Hydrogen Peroxide and corrosive ammo


May 23, 2011, 07:49 AM
I had just gotten back to the states and went to pick up my Norinco sks which arrived they day I left country.

I have wanted an SKS or 7.62 x 39 type rifle for a long time I was very pleased with the wood and metal of this gun. Looked like it had very few rounds through it and the wood was clean with very few packing bruises. The trigger had no creep and was very crisp!! Surprise!

I had figured since I am tall the stock would not fit my reach but surprise (again) the cheek weld was good and the rifle just plain fit my stance....maybe I have shrunk?

The only ammo available was some brass corrosive primer ammo so I grabbed 15 rounds and went to the range. The first 3 shots were all on line but missing the 12" steel plates set at 100 yards by a few inches high. I went one click up on the rear sight and then hit the plates with the remaining rounds. I was very please with the sound of the rounds hitting the steel and honestly surprised with the recoil and ease of placing hits on target.:D

Now here are the questions great SKS Guru of the THR; I was told someplace at one time after shooting corrosive primed ammo that one should run a patch or plug soaked with Hydrogen Peroxide down the bore to remove the residue and then I could use my Breakfree CLP for the final cleaning. It is not necessary if you have a chrome lined barrel ( which mine is ) but ( why not ) the peroxide will bubble and fizz and remove all particulate matter so why not clean it this way anyway?

On the way back home I stopped at Walmart and they had large bottles of Peroxide on sale for $1 (fate, destiny, cosmic alignment?) so I purchased one and used it to clean the rifle bore. Simple, and the final patches came out perfectly clean even though soaked with the CLP. During the cleaning process I did not hear or see any fizzing but was really more interested in the mechanics of cleaning than using my ears for the fizz! Never having used Peroxide for cleaning a bore and kinda worried about hydrogen embrittlement yes I know about dissimilar metal but not peroxide used for cleaning.....Is there a chemist in the house??

I was going to shoot the thing and then trick it out but jeez I may just keep it the way it is after changing the firing pin for a Murray? I do have the new receiver cover with the see through scope rings made by UTG but have not installed the cover or scoped the rifle; Tapco intrafusion rifle stock around here someplace but I have not done any mods, just cleaned it.

Anyone tried the Tapco stock or the UTG receiver cover with the 1" scope rings? Thought it would be nice and easy to remove the old cover and use a low power scope with the UTG cover. Quick change back to original cover if I want to. The sole purpose of this rifle is day light pig popping at ranges of less than 200 yards.

I can get some pretty good deals on corrosive brass ammo or just purchase Silverbear which is not corrosive? Thoughts on or experience with either type ammo appreciated along with cleaning info as described above. I have used the Silverbear 5.56 without problems but the brass stuff sure is purdy. Thanks

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May 23, 2011, 08:05 AM
Plain old water works fine for cleaning after corrosive ammo. Wet a couple of patches and run them down the bore. Wipe off the chamber area with another wet patch and follow up with some CLP.

The Brits had a special funnel for the Enfield rifles. When I was shooting a lot of corrosive .303, I took a thermos of hot water and my funnel to the range with me. As soon as I was done shooting, the funnel went in the chamber and the water was poured down the bore. I used a wet patch to wipe down the bolt face and chamber area. This was followed by a Bore-Snake with a few drops of CLP. I never had any problems with rust.

May 23, 2011, 08:11 AM
hahahaha hanno that sounds to easy!!

May 23, 2011, 09:18 AM
It is easy. Hot soapy water is best. Some folks use Windex.

I just liked doing it the way the Brits did it.


May 23, 2011, 09:23 AM
Plain old ammonia/water mix in a squirt bottle, mix 25/75 to clean both my SMLE and my son's 91/30 whenever we shoot corrosive ammo.
Then clean and oil as normal. I don't like windex as it has additives like dye.

The Brits used to remove the bolt and urinate down the action and barrel.
Try doing that at your range:eek:

Jim Watson
May 23, 2011, 09:24 AM
Drugstore hydrogen peroxide is 3% H2O2, balance H2O.
Water has always been good for corrosive primer cleanup.
There can be no "hydrogen embrittlement" because there is no free hydrogen. The bubbles when peroxide breaks down are oxygen.

