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View Full Version : Is ball ammunition bad?


beauregard
09-09-2010, 5:34 PM
Is it unhealthy for a barrel to shoot ball ammo? I've got a mid-range sniper rifle and a surplus of now un-belted 7.62x51 that I want to use but I heard somewhere that it's bad for the rifle.

True or nonsense?

professorhard
09-09-2010, 5:41 PM
Unless it's corrosive it should be fine. Prolly won't have great group sizes and don't use it for hunting, other than that it should be good to go.

voiceoftheright
09-09-2010, 6:37 PM
Never heard that, I think you are good to go as well. I shoot ball all day.

Rogu3
09-09-2010, 6:39 PM
Interesting fact....BT bullets increase barrel life.

Mail Clerk
09-09-2010, 6:39 PM
Is it unhealthy for a barrel to shoot ball ammo? I've got a mid-range sniper rifle and a surplus of now un-belted 7.62x51 that I want to use but I heard somewhere that it's bad for the rifle.

True or nonsense?

beauregard,

Isn't "Ball Ammo" the same term used refering to FMJ ammo/bullets???

Mail Clerk

MrPlink
09-09-2010, 6:58 PM
Bad as opposed to what? Soft or hollow?

beauregard
09-09-2010, 7:22 PM
Bad as opposed to what? Soft or hollow?

Dunno. Just heard FMJ tore a barrel up, but I don't remember the source so I'm skeptical.

What would constitute "corrosive" rounds?

CSACANNONEER
09-09-2010, 7:26 PM
Dunno. Just heard FMJ tore a barrel up, but I don't remember the source so I'm skeptical.

What would constitute "corrosive" rounds?

You heard FUD from someone who doesn't have a clue. Don't you normally shoot jacketed ammo?

Corrosive primed ammo is ammo primed with corrosive primers. IKf your ammo is surplus commie block or over 50 years old, it might be corrosive. A good cleaning right after shooting is all you would need to do.

rromeo
09-09-2010, 7:27 PM
Corrosive primers. Mostly found in surplus ammo. If you're using US surplus, it's non-corrosive.

Beelzy
09-09-2010, 7:36 PM
The Fud comes from ball ammo being mostly military, and some older ammo has corrosive
primers. The info you heard had to have come from someone who is too lazy to figure out what ball ammo is corrosive or non-corrosive.

Fjold
09-09-2010, 7:50 PM
I remember reading that the last corrosive ammunition loaded for US Government contract was Lake City 7.62 Match ammunition because the old mercury fulminate primers were considered more reliable and consistent than the non corrosive primers of the day.

THT
09-09-2010, 7:51 PM
Yes, ball ammo is bad. You should send it to me for proper disposal :D

MrPlink
09-09-2010, 8:06 PM
Common sense tells me if the tip of your bullet is hitting the rifling you have bigger concerns than what type of ammo you are using.

rojocorsa
09-09-2010, 8:16 PM
Total FUD. "Ball" ammo aka FMJ was designed around the turn of the last century I believe when all these new wonderful cartridges started coming into existence. These include 7x57; 7.92x57; 7.62x54R; 8x50R 8x56R; .303; .30-06; you know, all that good stuff.

At the pressures these cartridges developed, having an LRN didn't cut it anymore. The soft lead gets really jacked up inside the bore once it starts traveling past a certain velocity; it would also foul up the barrel really bad. So straight lead at high velocity and pressure not only deteriorates a bore, it kills performance and accuracy. In fact, I remember reading about Camp Perry shooters that would lube their bullets with some kind of grease to protect them when they went down the bore. I believe handloaders that cast their own bullets still do this if casting LRN or LWC/LSWC--stuff like that. Maybe someone that knows better can confirm.

After some time, people started experimenting with a gilding metal jacket; some alloys work better than others. According to Wikipedia, cupro-nickel and steel alloys are also used. Basically, a jacket protects the integrity of the projectile and allows it to travel at higher velocities and pressure without the projectile getting all messed up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_metal_jacket_bullet

Traditionally military FMJ ammo has been called ball. Whether for rifle or pistol, ball ammo is simply FMJ. So yes, you were told FUD.


As far as the corrosive primers go: Old school primers use different chemicals for ignition; they work great and have an excellent shelf life (I've shot 8x57 Yugo 196gr FMJBT dated 1952--and I've seen 90yr old .30-40 Krag shot as well). The problem with these is that they cover the bore and bolt face with ionic compounds (or salts, if you will). These salts are hygroscopic so they attract moisture (damn electrons!). You know that when metal and water meet, they oxidize via chemical reaction. This is why they are called corrosive. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with them and they usually don't cost too much which is great.

People like to use either windex or hot water to flush out part that may have been in contact with the expanding gases of a cartridge. The reason hot water is preferred is because it dries out faster. Since the ionic compound and the H2O molecules like to stick, you can imagine what happens when water rushes through. When you let the water dry, you can clean the rifle like you normally would.

xibunkrlilkidsx
09-10-2010, 6:39 AM
real big worry would be the ammo being made for machine guns. Its going to run at a higher pressure.

cmichini
09-10-2010, 7:13 AM
Dunno. Just heard FMJ tore a barrel up, but I don't remember the source so I'm skeptical.

What would constitute "corrosive" rounds?

To expand on some of the corrosive posts (based on my non-expert understanding):

Corrosive rounds are usually older ammunition where the material in the primer, when fired, actually creates a 'salt'. If the salt is not properly cleaned out from the barrel/action it can/will eventually cause corrosion (rust) on the parts that have been introduced to this newly created salt.

