Stupid collector tricks- we know you are out there


#1

We all too easily forget that these things which we collect are dangerous by design. here are a couple of STUPID COLLECTOR TRICKS from my personal experience.

  1. B-Patrone + inertia bullet puller: Oh yes, I did this- REALLY NOT A GOOD IDEA. lUcky for me it was off to the side of my head instead of right in front.
    The case followed by the powder charge followed by the bullet all exited the puller at high velocity. Just the bullet charge went off , not the powder.

Given that there are B-patrone type loads in 7.9 German,Czech,Yugo, Polish, 8x56R Austria/Hungarian . 7.62x54R Russian , 7.65 Belgian. Argentine- ETC. It is a good idea to KNOW what it is which you are putting in that inertia puller.

That is the stupidest thing which I ever did with ammo in my opinion. My wife’s choice is the 50BMG round which cooked off in her oven when I was drying it. Hey, that could happen to anyone.

  1. STEEL CASE+GRINDER= NO, NO. A good friend actually ground into a live steel case 20mm , dropped a spark into the charge ( accident) and = KABOOM. Ended up in the hospital removing metal splinters from various parts.

Dumb enough ? HE DID IT TWICE. NAME WITHHELD IN REPSECT FOR THE DEAD.

  1. PRESSED IN FUZES+ TORCH HEAT = HARD EVEN FOR ME TO BELIEVE. Another long time friend who really knew better attempted to remove the pressed in fuze from a 37mm Austrian rebounding trench gun projectile by heating it with a blow torch. After turning red the thing BLEW. He doesn’t remember too much of the immediate details except that he could not hear for 2 hours and now his right ear drum is missing. Lucky for him he was not standing over the thing - off to the side adjusting the torch.

  2. LIVE FUZE+STEEL TOOL= REALLY ? Digging around in the contents of a live fuze with a screw driver cost another collector the ends of his fingers and his job in the military. Don’t dig into any kind of explosive with steel tools AND some compunds which are pressure sensitive can be set of with any resilient impact. Do you know which ones? Best not to bother.

I KNOW THAT THERE ARE OTHERS OUT THERE WITH “NOT TO DO” STORIES MAYBE NOT AS STUPID AS THESE BUT HOW ABOUT IT ?


#2

CSAEOD–Some of those are really DUMB (like the first one)
You, of all people should have known better. Thank goodness, you got away with it.

I have done at least 2 dumb things (probably more that I either can’t or choose not to remember).

The first one was when I was just getting into cartridge collecting in 1958. I was sectioning a LIVE .30-06 by clamping it into a vice and using a hacksaw. As soon as the teeth of the hacksaw reached the primer cup, it caught the edge and set the primer off. Of course, I had NOT removed the powder. The vice jaws contained the cartridge just enough to let the bullet travel about, 15 feet and lodge half way into a plaster wall, missing my baby sister (3 years old) by 6 inchs. That was the end of my collecting of LIVE cartridges for two year, as my father took pliers to all my live rounds and pulled the bullets before I could have them. At least he didn’t prohibt me from collecting altogether. I still have a number of great early pre-1890 rounds that my Dad pulled the bullets out of that I wish were undamged.

Dumb thing #2–This one I got away with, but I must have been lucky. I had a number of “strange” 7.7 Japense rounds given to me by a WW_II vet. They all had flat tips. Of course I now know these were 7.7 x 58 EXPLOSIVE. I had no idea what they were as I had no books of any kind back in 1958 to help me. So, I pulled one out of the case (luckely I also had never seen a inertia bullet puller, or I might have had an incident like CSAEOD.) I then used a STEEL file to section the bullet. NEAT, it was filled with all this white powder (I now know it is PETN). I still have that bullet. When I show it to other collecters, they just shake their heads in wonder that I am still here. I shake every time I remember what could have happened.

So, as CSAEOD suggested: DON"T DO THESE THINGS!!!
Ignerance can definently kill or maim you.


#3
  • Unfortunately accidents may happen today even with old ammunition from the Civil War. Last year in the month of August I posted on the old IAA forum a topic about a person from north Georgia who had been hurt very badly trying to drill a hole into a Parrot[?] shell from the Civil War. The newspaper from Chattanooga [TN] printed a story about that stupid accident. It’s amazing how ammo over 142 years old is still very dangerous. Liviu 04/02/07

#4

[quote=“Ron Merchant”]CSAEOD–Some of those are really DUMB (like the first one)
You, of all people should have known better. Thank goodness, you got away with it.

I have done at least 2 dumb things (probably more that I either can’t or choose not to remember).

The first one was when I was just getting into cartridge collecting in 1958. I was sectioning a LIVE .30-06 by clamping it into a vice and using a hacksaw. As soon as the teeth of the hacksaw reached the primer cup, it caught the edge and set the primer off. Of course, I had NOT removed the powder. The vice jaws contained the cartridge just enough to let the bullet travel about, 15 feet and lodge half way into a plaster wall, missing my baby sister (3 years old) by 6 inchs. That was the end of my collecting of LIVE cartridges for two year, as my father took pliers to all my live rounds and pulled the bullets before I could have them. At least he didn’t prohibt me from collecting altogether. I still have a number of great early pre-1890 rounds that my Dad pulled the bullets out of that I wish were undamged.

