So recently my Step-Father pased away and left me the contents of his gun safe. From which i have pulled a Berreta 12 gauge, a 1946 Mossberg b .22, a Remington 1100 (never fired), A couple of Thompson Muzzelloaders, a bolt action 12 guage shotgun (not sure of the make) and a classic pump action 12.
He died back in feb. and i looked through it once back then to take a look at what was in there and i jsut opened it back up a couple of days ago to see what else might be in there. To my suprise i found an old S&W revolver. So afer taking it out and taking it to a gun shop he tells me that it is a a 1880-ish S&W medium frame five shot .38. Its not worth much but its a jsut a cool looking gun and the guy says its in firing order. So now i have to find some suitible ammo to put through it!
Now the real reason for my post. In addtion to the gun he also left me about 400 shells with about 375 of it being 12 guage birdshot. I have no use for these shells not to mention I have no idea how old they are. What is the best way to dispose of the ammo, because i don't want to accidentaly kill the garbage man?
Why not shoot it? The worst that can happen is it doesn't go bang.
Shot shells are no danger to anybody, but if there's a local gun club or a gun show coming up you could get rid of it and make a few bucks.
If you want to throw it away, that's probably OK as long as the garbage men can see what it is, but I don't know. The shot is probably lead, which isn't great stuff to be dumping in landfills. They may not be able to take it. It's not very dangerous stuff the way most people think--it can't really fire ballistically outside a chamber. The chamber of the gun directs the force. Outside a chamber, a shotshell bursts more or less like a large firecracker. Of course, if it started a fire in the back of a garbage truck, you'd have some explaining to do.
If you're keeping the shotguns, might as well keep the ammo. If not, if they've got plastic hulls they have value to reloaders (not much) even if they won't fire.
If you really want to be rid of them, post in the "For Sale: Accessories" forum at www.thehighroad.org with your location and what you want for the shells--or just post that they're free if someone will pick them up. You might be surprised.
Excellent thread. I have a question regarding ammo disposal as well. I have some rather cheap 9mm rounds that I have held onto for ten years for fear of killing the garbage man or a kid finding them in the trash. Can I safely give them away to my buddies who still actually shoot, or are they trash? If they are trash, is it okay to bring them to a gun shop that reloads so they can re-use the casings?
Well, I have (had) .308 surplus from the 70s and 80s. Haven't had an incident yet.
I am not a big fan of throwing ammo into the garbage, so i would not recomend that. The likely hood of you harming the Garbage man is low if you mark it as ammo the problem then is they will somtimes not pick it up then. The option i have used in the past with old ammo i got from a friend is to buy a bullet puller. Linked below. Or if you do not plan to reload in the future then call you local police and tell them you have ammo that needs disposal. They will usually take it for free and either pull the bullets and reload it or have a safe way of getting rid of it. Good luck.
Someone near you wants it. Guaranteed. If you don't want the hassle of selling it, look up "Gun Club" or the like in the phone book and you can donate it. 9mm is not terribly valuable stuff, but I hate to see you throw it away.
Age is not a factor, especially after ten years, with quality brass-cased ammunition. The U.S. government still sells surplus 30.06 from the Late Unpleasantness with the Tojos and the Krauts.
Now, those shotgun shells in the first post. . . . I dunno. Shotgun shells are pretty loosely constructed compared to all-brass cartridges; my father swears that deer slugs start doing strange things after a few years in storage.
Thank all of you for your answers. I haven't thrown it away yet, and will not be doing so in the future either. I feel that would be unethical/dangerous.