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Old August 5, 2009, 07:11 AM   #1
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Painting Ammo?

Hey all. I was reading the mall ninja forum and there was a comment made that you would qualify as a mall ninja if you painted your ammo. I might have read it wrong, I'm not sure.

Regardless, is that something that people actually do? Isn't that dangerous? I am talking about painting the round (casing and/or bullet). Any comments or personal experience own risk
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Old August 5, 2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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I know a couple people that paint the bottom of their brass different colors so they can tell who's brass is who's at the end of matches, I don't see how it would harm anything.
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Old August 5, 2009, 08:11 AM   #3
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What if you paint the whole thing? There is a mini explosion that occurs when the trigger is pulled on a gun, so wouldn't having a layer of paint on the round be dangerous? I may be giving too much credit to how a gun works but I figure there is a reason that ammo has a very "simple" casing of metal and nothing more.

With the way things are now, you'd figure custom painted ammo would be everywhere, right? Nothing like shooting rounds with a picture of the family on them
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Old August 5, 2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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^^ Well, assuming the paint layer is not thick enough to prevent chambering a round (or full battery issues on an auto), I would imagine you would gum up your barrel and chamber pretty darn quick and that could lead to a whole host of other problems. It gets pretty hot in the barrel and the kind of paint used needs to resist the heat generated, friction, and rifling.

But what do I know. I've never painted ammo and don't plan to!

Marking case heads to ID brass for reloading is one thing - I've seen that at the range plenty of times. But fully painting a cartridge just seems like a Darwin Award waiting to happen.

This is a purely academic discussion, right?
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Old August 5, 2009, 08:44 AM   #5
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Haha well for me it is. I am very respectful of what happens in the barrel when the trigger of a gun is pulled, and tampering in any way with that can lead to a youtube video or a news headline so no thanks. Like I said, I saw it on the mall ninja forum and it was an aspect of guns that I had NEVER thought about and actually wondered why I had never thought about it and became curious.

If it could be done safely and somewhat inexpensively...wouldn't shooting ammo with the casing custom painted your own way be kinda cool? You could put a picture of something on there, paint a logo, just one flat color paint, etc. And if you reload, then it would be easier to find the shells. The possibilities would be endless. Very mall ninja-esque I know. But something I have never heard discussed before.
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Old August 5, 2009, 09:50 AM   #6
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Well, let's see.... there is steel cased ammo out there with laquer coating on the case. Military uses ammo with the tips painted all the time. It's probably not dangerous, but I would see no need to paint the brass case itself. I wouldn't want that in the chamber of any of my guns. Bullet tips maybe if I wanted to identify certain rounds for something and possible a spot on the base of the case. I wouldn't want too much on the base either as I wouldn't that fouling up the face of the bolt.
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Old August 5, 2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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It would make a hell of a mess as the paint came off the case and was tattooed into your chamber at 30-40,000psi. Layer upon layer. Dumb!
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Old August 5, 2009, 10:51 AM   #8
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It's OK if you only mark the tip or the case-head

Most shooters in the clubs where I belong mark their cases with permanent markers (including me), we paint a mark at the bottom.
It makes it easier to identify your brass (I still have to meet a person who competes and does not reload).

I suppose that if you had to, you could mark the tips of a bullet (can be useful if you are loading different weight bullets and or different charges and they would otherwise look the same, particularly rifle ammo)
The tip does not make contact with any part of the chamber or barrel.

To paint the whole case? I cannot think of a single good reason to do that.

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Old August 5, 2009, 10:59 AM   #9
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I mark the case heads to indicate what I have load, so I can reference my index cards. If I really like the feel of the case with the red permanent marker on the head, I can reference my index card and see what the load was and then make more of them.
I would be afraid that by painting the cases, the pressure of the round going off in the chamber would force the paint (at least some of it) off the round and into the chamber. Gunking us things more than they need to be gunked up.
That being said: I betcha if someone set up a table at a gun show and offered painted rounds, more than the mall ninjas would buy it. It is something different (Like those concealed carry badges ) and you never know who, or why, someone buys the things they do. Personally, I do not think I would want them in my guns.
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Old August 6, 2009, 04:45 AM   #10
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G'day. Here is a link to another thread that covers this topic a little.
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Old August 6, 2009, 07:59 PM   #11
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It was used in testing the experimental SALVO rounds. They would paint the tip of the first projectile and fire it with the paint still wet. This would leave a ring of paint around the entry hole of the first projectile and thus differentiate it from the second projectile in the case. I think it was used for other military test firing but I can't think what at the moment.
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Old August 8, 2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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Paint in chamber is a bad thing. When reloading, sometimes I'll put a drop of fingernail polish around the primer. Helps seal moisture out and keeps tab on what load it is. I have in the past used a permanent marker on cases, but I've quit that too.
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Old August 8, 2009, 11:37 PM   #13
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Shooting lacquered steel cased ammo eventually leads to a sticky chamber (esp. in Mosin Nagants). I think it's safe to assume that diy painted cases is a bad idea.
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Old August 8, 2009, 11:46 PM   #14
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I have marked different loads with different colors of felt tip around the primer to Identify the different loads it does not hurt a thing
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Old August 9, 2009, 04:44 PM   #15
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Painting the whole caseing sounds like the result of a mall-ninja type wondering if the sun would reflect off his extracted brass and give away his shooting position.

Said mall ninja probably went to town on his ammo with some black paint and a brush made of weaver rails and old camo shorts. Then he went online and told all the other ninjas and they thought about it for 2 seconds, copied his idea, and started plastering it all over the internet.

Then all of us living in the real world got to have a good laugh for all the previously mentioned reasons, as well as feel better about our own firm grasp on reality.
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ammo , mall ninja , paint

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