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Old October 2, 2012, 07:06 PM   #1
robertsig
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Bring back the cheap surplus ammo!

If there was one type of rifle surplus ammo you could bring back and have it cheap again, what would it be? I know we'll never see it again, but since hindsight is 20/20 which is your pick?

.30-06, 8mm Mauser, .303 British, 7x57, 7.5x55, 6.5x55, 7.62x39, etc.


If I could buy only one to stockpile, it would have been 6.5x55 or 7x57. I like my .30 calibers, but those middle calibers are much easier to shoot.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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I've been loading up on the 7.62x54r, as it's the only one still plentiful and cheap!
http://www.sgammo.com/catalog/rifle-ammunition/762x54r

PS-I really want some good(NO P.O.F.!) 303 British.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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You should consider, when buying surplus ammunition, is that the stuff is on the market because it exceeded its shelf life. For the majority of shooters absolutely nothing bad has happened with their surplus, but every so often I have run across, either in print, or web accounts of guns that blew up with old ammunition. The stuff is cheap for a reason, and the original owner decided to get rid of this expensive stuff, precisely because it was too risky to issue to their Armies, or keep in storage.

I found this UN manual.: International Ammunition Technical Guideline, IATG 07.20, Surveillance and in-service proof. to be an interesting read, correct with its explanation of gunpowder deterioration and the tests used to determine stabilizer content. Table one was excellent in showing how temperature reduces the lifetime of gunpowder “propellant”.

If it was not copyrighted, I would have copied and pasted.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/convar...Proof(V.1).pdf

Decide for yourselves what you want to pay for this stuff and whether you should be buying it for the long term.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:57 PM   #4
couillon
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Please bring back the cheap 6.5x55 prickskytte ammo. Why I did not stock up on more of it when I could I do not know.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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7X57
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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Start another world war.
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:53 PM   #7
James K
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"You should consider, when buying surplus ammunition, is that the stuff is on the market because it exceeded its shelf life."

Not necessarily. It could have been phased out in favor of a better/different caliber; the government that stockpiled it lost a war; the country needed money or hard currency more than it needed ammunition, etc.

Jim
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:43 AM   #8
rightside
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I've never had any surplus blow up. I know it's surplus, so my expectations aren't to high. For me ,the cost savings for range ammo is to cheap to pass up, in most instances. It's almost always completely servicable if it's been sealed up. You do have to read up on others results and check out it's reputation before purchase if available. I find it to be worth the trouble.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:03 AM   #9
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This thread and RJay's comment reminds me of a quote from an old movie:

"We got enough ammunition here to finish this war and start another one!"

Anybody want to make a guess?
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Old October 3, 2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
The stuff is cheap for a reason
Actually, for more than one. As mentioned before, it might be a change in the primary caliber(s) of a particular country, a country could have needed hard currency, but also because the ammunition has already been "paid for" at least once.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:19 AM   #11
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There are bargains out there on 8mm & 7.62x54. The stuff I have been shooting is well over 50 years old and I have not had any that did not go bang.

jsmaye nailed it -- it is cheap for a reason. Concur 100%
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:27 AM   #12
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probably 8 mauser or 6.5 swede
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:41 AM   #13
Slamfire
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Quote:
"You should consider, when buying surplus ammunition, is that the stuff is on the market because it exceeded its shelf life."

Not necessarily. It could have been phased out in favor of a better/different caliber; the government that stockpiled it lost a war; the country needed money or hard currency more than it needed ammunition, etc.
Sure all those things, maybe even more pie in the sky ideas when you think of it. I expect all the nah sayers are totally plugged into the ammunition surveillance decision makers in those countries, especially as you are warranting the quality of surplus ammunition, right?

