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Old June 29, 2012, 10:15 AM   #26
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Yeah, but you can buy commercially pulled tracers all the time, so if they are stable and normal this should not occur. Keep in mind military ammo has to withstand all kinds of shock and abuse. So this is a lot of ammo that has somehow become unstable. I certainly not try to shoot it.


VAK98,

Well, a picture is worth 1000 words, even if it did blow my primer theory away. If the primer had gone off, it would have backed out. If the powder had gone off, the case neck would have expanded away from the bullet and released it and the heat of the powder ignition would likely have fired the primer. So this looks to me like something that happened in the bullet itself.

It is not normal for a tracer to blow open like that. If they did that in flight they would become unstable and whiz off in all directions. I'm thinking maybe this is an incendiary round. The incendiary mix became unstable and blew the bullet open and the 40s flame you saw was a delay fuse burning backward from the explosive area to the base. 40s is too long for a tracer burn. You wouldn't get light to see the trace if if burned too slowly. Did the powder flare off at the end of the burn? I would expect that, too, if my newest theory has any merit. But if so, I'm amazed the primer didn't go, too.

What color flame did the slow burn produce and was it really bright enough to be a tracer flame? What color was the smoke (phosphorous incendiaries make a bluish smoke). What do you see if you look down into the base of the bullet with a flashlight? Should be an empty case at this point.

One more theory: if there was no powder flare-off at the end, it could be the powder is severely deteriorated and perhaps it was responsible for the 40s burn.

The Brits made incendiaries that didn't ignite until impact, but I don't know what the Germans had. Sure would be interesting to get a few of these apart non-destructively to see how the powder looks and how it burns in the open. The bullet could be placed in a pit and, assuming it has an exposed base that is a fuse, light it remotely with some cannon fuse or a model rocket engine igniter to learn how it burns by itself.

Anyway, I would not be firing these bullets in anything. Don't want them going off in your barrel due to shock of acceleration. My guess is you can still slow-pull them, but I wouldn't trust them in a gun, from what your photos showed.
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Old June 29, 2012, 10:32 AM   #27
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Primers are unpredictable. How do you explain these bullets going off?

Woman shot in the leg when a bullet in her purse goes off. No gun, the bullets in her purse were loose.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow...232052308.html

6 March 2012, Worcester Trial Court, a bullet in an evidence bag goes off
“Fitchburg police officer was standing in the hallway holding a bag of bullets that had been seized as evidence in a case scheduled for trial yesterday when a shot rang out.”

http://www.telegram.com/article/2012...91/1003/NEWS03
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Old June 29, 2012, 10:46 AM   #28
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Yes, possible, but VERY unlikely.

I've seen pictures of kinetic pullers that have been blown apart with the report being that this is what happened.

Remember, with a kinetic, everything moves forward when the puller stops -- bullet, powder, and even the primer in the pocket.

With a sensitive primer that's not seated fully in the primer pocket it COULD, but again I think it is VERY unlikely, get enough movement to possibly pop.

As I said in a recent thread here that was talking about depriming live primers, NEVER EVER assume that something is impossible, and take reasonable precautions (eye and ear protection).

That way you're not surprised when the unlikely does rear up and try to bite you in the ass.
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Old June 29, 2012, 10:49 AM   #29
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If that happened with 1 round it could likely happen to all of them. Why are you trying to take them apart in the first place? They sound like old factory rounds with tracers. Just go shoot them. Probably far less dangerous.

Are you trying to disable them so you can safely throw them away?
Are you trying to reuse the tracer bullet?
or do you just want the brass?

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Old June 29, 2012, 10:51 AM   #30
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"Were the Germans still using mercury fulminate as their non-corrosive primer sensitizer in 1943?"

No. Germany military ammunition dumped mercury fulminate around the same time the United States did, late 1890s.
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Old June 29, 2012, 10:56 AM   #31
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Nick,

The primer might not have backed out. The German 3-point staking was VERY effective.

Had to be to keep the primers in place when dealing with the action speeds that the MG-42 produced.

Apparnetly when the MG-42 was under development they had problems with staked primers popping free (even though they would cycle through the MG-34 with no issues), so the German armaments industry adopted new staking protocols.
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Old June 29, 2012, 11:22 AM   #32
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I have pulled hundreds of tracers with no incident. Most were with a KBP and some were with the RCBS press mount puller. I still have them sitting on the bench. All were seated a tad deeper to break the seal and make pulling even reasonably possible.

