Barrel preservation, keeps corroding


June 8, 2011, 09:16 PM
Alright. I have a Century AK-74, which means corrosive milsurp 7n6 and a non-chrome barrel. I took it shooting once* and thought I'd got the bore cleaned. Then a week later I took a look down the bore and it was dark. A quarter bag of patches later (exaggeration) I thought it was cleaned back out, and made sure there were several drops of rem-oil in the barrel. Again, a couple weeks later I checked it again and more rust in there.

Here's the qualifier. Due to familial circumstances I cannot bring it inside the house and limited financial means, combined with this being my only firearm, mean a safe cannot be bought at this time and the gun is merely well hidden in the garage in a hard case. (Plus, I live in Ann Arbor Mi...the only crime in our area is on the roads). Is it simply the humidity, and I should keep dessicants in the brake and chamber? I made sure this time the last patch came out as clean as it went in and the bore is blindingly shiny when held-up to the light.

[meanwhile, the viewers of this thread start posting bets that the next outing reveals 10" groups and keyholing from the corrosion damage]

*No keyholing, and for the first time ever shooting a gun period, after 60 rounds I was getting 4 MOA. Just a data point.

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June 8, 2011, 09:32 PM
I would say that your cleaning procedure was flawed from the beginning. Corrosive priming requires copious amounts of HOT water to dissolve the salts, then clean with solvents, and oil. Once the corrosion gets a foothold in the steel, it will likely be a constant problem for you unless you replace the barrel. It's apparent your storage presents a problem too.
Corrosive ammo dictates a dedicated cleaning procedure.


June 8, 2011, 09:33 PM
Did you wash the bore and gas tube with water after shooting corrosive ammo? I don't shoot that stuff, but this seems to be the standard practice. If you didn't use water there may still be some residue in there causing rust.

Failing that, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the humidity. I live in Wisconsin so I'm familiar with the summer humidity. It's probably not a bad idea to try sticking a desiccant pack in the chamber and muzzle if you're storing it outside.

June 8, 2011, 09:35 PM
You really need plenty of water to wash out the corrosive salts; they're not very oil soluble. I would rinse the bore generously with hot water (taking care not to get the furniture wet, if possible), then clean normally and oil generously with a good corrosion inhibitor. Since you are storing it in a garage, you might want to consider running a patch of Corrosion-X or Boeshield T-9 (available at boat supply stores) through the bore instead of regular gun oil, as those products are very good at corrosion protection.

If that doesn't solve the problem, you might want to consider shooting Wolf/Tula/Barnaul noncorrosive for a while until you can store the rifle in a less humid environment.

Sam Cade
June 8, 2011, 09:35 PM
After you shoot flush the bore with WATER.

Pop of the cover, pull the bolt and carrier and run plenty of water from the breech end out the muzzle, blow or patch dry.
Give it a shot of WD-40, also from the breech end. The W.D stands for Water Displacer.
THEN clean and lube as normal.

June 8, 2011, 09:37 PM
Alright, will do. I didn't think that the salts wouldn't be carried out by the rem oil.

June 8, 2011, 10:32 PM
Alright, will do. I didn't think that the salts wouldn't be carried out by the rem oil.

Unfortunately, salts don't dissolve in oil very well.

I just use soapy water on all the areas that get gas fouling on them. Dry, then oil with a good gun oil. I live in Oregon and have shot more than 1k of corrosive Yugo M67, including in the rain. No rust problems.


June 8, 2011, 10:35 PM
If you want to get really "rambunctious" take the barrel off the furniture, grab your drill motor, put the end into a pot of very hot soapy water and let the cleaning commence. A few passes with the rotating wet brush will get that coroding crap out. Not a bad way to clean any or all your shooters.

June 8, 2011, 10:47 PM
So here's another question, how bad is a K-var nylon bristled bore brush on the unlined steel?

June 8, 2011, 10:58 PM
You're going to have your work cut out for you to wear out a steel barrel with a nylon brush.

More of a danger is dinging or wearing out the crown using the AK steel rod. Which is why I like to use pull-thru cleaners in rifles I can't rod from the breech.

Like this one:


June 8, 2011, 11:05 PM is a test on lubes easy to read and interesting.

