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Old 15 February 2012, 22:17
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Exclamation German NATO Surplus .308 +++ CORROSION WARNING +++

I've been shooting the green vinyl-cased 200-round NATO battlepacks for quite some time. This German ammo is WONDERFUL stuff, and is made by either:
  • DAG (Dynamit Nobel A-G, Troisdorf, Germany, (previously Geco and DNG Gustav Genchow, Karlsruhe)
  • MEN (Metallwerk Elisenhütte G.m.b.H., Nassau, Lahn, Germany)
The problem is that the cardboard boxes that make up the individual 20-round packages within the vinyl battlepack have a very high acid content. Anybody who has seen very old newspapers or paperback books which have had the paper turned brown and brittle with "age" is familiar with the problem; age isn't the issue, it is the paper's internal acid content.

Paper manufacturing for most of the 20th century included the use of acid in the processing of the wood pulp. Not all of the acid was washed out, and as a result the paper is burned by itself over time.

In this case, the cardboard boxes has a high acid content, such that the brass cartridges within are adversely affected; they start to corrode.

The following link takes you to an posting where the problem is detailed. Both makes of German NATO ammo are affected, but notably DAG94 and MEN94.

I've got 800 rounds of MEN94 still unopened (600 rounds opened so far with only about 5% with corrosion - lucky). One day soon I've got to open them up and get handy with some steel wool, perhaps while watching some mindless movie.

If you have unopened NATO battlepacks in vinyl, you might want to open them up to be sure. I've been putting the clean / inspected rounds onto stripper clips for storage. Some went into green cotton bandoleers, much went into ammo cans on stripper clips. Hopefully this will help a few of you fine folks out a bit.

I recommend reading the short text on the linked site:



"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"
Melville / Captain Ahab
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