Dumb thing #2–This one I got away with, but I must have been lucky. I had a number of “strange” 7.7 Japense rounds given to me by a WW_II vet. They all had flat tips. Of course I now know these were 7.7 x 58 EXPLOSIVE. I had no idea what they were as I had no books of any kind back in 1958 to help me. So, I pulled one out of the case (luckely I also had never seen a inertia bullet puller, or I might have had an incident like CSAEOD.) I then used a STEEL file to section the bullet. NEAT, it was filled with all this white powder (I now know it is PETN). I still have that bullet. When I show it to other collecters, they just shake their heads in wonder that I am still here. I shake every time I remember what could have happened.

So, as CSAEOD suggested: DON"T DO THESE THINGS!!!
Ignerance can definently kill or maim you.[/quote]

YOU ARE IN THE RUNNING FOR THIS PRIZE !


#5

YES INDEED. A couple of years ago I sacrificed several 46 Rem. rimfires with CTM Co headstamp made by my family in 1864 or 1865 for the purpose of making cuff links, a ring and vest buttons. I kept the powder and decided to drop a match into it to see if it was still good - MY EARS ARE STILL RINGING !

ANY ONE NEED AN ORIGINAL BULLET ?

Some might remember the sale of the White and Munhall reference collection many years ago. One part of it was cut off headstamps.Horrible,But what to do with rare headstamps. I decided to buy a few and use them for rings. I sent a nice early one to a jeweler to mount on a ring. He was not amused when he hit it with heat and the primer went off. Hey- I didn’t know that they didn’t kill those primers.


#6

CSAEOD–I admit, my DUMB things were about on par with yours. We have all done things through ignorance or stupidity that we shoud NOT have done…

By the way, what is the prize for the dumbest thing!! How about an exploded hand grenade.


#7

I just remembered this one. nearly everything I know I learned the hard way. I pack everything which I send really well in order to withstand abuse in transit. Not always so. Many years ago I sent a collection of 20mms to Bill Woodin by Greyhound BUS freight- preUPS and post railwayexpress. Live ammo had to go truck feight. This stuff was all inert BUT heavy.

Long story short- the box split open in transit leaving a bunch of 20mm ammo all over the luggage bay of a travel bus. Lucky for me it split in transit just before Tucson and Bill was able to calm the waters locally.

I did get to meet with a nice fellow from the Department of Trasportation who had me sign a promise NOT to ship LIVE ammo by BUS again - AND I NEVER HAVE. NOTE WELL if an EOD or BOMB SQUAD is called in to look at your ammo EXPECT that they will find something live. IT IS THEIR JOB.


#8

Ron

Not me. I have never done anything through ignorance or stupidity. Everything was done in the pursuit of education. And boy did I learn. :)

Ray


#9

[quote=“Ron Merchant”]CSAEOD–I admit, my DUMB things were about on par with yours. We have all done things through ignorance or stupidity that we shoud NOT have done…

By the way, what is the prize for the dumbest thing!! How about an exploded hand grenade.[/quote]

NOT SURE YET. AFTER WE GET SOME MORE MAYBE someone will put up a poll and we can vote. I’ll throw in something usefull to collectors.


#10

Hi, John and all…I’m not going to St. Louis this year either…and I don’t have a 1" Gatling or a pile of cash to keep me company…but, I will sit here this week with my .30-40 Krags, and best of all…read your posts on the dumbest things we should have known not to do, but did anyway…might even be more fun than the BIG SHOW !!..I’ll try to think of a couple of my dumb stunts to post here…Randy


#11

I was removing live primers, reloaded, from empty 10 gauge brass shotshells. All were #2 copper primers with the exception of one shell which had a more modern battery cup primer installed. The #2’s all came out quite easily with an old hand held decapping tool, the only thing I had to remove the primers. The battery cup primer offered a bit of resistance, and, what the heck…the rest came out easy, so I offered a bit more resistance back, and…BOOM…Now…this is really stupid, guys…I was holding the decapping tool in my right hand, with the base of the shell AGAINST my belly…so…I ended up with a #209 primer embedded about 1/4 inch into the flesh…OUCH…still have the scar…Now, of course, I knew at the time it would be much safer to do this upon a work bench rather than the body…but did I listen to myself…NOPE !!


#12

Randy

We must be related.

Back when I was much younger and poorer, I did all of my reloading with a Lee Loader. Power was supplied by a plastic mallet. In order to sit and watch TV and load ammo at the same time, I had this piece of 1/8" plywood that I would put on my lap and pound away. One evening I had some primed cases to deprime so I put the decapper base on the plywood, inserted knockout punch, and began to knock those primers out.

You are probably ahead of me. One primer went off, through the plywood, into my lap. My wife said, “What was that?” “Oh nothing I said, just a primer.” Trying to act nonchalant I got up and went into the bathroom and dropped my pants. Sure enough, primer went thru my Levi’s and into my skin. MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH!!! Picked it out with some tweezers, applied some iodine, (remember that stuff?), but never again did I try to decap live primers on my lap.

