Amunition and its Safety

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putty
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Amunition and its Safety

Post by putty » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:44 pm

I have read on a couple of threads latley that people have been finding ammunition latey and have been worring about weather or not it is safe to handle or not and is it illegal for them to keep so as a gun owner for many years i thought i may be able to shed a bit of light on the sudject and put a few minds at rest.
bellow is a picture of a 6 bullets the 3 on the left are spent the 3 on the right are live i can tell this by the following (take it that 1 is on the left and 6 is on the right)
1. no bullet head seated in the case un-like 4 which has a bullet head stuck in it
2. the little silver disk in the centre (this can also be other colours) which is called the primer has a dent in it un-like 5 which has no dent, this dent is caused by the firing pin striking the bullet to ignite the gunpowder inside the bullet.
3. you can see into the bullet case un-like 6 so this means the case is empty and there for safe
Image
bullets can come in many shapes and sizes bellow are just a couple which are running left to right .308,.222,.17hmr,.22 rim fire (all of these are live but you already knew that as you can see the bullet heads still in the cases)
Image
now as well as bullets which go in rifles you have cartridges which go in shotguns, cartridges dont have bullet heads so to see if they are live or not just look at the primer and see if you can see inside it, they also come in differnt sizes and below is a .410 and a 12 bore cartridge
Image
below is a picture of some other bullet type items you may find the two on the left are bullet heads and the one on the right is a musket ball, dont worrie about these they are basicaly what has been fired from the gun and are just inert peices of lead which will cuase you no harm
Image
sonow you know what you have found you now need to follow the law and this to is very simple if what you have found isnt live you can keep it but if it's live and you doont have an apropriate firearms or shotgun certificate directly relating to the caliber of bullet or cartridge you have found you will be breaking the law by keeping it, tis is no problem tho as all you have to do is take it to your local police station and they will dispose of it for you absolutly free of charge. i hope you all found this easy enough to follow and i hope it help you out. Daniel



essexray78
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Re: amunition and its safety

Post by essexray78 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:55 pm

good advice daniel

being ex army i used to find dozens of spent round tips mainly ranging from 5.56mm ,9mm, 7.62 right up to 50 cal we used to get the spent rounds and heat them up so the lead melted and put a fishing swivel in them and make key rings out of the??m
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Oldest Swinger
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Oldest Swinger » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:53 pm

putty wrote: sonow you know what you have found you now need to follow the law and this to is very simple if what you have found isnt live you can keep it but if it's live and you doont have an apropriate firearms or shotgun certificate directly relating to the caliber of bullet or cartridge you have found you will be breaking the law by keeping it, tis is no problem tho as all you have to do is take it to your local police station and they will dispose of it for you absolutly free of charge. i hope you all found this easy enough to follow and i hope it help you out. Daniel
Did someone not take a found shotgun to the police for disposal and get charged for carrying a firearm, does this not also include amunition. Maybe you need phone the police and ask them to collect.

Paul
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putty
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by putty » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:33 pm

no you will not be charged with taking it to the police station and you dont have to wait for any type of an amnisty. the police have have a system put in place for handing in amunition and firearms you should even get a recipt i know this because i have done it in the past. at the end of te day the police would rather you handed in somthing that you are not supposed to have rather than you just hang on to it

bertiewhite
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by bertiewhite » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:15 pm

putty wrote:tis is no problem tho as all you have to do is take it to your local police station and they will dispose of it for you absolutly free of charge.
Or you can hand it in at the guardroom of any military establishment if one is nearer than the police station. This may be worth remembering seeing as a lot of police stations are part time now & most military establishments should be 24hrs.

I would like to re-iterate that in addition to what Daniel has said, live rounds will not just go off in your pocket without the necessary mechanism to fire it (ie. the firing pin of a gun)

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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Oldest Swinger » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:05 pm

Oldest Swinger wrote: Did someone not take a found shotgun to the police for disposal and get charged for carrying a firearm, does this not also include amunition. Maybe you need phone the police and ask them to collect.

