Corroded ammo - what did I do wrong

Corroded ammo - what did I do wrong

This is a discussion on Corroded ammo - what did I do wrong within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hope this is the right place to post - this is my first post outside of the Wisconsin concealed carry thread. I stocked up a ...

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Thread: Corroded ammo - what did I do wrong

  1. #1
    New Member Array CCWisconsin's Avatar
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    Corroded ammo - what did I do wrong

    Hope this is the right place to post - this is my first post outside of the Wisconsin concealed carry thread.

    I stocked up a few years ago on 9mm ammo (Winchester White box bulk pack) and thought I did a good thing for storage. I put it in a waterproof safe box (with a rubber gasket so it is pretty much air tight) together with a couple of packs of the silica gel for absorbing moisture.
    I just checked on it yesterday and I found that about 50% has severe corrosion on it.
    It looks like every place that the cartridges were touching the cardboard box it corroded. The boxes felt slightly moist as well.

    So first off I assume I just did not have enough gel in there to keep it dry. But why would it corrode so badly where it is touching factory box ?
    Secondly I checked out my range bag. I have a couple of boxes in there. Same thing with the WWB ammo there even though this was kept in a closet.
    The weird thing is that I had a box of Blazer Brass in there as well and it was perfect

    So first off - is there an issue with the WWB ? In the future should I store them differently and take them out of the cardboard box ?
    I find it odd that the Blazers were perfect being stored right next to the WWB in the range bag.
    Finally what should I do with all this corroded ammo ? Is it safe to use or should I dispose of it - if so how ?

    Sorry, but I am still new to this area and I am hoping to learn from this forum.
    For now I ordered a couple of pounds of the desiccant to try and keep it dry in the future.

    Thanks.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    What is the climate like where you live? and do you have an air conditioner? I'm going to guess the box was surplus? Perhaps the gasket was bad... anyhow, it seems likely to me that if it was stored somewhere where temps rise and fall, the ammo would get cold and any moisture in the air surrounding it would condense on it. Air would get in if the gasket didn't seal right and as the temps rise and fall, air would get sucked in and out of the can. Your desiccant packs may have started depleted or just got overwhelmed. Even temperatures are ideal. Should you use it....??I'll let someone else comment on that.
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    New Member Array CCWisconsin's Avatar
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    I am in Wisconsin so not too extreme weather.
    I have AC and the box was in my closet as was the range bag.
    The storage box is not an ammo box, it is a repurposed document firesafe. Maybe not intended purpose but it seemed like a good idea as it has a tight gasket. I guess not tight enough though.

    I will find a surplus ammo box and see if that will work better.
    The weird thing though is still the Blazer ammo that is perfect. I was wondering if there is something in the cardboard of the WWB that makes them more prone to corrosion.

    Thanks for quick response. I love this forum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array WD54241's Avatar
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    I'm in WI and I keep my ammo in a safe much like yours located in the basement. I've never had a problem with corrosion. It's hard to answer if the cardboard wwb had held moisture. Considering your other box if fine I'd say it was your cardboard.

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    Senior Member Array RKflorida's Avatar
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    If moisture did get into the container, the cardboard would have absorbed it and held it against the ammunition. This would keep the moisture in contact with the ammo for a lengthy period of time which would promote corrosion.
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  6. #6
    New Member Array Rapidrob's Avatar
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    Sounds like the acid used to make the cardboard was not neutralized properly. It reacted with the nonferrous metals of the ammo.
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    Isn't blazer ammo aluminum cased? Not sure but I thought that the stuff I had was...if it is that would explain why it didn't corrode.
    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” --George Washington

  8. #8
    New Member Array CCWisconsin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowbait View Post
    Isn't blazer ammo aluminum cased? Not sure but I thought that the stuff I had was...if it is that would explain why it didn't corrode.
    Standard Blazer is aluminum casings, but they also make the Blaser Brass which is using the brass casings. That is what I had in my range bag.
    The other big difference though is that the Blazer is in a plastic tray while the WWB is bulk in the cardboard.
    I think it is correct that the paper for the cardboard box was too acidic which accelerated this issue when it got moist.

    It sounds like I am doing the correct things though, I just need more of the desiccant in the box and possibly a new storage box with a better seal.
    Sucks with about 500 rds. of corroded ammo though. At least it is just the cheap WWB, but it still feels bad just tossing it.
    That being said I will probably go for a different brand next time as there are others that are just as cheap or cheaper.

  9. #9
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    Some surface discoloration won't affect function of the ammo as long as there's no pitting or buildup of deposits. Loose ammo sealed in a GI ammo can with a bit of desiccant will keep indefinitely. I use MTM 50rd plastic boxes inside GI ammo cans, so I can track case history when reloading. Ammo doesn't seem to like paper, cardboard, or leather belt loops for very long.
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    Don't forget that dessicants need to be dried out periodically - it's not a one-time, use-it-and-forget-it thing. Also, safe gaskets work both ways - whatever is inside can't get out, if it's an airtight safe... so if there was residual moisture inside, it stayed inside, right along with the dessicant.

    I'm not a big fan of air-tight safes for storing anything that needs protection from moisture. Circulating air probably is a better corrosion preventive measure than most realize, in all but the most humid climates.
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  11. #11
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    Acidic cardboard.

    I remove all of my "bug out" ammo from cardboard boxes (even my .22LR ammo) & I pop it into LOKSAK Bags (which are like Zip Loc bags but, tougher and stronger) but, Zip Loc bags will do just fine for home/range ammo.
    I use doubled up Zip Loc bags for general ammunition.
    Press the excess air out before you zip the very last part of the bag shut. No need to add Silica Gel.


    Google search ALOKSAK if you're interested in those bags.
    They are just much stronger for ammo that you'll possibly want to "Bug Out" with.
    They are not cheap. But, they are multi use in Bug Out Bags.

    Here is the link - I'll save you a Google Search.
    http://www.loksak.com/products/aloksak
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array TheShadow's Avatar
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    The fireproof (non gun) safes are also lined with wet concrete to aid in fire suppression.
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I now put the remaining ammo in ziplock bags and will get a different storage box.
    Any suggestions on disposing of the old ammo?
    It definitely has buildup on it so I will not take the risk of trying to use it.
    Can I just throw it in the garbage or are there any specific methods needed.

    Btw I think the acidic cardboard together with humidity is the culprit.
    I looked closer at it and there are corrosion lines where the cartridge was touching the box.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could sell/give them to a reloader buddy who may be able to salvage some of the components?
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    Member Array YANG's Avatar
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    I don't think its your storing technique. I think its the ammo. I always seem to have problems with them, WWB in general. I buy them new at the ammo store and when I look at them, they look like they are building rust. I asked the store if it was due to storing, he said no, they just got the shipment the day before from factory.

    All and all, its still fine to shoot.


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