As I said before, I got educated real quick. The family jewels are still intact 50 years later but the scar is still there. Wanna see?

Ray


#13

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Randy

We must be related.

Back when I was much younger and poorer, I did all of my reloading with a Lee Loader. Power was supplied by a plastic mallet. In order to sit and watch TV and load ammo at the same time, I had this piece of 1/8" plywood that I would put on my lap and pound away. One evening I had some primed cases to deprime so I put the decapper base on the plywood, inserted knockout punch, and began to knock those primers out.

You are probably ahead of me. One primer went off, through the plywood, into my lap. My wife said, “What was that?” “Oh nothing I said, just a primer.” Trying to act nonchalant I got up and went into the bathroom and dropped my pants. Sure enough, primer went thru my Levi’s and into my skin. MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH!!! Picked it out with some tweezers, applied some iodine, (remember that stuff?), but never again did I try to decap live primers on my lap.

As I said before, I got educated real quick. The family jewels are still intact 50 years later but the scar is still there. Wanna see?

Ray[/quote]

I’m not buying this story without a photo.


#14

After reading this I was going to say that I couldn’t imagine you doing anything which would qualify for this list-THEN I read your next one.

I will believe any stupid trick which folks who actually collect shotshells have the nerve to admit.


#15

NO WONDER THEY WANT TO MAKE THE PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF AMMUNITION ILLEGAL !


#16

I did something stupid too. I was sitting at my gun club’s rifle range with a Mosin-Nagant carbine several years ago and I thought:“Why do I need ear protection?” Soldiers had no ear protection during WWII. So let me feel what they’ve felt. So I took a shot without my “ear muffs”. Sudden total very depressing hearing loss. I could see the birds but could not hear them. The hearing restored over about half an hour, starting with extreme tinnitus and a big headache. Later I asked a Korean vet how they tolerated all the noise. He was in a mortar unit with 4 mortar rounds on his body, if you get hit by shrapnel, those 4 rounds pulverized you. He said that during battle when you hear Chinese artillery rounds about to land on your head your brain cuts off all the hearing, blocks it entirely. All you do is drop on your knees, urinate and pray the Chinese rounds don’t find you.


#17

This is what a German 7.9 B-Patrone looks like when exploded in an inertia bullet puller. Yes this is same one which I mentioned earlier. I was surprised that it had made it out of the puller collet in this shape without damaging the hole-but it did. I didn’t find the bullet for a month.


#18

I am just about out of stupid tricks ( I may have to find my wife and ask her) and this next one was not really my fault BUT it WAS stupid.

A good friend made a “travel box” for me to ship ammo in when I traveled to shows. It was made of 1/2 inch plywood with a heavy hinge and a heavy locking clasp closure- all very sturdy “looking”. I used it for several years . On one occasion I was traveling to Ohio to ride from there by car to the Chicago show with Wayne Markov and others. My flight from DC to Ohio required a change in Pittsburgh Pa.

During the short layover at the Pittsburgh airport I heard my name called to report to security - this was well before 9/11 BUT still not a good sign.

The baggage handlers had managed to find the weakness in my box. The hinge had been screwed into the end of the plywood rather than the side and the screws were too short to stand any " bottoms up" type pressure. Since I had never turned it over- no way to know.

The baggage gorillas had thrown the box in UPSIDE DOWN even though it had an obvious top and bottom and heavy metal handles on each end AND the top broke open spilling you know what all over inside the airplane baggage compartment. LUCKILY for me small baggage at the time was put into plastic tubs before being put into the aircraft and so the ammo was all inside the tub but still - YIKE - WHAT IS ALL THIS DANGEROUS AMMO DOING IN MY AIRPLANE ? That was the pilots attitude. Understandable.

WHAT TO DO?

LONG STORY SHORT- telephone calls,IDs,documents,police,FBI,BATF,Dept of Transportation security,Airline security-END-

Dr. Schmitt can fly on to Ohio on the aircraft but NOT the ammo.

Not to argue.

I flew to Ohio,rented a car,drove back to the Pittsburgh airport ,recovered my ammo from the security folks and drove back to Ohio in time to drive to Chicago for the show.

Worth it? - oh yes- that year I met for the first time the following legendary figures of ammo collecting: Capt. JP MUNNERY, Robert Buttweiler, Mel Carpenter, Vic Engel, Bob Strauss, George Hoyem , Tom Dunn , Steve Fuller, Peter Petrusic,Peyton Hall. Randy Elzea, ETC.- A SERIOUS BUNCH OF COLLECTORS.

I bought lots of good stuff cheap and turned down a one inch Gatling cannister because it had a small dent in the mouth ( $100 ). YES- THAT WAS THE STUPID PART !


#19
  • @ sksvlad: We had no ear protection in army back in Romania. Perhaps you noticed that the old soldiers who served in artillery cannot hear very well. An easy trick when firing a gun with no ear protection is to keep your mouth a little open. Liviu 04/02/07

#20

[quote="CSAEODI’m not buying this story without a photo.[/quote]

Only if you buy me dinner first.