Shoot em or salvage for components?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by DHall_37, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Member

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    I just received a batch of 7mm Mauser surplus ammo the other day, I got it for a great deal. I just have a few questions about which of it is safe to fire and what I need to salvage?

    Some of the ammo has this white corrosion stuff on it it is pretty hard to wipe off with a paper towel soaked in CLP or an alcohol wipe I think some wet 2000 grit sand paper or steel wool should clean most of it off, but I’m not sure If the white corrosion weakens the cases and can cause a split? Also some of the bullets move up and down a few mm Inside the case, is this bad or dangerous? I just don’t want to cause any damage to my self or my rifle. :)

    I have a few pictures with the different levels of corrosion on the cases. None of the cases below have been cleaned.

    This is the “Really Bad Stuff”
    IMG_3598.jpg

    This is “Ok grade”
    IMG_3599.jpg

    This is “Average”
    IMG_3600.jpg

    “Good grade”
    IMG_3601.jpg

    “Great”
    IMG_3602.jpg
     
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  2. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

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    I would pull down the corroded cases In the first few pics, not worth the effort IMHO.
     
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  3. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've shot as bad, a little 0000 wool and a wipe down with some WD40 then a rub with a dry rag. Most of the corrosion was on top of the brass, once it's removed look it over for any damage, usually it's fine. I'd be leery of was the stuff where the bullet was moving.
     
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  4. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Been there. Old ammo becomes more "Disappointing" than "Devastatimg" with one exception. Since we have no way of knowing where old ammo was stored nor what it's been subjected to, the only safe option is to pull/salvage the bullets. Even ones that look good can have cases crack/break off when fired or stick a bullet in the barrel. Don't know why some cases become brittle, but some do. One bad experience with a Lebel carbine and old cartridges taught me all I need to know.
     
  5. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The badly corroded rounds in the first photo are not worth salvaging. Those rounds with little or no corrosion should be test fired.

    Properly stored centerfire ammunition is good for 50-70 years. In my storage are a couple cans of US .30 caliber ball ammunition made in 1944. That ammunition was stored in a cellar in WV for 50 years. Every round fires.

    Recently fired some armor piercing .30 caliber ammunition dated 1953 from a very accurate Remington 700 rifle. Five 3 shot groups at 125 yards averaged just under 1.25".

    In 1965 i obtained a large quantity of US military .30-40 ammunition manufactured prior to WWI. At that time about half the rounds fired. By 1980 many rounds were badly corroded and no rounds fired.

    Talked with soldiers from Desert Storm who were issued .50 caliber ammunition made in 1944-45. Every round fired.
     
  6. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would knock the corrosion off with some 0000 steel wool and shoot the snot out of it.
     
  7. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    I as well would not fire the rounds in the first picture. Because I would say as bad as they are they probably would have pitted the cases and reduced the strength of the Case Wall.
    But the main concern and even more important is the Bullet being able to be pushed down in the case.
    Should in the process of loading them into the Chamber and a round being pushed back in the case far enough in the Chamber can simply cause a blow up! Due to allowing the pressure not only to go out the Bore like it should, but come around the Case and gases pushing rearward. But if you have a large quantity of the ammunition you may want to buy a Die Set for the caliber and use the Bullet Seating Die set to increase the tension on the bullet canular in the case. IMO!

    03
     
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  8. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Member

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    I’ve read some good stuff so far, I’ve decided that all the cases that are super corroded are to be salvaged for bullets and powder and the cases that have loose bullets are to be salvaged for bullets and powder too.

    The rest of the stuff is being cleaned with steel wool. I was using a cloth sprayed in CLP but didn’t want to get a little on the primer and have it seep into the primer pocket since the ammo is very old. Most of the head stamps are from 1943-1946 and some really good looking stuff from 1927
     
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  9. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    If you want them to look really good get a can of Brasso & a Cotton Cloth. The Cases will look brand new!

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  10. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Member

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    Making them look good really isn’t my goal I just want to get the layer of dust and crud off of them so they can be shot easily and stored cleanly. However I will consider getting Brasso, some folks say that Brasso can cause a case to become brittle, but I don’t think there is any scientific proof on this?
     
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  11. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    I doubt it very much because our Military Brass Buckles sure were not effected by it.
    And we polished the *H* out of out Buckles!:p Oh and Spit Shined our Combat Boots with water and cotton balls!:D

    03
     
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  12. OldManMontgomery

    OldManMontgomery Active Member

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    My experience is dismal rather than disastrous.
    However, some of the brass (OK grade) has a reddish look to the cases which remind me of brass that has been annealed too much. It probably hasn't been heated as such, but the brass might be suspect.

    I'd pull and clean the bullets of the really sad looking ones, them reload them in good cases and use them for suitable purposes. Used that sort of bullet to kill elephant back in the old days.
     
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  13. OldManMontgomery

    OldManMontgomery Active Member

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    You do realize Military Brass Buckles are not used to contain 40,000 to 45,000 psi of pressure, right?
     
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  14. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Active Member

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    Shoot that stuff and you may go viral on YouTube. You could have your fifteen minutes of fame crawling up out of the bushes where your were blown when the KB happened. What kind of 7mm firearm are we speaking here?

    Added: If you salvage the rounds measure the diameter of those bullets. You should find the bullets larger than our .284. Who made those cartridges?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  15. Notrighty

    Notrighty Well-Known Member

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    Not gonna blow up in your face but some may not fire or stick one in the barrel or fizzle and then fire. Rounds looking worse than those are routinely used by insurgents around the world but I think I wouldn’t mess with them. Someone gave me 2 boxes of corroded 9 mm and 2 out of 10 misfired and stuck in the tube. Threw the rest in a fire pile and ran.
     
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  16. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Member

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    I’m shooting them out of my 1916 Spanish Mauser, so a 93 action. I do expect a lot of these to not go bang or have hang fires. I’m gonna measure some of the bullets later and I have no idea who made them but most of them have a star on the back of them. Spanish?

    Edit: so the really good shiny rounds with the silver colored bullets have “HP” marked on the back and all the rest have 3 stars on them with the letter “R”. There were also a few that had a crimped primer with “MG” across the back, I only saw 2 of those though.

    I measured some of the bullets and got a reading of anywhere from .2825 to .2860
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  17. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Active Member

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    Measuring those bullets should be a clue. Could it be you are seeing on the outside where the inside corrosion is eating though to the surface? How well does your 1916 Mauser handle a case head failure. What do you plan on doing with the salvaged powder? Can you reload the cases?

    You and I are in the same boat. Well, actually all of us who are around firearms are included. We can make a decision which is our right. The cost is we have to live in our consequences. What is your payoff for shooting that junk?
     
  18. Notrighty

    Notrighty Well-Known Member

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    The sizes of old military rounds vary as do the bores of the barrels. Don’t think I’d worry about case head separation or any case failure but if I was to shoot them I would definitely take a brass rod and hammer along to the range. Case failure for me has only ever happened when I got stupid and tried to reload a case too many times. The failures were never that dramatic. However a jacketed bullet stuck in the middle of a barrel can really suck.
     
  19. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Member

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    I can agree with what y’all are saying about being very cautious with these rounds, I personally don’t think anything bad will happen I’m definitely not gonna shoot anything that’s has a lot of the white corrosion on it. I only took some of the best looking brass and best seated bullets for stuff to shoot. The rest is going to be salvaged for bullets and powder to be put in new brass.
     
  20. Notrighty

    Notrighty Well-Known Member

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    Your job but I’d probably scrap the powder. Once you pull the bullets you can clean the cases and examine them. Bullets will be fine but primers and powder I would toss.