What to do with old .22 ammo?

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

  1. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Sounds to me like it’s time for a heritage or something similar that you don’t mind “forcing” them in. Or gift them to someone who has a junky 22.
     
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  2. 230RN
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    230RN Please Read the Preamble to the Bill Of Rights

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    Yeah, OK, I struck out that remark.
     
  3. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    keep buying .22 guns until you find one that will shoot them! hopefully you never find one!!

    that how I think
     
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  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well I am the guy that ends up with all the ammo turned in to the local PD. I will dissasemble it to component parts and reuse what I can. So I also cast. I put the bad .22 into a dutch oven with a cover that has some 1/8" holes drilled into the cover. Put the pot onto the turkey fryer burner and heat it until it stops sounding like a popcorn popper. Then I remove the cover, skim the brass casings off. Then process the lead as if it is range lead pulled from the berm and pour into ingots. Mark 22 with a stamp and done.
     
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  5. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    Someone may have already said this, but if you have a tumbling brass cleaner I'd toss them in there.

    Or - and do this at your own risk - pop them in the oven at the lowest temp possible for a while. A quick Google search gives me varying figures, but the lowest temp I found that smokeless ignites at is 320F(160C). Realistically a few popping off would cause essentially no damage, so I personally wouldn't be too concerned with trying it if all else fails. Rounds exploding outside of chambers have next to no damage potential, relatively speaking.

    I have no idea what it would do to the powder.

    Here's an oft-cited video by NSSF that shows how ammo reacts to the extreme heat of fire, far less than you'd find in a home oven.

    Honestly, though, I'd just stick them back on a shelf for another couple decades and then try selling them to some collector. Or toss them. Even at today's inflated prices if an easy method to make them shootable doesn't work, it's not worth dealing with.

     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2022
  6. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    You could try what some of the benchresters do. Get some Preparation H. Wipe the bullets down with your fingers and let them set a week or so. It should soften the lube and shrink groups. Or give them to some kids like in the old days to hit with hammers. ;) I wouldn't use a tumbler. Especially a vibratory one. It could break up and dislodge the priming mixture from the rim really causing a misfire problem.
     
  7. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    WOW! you put live .22 in a pot and turn on the fire??? lol
     
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  8. Atavar

    Atavar Member

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    If it were me I’d try the tumbler. No way is tumbling going to crimp the primer. Heck, it can pine tough enough getting those thunder duds to fire with a good firing pin strike.
    Even if one did pop off in the tumbler I doubt it would be catastrophic. I have been in the room when a 30mm round went off on the bench. It just went phoomp and the case spun around a bit.
    Having said that I take no responsibility for your decisions.
     
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  9. Atavar

    Atavar Member

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    .22 are relatively harmless when not in a chamber.
     
  10. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I’ll send you my address and $10 for postage and you can send them to me for proper and safe disposal. It’s my altruistic contribution to saving the planet.
     
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  11. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    when we were kids in the 80’s we would find .22 in the woods and throw them in our camp fire and RUN! Back then, we were tough! I would go crazy if my boys did what we did!
     
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  12. AzShooter1

    AzShooter1 Member

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    I either shoot them in my single action revolver (Heritage Rough Rider) or I give them to a friend that takes them apart and uses the lead for his black powder rifle.
     
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  13. Hal

    Hal Member

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    Hang onto it.

    You never know when the next world-ending event will come along and make any ammunition a valuable trade commodity.
    23 years ago, I bought a brick of some junk Russian .22 ammo in preparation for Y2K. The stuff was pure garbage. Half of the ones I tried were junk and would just fizzle. Others would go off and not have enough power to clear the barrel of a Ruger .22/45. A few of them would work ok.
    I stuck them in a box - along with the 2# package of pipe tobacco I bought for Y2K.
    I dragged that box out again in 2012 and again in March of 2020.

    ;)
     
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  14. TRX

    TRX Member

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    I had some 40-year-old .22LR that was pretty crusty.

    I had seen some forum posts from people who claimed they'd tumbled loaded centerfire ammo to shine it up. I had an old tumbler I wasn't using any more, so I threw a couple boxes of the crusty .22 in, set it out in the yard, and plugged it in. No explosions...

    Since the cartridges were heavily waxed, they came out looking like little fuzzy caterpillars from the dust from the tumbling media. It wiped off readily with a paper towel, so it kept me occupied for a few hours while I watched Youtube videos.

    If there's a good method to de-wax the ammo before tumbling without contaminating the powder, it would make things a lot simpler.
     
  15. dodo bird

    dodo bird Member

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    Don’t throw them away!
    upload_2022-4-26_21-50-4.jpeg
     
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  16. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    Just shot some 10 year old 22lr yesterday. No problem. Ammo should be in cool dry.
     
  17. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm in the 'shoot 'em' crowd.
     
  18. Bandit67

    Bandit67 Member

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    When I did some old .22 in my dry tumbler I squirted some Nufinish in the corn cob first. The ammo came out nice and shiny with a slick coating. No dust.
    Been shooting em in my single six. No leading of the barrel. Just fun.
     
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  19. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    That is what I was thinking. I was at the range yesterday and had one round that would not fire, even though I tired about 6 times. It has a perfectly formed strike, dead center in the primer, but nothing. So I assume, clamp the case in the vice and take a pliers to the bullet and twist and pull? Also don't stand in line with it or have it pointing at anything valuable, and wear safety glasses and gloves, eh?

    EDIT: Whoops, this is a 22 ammo thread, so a primer is not relevant, but the ammo disposal is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  20. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    Off topic, but how did that pipe tobacco do being stored for so long? Did you store it in any special way? There's a place a few hours away that sells some stuff I like and I can't find it anywhere else, it'd be nice to stock up when I'm there next.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  21. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Find the right solvent to soften the hardened lube. Fine a buddy with a bolt action rifle.
     
  22. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Oh no, sorry- clamp the bullet and just twist and pull the case over. Rimfires come apart very easy, as do most centerfire rifle cartridges. Revolver rounds often need extra "persuasion."
     
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  23. Hal

    Hal Member

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    I just left it in the bulk plastic bag it came in. I never opened it to try it since I had given up smoking a pipe.
    I still smoked cigarettes though & knew how desperate a smoker could get and how they would pay dearly for a fix.
     
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  24. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    Did it seem like it was in good shape? Smelled good with no mold?
     
  25. br549arkie

    br549arkie Member

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    I had some Thunderbolts do the exact same thing in a closet in my heated and cooled home. Probably were 10 or 12 years old.
    I have hence always thought of them as thunderturds
     
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