Ammo as road building material


#1

An amusing story rather than a serious one. Many of the internal roads inside Bisley Camp are dirt roads and get really potholed in the winter. The NRA have started dumping truck fulls of plastic wads from the clay ranges onto the roads to build them up. It works really well and I suppose its cheaper than paying to have them shipped away.


#2

I’ll add to this rather imaginative topic.
seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/n … ion16.html


#3

I have a question about the story link I’ve posted above. It says that

"Although Williams said the Army has “accepted responsibility” for the munitions, the Navy may have transported the ordnance out to sea.
“We don’t know,” said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Erin Bailey. “We have no records and there’s no one I can ask. The Navy is prohibited by law from dumping munitions into the ocean.”

Why is the Navy prohibited and Army is not? How about other branches? Any lawyers in house?


#4

By live do they mean with fuses in? I shouldn’t think so.

We have tons and tons of unexploded stuff around our shores.
There is a sunken munitions ship in the Thames estuary which is too unstable to deal with. Over here its just regarded as one of those things


#5

I don’t suppose they considered that the army would be able to as they don’t have boats.


#6

The Army could have paid a private contractor to dispose of the ordnance at sea. In any event, no matter whether the initial responsibility was the Army’s or the Navy’s, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for conducting such munitions cleanup projects as the result of past military activities under the FUDS (Formerly Used Defense Sites) program, and I think, but am not 100% certain, this situation would be considered as falling under FUDS.

By the way, in that part of the eastern US along the Atlantic, oyster shells are so abundant a byproduct of oyster processing they are ground up and used as aggregate in road paving materials. That results in a surface that is a bit brutal on rubber tires.


#7

Apart from the tens of thousands of tons of munitions dumped off the British coast and the same if not more (including poison gases, apparently) dumped in the Baltic, here is a reference to the ship sunk in the Thames;

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Richard_Montgomery

Who’d buy a ticket were they to give the stuff a poke to see if it’d go bang?

Peter


#8

Much of the WW II and KW surplus was disposed of by contracts with outfits that had barges and tugs. Because of that, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to pinpoint all of the ocean locations where this stuff was dumped. On top of that, not all of these dumping operations were rigidly controlled. A contractor may have been told to dump xxx miles off shore but fuel and time were valuable even then, and he may have gone just far enough to be out of sight and sound before unloading.

When I lived in Alaska I worked for the Harbors Division. We dredged areas along the shore to build boat harbors and small docks. We discovered that some of the dumping grounds were no further out to sea than the outside railing of a ship moored at a dock or anchored. It was not uncommon for SCUBA divers to search these areas looking for artifacts.

There are many recent stories of beach replenishment projects along the Atlantic dredging up all sorts of ordnance. People on an afternoon stroll on the beach are no longer surprised to step on a 37mm Shrapnel projectile or a 20mm cartridge.

Even the surplus items suposedly destroyed on shore and sold as scrap still turn up today. In the 1950s and 1960s there were many businesses selling this stuff. I de-milled a lot of small arms at the USN Mothball Fleet in San Diego and I’m here to tell you that not all of it made it’s way to the scrap buyers. I think the statutes of limitation have run out long ago so I’m safe in saying that.

ray


#9

In a similar vein, my father worked at a large steel mill. After WWII, railcars of weapons of all types were shipped there for disposal as scrap iron. He always contended that about as many small arms somehow went out the gate as into the open hearth furnaces. He didn’t get any, however. They occasionally had incidents of live explosive ordnance (which was not supposed to be there) going off. I personally knew of one M1919 Browning MG that escaped the steel mill. One of my friend’s father who worked in the mill “liberated” it (less tripod and internals) and we used to play Army with it. I have always wondered what happened to it.


#10

Vince
I don’t suppose they considered that the army would be able to as they don’t have boats.[/quote]

Eau contrare!
globalsecurity.org/military/ … p/army.htm


#11

The Air Force even has some. At Tyndall AFB FL (near Panama City), there are some fairly large boats they use to recover target drones that have gone down in the Gulf of Mexico. I was even on one of them once. See afmc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123160322


#12

Doesn’t it occour to anyone else the irony of the hand grenade story. These must have been, as far as I can tell, hand grenades that were supplied to the US by Britain and France in WW1 because they didn’t have any.

