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Safe to shoot this ammo?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by badge315, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. badge315


    Aug 14, 2008
    Middleburg, FL
    I recently acquired a fair amount of 7mm Magnum ammo...about 240 rounds of late 1980s vintage Remington 175 gr. PSP Core-Lokt. A good bit of it had some light corrosion on the cases (now I wish I had taken a 'before' picture). Most were still packed in their original styrofoam blocks, but the cardboard boxes were gone (notice how most of the discoloration occurs on the portion of the cartridge case that protruded from the packing). After about an hour or so in the tumbler, this is fairly representative of what most of them look like; they feel smooth to the touch.


    These are representative of rounds that exhibited a somewhat higher level of corrosion, after a similar amount of time in the tumbler; they also feel smooth to the touch.


    So what do you guys think, is this ammo safe to shoot? If it makes any difference, I'd be shooting it though a Savage bolt gun.:dunno:
  2. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    My opinion is that as long as the metal isn't damaged beyond cosmetics, it would be fine to shoot. From what I can see, they look fine.

  3. skeeter7

    skeeter7 Brass Vulture

    Nov 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I would say they look fine to shoot as well. Doesn't look like any heavy corrosion was done.
  4. arnold ziffle

    arnold ziffle aka dingle

    May 10, 2001
    San Quentin
    Tumbling live rounds will change the burning rate of the powder. I would not shoot it.
  5. hunter 111

    hunter 111

    Jan 29, 2012
    TRAVEL -
    Yeah it breaks up the powder .... makes it finer fast burning ....pitch it
    Before you did that it was fine
    Next time use some brasso and a rag
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  6. ede

    ede Bama's Friend

    Jun 25, 2004
    If you're worried about the condition of the powder pull the bullet and refill with new powder. I'd shoot them as is, good chance I'd of shot them with not much cleaning.
  7. badge315


    Aug 14, 2008
    Middleburg, FL
    My research indicates that that is essentially an old wive's tale; plenty of people (including commercial reloaders) have tumbled live ammo with no ill effects. Conversely, I've never heard of anyone having a KB with tumbled ammo.
  8. glockrod

    glockrod NRA-Endow. Life

    Aug 28, 2004
    East of center, SC
    Tsunami of misinformation.

    Ammo manufacturers routinely tumble new loaded ammo. What makes this so different?

    Here is the big concern - How was it stored?
    If it was in a storage barn for the last 30 years with wild temperature changes, it might not be good as this situation causes the primers and the powder to break down.
    If it was stored in a temperature controlled closet in the guy's house, it is likely fine.

    There are folks still reloading using components from WWII.

    Shoot it, unless you are concerned. If you reload, just use the bullets and brass. You may even be able to reuse the primers already in it.
  9. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    If you are comfortable with the above, shoot it. If you do shoot it, you could put your mind at ease one way or another by chronographing the first 2-3 rounds to see how its behaving in terms of velocity and I would carefully examine each of these first 2-3 cases and primers after firing.

    If everything is behaving according to specs, I would carry on. If you see red flags, ditch it.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  10. Johnny Ringo

    Johnny Ringo

    Dec 19, 2013
    I have quite a bit of old to very old ammo and I shoot it all. I have never had a problem. In fact, the only problem I've ever had was with BNIB ammo. Three years ago, I purchased a box of Hornady 270 ammo in which three rounds in a row delayed at least three seconds before going bang. I discovered this in the field with an Axis buck in my scope. He'd just been in a fight with another buck and had a couple of broken ribs and some torn velvet on his antlers. After the second "CLICK...3...2...1...BANG!" the buck slowly trotted off. Thirty minutes later, after much cursing of my luck, the buck reappeared off to my left and I thought, "Okay, if the ammo delays this time, I'll just leave the cross hairs on him." Said buck now hangs on my wall, in case you were wondering how I knew he had broken ribs. I checked the gun with other ammo and it performed as expected - zero delay.

    While I do not profess to be an expert of any kind when it comes to ammo, I will say that I've never heard of any storage condition or handling of ammo that would actually make it a "hotter" round (as in the discussion of tumbling your ammo causing the burn rate on your powder to increase). I would tend to agree with Glock19Fan in that it will likely be fine to shoot as long as the integrity of the cases isn't compromised from excessive corrosion. I have some pretty ugly looking stuff, including several boxes of old yellow box Western 7mm Mag and it's all performed fine. If a round looks just too sad, I'll save it for a rainy day...

    One idea is to strap your rifle to the bench and use a string to pull the trigger from a distant point of heavy cover. I'm afraid your "groups" might not be up to your standards, but at least you'll know for sure.
  11. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    Light tarnish (pantina) on brass cases is nothing to worry about. Some Brasso and light elbow grease will shine them right up.
  12. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
  13. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)
    None of it is any good, the above poster was absolutely right, the powder is now too fast burning, and could blow up your rifle.

    If you send it to me, I'd be happy to dispose of it, and return the brass to you, so you could re-use it. :cool:

    In all reality, the ammo is fine. I tumble all my ammo post hunting season to return the brass to its shiny state after its been out in the elements.
  14. garya1961


    Mar 17, 2012
    Bull, I know of people who tumbled ammo for hours and it didn't affect the burn rate at all. From what I've read most commercial ammo is tumbled before it's packaged anyway. I shoot military surplus that has been trucked all around the world for years and it shoots fine.

    BTW- don't use Brasso or any other chemical on the brass, it may harden the brass. If you see pink corrosion or badly pitted brass don't shoot it but regular old tarnish doesn't hurt anything.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  15. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    I might give the first four or five to someone else to shoot first :whistling:
  16. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    I think the tumbling myth may be true for black powder or something without a strong binder in it but smokeless powder is pretty tough and its grain size wont easily be changed.
  17. Sigobsessed

    Sigobsessed Ruggedly handsome

    Jan 16, 2012
    Rochester ny
    I would shoot it I've tumbled tarnished ammo before I'm still in one piece.
  18. dad still shoots a few surplus '40 something '06 ammo every year before deer hunting. I wonder how much he had and how much is still in the basement.
  19. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
  20. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005