Safety of using live bullets in project


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Birdmang
January 15, 2011, 03:35 PM
My gf has this resin stuff that you mix with water, then it hardens clear. She was making some ornaments and junk like that and I think it would be cool to put a cartridge or few into as like a paperweight or something like that.

Will encasing the cartridge in resin possibly set off the primer and shoot the bullet?

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Sunray
January 15, 2011, 03:42 PM
No, but using a cartridge with no or a spent primer or powder would be better. Takes a fairly hard whack or heat to set off a primer.

Black Knight
January 15, 2011, 03:43 PM
I dont think it would but why risk it. If you know somone who handloads why not have them make you up some dummies with deactivated primers and no powder?

Big7
January 15, 2011, 04:02 PM
What caliber? I may have the components to make you a few..:D

FIVETWOSEVEN
January 15, 2011, 04:03 PM
No, but using a cartridge with no or a spent primer or powder would be better. Takes a fairly hard whack or heat to set off a primer.

Couldn't set one off with a match up to it (don't ask) so heat shouldn't be a problem.

moxie
January 15, 2011, 04:05 PM
Live ammunition is not a toy and should never be treated as such.

average_shooter
January 15, 2011, 04:50 PM
Using live ammunition in such a fashion, God forbid something does set it off because then you've got yourself a small bomb.

At least get a kinetic bullet puller, pull the rounds apart, dispose of the powder and deactivate the primer. For a paperweight, seating the bullet back in the case with a hammer would probably work just fine.

longdayjake
January 15, 2011, 04:51 PM
holy heck the guy just wants to put a round in some plastic. It is not going to explode. Do it and don't think twice about it.

I will pay someone $50 if they can get a round to go off (without burning) after it has been armored in such a way. Aside from burning it you couldn't get that thing to go off if you dropped it from a plane.

xcgates
January 15, 2011, 04:59 PM
I do lots of stuff with engines, but I wouldn't leave the fluids, especially fuel, in the mix.

Just take out the powder, it isn't that hard, I'm sure you know someone who reloads.

Mal H
January 15, 2011, 05:05 PM
What longdayjake said! Don't be so paranoid about such things.

I would be afraid of carrying around a magazine of those fragile things if I thought I had to make it inert to encase it in plastic. If you were going to make a bunch of them or possibly sell them, then, yes indeed, use dummy rounds. For one or two for your own use - nah.

(... and Birdmang, you mean "live rounds" or "live ammo", not "live bullets" unless you have some actual explosive projectiles in your ammo.)

TJ AK-74
January 15, 2011, 05:17 PM
I would not use a live round. It should be easy to find cheap components, or make your own by removing the bullet and firing the rest of the cartridge in the gun. I have actually done that in my semi-auto .22 with a couple of .22LR rounds that had loose bullets, it's just a little harder to chamber a round with the bullet removed. Also, if it is still live, it would most likely be legally considered ammunition, which could be interesting if you try to mail it.

Quaamik
January 15, 2011, 05:19 PM
Please do not do this with live rounds.

I work with encapsulating resins on and off in my job. There are literaly dozens of compunds that it might be. Some will expand as they harden, exerting significant pressure (possibly enough to crush a live primer). Some put out significant heat as they harden (probably not enough to ignite the gunpowder, but I'm not so sure about the primer). It may not set off a live round, but then again it might.

The safer way is to make up a dummy round (crimp a bullet into an empty case).

goon
January 15, 2011, 05:28 PM
Live round are remarkably durable. I doubt you could set one off accidentally unless you were really unlucky, but I'm sure there have been unlucky people who'd prove me wrong.
I agree with those who suggest you get some dummy reloads. They're not at all hard to make. Someone on here could hook you up - I'd do it myself if I were at home right now.

Hanzo581
January 15, 2011, 05:58 PM
Sure it would probably be safe....but why risk it?

Gouranga
January 15, 2011, 06:39 PM
is it safe? Probably. I would say more than likely. Is it a good idea to use live ammunition for a project like this? IMO, no. If for anything else, IMO, the entire concept of using live ammo for anything but shooting is not a good thing.

In some areas, you could get crud from a self righteous LEO should you take it to a place where they are banned (like educational property) and run into a "zero tolerance" policy. I have gotten to the point where I no longer expect intelligence when it comes to anything around zero tolerance policies and firearms.

