How to dispose of misfired ammunition

New shooter here. What is the safe and legal way to dispose of misfired ammonution.


At a range, they will usually have an oil filled bucket marked ‘DUDS’.

Or, you could always buy a bullet puller and save the individual components!


As @Robert401 posted - Range is the best place.

This thread reminds me a NRA’s Basic Pistol Course final test… there was similar question and one of the answers you could choose from was: “BURY IT” :joy: Of course, to be clear - that was WRONG answer :wink:



@Richard267, the range we use has a bucket for “misfires” and is labeled for range patrons. If you’re using a home range, you can ask your local range or sheriff’s office if they take misfires.

Welcome to the Community!


My bullet puller has more miles on it than my car!:grinning:


Perhaps it’s time to find a different ammo or brush up on your reloading skills.

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It’s from all the misfires I have found.

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See if they’ll trade you for a Walmart gift card at one of those gun buy back deals :rofl:


Amen brother my bullet puller has many miles on it too, and on many different calibers. I put them in a steel ammo box until in can get them home to safe the components.

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I think in my shooting life time, I have only had 2 misfires. That was Norinco 45 ACP. Bought a box to try it out. 1st and last Box. 2 was 2 to many. But those 2 I used a bullet extractor to remove powder and bullet . Not sure about any legal issues,None where I live as I know of.


Unless you think somebody may go through your trash, that is actually probably a fine solution. A round which won’t blow when it’s supposed to is a modest hazard floating unconfined in the solid waste stream compared to everything else there. Not getting in a technical panic about it reflects my casual path through life.

My preference though, once I have given up on a round, is to prevent others from even a remote chance at a mishap. You might pull the bullet with a vise and pliers, crush the case mouth (or open a shotshell), and put all components in the trash. If I can’t get the bullet out, can I deform the front end of the case (close to the bullet, away from the primer) so it is obviously wrecked and won’t chamber in a gun? Then to the trash — but make sure that all discards are secure from curious and creative young minds more determined than you. If none of that seems right for whatever reason, ask if a police department or shooting range will take it off your hands.

The really important part of dealing with a misfired round (once safely removed from the gun) is to figure out why the misfire — bad reloading practice? bad ammo brand? bad gun condition? bad gun/ammo combination? one in a million fluke? Look for something to change so it doesn’t happen again — misfires at the range and misfires in the field are potentially deadly. Much bigger deal than disposing an inert round IMHO.


I know this is NOT the right way, but for the smaller caliber like 9mm and lower, I throw them in my burn barrel. My ‘barrel’ is an old 100 gal fuel tank with a door that closes to get the chimney effect. So far no problems with small ammo and hairspray, etc. Always fun when my wife or daughter throws out a canister and forget to warn me.

@pastorparadox Welcome to the USCCA community!
I have a 5 yr old grandson with asthma and he thinks it is quite hilarious to throw empty canisters on the burnpile when I’m not looking. Great fun. Great fun. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I can confirm that I do giggle a little when they go boom. At 50, I doubt I will ever outgrow that.

With misfires, my first action is to load the round on the top position of a magazine. Then I try firing it again as a single precision shot. Better than 9 times out of 10, it will go bang. The reason for trying it as a single shot is to keep track of it and in case it fires as a squib. I haven’t had one happen on the second attempt , but I don’t want it to be shooting a string in case the second attempt results in a squib fire. If it doesn’t fire it goes in a plastic sandwich bag I bring to keep it separate. Then when I get home I break out the bullet puller.


LOL! Just be safe so you can keep giggling. :smiley:

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@John77, are you using home loads or factory loads? are you reloading them/using them for parts so-to-speak when you break out the bullet puller? :thinking:

I’ve had misfires happen with both factory and handloads and treat both the same. If I break down the round I throw out the primer and powder. I don’t know which caused the failure to fire and I’m not going to conduct an investigation. I save the case and the bullet, weigh the bullet and reuse them with my handloads.


You could use them when “playing bullets”.:wink: