Shooters Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The other day I was reading the latest Cabelas shooting catalog. One of their products listed was a sealer for ammunition. Directions were to apply to the primer and the bullet/case joint to waterproof the ammunition. I've never seen a product like this advertised in almost 30 years of reloading. However, living in wet Washington state, I've often considered sealing my ammunition with something like clear fingernail polish.

Does anyone seal ammunition like this? If so, what's a good product to use? What I'd really like to know is if anyone has any data showing whether or not this would affect ammunition pressures?
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,654 Posts
It sounds like a really good idea... but I ran 5 .30-06 rounds through the washing machine, once, by accident. Handloads in new brass, no sealers. They all fired.

So I'm not quite sold on the need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,280 Posts
Its really not necessary unless you frequently dive with your handloads exposed. Clear fingernail polish is as good a sealer as any and its quite a bit cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
I used to swim and dive in saltwater with my issued ammo which was sealed. However, never did it with my reloads. You could seal your ammo if you hunt primary is swampy areas with either the commerical sealant or fingernail polish. I don't think many divers with bangsticks use reloads however.

CD
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,430 Posts
IIRC, Humpy said he once had Federal primers killed by a rain leak at a covered firing point falling on the rounds, which were nose-down in an open box on the bench. I have no clue how many reloads the cases had, however. I'm sure new brass seals best, and scratching and residue from subsequent loads make it worse.

We've also had people ask how to kill primers on purpose and some survive many days of soaking in kerosene and other fluids, but they have their inner seal intact. I expect that a primed case, with the primer anvil properly pressed down to set the bridge at the pellet, has probably got more vulnerability, as the inside coating then has cracked.

The military requires sealant on both the primer and bullet. The primer sealant is some kind of lacquer or varnish close to nail polish. I've seen red and green and pink sealant sold in nail polish bottles at gun stores on and off over the last thirty years, but don't know anyone who bothers with it. A number have tried using dime store nail polish and said it appears to work OK, but how would they really know?

The military bullet sealant is pitch (asphaltum) brushed on the inside of the case mouths and allowed to harden before powder and bullet are inserted. If you're not going to seal the bullet, I'm not sure why you would seal the primer, unless you plan on repeating Humpy's experiment?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Personally I wouldn't waste my time. Had five feet of water in my basement for two months back in 1997. Out of 200 plus rounds of 270 Winchester ammo that was under this water I had three rounds that didn't fire. They were used for target practice and no noticable effects were noted in accuracy when compared too prior targets. These were all first time reloads I did for a hunting buddy. Still have several bottles of Roy's sealer that I've never used after the above experience.

Fifteen 500 round cases of trap reloads were also under water at the same time. Still shooting them today with maybe 2% dud rate. Two cases got submerged three times over the last thirteen years. Shot those cases this spring after the third submerging and there dud rate approached 7%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,340 Posts
Well get a tub of Car wax. It will polish your brass enough for the crows to grab, plus it will keep your ammo looking new for years . Think It also helps with feeding from the Mag. If your going in the rain I might also run a patch with wax down the bore . It protects it from the rain, as well as removing any fouling from the bore you thought you did not have . Been doing this for about twenty years . Does no harm to the bore at all.
Learned this trick from a hand gunner who shot at least 500 rounds a week. He would wax the outside then too the bore .He shot PPC so his guns needed to work and work good to make the grade .
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Yup that works. That's also the basic ingredant (wax) in Hornady's One Shot case lub along with carrier and propellant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Getting cartridges wet by soaking or exposure is probably not as brutal as jumping out of a plane or helicopter and sinking 15-20 feet below the water surface before you come up. Or being stored for 40 years under adverse conditions. Or getting a bullet stuck in a barrel of a machine gun.

I figure they probably do it for the most reliability for the least cost and there were horror stories and accidents I never heard about that require it being done. Probably old ammunition techniques and tolerances were looser back when they started to do it.

Still, I like the fact my 7.62x54r stuff is water sealed and comes in a sealed can.

Myself, I have been thinking about sealing some of my stuff, the .40 and .22 I plan on keeping for long term storage in adverse conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,073 Posts
I'm in agreement with others, its pretty much a waste of time in my experience to make my reloads "milspec".:confused: If I did want to milspec my ammo, I would use cheap fingernail polish:rolleyes:, probably red!:p

As for Humpy having misfires from reloads.... man, you outta see that place of his!:eek: If cleanliness is next to godliness, Humpy is about 3 lightyears from heaven!:D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,430 Posts
Not quite sure that would affect his primer experience, though? It's perfectly reasonable to think a scuffed-up primer pocket and a cracked primer sealant could wick water into the pellet.

A messy desk doesn't correlate well to sloppy work, IME. Just to organizational style. I've got a good friend whose an attorney who is a super messy desk guy. Periodically his secretary organizes it all for him and then he says he can't find anything for a month afterward. Has to make her come find it for him. Left alone, he knows right where everything is. I could do that when I was young, but the short term memory can't cut it anymore. Now I can forget things exist altogether.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
742 Posts
I did some thinking about this. Especially with the fellas who have had their ammo under water unsealed and it still worked.

My conclusion is that when you're reloading you typically are using a lube of some sort. That ends up being the sealing agent. So, unless you need a near 100% firing rate for survivability reasons (war) I wouldn't bother.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
Getting cartridges wet by soaking or exposure is probably not as brutal as jumping out of a plane or helicopter and sinking 15-20 feet below the water surface before you come up. Or being stored for 40 years under adverse conditions. Or getting a bullet stuck in a barrel of a machine gun.

I figure they probably do it for the most reliability for the least cost and there were horror stories and accidents I never heard about that require it being done. Probably old ammunition techniques and tolerances were looser back when they started to do it.

Still, I like the fact my 7.62x54r stuff is water sealed and comes in a sealed can.

Myself, I have been thinking about sealing some of my stuff, the .40 and .22 I plan on keeping for long term storage in adverse conditions.
Sealing ammo for storage is definitely worth it as what happens to hand loads is that changes in temperature and pressure cause a pumping like action that moves air and moisture in and out of the case . Eventually this reacts with the brass and projectile and powder.
It is not theory I have done a 10 year trial of stored hand loads and this is what happened.
For normal casual hunting sealing is not really necessary.
It will upset neck tension and in some cases degrade fine accuracy . It would not be advisable to seal with anything that grips too well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,862 Posts
There are many sealants available for primers, both home-made and store-bought, and most are no problem to use. The trick is to seal the case neck around the bullet effectively and easily. I wonder about applying a bit of Alox liquid to the bullet before seating. I've tried it with the .223, but I've never actually given them a severe seal test. They didn't seem any different than those loaded without Alox when I fired them.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top