There are brave people who will use the stronger hairdresser's peroxide and vinegar to remove copper and lead fouling.

Just One Shot
May 23, 2011, 09:43 AM
I never used anything on my AK other than Hoppe's #9 and followed it up with my normal lube. Never saw any indications of rust. The main thing is that you do it immediatly after you get home from shooting it.

May 23, 2011, 09:49 AM
The Brits used to remove the bolt and urinate down the action and barrel.

Not saying it might not be true, but from where I'm sitting that has "urban legend" written all over it ;).

May 23, 2011, 09:57 AM
There were times when urine was used on wounds when nothing else was available!! Think that ended right after aids or women said Yuk or something!! I have always had an aversion to water and firearms maybe it is genetic but if I had to I would not be adverse to the urine down the barrel thing.

I love the Britts they were always bound by tradition and have a make due kinda way of doing things because they were usually under manned and supplied.

Stiff upper lip is to hide no teeth!

Joke joke some of my fondest memories are with Britts and yes most have teeth.

The water thing is good to know though and when I work my way through the Peroxide I may try it in a pinch!

May 23, 2011, 10:24 AM
At one time I used a lot of Chinese steel-core (banned) corrosive ammo.
I cleaned it at the range with Windex.
I don't use it anymore--a lot of reloads.
The kids (mid 40's) still use some of it on their AK's & they only clean with Hoppes # 9.
They use a lot of Wolf ammo.
My oldest picked up an el-cheapo AK--I could not believe how accurate that thing is.----------:eek:

May 23, 2011, 10:30 AM
Hydrogen peroxide does remove lead fouling by turning it into lead oxide but it will also eat steel by oxidation when used this way.

A while back, I got hammered here for suggesting using it to remove leading. To see for myself, I put a piece of old shotgun barrel in a cup of common, brown-bottle hydrogen peroxide for a couple of days and it did eat up the steel. Quite a bit, actually.

Also, the stronger the solution one uses, the quicker it'll eat up your gun.

Ammonia, a weak base, neutralizes the acidity in corrosive ammo residue. Windex is the way to go.

May 23, 2011, 10:43 AM
Humm windex........ woad yurt thanks for the info and the test guess the Peroxide will go in the ears or something??

highlander 5
May 23, 2011, 10:52 AM
one of my former co workers took a 45/70 case drilled,tapped it and attached a length of tygon tubing so he could clean out the black powder residue from his BP rifle. As I recall he used Windex with ammonia d mixed with water. 3 parts water 1 part Windex as I recall.

May 23, 2011, 06:16 PM
At the end of my shooting sessions using corrosive ammo,
i run off 1 or 2 rounds of non-corrosive, seems to help blast/burn
out residual salts.
+1 on the water/Windex flush, followed by normal cleaning
with Hoppe's #9.
AS for the stock change, the Tapco is a good choice.
For scope mounts, the consensus is that the receiver cover
mounts will not maintain zero in the long run. There are a couple
of mounts that work quite well, both are drill & tap, the Choate
and the Weaver #48881 Converta-Mount. The Weaver is a shotgun
mount but is easily modified to fit the SKS.

May 23, 2011, 06:26 PM
I never heard of using peroxide. Windex was always a 'stop gap' measure until you could do a proper cleaning.

May 23, 2011, 06:26 PM
I use a 1:9 mixture of Ballistol and water, applied generously.

May 23, 2011, 06:59 PM
Never use hydrogen peroxide, that is one of the worst things you could do, as the primary action of hydrogen peroxide is to oxidate. That is how it disinfects, it oxidates.

What happens when you oxidate steel? You get rust or iron oxide.

May 24, 2011, 01:09 AM
Funny how you hear things from people who you would think would know something! There is mucho misinformation about just about any topic you can think of. I am going to tear down the SKS tomorrow and let all the metal soak in gas or solvent or soapy water then do a super clean up on all parts and lube. I ordered 1120 brass rounds of 7.62 x 39 for less than $190 from aimsurplus. It is corrosive but I am not going to worry about it.