Never say never is right. These tracers are capped on the bottom of the bullet. Sort of a gas check inverted. I don't see how the powder ignited it, I thought they needed pressure to pop the cap upon firing. I can't call BS though because I wasn't there and have seen enough things happen that were supposedly impossible.

My minds drifts to sabotaged ammo from the Germans. Far fetched perhaps, but entirely possible. One bad round per case wouldn't set off any alarms, and wreck a few American guns in revenge. I don't trust them Germans. They are very smart.
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Old June 29, 2012, 11:55 AM   #33
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Quote:
@Crosshair: WoW! You know the Pope?
Not sure if you are being sarcastic or missed the joke. I was pointing out that something was POSSIBLE, but VERY VERY VERY unlikely to happen.
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Old June 29, 2012, 01:00 PM   #34
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Being funny.
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Old June 29, 2012, 05:20 PM   #35
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All right, well, from what I have read here and the other thread, I am still not convinced a KB could happen when using the tool properly.

The case the OP referred too the tool as not being used properly, A shellholder was used to hold the case rather than the supplied collet. Grab your puller, a bullet and the proper shellholder for the caliber and its easy too see how this could create a problem with a high primer (which is the reason the bullet was being pulled)

The case illustrated in this thread was not a case of the round firing, but rather the tracer compound somehow ignited from the shock of the puller....

As for the linked news stories, we dont know the whole story in either one. Was the lady with the purse swinging it around and hitting things with it? Something has to have been happening for the bullet to fire.... There are currently hundreds of thousands of ammo cans full of loose ammo rumbling down dirt roads, without detonating.... Tape a ball bearing to the base of a 30-06 round and throw it in the air, it will fire when it hits the ground (my dad tells stories of doing this as a kid), but put a 30-06 round in a purse with 30 ball bearings a carry it around all day, other than your pride being left at home, nothing bad will happen... start swinging the purse around on the other hand.....
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Old June 29, 2012, 06:49 PM   #36
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Mike,

If you look at pages 356 and 357 of Hatcher's Notebook, he cites reference to the Germans manufacturing a 39% fulminate of mercury non-corrosive primer beginning in 1901 at Rheinische-Westphalische Sprengstoff A. G., and says it was known among American shooters that by 1911 they had at least one brand of .22 rim fire ammo using their Rostfrei priming mix which was a 55% fulminate of mercury. He also mentions that early Remington Kleanbore ammo was mercuric (1930’s?). Hatcher says it tended to deteriorate rapidly, having a reliable shelf life of only a couple of years, though, so whether old mercuric priming would still be sensitive enough to explode on impact, I can't say. What the German military was using in the 1940’s, I don’t know.

I hadn't thought about the stakes. Duh. You are right, of course, that they would prevent the primer backing out, though I would still expect the primer to bulge a bit. The smooth surface doesn’t appear to have made contact with an off-center shell holder (it’s staked below flush, so how could it?) or been indented by trapped debris. But mainly, if the primer was the first thing to ignite, I would still expect the bullet to have popped out of the neck, or, if it were corrosion bonded to the neck, for the case at least to be swollen from the effort rather than looking intact and normal in profile. Instead, it has burned through the bullet jacket fusing the copper but not the case, so a lot of heat but not a lot of pressure. That fact still makes it look to me like the bullet itself was the point of origin of the ignition and that it was incendiary and not a tracer round.

Check out the Wikipedia’s image* of Japanese 7.7 mm bullets, below, and note the middle round of the bottom row, which is incendiary. It might be a copy of a German design, owing to those countrie's collaboration. Then look at VAK98's image below it and note the location of the secondary copper skin inside the bullet remains.





Since the incendiaries contain sealed doses of white phosphorous and the rounds appear corroded, cracks or oxide pits are possible, and impact might just finish splitting them open enough to expose the inside. I would not be trying to shoot this ammo out in one of my guns. If it’s like the bad rounds in a batch of ’82 surplus I had, some may be fine, but others not.


