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Old July 13, 2012, 06:15 PM   #1
ScottRiqui
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Reloads smell like urine when fired?

Kind of a strange question, but does any of your reloaded ammo umm... smell like pee... when you fire them? Specifically, cat pee?

I'm sure it's just the nitrogen compounds in the powder, and I'm probably just associating it with cat urine because I have cats, but a few of my reloads have been downright eye-watering.
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Old July 13, 2012, 06:23 PM   #2
Beagle333
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Nope. I just fired a few dozen and I just opened the ziplock of empties and took a li'l whiff, and it reminds me of the smell of the waiting room at a transmission repair shop.

(no idea why..... but that was the picture that jumped to the smell)
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Old July 13, 2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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I have noticed it with Titegroup powder. Haven't noticed it with any other powder.
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Old July 13, 2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Hint don't pee on your ammo...LOL
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Old July 13, 2012, 07:30 PM   #5
Ozzieman
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When I got married my wife had 6,,,,, yes 6 cats so I know of the smell you’re talking about.
I use Titegroup and shoot a lot with it and many other powders. Never noticed that smell other than very old powder that was going bad.
How old is the powder your using and how does it smell in the can? Smelly powder is normally a sign that it’s going bad.
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Old July 13, 2012, 07:31 PM   #6
BillM
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What powder? Titegroup has it's own smell, as does Trailboss. Some
shotshell powders are distinctive. An ammonia smell is one of the
indicators that powder is going bad---is it an old can?

SO--specifically what powder are you using?

eta: Ozzie, looks like great minds think alike, but you are a little
faster on the keyboard!
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Old July 13, 2012, 07:34 PM   #7
BDS-THR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
does any of your reloaded ammo umm... smell like pee... when you fire them? Specifically, cat pee?
No. Never, regardless of powder manufacturer.

You powder may be bad and I would check it. Take off the cap and take a whiff. It should have a clean solvent smell to it. If it smells foul or rancid, it's bad or going bad.


Where do you store your spent cases? Perhaps a cat peed on them?
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Old July 13, 2012, 07:41 PM   #8
deepcore
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Holy Pee Shooter Batman!

I've heard of this happening....putting the "ammo" in ammonia.
I think it's a powder selection (or age) thing.
I haven't experienced it myself with my (limited) experience with powder.
I tend to stick with what works for me so nothing but the beloved gun smoke smell from W231, W748, RL22, IMR 4895
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Old July 13, 2012, 08:35 PM   #9
Lost Sheep
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There's another caution here

Aside from odd smells perhaps indicating powder that is going bad, there is another caution to be aware of.

Urine decomposes into ammonia. Ammonia (even fumes) weakens brass. I read on another thread where ammunition stored near a cat's litter box wound up being dangerously weakened. (Warning: second hand information.)

I know some metal polishes contain ammonia, but most brass does not have to contain thousands of pounds per square inch pressure.

Take care,

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Old July 13, 2012, 09:39 PM   #10
armoredman
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4 cats, lots of litter boxes, whew, what a smell. None are in the same room as the reloading gear.
Well, if you only wing him, you can tell the cops to look for the bleeding guy who smells like cat pee...sorry, couldn't help it.
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Old July 13, 2012, 10:27 PM   #11
res45
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IMR-4227 has a distinctive smell to it when fired. I wouldn't say the smell is like cat pee but it's different than the rest of my powders.
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Old July 13, 2012, 10:33 PM   #12
Vance
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In my case, it's only after I fire the round that I smell the ammonia smell and only with titegroup. The powder doesn't smell like anything to me when it is in the plastic bottle it comes in. I only buy 1 pound at a time from the local store and it usually only takes me a couple of months to us it up.

I cast my own bullets and use White Label Lube's BAC for the bullet lube. I wonder if it's a reaction between the powder and the bullet lube?
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Old July 14, 2012, 01:05 AM   #13
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Maybe. I do not recall smelling cat pee when I used Titegroup with jacketed bullets.
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Old July 14, 2012, 08:49 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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I've smelled a lot of weird smells when shooting over the years.

Probably the worst was Fiocchi .32 Long ammo. AWFUL smell.

But none of it smelled like pee.
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:04 AM   #15
ScottRiqui
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Well, like I was saying earlier, I may just be smelling the nitrogen compounds burning and thinking "cat pee" because that's a smell I'm familiar with. Someone else might smell the same thing and think of fertilizer.

I remember getting the smell with a can of VV powder I used several years ago. Right now, the only powder I'm using that burns with a strong smell is WST. I don't know how old it is, since I was given a 4-pound jug by a friend who couldn't keep it. But it smells okay in the can.

Someone mentioned cast bullet lube earlier - I'm also shooting cast bullets almost exclusively, so I'm wondering if that's contributing.
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Old July 14, 2012, 08:12 PM   #16
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You're sure you're not using kitty litter in your tumbler.
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:18 PM   #17
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After my target got pulled at the range the other day, I saw a few folks holding their noses. I'm really glad to think that it was that powder smell that made em do it.
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Old July 14, 2012, 11:07 PM   #18
BDS-THR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
Someone mentioned cast bullet lube earlier - I'm also shooting cast bullets almost exclusively, so I'm wondering if that's contributing.
No again. I shoot lead loads in 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP and have used various commercial brand bullets with different lubes and powders and no smell of cat pee.

Our perception of smell could be subjective. Could you have someone else verify the "cat pee" smell next time you are at the range?

If the powder smoke/smell is indeed bad, my guess is that the powder is going bad or bad already.
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:10 AM   #19
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I like Starline brass..could there be a Feline brand?
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:37 AM   #20
Hammerhead
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Trail Boss = cat pee.
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Old July 15, 2012, 11:36 AM   #21
Ethan.G
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Quote:
Trail Boss = cat pee.
i learn something new every day on this sight.. /mental note, never buy trail boss
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Old July 15, 2012, 11:47 AM   #22
wrm
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If you reload enough, you'll start complaining of the cat pee smelling like reloads.

It's just a frame of reference thing :-)

(Seriously, yes, you can often tell what kind of powder the fellow reloaded just by the smell)
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:25 PM   #23
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
I like Starline brass..could there be a Feline brand?
Okay, THAT was funny!!
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Old July 15, 2012, 03:41 PM   #24
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There are some black powders with a pretty rank sulpher smells, but can't say I've ever smelled cat pee.
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Old July 15, 2012, 05:32 PM   #25
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It is your neighbor

It is your neighbor down the road. He doesn't like you. He's messing with your head. He sneaks in when you are not there and "uses" your powder bottles.

That is what my dog told me. And now it is on the internet, so it must be true!
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