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  1. #1
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    Warning regarding Modern fired projectiles

    Hi all,
    I'm a well known collector in local vicinity and as such an x member of HM armed forces showed me some photos of remains of a penetrator from an APDS round he had found in Iraq, I advised him that under current law no AP ammo is allowed to be kept privately, but more worrying is fact that the projectile didn't look like tungsten, and by level of oxidation was possibly depleted uranium.
    This stuff is Extremely TOXIC and highly dangerous, upon oxidation it looks similar to zinc or aluminium, white powdery coating, if then ingested or breathed in will cause illness.
    The person never brought items in photos back to U.K.
    The reason I posted this is to warn all that may have projectiles, they MAY be depleted uranium if quite modern, close contact is very dangerous and may cause severe illnesses.
    There is plenty on here about the safety side of things regarding explosives and the dangers that may come from these goes without saying, if you have any projectiles especially AP or APDS be careful and ensure they are not DU.
    Hope ok to post this, done for reasons highlighting dangers of DU, as not seen here, if not delete and drop me a message please.

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  3. #2
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    I would add, that since 9/11 in the U.S. and other terrorist activities around the world, depleted uranium is especially watched by governmental and law enforcement agencies worldwide. I'm sure there are very restrictive laws in place regarding the possession of such materials. After 9/11, anything nuclear related is regarded as sensitive and monitored material in the U.S.

    Though not very radioactive, staballoy (depleted Uranium alloy), can be used to enhance the performance of fission devices. Therefore it is watched closely.
    ___HAZ/
    _____/ORD Hazardous Ordnance Recognition
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  5. #3
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    Good topic should be classed as a sticky as a warning to others. Just handling one could cause illness I expect, anyone else reading this should put the word about. Are there any pictures of the offending article of the type of thing we would expect to encounter for quick reference.

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    spotter (18th January 2017)

  7. #4
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    Thank you. Very interesting. Are there any other basic tests that can be done to distinguish between DU and tungsten? I.e Magnetic or not ?

  8. #5
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    For GB collectors -
    The Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) defines AP ammunition as "prohibited".
    This is the definition - any ammunition for military use which consists of or incorporates a missile designed,on account of its having a jacket and hard-core, to penetrate armour plating, armour screening or body armour (section 5(1A)(e)
    Home Office Guidance to Firearms legislation comments that the definition of 5(1A)(e) also includes DU rounds ( Chapter 3.20 is the reference)

    Ammunition defined under 5(1A)(e) may be held as part of a collection on an appropriately conditioned Firearms Certificate (FAC). It must be noted that there is no caveat on the collectors condition regarding the hazards associated with DU.

    From personal experience I am aware that the least hazardous exposures to DU are when it is securely packed for transport or storage, the hazard rises when unpackaged and in the turret racks, finally the greatest contamination hazard arises when persons are exposed to residue post firing especially at vehicles or other targets struck by DU rounds.
    It is also worthy of note that there will be residue in barrels that have fired DU and potentially in the discarded sabot assemblies.
    any live or dug ordnance. small arms ammunition etc in my posts have been dealt with accordingly

  9. #6
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    Just a few points:

    As far as I know, there have been very few APDS service rounds with DU cores - the early 20x102 for the Phalanx CIWS ammo is the best-known example (and that was soon replaced by tungsten alloy).

    Some 120mm tank APFSDS have DU penetrators (especially US and UK).

    The US also uses, or has used, DU in the 30x173 API (PGU-14A/B) fired by the A-10 tank buster plane; in the 25x137 APFSDS (M919) fired by the Bradley AFV; and in some 25x137 (PGU-20/U) fired by the Marines' AV-8B attack plane.

    An intact, unfired DU core is a very low risk. As mentioned, it is only weakly radioactive. This is what the US military has to say:

    Depleted uranium emits alpha and beta particles, and gamma rays. Alpha particles, the primary radiation type produced by depleted uranium, are blocked by skin, while beta particles are blocked by the boots and battle dress utility uniform (BDUs) typically worn by service members. While gamma rays are a form of highly-penetrating energy, the amount of gamma radiation emitted by depleted uranium is very low.


    If you want a more independent source than the US military, try this education site:

    Depleted uranium is produced during the recycling of spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors, during which plutonium, thorium and the most radioactive isotope of uranium (U235) are recovered for re-use in new fuel rods. The remaining 'depleted' uranium has very low levels of radioactivity - in fact, less than the original unrefined uranium oxide dug out of the ground to produce the fuel rods in the first place.

    The problem arises not from the radioactive characteristics of the depleted metal but its chemical properties. When DU-tipped armament explodes the uranium can be rendered as very fine dust, easily ingested or breathed in, especially by children playing in burned-out wrecks. Uranium is chemically toxic, but not in low concentrations.


    It is worth pointing out that the problem of heavy metal toxicity also applies to tungsten and lead.

  10. #7
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    Depleted is defined as being below 10% of half life, which can mean quite a lot of radiation.
    An aircraft that crashed at Stansted Airport was found to have an unexpected radiation reading. It was because DU is regularly used in aircraft tail areas to help lift the nose on takeoff. A very high density metal is required due to the small area for containment.
    Because it has a thickeness of metal between it and the outside the Inverse Square Law regarding shielding makes it safe. It is only when exposed accidentally that touching it becomes possible and therefore dangerous.
    Last edited by AE501; 18th January 2017 at 10:40 AM.

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  12. #8
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    Side note, in the United States a civilian can own up to 7kg of DU without a Nuclear Regulatory Commission licence.

  13. #9
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    The 20mm Davey spotter projectile for the Davey Crockett Nuclear Mortar had a DU body to provide a bigger flash for spotting. There are a number of FUDS (Formerly Used Defense Sites) in the U.S. where the exploded projectile bodies exist. One is in Hawaii and there are photos on the web of the corroded DU.

    Photos L-R:
    1. Davey Crockett, 2., 3., 4 30mm, 5. 120mm after a fire, 6. DU core after reaction to soil

    https://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/du/

    http://health.hawaii.gov/irhb/files/...t-8-21-131.pdf

    http://baltimorechronicle.com/2009/102609Lindorff.html
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by HAZORD; 18th January 2017 at 04:09 PM.
    ___HAZ/
    _____/ORD Hazardous Ordnance Recognition
    ________Saving Lives Through Education

  14. #10
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    DU trim weights are used in large aircraft to ensure that the pilot does not run out of control authority when the aircraft are correctly loaded.

    If you add a heavy radar to the nose a counteracting weight is added to the tail. it is not to help lift the nose on takeoff. It is to ensure you have the same amount of control in up and down when the aircraft is loaded correctly.

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