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I came across 3 boxes of old (15-20 years old) unfired shotgun shells. I'm nervous about using shells that old. Does anyone know where can dispose of them safely?

Thanks!
 

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Don, what about cutting them open then dumping the gun powder in the toilet, or cutting a small slit in the side then soaking them in water?
 
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Dan-

I live in Douglas County. Will they still let me take them there?

Terre-

The problem is that there are 3 boxes + 75 shells, so that's pretty time consuming. And I don't really know whether it's safe.
 

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if they are plastic hulled and have been stored in a cool dry they would most likely be safe to shoot in any modern firearm...i still shooting army surplus rifle ammo stuff that dates back to the 60s, and its common in the military to be issues ammo that was war stock from the same era...also last year i hunted doves with shotgun shells that were at least that old, and they work fine. im not one to take chances with firearms or ammunition, but in this case if they are in good shape i would not be worried...


however---- if you want to dispose of the ammo safely cutting the shells open and soaking them in old motor oil will nutreulize both the primers and powder. doing so is safe as long as you just dont create a spark when you do it, or pound on it with a hammer. also, wear safety glasses and gloves.
 
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They do appear to be in good shape, and they're plastic so I think I'll just keep them and use them if I get lucky enough to hunt some geese this Winter.

Thanks to all of you.

Don
 

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just check them and make sure there is no excessive corrosion on the primers or bulges in the shell body...or that there are no cracks or other weak areas. if not, then i dont think you are going to have any issues. have fun...and dont shoot yer eye out.
 

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You don't want to put the powder in the toilet. Two reasons, one serious, one funny: Serious: If caught you can be fine for putting hazardous materials down the toilet. Funny: If you smoke in the toilet it could be potentially dangerous! ;)
 

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fatfish said:
You don't want to put the powder in the toilet.  Two reasons, one serious, one funny:  Serious:  If caught you can be fine for putting hazardous materials down the toilet.  Funny:  If you smoke in the toilet it could be potentially dangerous! ;)
I saw this done on myth busters and the little explosions werent too impressive... I'm with Rottal, use them to go shoot clay pigeons or something.
 

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fatfish said:
You don't want to put the powder in the toilet. Two reasons, one serious, one funny: Serious: If caught you can be fine for putting hazardous materials down the toilet. Funny: If you smoke in the toilet it could be potentially dangerous! ;)
Ok, I gotta ask who is gonna check to see what I am putting down my toilet? Does that job pay well? Do you need a college degree to do it?

Dan
 

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I saw this done on myth busters and the little explosions werent too impressive... I'm with Rottal, use them to go shoot clay pigeons or something.
[/quote

Im not so sure now...that whole blowin up toilets things sounds kind of appealing....as long as its not my toilet....might be more fun that shooting clays ;)
 

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That idea of disposing of gun powder in the toilet really means blowing the crap out of it. Couldn;t help myself sorry. Could also provide one effective suppisitory
 

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Pretty funny, but I guess none of you smartalics ever got water on your powder while muzzle loading. Gun powder burns when it is not confined, a process called deflagrate (vs detonate). Wet gun powder doesn't burn. For gun powder (and black powder) to "explode" requires confining the pressure, the more pressure the faster the reaction occurs.
 

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TAL0362 said:
Pretty funny, but I guess none of you smartalics ever got water on your powder while muzzle loading. Gun powder burns when it is not confined, a process called deflagrate (vs detonate). Wet gun powder doesn't burn. For gun powder (and black powder) to "explode" requires confining the pressure, the more pressure the faster the reaction occurs.
i gotta disagree here black powder burns/explodes at a constant rate inorder to achive higer pressures they use finer granulations giving more surface area the confinement of the burning/explodeing black powder alows the pressure to build but it builds at a constant rate. modern smokeless powders are progressive and burn much faster when confined this can be demonstrated easily and relitivly safely (use safety glasses and use some sense here) put a teaspoon of black powder down on the concreate and touch it with a long lit match and it goes poof but put a teaspoon of smokless powder down and touch it with a long lit match and it will burn for a few seconds with a visible flame


as for disposing of the old gunpowder, smokeless powder make a great lawn fertilizer it is basicaly a hign nitrogen fertilizer just sprinkle it on the lawn and your grass will love it, flushing it down the toilet would just be a waste although perfectly legal the only "hazardous" aspect of gunpowder is the burning danger so when it gets wet or spread out it is safe
 

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Roadkill, ok. I guess the point I was trying to make that the stuff in shotgun powder will not explode in an unconfined state.
 

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good point, unconfined shot gun powder just burns.

corect me if i am off on this but does "explode" refer to rate of burn above a certain speed and "detonate" refer to sensitivity to shock for example nitroglycerin "detonates" as it can be set off by shock and not requiring an ignition source? or are explode/detonate prety much inter changable?

thanks
 

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Yeah you know!

Anything the burns at speeds less than the speed of sound are said to deflagate. Things that explode with shock are said to be pressure sensitive, they detonate, the chemical reaction occurs at speeds greater than the speed of sound. Anything can explode, to break into pieces, its not related to speed.

Mining was a lot of fun. Any of you youngsters out there, there is a big shortage of mining engineers coming out of college these days.
 

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so the speed of sound is the breaking point thanks

might be time for another good book on things that go bang
 
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