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  1. #1
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    Default Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    I have around 1000 rounds of Federal .556 and its been stored in a metal military ammo box for some time. Inside these paper boxes.

    Federal.jpg

    I recently decided to go shoot a little and took a couple boxes out to rotate the ammunition and discovered this.

    Federal wtf.jpg

    I'm now moving all the ammo into these plastic boxes to try and prevent this from continuing.

    Federal 1.jpg

    Is this caused by the ammo just aging and not being used, moisture related or low quality loading. Are the remaining rounds safe? I plan to remove the bullets from the bad rounds and dump the powder to dispose of them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    They were stored improperly at some point of their life, exposed to too much moisture.
    I'm a little fuzzy on Federal LOT numbers. They changed the numbering system several times over the past 50 years. I think that LOT number indicates pre-1974???
    Last edited by Hawk; November 11th, 2019 at 04:13 PM.
    Toujours prÍt

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    Kind of strange the boxes look perfect with no signs of water.

    I would not shoot the top two rounds. The top one is too far gone and the middle one has corrosion on the neck and bullet. I would be tempted to just hit the bottom one with some steel wool to get rid of the one spot of corrosion (but thats just me).

    So now the fun part. Will the primers still work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    I agree at some point they were exposed to moisture.
    Aggies Coach Really ??? Take off the tin foil bro.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    The cardboard cartons got damp; not soaking wet, but full of humidity damp. That kind of cardboard is made from unbleached or lightly bleached wood pulp in a process that is naturally acidic. The "wet end" of the board machine is probably running at a pH between 4.0 and 4.5. The dried board product (an ammunition box, in this case) still has acidic papermaking residues, and if the carton gets damp (or soaking wet), the acidic residue can attack (corrode) metals and metal alloys that are "active" on the electrochemical series, e.g., magnesium, aluminum, zinc, copper, iron/steel, etc.

    There was a bit of German and Austrian 7.62 NATO ammo that was imported like 15-20 yrs ago that exhibited such corrosion, and when a box was carefully opened and the ammo and the box sides were examined, the ammo exhibited corrosion where it contacted the box, and the box and divider sides were "stained" directly opposite where a given round of ammunition had made contact with the box or divider. In the case of the German ammo (DAG if I recall correctly) and the Austrian Hirtenberger ammo, the same characteristics of corroded ammo and packaging stains were present.

    In your case, the problem might be isolated to certain individual 20 rd cartons that got more damp than others. Or, it could be the paperboard process ran more acidic (4.0 vs. 4.5 or 5.0 even) when the packaging for your ammo was made. In any event, it has nothing to do with the ammo manufacturing process, and everything to do with packaging and environmental conditions.

    If you have a quantity of empty magazines, just sort out the corroded ammo, fill the mags with the good stuff, and store the mags. The springs won't be affected if they are stored filled. The springs may take a bit of a "set", but that is taken into account by the spring designer and won't affect mag performance, if they are quality mags to begin with.

    HTH,

    Noah
    I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    Gotta love having Encyclopedia Noah for reference. Hokey smokes!
    The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    I have ammo the Navy gave me over 10 years ago and it's in the STD mil cardboard boxes, in a can with descant and looks as it should- prefect.
    TriggerTime LLc 01/02 FFL CRSO/Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun inst. BSA Rifle/Shotgun MB Counselor

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need a little help. Federal .556 55gr corrosion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco the Iroc View Post
    I have ammo the Navy gave me over 10 years ago and it's in the STD mil cardboard boxes, in a can with descant and looks as it should- prefect.
    There ya go!
    I had cases of German , Spanish , Portuguese and other NATO ammo in those PVC battlepaks. They are NOT vacuum-paks. Any atmospheric moisture is sealed in there. I took the boxes out and put them in GI ammo cans with a desiccant pak and no problems.
    I don't speak English , I talk American!

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