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Interesting 73 year old ammo

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by tark, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Ugly! Ammunition similarly deteriorated has blown up many firearms. I have collected posts throughout the web on blown up guns with old gunpowder/ammunition, but the absolute common factor is, they don't know. Shooters don't know that gunpowder ages and when it gets to a certain level of deterioration, it will blow up your gun, and in bulk, will burn down your house. There is absolutely nothing good about old, deteriorated gunpowder. We need more pictures like that, to combat the cultural ignorance about deteriorated gunpowder.
     
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  2. tark

    tark Member

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    Well, I did examine about twenty randomly selected rounds out of the open box. They all looked beautifully bright and clean. When I shook them I could feel the powder rattling around inside.....except for the seven that didn't rattle.:what:

    That is a gigantic red flag in my book. But I never intended to shoot them anyway. They can just sit there in the box and look pretty. :)
     
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  3. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Around 1995 I bought an old "Rurale" rolling block Remington in 7x57mm. Along with it was 'thrown in' a sort of box with ammo in it. The salesman told me the box had been under water in the store due to some form of water leak. I no longer remember just how many rounds were included, but it was more than twenty. As I recall, they were made by FN. All of it looked - ahh - aged. Quite a few looked run hard and put away wet.

    I tried five or ten. Some shot and some didn't. None blew up, I am happy to report. From my reading, I was sure the primers were mercury based, so I pulled the bullets. I got some 7x57mm brass loaded it with non-corrosive primers and shot the old dear in Cowboy matches until 'they' outlawed rifles 'less than .30 caliber'. I gave it to a friend who was being transferred. He had taken a liking to it and was a really good friend.

    Then I could years ago, I bought a 1916 Spanish carbine in 7x57mm. I also purchased a 100 round box of "Cartuchoes Mauser 7m/m" (yes, cartuchoes mean catridges) under the heading of "Etercito Nacional Venezolano" (Army National of Venezuela). They also, as it happens are headstamped "F N 36" indicating origin in Belgium in 1936. The box and ammunition is setting on my desk at the moment. (The carbine looks quite used and in somewhere in the 'back room'.) The ammo has not been submerged in water. One can even see the annealling discoloration on the shoulder and neck. it has a place in my old ammo collection. I've got fairly new commercial stuff I can shoot at my desire.

    If I can keep this old stuff in a good place, perhaps my heirs will find it valuable some day. I've got a decent place.

    I enjoy loading ammunition to the original standards to see how well the old rifles work.
     
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  4. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    If you arent going to shoot the stuff, and want it for display only;

    May I suggest you pull them apart, dump the powder, clean as needed, then reseat the bullets to the original depth.
    They would no longer be technically "correct", but then you won't eventually be throwing them all away, one at a time... because the aging powder will eventually destroy all of them.
     
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  5. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I have an unopened spam can of 1943 manufactured .45 ACP (600 rounds). It is supposed to be nickel plated, steel case, 230 grain FMJ. I'll never even open it, but it's cool to have.
     
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  6. TRX

    TRX Member

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    I have some Belgian 7.65x53 I bought in the 1980s. It is packed like that. It was made in 1896. I shot those until I got set up to form .30-06 brass into 7.65, as there were no manufacturers making new commercial 7.65 at that time.

    Shot fine. Primers were corrosive, though. I still have some in the cabinet. 128 years old, I expect it will work fine if I shoot the rest of it. The old chlorate primers will still work fine, anyway. It's the perfect priming compound, other than the corrosive thing.

    I've also bought milsurp 7.62x54R packaged like that, late 20th century manufacture.

    It's cheap and takes less space than modern American packaging, but much less convenient to handle partial boxes.
     
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  7. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    The military is still using .50 cal. ammo from WWII.
     
  8. tark

    tark Member

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    A source of this info, por favor?

    I find it hard to believe this. The army would not use ammo this old because of possible unreliability issues, if for no other reason.
     
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  9. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

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    So what about modern day Ammo? How long do you think one could get out of that stored in a cool/dry place?
     
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  10. TRX

    TRX Member

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    Probably outdated a bit. The WWII-era .30-06 and .50 were mostly taken out of service before the end of Vietnam due to reliability problems in machine guns. But it could have been used for training long afterward.

    We *did* use WWII-era powder bags for the big guns on the Iowa-class ships on duty during Desert Storm. The propellant is a Cordite variant, and Cordite from the 1800s is still viable. They've even recovered some from shipwrecks that had been in salt water for decades, which still met original specs when dried out and fired. But I don't know what the Navy is using now.
     
    Merle1 likes this.
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