Flooded Ammo Advice


January 21, 2013, 07:15 PM
I had a safe full of ammo get flooded during a hurricane that passed through NJ a few years back. I read on many sites that it should be OK but I guess you can imagine where this is going. Some rounds were slimy so I rinsed and towel dried the rounds and put them back into the original boxes after drying the boxes. The ammo has basically stayed in the boxes for about 1.5 years now.

I went to the range last weekend and decided to shoot some of the flooded ammo. Only 4 out of 10 rounds shot properly, 6 failed with just a "click". I believe that the primer didn't go off. So.....is it possible that the ammo really needs to be thoroughly dried and should be fine.....OR.....is the primer/powder damaged and now useless. The ammo was general Federal and Winchester FMJ 9mm and .40 cal that I had picked up cheap at Walmarts during last election's scare. Can the rounds be "refurbished" with new primer with using the original brass, powder and bullet, would this be worth it? Thanks for your help.

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evan price
January 21, 2013, 07:22 PM
If you reload, pull it down and junk the powder and primers. If anything is corroded junk that too. Moisture that gets in has a harder time getting out and I have seen bullet bases and inside cases corroded. If in doubt toss it out.

January 21, 2013, 07:33 PM
Toss the powder and primers. Wash the brass in dish soap, dry on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 140. Then check inside for corrosion..
What type ammo? FMJ rifle bullets should be OK, HP or 1/2 jacket pistol, plinking only. Lead, melt it down for new bullets or fishing weights, you will not get good neck tension on a reloading.
I would not re-use the powder. You run the risk of a squib. That can ruin a hunting trip or a range day until you get that bullet unstuck from the barrel. And if you rapid fire practice, you may not react in time before the next shot, kaboom.

January 21, 2013, 07:36 PM
I currently do not reload nor do I have the equipment. This means that I have just lost several thousand rounds if I have to toss it all. Can is possibly be just the primer? What if I took apart about 20-30 rounds, inspected inner casing and found no corrosion? Any way to safely evaluate the powder?

January 21, 2013, 07:39 PM
toss it or sell it to someone who reloads for the brass and bullets. what kind of ammo was ruined here? sorry for your loss. 50 cal ammo cans with rubber seals next time around, right?

January 21, 2013, 07:48 PM
Sell your ammo as components. This way it wont be a total loss. I have soaked primers in water for a week. Left them dry for another week. They fired in the empty brass.

January 21, 2013, 07:55 PM
Primers can dry out and be OK....wet powder is ruined.

January 21, 2013, 08:24 PM
I would pull the bullets and toss the powder and primers. Then I would inspect the inside of the brass to see if it can still be used.

January 21, 2013, 08:39 PM
Ok, this would be about the only thing I could suggest as a test- heck, it works on phones :

Take 50 mixed pieces, throw them in a ziplock bag full of rice for a week.

Try again.

1.5 years is a long time- they should be plenty dry by now.

Now, the time to do this would have been then, not now... but I would give just about anything a spin before I junked 4k rounds.

If not, I would suggest the lyman bullet puller.

You are going to be able to reuse the brass, and the bullets. At this point, the primers are suspect- and if the rice doesn't work, the powder is toast.

And as mentioned, sealing ammo cans. Although putting together a new ammo stash like that is probably going to get black helicopters landing on your roof these days, in your neck of the woods.

Sorry for your loss.

January 21, 2013, 08:58 PM
If you continue trying to shoot the damaged ammo, you'll end up with a hang fire or a squib that leaves a bullet stuck in the barrel.

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