Shadow 7D
January 15, 2011, 06:50 PM
Pull the bullet, drop oil on the primer, as that deactivates it, reseat the bullet and encase, as for a cop copping crap (think about the bullet necklaces) well that would be fun to put up at the courthouse (here your Honor, cut er up and see, its not real, gee you think I'm as stupid as officer smith over there)

earplug
January 15, 2011, 06:54 PM
Think about the millions of factory rounds shipped daily. Carried in pockets, in revolver cylinders, magazines etc. Few if any incidents are reported.

Bury it in plastic. Be happy.

Birdmang
January 15, 2011, 06:55 PM
I don't have a bullet puller. I'm going to use casings tonight and see how it looks.

KenW.
January 15, 2011, 07:11 PM
Just go buy one of those keychains with a dummy on the ring.

Birdmang
January 15, 2011, 10:37 PM
That defeats the point of using up my brass!

Thanks for the help guys. I will try it all the ways and see what looks the best.

Odd Job
January 15, 2011, 10:50 PM
Pull the bullet, drop oil on the primer, as that deactivates it, reseat the bullet and encase, as for a cop copping crap (think about the bullet necklaces) well that would be fun to put up at the courthouse (here your Honor, cut er up and see, its not real, gee you think I'm as stupid as officer smith over there)

That is a very interesting question: by what non-destructive means could a person determine whether the round was live or not, without opening the plastic? In fact the same question might be asked even when the round was freed from the plastic.
What would be interesting is if there was (pretend this is so) a legal penalty for having a live specimen of that round in that jurisdiction, whereas an inert cartridge was okay. I wonder whether there might be a legal requirement for the owner of the specimen to provide documentary proof that the round was inert (kind of like the official note I got from the AFTE member who supplied me with forensic samples where the primers were intact but had been rendered inert by oil).
Any lawyers or LEOs who can comment?

Birdmang
January 15, 2011, 10:52 PM
Intense response ya got there! ;)

10-96
January 16, 2011, 11:12 AM
I've seen all sorts of scorpions, spiders, snakes, and other non-descript creepy critters encased in that stuff. I think if a scorpion could go through the process and still look normal- there's not doubt in my feeble little mind that a live ctg would do anything but sit there and look neat. Don't be so paranoid folks!

captain awesome
January 16, 2011, 12:06 PM
holy heck the guy just wants to put a round in some plastic. It is not going to explode. Do it and don't think twice about it.

I will pay someone $50 if they can get a round to go off (without burning) after it has been armored in such a way. Aside from burning it you couldn't get that thing to go off if you dropped it from a plane.

i agree, accept for the seemingly undeniable fact those impossible freak accidents happen way more often than what seems logical. might as well be on the super safe side and decommission them.

goon
January 16, 2011, 12:17 PM
There is a point to that argument. I have some really old cartridges around that I've picked up. One is a .32 rimfire. It's been around for awhile, hopping from one owner to the next, with no issues whatsoever.
But I still bet Birdmag could trade his brass to someone for some dummy rounds.

MistWolf
January 16, 2011, 12:26 PM
holy heck the guy just wants to put a round in some plastic. It is not going to explode. Do it and don't think twice about it.

I will pay someone $50 if they can get a round to go off (without burning) after it has been armored in such a way. Aside from burning it you couldn't get that thing to go off if you dropped it from a plane.
It isn't the fact that something bad will happen that makes this a bad idea. It's the fact that there's no guarantee something bad won't

jcwit
January 16, 2011, 12:38 PM
It isn't the fact that something bad will happen that makes this a bad idea. It's the fact that there's no guarantee something bad won't

Thats also a fact when I step out of bed in the morning. Heck its even a fact if I stay in bed.

Please do not do this with live rounds.

I work with encapsulating resins on and off in my job. There are literaly dozens of compunds that it might be. Some will expand as they harden, exerting significant pressure (possibly enough to crush a live primer). Some put out significant heat as they harden (probably not enough to ignite the gunpowder, but I'm not so sure about the primer). It may not set off a live round, but then again it might.



Regarding the resin expanding and exerting pressure (enough to crush a live primer)--Folks a primer is ignited by sudden impact not by pressure.

