Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by onfire, Jan 11, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Help,

    i have just BID on a 51mm ilum mortar round on ebay (i thought it would be a good prop for team building, now i just feel stupid) - before i pick it up, i want to check: how i do i ensure it is inert.

    the description assures me it is inert and that it complies fully with ebay rules. apparently it is filled with resin and rendered completely inert. how do i know it isnt still a live detonator?

    the top screws off, and the top and body are hollow & empty. the only thing inside is a small cylinder at the base (top of the fins) approx 3cm long by 3mm wide. I am assuming this is the detonator.

    How do i ensure it is inert? what are the rules as to a) buying it b) getting it through UK post c) owning it.

    felt clever, now feel stupid - perhaps that should be ebays new slogan?!

  2. Get a 6 Inch nail and a hammer. Smack the percussion cap hard. When you open your eyes, you are not in Brussels then it is probably inert (or a blind)

  3. should there be a dint at the base of the primer ? like a normal bullet has when it is has struck by the firing pin ?

    on a legal note if you any three of the four components of a bullet you are not commiting an offence.

    so if you have the casing , primer and bullet but no powder fine

    or have powder, casing and primer but no bullet still fine .

    if all four ,very naughty.
  4. I strongly advise that you don't buy it as you'll sound rather foolish when you explain to you Annual Ammunition Inspectors how you came to have an item of ammunition that is not on the books and did not come with an FFE certificate. I am confident that you could acquire such by more official means! Give your local Troop of 11 a ring and discuss with them. Could save you embarrasment further dowen the road.
  5. Sorry, mate -- you are a little off there. To be ammunition, there must be a projectile and a source of ignition, i.e. a "viable primer". They need not necessarily be powder -- otherwise Flobert ammunition would not be ammunition.

    You may (still) possess all four of the components of a round of ammunition separately. But, if assembled in such a way as to combine a case, bullet, and source of ignition, (i.e. your first example) then you have a round of ammunition and can be prosecuted.

    Note -- a primer does not necessarily have to have been struck to render it inert -- a squirt of WD40 down the flash hole normally does it.
  6. thanks K80RMG but im ex now, i work in an FE college so my hands are a bit more tied ... my real concern is that potentially the det could still go pop
  7. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    Which item is it that you have bid on, can't find anything there. I work for a company who makes this stuff, if I can see a picture I might be able to confirm it for you.

  8. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    Okay found the one you are looking at and the general consensus from the office is as follows.

    It is a LIVE bomb, which has probably been fired and recovered. It is NOT a designated INERT round for training and therefore officially you should probably have a firearms license to own it as it is possible to return it to full use easily.

    It is not possible from the one photo to tell the condition of the filling (if any) and therefore it could still have some explosvie/phosphorous in it. There is no 'fuse' as such, the nose is just a cap which is pushed off by pressure produced by a charge activated from the rear.

    Personally I wouldn't buy it, and if I did I would be suspicious about it's history and level of 'cleanliness' as well as the legal requirements for holding it.

    Sorry to be negative about it, but the one comment from the Mortar design team was 'I'd send that link to Security'.. and he wasn't totally joking.


    p.s. Stoatman there is a differnce between INERT and 'not able to work' WD40 may well stop an explosive from working but it isn't INERT.
  9. email the ebay link to my dad how did donkeys years with 40 commdo mortars. He said that he thought it been fired down a range before being recovered and reconditioned , very much like the bullet keyrings that walts run around with. What he recommended was to not touch it with a bargepole, he wasn't sure about the legal aspects but what he said is that at some point some one has posssibly smuggled this off a range, lied whilst giving a decleration before fixing it back up, therefore how do you guarantee the quality of the work or if any residue of the explosive filling is left inside and potentially dangerous?? What he recommended you do is look for a drill round, or now because the 51mm is being phased out in favour of the UGL talk to some of your buddys still in and ask them if they can appropriate a drill round for you.

    best of luck
  10. Some sound advice, which you would do well to heed.

    Your local friendly ATO might give you a FFE certificate, but he would be just as likely to take it away having given you a ticking off.

    The link posted by guru is worth a careful read. The accident at the Pattern Room in 1990 led to the technician losing his leg, so it is a salutary tale.

    Much better to go to a reputable supplier of inert replicas. Relics in Hailsham do replica mortar bombs, mines and grenades, or even an Aliens pulse rifle if you are that way inclined.
  11. There is no difference for the purposes of what constitutes a round of ammunition in British law. You will find inert ammunition for sale of both types -- i.e. those which have had the primer struck, and those where the primer has been rendered non-viable with oil or WD40.
  12. Don't panic needlessly: collecting inert ammunition is big business - and it is perfectly legal, within certain rules. There are frequent media scare stories - often seeded by the police - which usually boil down to someone being perfectly innocent of any firearms/explosive offence.

    Its not my area of expertise, but there must be a few dealers who can give you accurate information. Go to the newsagent and look for one of the militaria collectors' magazines, or maybe Gun Mart. Ring a couple of the dealers: some of the very big ones are in Belgium, France & Netherlands. They speak English and they are very familiar with EU and UK law - most of these guys bring over tons of inert ammo for the big militaria fairs at Detling, Beltring and the like. If you've committed to buy on eBay, you could probably have the bomb sent to someone in the originating country to be looked at first.
  13. ok ok, ive been silly - the link you have found is wrong. i won the item, but felt too stupid to admit to it - now my hand has been forced - i cannot seem to post the pic here but i will try to PM it. im not so worried about anything except the primer / detonator going bang.
  14. Even a live detonator is more than capable of blowing your hand off.

    Reminds me of something that happened to me some years ago. We were clearing out all the cupboards in our London office, prior to be relocated to the West Country. I found a large box of 'exhibits' of examples of bits of kit that the team had procured over the years. Inside the box was a C3A1 Elsie mine. For those not familiar, this is a small hand emplaced anti-personnel mine, containing about an ounce of high explosive. For some reason I decided to unscrew the striker. I was somewhat surprised when all the bits rolled into the palm of my hand to discover that the detonator was red hot!

    It turned out that some fatherless kleptomaniac QA officer had probably picked up the Elsie in years past as a souvenir. Luckily, I had an old mate who was an explosives officer in S013, who came to discreetly get rid of all the bits without having to evacuate the building. He confirmed that the mine was completely live and that the striker was in fact embedded into the stab sensitive detonator. Me taking it apart was apparently enough to get it cooking again slightly. I still get the shakes thinking how it could have blown my head off!

    My advice: never touch anything that doesn't have a verifiable FFE certificate from a reputable source.
  15. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    There is no difference for the purposes of what constitutes a round of ammunition in British law. You will find inert ammunition for sale of both types -- i.e. those which have had the primer struck, and those where the primer has been rendered non-viable with oil or WD40.[/quote]

    The difference may be a bit of word play, but an INERT round is one that has no explosives within it (generally filled with a wax or similar to replace the explosive). A round which has explosive within it, but that explosive has been rendered 'safe' (by whatever means) has been de-natured...this is different from INERT. A de-natured round is still treated (at least within the ammunition production business which I am in) exactly the same as a live round.