Paul
I knew I had spotted this somewhere on the forum before. Just take a look and make your mind up regarding how leagal it is to walk into a police station with a firearm you have found (and presumably any amunition)

http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/news ... ticle.html

Paul
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putty
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by putty » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:58 pm

so what do you suggest they do then?

bertiewhite
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by bertiewhite » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:18 pm

putty wrote:so what do you suggest they do then?
Take photos of how you found it or better still - phone the police from where you are, having not touched it at all (as suggested by the mentioned leaflet). Most of us have mobile phones nowadays, if not I'd suggest getting a cheap pay as you go.

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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Oldest Swinger » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:11 pm

I would probably mark location with stick or something, phone police then carry on detecting until they came. (thats if i could swing the beepy stick for 3 weeks without a break lol)
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putty
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by putty » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:18 pm

with all due respect chaps i think you will be wasting there time a bit by calling them out because you found a live round, if you dig up a cashe of live rounds, an actual gun or a bomb the yeah but i think you have to use a bit of common scense to the actual situation you have infront of you. i originaly put this post up as i thought from a few comments posted that people were unsure of what they werwe finding and with 15yrs of firearms experience under my belt and i maybe able to put there minds at rest not to make amunition vigilanties out of them.

bertiewhite
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by bertiewhite » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:30 pm

Then I would suggest we all try asking the hypothetical question at our nearest police station. If they say "Yes bring it in", get something in writing & take the PC's number. If not, ask THEM what they suggest we do?

I recently found a live 7.62mm round and simply handed it in at the guardroom to our base - each and every single time I have been on the firing range, the range warden states "IF YOU SHOULD FIND ANY LIVE OR PRACTICE ROUNDS, EMPTY CASES OR ANY OTHER AMMUNITION, HAND IT IN TO EITHER THE GUARDROOM, ARMOURY OR RAF POLICE".

If I can, anybody else can and I bet there's hardly any of us who can't find out where our nearest military establishment is.

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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Chopper » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:40 am

There's some good advice here guys, but there's a few points I'd like to add.

Personally, I wouldn't handle ANY live ammunition what-so-ever! Firstly, being in possession of such items carries a mandatetry prison sentence of 5 years! Whether it was ground dug or not, is completely irrelevant... it's illegal!

Secondly, ammunition and other ordnance that has been underground for 60+ years becomes extremely unstable, and thus extremely dangerous! For example, a live 2" mortar could really spoil your day! If one of these was struck by a spade, the subsequent explosion would create a 15ft crater, and reduce you to a quivering blob of blood, guts and organs!!

Regarding ammunition, Daniel is absolutely spot on. There are a couple of straight forward ways to tell whether a bullet is safe or not. If the primer has been struck, and no bullet head is in place, then it's completely safe - and legal, to handle. Here are a couple of other scenarios and my advice of how to deal with that situation.

• BULLET WITH STRUCK PRIMER AND NO HEAD - Safe

• BULLET WITH UN-STRUCK PRIMER AND NO HEAD - Unsafe!! Even though the bullet head and gunpowder has gone, the primer could still cause some nasty injuries!

• BULLET WITH UN-STRUCK PRIMER AND HEAD STILL IN PLACE - Very unsafe! This is a LIVE round. It's likely that the round will still contain gunpowder. If this were to explode, it would blow your hand to bits! 

• BULLET WITH STRUCK PRIMER AND HEAD STILL IN PLACE - Again, very unsafe. This is what's called a 'misfire'. Even though the primer has been struck, the gunpowder remains. As above, if this were to explode you can kiss goodbye to your digits!

My advice would be, do NOT touch anything that your unsure of. Simply mark the spot, and phone the police. Likewise if you find something that is still live!

This hobby is fantastic, but it's not worth losing limbs for... or worse, losing your life!

Keep safe guys
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bertiewhite
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by bertiewhite » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:51 pm

Chopper wrote: • BULLET WITH STRUCK PRIMER AND NO HEAD - Safe

• BULLET WITH UN-STRUCK PRIMER AND NO HEAD - Unsafe!! Even though the bullet head and gunpowder has gone, the primer could still cause some nasty injuries!

• BULLET WITH UN-STRUCK PRIMER AND HEAD STILL IN PLACE - Very unsafe! This is a LIVE round. It's likely that the round will still contain gunpowder. If this were to explode, it would blow your hand to bits! 

