What type of GI bore cleaner works well on corrosive ammo?


January 16, 2006, 04:49 PM
I know hot soapy water works well cleaning after shooting corrosive ammo, but I dont want to use it. I've heard that 40's era GI bore cleaner is formulated to clean the corrosive salts out, -but- there is two different kinds... One is "milky white" in color, the other brown and really smelly. Are both equally as effective when used with corrosive ammo? Thanks alot-

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January 16, 2006, 06:27 PM
I bought a case of the brown smelly kind 20 years ago and still use it. While I do not make a habit of using corrosive ammo, I have always felt comfortable using this G I bore cleaner. Never had any problem with the guns it was used on either. Quantrill

January 17, 2006, 10:19 AM
I've used Windex first followed by usual stuff. Seems to work. Don't shoot much corrosive though, except for Yugo 7.62x39. Joe

January 17, 2006, 01:28 PM
I use Sweet's 7.62 Solvent for cleaning all my guns, plus I use it at the shop on customers' guns. Nothing I've used cuts crud off faster, and takes care of the corrosive factor, and pulls copper fouling from barrels as good, all in one product. I shoot a lot of corrosive ammo, mostly in 7.62x54R, 8mm, and 7.62x39, and Sweet's works great cleaning it out.

'40s era bore solvent is getting tougher to find, most shops carry Sweet's, and Brownell's and Midway do, too.;)

January 17, 2006, 01:37 PM
The old brown stuff was called "RBC," and was used for cleaning rifles after firing corrosive ammo. It was at least half water, IIRC, so why somebody would not use water but would use RBC is puzzling to me. :uhoh:

Harve Curry
January 17, 2006, 11:35 PM
The Windex with ammonia, or any like glass cleaner, neutralizes corrosive primers.

January 18, 2006, 02:44 AM
Why don't you want to clean with soapy water? It's practically free for pete's sake? What are you worried about? It's not going to harm your gun, rust it, or cause any problems unless you let water sit in the barrel (why would you?).

I use boiling water - which IS free, and it dries instantly. Very effective, and there's no worrying about whether or not it's doing its job - it's the best corrosive cleaner there is.

January 18, 2006, 12:57 PM
I sometimes do for an initial cleaning of an older milsurp, like my 1899 M91, or Muzzleloaders. But it's a PITA to work with, and a little Sweet's goes a long way. BTW, you can sometimes find gallon jugs of off-brand Windex (for refilling the spray bottles) for a buck or so, that should last most anyone a long time.;)

January 18, 2006, 02:25 PM
I've used both Windex with ammonia and hot water before. I just make sure to run a patch through with a decent amount oil on it (CorrosionX or Breakfree CLP) down the bore when I'm done and wipe it out before I shoot the next time. Also, don't forget your bolt/action.

January 18, 2006, 02:30 PM
Additional thing:

I'm in college, and I don't have any off-campus friends, so the only place I can really clean my guns is there at the range, where it is, (as the kids say) absolutely retarded cold. Assuming I'm going to use Windex followed by "the usuals" to clean the corrosive stuff out of the barrel, will the ridiculous coldness have any appreciable detrimental effect on gettin' the stuff outta the bore?


January 18, 2006, 03:02 PM
will the ridiculous coldness have any appreciable detrimental effect on gettin' the stuff outta the bore?

If you are still at the range shouldn't the barrel still be red hot? Maybe thats just me. :)

Cleaning does seem to be easier when it's warm. I'd try to clean while the gun is still a little warm if you are at the range but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

January 18, 2006, 06:37 PM
Im a creature of habit. I do most of my gun cleaning at a special "reloading/gun cleaning" workbench in my basement. I like the idea of having a solvent at the bench, to do the corrosive cleaning, instead of running upstairs, and fetching boiling water from the stove or microwave. It is just a convenience thing. Believe me, I've spent time at my washtub, with my Old Armies and blackpowder rifles, cleaning them with hot water, but it just seems "wrong" setting all my guns, cleaning rods, jags, patches, brushes, toothbrushes,Q-tips, nipplewrenches, etc., on the DRYER to clean a gun! :D

January 19, 2006, 07:56 AM
So far as I know, both the brown and white will do nicely.

When shooting corrosive-primed stuff, I like to take a bottle, some patches and a rod to the range. When i'm done shooting with one, wet a patch with it, run it down and back, then out the muzzle. Repeat, then dry and oil. Never a problem with rust.

I often hit the bores with Sweet's after I'm home to clean jacket fouling out, it's good stuff. If a semi-auto, use it on the gas tube, etc., then dry & oil.

January 19, 2006, 09:10 AM
I have read on several occasions where people say they use Windex to clean rifles fired with corrosive priming or black powder weapons. This has raised a couple of questions in my mind.

Nearly everybody knows plain water is the only solvent that will wash out the salts deposited by firing corrosive priming. Is Windex used because it is convenient and cheap in the spray bottle?

Besides a high percentage of water, Windex contains ammonia, not at a high concentration, but ammonia has corrosive properties itself and will eat steel if left in the bore. In addition it is hygroscopic, meaning it sucks moisture from the air, so if any were left in the bore it would wick humidity onto the steel.

I understand the function of using ammonia to cut copper deposits, but the amount of ammonia in Windex is not enough imho to do that.

I am coming to the conclusion that the only reason people recommend using Windex is the convenience and cheapness, although I like the price of water even better.

Please enlighten me.

Here is a paper on Ammonia (http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/bt/chemical_terrorism/docs/ammonia_tech.pdf)


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