VAK98,

Are any of your remaining loaded rounds free enough of corrosion to give us a photo of the bullet? Does it have any identifiable color marking on the tip? On the headstamp, “eba” was used by Metallwarenfabrik Scharfenberg-u. Teubert G.m.b.H., Breitungen-Werra, in Germany, but that may only refer to who made the case. The S may refer to Königliches Munitionsfabrik, in Spandau, and they may have assembled the loaded ammo. I don’t know the symbol after the “S”. It looks sort of like it’s trying to be a + sign, though I don’t know what that might mean in this context. Perhaps you can check other rounds for clarification.

Nick

Edit:
Better still, check out the sectioned photos of this German bullet designed to ignite white phosphorous on impact. Might well explain the whole thing. Note the bullet marking is shown, too, for comparison.



*For those concerned with the board's copyrighted materials policy, note that the Wiki Commons images are posted as "freely licensed" and may be hot linked to.
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Old June 29, 2012, 07:06 PM   #37
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I'm not a chemist, but isn't phosphorous friction sensitive? I think it is and that the friction & heat of compression of the KBP maybe ignited the phosphorous. Maybe I was really lucky. I did use a normal collet and didn't swing like I was pullin' hardball just because I knew there was compound in there and one never knows.
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Old June 29, 2012, 10:53 PM   #38
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http://www.cowart.info/Florida%20His...0Biography.htm

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Old June 30, 2012, 07:17 AM   #39
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“(which is the reason the bullet was being pulled)” and that being a high primer?

I have shell holders, lots of shell holders, I have shell holders for different purposes by design, and I have shell holders without holes, shell holders without holes are not shell holders, in the old days tools that look like shell holders but without holes were used for bullet swaging.

This is like waking up in a new world every morning and starting over, I do not load tiny cases – but – if I did I would use ‘O’ rings to center the case in the kenotic puller, centering the case in the puller would not allow the case to get off center, back to the shell holder hitting the primer: For those with shell holders, kenotic pullers and a bullet to be pulled, assemble the puller into bullet pulling configuration and before hammering, examine for clearance.

Going back to the event after the ‘big Inning’, to the references made about someone blowing his hammer up, and the reference to the high primer, and the shell holder instead of the collet 3 piece holder.

In the world of finance there is a term that describes the direction money flows, called trickle, there are two philosophies, one TRICKLE DOWN, the other TRICKLE UP. Trickle down does not work, give the money to the person that has a lot of it, it never trickles down to me, but, give it to me and the money trickles up to the person that has a lot of it, every time.

High primers and trickle down, if the primer is not seated there is room in front of the primer for powder, if the primer is seated after powder trickles down the primer can not be seated without arming the primer, if after the primer is armed and there is no room for the primer to move forward without crushing the powder seating the primer with a kinetic puller is a bad habit.

I know, the intent is/was not to seat the primer, the intent is/was to pull the bullet, but as I have said before, “It is a matter of keeping up with more than one thought at a time”, slam fire is an event that happens when seating a primer with a slide, mix up the words and it is possible to get a sentence that sounds something like sliding the primer by slamming a kenotic hammer with a sudden stop could cause the primer to fire.

Pulling bullets with high primers is a bad habit. Then examine the shell holder, most have an additional clearance cut to allow for removing cases with high primers, some do not, and I wonder. My shell holders that do not have the clearance cut for high primers??? Is the absence of the cut designed to prevent me from removing the case from the shell holder? Is is designed to protect me from my self? Because? The shell holder is for the 9mm, I only use the 9mm shell holder to load 9mm ammo, all of my 9mm pistols have the potential of a slam fire, a high primer can cause a slam fire, then we have to wonder, was/is it the sudden stop, or is it because the primer is the last thing to stop in the collision.

“I do not understand it, it handled like a doll buggy, then! suddenly! All at once –nothing before- then- it came apart”

High primers and trickle up, stand the bullet on its nose, shake, allow time for the powder to trickle out of the primer pocket.