I believe the salt is water soluable (sp) so non-water based solvents (e.g., Hoppe's No 9) will not remove these salts.

As a result I've heard many folks use nearly boiling water, or window cleaner to clean parts exposed to the corrosive salts.

I have heard that more modern ammo uses different material in primers so the corrosive salts are NOT created after firing, making life easier.

HTH

-hanko
09-10-2010, 7:53 AM
real big worry would be the ammo being made for machine guns. Its going to run at a higher pressure.
care to cite where 7.62x51 is loaded to higher pressure for mg use??

-hanko

PEZHEAD265
09-10-2010, 8:09 AM
Total FUD. "Ball" ammo aka FMJ was designed around the turn of the last century I believe when all these new wonderful cartridges started coming into existence. These include 7x57; 7.92x57; 7.62x54R; 8x50R 8x56R; .303; .30-06; you know, all that good stuff.

At the pressures these cartridges developed, having an LRN didn't cut it anymore. The soft lead gets really jacked up inside the bore once it starts traveling past a certain velocity; it would also foul up the barrel really bad. So straight lead at high velocity and pressure not only deteriorates a bore, it kills performance and accuracy. In fact, I remember reading about Camp Perry shooters that would lube their bullets with some kind of grease to protect them when they went down the bore. I believe handloaders that cast their own bullets still do this if casting LRN or LWC/LSWC--stuff like that. Maybe someone that knows better can confirm.

After some time, people started experimenting with a gilding metal jacket; some alloys work better than others. According to Wikipedia, cupro-nickel and steel alloys are also used. Basically, a jacket protects the integrity of the projectile and allows it to travel at higher velocities and pressure without the projectile getting all messed up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_metal_jacket_bullet

Traditionally military FMJ ammo has been called ball. Whether for rifle or pistol, ball ammo is simply FMJ. So yes, you were told FUD.


As far as the corrosive primers go: Old school primers use different chemicals for ignition; they work great and have an excellent shelf life (I've shot 8x57 Yugo 196gr FMJBT dated 1952--and I've seen 90yr old .30-40 Krag shot as well). The problem with these is that they cover the bore and bolt face with ionic compounds (or salts, if you will). These salts are hygroscopic so they attract moisture (damn electrons!). You know that when metal and water meet, they oxidize via chemical reaction. This is why they are called corrosive. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with them and they usually don't cost too much which is great.

People like to use either windex or hot water to flush out part that may have been in contact with the expanding gases of a cartridge. The reason hot water is preferred is because it dries out faster. Since the ionic compound and the H2O molecules like to stick, you can imagine what happens when water rushes through. When you let the water dry, you can clean the rifle like you normally would.

I wouldn't grease any bullit because when it is loaded in to the chamber the grease will cause higher pressures and the receiver can blow a part.When reloaders are lubing the case that is to make the bullit seat easier [some sought of a wax].Never lube [ grease]the outside of a bullit or the case or the inside of chamber.

nick
09-10-2010, 8:25 AM
care to cite where 7.62x51 is loaded to higher pressure for mg use??

-hanko

Not sure about 7.62x51, but many other calibers are loaded differently, be it higher pressure (that Pakistani 9mm is a good example) or different bullet.

Noonanda
09-10-2010, 8:40 AM
real big worry would be the ammo being made for machine guns. Its going to run at a higher pressure.

Only ammo I have heard of being loaded to higher specs is some 6.5 Arisaka for one of the WW2 japanese machine guns, and some 7.62x54 that was used in Antiair machine guns, this bullet also had an explosive bullet similar to API. Not likely to come across either one.

US Governtment Military ammo is loaded to the same pressure be it .30-06, 7.62x51, or 5.56 so ammo is interchangable

Jpach
09-10-2010, 8:44 AM
Your gun will be fine


What exactly is this mid range sniper rifle you have?

And why would you shoot crap ammo through a rifle you call a sniper rifle? I suggest you sell your ammo and buy some match stuff if you want to put your rifle to some real use. I also suggest reloading.

MrPlink
09-10-2010, 9:15 AM
@ noonanda, not all US ammos is loaded to the same preassure. Take 30-06 for example. Most modern loads are meant for a bolt gun and are not ideal for a garand.

beauregard
09-10-2010, 9:39 AM
Your gun will be fine


What exactly is this mid range sniper rifle you have?

And why would you shoot crap ammo through a rifle you call a sniper rifle? I suggest you sell your ammo and buy some match stuff if you want to put your rifle to some real use. I also suggest reloading.

Remington 700P.

Anybody want 250 rounds of FMJ for $170?

Full Clip
09-10-2010, 9:45 AM
Yes, ball ammo is bad. You should send it to me for proper disposal :D

LOL -- that joke never gets old.

Noonanda
09-10-2010, 11:23 AM
@ noonanda, not all US ammos is loaded to the same preassure. Take 30-06 for example. Most modern loads are meant for a bolt gun and are not ideal for a garand.

When I said US ammo I am not talking civilian ammo, I mean US Governtment:rolleyes:

Fixed it for you

CHS
09-10-2010, 11:30 AM
real big worry would be the ammo being made for machine guns. Its going to run at a higher pressure.

Military 7.62x51 runs at LOWER pressure than commercial .308 though. So even if it's "higher pressure" machinegun ammo, there should be no issues running it in a modern .308 bolt action.