Water, Rain, and Hand gun ammo.

Water, Rain, and Hand gun ammo.

This is a discussion on Water, Rain, and Hand gun ammo. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi guys, I ride my motorcycle quite a bit, and had two speed loaders full of winchester white box .38's in my tank bag. Got ...

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Thread: Water, Rain, and Hand gun ammo.

  1. #1
    Member Array Zoomba's Avatar
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    Water, Rain, and Hand gun ammo.

    Hi guys,

    I ride my motorcycle quite a bit, and had two speed loaders full of winchester white box .38's in my tank bag.

    Got caught in the rain, and a few weeks later decided to take them to the range.

    3 out of 5 in one, and 4 out of 5 in the other speed loader lit off, so I am curious to hear about ammunition choices for hand guns that can handle getting wet. Are any brands better, or are there treatments that can be done to the rounds to make them tolerant to rain?

    It would be nice to know that after a dunk, everything would still be functional.


  2. #2
    Member Array BadgerMan's Avatar
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    Ammo with a sealed primer and case mouth would be more resistant to contamination by moisture. A lot of military ammo comes both ways, though I have only seen sealed primers on defensive ammo so far (135gr 38 spl +P gold dots) though I'm sure others have sealed primers as well. It usually looks like blue or red paint, some of the sealed case mouths/necks I've seen on the military ammo appear to have some sort of tar-like substance which makes it real fun to pull the bullets. As far as doing it yourself, I'm certain I remember some people saying they did it but I can't remember what they used, I want to say nail polish but don't hold me to it, I'm sure somebody will chime in with some good suggestions.

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    Member Array CountShotula's Avatar
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    S&B have sealed primers and necks.
    There is some military surplus .38 special ammo around; it might be dirtier and less quality than Winchester white box but military ammunition is usually centered on reliability.

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    White box and equivalent 'generic' ammo from the major manufacturers has fewer high-quality provisions than the premium stuff. I would expect that a higher degree of waterproofness comes with the high-priced spread. I hope your defensive ammo is the pricey stuff.
    Smitty
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    Member Array Zoomba's Avatar
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    My carry stuff is more expensive than I like to practice with... grin. .38 special: Winchester +P jhp Bonded 130gr. If it has any sealant on the primer, I can't tell it.

    Gold dots in 9mm.

    Though for the sake of experimentation, I think I'll toss a few rounds in some water overnight and see what happens with the expensive stuff the next time I go to the range.

    I am looking at the 158gr FBI loads with interest, and have some on the way to try out at the range, as reading seems to suggest that a heavier bullet out of a snub carries more energy than a light one, that may or may not open.

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    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    I have put reloaded ammo in water for several days with no ill affect

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    I submerged ammo in salt water and various oils for several weeks and except for a few roumds of .22 rimfire, everything worked. Last week I washed and dryed a Kel Tec P32 magazine and every round fired fine.
    Try not to screw up so bad they name the screw up after you. (Station 15 saying)

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Federal 110 grain personal defense in .38 special worked fine after a trip through the washing machine...

    Um...Oops...

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    You can but a small bottle of laquer sealer for primers ans around crimps if you want to. It works. Your ladys clear nail polish will work too.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    With your WWB, Zoomba, I'm wondering if you kept track of which box they came from, and if they came from the same box or Value Pack?

    The reason I ask is because since I started shooting in November of this year, the 115 gr. WWB has been my preferred range-fodder (mostly because I can get it at my local Wal-Mart for pretty reasonable prices, and it's just easy to pick up a couple of boxes, here and there, while I'm on my other errands). I've probably put 7000+ counts of this particular round downrange, and my FTFire rate has been somewhere around 0.4 to 0.5%.

    Now, out of that number, they're virtually all within one range-session - which suggested to me (how realistic or unrealistic, I don't know) that they could've come from the same box or batch of ammo.

    One other reason I ask this is because I've actually taken two 8-hour pistolcraft courses in rainy conditions. In one class, I along with the other participants (and instructor) were soaked to the core: out of 11 who signed up, only 4 students showed, including me, and yes, it was because of the weather forecast. Aside from my friend, who had no rain gear (and was actually right in that it would not have helped, anyway), I had on pretty much top-shelf civilian hiking/outdoor gear, while another two guys had top-line military stuff...all of us were soaked to our skivvies and socks, that's how bad it was.

    Needless to say, my pistol got quite a good washing (steam rising off the slide is just so cool)....and along with the 4x19 rounds I still had at my side at the end of the night, I had left another half-box of WWB out in the rain. I'd miscalculated how much ammo we'd go through during that last hour of the night, my intention was to have used it all.

    I recently shot the soaked ammo. Not one single FTF. It had been about a month between the soaking, and when I got to the range.

    To tell you the truth, I was actually expecting a lot of FTFs from the soaked ammo. I didn't mind, as I was in the class that day, in-part, to really learn malfunction drills. But I had no FTFs on the ammo that'd taken the soaking. That actually really surprised me, given what I've always been told about range-fodder.

  11. #11
    Member Array Zoomba's Avatar
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    These were 125 grain personal protection JHP +P's white box, all from the same box. I didn't have any others from that batch that FTF.

    I haven't had any failures to fire with any winchester ammo, other than the wet ones... though have had a few Independence brand target rounds that did in 9mm.

    Interesting stuff to hear that normally cartridges are resilient to water exposure.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Very interesting indeed.

    That's what I've seen, too. That there's the odd box that has some discolored ammo or the like - or, in my case, produced FTFires. But then I'll go literally thousands of rounds without issues at all.

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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    I've fired 10 year old corroded, bulk gunshow ammo without a problem.

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    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Apparently there has always been the mindset that you should avoid getting any oli on your ammo primers when cleaning your gun for fear that it would cause misfires.

    This testing seems to disprove this. He soaks ammo, primer up in different oils for weeks then checks to see if it fires.
    The Box O' Truth #39 - Oil Vs. Primers - Page 1

    This of course does not address the bullet to case crimp. Still it's pretty interesting.

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    One thing to consider also is not the fact the ammo came in contact with rain but the change in humidity and temperature may have caused the ammo to "sweat" for the lack of a better word and condensation built up inside the cases just like the inside of a car windshield.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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