From every test and study I have seen Rem Oil is not a very good anti corrosion/rust product.

I use Windex for the barrel (on my sks with corrosive ammo which is almost all I shoot) and Hop#9 sometimes for copper removal. After cleaning I use Breakfree CLP for a lube and have not had any problems in South Texas 40 minutes from the gulf. Main thing as said by many is get the salt out of the barrel. Water works but I carry a small bottle of Windex and do not have to look for a water source after shooting.

June 8, 2011, 11:16 PM
I have a couple of milsurps that I have owned for over 2 decades. Both have been shot thousands of times using corrosive ammo. Each were cleaned with conventional cleaning solvents. Neither have any rust at all.....I never heard of cleaning with water until I got the internet...However, I will agree that it will do a fantastic job.

About Rem Oil...I've been using it about 20 years and have had zero rust trouble. I use it on everything from my 40 buck singleshot up to my NIB investment pieces. I have also used it for more than just guns sitting in the safe. My pet hunting rifle has seen plenty of rainy days hanging on a hook above my treestand. I have never had so much as a spot of rust on it.

June 8, 2011, 11:34 PM
Just curious, ColtPythonElite, what's the climate like where you live?


June 8, 2011, 11:37 PM
I have it all....snow, rain, heat, humidity....Right now, it is hot and humid.

For years my guns were kept in a mix of hard cases, soft cases, and a wooden gun cabinet. Less than 5 years ago, I bought a safe. FWIW, I have only had a dehumidifier in it for a few months.

June 8, 2011, 11:56 PM
I just got finished reading a similar thread on another forum. I thought it was interesting that no military ever suggested using water after shooting corrosive ammo. They used stuff like ballistol.
I think the main problem is that you store the gun in a humid garage. I know my garage gets extremely humid.
I've read so many different ways that you have to clean after corrosive ammo that I won't ever shoot corrosive.

Edit: I guess whoever posted that about the military cleaning method was wrong. Thanks for pointing that out.
I'll still avoid corrosive ammo.

June 9, 2011, 12:03 AM
I just got finished reading a similar thread on another forum. I thought it was interesting that no military ever suggested using water after shooting corrosive ammo. They used stuff like ballistol.

The alkaline solution from the Sov manual is water with stuff dissolved in it.

Cleaning section starts around page 70 of the PDF:


June 9, 2011, 12:08 AM
Thanks for the input, guys. Methinks in the morning I'll get some window cleaner, soak the brush in it, and give the bore a good scrubbing, then pour the hot water down the chamber, then patch with oil.

June 9, 2011, 12:27 AM
After shooting corrosive Mk.7 ammunition the British simply pored at least one pint of boiling water down the bore. After the hot water evaporated a pull through (snake) with an oiled rag was pulled through the bore.

The British troops did not and were not allowed to remove any copper from the bore as this was done by armourers or with special permission from a senior NCO. (No copper solvents, no Butch's Bore Shine, no Ed's Red etc)

If you read the old books about African safaris ALL the hunters used boiling water after shooting corrosive ammunition and then the bores were oiled. (Windex wasn't invented yet to add to the myths) :rolleyes:

My Yugo 59/66 SKS does not have a chrome bore, and it fires corrosive ammunition. It is cleaned with soapy water (Dish washing soap) and then filled with foam bore cleaner. (Barrel and gas tubes) A film of foam bore cleaner may be left in the bore as protection.

Below, Enfield bore after application of foam bore cleaner and "NO" scrubbing with a bore brush.
(A pitted frosted bore will "eat" a copper bore brush and give false reading of copper in the bore) ;)

For long term storage RIG grease or other preservation type oils work well.

June 9, 2011, 12:28 AM
Lee liquid Alox...its used as a cast bullet lube, but before that it was, and still is, a metal preservative called Alox 606-55.

About $5 at Midway...

Read the first paragraph here...

It can be "thinned for ease of use" with mineral spirits, and cleans up easily with WD40.

June 9, 2011, 09:52 AM
Use a water based cleaner on the barrel. An ammonia based window cleaner is good bc it will dissolve copper and salts both. Be 110% sure all water is displaced afterwards though. I spray the hell out of my AK74 with CLP or Rem Oil to ensure no water remains in any nooks and crannys and then i wipe off all the excess. For storage though just leave it in until your ready to shoot. For my barrel though i'm a big fan of the Otis Bore Cleaner/Preservative.