Regarding significant heat as they harden, lets use a little common sense here. He have ammo stored in containers in Iraq where the daytime temps reach 140 degrees with no problem, Lord only knows how hot it gets inside of the container. Ever pick up a brass live round thats been laying out in the sun in the heat of the summer? Doesn't take long to look it over does it.

If folks are this paranoid over something like this how in the world do they ever drive down to the drugstore?

xcgates
January 16, 2011, 12:51 PM
Maybe look at it from a cost-benefit (cost/effort-risk in this case).

Small effort (I would think, I've only reloaded 12ga), big headaches.

I don't think anything would cause the round to go off, as most epoxies or whatever compound consumers use won't get that hot. Sure, they could get hot enough to be uncomfortable, but not dangerously. The bigger risk is from legal complications. And legal complications can get truly nasty. Will they happen? No. Could they happen? Yes. Is it worth the small up-front effort to remove (most) of the possibility? For me, the answer is yes.

But as with anything online, this post (and the rest of them) is worth what you paid for them. IANAL, and am certainly not posting in any official capacity.

fletcher
January 16, 2011, 01:02 PM
Can't speak for the overall risk, but I've done this successfully. The heat is proportional to the amount of catalyst you add, so as long as you don't go crazy with it (even then, don't think it would become sufficiently hot to set off the primer), the risk should be incredibly low.

If you have access to rounds without the powder, that's always better.

mptrimshop
January 16, 2011, 01:15 PM
:cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss:



PICS!!!!

MistWolf
January 16, 2011, 01:43 PM
Thats also a fact when I step out of bed in the morning. Heck its even a fact if I stay in bed.



Regarding the resin expanding and exerting pressure (enough to crush a live primer)--Folks a primer is ignited by sudden impact not by pressure.

Regarding significant heat as they harden, lets use a little common sense here. He have ammo stored in containers in Iraq where the daytime temps reach 140 degrees with no problem, Lord only knows how hot it gets inside of the container. Ever pick up a brass live round thats been laying out in the sun in the heat of the summer? Doesn't take long to look it over does it.

If folks are this paranoid over something like this how in the world do they ever drive down to the drugstore?
Are you willing to accept liability for the stability of the powder & primer compound 20 years from now? Are you willing to accept liability when a child who doesn't know better, 10 years after this artifact has been sold at a garage sale, decides to toss it into a fire or see what would happen if it's cooked with a magnifying glass or if the bullets could be removed using a hammer or saw or torch? I'm not.

Practicing common sense isn't paranoia. This situation is also much different than getting up out of bed in the morning to go to the drug store. That feat is a common occurrence in which one can exercise reasonable control of the risks.

Chances of being struck by lightning are small. Yet one doesn't tempt fate by standing in an open field during a thunderstorm

jcwit
January 16, 2011, 02:01 PM
Are you willing to accept liability for the stability of the powder & primer compound 20 years from now?

Well, I've been shooting ammo with a Nazi stamp on it so it must be at least 65 years old. So that blows that out of the common sense equation.

Are you willing to accept liability when a child who doesn't know better, 10 years after this artifact has been sold at a garage sale decides to toss it into a fire or see what would happen if it's cooked with a magnifying glass or if the bullets could be removed using a hammer or saw or torch? I wouldn't.



Well thats a possible, but then what does it being encased in resin have to do with it. This would be true whether cased or not.

Furthermore is the person doing the project going to engrave their name, SS#, address, ect., on said cube? Doubtful.

Practicing common sense isn't paranoia. This situation is also much different than getting up out of bed in the morning to go to the drug store. That feat is a common occurrence in which one can exercise reasonable control of the risks.

Chances of being struck by lightning are small. Yet one doesn't tempt fate by standing in an open field during a thunderstorm

Chances of loosing ones life in an auto accident are much, much greater than getting struck by lighting, do you stay off the roads? I'll wager you even break the speed limit at times. Ever tempt fate by using ones cell phone while driving.

Now lets get back to common sense.

svtruth
January 16, 2011, 03:41 PM
whole arrays of cartridges in plastic as a sales tool at the LGS?
Surely someone here has cut one of those up and can tell us whether they were charged or not.
Then do what that mfr does.
Good luck.

THe Dove
January 16, 2011, 03:45 PM
While I agree that the chances of live ammo discharging is slim in this circumstance, it is my opinion that live rounds are made to be discharged out of a firearm. NOT used as paper weights, decorations, or anything else....

