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Old February 23, 2015, 09:29 PM   #1
Paul7
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Proper Cleaning for Corrosive Rifle?

I have a mint condition Finnish M39 on the way and was wondering what the experts here say about cleaning after using corrosive ammo. I've heard some say use Windex, others just two patches with water, dry, and CLP. I live in a dry climate (NM), is this even much of a concern?
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Old February 23, 2015, 09:37 PM   #2
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Even in a dry climate corrosive ammo can cause rust.

The best cleaner is.....hot water.
Nothing works better than hot water and nothing is cheaper.

The old way of doing it with a bolt rifle is to boil a pot of water with a couple of drops of liquid soap as a wetting agent.
Put the pot on the floor on a pad of newspaper to soak up any spills.
Remove the bolt and stick the muzzle in the pot.
Put a patch on a cleaning rod and run it down the bore but not out of the muzzle.
Pull the rod back up and the suction will pull hot water up the bore and clean it of corrosive residue.

Run the rod up and down a few times until the barrel get hot, then remove the muzzle from the pot and run a dry patch or two down the bore.
The heat from the water will cause the metal to "flash dry".

Use a wet patch or two to wipe off the bolt face and front end of the bolt, wipe everything down with an oily patch, then clean the bore with a bore solvent as you normally do.
The hot water treatment is just a preliminary cleaning step when using corrosive ammo. You still need to remove copper and carbon fouling with bore solvents.

Notes: Windex is recommended just because it's handy to take to the range and contains wetting agents.
Note that Windex with Ammonia D contains NO ammonia. Ammonia D is actually an alcohol.
Windex may help in cleaning carbon fouling but water works better for the corrosive residue.

Ammonia is will not clean corrosive residue. The only reason it will work is because commercially available ammonia is mostly water.
Ammonia can itself cause serious corrosion of the bore if left in too long.

Lubricants like CLP will NOT remove corrosive reside. Only water or a product that contains water will dissolve the residue.
Note that you CANNOT "neutralize" corrosive residue which is a form of salt. Salt cannot be neutralized, it can only be dissolved and flushed out.
If in doubt how well something will work for cleaning corrosive ammo, put a small amount in a clear glass and add a little table salt.
If the slat dissolves into suspension it's good for cleaning.
If the salt just lays there it's no good.

VERY few lubricants or modern bore solvents are any good for corrosive ammo.

Last edited by dfariswheel; February 23, 2015 at 09:48 PM.
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Old February 23, 2015, 10:33 PM   #3
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Boretech Eliminator brand of solvent will clean the copper deposits and clean the corrosive salts out of the barrel and off the bolt.

I did the hot soapy water in the past, forget it! Just buy the Eliminator and be done with it, it's the best cleaner on the market as far as I'm concerned. Buy some and you'll see what I mean.

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Old February 23, 2015, 10:41 PM   #4
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Agreed. If I didn't shoot my Mosin so frequently, the boiling water cleanse wouldn't bother me. However, after a few trips to the range each month and minimal time on my hands, I'd stick with Eliminator.
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Old February 23, 2015, 11:03 PM   #5
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If it's a MINT Finnish M39 why shoot corrosive ammo? Most surplus doesn't shoot good unless you sort and prep it.
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Old February 23, 2015, 11:07 PM   #6
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Standard old dish detergent and some water -- hot, tepid or cold.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:26 AM   #7
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I do the soapy water thing after shooting corrosive ammo in the AK.

Just hit all the parts exposed to powder fouling with water, dry, and oil.

I've shot cases of Yugo M67 corrosive with no rust problems doing this.

BSW
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:37 AM   #8
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After shooting corrosive surplus, I run patches with water until they come out clean. Then clean as normal. The corrosive primer leaves behind salt in your bore, so it's pretty simple to remove.

OTOH, my nice M39 only gets modern brass case, copper jacketed PPU. Steel case, bi-metal jacketed Russian surplus gets fired through the Russian guns.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliper_RWVA View Post
After shooting corrosive surplus, I run patches with water until they come out clean. Then clean as normal. The corrosive primer leaves behind salt in your bore, so it's pretty simple to remove.

OTOH, my nice M39 only gets modern brass case, copper jacketed PPU. Steel case, bi-metal jacketed Russian surplus gets fired through the Russian guns.
What kind of accuracy improvement do you see with PPU over Russian?
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ford8nr View Post
If it's a MINT Finnish M39 why shoot corrosive ammo? Most surplus doesn't shoot good unless you sort and prep it.
What do you mean by sort and prep?

I'm not a competitive shooter, I go to the range a few times a year and also plink in the desert. Thanks for all the cleaning answers, I figure if its done right corrosive ammo won't be a problem, WWII was fought with corrosive ammo yet we have lots of rifles from that era with fine barrels that were taken care of.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:43 PM   #11
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I put a funnel into the action end of my Mauser and carefully pour boiling water down through the chamber and bore. Follow with some Hoppes solvent just to not leave the metal bare.