The UTG scope mount I had wondered about being secure and letting the scope maintain zero but for $15 I figured it was at least worth a shot!? To make then fit many have to file down the front ears so if I do install the mount I will try to make a tight secure fit and see how it goes.

Was busy today and did nothing with the SKS other than walk by it a few times.

Really do appreciate the comments and info on the peroxide and cleaning with water.

Owen Sparks
May 24, 2011, 01:58 AM
If you use water to clean a firearm make sure it is really HOT so that the metal gets warm enough to dry itself in spots you might miss with a rag. I once had a 1911 slip out of a holster in a swamp. It was so full of mud and crap that I just ran hot water on it to get all the gunk out before going any further. The metal got pretty warm and to my amazment the parts were almost all dry by the time I got it apart. I used an air compressor to blow water out of small areas like the extractor channel and the main spring housing but most major componants like the barrel and frame were completly dry.

May 24, 2011, 11:48 AM
Ammonia, a weak base, neutralizes the acidity in corrosive ammo residue. Windex is the way to go.

The "corrosive" chlorate-primer residue that can bring harm to your steel is potassium chloride (akin to table salt). It is very hygroscopic, which is why water (or something water-based) is the most efficient approach to removing it.

By itself, potassium chloride is harmless to steel ... but it will attract water from the atmosphere (if available) and begin a rustfest.

May 24, 2011, 03:19 PM
Ok took the SKS totally apart. It has all matching numbers and by looking at various parts it really has not been used. Still had cos in the nooks and crannies. I was going to put the Tapco stock on just to see if I liked it but could not get the mag out!!?? This is a Norinco C model as far as I can figure out. After removing the trigger assembly the mag is supposed to come right out.....It looks like the side screw or bolt that goes through the stock also catches the mag to hold it in place securely! I got busy doing other stuff but plan on removing the trigger assembly and the side bolt later and see if the mag will release. I even used a rubber mallet thinking maybe the cosmoline had formed a seal to prevent the mag from coming out. But alas it would not budge. Always something!!

May 24, 2011, 04:38 PM
Ammonia, a weak base, neutralizes the acidity in corrosive ammo residue. Windex is the way to go.

Salts are neither acidic or base.

The most useful thing in the Windex (besides the water) is probably the surfactant to allow the water to wet out better on surfaces.

Jim Watson
May 24, 2011, 05:33 PM
Vinegar is a pretty good penetrant and the detergent in the mix helps cut the powder fouling to get the water down to the chloride.

May 24, 2011, 05:36 PM
Hydrogen Peroxide


Ammonia based cleaners or, as already said, lots and lots of very hot water (although that idea makes me slightly uncomfortable with semiautos).

Jeff F
May 24, 2011, 06:05 PM
Drugstore hydrogen peroxide is 3% H2O2, balance H2O.
Water has always been good for corrosive primer cleanup.
There can be no "hydrogen embrittlement" because there is no free hydrogen. The bubbles when peroxide breaks down are oxygen.

There are brave people who will use the stronger hairdresser's peroxide and vinegar to remove copper and lead fouling.

Good point Jim, One thing I do know for a fact is metal will corrode faster in an oxygen rich environment.

May 24, 2011, 08:10 PM
@Sky, I just bought a sks 56 the other day and have the Interfuse stock on the way. I looked the model type up on youtube and there are lots of vids showing about box mag removal as well as some good history on the weapon.

May 24, 2011, 09:13 PM
Trust me I burned up the vid screen watching SKS videos on youtube...None showed removal of the side screw/bolt to get the mag out that I found. Guess it is time to go see if it come out with the screw removed.....later!

May 24, 2011, 09:32 PM
Sky, I'm looking presently, where did you get yours? Anyone else? Thanks! :)

Samari Jack
May 24, 2011, 09:34 PM
I tried a former girlfriend's tampon once as a cleaning patch. Couldn't find one big enough but the smell did improve. Hap a happy shotgun.:evil:

May 24, 2011, 10:52 PM
@Sky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng_Kdn3JQDQ at 4:00 he goes into how to get it out.

