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Old 06-09-2006, 09:13 PM   #1
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Question on old ammo

Years ago, a friend gave me some bandoleers of -06 in Garand clips that had gotten wet. The cardboard inserts were ruined and some of the cases and bullet jackets have patches of black discoloration on them.

I am in in the process of paring down my quantity of questionable ammo acquired over the years, and I want some feedback as to whether or not I should trash this stuff or shoot it.

Could it blow up in the rifle? Again, some of the tarnish is black in color. The dates are 42 and 43, so I know it is corrosive. I do have an old Garand that I never shoot that has a lot of muzzle wear and is inaccurate. This is the rifle I would shoot it in, and I would give it a thorough cleaning. But I don't want to have ruptured casings or worse.

I realize I am not giving you guys much to go on. And I don't have a digital camera to post pics.

What do you think? I've got a lot of junk ammo that I need to get rid of that I don't trust. Can I trust this stuff well enough to shoot safely? If not, I will demill the ammo and destroy the components, as I don't want it to give anyone else a problem.

All opinions welcome.
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:54 AM   #2
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Only thing I would not shoot is anything that had green on the brass. Fired some old .32 Winchester SPL and the cases split/opened up where the green was.

I have fired cases with black on them without a problem but remember I'm not an expert and whatever you do is your decision.
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:08 AM   #3
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My take on it is why risk damage to your rifle or yourself in order to save a few bucks on ammo?
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:18 AM   #4
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Dear Arby,

If I had any questionable ammunition that I intended to fire I would load single rounds and not use a clip full. The reason being that if you should have a "squib" load that should somehow fully cycle the bolt, you won't have the added danger of having a bullet perhaps lodged in the barrel when you fire the next round. By firing single shot you will be able to check the bore before firing another shot, where with the clip in you might fire by reflex as the sights line back up on the target.

While I'm no expert either, but I agree with ExSarge, the black discoloration does not seem to be a big problem (maybe just a discoloration in the metal which was there all along) but the green stuff is oxidation and would mean that the case was weakened.

PFC John however makes a better point and that is if you are worried about the ammunition...why take a chance by shooting it? Besides since it's that old it most likely has some limited collector value, if not for others perhaps for you. If I lived near you I'd offer to take some off your hands as I've collected shotshell hulls for years so why not add some rifle cartridges. Stay safe (very appropriate for this discussion), Gary
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:10 PM   #5
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Thank you for the input, gentlemen!

I appreciate it. I think I will inspect the rounds once more and cull out any that are questionable and then decide whether to shoot the rest or not.

There was no verdigris on any of the cases, but there is a lot of discoloration on some of them. My concern would be that the integrity of the brass might be compromised to the extent that there would be a possibility of case separation or worse.

The Garand I would shoot it in is a re-import with a lot of muzzle wear that is not very accurate (it is not the one I regularly shoot). I don't want to hurt the rifle (or myself), but if the stuff works well enough I wouldn't mind disposing of it in the fashion intended for ammunition, rather than having to demill the stuff and throw away the components.

I am one of those characters that hates to throw away any ammo that might be worth shooting. Before I toss it, I would feel ethically compelled to demill it in some fashion, so no one else might subject themselves to shooting questionable rounds.

I already have 200+ rounds of French ammo that I feel compelled to demill, as the stuff is really risky (I had one near KB with this lot already).


I don't think this stuff has any collectible value to it, but if you have any connections down here in Cajun Country, I would be happy to pass on representive samples of any old and questionable rounds I have. I just want to make sure that, if I don't trust shooting it, no one else ever shoots it.

Thanks again for the responses!
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