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Shooting Surplus Ammo

Article about: A couple of good reasons to be carefull if shooting old WW2 ammo,the 6.5 Japanese round on the left split when fired,no problem,the 7.7 round was split right through the head and it could ha

  1. #1
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    Default Shooting Surplus Ammo

    A couple of good reasons to be carefull if shooting old WW2 ammo,the 6.5 Japanese round on the left split when fired,no problem,the 7.7 round was split right through the head and it could have been a real problem if I had not noticed it,so look over any old ammo before you shoot it,quality control was a bit lax at war`s end.
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    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  2. #2
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    Yeah, thats not unusual.

    I shot up a supply of M1 ammo, when I bought a carbine and plenty of rounds years ago.

    Many cases were found to have been split all along the case, but fired just fine.

    Id had no qualms firing US made surplus ammo for example, but dont tend to fire very old ammo any more.

    German ammo I dont shoot in rifles nor in handguns.

    Some of it is simply no safe and many wont know which to fire and not to fire.

    Some ammo has degraded. Ive seen 9mm ammo not firing at all or not firing properly as powder and primer has degraded, Ive see the blast going back along the frame hitting the shooter full blast in the head (a modern SIG which has a stamped frame and plenty of room for the powder blast to travel back).

    Further more, some surplus ammo has mercury primers. A lot and proper cleaning is neccesary or your bore will corrode.

    In most cases, why bother shooting old corrosive unsafe ammo, when modern safer loads are available.

    Even better, you can load yourself with modern components and be shooting safely and cheaply and not harm yourself or your rifle.


    As always, take care and consider the ammo in each case (no pun intended).

    Always always always wear eyes and ear protection when shooting.

  3. #3
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    WOW that 7.7 head split could have been some really bad new!!!!!
    With the Japanese ammo I find that is period stuff I leave it as collector pieces. It is just to hard to find. The Jap ammo I shoot is the NORMA brass type.
    I'm glad nobody got hurt.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  4. #4

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    I guess shooting any old ammo has an element of risk. But if it's fired in a solid bolt action rifle in sound condition, things are a bit safer. If the primer and powder are still active, on firing, the pressure will increase to the point where the case will open up if it's been previously split. But if the chamber is strong, and the bolt and it's locking mechanism is solid, the pressure will take the least line of resistance and push the projectile out the end of the barrel, rather than blow up the chamber or blast the bolt out.

    Shooting bad or old ammo through a handgun is a different kettle of fish, though. I'd stay clear of that one. There's too many variables involved, especially with revolvers.

    I think Scout's advice is the best you can get on the subject. There's not too many good reasons for shooting old ammo.

    Cheers, Willie.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Willie.
    I agree entirely with your post in regards to the nuances of firing old ammo and from which guns one should choose to do so.

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