Corrosive Ammo. Bore Cleaner ?


February 26, 2010, 09:18 AM
I just bought some 8MM vintage ammo. for target practice.
" Shooter's Choice " bore cleaner is too expensive to buy and use at $11.00 for a small bottle.

What else could i use instead that is cheaper to get the salt out ?
And do i have to also clean out the bolt assembly ?
I don't want to use soap & water,or Windex Window Spray.
I would prefer a reputable Bore Cleaner solution. [ But not at $11.00 a bottle ! ]
It is a Yugo M48 Mauser Rifle.

Thanks for your help ! :)

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Jeff F
February 26, 2010, 09:33 AM
A pint or so of boiling water has been getting the job done since guns were invented, what worked then still works now and its what I do. Flush with hot water then clean and lube as normal. Yes, you should clean the bolt to.

Texas Gun Person
February 26, 2010, 09:42 AM
I'm a fan of ammonia and water. Although many people just use water. :)

I just put the solution through the barrel at the range, then clean it like normal once I get home.

February 26, 2010, 10:12 AM
Equal parts of Murphy's Oil Soap, Hydrogen Peroxide and Rubbing alchohol. This stuff
is inexpensive.

February 26, 2010, 10:57 AM
i bought same 8mm Mauser German bolt action and faced same kinda problem. for cheaper solution i used car paint cutting cream. took small dia pull though and pasted cream i barrel and left it for 15 min then hard cloth pull through 15 times my son helped me 4 that. then car polish cream with pull through in barrel. hopes 9 is costly affair. but at the end i used simple boiled water.

Ed Harris
February 26, 2010, 11:08 AM
What I have used always was hot water warmed in a canteen cup over a heat tab stove, and any handy soap or detergent. I carry cake Bon Ami in my range kit. This has very mild feldspar abrasive which does not scratch, but is agressive in removing caked powder or metal fouling. Just work up a few suds with hot water on a patch and scrub the bore, wipe out the gas cylinder, clean bolt face, operating rod, etc. Then flush with a plain wet patch, dry and oil and you are good to go.

February 26, 2010, 12:09 PM
The oxidation of the steel results from the action of water in combination with oxygen and is accelerated by the presence of electrolytes such as potassium chloride or as Navy men know, sodium chloride. It is thus a bigger problem in high humidity. I would be interested in knowing how those old Mausers held up without cleaning in North Africa.

The corrosive potassium chloride by-product of the combustion of potassium chlorate primers is soluble in water and not much else. People often use an ammonia solution that is primarily water. The ammonia doesn't do anything to dissolve the salts but it is helpful in removing bullet fouling.

Some people add detergents. These help in removing propellant by-products.

I used to clean my 98k by putting the bore into a pan of HOT soapy water and running a patched rod up and down to pump water up into the barrel and locking lug recesses, replacing the water with HOT fresh water without detergent, and repeating the process until the metal was hot enough to help promote evaporation of the clean water. Obviously the next step was to use clean dry patches. I followed up with Hoppe's No. 9 to address the jacket residue and finally with oiled batches.

WARNING: One time I returned from firing ONE ROUND of corrosive Israeli military ammunition (the sky opened up suddenly and we decided to go home). I didn't clean the gun for about 24 hours. Result: what had been a rather bright bore looked like a flue from a steam engine.

U. S. military rifle ammunition produced up through about 1951 (don't rely on that) also contained corrosive priming. There was a GI bore cleaning fluid that would dissolve the salts. I haven't seen it for sale in quantity for almost half a century. If I had any I wouldn't use it.

"Hatcher's Notebook" contained a listing of ingredients use at Springfield Armory--whale oil, acetone, and other things, but no water. The big problem in those days was bullet jacket fouling. They had a heck of a time with it in the new small-bore Krag and Model 1903 rifles. The biggest offenders were bullets with cupronickel jackets.

Read Townsend Whelen's "Days of the Krag" for a story about things they tried to get the bores clean. For getting the salts out, Col. Whelen recommended water.

By the way, Col. Whelen was a founder of a rifle club known as The Glendale Club in the St. Louis area. He once let me shoot his .22 K Hornet built on a Winchester low wall action. The Glendale Club later became the Bench Rest Rifle Club of St. Louis.

February 26, 2010, 12:17 PM
Keep it simple. The corrosiveness is due to salts from the primers. Just dump a thermos of hot water down the barrel and then clean in the usual manner.

February 26, 2010, 01:06 PM
Hoppes #9

Works just fine, and no boiling water unless you just have to.

February 26, 2010, 01:41 PM
I have always just any gun lube when I cleaned them. Never had an issues. One needs to clean them soon after shooting.

