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Discussion Starter #1
After a current reloading session I was contemplating long term storage possibilities. I did a bit of reading here (this forum) on different bullet and primer waterproofing ideas and suggestions, but I didn't find discussions of a recent vintage. From past endeavors I recalled a way of waterproofing improvised cannon fuse. Smokeless powder is mostly nitrocellulose, a sealant of mostly the same stuff ought to make sense. How to do it, glad you asked. A good quality ping-pong ball is made of a celluloid material, with a molecular structure very much like nitrocellulose. Cut a ping-pong ball into small pieces, and dissolve in acetone. Viola, nitrocellulose lacquer. For a dissolving vessel, I used a 1/2 inch copper plumbing cap, the same kind you solder onto water lines. (Safety Hint: Any time working with compounds that have explosive properties use only non-ferrous, nothing related to steel, implements and tools.) A small bit of PP Ball and a few drops of acetone result in enough mixture to seal a small batch. A tiny drop of fingernail polish for your primer goop adds color. I wouldn't add color to any sealant for the bullet/case mouth. Experiment with ratios of acetone to PP Ball to get it as thick or as thin as you like. I think thinner is better, you want a capillary action to carry the sealant around to joint without a build-up. A piece of (very) small bore brass tube (McMaster-Carr 8859K171) works well to get a small drop to where you want it. With acetone as the solvent, drying time is minimal. The celluloid from the PP Ball makes the dried application much harder and more durable than fingernail polish alone. I've fired 20 rounds with colored sealer on the primer and non colored at the case mouth with no noticed ill effects. One round underwater for 30 minutes showed no moisture penetration after disassembling. If you try this method, I'd like to hear of your results and successes, and hopefully no failures. Thanks for reading.
 

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Lots of work. If you've got good neck tension and your primer pockets are not oversize you don't really need to do it. I wouldn't want to soak my ammo for months but under normal use(you can even get it wet if necessary) you won't have problems. Even a 30 minute submersion shouldn't hurt a properly assembled round. At least that's been my experience.
 

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I'm with Wayne. Unless you plan on storing ammo underwater, it isn't technically necessary.
 

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you dont really need it if you store it properly but cabelas sells it. more importantly is methods used while reloading. not touching the primer anvil and projectile base is key. and dont lube the inside case neck. i have ammo i reloaded 15 years ago and is just as good as day one...

i do however, put some on if im going hunting in bad weather. if you get some you can seal already loaded ammo with it. just paint over the primer and around the projectile.
 

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How come the Military Ammo has necks and primers sealed?
 

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you dont really need it if you store it properly but cabelas sells it. more importantly is methods used while reloading. not touching the primer anvil and projectile base is key. and dont lube the inside case neck. i have ammo i reloaded 15 years ago and is just as good as day one...

i do however, put some on if im going hunting in bad weather. if you get some you can seal already loaded ammo with it. just paint over the primer and around the projectile.
I use a plastic bristle brush and graphite to clean and lube the inside of case necks, before seating the bullets. This is after a sonic cleaning after case prep.
 

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It is merely a 'hangover' from olden days. Black powder is hygroscopic, it will draw water in any form. I never got an answer as to why M852 has asphalt sealer in the mouth.
And all my 30 Cal FMJ Pulls have tar on them too?
 

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Along the same line, do you guys know of a tool to crimp primers, either a ring crimp or the 3 prong like some EU brass?
 

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As everyone knows, the primer crimp is to prevent the primer from vibrating out during full auto. Also, when the crimp is applied, it hardens the case head, and the mfg process allows for this. If you try to restake the pocket, you will change the hardness of the case head, probably making it more brittle, likely causing case failure. I would just buy milsurp and forget about restaking.
 

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And all my 30 Cal FMJ Pulls have tar on them too?
Most likely, but in pulling the bullet, many times the asphaltum is scraped off by the crimp, and stays inside the case. The bullet appears to be clean, but it still has residue. If you buy pulled bullets, wash them thoroughly in solvent, or even Dawn dishwashing soap, until they feel right.
 

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Most likely, but in pulling the bullet, many times the asphaltum is scraped off by the crimp, and stays inside the case. The bullet appears to be clean, but it still has residue. If you buy pulled bullets, wash them thoroughly in solvent, or even Dawn dishwashing soap, until they feel right.
I purchased 500 M80 Projectiles and 500 M855 projectiles all had that tar on them, I loaded them with out cleaning it off. I had no problems they shot fine.
If you want to clean them go for it, if not I don't think you will have any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Let's us all hope those bottles with little brushes inside are always on the shelf and just waiting to be summoned. Some people feel better knowing there is an alternative to the recognized standard product, occasionally the alternative is even better. Knowing how to successfully convert common items to other uses sometimes comes in handy. Today we may not need to consider long term storage and waterproofing our ammunition, but what about tomorrow or a few years hence? One day you may desire to restore a prized fishing lure, or repair a unique piece of delicate wooden musical instrumentation & etc...... If nitrocellulose lacquer is mentioned in the discussion you now have a clue as to how to make your own. If you are content with the fact you already know everything you'll ever need you may with my permission kindly disregard any future posts.
 

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If you try to restake the pocket, you will change the hardness of the case head, probably making it more brittle, likely causing case failure. .
Any reference material to support this, or this is just your opinion?

Just trying to learn.
 

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Well, now I'm thinking maybe a LITTLE marine spar applied with an artist brush would seal things up dandy.

Never bothered to seal things before and my 30 year old stuff goes bang and hits it's mark.
 

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sealed primers

An interesting post, to say the least. US GI military ammo, all of which is treated as if it was going to be used in combat is sealed, we all know that. It is designed to be waterproof up to 130 ft of salt water while carried on a soldier. I have been loading since the early 70s and have tried to seal the primers and in my opinion, isn't worth the effort. I do store my ammo in GI ammo cans and have had ammo I loaded 30+ years ago to still be fresh and surefire. My opinion is simple, if you want to seal them, then seal them. You only need to please yourself. I do think the ping pong ball idea is interesting and worth noting.
 

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How come the Military Ammo has necks and primers sealed?
Because it is military ammunition. It has to work under any and all conditions. From sub zero to the desert. Maybe all in the same day. Our ammo is the most reliable in the world. How many of us have fired WW2 ammo and it went bang every time. I have never had a surplus US made round fail me. I have had foreign made ammo fail. I had French M1 Carbine ammo made in 1955 fail over 50 % of the time and this was in the late 1980s when I tried it. Only 30 years old.
BTW I seal the primers with different colored nail polish to identify different loads. I thin the nail polish with nail polish thinner. It dries fast. I keep a book on all my reloads and indicate primer color. Helps me ID different loads.
 
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