Corrosive Ammo Question


October 12, 2004, 09:13 PM
I understand about cleaning my MN and other rifles that I shoot corrosive ammo in.

I see some of you use Windex with ammonia. I've been thing about making a spray bottle of cleaner using ammonia and water.

Do you think this is a good idea? If so what percent of ammonia should I use.

I was thinking of 10%, should it be more less?

In the past I would wash them in the bathtub or shower with HOT water after taking off the stock. Then clean with hoppes.

Thanks for any help.

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October 12, 2004, 09:22 PM
Water by itself is all you need. I've never understood where the ammonia comes in. Take some bottled water with you to the range, dump it down the action and barrel when you're done shooting. When you get home clean it properly.

October 12, 2004, 09:27 PM
I have also read that it is the water that neutralizes the corrosive salts and the ammonia really doesn't do anything. However, I use window cleaner because it comes in a handy spray bottle that I have on hand: it is easy.
I think that taking the thing in the shower is going a little overboard.
If you are really worried about it, clean it like a muzzleloader. Boil a big pot of water on the stove. Pour it in a bucket which is sitting on the floor. Put the rifle barrel in the water muzzle first (bolt out). Then pump a patch up and down through the bore. The water will be sucked up into the barrel by the vacume of the patch in the barrel. After you take the barrel out of the water, it is very hot and the water almost instantly evoporates. Make sure you have a rag around the metal to keep from scalding yourself.

October 12, 2004, 09:36 PM
Ammonia has NOTHING to do with removing the residue from "corrosive" primers. The very term "corrosive" is widely misunderstood. All it really means is that there is salt left in the bore after firing, and that salt is hydroscopic. It is not corrosive by itself. The best thing for removing that salt is plain hot water. No other additives are necessary, not even soap, let alone ammonia. Ammonia is useful for removing copper and metal fouling, but that's about all.

Get a funnel and carry a thermos of hot water, or take a camp stove and kettle with you. Or even wait until you get home to clean. It's not like there is an active acid gnawing away at your bore from the instant you finish shooting.

Click the Smelly SMLE Shooter's link in my Sig. and then the "How to wrap a pull-through" link. Scroll down the page for the British Army method of dealing with corrosive ammo. I have too many old LEs with brite bores that never met a round of non-corrosive ammo before I got them to worry any more about corrosive ammo.

October 12, 2004, 09:45 PM
I have said this before on this forum, but I think people get far too freaked out about corrosive ammo.
Keep in mind that many of these milsurp rifles never saw a single round of non-corrosive ammo until you got it and maybe not even then.

October 13, 2004, 08:52 AM
I believe that the ammonia method comes from the fact taht commercial ammonia is water based (although I could be wrong). Water will dissolve the salts just fine. What I do is to stick a garden hose in the breech end and just douse it with water for a minuet or two.

October 13, 2004, 09:18 AM
A history of the whole question can be found in "Hatcher's Notebook ". Ammonia removes fouling , that is copper deposits ,from the jacket. Corrosion however is caused by salts . The best way to remove salts is a thorough cleaning with water which dissolves the salt.. If you use very hot water the barrel becomes hot and the water will quickly evaporate. While the barrel is still hot apply a good rust preventitive , I use RIG.

October 13, 2004, 10:38 AM

Ammonia is a degreaser, so wouldn't ammonia work at removing any oil that might be in the barrel of the gun?

October 13, 2004, 12:24 PM
heres what i do, real simple.

run brushes and patches through, dry.

run brushes and patches through, hoppes.

plug muzzle end with patches, and rubberband a sandwich bag around the muzzle to seal it off. stand rifle up on muzzle, pour windex into the barrel.
let sit for as long as you like, then run brush through the bore several times. unplug the muzzle, empty the liquid (preferably into the sink or toilet and not on the rug), run dry patches through until the bore is dry.

then run more hoppes through. thats how i've been doing it for my yugo m48a, and i've got several thousand rounds of corrosive ammo through her, bore still looks as bright as the day i bought it.

takes less effort that dealing with hot boiling water, or taking the stock off and taking a bath with it. besides, windex smells better than straight ammonia.

October 13, 2004, 12:42 PM
Ammonia is useful for cutting through grease, wax, and heavy buildup. For barrels I would think it assists the water in getting to the corrosive salts and washing them out. Very hot water (and lots of it) by itself would also do the trick, but not nec. cold water by itself.

October 13, 2004, 12:57 PM
You get plenty of ammonia in regular bore cleaning solvent like Hoppes. I use the window cleaner at the range as I mentioned, just because it is easy: I have it, it is in a convienient container. When I am done shooting, I run a couple patches through the bore while it is still warm to get the worst of the fouling out. This is just less I have to do when I get home. As far as the hot water thing I mentioned earlier, I find it easier than cleaning in the conventional way. It works much faster and really isn't a big hassle; at least for me.
One note on cleaning a centerfire rifle. The powder fouling is only one aspect of cleaning for me. I like to get at least some of the copper fouling out also. This takes ammonia. So, after I clean with water or windex, I run a few Hoppes soaked patches through the bore and let them sit for a half hour or so. They will come out blue: this is disolved copper.
Some people don't advocate getting ALL the copper fouling out of the bore. They say that it fills in the inperfections in your bore. So, I don't get too aggressive with it. I do this a couple times and call it good.

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