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Ammunition Stability

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Phaethon, Oct 16, 2010.

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  1. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    There's far more risk of old ammo NOT going boom than going boom in any harmful manner, and zero chance of it going boom just through casual handling. Here's the deal: a bullet needs a gun barrel to concentrate the pressure of the explosion in order to accelerate. No pressure, no acceleration. This is why ammunition isn't even considered a hazard by firefighters in a fire. Even if it gets hot enough to cook off, the bullet just pops out of the casing and falls. Just about nothing short of a .50 BMG poses any kind of risk whatsoever. Basically, it's not going to go boom, and even if it did, it wouldn't really hurt you.
     
  2. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    I said tumbling loaded rounds CAN alter burning characteristics, and that depends on powder types and the length of time exposed to tumbling.
    Tumbling CAN round off grain corners & remove coatings, either of which CAN change the way those grains burn.
    It usually isn't much of a difference, and if you want to tumble yours, have at it.

    Which makers tumble live rounds?

    Denis
     
  3. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Nearly all of them. Winchester certainly does. If you look around on the net you can find multiple citations as such.
     
  4. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    I can tell you firsthand that the ammo that the military uses in Iraq gets beat and tossed around with no ill effects.

    It gets bounced around in trucks, gets IED'd sometimes, gets tossed onto the ground sometimes, and falls out of planes and helicopters - and its all ok to shoot. It certainly gets treated rougher than I treat my ammo now, and I think its a safe bet that it gets treated far rougher than you treat yours as well.
     
  5. woodsoup

    woodsoup Member

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    Sorry but that has been debunked numerous times. Think of what a round goes through before you load and fire it. The factory runs loaded rounds through orientation and packaging equipment, An un-sprung forklift bounces it into the warehouse and plops it on top of the last pallet full. Then they haul it out and load it into a shipping conveyance, either rail or truck. It bounces along until it gets to the distributor where it is again moved around off the truck/rail car into the warehouse on yet another unsprung forklift. then the pallets are broken down and etc etc etc.

    Running them thru your feeble vibratory bowl or tumbler won't hurt it one bit.
     
  6. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    And that's just commercial ammo. Imagine what military ammo goes through!
     
  7. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Regular bouncing & jouncing is not the same as tumbling or vibrating for an hour or two.
    You can remove the graphite coating & alter grain shapes in doing so.
    I didn't say powders are fragile or that they can't take normal handling, just that tumbling or vibrating CAN alter their structure & burn rate.

    I'll have to check into the factory stuff, I've never seen indications that factory product is tumbled after assembly.

    Denis
     
  8. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    I must be the only one who wipes ammo down with a rag after I load it. :D
     
  9. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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  10. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    So, we have empirical data that tumbling does no harm to the powder. Any evidence...any at all.... that it does?
     
  11. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Not that I have seen. Its a lot like that "dont use reloads for SD or else the prosecutor will hang you" thing that you hear a lot of. No evidence for that either.
     
  12. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Let's not forgot you will get shot first for open carrying. We should have a subforum of mythbusters, but that would probably get us in trouble for using the name.
     
  13. MinnMooney

    MinnMooney Member

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    Hunters carry loose rounds in their pockets all of the time and I have NEVER heard a story of an accidental explosion.
     
  14. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    I had a .22 short explode in my pocket when I was a kid. I had a pocket knife, some change and several loose .22s, in my pocket when it happened. I was not injured at all but it did startle me.

    I have never carried loose ammo since then. ;)
     
  15. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    So far, one company does tumble (2-4 minutes, which is not the time frame I'd be concerned about), one does not.
    Hodgdon says there should be no problem in tumbling.
    Waiting for more responses.

    Tried to find the source of my ancient memory, but I wasn't able to in my reference materials. Whatever it was, I viewed it as credible enough to avoid vibrating live ammo.

    And, in the meantime, what I'm refering to is not the sporadic jouncing that ammunition takes in travel & use, or five minutes in a tumbler, but longer periods in a vibrator.
    Vibrators & tumblers create different levels of jostling in the powder granules.

