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Surplus Ammo - Reason To Avoid (pics)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BBDartCA, Jul 8, 2011.

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  1. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA Member

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    Old cold war era surplus ammo can sometimes be no longer any good. I found some for 5 bucks a box at a pawn shop - hard to pass up, right... Here is what happened .... a British 1954 Kynoch Imperial Chemical 30-06 failure. Head blew off. Created a huge cloud of smoke and very loud deep boom when it happened. Very putrid ammonia smell too (corrosive primers?). Blew the ejector port cover out of my gun (good reason to always where glasses). About half the box shot OK before this.

    I am guessing there was a corrosion issue with the brass. It looks like in the neck area there may be some galvanic corrosion going on due to the bullet. That's what the pencil is pointed towards in the bottom picture.

    Bottom line, another good reason to reload.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sig88

    Sig88 Member

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    Scary stuff, glad to hear that you walked away from it though
     
  3. gun addict

    gun addict Member

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    ehh, i buy almost exclusive surplus ammo because.......hey why not, they're cheap. You tell me where i can buy 5.45 ammo at $120 for 1020 rounds that isnt surplus and i'll be all over it.

    Also alot of my firearms are made to digest surplus ammos, have i ever had case rupture with surplus ammo in my Mauser 98ks? Sure, all it took is a good whack on the bolt handle and i just keep shooting
     
  4. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA Member

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  5. SDC

    SDC Member

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    BBD, the trouble with that picture is that it DOESN'T SHOW a round of Kynoch 30-06; it shows a round of Greek 30-06 made by the Greek Powder and Cartridge Works. Just like with any other item made in the thousands and millions, every manufacturer has the occasional "lemon".
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    That may be an "occasional lemon" but in US Army practice a split back into the casehead and primer pocket like that would result in withdrawal of the entire lot from service.
     
  7. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA Member

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    I know that ... the 1st picture on the linked post is of the same UK ball as mine.
     
  8. Y-T71

    Y-T71 Member

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    Glad to hear you're alright.

    The discolored area that the pencil is pointing dosen't appear to be corrosion at all.

    It looks like where the brass, neck and shoulder, was annealed, a normal part of manufacture.
     
  9. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    It isn't the age that matters, that looks like they were ammonia contaminated in storage.

    I got a pile of surplus GI .30-06 ammo dated '42, '43 and '45, and from four different (LC, DM, SL, TC) arsenals when I started reloading in '65. I still have a good bit of it, most has been loaded quite a few times. Much of it was reformed to .308, .243 and .22-250 (when it was still a wildcat) and 6mm International and NONE of it has done what you show. In fact, the only failures I've ever had on any case, GI or factory, was the normal neck splits from cold working before I started annealing.
     
  10. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    You didn't bother to tell what the headspace of your rifle is. This critical info on case head separation.

    PS fuzzy pictures are hard to see.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Blowout into the extractor groove is not a casehead separation. Bad brass, failure there is another cause for complete lot rejection.
     
  12. geo57

    geo57 Member

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    HXP M2 30-06 have cases that are Boxer primed & reloadable. It's possible that shooter bought someone's reloads. I'm not saying he did, but the possibility exists with that case.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
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