Tuesday, April 25, 2017

AL: Valuable Shotgun, Ammunition, turned in as Hazardous Waste

On April 22, 2017, in Hoover, Alabama, an antique German shotgun, made in 1892, was turned in as hazardous waste.  At first, the Hoover authorities were going to have the shotgun destroyed. After finding that the antique could be worth thousands of dollars, they decided to try to find the owner instead. From hooversun.com:
One of the most unusual items dropped off today was an 1892 double-barrel German shotgun. David Buchanan, a painter for the city of Hoover who was helping unload items brought in by residents, said an older gentleman brought the weapon after finding it in his closet and figuring he had no use for it.

Hoover Councilman Gene Smith, a co-owner of Hoover Tactical Firearms, estimated the antique shotgun is probably worth at least several thousand dollars.

Smith and city workers initially said the gun would have to be melted down like other guns turned into police. However, Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice said city officials will try to locate the man who surrendered the gun and help him determine the value of it and what should be done with it. The city does not plan to destroy the antique and will work to preserve the history associated with the weapon, Rice said.
It is good to see some common sense in Hoover City administration. They should have known that a gun made in 1892 is not considered a firearm under Federal law. It is an antique, and not subject to the 1968 Gun Control Act.

While the authorities made the correct decision about this shotgun, they will be destroying 75 pounds of ammunition.

I would not shoot reloaded ammunition from such a source. It could be disassembled for components.  Quite a bit of the ammunition in the picture is obviously from the factory. I would not be worried about shooting it. I should attend the next Hazardous Waste day in Yuma to see what shows up. If most of the ammo were shotgun shells, 75 lbs would be about a thousand rounds of ammunition, worth about $200.

Sources have told me that they have obtained tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, simply by promising to "dispose of it properly".

Modern ammunition is remarkably durable. If kept dry and in reasonable temperatures, expect a shelf life of at least 75 years.

If you are willing to experience a few misfires, or perhaps even hangfires, even ammunition that has been stored in poor conditions is likely to provide good service. Proper care should be taken when shooting it.

Unless the cases are badly corroded or damaged, the danger of poorly stored modern ammunition is that it might not expel a bullet or shot charge from the barrel. If that condition is not discovered, a burst or bulged barrel is almost certain, and damage to the person is possible.

It would be far better that the unwanted ammunition be expended at a range, where the lead will be recycled, than burned in an incinerator.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have knowledge of safe disposal of explosives and how that can go wrong. I helped dis arm 150 anti tank mines, each mine had approximately 8 pounds of TNT. that amount equals about 1200 pounds total. two senior NCOs were detailed to burn that TNT in the Explosives disposal area. two years after I was discharged from the military . there was a story on the news about a high tech explosive device placed in a Reno Nevada Hotel and Casino. According to the news report the people that placed that explosive device were asking two million dollars in ransom for the information on how to disarm the device. to keep from completely destroying the complex. I offered to try to disarm the device for the FBI. they refused my offer and let the Bomb detonate. the explosion was captured on live TV. the investigation turned up the person that had assembled and placed the bomb. It was one of those two NCOs that was detailed to destroy the TNT and his two sons helped him place the bomb. I had notable experience in disarming similar bombs. I was an instructor for the equipment that was used to construct that bomb. the bomb was made from very highly classified parts from military devices that had been stolen. so how much of that ammo will be destroyed? 75 pounds is just not that much ammo. 75 pounds of 12 gauge ammo is less than 1200 rounds. I used to have a reloading press that would make that much ammo in three hours. destroying good ammo is stupid. destroying guns is stupid. No one remembers getting blown up.