May 25, 2011, 07:15 AM
Yes I watched that video and all the others I could find on tear down the mag (after trigger removal) just comes out with out much fuss. Mine does not!!

I doubt if the mag has been remove since manufacture. I am not sure the rifle has ever been torn down since coming together for it is tight with no slop and the rails to me look like they are not worn or broke-in at all. I even joined the SKS forum but have not found anything on this particular problem. It would not bug me as much but I want to install the Tapco stock which requires the mag removal and I like to really do a detailed inspection and cleaning on any new firearm (new to me) the first few times I use it.

P.S. Mine was purchased from an individual that I should thank but have lost emails and his number.

May 25, 2011, 07:32 AM

Thank you. I stand corrected.

May 25, 2011, 10:29 AM
Ok talked to a guru on the SKS and he after 37 years has never had the mag problem either. He and I agree since the rifle is so tight that it is possible that the cos and other chemicals have formed a seal almost like a hardened glue preventing the mag removal. Time for a thin putty knife or something to try and get between the mag and frame. The rifle has no scratches or dings so I am trying to keep it that way.

May 25, 2011, 04:50 PM
*Flushed out the bore of my Mosin Nagant with distilled water, then tested the water with litmus paper. Acidic! Highschool chemistry says use a basic solution. I use household ammonia because it has soap in it, and the old corrosive ammo I have is filthy stuff.
If your barrel is chrome lined, no worry, corrosive isn't an issue.

P.S. silver bear is crap.

May 26, 2011, 03:05 PM
After almost 5 hours of continuous working on the mag I have finally finished. There were two problems with the mag seating and removal. After the stock was removed the mag would still not fit in the upper because the back of the mag could not get past the post. The ear of the front catch on the mag was a tad bit to long. Filed down (approx 1/64") with a dremel rotary sand paper fitting and with the stock removed the mag would finally seat in the upper with out a mallet. Started putting everything back together and the wood "mag well" was so tight it would not let the mag fully seat without binding. Again the dremel and some light sanding and everything went back together like it is supposed to. For once I did not take to much off and it looks like it will function as intended. Will go shoot the SKS on Saturday after my ammo comes in this Friday. Speaking of ammo; I ended up getting my ammo from aimsurplus which had the best price I could find for 1120 rounds. I paid $182 but the shipping brought the price up to $225.36. The Silverbear would have been $230 (for 1000 rounds) plus shipping and is not brass. Glad I ordered when I did for I think they are sold out now! If someone knows of a better place to purchase ammo I am all ears!

Their take on the ammo is:

Beautiful Surplus Yugoslavian 7.62x39 ammunition. This is the best shooting 7.62x39 ammunition available. Features a 123grn lead core copper jacketed bullet, brass case, and berdan corrosive primer. Packed 10rds on a steel charger (stripper clip), 40rds (4 SKS chargers) in a box , and 1,120rds (28 boxes and 112 chargers) sealed in metal tin inside of a hinged latched wooden case. At these prices... while supplies last!

I have used Silverbear in my ARs and would have purchased some more especially since it is non-corosive but I am not that concerned about corosive ammo in that I clean after a range trip or hunting. Thanks for the info guys and wow I am glad that is over!!

May 26, 2011, 04:07 PM
Any of the black powder cleaners will remove the salts. Hoppes #9 Plus will work. Then clean normally and oil. The bore is not the only part that will get salts on it. Any part subject to gas from the shot will also get deposits. Anything in the action that has a coating of dirt must be cleaned. Depending on how humid it is where you live, the gun should be cleaned as soon as possible. In S FL I had an AK rust in about 2 hours.

May 26, 2011, 04:20 PM
Yes South Texas here so it will get cleaned. The range I frequent though has AKs for rent and they get all kinds of ammo through them. They get a few squirts of Breakfree CLP and never cleaned to my knowledge. Have not seen or heard of any problems with them rusting etc etc but will double check.

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