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A question about surplus ammo

Armed Eye Doc

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Before my LAR-8 arrived, I bought some Portuguese surplus 308 ammo from the 80's.  The plastic battle packs were taped up when I got them.  This obviously means that the ammo was exposed to the elements for some length of time.  I had not looked much at the ammo until recently.


My question is: how much is too much corrosion to be useful ammo?  Thankfully, most of it is only slightly tarnished and not corroded.  Some of it I would not use no matter how much corrosion I can get off with steel wool and therefore I don't try.  Others have some mild to moderate corrosion that comes off with a little polishing but leaves a discolored case but no observable pitting in the brass.


I am posting a picture of the various levels of corrosion for you to see.  They are numbered so you can say which looks good or not.  Let me know what is and is not acceptable.  I can take more pictures and try to get more detail in the pictures or from different angles if need be.  I just don't want to take any chances and blow up me or the rifle.  I also don't want to spend time getting corrosion off of ammo that I think might be OK but is unsafe.


Thanks for any advice.


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7 looked the worse,followed by 3,6,and 4.That is by case tarnish.I guess if you reload you could pull bullets on the worse and start over.That's a tough call.Better to be safe than sorry.What do you save if you get injured or break you'r rifle.Or hurt someone in close proximity. <dontknow>

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In a rifle, of those posted, I'd only shoot #1.


Now at MSC, the range is used by a number of LE, private security, and commercial contractors too.  While MSC is required to police all their brass, nobody else is (I'm not complaining about free brass!).


There are quite often live rounds left in the dirt, from them running drills.  Much of it is very new if it is found not long after being dropped (I'm not complaining about free ammo!).


Some though gets dropped and has dirt kicked over it and it disappears for a period of time.  With pistol ammo only I've tried some in various pistols just to see if it would fire.  It all has!  I've tried out 9x19mm, .45acp, and .22LR that looks like it was dropped during WWII.  Living in the dirt keeps most of the corrosion to a minimum but it looks old...very, very old.  


We found a bunch after the Appleseed this past weekend.  If I remember, I'll take photos and post a range report.  Even found a varnish-coated steel-cased .308 that I won't shoot out of my rifle, even though it is new.



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I found some .45acp I'd been hauling around in a miscellaneous gun-crap box for probably 20 years.  Some of it was as corroded as what you show there.


I pulled about half of them, fired the rest out of the Bisley Blackhawk Convertible.  It handles 300gr .45 Colts smoking along at 1,200fps, it should handle some overaged acp ammo.



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