It seem bizarre today to imagine the US going to war in 1917 without even basic munitions? But it happened, inconceivable really today.

I really can’t imagine why when they were returned to the US after 1918 they weren’t just consigned to training instead of being dumped. One of life’s oddities


#13

[quote=“VinceGreen”]Doesn’t it occour to anyone else the irony of the hand grenade story. These must have been, as far as I can tell, hand grenades that were supplied to the US by Britain and France in WW1 because they didn’t have any.

It seem bizarre today to imagine the US going to war in 1917 without even basic munitions? But it happened, inconceivable really today.

I really can’t imagine why when they were returned to the US after 1918 they weren’t just consigned to training instead of being dumped. One of life’s oddities[/quote]

The military mindset can defy all logic sometimes. My father served on U.S. built Landing Ship, Tanks (LSTs) during the latter part of the Second World War, getting mixed up in the Salerno and Normandy actions. These ships were supplied as Lease-Lend to the UK and were outfitted fully with U.S. equipment, tools and stores. My father was a cook and said that these were the best equipped kitchens that he had ever seen anywhere. Similarly, the Shipwrights each got a comprehensive new toolkit.

The ships took quite a pounding, both from enemy action and weather, and were pretty beat-up when peace broke out but, by the rules, thay had to be returned to the U.S. So, with a reduced crew they set off back over the Atlantic, hitting bad storms and the hulls started to crack in places, they weren’t designed for long service. Plates were welded over the cracks to hold them together until they could be handed over to Uncle Sam.

On arrival, a team came aboard to inspect the ships and make an inventory of everything. This is where it got STUPID! They weren’t interested in any of the lovely food preparation equipment in the kitchens (Dad brought home a splendid food mixer for Mum), the Shipwrights were told that they could take the toolkits home with them, no charge. But they counted every knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup and saucer, my father had to sign for all missing items which were charged back to the UK. As they finished counting each tray of utensils or crockery they noted the number and they tipped the lot over the side into the sea. They also charged for all wooden wedges (used for securing vehicles in the tank deck) which were lost or damaged, these sort of things are classed as “consumables” in other Navies.

When all of the “bean-counting” was done the LST’s were towed out to sea and sunk by gunfire! They landed nothing, not even the ammunition in the magazines.

gravelbelly


#14

One antique instance of the use of ordnance material for “paving” was the Colt Firearms Plant in London, in the 1850s.

All the iron and steel swarf (chips) from the milling of Colt revolver frames and other parts was spread out in the yards, to act as a solid base to prevent boggy conditions with the frequent rain. This, in rusting with the rain, was consolidated into a solid mass, which could take even the heaviest Waggons in all conditions.
( From an account of a visit to the Colt premises in about 1855).

Regards,
Doc AV


#15

Where was the Colt factory in London? does anybody have an address? I would like to go down there tomorrow as I have a day off and view it. I know the address of the shop as 14 Pall Mall but that is not I would imagine the factory. Its too up market.
In the times gone by that area of London held quite a few gun shops within a few minutes walk but they were high end addresses not given to industrial applications.


#16

[quote=“sksvlad”]I have a question about the story link I’ve posted above. It says that

"“We don’t know,” said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Erin Bailey. “We have no records and there’s no one I can ask. The Navy is prohibited by law from dumping munitions into the ocean.”

Why is the Navy prohibited and Army is not? How about other branches? Any lawyers in house?[/quote]

Because a Navy spokesman says that the Navy is prohibited–and does not address the Army–it should not be assumed that the Army was not also prohibited. I’m fairly certain that Department of Defense/“War Department” guidelines would have applied equally to all/both branches of military service.


#17

Absolutely. Any Federal regulations of this nature would apply equally to all federal agencies (and also to all state and local governmental agencies and private enterprises). The services all have their own sets of regulations, but none (except maybe activities at Area 51) are exempt from state and federal regulations.