Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

corrosive ammo myth??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gb0399, Dec 13, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. gb0399

    gb0399 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    TN
    While at a local gun shop, the man behind the counter told me that 1....if you shoot corrosive ammo through a rifle that it should be cleaned with a water based cleaner, and 2.... if you couldnt clean it right away, you could spray down the bolt face, chamber and barrel with windex and that would take care of the problem till you cleaned the rifle. Has any one ever heard of this? It was a new one for me.
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,399
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    Yep! Fairly standard procedure for firing corrosive Ammo in a firearm you care about. Also the primary reason I refuse to shoot corrosive crap ammo
     
  3. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    3,129
    Location:
    never never land...never land here!
    +1 works great!
     
  4. CZguy

    CZguy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,976
    Location:
    Missouri
    +2 That's what I've always done.
     
  5. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,132
    I just finished cleaning an AK that I shot at a match with corrosive Yugo M67 ball.

    I cleaned it with soapy water, dried, and oiled any exposed metal. I'd rather oil over corrosive primer residue than spray soapy water (Windex) on steel and remove an protective oil that was left and then let the rifle set. That's just a recipe for rust.

    Pretty much any water based cleaner will do. I use Simple Green aircraft cleaner as the soaps in it break down the powder residue while the water dissolves the salts that cause the steel to rust. BSW
     
  6. Nugilum

    Nugilum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,003
    Location:
    Texas Panhandle
    It's the primers that are corrosive. They are potassium based salts that require water based fluids to remove.

    Think Italian salad dressing... Water based salts will not be dissolved or removed by petroleum based products.

    Just remember water based products promote rust if left for a period of time.
     
  7. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    3,129
    Location:
    never never land...never land here!
    Those damn I talians..always messin' things up! lol hehehe
     
  8. SC_Ed

    SC_Ed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Up State SC
    Or soak the trailing end of an old Bore Snake in Windex and pull it thru the bore while it's still hot a couple of times. Cleans the bore and chamber well enough till you can do a thorough cleaning.
     
  9. tju1973

    tju1973 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Texas
    Nothing works better than hot water, a thorough drying, and then normal lubrication. Windex does not do a lot but wash the salts out-- I have heard that it neutralizes the salts, but I have heard also that that was a myth...who knows? But lots of water works well...I shoot corrosive in my Mosins, and they still look pristine...and all I use is hot water...
     
  10. wally

    wally Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    12,750
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    You cannot neutralize salts. Salts are the end product of the neutralization of an acid with a base or vice-versa. Windex is an expensive way to buy water to wash the salts away with.

    If someplace has higher humidity than Houston, I don't want to go there, ever! I shoot lots of corrosive ammo. I don't do anything about it at the range, but if I'm not sure I can do a proper cleaning afterwards, I leave the corrosive ammo at home. On some trips out to my friend's ranch its 4-6 hours between shooting and cleaning. No issues. The salts are corrosive in that they promote rust, not corrosive like an acid or alkali.

    --wally.
     
  11. ledzeppelin

    ledzeppelin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    MI
    corrosive ammo

    what is corrosive ammo ?
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Allentown, PA
    Very hot water - wash down the bore. I use a funnel with a somewhat flexible spout. Nothing fancy here- folks have been doing this for a hundred years. I've shot corrosive ammo for thirty and have never had a problem, but a couple of cautions- don't let the gun sit overnight, and take apart the gas systems and the bolt to thoroughly clean. They will corrode as well if not cleaned.
    There are folks who will swear by Windex, or half a dozen other substances. Great! Whatever works for you. ;)
     
  13. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth
    It's not really corrosive ammo, it's the chemical compound used in some primers.

    Some primers use or used primer compounds that produce corrosive salts when fired, and this stuff sits in your gun eating away at the metal. So, you've got to wash those salts away with water and some people use a little ammonia as well. Most gun cleaning solutions will NOT neutralize this stuff, so watch out for that.

    For US made ammo pretty much everything used corrosive primer compounds til the end of the 40's, early 50's. For some ammo, particularly Eastern European stuff, they used those corrosive compounds well into the 90's.

    Some folks, and I'm not making this up, will urinate down the barrel of the gun after shooting it until they can get somewhere and do a proper cleaning.
    Can't really recommend that one, but it does happen :)
     
  14. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    3,129
    Location:
    never never land...never land here!
    Yea, but it makes your gun shoot sub MOA........:neener:

    The corrosive 'salts' folks speak of, will attack metal IF left in contact with unprotected metal for a long enough time, the real culprit is the moisture that is attracted and absorbed by these salts....moisture out of the air is absorbed by the salts and held against the metal, further facilitating corrosion/rust.

    As wally said...the salts, when introduced to water are not 'neutralized' to say...you just made salt water.... but are washed away. Water or something like it, is an excellent 'vehicle' for carrying salts away.
     
