Rust on shotgun shells

Discussion in 'Modern Firearms' started by Brit's and Birds, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Brit's and Birds

    Brit's and Birds 10 pointer

    Nov 24, 2008
    Oldham County
    Bought a few boxes of shotgun shells a couple months back and threw them in the trunk and then forgot they were there. Sometime between then and now, a bottle of water I keep in the trunk for the dog busted and spilled on the shells. Almost all of them now have rust on the brass, but nothing severe. Most of the shells have one or two small specks on the sides and I'm sure are fine. A few others have either more moderate amounts of rust and/or rust right around the primer. Are these shells still safe to shoot? If it were rifle and handgun ammo I would say definitely not, but thinking they might be ok for shotgun shells. Can I use some 000 steel wool to remove the rust and still safely use?
  2. muddhunter

    muddhunter 12 pointer

    Oct 18, 2005
    Please proceed with caution after reading my response. I have used the same box of turkey loads for the last ten years. These shells have been with me in soaking rains, freezing temps and heat. They all have varying amounts of rust on them from being in my pockets during inclement weather and being stored with little attention. I use one shell a year if I'm lucky. I have never had a problem with any of them feeding, firing or performing. This is just my experience. Yours may explode and ruin your gun but my experience has led me to believe the rust has no effect on shells.
  3. westkybanded

    westkybanded 12 pointer

    Feb 23, 2004
    Murray, Kentucky, USA.
    I've fired shells with scary amounts of rust on them, and never had a problem. Probably not smart, but I've done it.
  4. reivertom

    reivertom 12 pointer

    Dec 17, 2007
    Greenup Co.
    Smooth them down with steel wool to make sure you don't hurt your chamber, and blast away. If they don't eject well, then you'll have your answer.....toss them.
  5. OldEarnhardtFan

    OldEarnhardtFan 10 pointer

    Jan 16, 2014
    Northeast of Berea
    I have always used a Scotch-Brite pad to remove rust. It's aggressive and you can wrap it around the brass. I'm so old I can remember when shotgun shells were cardboard and paper. If they even got damp they would swell enough so that they wouldn't even chamber.
  6. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    Toss them in a bag and send'em my way. Even the worst of the worst can be cut open and the the shot salvaged.
  7. reivertom

    reivertom 12 pointer

    Dec 17, 2007
    Greenup Co.
    Good idea.

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