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Converting blank ammunition to live ammo

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ChronoCube, May 5, 2009.

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  1. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    Is it possible to make a round of live ammo from a round of blank ammunition? Pry open the star-crimped mouth, and insert a bullet?
     
  2. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    It may be possible, but it won't be SAFE!

    Blank ammo is made from brass that was never intended to contain the pressure required to force a projectile down the barrel. The powder and charge weight will not be appropriate for that either. Not to mention that the case will probably be way too long if you just open the crimp.

    So don't do it. Hang in there. Sooner or later you'll be able to find the real stuff again.
     
  3. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Not safely.

    Blank ammunition tends to use weaker, un-annealed, or generally cheaper brass. It's made to make noise, not to put holes in things.
     
  4. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    Furthermore, blank powder is incredibly fast burning, which is why it can generate enough pressure to make noise without a bullet to push. In other words, you're going to blow up whatever you try it with.
     
  5. rogn

    rogn Member

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    Dont forget that the powder used is a "flash" powder and pressure wit a bullet will skyrocket. Could even cause detonation.
     
  6. mp43sniper

    mp43sniper Member

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    Um, I may be the new guy here but so far the posts are WRONG. Well, sort of. The blanks we use for WWII reenacting use cartridges identical to live ammo. There are blanks out there that use sub standard, cheap cases that were never intended for live ammo. There's a huge difference.

    I have picked up hundreds, maybe more than a thousand, of the fired blanks from machinegun nests to use for my own blanks and live ammo. These blanks were both .30-06 and 8mm and I will reform them to 7.92x33 and then cut off the excess with a trim die.

    If the blank in question is not a live ammo size (8mm pistol with the plastic end cap) or made partially of plastic or some type of other inferior metal, then no, it can't be used. If the blank is a real cartridge with a crimp on the end, then it is possible it could be used for live ammo.

    I can post photos if anyone wants to see my conversion process.

    Craig
     
  7. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    There is a big difference in reloading used blank brass and just popping a bullet into an unfired blank round.

    I think its a horrible idea.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    As said, stick a bullet in a blank cartridge over the blank powder or pistol powder and KaBoom!

    I was once given a bag of .30-06 blanks. I knocked out the red card wad, dumped the blank powder, ran the case necks over an expander plug to iron out the wad crimp, and loaded it as primed brass. They shot ok but did not last long, the heavy wad crimp and the cold working of expanding it out left the brass brittle and neck splits were common. I was not sophisticated enough to try annealing the necks in those days.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Years ago, when there were still some knowledgeable retired GI Ordinance types on the American Rifleman staff:

    They repeatedly cautioned against using GI blank brass for reloading.

    It was never made to the same standards as real brass used in bulleted cartridges.

    In some cases, it failed some preliminary inspection due to the wrong alloy mix in the raw brass rolls and the sub-standard brass stock was used for making blanks.


    As for prying open the crimp and inserting a bullet?
    That would be a bomb!

    The only M-14 I ever saw blow up while in the service was blown up with a blank and a .30 caliber steel ball bearing "bullet" dropped down the muzzle.

    It wrecked the rifle and injured the Private E-Nothing genius who did it.
    Fortunately, he had plenty of time to recover while in the stockade.

    rc
     
  10. Roccobro

    Roccobro Member

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    mp43sniper- Your experience is reloading Blank brass into blanks?

    While it is *possible* to load a projectile into blank brass, it is inadvisable for the many reason already listed.

    Justin
     
  11. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    I'm less concerned about the brass, the danger here is the powder; OP asked if he could put a bullet in a blank; as rcmodel pointed out, it's going to detonate.

    The powder is significantly faster than Bullseye and N310, and I don't want those anywhere near my rifle reloading bench. :)
     
  12. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    If the problem is the powder, what about dumping it out and putting in the right kind of powder?
     
  13. mp43sniper

    mp43sniper Member

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    Yes, to clarify, I am only talking about the brass, not the powder. Usually fast burning pistol powder is used and if all he wants to do is open the crimp and insert a bullet, that would be "bad". Use the Ghostbusters definition of bad in this case.

    Craig
     
  14. Borg

    Borg Member

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    "Um, I may be the new guy here but so far the posts are WRONG. Well, sort of. The blanks we use for WWII reenacting use cartridges identical to live ammo. There are blanks out there that use sub standard, cheap cases that were never intended for live ammo. There's a huge difference.

    I have picked up hundreds, maybe more than a thousand, of the fired blanks from machinegun nests to use for my own blanks and live ammo. These blanks were both .30-06 and 8mm and I will reform them to 7.92x33 and then cut off the excess with a trim die.

    If the blank in question is not a live ammo size (8mm pistol with the plastic end cap) or made partially of plastic or some type of other inferior metal, then no, it can't be used. If the blank is a real cartridge with a crimp on the end, then it is possible it could be used for live ammo.

    I can post photos if anyone wants to see my conversion process."


    Let me ask Craig. The brass you picked up,, was it originally live bullet brass,, or was it originally blank brass.
    All the Re-enactors I know load their own out of live ammo brass, so would be OK to use for ammo,, but, the blank brass is just not strong enough.
    If you are using blank brass for ammo,, then go out and buy a couple of lotto tickets, you're one lucky guy.
    Borg
     
  15. SquirrelNuts

    SquirrelNuts Member

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    From what I have read, the brass used to create blanks is not made to the same standards as regular rifle brass, and this practice would be unsafe. This is not to say that it is not possible, it is just not safe. Specifically, this is covered in the ABC's of Reloading in the chapter about casings (chapter 3 or 4 IIRC).
     
  16. mp43sniper

    mp43sniper Member

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    Yes, it was originally live bullet brass. Most of it is LC or standard R-P .270, .30-06 and I have even seen some .280 and 300 Savage.

    If you guys are looking up Hollywood blanks for specialized blank-only weapons that is not what I'm discussing. 99% of the weapons we use in WWII reenacting are live and would destroy a cheesy blank. The only ones I know of that take the Hollywood type blanks are the blank-only P38s. They weigh about half as much as a standard pistol IIRC.

    With the equipment I have now (and this is why I got into reloading in the first place) I can go to the gun shop, buy a bag of .270, .308, or .30-06, and neck it down to 7.92x33 and then crimp the end to make a blank (although this is VERY expensive). If I wanted to really show off I could probably pick up the fired blanks and cut them off to make live cases but they get thrown all over the place and that would be a pain! However like I said in my first post I can pick up longer cases by the handfulls at MG nests and neck them down to what I need. Free brass for blanks or live rounds is awesome.

    Craig
     
  17. FM-793

    FM-793 Member

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    To paraphrase an old-school senior NCO paratrooper who was aghast and dismayed at the pre-jump procedures of a very young airborne platoon:

    "I can't believe how casually some of you can take the potentially deadly exercise of jumping out of an airplane in flight with only your process and your equipment to save you..."

    Substitute "containing very high pressure events in a very small space" for "jumping out of an airplane in flight" and, well... good luck.
     
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