The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 17, 2009, 09:20 AM   #1
rauke
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 29, 2009
Location: Australasia
Posts: 197
Best way to waterproof cartridges?

Tried to do a search on how to waterproof cartridges for use in foul weather/wet environments, but didn’t turn up much. (May have used the wrong key words.)

Is it true that you can waterproof cartridges by painting them with clear nail polish around the primer area, and around the point where the bullet meets the shell casing?

(Just wondering if the nail polish can cause feeding or fouling issues in semi-autos when the combusting powder finally burns it. Also, how durable would this method be?)

How do you keep carry ammo from going bad when regularly exposed to water?
rauke is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 09:59 AM   #2
ISC
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,982
nail polish works, it helps if you dilute it to 50% strength with acetone or remover. I'd want to use polish with a tint to regulate the coverage.

It's over kill unless you carry in severely adverse conditions (ie underwater) but won't hurt anything.

They make a special sealant that accomplishes the same thing, but why spend all that extra money.
ISC is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 10:14 AM   #3
RKG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 268
Unnecessary. I have carried plain old factory stuff (do not carry handloads) in a marine environment for years. Only effect is that sometimes brass cases turn a tad green. (Sometimes happens to human passengers, too, but that is a different story.) All carry rounds are rotated periodically and fired as practice rounds, and have yet to have one fail to fire.
RKG is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 10:19 AM   #4
Dannyl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Cape Town - South Africa
Posts: 627
+1 on the nail polish, a very tiny amount around the edges of the primer and around the mouth of the case will do the trick.

As ISC said, unless you are planning to submerge them, I would not worry.

Brgds,
Danny
Dannyl is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 11:05 AM   #5
rauke
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 29, 2009
Location: Australasia
Posts: 197
Thank you, gentlemen!

The amount and the quality of expertise in these Forums never cease to amaze (and comfort) me.

ISC, thanks for pointing out that the nail polish has to be diluted 50% with acetone or polish remover, and recommending that it be slightly tinted to better monitor coverage.

RKG and Dannyl, thank you for your reassurances that factory ammo will stand up to occasional water logging.

As you may have noticed from another thread, I just lost a few rounds of good ammo after getting caught in bad weather and having two of my carry pieces (and holsters) soaked.

Much as the majority opinion at this point says that it shouldn’t be an issue with factory cartridges, I believe that prudence is the better part of valor, and have consigned the affected ammo to my practice pile, as a few others recommended.

What I plan to do next is to have a batch of 250 factory-spec reloads made up. I will then waterproof them using the recommended method and fire them to see if any sign of unusual fouling develops in a semi-auto (probably 9mm --- the smaller caliber should be more prone to fouling than a .40 or .45 ACP).
This will be to find out what happens to the nail polish when it burns, NOT to find out if reloads can be waterproofed.

Will keep you posted on the results.
rauke is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 11:58 AM   #6
wyobohunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2008
Location: Back in Wyoming
Posts: 1,125
I use George & Roy's Custom Prirmer Sealant. Probably just nail polish with a different sticker though
wyobohunter is offline  
Old September 17, 2009, 02:54 PM   #7
DWARREN123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2006
Location: BETWEEN TN & KY
Posts: 1,759
I believe Brownell's sell a sealant for ammo use but it is best used when loading to seal the primer when put in and around the bullet when seated. Trying to seal after loaded is mostly a waste of time.
Sealants are really only needed/used for military ammo for lomg term storage and combat use.
__________________
Have a nice day!
DWARREN123 is offline  
Old September 18, 2009, 01:42 AM   #8
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,068
Quote:
As you may have noticed from another thread, I just lost a few rounds of good ammo after getting caught in bad weather and having two of my carry pieces (and holsters) soaked.
A dab of nail polish on the primer and around the mouth wouldn't make me trust them any more. I would have still relegated those to practice use. How will you know you didn't put too much on and have now affected the primer or powder with acetone?
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old September 18, 2009, 01:59 PM   #9
KCabbage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2007
Posts: 707
Cabelas among others carries two different kinds, George & Roy's and Markrons. I bought the Markron because it was cheaper ($6 something) and is endorsed by all sorts of professionals.
KCabbage is offline  
Old September 19, 2009, 07:28 PM   #10
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,464
Factory ammo primers are sealed and in normal loadings the case mouth is sealed as well. Military ammo has visible primer sealant and has a seal inside the case neck, but that is not normal for civilian ammo.

