Help with prolbem

My cartridge collection is Kept in a shop with no heat or air.The cartridges get a gummy film on them but with some work you can clean it off. The ones with lead projectiles are deterating some what.Is there any
thing that can be put on them to keep the lead from corroding.

Wood, especially oak causes deterioration of lead bullets. Seal them up in a metal or plastic container.

But……….make sure no corroded cartridge goes into the sealed container…….it will affect the others………I’ve seen it happen.
Years ago, I sold a pretty nice Winchester Silvertip Bear, 220 grain box of .30-40 Krag to a fellow on Gunbroker. I had two boxes and high-graded the one I had, so I looked very closely at all 40 cartridges. About a year after I sold the box, the guy phoned and said I had sold him corroded cartridges. I asked where he had stored the box. In a sealed military OD ammo can., I told him the cartridges were pristine when he received them and that his problem was putting good cartridges in with “diseased” ones in a sealed can. Never heard another word.

1 Like

Lots of things can destroy ammunition. I had a nice batch of about 10 plastic case FA 7.62s with the consumable cases. They were in an opened cardboard box in the corner of the closet in my cartridge room. We had an old male cat who had been fixed, but in spite of that, or perhaps because of it, he would occasionally find some item objectionable and “spray” it, which on one occasion included my military shoes. When we went to move quarters, I picked up the box with these cartridges and it almost fell apart in my hands. The bullets were completely corroded green and the plastic had turned a dark brown and broken into little bits so the box was filled with the loose powder. Our cat had, from the smell, objected to these particular cartridges.

I now keep my ammo in an air conditioned basement room, and keep the door closed so our current cat has no access.

Lots of ways to destroy perfectly good cartridges.


Lew those caseless rounds will do exactly as described sitting by themselves with nothing around them & miles from any cats.

Glad to know that Pete! I loved that old cat which is why he got off free. Turns out he was only responsible for the smell of the cartridges, and for the smell of my uniform shoes when I put them on one morning!


There is this method for strongly corroded lead bullets:
It is likely to separate the bullet from the case.
Remove the corrosion on the bullet with a dilution of hydrochloric acid and water (1-10).
Rinse and dry the bullet.
Give the bullet a layer of microcrystalline wax.
Put the bullet back on the case.
And try it out on some half penny cartridges before ruining your most precious piece.

When you think this is too tricky, you can give the bullet a treatment with silicon-ester.

Storing lead in wood is not that good idea: the wood affects the lead indeed.

  Thanks; Lot's of work, My collection is over 650 cartridges any a 

good many has lead bullets. I will give a few a try.