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Munitions Submerged? Here’s What You Should Do!

It’s every shooter’s nightmare: opening up your gun case to find that your ammunition has been ruined by water damage. Whether it was an unexpected rainstorm or an accidental dip in the pool, wet ammo can be a real pain to deal with.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll discuss different ways to solve the problem of wet ammo with expert insight from our team at Eagle Arms.

So scroll on to discover how you can keep your shooting gear in good shape, no matter what the weather throws at you!

What to Consider

Have your firearms been exposed to water?

If your firearms have come into contact with any moisture, here are a few questions you need to consider:

  • How long was the gun submerged?
  • What kind of water was it exposed to (fresh or salt)?
  • What type of cartridge does it have?
  • Are the primers wet?
  • What kind of contaminants could be present?

After scrutinizing all of these factors, you can begin to formulate a plan for how best to address the situation.

If ammunition has been submerged in saltwater, it’s recommended to dispose of it and replace it due to the corrosive properties of salt. Ammo exposed to freshwater can often be cleaned and dried sufficiently for reuse.

However, remember that rust and corrosion can still occur after water exposure, regardless of the type.

What to Do

If you get swamped in a situation where your ammo has become wet, there are a few things you can do to try and salvage it:

  1. Unload your gun.
  2. Grab your owner’s manual.
  3. Slip-on your safety glasses and start removing the stock or grips.
  4. Do NOT expose your wood stocks or grips to heat drying!
  5. Disassemble the gun.
  6. If your firearm was submerged in saltwater, rinse the parts in fresh water and dry them off.
  7. Soak the metal pieces in a bowl of water-displacing oil.
  8. After soaking, dry them off with a clean cloth.
  9. Lubricate all of the moving parts with a light coat of gun oil.
  10. Reassemble the firearm after drying.
  11. If the wood stock or grips swelled or cracked due to the water, consider replacing them.
  12. Consult a gunsmith before firing any rounds, as the gun may be damaged more than you can see.

What Are the Risks?

Submerged ammunition is not something to mess around with.

Several things can happen if you do not take the proper precautions and dry your ammunition properly:

  • The gunpowder may become unstable, causing a premature detonation when fired.
  • Misfires could occur due to water in the primers or corrosion on any parts.
  • Rust could develop quickly, leading to jams and other malfunctions.
  • The gun could become damaged beyond repair if it’s submerged for too long.
  • Malfunctions caused by water submersion could obstruct gun barrels or even an explosion.
  • Firing a subsequent round into a gun with barrel obstruction can cause serious injuries, property damage, and even death.


Water damage spells horror for any munitions. It can cause them to become unstable and misfire rust and jam, or even explode.

Luckily, there’s a reliable service provider in Gettysburg, PA, that can help you get your munitions back in order. Eagle Arms offers cleaning, restoration, and repair services for several types of guns.

Browse our collection of guns!