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An old Federal shell problem

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GK Chesteron, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. GK Chesteron

    GK Chesteron TS Member

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    I was shooting up some old ammunition the other day---Federal F121 3 dram equiv. 1 oz #8 Game Loads lot # A36YD10EF. This stuff must have dated back to the 1960s or early 1970s (the price tag on the box was $1.97 from Kmart!) I was shooting this stuff in my "boom stick" a Savage Fox model B and I noticed the the brass heads were seperating along the edge of the rim! The head was still attached to the shell, just the metal part seperated. I thihk the "brass" is brass or some other nonferrous metal since my magnet was not atttracted to it. This problem has not occured when shooting other shells---Winchester, Federal, Remington, Estate etc... only these old Federals so I'm thinking the problem is with the shells, not the gun.

    Obviously my question is: is this a dangerous condition? No gas blew back from from the action and I didn't notice the problem until I pulled the empties out of the gun.
    Should I toss the remaining shells or use them up?
     
  2. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    It sounds like the Brass is brittle. It can happen over a long period of time. I would not shoot them myself. I like my guns and my body parts enough not to put them in jeopardy just to use up some old loads. Just the curiosity of having a box of shells with an old price tag is enough for me to put it on a shelf for display. I have a LOT of old shells and some I would still shoot. Some of my old reloads from the late 60s and 70s still work fine. If I noticed anything that would be questionable about the hull integrity, they would be sidelined and not shot.

    It may well be that it's not dangerous, but I wouldn't want to experiment to find out.
     
  3. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    send them to me, I will shoot them
     
  4. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    If you must dispose of them, rob the shot powder and primer. At least thats what i'd do but i've always been a scavenger. LOL-----Matt
     
  5. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    You could have them tested and then you'd know for sure. Email Tom Armbrust at barbmiller49@yahoo.com.
     
  6. GK Chesteron

    GK Chesteron TS Member

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    Well I only had 16 shells left so I cut them open and scavenged one lb of #8 shot. Now I have the powder and primers left to deal with. Since I don't know what kind of powder is in these shells and I'm afraid of trying to remove the primers I think I'll give the whole lot a good soak in penetrating oil before trashing it. DOes that sound reasonable?
     
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