You going to pay to fix these guys' rifles?:

Garand Blowup with WWII ball
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....3&postcount=13

Quote:
I have an old shooting buddy who some years ago was shooting some WWII ball (don’t know whose) but his M-1 was disassembled in a rather rapid fashion. He was lucky only his pride was hurt. He said he took a round apart and found rust looking dust along with the powder. Bad powder. Just sayin…..The op rod can be rebuilt which might be a good way to go. Op Rods are getting harder to find and when you find one a premium price is required so it seems. Garands require grease. I’m not sure if you are aware of this. If you are, please no offence taken.
Garand Blowup with old US ammunition.
http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?p=1344088

Quote:
There was a thread on another forum titeled “What’s in your ammo can” and many guys had old surpluss ammo so I told this story. Ty (arizonaguide) asked that I come put it here also so here it is boys, draw your own conclutions.

Back in the mid 80s my Dad and a bunch of us went shooting in Arizona. Dad had a couple thousand rounds of WWII surplus .30M1 (30-06) ammo that looked great on the outside cut his M1 in half in his hands. He was kneeling with elbow on knee when the first round of this ammo went BOOM! We were all pelted with sand and M1 shrapnel.

When the dust cleared Dad was rolling around on his back with buttstock in one hand, for stock in the other, barrel and receiver hanging by the sling around his arm trying to yell “mortar” thinking he was back on Okinawa in battle. The blast had removed his ear muffs, hat, glasses, and broke the headlight in my truck 15 feet away but Dad was only shook up and scratched a bit once he got his wits back. It sheared off the bolt lugs, blew open the receiver front ring, pushed all the guts out the bottom of the magazine, and turned the middle of the stock to splinters.

After a couple hours of picking up M1 shrapnel we headed to the loading bench and started pulling bullets. Some of the powder was fine, some was stuck together in clumps, and some had to be dug out with a stick. It didn’t smell and was not dusty like powder usuley is when it’s gone bad. Put it in a pie tin and light it and it seemed a tad fast but not so you would think it could do that, wasent like lighting a pistol powder even. He had 2000 rounds of this stuff and nun of us were in any mood to play with it much after what we watched so it all went onto a very entertaining desert bon fire. I got the M1 splinters when Dad died last year and will post pix here below for your parousal and entertainment.

Anyway, I no longer play with any ammo I am not 100% sure has always been stored properly . . . cheap shooting ain’t worth the risk to me anymore! I still buy surpluss if the price in right but I unload and reload it with powder I am sure of or just use the brass.

She was a good shooting servasable Winchester M1 before this.










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Old October 3, 2012, 12:24 PM   #14
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7.62x25 (you didn't include that one)
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Old October 3, 2012, 02:15 PM   #15
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.303BRIT by HXP
Both of the Mauser rifle 7mm & 8mm.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:02 PM   #16
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Well, Slamfire, you should recognize one when you see the results. That is a pretty classic example of what happens in a true slamfire (firing out of battery). I doubt the age of the ammunition had anything to do with it.

Jim
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:02 AM   #17
Slamfire
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Quote:
Well, Slamfire, you should recognize one when you see the results. That is a pretty classic example of what happens in a true slamfire (firing out of battery). I doubt the age of the ammunition had anything to do with it.
Bolt damage, cracked receiver ring, is consistent with a high pressure event with the bolt in battery. The fact the receiver heel is still on the rifle, (remember that slamfire thread?) http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...arand+slamfire shows the bolt did not cycle out of battery.

Maybe you can tell me why does not the age of ammunition matter?, what about previous storage conditions, do they matter either?
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:16 AM   #18
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What is it you think extended storage does to ammunition? Make it more powerful or volatile (although increased volatility would make it more likely to fire out of battery, an event you say didn't happen)? Did they rule out a bore obstruction (my first guess, and one that would confirm your 'old ammo' concerns - a time-weakened round is fired, the bullet lodges in the barrel, the next round cycles and <Blam!> two half M-1s (M-1/2s) where a fine whole M-1 once stood.)
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:27 AM   #19
Slamfire
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Did they rule out a bore obstruction (my first guess, and one that would confirm your 'old ammo' concerns - a time-weakened round is fired, the bullet lodges in the barrel, the next round cycles and <Blam!> two half M-1s (M-1/2s) where a fine whole M-1 once stood.)
You read that post, first round in chamber blew the rifle, the poster is ruling out a bore obstruction or a bullet in the barrel from a previous round, things that would cause an over pressure event.

