When you have old guns or ammunition around your house, you have to dispose of these items in the right way. There are many reasons why, but safety is a big one.
Most ammunition has a shelf life according to the manufacturer of ten years. That’s on the conservative side, but you may have ammo that’s bad if it has been stored improperly, and exposed to moisture or mold. Humidity can cause ammo to oxidize, which you don’t want to use anymore if that happens to your stash.
How Can You Tell if the Ammo is Bad?
There’s a few easy ways to figure out if your ammo is usable. First take a look at it. Does it have corrosion or rust on the outside of the shell? That’s a bad sign if it visibly doesn’t look like it originally did when you purchased the box. Get rid of it. Also, check for any other cracks or damage around the base of the round. That’s another indication you don’t want to use the ammo anymore.
Proper Disposal of Ammo Gone Bad
You can’t just toss that bad ammo in the trash can and forget about it. That’s a big safety mistake. You also don’t want to bury it in your backyard for some unsuspecting person to accidentally dig up at a later date while gardening or landscaping, if you happen to move.
Many counties have police departments which have an ammunition disposal box. Call the local department in your area to see if they want you to bring it in. Sometimes they will also come out to pick up the old ammo from you.
If you don’t feel like dealing with the police for whatever reason, you can also check with your local shooting-range. Most of the time they have a deposit box where you can bring old ammo to be disposed of by their business.
Your final option is to call your local waste disposal company. They might have a special hazardous waste collection option that is suitable for disposing of old bullets. Either way, you don’t want to put any of the bad ammo into your regular trash.
What About Old Firearms?
For old firearms, it’s basically the same disposal method of going with your local law enforcement officers for getting rid of it. Just make sure you call first to find out the proper steps for surrendering an old firearm to the department. You don’t just want to walk into their precinct with your old guns.
Another option is to donate it to your local gunsmith so that they can restore it, if you don’t want the firearm anymore, but don’t want to pay to get it restored. They are usually happy to have old guns to practice their skills on.
Or if you want to keep the piece and are feeling artsy, you can also deactivate the gun by welding the action closed and sealing the barrel with cement. Then you can turn your deactivated gun into an art piece for display, if the gun you are doing this with has some historical or family value that makes you want to keep it.