February 26, 2010, 02:54 PM
Hoppes #9

Works just fine, and no boiling water unless you just have to.

Hoppe's No. 9 cannot and will not dissolve potassium chloride salts. Something that is properly advertised as being able to displace moisture is just not going to do that.

It will remove powder residue, lead fouling, and copper alloy jacket fouling. To the extent that it also displaces moisture, it may retard the corrosion process, and to the extent that it takes out powder residue, some of the corrosive priming compounds may happen to be shoved out on the same patches. However, I would not rely on that. All of the authoritative literature available when I was young said that it was not suitable for cleaning out corrosive residue because salts are not soluble in Hoppe's No. 9 (or in Outers or Winchester solvents, for that matter).

Hoppe's No 9 came out about the same time that Julian Hatcher (later Major General Hatcher) was brewing his bore cleaners, and Col. Townsend Whelen was trying different mixtures. Their objectives were the same: to clean bores that had been fouled by bullets with jackets made of copper-nickel alloys, fired at almost two and a half times the speed of sound from high intensity smokeless cartridges. That fouling had been identified as a major problem in the then new rifles. I read recently that at the range, some people in those days tried lubricating the bullets with a product made by Mobil to prevent the buildup of metal in the bore.

Corrosion was also a problem, but the cause was not evidently widely understood initially. In some early publications, people opined that the smokeless powder residue was itself corrosive. Some people thought the problem was acid. Of course, we know now that it was the electrolytes left from the priming compound.

So, why was bore corrosion now such a problem? Well, anyone who has fired, for example, a .45-70 with black powder (that's what Julian Hatcher, Frank Hoppe, and Townsend Whelen had been using, along with the rest of the Army) will realize that (1) using the same amount of priming compound with a powder that left far more residue than did the later smokeless propellants resulted in a far lower concentration of corrosive salts in the residue mixture in the barrel and (2) one ultimately had to get all that residue out of the barrel, and the only practical way was to use water. Corrosion had not been a great concern. Replacing the black powder with a relatively clean burning smokeless propellant changed all that.

So, they now needed to get rid of the salts and clean out that pesky bullet jacket fouling, hence the need for new solvents.

Later bullet jacket alloys significantly reduced the problem of bullet fouling.

Of course, the change to non-corrosive priming compounds eliminated the problem of electrolytes accelerating the oxidation of barrels and eliminated the need to dissolve those salts.

I acquired a rather substantial number of corrosive Frankfort Arsenal FA70 primers about fifty years ago from a guy who was moving whose moving company would not transport explosives. I wrote the American Rifleman about them, and receved a reply saying that they were extremely stable but that I should clean the bore with water after firing them. I kept them in reserve but I never used them, just to aboid the hassle.

I seem to recall that the letter was signed by Julian S. Hatcher, but I could be wrong.

Average Joe
February 27, 2010, 06:07 PM
You could pee down the barrel , but I would rather use water, its free and people won't stare at you.....Just clean and lube as normal afterward...I have been using corrosive ammo for years and never had any problems using water.

Vern Humphrey
February 27, 2010, 06:23 PM
Back when I was a young recruit, we cleaned with boiling water -- in fact, the cooks would line up garbage cans full of water with immersion heaters in them. We would pump water through the bore of the M1 by immersing the receivers and running a tight patch up and down the bore. The gas cylinder, plug and operating rod were lowered into the water until they got good and hot.

The steel got so hot that the water would simply evaporate off it. A minute or so after pulling it out of the boiling water, it would be bone dry. Then we'd oil as normal.

These days, with a bolt action rifle I remove and strip the bolt and put the parts in a bucket, stand the rifle muzzle down in the bucket and pour in boiling water, then pump it vigorously through the bore, pour off the water and allow the parts to dry and cool before lubing and reassembling.

February 27, 2010, 09:19 PM
My Hoppe's bottle says it works on corrosive ammo residue right on the bottle.

40yrs using it and it always works, and I go through lots of corrosive ammo and have no
rust on my guns.

February 27, 2010, 10:00 PM
It doesn't get any less expensive or more reputable for flushing out the primer salts than plain hot water. Ammonia, soap, hydrogen peroxide and/or rubbing alcohol do nothing.

February 28, 2010, 08:10 AM
There is no better solvent on corrosive salts than water. Hot makes it would better and soapy helps to suspend the the removed residue. Best demonstration of how different commercial products work is here:

March 8, 2010, 08:47 AM

and if anyone wants some contact me. I've been selling boxes of 12 cans for quite a while on and recently on

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