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Discussion Starter #1
I have 1000 @ 308 tracer bullets that I got for just 8 cents apiece. I would like to use them to reload 1000 unfired, primed brass that I got for 12 cents a piece.

The seller of the bullets said that they were basically inop and would probably only ignite on 2 or 3 per hundred. But I want it to be zero per hundred.

Is there a way to deactivate them all? Maybe soaking them in a bucket of water ??

What was the mechanism that caused their original spontaneous deactivation?
 

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Tracers

Common suggestion is punch a hole in the cap covering tracer compound and then soak in oil. I shoot mostly tracers and like them live, so have not tried this. Other ideas?
 

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The only way to be 100% sure of deactivation of tracer bullets is to burn the tracer compound out of them.
What causes tracers to go bad is slow oxidation of the metal (primarily magnesium & aluminum).
Most US GI 30-06 tracer projectiles have thin copper foil seals over the tracer compound, thus using solvents to desolve the mixture will be very difficult.
Gregg
 

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Common suggestion is punch a hole in the cap covering tracer compound and then soak in oil. I shoot mostly tracers and like them live, so have not tried this. Other ideas?
I don't think that would guarantee total deactivation. Alot of tracer rounds used a sponge like material to protect the compound. I really don't know of anyway to insure they are all decativated ! The big issue is "A single round can start a fire quite quickly" (Been there and done that - not pretty). So with that, I shoot tracers all of the time, as long as I have paid for a local fire department to back me up.
 

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BeltFed GURU
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The color in tracer is provided by the Oxidizer Barium nitrate for Green and Strontium nitrate for Red generally in a 50/50 ratio with Mag/Alum Magnesium Aluminum alloy ,Water is very effective at killing the Oxidizer and works pretty well on Mag/Alum as well ,with the oxidizer you are wetting it to the point it will not be able to ignite ,dissolving it out into water solution and Galvanic differential between the copper jacket and the Mag/Alum causes the Mag/Alum to corrode rather quickly rendering it into an inert oxide .

The Nitrates are highly hygroscopic (they absorb moisture Very easily and rapidly ) how ever the Barium Nitrate is Very toxic , Strontium is less so but one would best handle any with rubber gloves .

Soak the pin holed slugs for a few days in water or longer and they will not ignite A) because you have dissolved the Nitrates out of the slugs and B) because you have corroded the Mag/Alum into an inert oxide by galvanic reaction .

FWIW
 

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BeltFed GURU
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Xdevildog ,
Nope my knowledge of military and energetic chemistry is quite extensive while some gather the uniforms , manufacturers and drawing , and restore things ,i choose to learn how it is made ,what it is composed of and a lot more because i had to .... Do you know the Dynamite to RDX power factor in underwater applications ? 1.68 look it up :D it all in my memory i don`t need no stinking search engine ...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is great. Just what I was looking for. I dont want to set any brush fires, I suspected this would work as I coulnt think of any other mechanism that would cause spontaneous degradation.

Thanks..Belt Fed Frog
 

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BeltFed GURU
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jimisbell,
Just be aware that the water they are soaked in is toxic as a mother so be careful to use Heavy rubber gloves (check for pin holes ) and dispose of the fluid properly ,personally i would let it dry until only residue is left by evaporation so you have less volume to deal with. Take the dried residue add some sugar, mix it and fuse it and light it make a nice ground flare out of it just Do Not sniff any of the fumes !!!

Also make more than one pin hole ,i would use a hand held /powered drill bit and make a big hole in the foil and change the water a few times before final rinse because you will have the nitrates form a Saturated solution so no more will dissolve into the water .

Trace pellets are not that sensitive to much but Heat so you can slow wet power drill them out if you wish slow and carefully . But soak and time is the easy,safe and fool proof method and once you have all the nitrates out or wet you can remove an remaining Mag/Alum with a quick twist of a hand held drill bit (proper size ) ream the cavity clean making sure it is totally empty and inert use care and proper safety equipment Goggles body cover heavy gloves ....!

As far as API (armor piercing incendiary ) there is No Safe way to deal with them to inert the IM 11 ,23 ,68 ,136 compounds are extremely sensitive to heat ,friction ,impact and pressure !! I recently had to point this out to some who wanted to inert 50 BMG API into hollow points ..... :firedevil:
 

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why not just trade them to some one for bullets you can shoot ? I use the pulled tracers, loaded into 30 cal brass. My experience is that better than 50% of the bullets traced. Got lots of good video from OFASTS of the 1917 spitting them out and LOTS of tracing going on. The effort to "untracer" them is up to you, but I would not spend the time ......
 

