View Full Version : Shotgun shells okay after getting wet?

March 24, 2009, 01:39 PM
Well, I took a friend out canoeing yesterday. It was really windy, not too mention her first time in a canoe, so when the wind slammed us up against some debris....it flipped. As it flipped I couldnt help but notice my old Stevens single-shot flying past me and heading for the bottom.

I did eventually find the gun, as soon as I confirmed the girl was ok, I began searching for it, luckily the water was only a couple feet deep.

Im not tremendously worried about the gun, but I am curious as to the ammo, there was 1 in the chamber and 4 on a stock holder that were underwater for a couple minutes at most. Plus a handful more that were in a Ziploc bag in a backpack, but the other contents of the bag got soaked, so it wasnt waterproof.

The rounds (about 10 altogether) have been sitting brass-up on a towel since we got back. I know rifle and handgun cartridges are essentially watertight, but I dont know about shotgun shells, so I thought Id ask.

March 24, 2009, 01:41 PM
I have done the same thing, with a whole box. They were submerged for a few minutes. I shot them a day later and they all fired. I just wouldnt trust my life or a good hunting trip with any ammo that has been wet.

March 24, 2009, 02:22 PM
Shotgun shells are remarkably water resistant. The manufacturers know that their products will be used in wet environments and don't want their brand to get a bad reputation for poor wet performance. This is one reason for them converting from paper to plastic hulls years ago.
It was a lot easier to judge your shells in the old days. It a paper hull swelled too much to fit in the chamber, then you didn't try to shoot it.
A plumbing leak drenched a mess of my shells: factory and reloads, paper hulls and plastic. I salvaged the wads and shot from the swollen Federal papers and used the rest for practice. There were no misfires from the cases that had been standing in water for a few days. Just the same, if it happened again, I'd still use the wet ones only for practice.

March 24, 2009, 02:24 PM
water can get in there - and probably clump up the powder / and you may or may not get all the moisture out. My hunch is they will fire - after you dry them out for a couple of days - but performance may be erratic.

Shoot them for practice / don't depend on them.

March 24, 2009, 02:37 PM
If shotgun shells weren't waterproof, there wouldn't be any successful duck hunters. Dry them out and shoot them up. You'll be fine.

March 24, 2009, 02:51 PM
I understand guys ( but I try not to drag my shells thru the water, or my gun, or my n_ts either for that matter ...).

A duck's butt is watertight / but not mine .... / and I'm way to sweet, so I might melt ...( or shrink ..).