For handloads, the suggestions on using nail polish or something similar are fine, but cases can also be sprayed with a polyurethane if desired. Just make sure it is not thick enough to keep the round from chambering.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old September 19, 2009, 07:38 PM   #11
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,648
Jim, are you SURE you would spray cases with poly spray? Then they would be like that Russian ammo with the poly coating, that everyone complains gums up their chambers? And how about putting sealant on the mouths of the carts-seems to me that if the case is undersized a little except at the very edge, when you load a bullet into the case, it acts like the worlds snuggest cork, more or less. Seems to me that only water under great pressure could get past the bullet in a snug fitting case that is tight enough to keep the bullet from moving in normal handling and loading. I have determined that some non mil. ammo I have owned has sealant, but it is transparent, not tinted like mil. ammo, so you might have some sealed ammo and not even realise it. But probably not used on high production cheap white box stuff. Actually I thought the sealant was to keep out oil, as some oils have much better penetrating abilities than water.
__________________
Your gun is like your nose, it is just wrong for someone else to pick it for you!
Tom2 is offline  
Old September 24, 2009, 07:58 PM   #12
CSHammond
Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 54
I would think unless you are submerged in water they should be fine.
CSHammond is offline  
Old September 24, 2009, 08:04 PM   #13
tekarra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 1,109
I seal my hunting handloads with diluted nail polish around the primer and neck. Some of them went under water, with me, but still shot fine.
tekarra is offline  
Old September 24, 2009, 08:25 PM   #14
danweasel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 26, 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 191
My friend at work told me about how he put nail polish over his primers before he poured powder and seated the bullets. His OAL was messed up so he recommends against it. Just a hint for the weirdos out there!
__________________
When I came back to Dublin I was courtmartialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.
- Brendan Behan
danweasel is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 08:44 AM   #15
KCabbage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2007
Posts: 707
He doesn't recommend it because he messed up his loads?
Bullets aren't toenails. Just a thin layer "around" the primer and bullet is all you need.
KCabbage is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 04:09 PM   #16
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
Jim, are you SURE you would spray cases with poly spray? Then they would be like that Russian ammo with the poly coating, that everyone complains gums up their chambers? And how about putting sealant on the mouths of the carts-seems to me that if the case is undersized a little except at the very edge, when you load a bullet into the case, it acts like the worlds snuggest cork, more or less. Seems to me that only water under great pressure could get past the bullet in a snug fitting case that is tight enough to keep the bullet from moving in normal handling and loading. I have determined that some non mil. ammo I have owned has sealant, but it is transparent, not tinted like mil. ammo, so you might have some sealed ammo and not even realise it. But probably not used on high production cheap white box stuff. Actually I thought the sealant was to keep out oil, as some oils have much better penetrating abilities than water.
Nobody complains about the poly. They complain about the lacquered cases.
Alleykat is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 04:29 PM   #17
45Gunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2009
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 1,728
Just for grins, I might mention that during the monsoon season in the jungles of Vietnam, we did nothing to "water proof" the ammo. We crawled thru rice paddies and waded across streams with the ammo getting about as wet as anything could get. It alway worked. Never gave it further thought until reading this thread. I can't say that I ever had been as wet for as long as I was since then. I usually try to get out of the rain. Can't think of a single reason to be carrying my CCW and be subjected to such wetness that I would have to worry if my ammo wouldn't fire.
__________________
45Gunner
May the Schwartz Be With You.
NRA Instructor
NRA Life Member
45Gunner is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 04:33 PM   #18
David the Gnome
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2007
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,092
If you are concerned about it, just pick up some S&B ammo. The primer has already been waterproofed:



