September 8th, 2017

Guns and Ammo After a Flood — Here’s What to Do…

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage
NOAA photo of flooding after Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The Colt Python Revolver once belonged to Elvis Presley (Rock Island Auction).

Firearms owners who have seen their guns and stored ammunition submerged by flood waters in storm-wracked areas are probably wondering if their firearms and ammunition can be salvaged and safely used. To answer these questions, the NSSF and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®) created two documents outlining the proper response to submersion of guns and ammo. If you’ve got wet guns and/or ammo, download these two PDF files and read them carefully.

SAAMI Guidance 1: What to Do About Firearms That Have Been Submerged in Water

SAAMI Guidance 2: What to Do About Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water

Dealing with Firearms That Were Submerged

The SAAMI document “Guidance on Firearms That Have Been Submerged or Exposed to Extensive Amounts of Water” points out two major concerns about firearms that have been exposed to water: parts susceptible to moisture and rust damage such as metal parts, wood stocks and grips, and optics; and, secondly, infiltration of the action, barrel and safety systems by grit, silt and other foreign debris.

#1 Always unload firearms before beginning any treatment process.

It’s important to limit moisture and corrosion damage to the component parts of the firearm. This can be accomplished by disassembling the component parts and using up to two coats of a moisture-displacing lubricant such as Hoppes #9 MDL or WD-40 to clean and stabilize the parts while, importantly, following the product’s directions so as not to damage, for instance, plastic or synthetic parts. Another tip is to allow wood stocks and grips to air-dry and not be force dried by exposure to heat.

The document emphasizes that once the firearm has been thoroughly dried, consideration must be given to having the firearm inspected and serviced by the manufacturer, an authorized service center, or a qualified gunsmith before putting the firearm back in service.

Dealing with Ammunition That Was Submerged

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage

Bottom Line, if your ammo has been submerged — DON’T USE IT. SAAMI explains why…

To help firearms owners determine what to do with ammunition that has been affected by water and moisture, SAAMI offers another helpful document, “Guidance on Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water.” This document covers differences in moisture resistance between centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammunition, and potential hazards associated with “drying out” cartridges, including possible deterioration and damage to cartridges due to drying methods.

Another serious hazard that could result from using compromised ammunition is the potential for a bore obstruction due to partial ignition of either the priming compound or the propellant powder charge, or both. Firing a subsequent round through an obstructed barrel can result in bodily injury, death and property damage.

SAAMI provides the following cautionary conclusion: “It would be impossible to ascertain for certain the extent of the deteriorating affect, if any, the water may have had on each individual cartridge. Therefore, the safe answer is that no attempt be made to salvage or use submerged ammunition. The ammunition should be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal instructions in your area.”

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September 8th, 2011

Williamsport 1K Match Cancelled Due to Flooding

The Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) has cancelled its two-day match this weekend, September 10-11, due to severe flooding in the immediate area. The National Weather Service has advised that the Susquehanna River will crest at 25′ on Friday.

Our friend Jason Baney tells us: “The situation is as bad as I’ve ever seen it, but we expect the waters to recede in a few days. This weekend’s match, the 9th of the season, will be re-scheduled for a double match later in the month.” The re-scheduled Match 9 will be held concurrently with Match 10, on September 24-25, 2011.

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June 18th, 2011

VHA Cancels Annual Jamboree Due to Missouri River Flooding

The Varmint Hunters Association has officially cancelled the 2011 VHA Jamboree, originally scheduled for July 25-29, 2011 in Pierre, South Dakota. The 2011 Jamboree was cancelled due to flooding in the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas — a major problem that may not be resolved until August. Unfortunately, previously paid 2011 Jamboree registration fees are non-refundable, but 2011 paid-up registrants will get a credit for the 2012 event. In a statement issued last week, Jeff Rheborg (VHA CEO-Club President) explained why the VHA determined to cancel the Jamboree this year:

To all VHA Members and Supporters:

With a heavy mind and heart we regret to inform you that we will not be hosting the 2011 Annual Jamboree. Some of you may already know and some might not have yet heard; the communities of Pierre and Fort Pierre are currently undergoing a flood. Each city has a levee system running parallel to the Missouri River, with some even running through the middle of town. Water currently being released from Lake Oahe is at 150,000 cubic feet per second. It is projected to stay at that level through mid August. To make it easier to visualize… if you were eating supper at the Pizza Ranch and looking out the window, if the levee was not there, all you would see is water. It is that high.

We did not reach this decision lightly. We took into account information we have received from local, state and national authorities as well as a long list of variables such as: electricity availability, water lines that may be affected, and the hundreds of evacuees that are being housed in area hotels. While we value the opportunity our annual Jamboree has to bring in visitors and thus revenue for area businesses in a time of need, we also cannot guarantee the ability of those businesses, such as downstream campgrounds, (which are all currently under water), restaurants and hotels to be able to accommodate people. We can tell you with great assurance; we will not put the safety of our members and their families at risk on the basis of “the levee should hold.”

As in years past our policy has been Jamboree registrations are non-refundable. Due to the current circumstances, which we have no control over, all participants who have already signed up for Jamboree 2011 will be given credit for Jamboree 2012. Credit is for Jamboree use only and cannot be transferred to another event or applied towards membership dues.

Thanks again for your continued support throughout the years. Plans are already being made for Jamboree 2012.

Jeff Rheborg, CEO, Varmint Hunters Assn.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome submissions from readers.
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