I bought a lathe and bench from a retired constable and gun smith. In the
bench there are a few different cartridges that I assume are live rounds.
How does one outside the gun community dispose of these safely?
no neat sig line
Give them to someone _in_ the gun community. I don't know why (and I have no
bad feelings towards the law at all), but I really don't like it when folks
take various things to the police for disposal.
GTO69RA4 wrote: Give them to someone _in_ the gun community.
I think the perfect person in the gun community to give them to is the
retired gunsmith/constable you got them from. If he can't/won't take them
off your hands, he should at least advise you how to get rid of them.
You COULD put them in your luggage, and take a plane somewhere. I'll bet
THEY will take them from you.
You make it sound like they are nuclear material. Cartridges (not
bullets, that's just the bit that goes down the barrel) are not
particularly dangerous sitting on a shelf for 100 years. Just don't
stab the primer with anything sharp on purpose or throw them in a fire.
Put an ad in a newsgroup local to your area "Cartridge collectors, free
ammunition, call 555-1234". If you happen to know how to read the
headstamp to identify the specifics on each, that'd be useful information
If that doesn't work out, get a bullet puller and yank the bullets,
drain the powder out of the case, and soak it in water. Game over.
Grown men afraid of ammunition that isn't even loaded in a weapon and
pointed at you. What is this world coming to?
If they are not collectors items, simply dumping them in the trash is no
big deal. Even if placed directly in a fire, a loaded cartridge is
pretty tame if it pops, the largest noise being the primer popping off.
Ive incinerated thousands of rounds of ammo and its not as load as a kid
with a cap gun. If for some reason you wish to keep the cartridges but
make them inert, pull the bullet with a collet, home made inertia bullet
puller etc. Dump the gun powder on your garden (the plants love it),
spritz a bit of WD-40 inside the case to kill the primer and put the
bullet back in.
Blank cartridges are a bit more problematic. The gun powder is closer to
an explosive than a propellent but the fix is easy. Most have a red wax
or cardboard plug in the end. Simply push it in with a nail, dump the
powder and spritz the inside of the case with some WD-40. What you do
with the powder, I really dont want to know about..but it can be used
rather successfully in combination with various bits from the scrap
pile as anti-gopher devises, all the usual warning associated with low
explosives to be understood of course.
But really, if it bugs you, simply take the cartridges to a hand loader,
or the original seller and let them deal with them.
The methodology of the left has always been:
2. Repeat the lie as many times as possible
3. Have as many people repeat the lie as often as possible
4. Eventually, the uninformed believe the lie
5. The lie will then be made into some form oflaw
6. Then everyone must conform to the lie
Bullets - bit that flies out.
Cartridge - the bit left behind
Primer - Little doohickey that goes in the back of the cartridge to
start the whole thing up
Powder - Powdery stuff that lives in the cartridge.
Round - The whole thing.
Only thing that's really going to hurt you here is a primer. A live
round will have a primer in the back, and that primer will have a flat
top. If there's a pin-shaped dent in it, then it's a fired cartridge.
Primers can be rendered ineffective by squirting them with WD40, so
long as you can get to the inside of the cartridge case.
Some cases don't have primers. These are usually .22 rimfires (little
tiny things) and the primer lives inside the rim of the cartridge.
Treat the cartridge as a primer.
Powder (in cartridge quantities) may be taken out into the garden,
spread out into a shallow pile or line and burned. It's a bit sparky
(light it with something long, and don't do it on a dry prairie), but
it won't explode.
A live round is tricky. Needs to be opened up and emptied before you
can get to that primer. You might like to hand these over to someone
else instead. I'd expect discarded rounds to be fired rather than
unfired, as it's damned sloppy work to leave unfired rounds rolling
Bullets and cartridge cases with fired or no primers are inert scrap
metal. lead, propellant and primer residues are a bit toxic though, so
wash your hands.
Anything over 1/2" diameter is worrying. Have someone knowledgeable
look at it. Anything that claims to be a "flare" is really hazardous
close up, even the tiny ones.
Any range or gunshop should happily dispose of this sort of item.
YMMV - If you're really worried, then ask someone who can actually see
To be honest (as has been demonstrated in many reputable experiments)
even _burning_ live small arms ammunition is of fairly low hazard. The
stuff just isn't that scary, until it's loaded into a chamber to
The if the OP decides to go this route, he may want investigate
look into the WD40 Primer a little further. Searching rec.guns for
"WD40 primers" will turn up some interesting threads. IIRC, one poster
immersed some primers in WD40 for several weeks and found that they
still worked afterward.
Yeah, like they took the empty .44 magnum casing/bullet which had been hanging
on my keyring since long before 911. I'd forgotten it was there. Cripes, the
thing had a short piece of bead chain coming out its empty primer hole, but it
was, "Give it up or miss the plane."
I felt real stupid for not remembering it was there, As it had no important
sentimental value, I shut up and did the smart thing.
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can keep smiling when things go wrong, you've thought of someone to
place the blame on."
For single cartriges, the easiest way is to pull the bullet by pushing the
bullet sideways to the casing and it will quickly loosen in the brass. Then
you can easily pull the bullet out of the case with your fingers and dump
the powder out. The powder makes a nice little flash when burned with a
match in the free air.
I've used this method with cartrigers from .22cal. shorts to .50cal. MG
rounds. Do the whole job with your fingers so that there is no banging of
the cartrige to make the primer go off. The bending of the bullet sideways
expands the joint between the bullet and the casing.
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Works evevery time it is tried!