.22LR Ammo Isn’t Waterproof

Had an interesting experience at last weekend’s Appleseed. We had a group of Boy Scouts on the line (fine young men, excellent students, went a long way to restoring my hope for the future of our country). They had boxes of Federal blue box and Automatch – all good quality bulk ammo. It rained all day Saturday and despite the popup tents we set up, everything got pretty wet. The boxes of ammo were well soaked.

On Sunday the weather was beautiful. On the first course of fire, every Scout had failures to fire. We pulled the bullets out of a few rounds and found that the powder had turned to mud inside. There was no way any of those cartridges were ever going to fire. Many hundreds of rounds were spoiled.

This shouldn’t have been a surprise. Many brands of bulk-grade ammo have a rather loose fit of bullet to case, and the crimp doesn’t go into a cannelure as most centerfire cartridges do. On some of the cheaper stuff (cough-Remington-cough) you can even spin the bullet in the case with two fingers.

“Keep your powder dry” originated in the days of flintlocks. But it’s equally true today.

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