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Corrosive Ammo

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Aaryq, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Aaryq

    Aaryq Well-Known Member

    What is corrosive ammo? Obviously it sounds bad. I've heard chatter about Soviet rifles being able to fire anything you put in it. What part of the ammo is corrosive and where does it cause corrosion on the weapon? How easy is it to bust the corrosion?

    Maybe I'm a dummy but I'm not sure exactly what you guys are talking about.
  2. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly Well-Known Member

    Corrosive ammo is that which employs powders or primers that leave corrosive salts in the firearms after firing.

    Any residue left after firing should be considered corrosive.

    Basically you take the weapon down and clean it well.....if you leave residue in the weapon rust will form. No special technique is required.....just clean it well with good materials. Hoppes will clean out corrosive residue just fine.

    When thinking of corrosive ammo just think of the effect road salt has on your car......except instead of taking several years it may take only one day.

    Google corrosive ammo and read up.
  3. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    The compound in the primer has salts in it that can cause rusting in the barrel if left there. Just like road salt can cause corrosion on your vehicle. It's no big deal. Flush the barrel with hot water then clean as per normal. Some shooters use Windex instead of water. Does the same thing. However, once the rusting starts, getting it out isn't easy. The rust can and will cause pitting in the barrel. Minor pitting isn't serious, but if the rifling is damaged the barrel is toast.
    Russian military firearms were made to be used by illiterate conscripts with minimal training. None of 'em are target rifles. They're made to be reliable in all conditions.
  4. jessicalois

    jessicalois Member

    To add to what the others said, my understanding of the science behind it is that the salts that are left in the barrel and other exposed surfaces attract and bind with moisture in the air which leads to the rust problems (think of why you put rice in table salt- to absorb the moisture the salt attracts so it doesn't clump; these "corrosive" salts from the ammo attract moisture in the same way). Wiping the barrel with a Windex patch is fine; some people say it's the ammonia in it that dissolves the salts, but I believe that's a legend; it's actually the water in the Windex that removes the salt- the ammonia just helps make the leftover moisture evaporate faster. Hot hot water is also used; the hotter it is the faster is will also cause the excess to evaporate so you don't have that sitting on your metal either.

    Then just clean your gun as usual. You generally want to get this process started asap after shooting, just to be safe.

    Good luck :)
  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz Well-Known Member

    Some of the finest match grade ammo ever manufactured was corrosive. Much of the very high quality military surplus "blasting ammo" available at low prices today is corrosive.

    Never let "corrosive" primers stop you from buying good ammo. Just clean your weapon after shooting. I like the hot water method, but Hoppe's works also. The old "GI" bore cleaner in the green metal cans was specificallydesigned for cleaning out chlorate salts. Black powder cleaning solvent works as well.

    I've fired literally thousands of rounds of corrossive ammo in my 1911 match gun, and the bore still shines like a mirror. The same for my M-1 Garand.
  6. darkknight

    darkknight Well-Known Member

    not to thread jack but is hot water a neccesity or will any water work. How hot is hot btw, are you talking about boiling or just lukewarm.
  7. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Well-Known Member

    I don't believe the water has to be at any specific temperature. The idea behind the heat is two part, first it speeds up the chemical reaction dissolving the salt, second the remaining heat in the water will help it to evaporate faster reducing the amount of drying off you have to do.

    My experience with it is my Mosin Nagant which hasn't had a hitch nor stutter by being cleaned with nothing other than Hoppes or Butches.

    My Black Powder rifle gets a bath with hot water to loosen the crud which is powerfully thick after a range session. The cleaning goop designed for Black powder smells just like pine sol and does a nice job of removing the smaller deposits.

    In case nobody mentions it, an easy way to get hot water into and out of your rifle is to take a cleaning rod with a tight fitting jag, put an oiled patch on the jag, run it towards the muzzle from the breech. Just before it exits, put the muzzle into a bucket of warm/hot water. When you pull the cleaning rod back up towards the breech, the jag will act like a gasket and you'll suck water up into the barrel. Work the rod back and forth a few times and you'll be impressed at how quickly and easily the bore gets flushed. Make sure you end the process by lifting the muzzle above the water level and push the jag out of the muzzle. This tends to contain the slashing and drips.
  8. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Well-Known Member

    I use a cheap window cleaner to clean my mil-surps after firing. It has ammonia in it. The liquid and soap/cleaner takes out the residue and the ammonia starts to remove any copper fouling.
    Balistol cleaner was made for this type of ammo and Krano Kroil is good to help remove other residue.
    Once the window cleaner is used put a dry patch down the bore and then clean like you would any firearm and then oil.
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    Water is not a necessity but you have to know what you're using. Hoppe's and GI Bore cleaner will remove the salts but not all bore cleaners will. Water or ammonia (which is chemically similar) is all you need to remove the salts. Hot is better as it dissolves the salt and evaporates faster but cold water will do. If you use water I suggest a few squirts of WD40 to displace the water when your done.

    I don't like to use corrosive ammo in semi autos as there are too many nooks and crannies to clean out. Use it all the time in bolt guns. the corrosive salts are from the primers unless you're using black powder.
  10. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Well-Known Member

    I shoot a ton of 7.62x54R which is corrosive. The residual salts are hydroscopic, meaning they attract water. When shooting, I have a small bottle of windex that I will squirt down the barrel to flush the salts out, then run some windex soaked patches through. It's the water in the windex that does the work on the salts, not the ammonia.

    I'll flush the barrel pretty good at the range, then when I get home I'll clean normally - never had an issue with any type of corrosion. Just make sure you wipe down any area that gets exposed to the salts (receiver, bolt face, etc.)

    Now if you're shooting a semi-auto you have to do a little more work. Make sure you clean the gas system really well - a lot of people forget to clean the gas system and have a nice shiny barrel and a sewer pipe gas system.
  11. cheygriz

    cheygriz Well-Known Member


    Any water will work. I personally like to boil water in a large tea kettle, and pour it down the bore. The old British Tommies in WWll referred to this as "boiling out" the rifle.

    The hotter the water, the better and faster it works, and the faster it dries. I pour a half kettle of boiling water down the barrel, run a clean nylon or bronze brush through 3 or 4 times, then pour the rest of the kettle down the bore, folowed by a dry patch or two.

    After 10-15 minutes to finish drying, I get out the Hoppe's and clean normally.

    Maybe I look at things differently from some pholks, but keeping my guns and knives impeccably clean and properly lubricated isn't work, it's part of the fun of the hobby.
  12. Mk VII

    Mk VII Well-Known Member

    Most US GI stuff was corrosive until the mid-fifties (there are more detailed analyses available but I'll leave it there), and most British & Commonwealth stuff until the early '60s (again, broad brush). Most Communist bloc stuff remains corrosive today (with exceptions for the commercial stuff they export). US domestic sporting production began to change in the '30s.
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I shoot a little window cleaner down the barrel and then clean the rifle as usual. No harm, no foul... Buy the surplus ammo cheap, shoot it all day long, have some fun then clean your gun... -Nuff said-

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