  15. mete

    mete Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,579
    Location:
    NY
    Windex is an ammonia compound, urine has nitrogen compounds -- both are corrosive to copper alloys like brass !!! They will cause stress corrosion cracking of the brass !!
    The old military proceedures were to clean thoroughly and oil then repeat the next day.
     
  16. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth
    The old cleaners had ammonia in them.

    Today, Sweets 7.62 is the only commercial gun product I know of with ammonia, and it's pretty popular with folks shooting old ammo.

    So, ammonia has long been used for this, even though it may have some corrosive properties of it's own to some metals.

    Don't know if that's good or bad, just putting it out there.
     
  17. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,132
    The old cleaners has ammonia in them in a water based solution. They thought it was the ammonia that was preventing rusting, but it was actually the water.

    Read the old books by Whelen and Hatcher to see how the old (pre WWII) guys cleaned rifles. BSW
     
  18. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    6,134
    One of the few bore solvents that will clean out corrosive residue is good old Hoppe's #9.
    It still does the job rather well, and removes carbon and metal fouling at the same time..

    Personally, living in a humid area I flush the metal everywhere the corrosive fumes have come in contact with hot water, dry, then clean as normal with Hoppe's.
    Remember, flushing out the corrosive salts is simply a preliminary step to normal maintenance.

    A good test to determine if a product is any good for use with corrosive ammo is to pour some in a small jar then add a little ordinary table salt.
    Unless the salt dissolves and "disappears" the product is useless for corrosive primed ammo.

    Most oils are useless, as are most modern bore solvents.
    In the 1920's, Army Ordnance began unpacking and checking rifles that had been cleaned and coated with heavy coats of cosmoline for storage after WWI.
    They were shocked to find rifles corroded UNDER a heavy layer of cosmoline.
    They investigated and discovered that the corrosive element was a salt produced by the primer, where it had thought to be an acid in the powder.
     
  19. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    37*55'N, 127*04'E
    The old bore cleaners had ammonia in them to remove jacket fouling. At one time most jacketed bullets had cupro-nickel jackets, which worked well enough at the relatively low velcoities encountered in the early smokeless powder years. With the switch to 'high-velocity' cartridges like the .30-06, 250-300 Savage, and .270 Winchester, cupro-nickel jackets fouled bores like nobody's business.

    If you do read books like Hatcher's Notebook and Phil Sharpe's book on reloading, you will find that they used to periodically soak their rifle bores overnight in a 5% ammonia solution to remove jacket fouling, not to remove corrosive primer residue. Later on, the ammo makers developed the current 'gilding metal' jacket, which doesn't foul bores nearly as bad.

    The WWII-era rifle bore cleaner was a water-based concoction, and the regimen was to clean weapons for three consecutive days after firing. Many Army units still follow this tradition, although by doctrine it is not required. This, even though it has been some 56 years since the Army loaded the last round of corrosive-primed ammo (for general consumption; one early lot of 7.62 NATO Match ammo was loaded with corrosive primers in 1959).
     
  20. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,783
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've heard of soldiers using urine to thaw frozen actions but never as a cleaning expedient. Seems to me the salts in the urine would be just as bad as the salts left by the corrosive primers.
     
  21. Lawnguy

    Lawnguy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    How do you know if an ammo your using has these corrosive primers?
     
  22. SC_Ed

    SC_Ed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Up State SC
    Its primarily the old Berdan primed surplus ammo.
     
  23. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,366
    Location:
    Central PA
    If it's very old ammo, it's likely corrosive.

    If it is military surplus ammo from anywhere overseas, it's likely corrosive. (Especially the eastern bloc contries and Asia.)

    If is's berdan primed (look into the case and see if there are two small flash holes instead of one large one in the center) there's a pretty good chance it's corrosive.

    Or, if you really want to know, tell us exactly what ammo you've got, and someone here is likely to know.

    You can also do some tests yourself with a piece of bare steel and a fired case.

    -Sam
     
  24. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,228
    Location:
    Brandon, Florida
    If It's not US-made from the 70's or earlier, I treat it as corrosive just to be safe.

    I've also cut the time down. My personal cleaning fluid is a mild bathroom ammonia. Largely water, ammonia (which I still believe helps speed up dissolving the salts, but the water's the important part) and a mild surfactant. Cleans out powder a treat, and gets rid of minor copper fouling, all with the side effect of saturating and washing out corrosive residues.

    Swab, repeat, dry, oil.
     
  25. JuryRig

    JuryRig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Eburg, WA
    Explain something to me. The primers in corrosive ammo leave potassium chloride in your barrel. This is corrosive because it is hydroscopic (attracts water from the air which causes rust). So water is used to dissolve and remove the salt. But water in your barrel is the problem that you are trying to solve by putting water in your barrel. :confused:

    Unless you follow the water with WD-40, I don't see the use of cleaning corrosive ammo residue at the range. The salts will eventually attract water and rust the barrel, but adding water will rust it now.

    I wait until I get home and remove the salts with water and then clean normally to remove the water, etc.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page