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Old February 21, 2013, 09:00 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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thoughts on 1943 30 carbine ammo... & reloading...

I'm kinda at a quandry with some old cases & loaded ammo I dug up off the back of the ammo shelf when moving everything

I have about 100 rounds of WCC-43 loaded ammo, & about 100 fired cases

also have about 100 rounds of PC-43, & a handfull of fired cases

have about 100 rounds of LC-52, & a handfull of fired cases

I feel the LC-52 aught to be fine, not so sure about the 43 ammo... thinking about shooting it up this summer ( unless it would for some reason be worth more as old ammo than as shooting ammo... I don't have original boxes ) most of the loaded ammo is in good shape, but I did find several that had quite a bit of corrosion on the case... thoughts about just shooting up the corroded cased ammo & not reloading it ??? chance of a ruptured case damaging my carbine ??? BTW... when sorting cases, I found 3 fired WCC-43 cases that were split from mouth to almost the base, but those were not particularly corroded... I have no idea what those were fired in, I think they were just in some old ammo& cases I bought 20-25 years ago... if there were fired in an M-2 would they be more likely to split like that, or could I assume those old cases will have become brittle over time???

thoughts about shooting & reloading these old cases ???
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:50 AM   #2
chiefr
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I have reloaded many surp 30Carb brass from the 40s and 50s. Used to pick this stuff up in large quantities at the range for nothing. These days, I no longer find milsurp 30 carb. If I could, I would not hesitate to prep it and reload.
I can't remember finding any split cases but I have seen 30 carb split; an extreem rarity.
My 30 Carb load has been the standard 110g RN on top of 15gr of 296.
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:04 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks for the reply... the 40's & 50's cases don't polish up as "yellow" as my newer commercial cases do, with wet tumble & pins, so I thought they look to be a different alloy than the newer cases ??? better or worse, I have no idea... just likely different

the spit cases may have come from a guy that I think had access to an M-2, so they may have been fired from an auto, but I have no way of knowing ???

I always inspect my cases pretty good, ( much easier when they are well cleaned ) so I planned on reloading the good ones at least once...

anyone have expirience shooting these lots of ammo lately ??? my thoughts are, that they should get shot up & reloaded both for better shelf life for future use, & reliability...
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:24 PM   #4
chiefr
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Concur on the older mil brass polishing a different color.
Reason for this was shortages of copper or whatever metal used in brass manufacture for that period. Seems manufacturers vary the composition when neccessary.
I still have some of the older 30-06 brass that polishes up much darker than average. I also have some LC 72, 223 brass that is a much lighter brass color. This brass is also much softer than other lots as the primer swages out easier. I have been fortunate to have very few stuck cases in over 40 years of reloading. Most of all my stuck cases have been from this lot of brass.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:34 PM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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223 brass comes next, after I get the 30 carb gone through... I have like 4 lots of 223... I think most of mine is from 70's & early 80's... will have to watch for LC-72
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
I found 3 fired WCC-43 cases that were split from mouth to almost the base, but those were not particularly corroded... I have no idea what those were fired in, I think they were just in some old ammo& cases I bought 20-25 years ago... if there were fired in an M-2 would they be more likely to split like that, or could I assume those old cases will have become brittle over time???
Your WW2 ammunition is beyond a reasonable shelf life. The rules of thumb are 20 years for double based powders and 45 years for single based. If it was stored in cool conditions the stuff will last longer (with luck) but heat will age powder quickly. I have seen charts that show that gunpowder will go bad in a couple of years if stored in above 100 F conditions.

What limits the lifetime of ammunition is the deterioration of gunpowder. The stuff breaks down, the stabilizer in the powder is consumed in this process, and eventually, the NOx attacks the brass, causes brass splits, corrosion. If the powder is stored in big containers it will catch on fire because deterioration produces heat. As the powder breaks down the burn rate becomes unpredictable and firearms have been blown apart. If the powder breaks down to a dust the surface area is huge and the burn rate spikes. The surface of double based powder become rich in nitroglycerine and the burn rate spikes.
Some of the NOx will convert to nitric acid gas and you will see evidence of outgassing by corrosion on the bottom of bullets. If the cases are pitted through that is evidence of really old gunpowder.



Old surplus IMR 4895 did this to my brass. Case necks tend to crack first and some of the cases cracked through the case head.


It is my opinion that you should pull the bullets, dump the powder, and if the cases don’t have evidence of corrosion or cracks, reload with a modern powder. Still, the primers might have duded since WW2, so expect the chance of a misfire.

This is from a 1970 report. This WW2 era ammunition was 27 years old then, they were dumping these lots because they were unstable, and that was 44 years ago.

WW2 ammunition has not gotten anybetter in the last half century.
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Last edited by Slamfire; February 21, 2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:43 PM   #7
Magnum Wheel Man
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Well in my defense... "my ammo" has been stored on shelves in the basement of a house with central air...

however, I have no way of knowing any of the storage conditions before... er... well, the guy I bought a bunch of the old stuff from also stores his ammo in the basement in an air conditioned house... so for at least the last 20-30 years it's had good storage conditions... I'd like to try shooting it, but of course, I have no desire to blow up my gun & lose 1/2 a hand, & an eye...

perhaps I'll sell it as old ammo at the next gun show, & use the funds to replace it with newer commercial ammo...

thoughts on the LC-52 ???
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:11 PM   #8
Slamfire
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Quote:
thoughts on the LC-52 ???
Pull a couple of bullets and look for corrosion and dusty powder.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:24 PM   #9
Kevin Rohrer
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Tangent: Starline Brass For the M1 Carbine

Cheifr: Since you are an M1 Carbine shooter, I am letting you know that Starline will begin selling brass for the Carbine sometime this year.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:30 PM   #10
chiefr
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I have seen both good and bad when it comes to shooting old ammo. I have fired 8mm lebel surp that was around 80 yrs old and it all went bang. I still have some of the 1939 made 7.35 Carcano ammo that goes bang. Importers are still find batches of 8x57 that dates around WWII that goes bang. Conversely, I purchased some of the Iranian 8mm from the 60s that hangfires or FTF.

Have not seen any US made surplus WWII 3006 or 30 carb since the 60s. I think it has been mostly sold although some people may still be hanging on to it. I still have a few rounds of the FA Match 3006 that goes bang.

IMHO, I could never assume just because ammo is old, it will not fire, but respect those who disagree because they have different experiences.

Thanks, for the info on Starline & 30 carb. Always been a great fan of their brass.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
I still have some of the 1939 made 7.35 Carcano ammo that goes bang. Importers are still find batches of 8x57 that dates around WWII that goes bang. Conversely, I purchased some of the Iranian 8mm from the 60s that hangfires or FTF.
I have a shooting bud that is a machine gunner. These guys burn through more ammunition in a week than a competitive shooter will shoot in a lifetime. I was telling him what I had learned about old ammunition, that it does not get better with age, has a shelf life, and that old ammunition will blow up small arms. He said that explained the two top cover explosions he had with 50's Yugo 8mm. Two rounds of sixty year old ammunition blew up in his machine gun.

Importers are still selling old ammunition to people but they won't warrant the stuff . They will give you a song and dance about how “bright” and "sure fire" the stuff, but once they get your money but they won't replace your firearm, head or hand if the ammunition blows up in your gun.

Anyone remember the story about Jack selling his cow for magic beans? All it takes is a good story and lack of knowledge on the subject for someone to part with their money.

If you are shooting 8mm which hangfires don't be surprised to find one day, pieces of wood and metal all about you after a hangfire blows up your gun.
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