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Old June 30, 2012, 07:55 AM   #40
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Hello, everyone. There have been reports of smokeless..and of course black powders being detonated from shock..the warning in on every can of powder.
I suppose if powder can be ignited this way..an extra sensitive primer could
possibly go off.
There was a write-up about an accident at a registered bench-rest match in Precision Shooting magazine. It seems a shooter with a new rifle had gotten a cartridge stuck in the chamber..in trying to remove, the extractor tore thru rim. Bolt was removed & rifle held down on bags by friend, while owner used a cleaning rod from muzzle to tap out ctg.
About the third hard whack..ctg. discharged..the tragedy was..his wife was standing several feet behind and in line with chamber..the case hit her in stomach. Even though they got her to hospital in record time..she died on operating table.
The shooter said he was nearly knocked off his feet from the blow..though he did manage to hold onto rod..this was a little 6mm PPC.
No marks..scratches, dings, etc. were found on primer..the theory was the bullet being pushed back violently into case had compressed & ignited powder.




Google has nothing.

But it is always the bench rester, so rather than repeat it as fact allow me to apply the criteria of fact and or fiction, one the bench rester is not a fan of bullet hold, the bench rester does not run a pyrometer on his his receiver, stop rat there. I shoot with a few very disciplined reloaders, I pull the trigger, the next thing I hear is open the bolt! Get that fired case out of the receiver, so the receiver can cool, back to the story, the bench rester went to the rang with a new!!!! rifle and stuck a case (and me with no clue if it was his first round or if the case stuck after firing forty rounds, we will agree, if the story is true it was after his last round fired).

Hammering, compression and heat, I do not believe bench resters are exempt from an event called cook off, but let us consider he had a hot receiver with no chance of a cook off, but whacking on a the bullet could compress the powder causing the concentrating of the heat etc.. reminds me of a pile driver that runs on diesel, no ignition, no plug, no crank shaft, it just wacks away, something like the story about the bench rester, whacking away on a bullet with no case neck hold (neck tension) .

And time is not a factor to the bench rester, I want my bullets to have a jump, I want my bullets to have a running start and I also want nothing between my case and chamber but air, I am the fan of air between the case and chamber because I believe time is a factor.

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Old June 30, 2012, 01:54 PM   #41
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Edward429451,

White phosphorous was used originally to make matches that were a splinter of wood, the tips of which were dipped in molten sulfur plus the white phosphorous was added (I don't know the method). I expect the smell of the burning sulfur is how matches came to be called "Lucifers". Because white phosphorous burns in air at just about 85°F, rubbing these matches would expose the phosphorous to air and add some friction heat to get about the critical temperature locally, so they lit. In the absence of oxygen, though, they would not work. Because white phosphorous is also very poisonous to the liver, you would also hear of match heads being used to poison people.

Later (1800's) the red allotrope came to be used in matches (enforced by law) because it is much less toxic. It also doesn't light in air until you get to a much higher temperature (I've seen numbers given from about 480°F to about 570°F and don't know which is true offhand), but apparently the right amount of friction and maybe a little ground flint or other additives will still get it locally hot enough to ignite. Again, though, in the absence of air, you don't get a reaction.


VAK98,

I find white phosphorous smoke described as smelling like garlic. Did you pick up that odor in your combustion event?
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Old July 2, 2012, 02:45 PM   #42
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Nick,

Note that I said German military ammunition, NOT ammunition or primers available for commercial consumption. RWS was the second largest manufacturer of commercial and sporting ammunition in Germany at that time, but also had large contracts with the Germany military.

I'm almost positive that Hatcher is talking solely about ammunition available commercially, and not what was loaded for the German military.

I don't count .22 LR in the mix as those cases are never reloaded (or virtually never).


"though I would still expect the primer to bulge a bit."

I wouldn't necessarily. German military primers are QUITE hard, using a fairly thick primer cup.
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Old July 2, 2012, 04:57 PM   #43
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Cowboys matches would self ignite? That's hilarious in a sick sort of way. So since air is needed, Mr. Murphy was working overtime. So he wacked the KBP and the slug popped out compressing the phosphorous with the slug cap (plug) and allowing some air to enter, then it ignited. Wow.

He should've bought a lottery ticket instead, that's long odds. If I pull any more, its on the press. Mr. Murphy doesn't like me so I try not to tease him. Thx Nick.
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Old July 2, 2012, 08:33 PM   #44
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OK, finally back after 3 days here in Virginia without power. Lots of hot nights, but plenty of cold beer to get us through it. Interestingly enough I was typing my reply to this Thread when our power dumped Friday night.

