Ammo from 1944 worth keeping?

gmerkt

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Age itself doesn't make them collectible. Some of the older military specialty rounds have value as collectibles, like incendiary, etc. In my experience, even clean regular ball ammo doesn't have much collector value.

Some military .30-06 ammo from the WW2 era has single base propellant which has broken down over time. Those loaded with early generation ball powder have held up well.

.30-06 ammo packed on 8 round en bloc clips and sealed in "Spam cans" used to bring a premium. As a kind of novelty more than anything, I guess. They probably still do. But the price of contemporary commercial ammo has gone up so much lately that the cost spread between it and "collectible" Spam can" ammo has likely narrowed.
 

Flymph

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These guys don't know a thing! Just give it all to me and I'll take care of it!
:s0062:


Seriously though, you could shoot it and it'd probably be fine. I've shot 100yo ammo before and has no issues. Smells funky is about all. As long as it looks like it can shoot, it probably will. As for the collector stuff, maybe, but it's not particularly "valuable" in that sense. You might find the right buyer and get lucky, but I'd shoot it.
 
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If you are going to shoot corrosive ammo you should consider finding out how to clean your barrel. If I recall correctly the recommended method is soap and water for 3 consecutive days. I think the NRA has published something on the proper cleaning technique..

I saw an M1 Carbine barrel so rusted after shooting corrosive ammo and being neglected that you could see down the bore with a bore light. FYI.
 
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If you are going to shoot corrosive ammo you should consider finding out how to clean your barrel. If I recall correctly the recommended method is soap and water for 3 consecutive days. I think the NRA has published something on the proper cleaning technique..

I saw an M1 Carbine barrel so rusted after shooting corrosive ammo and being neglected that you could see down the bore with a bore light. FYI.
correction: could not see
 
Never had a problem cleaning up corrosive with the new-ish cleaners made FOR corrosive clean-up... and soapy hot water for first cleaning followed by regular bore cleaner has always worked for me with corrosive 7.92X57 and in black powder firearms... YMMV.. The object is to clean the corrosive salts out... would never argue with military policy but X3 seems a bit much, wonder what guys in the field did back then, as all sides used corrosive?
 

Certaindeaf

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Never had a problem cleaning up corrosive with the new-ish cleaners made FOR corrosive clean-up... and soapy hot water for first cleaning followed by regular bore cleaner has always worked for me with corrosive 7.92X57 and in black powder firearms... YMMV.. The object is to clean the corrosive salts out... would never argue with military policy but X3 seems a bit much, wonder what guys in the field did back then, as all sides used corrosive?
The original HK MP5 manuals said to do the same thing, 3x 3 days, but with Hoppes, regular non-corrosive. kinda weird.
 
I've had trouble with only 1 batch of 45acp ammo of decidedly antique status. The seller said they were rounds removed from a decaying belted stash he discovered in his grandfathers estate. He estimated it was "WW1" era mil.ammo. I fired enough from a 1911 to establish that particular lot was failing to fire about 1 out of 3 rounds. It wasn't worth the trouble to dismount the remaining components; the seller refunded my purchase price. I still have a small supply of WW2 boxed acp cartridges; every decade or so I test fire a box of them. So far they all work fine.
 

Certaindeaf

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I've had trouble with only 1 batch of 45acp ammo of decidedly antique status. The seller said they were rounds removed from a decaying belted stash he discovered in his grandfathers estate. He estimated it was "WW1" era mil.ammo. I fired enough from a 1911 to establish that particular lot was failing to fire about 1 out of 3 rounds. It wasn't worth the trouble to dismount the remaining components; the seller refunded my purchase price. I still have a small supply of WW2 boxed acp cartridges; every decade or so I test fire a box of them. So far they all work fine.
IIRC, .45 acp was originally loaded with Bullseye and a lot of that has been maintained and tested annually.. with no noticeable degradation.
 
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1) I recall an article in a gun mag 20-30 years ago in which they tested a Martini from from Britain's Golden Age.
The best performance was from original ammo loaded in the 1870s still in the original foil sealed container.

2) Is the old GI Bore Cleaner in the OD can with the Death Head suitable for cleaning up after firing corrosive ammo?
 
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I might as well add the ruined carbine barrel was my own. I went off to war and left my Inland M1A1 carbine with a friend for safe keeping while I was gone. My pal shot it with French surplus ammo, which was corrosive. When I got the gun back the bore was completely filled with rust. Obviously the bore was shot, no pun intended.