__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
David the Gnome is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 06:07 PM   #19
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,648
So, the RWS ammo I have is also coated on the primers, some GECO 32 ACP I have is laquered, then I have some Federal ammo that is also laquered. I still think it is as much oilproofing as waterproofing. So think of what happens if there is too much loose lube oil in the gun and the ammo sets in the chamber for a long time.
__________________
Your gun is like your nose, it is just wrong for someone else to pick it for you!
Tom2 is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 06:17 PM   #20
jhenry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,813
It is completely unnecessary. Ease your mind and take a few rounds of the ammo you want to protect and drop them in a glass of water. Leave them for a week, and go fire them. You can stop worrying after that. If you really want to ease your mind, take a few and drop them into some WD40, Kroil, or some other penetrating oil that is supposedly able to kill primers. Leave the rounds for a few days. They will fire just fine. I expect to be challenged on this, but not by anyone who tries it.
__________________
"A Liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory". - Charles Krauthammer
jhenry is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 06:18 PM   #21
armsmaster270
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,944
I was given about 500 rounds of factory Remington 38 and 357 duty ammo because they got wet and the LE agency was afraid to issue them for fear they would missfire. They were wrong, but I had fun proving it.
__________________
http://www.armsmaster.net-a.googlepages.com
http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/f...aster270/Guns/
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
armsmaster270 is offline  
Old September 25, 2009, 08:25 PM   #22
KCabbage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2007
Posts: 707
Quote:
It is completely unnecessary. Ease your mind and take a few rounds of the ammo you want to protect and drop them in a glass of water. Leave them for a week, and go fire them. You can stop worrying after that. If you really want to ease your mind, take a few and drop them into some WD40, Kroil, or some other penetrating oil that is supposedly able to kill primers. Leave the rounds for a few days. They will fire just fine. I expect to be challenged on this, but not by anyone who tries it.
Have you tried this? I challenge you! Go ahead and waste your ammo. I've seen more than one water test on ammo, but this is one I have proof for.
Behold page 46-47 http://ammo.ar15.com/project/AmmoOracle_061808.pdf

Quote:
I expect to be challenged on this, but not by anyone who tries it.
Ha, that's reassuring.
KCabbage is offline  
Old September 26, 2009, 10:45 AM   #23
ClarkK
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2009
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Posts: 4
I've lived in climates so humid that I was concerned the powder might get compromised without a little help. I started using the nail polish years ago on ammo I expected to store awhile. Never had a commercial cartridge go bad, tho, whether treated or not. I also keep a dessicant in the footlocker where I store most of my ammo.

A note on buying nail polish: The first few times I felt a little self-conscious in the drug store's cosmetics section, wondering if I could handle the transaction with sufficient nonchalance and dignity. Similar misgivings to carrying concealed the first few times.

In each case, I no longer give it a thought.
__________________
Check out GUN FRIENDLY
ClarkK is offline  
Old September 27, 2009, 07:50 AM   #24
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
Have you tried this? I challenge you! Go ahead and waste your ammo. I've seen more than one water test on ammo, but this is one I have proof for.
Have you tried dropping a few rounds into a glass of water, then shooting it later?
Alleykat is offline  
Old September 27, 2009, 04:03 PM   #25
ISC
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,982
I once took a magazine of 7.62x39 ammo of various manufacturers and left them in a coffee can full of water for a month. The only ones that wouldn't fire were the cartridges with steel cases that had actually started pitting. even then, most of them fired after I cleaned them up enough to chamber in the rifle.

It might have been different if they had been soaking in salt water or under pressure or tempurature changes.
ISC is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15578 seconds with 7 queries