How to Dispose of Old Ammunition?

how to dispose of old ammunition

If you shoot enough guns, you’re going to come across old ammunition. If a bullet won’t fire, is corroded, or you just don’t want to risk shooting it, you shouldn’t. There’s no reason to stockpile bad or old ammo, so it’s important to know how to get rid of it. Your grandpa or the old guy at the bar might suggest burying ammo or disabling it and tossing it in the garbage. Neither burying or tossing ammo is a long-term solution. Both of these methods are dangerous and bad for the environment. In fact, there are much better ways to do it. If you're smart, you can get rid of this ammo for little to no cost.

If you search the Internet, there’s a ton of ways to get rid of old ammo, but that doesn’t mean you should follow the advice of some guy who put his video on YouTube. Some ways to get rid of bad ammo aren’t very friendly to the environment. So, if you want to get rid of ammo, and you want to do it the right away, you should follow the 5 tips listed below.

Video: Disposing of old ammo

How to Dispose of Old Ammunition?

1. Contact Local Police Department

Believe it or not, your local police department is usually more than eager to take your old ammo. Whether the ammo is just really old or corroded from age, your local department will probably know exactly what to do with it. To talk to the police in your neighborhood, call the non-emergency phone number. Usually, they’ll have an officer come right to your house to pick up old ammunition. Whatever you do, don’t just show up to the department with a pickup load of ammo you found rusting away in grandpa’s shed. Not all departments, especially small departments, are equipped to accept old ammo. However, if the department has a bomb dispersal unit chances are, they’ll be able to get rid of it for you. Law enforcement bomb units are happy to get old ammo because it helps with their training.

2. Recycle Old Ammo

If you have old ammo that’s just sitting around, you could opt to recycle it into something new. But, recycling old ammo is only worth it, if there are salvageable parts of the ammo left. Many people have reloaded ammo at home for years. Whether it’s your first time, or you’re just looking for a way to save a bit of money, you could find a brand new hobby. To get started find a kinetic bullet puller. This inexpensive tool will help you disassemble the round and leave you with a bullet and cartridge that you can reuse. If you have some powder left over, it’s likely not worth keeping it around, but you can dump it in the garden as a fertilizer.

Recycling ammo usually only works for centerfire cartridges. A kinetic bullet puller works best on this type of ammo. If the powder is good go ahead and keep it, but make sure you know what you’re doing before you decide to keep it. If the projectile in the ammo is still good, you can put it in with your next batch of practice loads.

If reloading ammo isn’t something you’re interested in doing, but you know someone who does, you might still be able to get rid of it by donating it to a reloader. Even if you think the ammo is way past being recycled get it to someone that knows what they’re doing and they might be able to cast their own lead bullets.

3. Find a Hazardous Waste Drop-Off

Obviously, you can’t just throw old ammo in the garbage, but you can find a local hazardous waste drop-off and dispose of old ammo. But, to avoid being disappointed make sure you call the facility before you bring your old ammo up there. Not all hazardous waste centers accept old ammo all the time. Some facilities will be happy to take the ammo off your hands at little to no cost. However, not all facilities will accept this type of material. But, if you call these facilities, they will be able to point you in the right direction.

4. Take it to the Range

Whoa! We don’t want you to take old ammo to the range and shoot it, but we bet you can find somebody there that wants it. In fact, most ranges have a collection bucket for duds and old ammo. It doesn’t mean you can just come in and throw your old rounds in, but it does mean you might have a lead on where to get rid of old ammo. Plenty of shells and casings get spent at the range, which means the owners know what to do what old ammo. The same range likely partners with a hazardous waste center, recycling center, or local police department to get rid of the old ammo. If you ask the owner of the range, they might let you leave your bad ammo in the bucket to be collected at the next pick-up. You can increase your odds by making a purchase at the range first, and only having a handful of ammo to get rif of when you visit.

5. Call a Gun Store

Like all of the tips we’ve listed above, gun ranges also have a great deal of contact with ammo. For this reason, the guys and gals that work here probably know somebody or somewhere that you can get rid of your old ammo easily. Chances are the staff at the gun store is probably into ammo and may even want to take it off your hands for little or no cost.

There you have it, 5 great ways to get rid of old ammo properly. Remember taking the time to get rid of ammo the right way protects your well-being, the environment, and shooter reputation everywhere. Since local and state laws can come into play when it’s time to get rid of old ammo, it’s always a good idea to check with your police department before proceeding.

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About the author

    Brandon Cox

    I'm Brandon, and with a passion and love for all things hunting, I have invested much time and money bringing myself up to speed with the latest and best hunting Intel. Through my hunting website, I want to share and excite all on the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

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