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Old May 31, 2013, 02:56 PM   #1
Noreaster
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Green ammo harmful to firearms

I have a supply of frangible non toxic ammunition I got a year or so ago at a good price. I have been told by Federal LEO friends that frangible can wear out the barrel faster, but it takes allot of rounds. Then I heard about health issues with frangible dust. Now I was just told by a Glock rep about beach face and firing pin damage from non toxic green ammo, he stated it's a matter of when not if it will happen. I asked an instructor at Sig and he has seen breach face damage from non toxic ammo but not many cases. So the ammo I have is both frangible and green, the worst of both worlds! Has anyone else experienced problems with this.
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Old May 31, 2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Humpf!

Frangible ammunition have bullets designed to fragment on impact to prevent ricochets. The bullets are typically brass shavings with a binder of epoxy. That does not strike me as particularly erosive to a modern firearm barrel. I suppose the epoxy might have some 'grit', but I find it curious a manufacturer would intentionally design a product of this type to damage a firearm.

Health issues with 'dust' of frangible bullet dust? I suppose that's possible; breathing dirt in air suspension isn't all that good, either. The lead in air suspension is fairly hazardous as well.

'Green' ammunition will cause damage to the breech face and firing pin of a Glock pistol? I understand one must NOT use lead bullets in Glock pistols as well. Since I have used lead bullets in all sorts of firearms for more years than I care to remember (let alone mention), I consider ANY firearm which is unsuited for lead bullet use to be inferior in design.

I've shot frangible ammunition through several of my handguns. In rather limited quantities, I admit. No discernible wear or problems, but I don't shoot a Glock.

One employs frangible ammunition only in those instances where damage to targets, back stop or whatever might be caused by regular ammunition. Confine your usage to those occasions and all should be well.
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Old June 1, 2013, 05:30 AM   #3
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Some frangible ammunition has bullets made of sintered iron which is harder than most bullet or jacket material. I can't see it being a big issue since steel jacketed ammunition has been around for years. Maybe it's a little harder on the barrel, but I wouldn't worry about it.

Breathing nearly any kind of metal dust isn't all that good for you, but most people aren't standing so close to their backstop that they're inhaling the dust from the frangible bullets. Maybe some is blown off the back of the bullet on firing, and that wouldn't be wonderful to inhale--but I have to believe it's better than inhaling lead that's being blown off the back of a lead bullet.

I've not heard of problems with breechface/firing pin damage from lead-free primers. Offhand I can't think of a reason that would be an issue.
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Old June 1, 2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Sounds like good range ammo to me.
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Old June 1, 2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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Hum...

Well, I've only had a couple boxes of that Winchester "clean" stuff quiet a few years back.

The possibility of damage to gun wasn't why I swore the stuff off. The dud round per cylinder was the problem.

This seems like an urban legend. Until someone comes along with hard proof (in otherwords, extensive range testing on multiple firearms) I'd remain skeptical.

Very skeptical.
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Old June 1, 2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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How much ammo do you have? FWIW, Thunder ranch mandates green ammo.
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Old June 3, 2013, 04:52 AM   #7
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700 rds Winchester.
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Old June 3, 2013, 06:19 AM   #8
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the only way it should cause a problemw would be 'to light of bullet at to fast a velocity"
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:03 AM   #9
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I wouldn't worry about it harming myself or the gun so much as the ammunition not having anything like the ballistics of the ammo I'd be using IRL.
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Old June 3, 2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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I would take them all at their word and immediately send it to someone in MN to be disposed of properly!!!!!!

Seriously with the rest of theses guys - shoot the xxxx out of it and enjoy.
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Old June 3, 2013, 02:14 PM   #11
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The frangible ammo that is used at FLETC is extremely high pressure.

I don't see it causing any problems with barrel wear, but the pressure and slide velicities will probably casue problems elsewhere.

I'd run it though a duty gun, no problem, since it's their gun anyways and will replace it if breakage occurs.

My own gun? No.
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Old June 3, 2013, 02:46 PM   #12
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I'm not doubting that it does cause damage, I've been told it does by two direct and legit sources. I was wondering how many rounds it takes. I'll just suck it up and shoot the stuff.
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Old June 3, 2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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All use causes some damage. Handling causes some damage. Dry firing causes some. Practice presentations cause damage. This is like worrying that bug strikes will damage your Corolla- yeah, maybe- but is this problem #1?

Shoot it with green when you have to. Shoot it with reloads when you can. Carry factory ammo when you carry.

What's the "buy-out" point? Where did the cost of ammo exceed the cost of the dispenser? You can stop worrying there.
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Old June 3, 2013, 04:11 PM   #14
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I was thinking the same thing.
If you need to shoot frangible, then that's what to do.
Compared to the cost of ammo, a gun can be downright cheap, these days.
A few thousand rounds downrange can exceed the price of a lot of guns.
Maybe they could even be considered just a tool, eventually a disposable one.
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Old June 3, 2013, 05:27 PM   #15
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Lot's of good points here.

