What To Do With Casings And Ammunition You Can't Use

Posted on: 22 November 2021

Disposing of ammunition and old casings isn't like throwing away general trash. The metals can contaminate soil and groundwater, they won't biodegrade, and they could even be dangerous if the ammunition wasn't properly spent. You do have a number of options for getting rid of old casings and ammunition you can't use, whether it's just a bunch of duds or because you're no longer able to use that specific type of bullet.

If It Was a Dud

Dud rounds that didn't fire when you tried to use them aren't necessarily harmless. Treat them as if they were still live and ask the firing range what they want you to do with them. Some firing ranges and gun stores will take duds and dispose of them properly. You can also call your local hazardous waste disposal department and see if they'll take the ammunition. Remember, there's still the possibility the bullet could go off in the future, so be careful what language you use — you don't want to give anyone the impression that there's no gunpowder in the bullet or that the ammunition is not dangerous.

If You Just Have Casings

If the bullets fired successfully, and you just have the metal casings, take those to a recycling yard and sell them as scrap metal. They're normally made of brass or steel and can be melted down and reused. Or, if you know someone who knows how to reload bullets, you can just reuse the casing for new ammunition.

If the Whole Thing Was Corroded

If the ammunition was not stored properly and has become corroded, treat those like dud bullets; contact a range or gun store, or the hazardous waste department. Don't toss the bullets on the ground because the metal can still contaminate whatever it lands in. Sometimes the bullet itself is made of lead, so even though the casing might just be steel, that lead will create a major contamination problem.

If They're Just Unused

If these are simply bullets that never got used, and maybe you sold the gun you would have used them in, then contact a shooting range or, if you feel safe doing so, the police. The police sometimes take old ammunition, but not always; the range might accept donated ammunition for any classes they offer. If these places can't help you, they may at least be able to suggest additional places to contact.

Reach out to a sports and recreation company for more information regarding 9mm ammo.