The Dove

Quaamik
January 16, 2011, 04:23 PM
lcwit,

When I said significant heat, I'm not talking about 140 deg F.

It's likely that what the OP has is some form of ployester resin, along the lines of fiberglass resin. Mixed correctly, those can top 170 F. Too much resin and they can top out over noticably over 200 F. I know this because one of the things I've had to mout are automotive thermostats. They begin to open at 165 F. If we don't drill and drain the power pill, the mount is ruined when the thermostat opens and cracks the plastic in half. Even 185 deg thermostats will open often enough that we drill out the powerpill on those too.

Will 200 F ignite a primer? I don't know. I'm also not going to suggest someone find out by wrapping a live round in something that will harden, contain some pressure and then, if the round goes off, turn into shrapnel.

As to what happens to it if some kid gets it down the road: Does it really effect the outcome if they cannot tie it back to the person who made it? The fact is, in a garage sale - or sitting in a pile of old stuff that was thrown out or given to goodwill - a parent is likely to assume it is inert and let a child play with it where they wouldn't if it was a loose (apparently live) round. If a child does try to burn, or otherwise destroy it, and it goes off, the point is not if they know who made it to place blame - it's that someone may get hurt because of the innappropriate use of live ammo.

Magoo
January 16, 2011, 04:56 PM
I'd be happy to make up and send you a handful of .45ACP dummy rounds.

Claude Clay
January 16, 2011, 05:27 PM
9 9's safe but i would still not use a live round.

but if you do, let us know how TSA feels about finding it in your luggage
or the Postal Service finding it in a package....

lots of stuff finds its way inside acrilic, why not a pretty shinny brass object?

i have made lots of dummy rounds; some with used primers and nail polish red heads for the classroom. others with the anvil removed and the
primer a color different from factory ammo for failour drills.

pitsmile
January 16, 2011, 06:29 PM
Pics please!

jcwit
January 16, 2011, 07:10 PM
When I said significant heat, I'm not talking about 140 deg F.



Neither am I, that was only the ambient outside temp, the temp inside an enclosed container sitting in the noonday sun is much hotter, comprehend?

BTW the word container means those large containers seen on rail flatcars not an ammo can.

As to what happens to it if some kid gets it down the road: Does it really effect the outcome if they cannot tie it back to the person who made it? The fact is, in a garage sale - or sitting in a pile of old stuff that was thrown out or given to goodwill - a parent is likely to assume it is inert and let a child play with it where they wouldn't if it was a loose (apparently live) round. If a child does try to burn, or otherwise destroy it, and it goes off, the point is not if they know who made it to place blame - it's that someone may get hurt because of the innappropriate use of live ammo.

The above is a moot point as this can happen whether encased in plastic or not. Encased in plastic makes it more likely to be tampered with by a child? You gotta be joking. If anything its probably safer encased in plastic.

LibShooter
January 16, 2011, 07:43 PM
When I was a kid, I got a resin paperweight kit for Christmas. Here are a few things I encased in plastic:

Peppermint candies,
Glass Christmas tree ornaments,
Oreo cookies,
A Hot Wheels car.

None of these things are explosive but they are probably more fragile and heat sensitive than a 30-06 cartridge.

Sport45
January 16, 2011, 08:26 PM
Pull the bullet, drop oil on the primer, as that deactivates it,

No, it doesn't. There have been many experiments and nobody has come up with a way to safely and reliably deactivate primers. At least no method I've come across.

I'd make a dummy with a live primer or a spent primer. Leaving the primer pocket empty might make it hard to avoid a bubble in the mount.

Birdmang
January 16, 2011, 09:19 PM
I'm going to use a live one and take a picture and then shoot it and post the video.

jk I used a shell, it takes a day to seal so ill post a picture tomorrow

moxie
January 17, 2011, 08:25 AM
When one deals with firearms and ammunition on a regular basis, it becomes apparent that strict discipline is called for. One of the rules is that you never "play" with live ammo or explosives, even if it looks safe. A professional just won't do it. The same logic applies rule #1 of gun safety: "All guns are always loaded." Over time, strict observance to safety rules pays off. As an explosives and weapons safety officer I investigated a number of fatal and near-fatal accidents and incidents. They are ALWAYS the result of failure to observe safety rules and a basic lack of respect for explosives and weapons.

