surplus ammo....having issues


October 3, 2006, 06:49 PM
I don't know if this fits here or not. My apologies to the mods if you need to move it.

So I just got a shipment of surplus ammo today. Stupid me, I bought a case, since the ammo per box is expensive. Well, it arrived.....all 65 pounds of it:eek: Apparently the UPS guy was a bit miffed that he had to carry it.

Well, I got the cardboard open, and that only took about 15 seconds. Nice wood crate, sealed with what I assume are lead gobs on a wire through the latch. Pair of vice-grips and it was gone. 2 sealed containers inside.

Long story short, getting the first box open took me 30 minutes:cuss: Yes, I spent 30 minutes to open 1 box of ammo. I hope I never have to open the second tin, cause this was just a horrible experience. When it was all said and done, I had to use a box cutter, a screwdriver, and 2 pairs of vice-grips.

So my questions to you folks: Is there an easy way to open sealed ammo tins? If so, how do you do it? I'm not sure what these things are made of--looks like galvanized sheet metal with lead seams (I should probably clean up the area right about now). As far as I can tell, the seams have to be chiseled some to start the lid peeling. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks, all.

EDIT: This is the second edit. Due to the responses received, I will not be shooting any rounds with cracked brass. I will be contacting the seller tomorrow to get this straightened out. Hopefully all goes well. If it doesn't, does anyone have use for non-fireable ammo (paperweights, deactivated dummy rounds, etc.)? Will have update either tomorrow or Thursday, depending on when I can get back to the comp.

Thanks for all the help/

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October 3, 2006, 06:52 PM
Let me guess, 7.26x54R? I got a case of that which also came in a galvanized tin w/lead seams. Took me just about as long to open it. Once I did though, I took the cardboard boxes out, lost the tin and put the card board ammo boxes back in that nice wooden crate. Not sure if there is an easier way to do that, but I feel your pain...

October 3, 2006, 06:56 PM
It wasn't 7.62x54, but it was a 7.62. Think smaller and much harder to find.

October 3, 2006, 07:09 PM
Is it Tokarev? x25? I got some of that too, but it didn't come in a tin like you mentioned.

October 3, 2006, 07:13 PM
Word of caution - never try to open one of those cases with acetlyne torch.

October 3, 2006, 07:13 PM
Yup. I think it's Yugo made. Looks great, considering it's 20-30 years old. Course, if I was stuck in a tin for 20 years, I might look great, too.

Interesting point, Geronimo. I'll remember that next time.

October 3, 2006, 07:15 PM
Somebody around here might have a spare can opener to send you (the original milsurp ones). You could always try using an actual can opener, but I don't know if it'd work. Screwdriver + mallet also works.

It still takes five minutes to open a can even with the proper tool, so don't feel too bad. Good luck. :p

October 3, 2006, 08:17 PM
First box: 35/70 are cracked. 50% of the rounds have cracks:banghead: :cuss:

Is cracking guaranteed to make it unsafe to shoot, or is some tolerable?

October 3, 2006, 11:26 PM
If don't have one of the proper can openers, use a metal chisel and hammer. Cut along the lid where it meets the rolled seam.

October 4, 2006, 12:01 AM
If you don't have a can opener, you can also slice along the upper seam. All you need is about 1/3 of the can open to get all the ammo out. Strange that there wasn't an opener in your sealed case; or was there one, and you didn't know about it?;)

October 4, 2006, 12:10 AM
No opener in there--I just checked.

Now I'm just hoping the seller will make things right.

October 4, 2006, 12:15 AM
Is cracking guaranteed to make it unsafe to shoot, or is some tolerable?

October 4, 2006, 12:17 AM
Is cracking guaranteed to make it unsafe to shoot, or is some tolerable?
If you're talking cracks or splits in the cases, THE AMMO IS UNSAFE TO FIRE! If the cracks are only in the necks, you might be OK, but I wouldn't shoot it if I were you. That's an indication of brittle brass that could split under pressure.

If half of your surplus ammo is bad, I'd contact whoever I bought it from and get my money refunded. Hope you used a credit card! It would then be up to the dealer whether they wanted the stuff returned (shipped collect) or just wanted me to trash it.

October 4, 2006, 08:13 AM
Send it all back...even the stuff that looks OK...I had bad experiences with some 8mm German ammo (circa 1960s). Stuff look quite clean an fresh, but after getting gas blown in my face twice (thought the first was a fluke, as I'd already fired a few rounds of it)...well, i figured that was enough flirtin' with disaster. So if you already got 50% case splits, I'd put good money that the others will split upon firing as well. Believe me blowing out a case, even in these old "strong as tanks" military surplus rifles is NOT a pleasant experience. had I been using a "lesser" gun it coulda got REAL ugly I suppose, as the cases ripped open from top to bottom.

Luckily I'd only bought a few boxes, from an online auction ("no returns") so I wasn't out but a few dollars.

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