Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trashy Ammo...

No, I'm not talking about that 1940s-era corrosive $50/440 round tin stuff you buy off some dude in a van, I'm talking about ammo that's just no good. Got an e-mail from PISSED recently that got me to thinking:
They (next door to me at work) found a 300 Savage bullet in the parking lot. It's rather beat.

What or where or how is the best way to dispose?

For the record, here's the round in question:


Yeah, that's pretty beat. I don't think I'd fire that in anything that *I* owned. Maybe someone I was pissed off at, if I could rig up something with a long string...

For me, it's an easy question. I'd toss it on the range bag and bring it to my gun club. All three ranges have a "dud" bucket (usually painted bright red or orange) that this could easily be dropped into. If I didn't have that option available to me, there's still a handful of options at one's disposal for getting rid of a round that's too damaged to risk shooting.

1. Find a gunnie friend. Even if the round is too beat up to use, a reloader might be able to salvage the bullet itself or the brass. Even if they have no interest in it, they most likely have access to a range that has a dud box.

2. Render it incapable of being fired. I seem to remember that soaking a cartridge in oil will render the primer inoperable. One certain way to do this is to use a kinetic bullet puller to remove the bullet. At this point, the powder can be pulled out and disposed of, leaving only the primer.

3. Bring it to a police station. This is not advisable in MA unless you have an FID, and don't run in yelling I FOUND A BULLET, but if you were to walk in and calmly and carefully explain that you found a live round that you believe to be unsafe, chances are pretty good they'll be happy to dispose of it properly. Or at least toss it in the evidence room where, if it goes off, there will be several million dollars worth of seized drugs and cash to slow it down.

Realistically, though, simply storing it somewhere where there's no chance of something piercing the primer will be sufficient. It's not likely to go off just sitting there, and even if something were to happen to ignite it, the chances of it causing harm outside of the controlled environment of a firearm are pretty slim (unless you're holding it, in which case you might get burned by the powder or have the brass bounce off your forehead).

Any other ideas for proper ammunition disposal that doesn't involve actually shooting it?

That is all.

11 comments:

Mopar said...

Since you arent interested in saving anything, just clamp the bullet itself in a vise and wiggle the brass off. Sprinkle the powder on your lawn or garden, and fill the case with oil.

Phil L. said...

Yeah, kinetic pullers only matter when you care to avoid damage to the brass or bullet. I've had this situation a few times, and found that a pair of pliers - with great care - works fine. Once everything is apart, safely disposing of individual components is straightforward.

Dave H said...

I agree with everyone else - take it apart and soak the primer in oil to neutralize it, then bury it or toss it in the trash. I've never been too keen on the "store it someplace safe and it'll be fine" method. We saw how well that worked out in Lord of the Rings.

Robb Allen said...

Yeah, a vice grip on the body and a pair of pliers for the bullet and you're good to go. Nothing there is salvageable so there's no need to be gentle pulling it apart.

I'm from Georgia, so the redneck in me would probably at least try to pop the primer as a party-favor type noise after I pulled and emptied ;)

Ed Skinner said...

Soaking in oil doesn't work. (http://flat5.net/2006/10/deactivating-primers/) Best answer is the dud bucket at the range, or making it go bang in a safe manner.

Lesser answers, even from official sources (e.g., Phoenix AZ Police bomb squad), may rause an eyebrow.

If you follow the dud bucket's future path, the only sure way is to "cook them off" in a safe, blast tolerant container. But my wife won't let me use her black iron cookware. Bummer!

Glenn B said...

You might want to see if a local trash company that incinerates garbage would knowingly take it. I have seen videos and films of ammo going off in fires and it is mostly harmless past several feet or if you have on heavy clothing and protective eye and head gear. My guess would be that the inside of an incerator is not likely to have anyone standing there to get hurt and there would be little risk of property damage or injury.

Geodkyt said...

Oil can dud out primers. However, it is very unreliable at doing it from the outside of the case (although civilian loadings are generally more susceptible than military loads, as milspec often has far more stringent primer seal requirements.

However, once you've pulled the bullet with ordinary pliers, then dumped the powder out, oil INSIDE the case (especially penetrating oil) will generally dud it out nicely.

Myself? Pull the bullet, dump the powder into a container for pyrophilic disposal later, and then chuck the primed empty case into a small fire. POP! - but no case flying a yard or so, scattering buring embers from the fire around your yard. (Primer may back out and fly a short distance, depending on how tight it is.)

Wear safety glasses throughout the whole procedure, from pliers to fires. . .

Wally said...

trash can, it's that easy.

freddyboomboom said...

Pair of sidecutting pliers (aka dikes) to open the brass and spill out the powder, then toss in the trash.

That's what I do with dud cartridges (usually .22 LR).

Robert said...

Don't take it to the police station if you live in NY or DC either.

As a matter of fact, I'd leave off that no matter where you live.

Daniel in Brookline said...

Yep. When I did IDF basic training in the eighties, I knew guys who liked to take 5.56 rifle rounds from their M16s, pry out the bullet -- you don't really even need pliers, pushing firmly against a sidewalk (or other hard surface) will do it -- and then carefully pour own the powder in a nice pattern and set it alight. (They caught hell for it, of course.)