Preservation: pull or drill 30-06 trace?


I have a * U.S.C.Co. * 18 headstamp 30-06 tracer of the type loaded in England. It has a small crack in the shoulder area that is starting to weep. I will have to remove the powder to save it. I am trying to decide if I should pull the bullet, or drill the case in order to preserve the bullet crimp and the case mouth seal.

Looking for opinions


I’m afraid the powder isn’t the only thing that deteriorates in the 1918 Royal Laboratory 30-06 contract tracers, such as this one. The tracer compound cavity was not sealed and once exposed to the air will slowly expand and crack the bullet open. It might already be too late but if you do pull it, try and seal the trace cavity with a lacquer to slow down the process. You’re actually lucky yours doesn’t have a cracked neck (yet). My guess is that if you pull it, the neck will crack - either then, or just after you reseat the bullet. If the bullet thas already started to expand then pulling it could result in the case separating at the shoulder. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news !!


Thank you very much Chris. I will pull the bullet and we shall see how things turn out.