Foul odor

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hstout1143, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    I inherited some ammo and some of it has a really foul odor, it is all in military ammo cans. The odor is close to an ammonia smell. Can ammo go bad?
  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    not 303 is it?
  3. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    what's 303
  4. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know which caliber the odor is coming from but there is .303 in the bunch.
  5. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    .303 is a common brit ammo loaded with cordite sticks instead of common stick/ball/flake smokeless powder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordite


    this link is to wiki on cordite.. even shows some cordite sticks from a 303 cartridge..

    could it be an acetone smell.. it's strong like amonia...
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  6. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    so that would cause the stink
  7. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    decaying cordite ( of a certain type ) will likely throw off solvent fumes. and acetone was a solvent in use. i don't sniff amonia alot but it seems to smell strong.. same as acetone.. which I use as a pre-paint leaner on tractors.. or to remove varnish from some engine parts.. etc.
  8. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    It could be an acetone smell, its been a long time since I've smelled acetone so I don't remember what it smells like. Is it unstable? Possibly dangerous? How should it be disposed of?
  9. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

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    Could it be mouse urine?
  10. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    if it was.. I'd expect case corrosion and a pungent odor and an oil stain.. and.. well.. a dead rodent in the ammo can.. :)
  11. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    No, not urine. It's definitely coming from the ammo.
  12. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

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    Absolutely. If it has been improperly stored (think hot) then it can deteriorate. It should have almost a sweet solvent smell (which is ether), not grassy or ammonia. I would ditch it.
    I got this answer from (myfriendis410) he hanging out over on the Ammo and reloading forum. check it out.
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    wasn't ether only used in the early cordite manufacture, then acetone to jellify it before extrusion? and then later on they went to a solvent free cordite.

    I agree though.. high heat would have been the cause for breakdown, If it is breaking down.


    in any case.. my opinion on vintage ammo is when in doubt, toss it out.. or.. deactivate and keep for historacle use.. or simply don't shoot it. i'm no nitrocelulose expert .. but I have broke down a few cordite rounds for looksee's :)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  14. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to agree with most here. It's just not worth it. If your life depends on having ammo, mabe. But other than that it's time to get two pairs of plyers, open em' and throw the powder in the garden.
  15. shorter260513

    shorter260513 New Member

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    if a person had time and a puller could you break down and reload the already primed cases and just replace with modern powder
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