rates with the wear. Anyway, the guy said not a good idea, but most of the damage is cosmetic to the bullets - the cases of this premium stuff are nickel plated so some came thru, some did not.

I think maybe I'll throw in a box with silica gel and leave out in hot sun for a couple of days.
The person telling you about tumbling cartridges affecting the powder was just parroting information read on the internet that has been proven to be false. Basically, the legend goes that some powders have a deterrent coating put on them to control the burning rate, and tumbling removes this and breaks down the powder into finer grains so the cartridges blow up upon firing.

The thing is that no one to my knowledge has ever posted a picture of a kaboom or even any accuracy tests showing a lot of ammo, half tumbled and half not and comparing groups between the two. On top of that, a lot of cartridges have compressed powder charges so there wouldn't be much room for powder movement during the tumbling process.

Anyway, it's your stuff so do whatever you want, but whatever you choose to do being sure to differentiate between tarnish and corrosion is the main thing.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91Eunos View Post
I'd pull a few to see how they look to make sure but they should be OK.

How long were they submerged?
I'm going to give the metallic a good look.

I have no idea how long these were wet - they were in a tote bin in about half an inch of water when given to me - all the pistol were in the plastic hi-zoot boxes with water in them but not full. The guy who gave me the tote got them from some unknown storage unit that he came into his possession.

The shotgun cardboard boxes soaked and for a long time the bases were all rusty - based on cutting them open, they are totally wasted, I'm going to save the shot to use as weights, not for reloading, I only shoot skeet and those are about $5 a box at wally-world.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:57 PM   #13
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey View Post
The person telling you about tumbling cartridges affecting the powder was just parroting information read on the internet that has been proven to be false. Basically, the legend goes that some powders have a deterrent coating put on them to control the burning rate, and tumbling removes this and breaks down the powder into finer grains so the cartridges blow up upon firing.
Huh, learn something new every day.
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
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Well you have to admit that superficially it makes a good story!

But if you think about it, if vibration had an effect on ammunition at the very least the military would have a service life for ammunition stored on all sorts of vehicles but there is no such limitation. Or if it were detrimental to accuracy at all David Tubb would not tumble his rounds, but he does as well and if an 11 time National High Power champion doesn't see any issues with it accuracy wise I suspect no one will.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:26 PM   #15
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Just my two cents but,

If the ammo appears to be hand loaded, and you don't know the pedigree, I'd give it to someone else to shoot. You have no idea if that stuff was someone's mistake, set the powder measure wrong, cases too long, etc etc.
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