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Corrosive Ammunition

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by wasr10owner, Feb 24, 2009.

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  1. wasr10owner

    wasr10owner Member

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    I have probably around 1,000 rounds of corrosive 7.62x39 ammo that I want to shoot out of my Wasr 10/63. Should I completely dismantle the gun to clean it afterwards? This is my favorite gun so I am really worried about it getting messed up. opinions on this are appreciated
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    The best cleaning solution for corrosive ammo is hot water. I'd scrub it out with hot water, dry it, and then clean it with the normal stuff (Hoppes, etc.), and then oil it with Breakfree or something.

    As an AK is pretty darned easy to strip and as I don't want to dump water into places where it could sit and cause rust, I would dissassemble it pretty well. Might take you an extra 60 seconds or two minutes but it's worth it in my opinion.

    -Sam
     
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Only the priming compound is corrosive, not the powder residue. Just clean your bore after shooting and it will be fine.
     
  4. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Going way out on a limb here but I have been told by an old timer that amonia is the best way to clean and neutralize the effects of corrosive ammo.
    I defer to the more learned than me and if this is not true please correct me and I will go stand in the corner
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I'll have to disagree on this one. I've shot a fair bit of corrosive ammo through my AKs and have seen rust FLOWERS grow inside the gas tube after a couple of days without cleaning.

    Hot water and scrub it out. But it's your rifle. Do a test run if you want. If it gets rusty, you need a better cleaning process.

    -Sam
     
  6. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Water is the Key, Doc. Household ammonia works well because it is mostly water. The potassium chloride produced by the combustion of the priming mixture is pulled into water solution and more easily removed.

    BTW, be careful using ammonia (anyone who does) because given time it will remove bluing.
     
  7. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    You must clean the gas system as well. At least on a Yugo SKS you have to.
     
  8. 2ndAmFan

    2ndAmFan Member

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    I was told to clean everything the gas comes in contact with immediately after a session with corrosive ammo. Use hot water, then dry and clean as you would after firing noncorrosive ammo. I can't say this is really necessary but I've had an SKS for nearly 20 years, shot thousands of corrosive rounds through it, and no corrosion problems.
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Lots of hot water. Enough to heat the gun to the point where the residual wants to evaporate. Follow with water displacing "oil" .
     
  10. Hk91-762mm

    Hk91-762mm Member

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    I take a bottle of windex to the range with me --I flush the hot barrell and give it a quick scrub before leaving followed by a good hot water wash at home followed by an air compressor blowout of everything untill its dry-Hoppys and a normal cleaning follow.
    I happily shoot tons of corrosive ammo.
     
  11. Nugilum

    Nugilum Member

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    If I end up shooting corrosive ammunition, I do these extra cleaning steps before I do the standard cleaning (within 3 hours of shooting said ammo):

    First I disassemble and remove as much wood as I can (realistically - I don't remove the wood from the gas tube of my SKS).

    Secondly I use a glass cleaner that has ammonia in it. I spray as much as I can though every part that comes in contact with the gas (except for the wood) including the gas piston system, front sight, and bayonet.

    Thirdly I use HOT water to wash the liquid off the metal. If I'm feeling really up-tight ;) I'll do the glass cleaning treatment and wash again.

    I finish up with a thorough spraying of WD-40 everywhere I can't immediately wipe down.

    I then start my normal cleaning routine from here.

    It adds about 10 minutes to my cleaning time. I know I overkill the situation, but that's just how I roll. :evil:
     
  12. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Again, the corrosive ingredient is carried in the primer discharge. So you need to clean anywhere gas flows. Powder is not corrosive unless it is black powder.
     
  13. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Nothing cleans the corrosive salts better than water. Household ammonia and Windex are mostly water and don't contain any secret ingredient.

    You don't need to go any further than fieldstripping.

    Lots of hot water. Enough to heat the gun to the point where the residual wants to evaporate. Follow with water displacing "oil" .
    __________________


    That could be WD40. I usually clean with water, flush with WD40, clean and lube as usual.
     
