Interesting Ammo Issue

A while back I ran found a live 45ACP round at a range.  Normally I collect dud and live ammo and hand them to the range officers on the way out.  In this case I forgot and brought it home.  It has just sat here as I do not have a 45ACP firearm to shoot it with.

1-disassembled (2)Rather than try to find a 45ACP to fire it at a range, I decided to disassemble the round and disable the primer for safe disposal. There was powder in the case when I disassembled it. What I got was a shiny case, a nice bullet, and a bit of powder which is what I expected to get.

2-live_primer (2)Checking the bottom you see what would indicate a live primer.  So far things look normal for taking apart a cartridge.

The next step is to disable the live primer to make it safe to remove it and then either dispose of the case or clean out the case to get it ready for reloading.

When I looked inside to put some WD40 in the case to disable the primer and saw the following.  Does anyone see something missing here? Where is the flash hole?

3-Problem (2)

There seems to be several issues here.

  1. I don’t know about you but I do not see a flash hole here?  Because the primer looks like it is a live primer, it does not seem to be a good idea to drill out the flash hole.
  2. Without drilling it out there doesn’t seem to be a good way to disable the primer.
  3. There doesn’t seem to be a good way to measure the thickness of the brass at the flash hole point to see if it will just open up when the primer ignites.
  4. What kind of damage to the barrel will be done by the brass being thrown out of the case when the primer ignites?
  5. What effect will the plugged flash hole have on the pressure created by just a primer?
  6. How can you tell this is a problem with any particular round when the powder is in and the primer and bullet have been seated properly?

4-fired_round (2)5-fired_round_flash_hole (2)

Here is a picture of a fired 45ACP with a spent primer still in the case.

This is an interesting set of issues and questions that I do not have any answers for, yet.

If anyone has seen this or knows where the information can be found, please let me know.

In the mean time, if I find a live 45ACP cartridge at the range I might take it home and disassemble it to see if this is normal for a 45ACP.


Clever code is not a good idea.

Clever code is hard to debug and harder to maintain.

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
—Brian Kernighan

Other studies show it is many times harder to maintain code.  I know, I’ve had to maintain code written by “clever” programmers who wrote it then quit to go to another job because it was too hard to maintain their code.