    I could be wrong, have been before, but I'll keep on just ragging assembled rounds in the Bullet Mine. :)

    Denis
     
  16. RimfireChris

    RimfireChris Member

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    @ Sherri-I'm having problems with the link, but over on you tube, a fellow by the name of Cutlery Lover had a similar occurence to yours. He had a bunch of bullets stored in a plastic container, he dumped them out to find the bullets pushed in on several, probably the bottom ones I'd guess.
     
  17. Sherri

    Sherri Member

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    RimfireChris--I don't believe that the bullet in that round was pushed back by dumping the box of 50 into my pocket. It was short in the box, and my bad for not looking the box over before dumping it into my pocket. I'm lucky I didn't fire that round and discovered it when unloading my magazines. I will examine every box of ammo beforehand from here forward.

    Jeez, if I thought the bullets moved around like that, I'd need to press each and every round against the bench before firing it, no?

    Just saying...
     
  18. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Did you read all the way through the threads that I posted above? Some of those rounds were tumbled for DAYS straight.
     
  19. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Um, anyone who believes DPris has never been in the military, hell ridden in a Hummer, cause I'd challenge a lyman turbo to an 8 hour convoy over secondary roads in Iraq, and put my money on the convoy, some of those roads are more potholes with some asphalt than asphalt with some potholes.

    Not that 30 yearold humvees are known for their quality suspension, lets just say, what works great over very uneven ground at 10mph, ain't know for a nice ride at 70 even on even ground, an our mechanics were advanced, they at least made sure the tire didn't fall off the balancer (literally) before they mounted a NEW tire. And this is 7 days a week, 2 weeks running, then 5 days off (3 with duties, so really only 2 free) for a year plus, and yes it still went bang. Not saying the powder is like new, but it still shot the same.
     
  20. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Guys,
    Neither a tumbler nor a Hummer produces the same type of agitation that a prolongued spell in a vibrator creates.
    30 minutes in a vibrator has much more effect on the powder granules & coatings such as graphite than bouncing in a HumVee for a month, regardless of road conditions.
    You're making it sound like I'm claiming ammunition is fragile. I'm not & it's not. We all know it can & does get bounced around.

    Anyway, two more returns- one other ammomaker says no, the other says it's a secret. :)
    So far, only one major maker says they tumble, and that's just very briefly.

    Do it or don't, as I said I recall warnings about the issue from a credible source years ago, just can't recall where it came from.
    One reason it may have stuck in my mind is that I've never used a tumbler, I started out with an old Vibra-Tec, one of the early vibrators & I've used different brands as each one wore out ever since. So, any commentary on using vibrators would tend to stick.

    Hodgdon advises "caution", and suggests not filling the vibrator or tumbler full, a small amount of media & a small number of loaded rounds is best.
    Denis
     
  21. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Did you read the threads linked above? MULTIPLE DAYS in the tumbler.
     
  22. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    That's it, well unless you put it in a fire of course. The gun powder in the case is not nitroglycerin, it takes a sharp, hard blow to the center of the primer to ignite (rim of the primer for rimfire of course).

    What worries me when I drop a cartridge is messing up the bullet seating. An improperly seated bullet can be dangerous. But, those things should be in there really tight.
     
  23. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    LJ,
    Yes, I read most of them, including the post about ALL of the major ammomakers doing it. :)
    And the post about the bullet merely popping out of a case in the event of a fire detonation, equally not true. :)

    Since what I saw was always reference to tumbling, were all of the results from an actual drum tumbler, or are we using tumbling as a generic term that includes both tumbling and vibrating?

    Anyway, as I said- if I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
    I gave the best info I have & if it's incorrect, then by all means do whatever you wish with your reloads. :)
    Denis
     
  24. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    The threads above all reference using a vibratory case cleaner with loaded ammo. They have close up pictures of the powder granules, some with magnification. There is no change. Its a bunk myth.


    Do as you want to, but its been covered and disproven, the facts are there for you to plainly see, if you want too.
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Tumbling ammo test:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6075289&postcount=18

    I have tumbled everything I reload for 30 minutes after I finish to get off finger-prints and sizing lube. At first I used a home-made drum tumbler, then later a vibratory polisher.
    Been doing it about 30 years with no problems.

    Ammo in a fire test:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=3845886&postcount=28

    What happens to ammo in a fire depends entirely on the type of ammo, powder burn rate, and rim-fire or centerfire primers.

    rc
     
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