  14. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Well here is an old timer telling you , all you need is water. Wash out the barrel, bolt face, and gas system, then lube as normal. I have shot thousands of rounds of corrosive, and never lost a gun yet.....
     
  15. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Yup. Don't forget to oil it up when you're done.
     
  16. ThrottleJockey

    ThrottleJockey member

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    How do you determine what is truly corrosive ammo? Some say "all surplus" is corrosive, but I have several thousand rounds that claim to be "not corrosive".
     
  17. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Member

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    Do you still need to use hot water if you clean your gun after shooting it within 2 hours? I got some foaming bore cleaner for Christmas this year, (True love when the wife buys gun cleaning products) and I shot my CZ-52 with some corrosive ammo. I let that sit for a little while then scrubbed the bore with Hoppes cleaned the lower and firing pin. I looked at my gun and it looks as clean as when I put it in there.
     
  18. B yond

    B yond Member

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    I have some mil-surp bolt actions I shoot corrosive ammo through. Afterwards I cover the end of the barrel with a finger and pour ammonia (or windex) into the barrel through the chamber side until it fills up. I let it soak like that for a minute or two then I remove my finger so it drains and repeat. After that I run a few dry patches through it to dry it out then a patch dripping with gun oil. I prop it up outside of the gun safe with the muzzle down and let it sit for a day or two, then I clean it normally.

    I've been doing it this way for years and haven't had any problems with barrel degradation or loss of accuracy.

    P.S. I've heard many times that all you need is hot water. I have no reason to think that's not true. I just prefer my method because I can do it in my shop (which doesn't have hot water).
     
  19. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Do you still need to use hot water if you clean your gun after shooting it within 2 hours

    You really don't have to use water at all it's just that water is virtually free and the best thing to dissolve the salts. Many commercial cleaners also do this but none are any better than water. Hoppe's #9 will also dissolce salts. Surplusrifle.com has a test of various cleaners in it's library of articles.
     
  20. Dorkfish

    Dorkfish Member

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    I've shot several different corrosives through several different firearms. Unfortunately, the cleaner I used back in 02 is no longer made...the range that carried it said the company want bankrupt.

    That said here's what to expect on a WASR/AK variant/PSL54C:

    Before you shoot it, make sure there's absolutely no cosmolene on the weapon (to include under the handguards) and learn how to tear it down...all the way to the extractor spring within the rotating bolt. Just a little cosmolene in the extractor or firing pin assembly can freeze up those parts or cause a slam fire. See weblinks below.

    AK based action...heaviest corrosion points will be the all of the contact points of the gas tube. In fact, you should find a few salt particles in there when you tear it down for cleaning following firing of corrosive ammo. The next will be the flash hider/muzzle brake depending on which is mounted on yours, followed by the barrel, then the chamber and breech. Basically, start at recoil and track the path of the gas in reverse toward the bolt. Make sure to check to see if your gas tube is canted, you'll know if it is by looking.

    An ammonia based cleaner is by and far the best method of neutralizing the corrosive ammo primer discharge. But, a good bath in warm water will do the trick as well. IF you use the warm water (even if you don't it helps), use some CLP Powder Spray or a Hoppes' Powder Spray Solvent to blast a lot of the gunk off the parts before you clean them. You can follow it with Hoppes' #9 solution, but you'll want to be thorough.

    The gas tube is often a problem for AK-files. I suggest you use a bore snake for a 20 ga. shotgun just for this specific part. Be sure you brush, swab, and pipe cleaner clean the mounting surfaces of the gas tube and locking bar. If you can swing it, I'd suggest getting an extra gas tube. Where the gas tube meets the plunger (bolt forward) is the fastest place to find rust developing from corrosive ammo...it develops quite quickly here due to different metal compositions and the ports at the end of the gas tube seat.

