Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Opening a "Spam" Can

Hey folks. I've been holding onto a spam can of 7.62x54r for a while so I decided to open it.
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I didn't have the proper can opener tool at the time, so I had to improvise. I saw people online using an angle grinder or die grinder to cut the top of the can off, but the sparks and heat don't really mix well with live ammunition. I decided to use a big chisel and a hammer to slowly poke around the edge. I didn't let the chisel protrude very far into the can. I used it around the edges at an angle to sort of cut through the metal top.
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There is really no need to cut all the way around the perimeter of the can. Once its about half way open, you can bend back the top and get to the ammunition.
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After pulling up a piece of cardboard, I could see the bundles of ammunition. As you can see, I did not touch any of the bundles of ammunition with my chisel.
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There is a ribbon in the middle which is used to get the first bundle of ammunition out of the can. Its easy to pull on the ribbon so you don't have to flip over the can and dump out the bundles.
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That's it. My method isn't ideal because I bet you could strike a cartridge if you really veered off the path of the perimeter of the can, but it worked out OK for me. It involves hammering and its pretty loud. I still consider the hammer and chisel method far better than using an abrasive wheel to cut the can open. The best thing to use is the proper can opener tool which comes with some crates of ammunition. A crate usually holds 2 cans and most vendors won't give you an opener unless you're buying 2 cans.

I have since been given a real can opener that comes in a crate of 54r ammo. A wooden crate is usually 2 "spam" cans and includes an opener. Don't try it with a p38 can opener or a can opener from your kitchen drawer. The metal used for these cans is much thicker than anything in your kitchen. 

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