Corrosive ammo


November 26, 2003, 03:47 PM
I have read in some other posts that some mil-surplus ammo is corrosive and some are not. what I have been able to find out is that most can be ID'ed by the markings on the head stamp. Such as KA is corrosive and PS is not.

I have also read a litte that the date on the head stamp can also tell you if it is corrosive if it has no markings other wise.

to get to my questions:

At what date is the mil-surplus ammo no longer corrosive ammo?

I have some mil-surplus 8mm Mauser ammo that I am safe to say is corrosive just guessing from the date on the head stamp but I could be wrong because this is the first mil-surplus ammo I have ever got and with limited knowladge. The date stamp is 1943. There is also another marking on the head stamp of FS. what does the FS stand for?. Is the date enough to tell me if it is corrosive or not ?


p.s. .: If this is not in the correct forum I am sorry. Please move to the correct place if need be.

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November 26, 2003, 03:56 PM
The date is not a good indication of whether or not ammo is corrosive.

Right now I'm shooting some Yugo manufactured 7.62 Russian dated 1976 that is corrosive.

I wouldn't trust any combloc surplus military ammo to be non corrosive unless you are shooting very recent commercial manufacture such as Wolf, Silver Bear or Barnaul.

A peek at this site can also yeild some good information on headstamps.

Good Shooting

Ky Larry
November 26, 2003, 09:08 PM
All the more reason to throughly clean your weapons after every use.

November 26, 2003, 09:39 PM
Cleaning weapons after firing corrosive ammo should be done as soon as possible. Based on what I learned from reading a lot on "milsurp" forums, I would do a quick cleaning at the range using a alcohol/water mix or Windex with alcohol. Just a damp patch back and forth in the bore and use the same patch to wipe off the bolt face. Then I would do a regular thorough cleaning when I got home. I believe the alcohol is needed to cut the "salts" in the primer that cause rust/corrosion. Lots of good info on milsurp sights and from some C&R dealers.

Mike Irwin
November 26, 2003, 10:47 PM
I ALWAYS work under the following set of rules, and it's worked well for me...

US post-1930 commercial manufacture -- non corrosive. There are some exceptions, though, normally match ammo, and some .22. If .22 made after WW II, it's non corrosive.

US pre-1930 commercial manufacture, clean as if corrosive.

Foreign military ammo, no matter what year, cleas as if corrosive. Exception is if it bears the Cross in Circle mark that denotes ammo made to NATO specifications. NATO ammo is by spec non-corrosive.

Foreign commercial ammo made post 1980 (Western European) SHOULD be non-corrosive. I've never heard of any that is corrosive.

Foreign commercial ammo made pre 1980 (Western European) clean as if corrosive.

Foreign commercial ammo made behind the Iron Curtain, clean as if corrosive.

I've used that set of criteria most of my shooting life, and it's not let me down yet.

November 27, 2003, 06:50 AM
Take a fired case from your ammo and sit it on the edge of the sink the next time you take a hot steamy shower.

2 or 3 days later run a clean patch through the neck and into the case.
Make sure you rub it against the sides and base of the case.

That'll tell you if it's corrosive or not.

Do not try to reload any cases that had corrosive primers unless you fired them and immediately cleaned them within 12-24 hours. Reloading a corroded case is just asking for a KaBoom.

Ky Larry
November 27, 2003, 08:25 AM
When cleaning, pay special attention to the gas tube in auto loaders. AK-type rifles need to have the gas tube cleaned to prevent corrosion.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't WWII US ammo for the Garand rifle loaded with corrosive primers and ammo for the M1 carbine non-corrosive?

November 28, 2003, 09:03 AM
Does anyone have a mix on the Windex with alcohol or alcohol with water that works good. I will mix some up and keep in a well marked spray bottle. Is half/half ok?


Mike Irwin
November 28, 2003, 03:47 PM
Straight rubbing alcohol is actually fine, too.

You want two things in any mix that you use -- water and something to cut any residual oil in the bore that might hide corrosive salts.

Windex has water and sudsing ammonia.

Regular rubbing alcohol cuts oil fairly well, and is 70% water by volume.

If you want to increase its effectiveness a bit, for ever 16 ounce bottle add 1 or 2 tablespoons of dish detergent.

November 28, 2003, 04:22 PM
US 30 cal carbine ammo was non-corrosive from the very beginning, but there was some corrosive carbine ammo imported from China back in the 80s-90s that was headstamped to make it look like US ammo.

US 30/06 military ammo was corrosive until sometime in the mid-1950s, so that anything dated 1958 or later can be considered non-corrosive.

Ditto on Mike Irwin's post.

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