    Here's some parts I'd suggest for a WASR:
    Red Star Arms adjustable trigger package
    Blackjack recoil buffer (you definately want this if it's a stamped receiver)
    Poly stock (if you have wood so you can preserve it)
    Front sight tool (new AK-files tend to forget this item)
    Extra mags
    Extra top cover
    Extra gas tube
    Tetra Gun Grease (above all else, get this product! Your WASR will function better)

    Visit the AK junkie's websites to educate yourself on them:
    akfiles.com or theakforum.net

    Ammo suggestions:
    Absolutely do not shoot heavy ball ammo through it...you'll tear up the WASR.
    Visit the above sites to get the comparative info on the different ammo available.
    My PSL54C loved the Czech Silver Tip ammo and it's available in light ball.
    Beware of the Wolf Bi-metal ammo...the casings can and have cracked in the 54r and some of the 39. (54r had 3 in just one box, 2 in a second, and one freeze up the rotating bolt in a third)

    For WASR ammo: Prices are hit-and-miss to find a fair deal, but buy in bulk.
    outdoormarksman.com or jgsales.com
     
  21. wasr10owner

    wasr10owner Member

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    If I shoot this ammo should I take the trigger assymbly and everything out of the reciever and clean all of it really good?
     
  22. Dorkfish

    Dorkfish Member

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    Leave the trigger assy in...it's a pain to get out. The shepherd's crook is a nightmare if you've never removed one. I only removed my fire control assy to change to the Red Star Arms adjustable trigger package.

    A basic field strip is all that's needed to clean it after shooting. The big tear down is if/when you get one with cosmolene everywhere. FYI, if you give it a water-bath, make sure to remove the wood if you have wood stock/guards. If it's polymer, spray some of the mounting bolts in the stock with just a tiny bit of WD40 before you give it a bath.

    Before you shoot that ammo (assuming it's milsurplus), check the sites I mentioned to see if you can identify if it's heavy or light ball. Remember, heavy ball is bad news for a stamped receiver. If it's in a spam can, you should be able to ID it quickly on those sites. If not, you may have to search a bit to find out. Specifically, if it's in cardboard boxes and not the spam can, take a picture and post it up on those sites...someone should be able to come to the rescue with an ID. If you can, post one here.
     
  23. Tom S.

    Tom S. Member

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    Do you still need to use hot water if you clean your gun after shooting it within 2 hours?

    I am in the process of reading "Hatcher's Notebook" again. General Hatcher was the army's Chief Ordnance Officer for many years and lived through the period of time when the US military changed from corrosive to non-corrosive primers. His findings were that most bore cleaners of the time - which included Hoppes' #9, were not as effective as hot water, though I don't remember him saying anything about the possible benefit of using bore cleaners after the hot water. He also recommended that cleaning be done as soon as possible.
     
  24. wasr10owner

    wasr10owner Member

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    I`m pretty sure the ammo is from Vietnam but I`m not sure if its from then or WWII. I dont know if its heavy or light ball ammo.
     
  25. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I have forgotten the ingredient listed in the MSDS that I looked at a couple of years ago, but it made it appear that due to that item, Hoppes#9 featured something water-based in the formula (IIRC, the ingredient was listed as <10%).

    I have seen many folks spend a LOT of energy arguing FOR or AGAINST the ability of Hoppes#9 to remove the potassium chloride. <shrug>

    With that in mind, a few years ago I fired 50 rounds of old, chlorate-primered British Mk7 .303 milsurp thru one of my N°4s. Afterwards, I followed my regular "non-corrosive" cleaning regimen using only Hoppes#9 as the cleaning solvent and then left it outside of the gunsafes in the basement.

    I just checked my log and the rifle bore ... I fired those rounds & cleaned the rifle on 01Nov06 ... and the bore is still bright & shiny and shows no sign of corrosion.

    That said, to be safe, after firing ammo with chlorate primers I still always use some water(-based) as a "corrosive pre-cleaner" prior to doing a regular cleaning ... heck, it only takes a moment to accomplish.
     
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