My ammo's wet!


Eleven Mike
May 7, 2007, 09:49 AM
I cleaned up from some water damage in my basement this weekend, and found a box of .30-06 sitting there on the floor. The box was soggy, so I tossed it out, but I don't know if I should worry about the ammo being safe to shoot. It doesn't seem damaged, or even wet. It wasn't submerged at all. The water just trickled into the foundation. This 20-count cardboard box of ammo was at the bottom of a larger cardboard box, and the water wicked up into both boxes.

I could afford to throw out 20 rounds, but I thought I'd ask first. Thanks.

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May 7, 2007, 09:55 AM
I wouldn't worry too much, unless it's handloads, then the neck and primer seals may not be as tight as you'd want. I especially wouldn't worry if it's military ammo.

May 7, 2007, 09:57 AM
Chances are that there is nothing wrong with it. If it was to get wet and damaged then the reliability for hunting in the rain or similar activities would be of concern. If you are worried about it, shake a round or two or all of them and listen for the powder within the case. Failing this, use a bullet puller and check for wet powder in a round or two. If all looks well, take it to the range on your next trip and have fun. Be alert for squib loads however.

Smokey Joe
May 7, 2007, 10:01 AM
11-Mike--Probably perfectly OK. The ammo was only wet for--what? a couple days?-- so the outsides of the cartridges won't be corroded, and it'll chamber perfectly. As to shooting, the primers are friction-fit into the cases, as are the bullets. From a couple of days of dampness, I can't imagine any wetness seeping in past those friction-fits. The ammo wasn't even submerged, just sat in a damp box, IIUC.

Of course, I'd not use this ammo for SD purposes, nor for hunting nor target competition--that would seem like handing Mr. Murphy an engraved invitation to the event. But for practice purposes, or any other use where if it didn't go bang, no harm done, why, shoot it up!

If you reload, you'll make yourself a nice set of 20 usable cases.

May 7, 2007, 10:03 AM
I once found a box of .32 auto from like 1920 in my grandfather's basement..the box basically desintegrated when I picked it up......the ammo worked fine(although I was a little nervous shooting it)of course the gun I was using was from 1914(Mauser)and hadn't been lubed or cleaned in about 30 too worked fine.Actually is was still loaded w/ the original magazine full of ammo.My Grandfather had hidden it behind the washer machine(a ringer washer btw)..I asked him about it,he said "I shot it to make sure it worked and then hid it."I guess it was a 1920's Italian thing:uhoh:
I guess laundry was pretty dangerous back then:D

May 7, 2007, 12:48 PM
As long as the ammo isn't all corroded up and yucky looking (that's a technical term -- yucky looking), don't worry about it. Shoot away.

Creeping Incrementalism
May 7, 2007, 01:06 PM
TonyB--interesting story. So a loaded mag had been sitting about for 80 years and still fired flawlessly out of a firearm that hadn't been lubes in 30?

A few years ago I had about 150 shotgun shells get rusty all over the brass. They had been in carboard boxes, which had gotten wet from rain that had flooded my yard, causing water to get into a shed. I wiped the wet rust off with my finger, leaving some residual rust behind, then fired them from an autoloading shotgun. Some of the shells were still moist several months later, because I'd thrown them into an airtight ammo can without waiting for them to dry off. Everything worked just fine. The ammo was Wolf 12GA slugs out of a Benelli 1014 Limited Edition.

Ala Dan
May 7, 2007, 01:11 PM
As stated previously, if its factory ammo the primer should be sealed; and
if that is the case- NO need too worry, as its perfectly safe to shoot~! ;) :D

May 7, 2007, 10:16 PM
Use it. If it fails to go bang wait the obligatory 30 odd seconds to make sure its not a hangfire and then throw it out. I would be willing to bet 99+% of it will go bang just fine the first time the pin hits the primer. Just use it for target practice etc. not for anything mission critical.

May 8, 2007, 10:14 AM
I thought this was a metaphor....

Jeff F
May 10, 2007, 11:38 PM
About wet ammo. A lot of years ago I was an NASDS scuba diving instructor. Have any of you ever herd of a bang stick or power head. They make them in a bunch of different calibers and a couple of shotgun guages. They are made for shark defense and have a barrel about an inch long. To use you pull the safety pin and jab the shark. They go off point blank, slug and blast very effective. Every 33 feet you dive under water the pressure increases approximately 15 psi. one of my dive Buddy's carried one in .44 mag for years and would load a new cartridge every dive. He never once had to use that thing. He gave me all of the ammo. We made quite a few double tank dives on a wrecked ship that was on the bottom in 158 feet of water. That would be about 65 to 68 psi of water pressure trying to get into that ammo. Not one misfire out of my red hawk.

May 11, 2007, 12:17 AM
I have a whole box of winchester 130gr .270 loads that something happened to and every single shell is swollen and will not chamber, that is to say the bolt won't close. Don't have a clue as to why though. I always thought it was caused by humidity from where they had been stored. never threw them out either just lazy I guess.

Eleven Mike
May 11, 2007, 12:32 AM
Wow, Jeff, that's interesting. Not the way I'd choose to hunt sharks, but... :)

May 11, 2007, 12:53 AM
I had a similar thing happen when my basement flooded recently. In my idiotic internet opinion, that ammo has come hard up onto range time. Go shoot it. Maybe it's fine, and maybe everywhere you ever left a fingerprint while handling it will corrode over the next week, and the lead will go all white and powdery... either way, you really can't have confidence in it anymore, so go out and shoot it.

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