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BeltFed GURU
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MG08,
I have to agree with you for small caliber bullets now for 50 BMG it is a different matter the days of cheap slugs is long gone trace are $30 /100 and ball is $45/100 so it is worth it as few ranges allow AP , Trace or API .
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You are right. I am coming to that conclusion. The 8 cent bullets are becoming 20 cent bullets if I include my time.

Trading them is not an option because of the cost of Hazardous shipping.
 

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MG08,
I have to agree with you for small caliber bullets now for 50 BMG it is a different matter the days of cheap slugs is long gone trace are $30 /100 and ball is $45/100 so it is worth it as few ranges allow AP , Trace or API .
I would agree that 50 cal is a little different, but why not trade them to somebody who can shoot them ? I have a lot of ball 50 cal, but shoot mostly API and tracer at the big shoots in my M2HB. I don't think I would ruin API to make ball projectiles......
I bought an entire can of supposedly "ruined" 50 bmg tracer projectiles. It was real cheap, But....Seems they were not so ruined - 2/3 of them still traced when fired at OFASTS in June. worked out well for me since I wanted them to trace.

Most of the ranges that don't allow the ammo will check your ammo, and if you are off by one, it still runs the risk of fire etc. I personally started a nice range fire in NM on a designated range, shooting 30 cal ball in an M1 Garand at steel targets. Had to get the Fire department there- range fires are a big deal in that country. They checked ammo as well, and all was ball....but they were still unhappy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, I just came up with an inexpensive and MAYBE effective way to deactivate them.

How about this:

The back of the bullet has a cavity about 1/8" deep. Suppose I fill thecavitywitha non combustable material, like JB Weld (which I know will resist temperatures in an engine block crack). and protect the tracer from being ignited????
 

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...not a bad idea. However,I've been loading .223 tracer with a slower powder and a mid-range load...they do not ignite. Same thing with the 30/06-.308 projo's. Have not played with .50 BMG...yet. With a FA M2HB,I don't really care what ignite's,burns or gets a hole punched in it. At that point,whatever needs to be destroyed will be the least of my worries.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Down here in South Texas we have a lot of dry brush and I dont want to start a brush fire that leaves someone homeless OR worse, injures or kills someone. Now, if AHBL then I will not care.
 

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deactivating tracers?

I hope you guys don't mind me bring this thread back from the dead! I just bought 1500 rounds of military 30-06 brass and realized I don't have enough projectiles to fill them,I really hate having unloaded brass laying around, so I went online last night to but some cheap blasting projectiles and found out there aren't any,but I did find on gun broker 1500 rounds of pulled 30-06 tracer for .11 cents a piece with free shipping! Usually I'm not too worried about shooting tracers but our range is starting to get more people showing up so I have to kill the tracers!
Did any of the suggestion pan out that were mentioned?
 

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BeltFed GURU
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47lincsled,
Pin hole the foil ,drop in water and let soak then using rubber gloves (trace compounds are Quite poisonous by skin contact !!) remove ,rinse the outside and drill the foil then back into hot water to dissolve the trace pellet out and rinse one last time so they will be safe to bare hand . "Wet" there is no way they will ignite being drilled and it should only take a half second to get the foil . It is work but with no pellet ,no trace guaranteed fool proof !!!
If you can pop/pry the foil out after wetting then you only need soak /dissolve the pellet out and wash for safe bare handing .
Or pin hole ,wet and seal with a drop of epoxy .

A little dish detergent will speed up the "wetting" and dissolving of the trace pellet .

Safe disposal of the toxic water just let it evaporate and ignite the remaining compound standing Up Wind of it !!
 

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Xdevildog ,
Nope my knowledge of military and energetic chemistry is quite extensive while some gather the uniforms , manufacturers and drawing , and restore things ,i choose to learn how it is made ,what it is composed of and a lot more because i had to .... Do you know the Dynamite to RDX power factor in underwater applications ? 1.68 look it up :D it all in my memory i don`t need no stinking search engine ...
I can vouch for this, beltfedfrogopedia is a walking encyclopedia!!!!
CaptMax
 
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