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Thread: Large volume bullet pulling?

  1. #1

    Large volume bullet pulling?

    Hello gentlemen, I do side work for a small metal recycling co. I've been tasked with turning a few tons of heavily corroded dented otherwise junk ammo into scrap brass and scrap "range lead".

    So far I've suggested an oven to pop them off or a contained shredder to separate the components. Both were shot down....

    Much of it is sorted by caliber but much isn't. Not looking to do this one at a time, anything come to mind?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    After having a couple of cook offs happen in the kitchen oven and seeing what happens then-- which is no big deal.

    I'd want to burn it off in a real big, heavy duty/thick walled, deep, open topped barrel, out in a open field.
    You probably can't get a trailer version like the bomb disposal folks have, but that's the concept.

    A big hole in the ground and burning/detonation of the big stuff is how the govt. gets rid of ammo like that.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Just as a thought -- if it were me -- I'd fabricate an electric motor wheel, with an eccentric coming off as the wheel turns to move a hardened steel chisel up and down, as your cartridges were slid through a slot/groove just their diameter. As "junk ammo" it sounds to me as probable live primers as well as possible good powder are part of the equation. The sad part -- which sounds like a given no matter what approach one takes -- is the manual, human "hand work" necessitated. A "few tons" sounds like quite the undertaking. And -- albeit my suggested apparatus would no doubt split the cases to separate the lead -- there is one incredibly high DANGER involved -- as the up-and-down chisel obviously cannot discriminate against, say, human fingers! And, you still have the primers to contend with -- another rotating punch might detonate these?
    The U S Military has natural gas furnaces old ammo is dropped in, but other than detonating it, I have no idea what. if anything follows.
    Whatever you come up with.... good luck!
    geo

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Brassmonkey - its more verk than ya'll wanna do but GONRA believes ya'll better sort it before jumping into disassembly!!!
    (If its all HUNTIN' ammo that one thing. If its MILITARY - really sort it out FIRST to avoid a Big Surprise KABOOM!)

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    When I worked in the firearms industry we accumulated large quantities of junk ammo in customer service and elsewhere.

    The state fire marshall permitted us to bring materials monthly to the burn pit at the state police academy. This was constructed especially to destroy small explosive devices such as grenades and pipe bombs, illegal fireworks, junk ammunition and pyrotechnics. It consisted of a pre-cast, reinforced concrete septic tank set on a concrete pad, sandbagged and surrounded by concrete Jersey barriers around each side. The drain pipe openings around the base served to vent the box. The concrete lid would be slid away, the materials to be destroyed placed into a 35-gallon heavy-gage wire basket, lowered into the tank, doused with diesel, and ignited remotely using an electric squibb. A fire pumper with charged hose was parked behind a barrier wall. After the burn was complete the pumper would extinguish the fire, flush the tank and the waste water drained into a sump where it could be pumped and taken to wastewater treatment. The basket was lifted out using a bucket loader and dumped it into a rolloff container, to prepare the box for the next burn.

    When full the rolloff box was taken to a debris recycling facility where the metals were separated from the ash and the residues landfilled in a registered Subtitle D composite lined landfill. We were not charged for the disposal, because the State got paid for the scrap metal and turning the materials in removed them from commerce and insured safe disposal.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    If you light it off the bullets will be intact but the brass will be fragged, if it’s just to recycle the material it won’t matter.

    Is it a mixture of stuff or all the same thing?

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Thats going to be a heck of a job! Please post what you come up with. I recently was given several hundred rounds of ammo that had been wet and was corroded. By the time I had pulled the bullets and dumped the powder from all of them I was Royally sick of pulling bullets! A few were corroded bad enough that I didn't want the mess in my press and I trashed them. This was a few hundred rounds, not a few tons!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I just pulled about a thousand rounds reject ammo, mostly .45 that a friend of mine had let accumulate for several years and I got really tired of pulling bullets. I don't let my reject ammo pile up.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check