No problems.

Clean as usual when it needs it.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:53 PM   #12
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I dip the leading end of a bore snake in some Hoppe's #9 and run it through a few times. Swab the bolt face with a q-tip dipped in Hoppes, and pay attention to the muzzle/front sight. Other than that, clean and lube as normal.
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:07 PM   #13
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I use ballistol and a boresnake...no problems. Mine is a beat up T53 however, and has no value except to me. If I had a pristine Mosin, I'd probably not shoot surplus ammo with it.
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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Rehashing the usual response:
I'm still a fan of the Windex.
Technically, it will neutralize the salts faster than water. Practically, it washes them out too fast for that to be an issue.
It's just easier to apply at the range--Florida humidity demands I clean corrosive stuff ASAP--and has other cleaners in it, so the normal cycle after doesn't take as long.
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlr2267 View Post
I use ballistol and a boresnake...no problems. Mine is a beat up T53 however, and has no value except to me. If I had a pristine Mosin, I'd probably not shoot surplus ammo with it.
I hear what you're saying, but how can any corrosive residue survive boiling water being poured down the bore? Again, we have old surplus rifles today with great bores that were taken care of after shooting.

Has anyone here experienced barrel corrosion after using thorough cleaning methods as described above when using corrosive ammo?
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:41 PM   #16
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There is really nothing “wrong” about corrosive primers except the part of having to use water to clean the barrels. The old FA70 primer was a very stable, very reliable, very accurate, primer. It just caused rust if water was not used to dissolve the primer residue. Gas guns are a mess to clean because the powder residue gets blown everywhere, so I don’t like using corrosive primers in gas guns. Bolt guns are easier to clean, as long as I don’t get hot water in the stock.

What has infallibly worked for me is hot, soapy water, pumped up and down the barrel, such as Dfariswheel (as in see de ferris wheel go round and round?) describes in his post. After I swap all the water out, I follow with an oily patch and the barrel is good to go. I don’t trust GI bore cleaner, Mil C 372 even though it is supposed to remove corrosive fouling. My experience with it was with a Finnish Nagant, I cleaned and brushed the barrel, wiped out all the dirty bore cleaner, and found rust in the barrel a week later. Whenever I have used the hot water and oil method my barrels stay rust free.

This is an interesting discussion on the history and chemicals used in bore cleaners. GI bore cleaner, and most bore cleaners, are primarily Kerosene!
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/748807.pdf Improved Rifle Bore Cleaner 1972
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:43 PM   #17
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I used

boiling water down the tube then Windex and lastly scrub it outwith bore cleaner then lightly oil. Don't forget the crud that will usually find it's way inside the bolt on these old rifles also.
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul7 View Post
I hear what you're saying, but how can any corrosive residue survive boiling water being poured down the bore? Again, we have old surplus rifles today with great bores that were taken care of after shooting.

Has anyone here experienced barrel corrosion after using thorough cleaning methods as described above when using corrosive ammo?
It probably can't. What happens though when you forget, or can't get to it for a few days...or you miss getting under that extractor a few times? I don't know... might be fine, might corrode...

Probably fine, but if it was mine, I'd be making my own ammo and wringing every bit of accuracy I could get out of it.
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Old February 24, 2015, 04:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Thanks for all the cleaning answers, I figure if its done right corrosive ammo won't be a problem, WWII was fought with corrosive ammo yet we have lots of rifles from that era with fine barrels that were taken care of.
You know all those 'sewer pipe bore' Mauser rifles? All the Garands that have post WWII or Korea barrels? Corrosive ammo is the reason why.

The Sov didn't spec hardchromed bores and has pistons on the AK because they were trying to use the chrome quota.

Under around 15-20% humidity corrosive won't cause rusting, because there isn't enough water in the air to start the process. But, even if it's months later, when the humidity rises you'll get rusting.

BSW
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Old February 24, 2015, 04:51 PM   #20
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The common key in these threads is the water in whatever you use. I prefer a little soap in the water to aid in cutting through any residual oil in the bore and better carry away the salts and particles holding any salts. I've also used Windex right at the range at the end of a session when I knew I would not have time at home.

Until I get around to making up an O ringed adapter to fit into the mouth of the chamber I'll stick with just using wet patches on a jag until they come out only slightly grey, Then a dry patch, then regular Hoppes solvent for a few more patches and finally one dry, one oiled and another dry then put the rifle away. the nose of the bolt and around the open action gets a wipe down with a wet rag and wet toothbrush. Then it's dried and redone with a lightly oiled rag and toothbrush. The brushes get into the nooks and corners where the rag just won't go.