OK, I have attched some pics of the remaining live rounds. The mark next to the 6 that Unclenick referred to is an asterisk. The significance of this I am not familiar with as I have not done an in-depth search yet on WW2 German 8mm ammo markings.

Incident as it unfolded once again - On about the 6th strike of the KBP there was a very very loud detonation in the chamber of the KBP. I have shot hundreds of rounds through my various wartime 98s and this sound was not as loud as a live round being fired in the breech of the gun, more like the sound when a blank is fired. There was a huge flash in the chamber and a lot of yellowish residue (visible in the pics I posted on Thursday night). Because I was sort of in shock and contending with my wife who was at about Ping-con Charlie I unscrewed the cap and took the round out of the KBP chamber. This action allowed the bullet to enjoy the full supply of available oxygen hence the sudden increase in burn intensity (when it was in the chamber it was still sealed very well and choked off so I was just getting a sort of smolder). The burn DID last about 30-40 seconds and it fizzed like a propane torch and burned red (do agree that these are more likely incindiary rounds rather than tracers). There is a bunch of red burn residue on the concrete of the unfinished portion of my basement where this occurred. I did not notice a garlic smell in the smoke, trust me - being Italian I know my garlic and would have picked up on that.

Regarding why I am doing this - I am primarily a collector of WW2 uniforms. One of my displays is an Mg-34 gunner at Stalingrad. Being a well prepared gunner he has a belt of ammo around his neck and unfortunately the only belt I have long enough to accomodate the look is two 50rd belts linked together made up with live ammo. I am a little skiddish about having live ammo in proximity to my 98 which is on display a few feet away so I prefer to display inert ammo. The ammo will not be totally inert obviously as the primers will still be live, but I'm not worried about that with no powder in the casing. So that, Mike-Mac, is why I am taking these apart. Once the display is complete I'll post a pic or two

I think I have addressed most of the questions that have been asked, but will gladly field more.

Thanks again for the replies and regardless of the who, what, when, why etc... of the incident, I hope my story has expanded all of our perspectives on how different ammo might react in these pullers.

vr

Bob
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Old July 2, 2012, 09:33 PM   #45
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Perhaps it would be easier (and safer) to just remove the Firing Pin from the 98 and leave the ammo as is...
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:49 PM   #46
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The good old days? Not so. There was a high price to pay when breathing fumes In the manufacturing of matches with phosphorus. A cruel term ‘phossy-jaw’ described employees that worked for companies that processed phosphorus, their lower jaws disappeared

.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18940506

I know, some are bullet proof, they remind me of sergeants (some sergeants) when it comes to diseases of the privates, rational, “we are exempt, we are sergeants”, then there is lead.

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Old July 2, 2012, 11:38 PM   #47
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What does everyone think about drilling a hole in the side of the case to get the powder out? Slow RPM with a drizzle of water over the drill point to keep down the heat.
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Old July 3, 2012, 01:47 AM   #48
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Mike,

I freely admit I have no clue about the German military and non-corrosive priming. I assume they experimented with it, as ours did. But ours wound up staying with chlorate through Korea, except in M1 Carbine ammo. I never learned a satisfactory explanation for why the carbine primer was OK'd in a lead styphnate mix in the middle of WWII but not others. Maybe just because the carbine was then a new round and the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" philosophy made the most sense for the other rounds or for the supply chain at the time.


VAK 98,

Yeah, the black lower bullet ogive color coding matches that sectioned German incendiary round I linked to, so that pretty much fixes that answer.

If the bullet you have is the exact type shown sectioned in the photo, then in addition to the white phosphorous there is a small PETN charge in it to blow the bullet open and spread the phosphorous. Pretty much what appears to have happened and it would explain the nature of your "bang". I am expecting that's what blew under impact. It's designed to go off when forward inertia is abruptly halted.

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Old July 3, 2012, 06:11 AM   #49
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Nick...

I think you are losing it.

We were talking about mercuric priming compounds, not corrosive salts.

German WWII ammo was corrosive primed but the German military dumped mercury fulminate based sensitizers in the 1890s or the early 20th century
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Old July 3, 2012, 06:14 AM   #50
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As for carbine ammo the standard explanation is the gas piston is captive and cant be removed without tools, meaning it would be too difficult to maintain properly with corrosive ammo.
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