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Found a bomb

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While out meteorite hunting in a difficult and hard to reach area next to the Nevada Test Site I stumbled across live anti-armor munitions and a bomb. There were also many empty shells of the same type of munition. The first image shows scale of munition.

Is this the right forum to post this?

What era are these from?

Are they really "live" even though the area becomes a lake during rains?

Are these collectible and worth value(assuming it's legal to collect)?







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The belted ammo is from famous gun designed by John Browning commonly known as "MA DEUCE" or in common English the venerable M-2 .50 cal machine gun. He designed it at the end of WW-1 and it is still in use today! My guess is those are left over from WW-2 practice and I seriously doubt if they are dangerous with reasonable care.

The other certainly looks like a big bomb, but I do not know for sure, cause it may also be a really big artillery round. That one could be a problem, I can see the fuse is still intact. IE: it does not look like a dummy

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rawacess are you in a prohibited area?...most military practice

ranges are usually never open to the public....

some old munitions like the ones your finding can become very

unstable with time...especially like the bomb...by digging

these items your risking your life for nothing...just don't

dig them and find another place to hunt....also call the EOD

dept. at Ellis AFB or any military post and explain what your

finding and digging up....

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I would treat them as ready to explode and stay away from them. It isn't worth getting yourself or a loved one killed to mess around with something designed to explode. A rattlesnake is more predictable than old ammo.

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Looks like .50 cal BMG to me.

No Harm there. Don't hit them with a hammer.

As for the Bomb, Stay to hell away from the thing.

None of it looks too old.

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As a current artilleryman for the US Army I can tell you two things.

#1. The way the round is angled, it was placed there that way, hence the bullet dents from target practice. So it's most likely inert.

#2. Although it is most likely inert, listen to what's being said here and stay the hell away from it. The Iraqis made IEDs with lots of old munitions and you can never be too sure what's inert and what's live. Also that's not a round I recognize, so who the hell knows what's in it? HE, White Phosphorus, could even be mustard gas (Which I have seen made into IEDs in Iraq) so you cannot be too careful.


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#1. The way the round is angled, it was placed there that way, hence the bullet dents from target practice. So it's most likely inert.


Thank you for your reply Rocco. When you say "round" are you referring to the large item sticking out of the playa with bullet marks in it? If so, why do you refer to it as a "round" and not a bomb? That item is heavy and cold to the touch. If it fell from the sky while the playa was wet it could have got stuck in that position, no? Is the end sticking up supposed to be facing down?

The are munition rounds from a gun used on land or used on a plane?

The bullet dents are small and shallow. The tip of my index finger fits nicely inside the crater.

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Hi Rocco...thanks for serving us and our country!!!!

would like for you to go to "prospecting Brazil" and sign in

on my thread "American hero's past and present...brag a little

about yourself....

rawacess Rocco can probably answer your question better than I

but here's my version...a "round" is a projectile fired from a

firearm...a cartridge....hence the terms: "30 round clip"...

"all rounds down range"..."two rounds center mass"..."count your

rounds"....a "bomb" blows up either from being dropped...or

thrown...detnated by a fuse or electronically or some idiot playing

with it....or trying to make one from an email!!!!!

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Yes that pointy end, the fuse, is the end that comes down first when it is dropped from aircraft. Only about 25% of it is above ground and we can only speculate on how it got there in that abnormal position. We also can only speculate as to whether it is inert or alive. Leave it all where you found it and then leave it all alone, the bomb the ammo. It's dangerous and not worth possible death or injury by messing with it. Report it to the military if your into that sort of thing, but first make sure you didn't wander in to a restricted area on the Nellis range. This will give you some idea of the part of the bomb you can't see.

post-3372-127053462021_thumb.jpg....Mark 82....500 Pound Bomb

post-3372-127053475064_thumb.jpg....Closer up to the Fuse end and lightened up to show the tool notches on the cone, used to tighten or loosen the cone when it 's being put on or removed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I work at Creech AFB, we are the fire dept and crash recovery that is responsible for the entire NV test range. Obviously your already home safe posting pics, so thats cool. Like the others said, I would caution you to be careful, if security finds you.. playing dumb doesnt work well. Besides the trouble, UXOs are real deal dangerous, if you run into this again, follow your tracks out and stay clear.

When I was in Iraq in 03 and 04, they where a dime a dozen.. In Tallil, Iraq near An Nasiriyah, after the first month of tent living we finally got showers put in.. we were stoked.. they were in a portable trailer but still had to dig to run the water lines.. Within 30 ft. of our tent they had found 16 UXOs the (Unexploded Ordnance).. thats a pretty crappy feeling. It was always shady driving the rescue truck off the main roads, the area was littered with them.


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G'Day rawaccess and everyone

Oh come on, where's your spirit of adventure? If this didn't go off, it isn't going to go off now. Besides the way that bomb's angled, you could hang a nice leg of lamb off it and set yourself up a barby around it. OK,,, just kidding. As the old saying goes .. it's better to be safe than sorry. Leave well enough alone and you get to live another day.

Reminds me of past years when I moved into a beach apartment, needed some extra room for my crap and seeing it was built on a hill, I had quite a large access under the unit. When filling it with sh*t, I found a grenade, pin included, apparently a souvenir of Vietnam. So just to be on the safe side, I handed it in and it was live. darn, I'm glad I didn't pull that pin.

Rocco, how the hell are you mate? Long time no speaky. I hear you need your back fixed. Hope the surgery goes well.

Well, that's all I have to say on this subject. Stay safe everyone.



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I spent 4 years loading bombs in the AF 1964/1968. That appears to be a 500 lb HE. They are usualy armed with 2 fuses, one on each end. It at one time might have been droped safe, how ever you still have the charge in the fuse, and the booster that are verry touchey. The bomb when it goes off will leave a 20 ft crater about 6 to 12 ft deep. Need I say more.

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