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Old October 27, 1999, 07:33 PM   #1
Will Kwan
Join Date: October 26, 1999
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 36
Has anyone encountered problems with moisture entering reloaded cartridges?

Is there any way to seal cartridge?

Most factory loads are advertised as being sealed. Is this a serious issue for hunting loads?

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Old October 27, 1999, 09:08 PM   #2
Long Path
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
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I've actually had handloads resist moisture after having spent a fair amount of time immersed. I have been giving consideration, however, to painting the primer pockets with a dab of clear fingernail polish. Then, however, one's concerns drift to whether the acetone in the fingernail polish will hurt the primer before it dries. I've been considering running some tests with .45 acp out of a progressive reloader. To really tell, I would have to sample large batches done this way, say 500 to 1000 or so. My thought is to place the loaded cartridges in a loading block and shine a map light on their bases for several minutes to warm them up, then, with a fan running, paint the primer pockets with the polish. Hopefully this would cause the laquer to evaporate quickly, and cause the vapors to rise.

I honestly don't think that water would get in around the bullet if the case is crimped, but it would be no real dificulty to paint that union, too. I suppose for super effectiveness, one could paint the inside of the belled mouth of the case just before seating the bullet, but talk about experimental! Your pressures would increase dramatically, I'm thinking...

If the cartridge headspaces on the case rim, a layer of laquer may change your accuracy, too. All in all, I'd probably leave the case mouth alone and concentrate on sealing the primer pocket.

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Old October 28, 1999, 02:07 AM   #3
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Long Path--
Don't sweat the acetone penetrating the primer pocket thing. Maybe you *could* detect acetone inside the case using a sensitive gas chemical sensing thingy, but the normal acetone residues within the powder itself would probably contribute far more parts per million.

Humidity generally won't kill ammo. Immersion in water for many days/years can.

Laquer away, friends! 100 years of military experience shows it does NOT harm the primer or powder.
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Old October 29, 1999, 05:26 PM   #4
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Try George & Roy's Primer Sealant.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old October 29, 1999, 07:51 PM   #5
Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Toccoa, Georgia, USA
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I believe "cheapo" is correct. As long as you don't leave the rounds immersed in water they will usually resist moisture pretty well. I've had reloads sitting around the house for months without concern about humidity and have fired them in rainy weather without a misfire. I'm more concerned about lubricants, especially oil, than I am water.
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Old October 30, 1999, 11:21 AM   #6
Join Date: June 18, 1999
Posts: 56
Someone did a piece years ago about how they took a sheet of cardboard and punched holes in it the size of the cases, inserted the primed cases and sprayed the whole thing with a couple of blasts of "artists lacquer" which painters use to seal paintings and available from any art supply store, then anyway. Mil. uses that black crap, asphalt around bullets too, so I would also be quite careful. Seal in poly bags too for any serious storage. good luck.
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Old November 4, 1999, 08:30 AM   #7
Abe Normal
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Join Date: May 23, 1999
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 104
I've used a product called Dykem for many years now and have had excellent results.
Dykem is a steel marking dye used to highlight scribe markings. It's very fast drying and comes in red and dark blue. Any good industrial supply store will have it, like Graingers or MSC Industrial (both have web sites) and Grangers has branch stores in most major cites.
The nice thing about Dykem is that it's very thin only slightly thicker than water. So what that does for you is that at any place where moisture or oil may find it's way in the Dykem will also work it's way in through capillary action and form a seal.
I have used two methods to apply Dykem the first if you want to coat the entire primer and ring the case mouth get the smallest artist brush you can find. Or (my favorite, although somewhat messy ) I fill a small syringe with a good size needle on it and use the needle point as you would a fountain pen.
The good thing about Dykem is that you apply it to finished ammo, so there's no worry about contamination of powder or primers.
Also as it goes on so very thin and adheres so well there are no chunks to fly off and float around in your gun like with nail polish.
Cleaning it off the brass is easy, tumbling gets most of it and and a quick bath in laquer thiner, acetone, gasoline or alcohol will remove the last of it, if you just have to have spotless brass!



If everyone thought like me, I'd be a damn fool to think any different!

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Old November 5, 1999, 11:22 PM   #8
Join Date: November 3, 1999
Location: u.s.
Posts: 45
I sealed some ammo in Alaska.Brownell`s sells it.
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Old November 10, 1999, 09:39 PM   #9
Walt Welch
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Location: Alamo, CA
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I recently fired some .38 special loads I had assembled from mixed used cases, a hand cast bullet, Lyman 357446, which I had lubed with alox/beeswax lube. These were assembled in 1967. No attempt at sealing was made. They functioned absolutely perfectly. My daughter, born in that year, was impressed.

I suppose I would use factory ammo if I were going to be doing some serious shooting in a humid environment. Sealing just doesn't seem worth the hassle. Walt
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Old November 16, 1999, 10:17 PM   #10
Will Kwan
Join Date: October 26, 1999
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 36
Thanks to all that replied. My ammo did indeed get soaked from hunting in the rain. There does not seem to be any adverse affect.

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