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Old April 7, 2012, 03:53 PM   #1
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soaked ammo

Hi all,
A neighbor of mine was cleaning out his basement and found a stock of old ammo 9mm, 5.56 NATO, 7.62 X 39 .38 special and various 12 gauge shell. The problem is most of these rounds were submerged in water. No idea how long. Most of the packaging was carboard and completely destroyed. Most of the 12 gauge cells are rusted and I am sure they are junk now. Some of the other ammo is corroded. Some looked decent. Not sure if this ammo is worth saving. What is the possibility of it firing? Any help would be appreciated, as I have only dealt with off the shelf ammo.

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Old April 7, 2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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It depends on how much there is. If there is a lot of the nato ammo I might try tumbling it and trying some if it's not in too bad shape. The nato rounds should have a sealed primer and sealer around the bullet. It's hard to say without seeing it. If it's in real bad shape I probably wouldn't mess with any of it.
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Old April 7, 2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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Toss it. You get one set of eyeballs and fingers. Don't gamble with them for $50.
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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NATO ammo is sealed, though I dont know how long it would actualy take being submerged....
Maybe pull a few and see if the powder is wet.... If the water did manage to get in, its likley still in there..... If there is the slightest trace of water, pull the bullets and reload with new powder and primers...
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Old April 8, 2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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Just pull, dump, deprime, inspect, and reload those that pass inspection. It will save you cost of brass and bullets. For the 12ga, cut open and dump.......if you reload then save the shot.
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Old April 9, 2012, 12:29 AM   #6
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Thats good ammo no matter how you look at it. I had someones Y2K stash of 230 gr FMJ 45 ammo that had been flooded in his crawl space and it looked terrible. We tumbled it and then broke the seal by seating it slightly deeper and then pulling it all down. Most of the brass was usable and all of the bullets were.

The shot can be recovered and either reloaded, or used as a hardener with casting boolits.
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Old April 9, 2012, 01:45 AM   #7
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Don't save compromised ammo.

But do go out and burn it up at the range. Have some fun.
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Old April 9, 2012, 12:48 PM   #8
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Salvaging the components can be worth it.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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Old April 9, 2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Still a win no matter how you look at it.

At the least you save the components.
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Old April 9, 2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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That stuff might still be ok.
So far, all the rounds that wound up in the washing machine have worked for me.
Thirty minutes of strong agitation, under a couple of feet of hot water should be a good test.
And these have been all reloads, too.
Probably not as well sealed as factory rounds.
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Old April 9, 2012, 04:02 PM   #11
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How old is it?

Gunpowder deteriorates, a rule of thumb for shelf life is 45 years for single based and 20 years for double based.

The rate of deterioration is directly related to heat. Heat breaks down gunpowder.

If the cases have water migration inside; dump the stuff. NOx outgasses from gun powder, some of it will convert to nitric acid gas in the presence of water. That will corrode the case internally.
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Old April 10, 2012, 02:27 AM   #12
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Seriously, would you line up an animal & hope it worked?
If you can reload it then pull the projectiles & reload them if its what you use.
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Old April 10, 2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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Call mythbusters quickly!!!
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Old April 10, 2012, 10:11 AM   #14
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Break them down and save the useable components. I wouldn't mess with trying to fire the stuff, not worth the risk.
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Old April 10, 2012, 10:30 AM   #15
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Toss it. You get one set of eyeballs and fingers. Don't gamble with them for $50.
Or $5,000 ...... you can always make more money. Eyes and fingers, not so much.

Break them down and save the useable components.
Salvage the components, and shoot them in a gun you are not worried about damaging.
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ammo , corroded , wet

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