Sav .250
January 17, 2011, 08:40 AM
A "live" round as a trinket? Render it useless, then your good to go.

ny32182
January 17, 2011, 08:57 AM
Since I'm already a reloader I would make dummies, entirely to save the powder and primer for their intended use. If I wasn't, I would just use live rounds.

You need a sustained SEVERAL hundred degrees, or a SHARP smack right on the primer to set off a round. The round sitting in the chamber of your rifle after you've done two or three mag dumps is being subjected to far more heat than any atmospheric condition you will ever find on Earth.

It will be much "safer" encased in plastic than it is when encased in your ammo can.

I wouldn't put it in my carry-on bag or take it to school, but not because I'd be worried they would try to section it up in an effort to figure out whether it is an evil live round. :scrutiny:

steelerdude99
January 17, 2011, 09:45 AM
It “may be safe”, but illegal to take to certain places. The TSA agent may or may not know it was not a live round, but that may not matter. If it's actually a live round, you may be sitting in prison. If these “ornaments” would find their way to a school, then you would have an expelled child and/or one w/ a police record.

chuck

taliv
January 17, 2011, 10:04 AM
sounds like a bomb to me. i'd not be afraid of walking around with a pocket full of live rounds all year. if one went off in my pocket, i probably wouldn't enjoy it, but i doubt it would do more damage than a paintball.

but a round encased in hard resin? no thanks

jcwit
January 17, 2011, 11:46 AM
sounds like a bomb to me. i'd not be afraid of walking around with a pocket full of live rounds all year. if one went off in my pocket, i probably wouldn't enjoy it, but i doubt it would do more damage than a paintball.

but a round encased in hard resin? no thanks


So whats to make the "bomb" go off? RF?

No different than rounds in a revolver cylinder.

MrOldLude
January 17, 2011, 11:57 AM
You'll be fine. If possible, I'd still use a dummy round with a spent primer for molding, but there's little risk. Even if you were able to ignite the powder, a round without a barrel doesn't pose major risks. See mythbusters ammunition in a fire. Of all the times I've left ammunition in a 140 degree car, I'm not worried about a water-based resin.

longdayjake
January 18, 2011, 03:12 PM
round without a barrel doesn't pose major risks.

Yeah but when you completely encase the round, it isn't the bullet you have to worry about. Its the shrapnel of what comes off the casing. That is what people are worried about. And don't think that a round without a barrel is not dangerous. A while back there was a photo floating around the net of what happens to your hand when you use a 50 cal round as a hammer (not much left). Mythbusters is just about anything but scientific when it comes to their gun and explosion experiments. That said, they are for entertainment and that is really what matters anyway.

If anyone wants to send me some of that epoxy I would be glad to do a mythbusters episode of my own about what it would take to make the round go off. I would throw it, drop it, drag it behind my car, use a magnifying glass, burn it, shoot it, and finally swear at it.

geekWithA.45
January 18, 2011, 03:20 PM
I wouldn't use a live round that way, just on general principle and abundance of caution.

It's not like pulling bullets and dumping the propellant is a terribly big deal.

http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#kinetic%20bullet%20puller

Birdmang
January 21, 2011, 01:58 PM
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s135/bassbikerdan/imagejpeg952_02.jpg

LibShooter
January 21, 2011, 05:36 PM
Birdmang, I assume that's a picture of two shell casing from a Navy deck gun and a real Glock. I bet you could chip that sucker out of the plastic and it would still fire. :)

Birdmang
January 21, 2011, 05:43 PM
Ithink it a 110 mm cartridge with my glock 19

Buckeye71
January 21, 2011, 09:43 PM
I haven't seen this mentioned yet but IIRC after you deactivate the rounds, which I highly recommend, they should be painted black to indicate they are inert rounds. Oh no!!! I thought I almost made a mistake. After pondering this for awhile it came to me that the color code is mandatory only for militaty ammunition. Whew!!!

Birdmang
January 21, 2011, 09:48 PM
See picture above. Painting them black wouldnt make it look real.

m33p0n3
January 21, 2011, 10:01 PM
Why not do it the cheaper way?
-Take a spent primer, remove the anvil
-Hammer the cup out flat again
-put the anvil back in
-seat into brass
-Seat a Bullet

Anybody see how this wouldn't work?

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