My simple point would be you were not talking to a chemist or an engineer, so at best, I find your sources as people passing on info they heard, but may not have really understood.
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Old June 18, 2013, 01:37 PM   #16
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The breech face erosion issue is well-documented, by several police departments. The cause is quite possibly the "green" primers.

Lead styphnate is a major ingredient in priming compound. It is an accellerant, promoting ignition of the compound when the anvil crushes the compond.

The earliest mercuric primers had ground glass in them to accomplish this, prior to the discovery of lead styphnate for the purpose.

Lead-free ammunition was developed for use in indoor ranges to reduce lead emissions, which aside from being harmful to human health can be explosive under the right conditions. Naturally, the enviro-nazis have seized upon it as yet another solution to world pollution, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

All the above is fact. Some of the rest of this post is conjecture on my part. I have asked one "suit" and one engineer, both employed by a major ammunition producer, about this specific issue and whether it is due to the "green" primers. It is the first time either has avoided answering a question I put to them.

On the one hand, primer blow-back should be leaving evidence of same on the case head and/or primer. Such has not been readily apparent in the "studies" I am familiar with. On the other hand, I have a Glock 19 with deep pits eaten into the breech face, that suddenly developed after several thousand previously uneventful rounds. You guessed it; I shot some "green" ammo through it, less than 100 rounds. It was WinClean NT (for Non Toxic, I can only presume).

BTW, the latest revelation on the web regarding this issue has to do with erosion of the striker tip itself. Mine looks okay, but the breech face is truly shocking.

My money is on the primers as the culprit. They had to do SOMETHING to replace the lead styphnate. Still, I have a really hard time believing that less than 100 rounds of tree-hugger ammo ate up my breech face... but something did.

As an aside, those lead free bullets left a streaky residue in my bore that was exceedingly difficult to remove.

Needless to say, I won't be firing any more of that crap in my guns, ever again.

.
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Old June 18, 2013, 01:49 PM   #17
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Thats the same ammo I have. Not good to hear. Thank you for the information.
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Old June 18, 2013, 03:08 PM   #18
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So-called 'green' ammo is environmentally bad, and produces toxic waste. You may ship via common carrier (so far no hazmat fees required), to me, for proper, safe, disposal. The projectile will be removed from the cartridge while inside of a sealed chamber by a mechanical process, called 'shooting', which also completely consumes the propellants, and collected for recycling.
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Old June 18, 2013, 07:57 PM   #19
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Send it to me, I'll shoot it. I'm more toxic than the ammo!
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Old June 18, 2013, 09:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
The breech face erosion issue is well-documented, by several police departments. The cause is quite possibly the "green" primers.
Did you notice gas escaping out of the slide or between the barrel and breech while firing?

There should be little or no gas coming back out of the primers toward the breechface.

Very interesting stuff--I wish someone would do some careful studies to nail this down and explain the mechanism that's casing the erosion.
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Old June 19, 2013, 05:27 AM   #21
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Nope. As I mentioned, if that was the case there SHOULD be evidence of it on the brass. Ever notice black smudges down one side of your brass? That is caused by gas blow-by from incomplete case obturation; IOW, the case is not sealing completely against the chamber wall.

But the erosion here (and in my pistol) is confined to the area around the striker hole (where the striker/firing pin comes out of the breech face). That would almost have to come from the primer/primer pocket. Unfortunately, I was in the shoot house and did not recover or otherwise examine the brass.

After noticing the damage, I went back and looked at some brass, of the same batch as I shot, fired out of other Glock pistols. Nothing untoward was observed. I also closely checked subsequent brass fired from my Glock, both my reloads and "normal" factory ammunition. No clues. Whatever the cause, there are no obvious indicators that I can see; other than the pitting, of course.

Its a real mystery. I've never seen anything like it, in well over 30 years of shooting/training.

I suspect the big firms already know what the cause is; they have serious R&D capabilities and are extremely sensitive to problems of this nature, especially those that could cause damage/injury.

However, like a couple of popular gun manufacturers, they aren't about to acknowledge anything (which would be admitting liability) and will quietly work to fix it.

Again, I have no proof of any of this; just some well-founded suspicions.

And a damaged pistol.

.
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:21 PM   #22
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I think it would be possible to do some testing with a cut up aluminum soft drink can. Cut a shim to fit the breechface and make a hole for the firing pin. It shouldn't be thick enough to affect headspace appreciably, and after firing it with normal ammunition enough to get a feel for how it shows wear, it should be pretty easy to tell if the green ammo is causing unusual wear.
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Old June 20, 2013, 01:56 AM   #23
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disregard please

Last edited by Hammerhead; June 20, 2013 at 02:53 AM.
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Old June 20, 2013, 05:32 PM   #24
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Sounds like IF there is an issue it can be alleviated by cleaning more often than normal. Maybe take some solvent to the range and clean the breech face often.
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Old July 12, 2013, 09:41 PM   #25
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Update. Fired some today and there were little metal half moon slivers on the bench below my pistol, probably dropping out when I pulled the mag out. The half moon shape is about the same size as half the primer. I wonder if these are getting rammed against the breech face during cycle and causing the pitting that others have described. There were many of them on the bench during my 100 rds of firing.
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