Quote:
What kind of accuracy improvement do you see with PPU over Russian?
It depends on the specific batch of surplus you score. In my case the case of ammo is one of the poor ones. It gives me at best 10 inch groups at 100 yards with some fliers that don't even hit paper. With no cleaning or any other changes a switch to a box of 20 Privi Partizan loads dropped the group size to sub 3 inch.

Another issue I found on my Russian Mosins is that the milsurp copper washed mild steel jackets on the bullets produces massive amounts of copper fouling in only a few rounds fired. I spent hours when the guns were near new to me cleaning and de-coppering the bores. One session with milsurp ammo shooting three paper packs of ammo and the copper fouling was back with the same amount and time needed to clean as before.

So once I figure out which of my two Mosins is the best shooter with my reloads that rifle will never see milsurp ammo again for as long as I own it.
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Old February 24, 2015, 06:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briansmithwins View Post
You know all those 'sewer pipe bore' Mauser rifles? All the Garands that have post WWII or Korea barrels? Corrosive ammo is the reason why.
You mean corrosive ammo that wasn't properly cleaned as described above after shooting, correct? I would imagine when you're trying to stay alive cleaning a government rifle isn't at the top of your priority list, especially if not a gun guy to begin with.

Last edited by Paul7; February 24, 2015 at 09:48 PM.
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Old February 24, 2015, 07:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
The common key in these threads is the water in whatever you use. I prefer a little soap in the water to aid in cutting through any residual oil in the bore and better carry away the salts and particles holding any salts. I've also used Windex right at the range at the end of a session when I knew I would not have time at home.

Until I get around to making up an O ringed adapter to fit into the mouth of the chamber I'll stick with just using wet patches on a jag until they come out only slightly grey, Then a dry patch, then regular Hoppes solvent for a few more patches and finally one dry, one oiled and another dry then put the rifle away. the nose of the bolt and around the open action gets a wipe down with a wet rag and wet toothbrush. Then it's dried and redone with a lightly oiled rag and toothbrush. The brushes get into the nooks and corners where the rag just won't go.



It depends on the specific batch of surplus you score. In my case the case of ammo is one of the poor ones. It gives me at best 10 inch groups at 100 yards with some fliers that don't even hit paper. With no cleaning or any other changes a switch to a box of 20 Privi Partizan loads dropped the group size to sub 3 inch.
I'm no expert but it sounds like some are getting better results with surplus ammo. From another forum:

"I have 4 Nagants. a 1925 with a hex receiver, 1944 m91/30 & a 1947 carbine and a 1945 Finnish. The Finnish shoots a 2" group @ 100 yds. The others shoot a group of 4"-5" at 100 yds. Ammo is Russian surplus 148 grn fmj."

Quote:
Another issue I found on my Russian Mosins is that the milsurp copper washed mild steel jackets on the bullets produces massive amounts of copper fouling in only a few rounds fired. I spent hours when the guns were near new to me cleaning and de-coppering the bores. One session with milsurp ammo shooting three paper packs of ammo and the copper fouling was back with the same amount and time needed to clean as before.

So once I figure out which of my two Mosins is the best shooter with my reloads that rifle will never see milsurp ammo again for as long as I own it.
Anyone heard of this for cleaning copper fouling? Seems pretty easy to use.

http://www.sharpshootr.com/wipe-out/

Last edited by Paul7; February 24, 2015 at 07:13 PM.
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Old February 24, 2015, 08:58 PM   #23
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I use the same stuff I use for black powder guns- water and Ballistol 7:1. I mix it in a spray bottle. Squirt it down the bore from chamber to muzzle, scrub it with a patch soaked in the stuff, then a straight Ballistol soaked patch. If I'm feeling really industrious, before the final patch I'll do Hoppe's or Sweet's for the copper. Corrosive ammo is only a problem if you let it become one. Rust holds no terror for me.


ETA: By all accounts the Finn M39 was made to shoot captured Russian ammo. Though it may not be target ammo, it won't hurt the gun.
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Last edited by VA27; February 24, 2015 at 09:03 PM.
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Old February 24, 2015, 09:48 PM   #24
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Please note that the ammonia does absolutely nothing to help the cleaning process. Nothing. It is a well known natural fact that ammonia is actually inert and does not react in any way with any salt. In fact the only reason it was ever incorporated into any cleaners was to fool gullible housewives (they were gullible back then you see) into believing their window cleaner was stronger than it really was.
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Old February 24, 2015, 09:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA27 View Post
Corrosive ammo is only a problem if you let it become one. Rust holds no terror for me.


ETA: By all accounts the Finn M39 was made to shoot captured Russian ammo. Though it may not be target ammo, it won't hurt the gun.
I'm with you on this, VA27. That's kind of the point with getting a Mosin/Finn, lots of cheap ammo. I don't reload.
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