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What to do with old .22 ammo?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Legionnaire, Apr 17, 2022.

  1. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    Rooting around in my garage I came across some old (more than 10 years) Remington Thunderbolt .22LR. Our garage gets hot in the summer, and the wax coating on the bullets seems to have oxidized and gotten very hard. I can force the rounds into the cylinder of my Single Six and they go bang, but loading is a chore. They won't feed in a 10/22 or Browning Buckmark as they are too tight to chamber easily. If I press the slide home on the Buckmark, the chambered round will fire.

    Clearly, the bullets are now slightly oversized due to the hard wax. I'd consider tossing them, but there's almost a full brick there and I don't know how to dispose of them safely. What would you do with them?
     
  2. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I may be an idiot, but I'd probably think on a good way to clean them till they fit
     
  3. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Could try wiping off some of the lube with gas or brake cleaner, I suppose. Worth a shot.

    For disposal, the bullets pop out easily enough with pliers or a vise. Then you can dump the powder in the yard for fertilizer and toss the rest.
     
  4. gyp_c2

    gyp_c2 Member

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    " Spit and Rub Buddy! "
    :rofl:
     
  5. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    That's going to take an awful long time for a full brick. I'd just take them to one of my local ranges that has a bucket for unfired dud ammo and throw them in there. I have no idea what THEY do with the bucket when it's full. But, there you go. Easy, peezy.
     
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  6. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    I did try pushing them into and then pulling them out of a .223 case. That helped, but it was a lot of work. Haven't tried anything to actually soften the oxidized wax.
     
  7. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I wonder how well they would chamber in a lever action or pump action.22?
    Just a thought…
     
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  8. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    That sounds like an excuse to buy a bolt action 22.

    You asked gun nuts lol.
     
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  9. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator Staff Member

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    They're Remingtons - not worth saving. Like wiscoaster, I would dump them in the local range dud bucket the next time you go.
     
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  10. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    If you're not in need of them currently but may be in the future (waste not, want not and all that), I wouldn't do a thing with them right now. I'm betting the coating "settled" from heating and cooling. Leave them where they've been another month or 2, let mother nature get them nice and warm again, then wipe them. Or just set them out in the sun for a bit before you shoot them

    If it was hot enough to make the wax gooey before, chances are it will be again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2022
  11. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I'd throw them in my scrap metal barrel.
     
  12. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Local PD will take and dispose of them.
     
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  13. mrcabinet

    mrcabinet Member

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    I vote for placing them someplace warm, then wiping them off. Great job for the kids or grand kids, then take them to the range to shoot them as their reward. I hate wasting ammo - even thunderduds.
     
  14. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I give my kid a few bucks to tear down all my scrap ammo as one of her household chores. ;)
     
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  15. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    If there is deterioration of the wax on the bullets from heat and moisture, the thin brass cases may be compromised also. Have experienced case splitting with old .22 ammo in the past and it is not desirable. Again, most local PDs take old ammo and dispose of it safely.
     
  16. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    If you reload, throw them in a case cleaner tumbler, 50 at a time.
     
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  17. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    .22 revolver or lever action. It's only wax. Do not throw them away if they go bang.
     
  18. rocirish

    rocirish Member

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    no need to throw them away. Lots of good solutions above, I just couldn't see myself throwing away ammo that still fires.
     
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  19. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a very good idea.
     
  20. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    So.. I have a jar with loose rounds I've found at the range, duds, etc etc. What I do, is when the jar is full, I lay the ammunition in a rectangular mold and fill it with resin.

    It's not amazing, but it makes for a decent gift to gun nuts.
     
  21. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    They can be used as improvised pencils too.......:)
     
  22. jag22

    jag22 Member

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    I would use a tumbler to clean them. Two options after that, add some Nufinish to the medium, it will help with lubrication. Sometimes when I use mineral spirits the brass seems very stripped and will tarnish some. If I do the Nufinish it's like I waxed them, like a car. Other choice would be to decide how many you are going to take to the range, put them in a plastic or paper bag and give a quick shot of WD-40. I haven't done either of these, just saying these are what I would try.
     
  23. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    This is going to sound a bit crazy, but leave the brick in the garage, but turn it upside down. See if the coating softens and redistributes itself. Nothing to lose.
     
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  24. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Yeah I was thinking something like this. Or maybe a lube/solvent that might make the coating retract or whatever you call it, not really much to lose at this point. I wouldn't try too hard or put too much time into $20 worth of ammo, but I would think it was a great excuse to blaze through a brick of ammo if you could make them function.....
     
  25. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    Lots of ideas; thanks. I’ll try a couple and report back. Hate to just toss ‘em, though it wouldn’t be a great loss.
     
    Demi-human likes this.
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