The first post in the series clearly identifies old powder as the issue.

Quote:
What is it you think extended storage does to ammunition?
Well, first I would like to read the opinions of the "experts" on this.
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Old October 4, 2012, 02:19 PM   #20
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On the contrary, that receiver damage is entirely consistent with firing out of battery. The unsupported case head blew off, releasing high pressure gas into the action. The bolt was partially locked, just enough that the left bolt lug failed, causing the action to twist, cracking the receiver ring.

Rapid bolt movement in a slamfire situation might or might not crack the receiver heel, depending on how much partial bolt lug engagement slowed the bolt.

High pressure failure in an M1 rifle acts quite differently.

Jim
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Old October 4, 2012, 03:44 PM   #21
Slamfire
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On the contrary, that receiver damage is entirely consistent with firing out of battery. The unsupported case head blew off, releasing high pressure gas into the action. The bolt was partially locked, just enough that the left bolt lug failed, causing the action to twist, cracking the receiver ring.

Rapid bolt movement in a slamfire situation might or might not crack the receiver heel, depending on how much partial bolt lug engagement slowed the bolt.

High pressure failure in an M1 rifle acts quite differently.
Just about as credible an answer and theory as you gave in the other thread, on how it could not possibly be an out of battery slamfire.

Still waiting for your expert answer on whether the age of ammunition matters and whether previous storage conditions, matter.
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Old October 4, 2012, 04:41 PM   #22
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I have yet to see old ammo be over pressure simply because of its age. IN my experience failures in old ammunition result in FTF or squibs.

The powder in the vast majority of .30-06 ammo was pretty stable stuff. iirc it was made by DOW and is very similar to H-4895.

It seems more likely that round had a double load of powder. Pretty much the same reason a new round would have a catastrophic accident.

Some .30-06 rounds were made specifically for the .30 cal. machine gun. Not sure if it was a higher pressure round than the standard rifle cartridge. If it was that might explain the Garand blowing up.
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Old October 4, 2012, 04:55 PM   #23
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I would love to see the super inexpensive British surplus 303 on the market again.
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:46 PM   #24
James K
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Maybe they could retool Radway Green and crank out a few billion rounds of .303 just for the "surplus" market. Might drop a line to BAE (which now runs the place) and see if they would be interested. But I guarantee it wouldn't be "cheaper than dirt".

Jim
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:55 PM   #25
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Some of the ingrediants used to forestall degradation of smokeless propellents have been found to last only 25 years under normal storage conditions. Storage in cool dry environments increase the useful life of propellents, but not in a consistent manner.
Cordite had an estimated shelf life of over thirty years, and some of this ammo has remained good for far longer. Cordite being extruded into sticks hard surfaced ans the surface moisture resistent may be the reason. The primers are the most common problem. The cordite requires a hot primer, the primer can degrade but still have enough flame to ignite as a momemtary hangfire.
Storage at temperatures over 125 degrees for any length of time causes the sticks to sweat nitroglycerin that pools in the case or soaks into the over the charge card disc if not well sealed.
Alternative cordite formulas were easier to produce in wartime, but were found to have a shelf life of around ten years. Most if not all ammo using these alternate propellents were either relegated to training or dumped in the sea after WW1.
Britain dumped hundreds of millions of degraded rounds in the North sea after each World War. Millions more rounds were sold to manufacturers of wood glues and furniture finishes the propellents broken down for their chemical components, the brass and bullets then sold as scrap, sometimes bought up by small firms who remanufactured the ammo using new primers and powders.

I don't trust surplus ammo, even that no more than 20 years old. I've found terribly degraded 7.62 NATO ammo with the headstamp of a often recommended manufacturer.

Only use I'd have for surplus ammo is to break it down for components.
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