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How To Dispose of Bad Ammunition Safely

Here are some tips on safely getting rid of those bad bullets.

We all have had those bullets that are too old to work, or we found laying on the ground out in the woods or at the gun range. We can’t trust sending them through our barrels, so we’ve got to dispose of them.

What are you supposed to do with them? Read on and find out.

Recycle them

If your bad bullets happen to be centerfire cartridges, just use a kinetic bullet puller and separate the bullet, powder and cartridges. If you know the powder and it is indeed in good shape, it could be used again.

If not, sprinkle it in your garden or lawn as fertilizer. If the projectile is in good shape, recycle it into your next load of range practice reloads. The primed casings will have to be disposed another way.

Big Game Hunt

Call your local gun range

Odds are your range already has a disposal system for duds and defective bullets, and they may be able to take a small quantity of them.

Law Enforcement

Call the local police department and ask them about disposal. If you have a large amount of unusable ammunition to dispose of, your local police department should be able to help you out.


Hazardous waste

There may be drop off locations for hazardous wastes or certain times of collection from your street. Call to find out more; do not just simply throw them in the garbage.


Contact a cartridge collector if your bullets are of an older age. There are collectors who specialize in cartridges and shotgun shells, whether they work or not since they are collectible and worth money. Check first before you dispose of those old shells that may have historical significance.

Antique Mystique

Correctly disposing of ammunition is a requirement of being a good steward of the shooting sports. Do your part and pick them up.

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How To Dispose of Bad Ammunition Safely