I was broken-hearted as I loved the little gun. It was original and I enjoyed its tactical suitability. I wasn’t concerned about the diminished value. My thing was its practical value as a defensive weapon. Even now I struggle with my first choice for a personal weapon, the M1A1 carbine or the XM-177E2. I prefer the carbine hands down but cannot deny the firepower, practicality and utility of the AR.

I was pretty annoyed with my pal. On the other hand, he was in over his head when it came to firearms care. That he didn’t clean it, or didn’t know how to clean it, was not a great shock.

Life has its unpleasant experiences. Fifty years later this one is still memorable.
 

Retired Guy

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I've shot some ammo from the late 30s. Shot fine. But clean your rifle afterwards. I fired it in my M1 Garand and cleaned the barrel but I didn't clean the operating rod well enough. I now have some permanent corrosion pitting. Rifle still works fine but lesson learned.
 

ma96782

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Speaking of cleaning after firing corrosive ammo. Well....after shooting my Mosin Nagant w/ corrosive ammo this is how I do it. YES, there are many ways to accomplish this task and you might do it differently. Whatever.

Cleaning Firearms after Corrosive Ammo
My routine after shooting corrosive ammo through my AKs and Mosin Nagant is to take them home and within that first few hours:

1. Strip the firearm down including the bolt. Small parts are soaked in the hot soapy water solution.
2. Using hot soapy water I'll clean and brush the metal parts, including the bore.
3. Look over the wood, as cosmoline might still be oozing out from the wood. I clean it off. I use a patch with a bit of Hoppe's No 9.
4. If I feel like it, I'll also do the Hoppe's No. 9 w/ bronze bore brush through the bore to work on the copper build-up.
5. The parts are looked over/checked for defects and dried off. The drying process is helped along by the hot parts sort of flash drying and/or with a wipe down with a dry rag or blowing with compressed air.
6. The dried parts are lightly oiled (and/or grease applied where necessary/needed), then reassembled correctly.
7. I'll also check back in a day or two. To see if there is rust developing and sometimes I'll run another oily patch through the bore just for good measure.

LOL...many youngsters are probably wondering about this "corrosive ammo" stuff and wondering, "Why shoot corrosive ammo at all?"

Well, I can still remember when surplus ammo was plentiful and cheap. But, it was corrosive. Yup, I bought a lot of it and stacked it deep. It still serves my purpose, at a very cheap price compared to the new stuff. Though with a necessary cleaning routine.

And, cleaning with expensive formulas is not how I roll. Hot soapy water is just that. Hot water with a little squirt of dish soap added. I say hot water because it helps in the drying off the parts. Cold water has a way of just sitting there. So, if you're using cold water, you'll have to make sure to wipe the parts down (drying it off) really well.
As for "old ammo".
I had two cases of 7.62x54r in sealed metal tins (dated from just after WW2). For the most part they fired. Though there were some that would not. Oh well.....such is life. BUT....note that they were sealed in tins. And, OK.....Russian and kept under what kind of conditions?

So then.....just say it this way. I wouldn't assume that it's ALL GTG when it comes to old surplus ammo.

Aloha, Mark
 
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It was reported in a YouTube video that a can of WWII 30.06 ammunition was retrieved out of the sand on Tarawa in the late'90,s The finder brought it home to the U.S, and tried it out in one of his rifles. According to him, it worked perfectly! During the war in Vietnam, I saw M1 Garands, '03 Springfields, a Thompson and several 1911's that the VC were using and the ammunition was from the late 40's and early '50,s. It was stuff we had given the French.
 

Ownerus

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2) Is the old GI Bore Cleaner in the OD can with the Death Head suitable for cleaning up after firing corrosive ammo
If it's the WW2 era type that smells sorta like crankcase drainings with a little ammonia in it (for lack of a better description) yes. That's what it was made for.
The key to cleaning up after corrosive is to use something with water in it.
The corrosive salt residue is highly water soluable. And be thorough. Anything touched by the gas needs to be wiped down with the same water bearing cleaner. Bolt face, op rods etc. Hot soapy water is one method. Water to remove the salts and soap to cut the grease and oil so the water can do its work. HOT water to speed drying. Some use windex which works similarly. Dry thoroughly and oil afterward. Not that big of a deal.
I fired some '42 USGI '06 a couple of years back. Worked fine.

All USGI .30 Carbine ammo was non-corrosive. Leave it to the French to make it corrosive.
 

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