Sam Cade
June 9, 2011, 02:42 PM
Be 110% sure all water is displaced afterwards though.

That is why I recommended the squirt of WD-40. Its a rare occasion that you get to use it for its intended purpose.

June 9, 2011, 04:02 PM
After shooting corrosive 5.45x39 through my Saiga I just flush it with a garden hose (its very hot from solar heating!, let dry in the sun while I put other stuff away and then clean normally with Hoppes #9 and lube with CLP.

But since its an AK a little rust won't hurt anything! Buy some silica gel drying agent and put it in the case with the rifle when stored in the garage. Reactive the gel in the oven when the color indicate says its "full".

I like to use pull-thru cleaners in rifles I can't rod from the breech.

Yeah, but AKs rod from the breech just fine if you have a long enough rod -- the basic 3-piece from Academy is long enough.

June 9, 2011, 04:26 PM
Rinsing just the barrel is by no means sufficient. If anybody hasn't been washing their gas tubes after corrosive ammo, pull it off and look inside. You'll be unpleasantly surprised.

Al Thompson
June 9, 2011, 04:37 PM
Gordon, IIRC, the old RBC (rifle bore cleaner) was water based. Hatcher's Notebook has a chapter on corrosion that is interesting reading. :)

June 9, 2011, 04:38 PM
WD-40 should be followed by a chaser or real oil, since it's simply a water displacer, and evaporates quick, leaving behind a film of stuff that can start rust anew.

If you're storing in a garage, I'd almost suggest taking a patch and coating it in some axle grease, and run that down through the bore for a heavy protective coat.

June 9, 2011, 04:43 PM
All oils and oil based products are hydrophobic so will adequately displace water.

June 9, 2011, 05:09 PM
I have been shooting C&R rifles for many years and they eat corrosive ammo by the case. After I arrive home from shooting, I clean this way......while holding the rifle vertically with the muzzle down, squirt Windex ammonia down the chamber until it runs out the muzzle. Then squirt the bolt face, and gas system if applicable. Then run a dry patch down the bore. Run a wet patch, Hoppe's, then follow with a copper brush. Then dry patch and repeat with a wet patch. Check the wet patch for fouling. repeat as necessary to get a clean bore. Then run a wet patch, Breakfree or LPS2, and you are done with the bore. Wipe the bolt to remove the windex. Wipe with a wet patch, Hoppe's, and then a dry patch. Wipe with Breakfree or LSP2 and let dry. Apply grease, I use Miltec, to applicable places. After wiping down the whole gun, I use Breakfree or LPS2, you are done. LPS2 is a milspec rust preventative and lube that dries. In 20 years of using LPS, I have never had a problem with rust. LPS can be purchased at hardware stores and it comes in three grades, 1,2,3. chris3

June 10, 2011, 03:08 AM
And, if you need a semi-permanent dry film try Boe-Shield TO9. Designed for landing gear that gets deiced and HAS to live w/o corrosion. Works very well for storage :)

June 10, 2011, 03:35 AM
If you want to get really "rambunctious" take the barrel off the furniture, grab your drill motor, put the end into a pot of very hot soapy water and let the cleaning commence. A few passes with the rotating wet brush will get that coroding crap out. Not a bad way to clean any or all your shooters.

This is a good way to ruin your barrel. The bore brush probably won't hurt--but that same brush rotating across the lands and grooves will scratch up that bore in short order.

You'll need to take the wood furniture off, and totally submerse the whole gun in some warm soapy water. Disassemble it as much as possible first, of course. Use a toothbrush everywhere you can, and a bore brush. Shake it off, then blow it out with compressed air. Lube well, and put it away.

I would also put a couple of dessicant bags in the storage container.

June 10, 2011, 05:52 AM
Good advice for dealing with corrosive ammo in this thread as well as storing a gun in the garage where it is exposed to a lot of temperature changes and humidity. Something I experienced shooting lacquered steel case ammo is that you can get lacquer buildup in your chamber. That's where a brush on a drill comes in handy, but make sure you only scrub the chamber. I used a .45 cal. brush on mine when I started having trouble with cartridges not seating properly and it solved the problem. I've read and heard several times that the lacquer burns off but I've owned an SKS for about 20 years and my experience is that it will build up over time. You need to scrub the chamber very thoroughly after any shooting session using lacquered cases and once in awhile, probably every few thousand rounds you might need to hit it with a drill, especially if you try shooting SAAMI spec ammo rather than CIP spec.