• BULLET WITH STRUCK PRIMER AND HEAD STILL IN PLACE - Again, very unsafe. This is what's called a 'misfire'. Even though the primer has been struck, the gunpowder remains. As above, if this were to explode you can kiss goodbye to your digits!
Whilst I can't advise about anything other than 5.56/7.62 rifle or 27mm aircraft rounds, I'd still like to know how a round can go off by itself. In 20 years of storing, transporting, handling & firing this kind of ammunition I've never even heard of a round exploding without some external influence being done to make it do so.

Chopper
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Chopper » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:32 pm

bertiewhite wrote:
Chopper wrote: • BULLET WITH STRUCK PRIMER AND NO HEAD - Safe

• BULLET WITH UN-STRUCK PRIMER AND NO HEAD - Unsafe!! Even though the bullet head and gunpowder has gone, the primer could still cause some nasty injuries!

• BULLET WITH UN-STRUCK PRIMER AND HEAD STILL IN PLACE - Very unsafe! This is a LIVE round. It's likely that the round will still contain gunpowder. If this were to explode, it would blow your hand to bits! 

• BULLET WITH STRUCK PRIMER AND HEAD STILL IN PLACE - Again, very unsafe. This is what's called a 'misfire'. Even though the primer has been struck, the gunpowder remains. As above, if this were to explode you can kiss goodbye to your digits!
Whilst I can't advise about anything other than 5.56/7.62 rifle or 27mm aircraft rounds, I'd still like to know how a round can go off by itself. In 20 years of storing, transporting, handling & firing this kind of ammunition I've never even heard of a round exploding without some external influence being done to make it do so.

Hello mate,

There's a massive difference between transporting, and handling the ammunition that your referring to, and the ground dug ammunition. (I presume that the ammo your talking about would have been correctly packaged and stored in a cool, dry environment)

Now a round that has been buried for over 60 years does become a lot more unstable, compared to round of the exactly the same age that has been stored in a military warehouse. Our ground dug round has been subjected to the elements, and over time the general structure and stability becomes weakend. Once taken out of the ground, the air pressure is different, as is the temperature. This alone could cause the round to go off. Also simply dropping the round result in the same outcome.

I have friends who excavate crashed WW2 aircraft. On one particular dig, they unearthed hundreds of unexploded .303's. They put them to one side, and continued digging. A short time later, the rounds started fizzing and popping! They had to call in the army to dispose of the rounds, and the site was closed indefinately.
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Chopper
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Chopper » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:48 pm

Have you ever heard of Liberty Ship, SS Richard Montgomery? It sank just off Sheerness, in the Thames Estuary in 1944, laden with thousands of tonnes of explosives. The recovery team at the time managed to recover some of the ordnance, but during a storm, the ship broke in two, taking over 3000 tonnes of explosives to the bottom of the Thames!

It's still there today, and fears are growing over the stability of the ordnance. If it were to explode, then it would cause untold death and devastation to the surrounding areas! Below is a link which tells the story of the events

http://www.submerged.co.uk/montgomery.php

Scary stuff! :-O
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Hantsdave
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Hantsdave » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:43 pm

Thanks Chopper for posting that piece on the Montgomery. I grew up in Leigh-on-Sea on the opposite shore and I remember my Mum telling me about it. We grew up on the northern shore of the Thames knowing that if the ship went up we'd all lose our windows, and we lived a mile inshore and 5miles from the wreck. On a day trip once we passed the wreck and saw all the superstructure, an impressive site with real atmosphere.

So I wonder what would happen in 200 years time when its totally buried under silt and forgotten about and some aquatic metal detectorist stumbles across it......... unsure..he puts a post on here seeking advice on handling rather damp unexploded bombs :-O

Dave.

Chopper
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Re: Amunition and its Safety

Post by Chopper » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:55 pm

I thought I'd let you guys into a funny story.

My great uncle Joe, who's 87, served in the Royal Artillery during WW2 - The 151st Field Regiment, 11th Armoured Division. (The Black Bull. Hence my avatar) I was speaking to Joe yesterday, and we were discussing the dangers of digging up live ordnance. He then started to tell me about what he used to get up to during training exercises in Norfolk, prior to D-Day.

He said that him and a couple of his pals used to shove 2 pounder shells down rabbit holes, stand well back, and then take turns at trying to shoot the primer cap with their side arms!! I asked if he ever caught any rabbits using this method. He replied with a smile, "I didn't see any" =))
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