Army recovered more ammunition from the wild in 2020

The military found 1,055 misfires, a 60% increase over recent years. The explanation would be linked to the coronavirus pandemic.



A munition that does not or does not explode completely is called a “misfire”, in particular because it lands in water, snow or on loose ground (archive photo).


© KEYSTONE / GIAN EHRENZELLER
A munition that does not or does not explode completely is called a “misfire”, in particular because it lands in water, snow or on loose ground (archive photo).

In 2020, the military recovered far more ammunition scraps than usual. These 1,055 misfires represent a 60% increase over the average for recent years. The pandemic would be no stranger to it.

Indirectly, the coronavirus would explain why the army recovered so much ammunition that had not, or not completely, exploded, suspect the military.

As there have been many more hikers in the mountains, they have proportionally unearthed more explosive devices, army spokesman Stefan Hofer told Keystone-ATS on Wednesday, confirming information from the program “Heute Morgen” of the German-speaking radio station SRF.

Because of the Covid, people also stayed at home longer, including using this time to clean, including in the basement and attic. However, in these places, we still sometimes find unused ammunition, dangerous relics dating from military service that were reported on several occasions last year, said the spokesman.

According to the Swiss army, such a record of ammunition recovered will only have been occasional. Thus, this year already we find a balance sheet closer to the average. At the end of August, the army had some 600 duds recovered.

Do not touch the ammunition

Ammunition which does not or does not explode completely, in particular because it lands in water, snow or on loose ground, is called a “misfire”. They are found on old or active shooting ranges, above all in the mountains and on glaciers.

You should never touch it. Anyone who discovers any ammunition remains should mark the site and alert the police in an emergency. A premium of up to one hundred francs is paid if the discovery prevents an accident. Last year, the total premiums paid reached 8,800 francs.

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