June 10, 2011, 08:07 AM
After shooting corrosive mil-surp ammo I wash out the bore with hot water then dry with cotton cloth patches. I then swab the bore with common automobile automatic transmission fluid. I live in SW Florida and keep guns in my garage. ATF prevents after-rust and does not get gummy with time. I've tried lots of gun oils over the years. I have yet to fnd anything that works better for this kind of application. It even stops after-rust on my in-line muzzle loader when I've shot Pyrodex powder--which is a true miracle since NOTHING else will.

June 10, 2011, 05:36 PM
I've also used Windex to clean after shooting corrosive ammo. Some who apparently know more than I have claimed that Windex, which is pretty much just soapy water, isn't any more effective than hot soapy water.
Whatever the case, Windex worked for me and that's how I'd clean after corrosive ammo if I was shooting any now. And it's already prepackaged in a convenient spray bottle!

June 12, 2011, 08:25 AM
I believe in cleaning my gun after corrosive ammo, but believe some of you guys are going the overkill route and worrying about it more than you need to.

My dad has an old Mosin he bought off a kid he worked with for 10 bucks. The story was it had a "bad" firing pin. The kid said it would misfire most of the time. My dad tried it a few times with the box of corrosive shells that came with the gun. He got it to fire a few times, but had misfires. He threw it in a closet with a dirty bore for nearly a decade. About 2 months ago, I asked about the gun. My dad gave it to me to fiddle with. I found nothing wrong with the firing pin other than it needed adjusted. I ran a dozen or so patches thru it and got nothing but rust colored cloth back. I let it sit with some bore cleaner a few days and finally started getting clean patches. The bore looked fine. I took it to the range and could hit a 8" x 12" gong at 125 yards everytime. That lack of care didn't seem to hurt the gun at all.....Basically, give it a little attention after you shoot it and it will be fine for another 100 years.

June 12, 2011, 07:45 PM
The other thing that may be getting to you is storing that metal in closed rifle case in an unheated garage. The metal will always be behind the heating and cooling temp curve because of the padded gun case. (insulation) so it will condense (sweat) inside the case. Better off putting it in a Remington or Winchester silicone treated "gun sock" with a trigger lock and shoving up in the rafters where it can range with the ambient temp.

June 12, 2011, 11:20 PM
Well, just got back from the range (and got out late as usual. Bought 120 rounds and only got off 35 before they closed. lol). Dumped soapy water down the bore as soon as the ceasefire was called, and when I got home ran patches until they came out clean as they went in. WD-40'ed the barrel and gas block...we'll see how she fares.

BTW, still only 90 rounds I've ever shot. Was lucky that 3/4 my shots were on the shoot-'n-see. :D I think I'm going back before the end of the week.

And to BrocLuno, the idea is to prevent theft, not mishandling. A trigger lock? Either way, she's moved to a better hiding spot (unless any would-be-thieves are also model railroaders. lol)

June 13, 2011, 01:16 PM
Simple terms dealing with corrosive ammo and what it can do to your barrel.

Below a brand new bore will look like a piece of glass. (use you imagination) :rolleyes:

If the barrel and gas system is not properly it can become "frosted" and will get microscopic pitting that steadily gets much worse.

Below, the "much worse". :eek: The pits below will become filled with copper jacket material and you will spend countless hours cleaning the bore.
(unless your smart and use foam bore cleaner and let it do the work) ;)

The humidity of where the rifle is stored and how much corrosive salts remains will determine how much "worse" is.

A frosted or pitted bore is a bugger to clean and will "eat" copper bore brushes and can give you a "false" reading of copper. If not cleaned properly it will "eat" your gas valve on a Yugo 59/66

Corrosive salts are flushed out with water, and preferable hot water. Plain old soapy water will work wonders followed by a good oiling. (and repeated checks afterward with a clean patch looking for that nasty brown colored "RUST".

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