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Corrosive ammo clean up tools

Discussion in 'Mil Surp Collectors' started by SKS Ray, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    Shooting military surplus rifles usually goes hand in hand with shooting military surplus ammunition. Most of it is cheap, plentiful, and usually accurate enough to use in any situation except competion target shooting. Only drawback to it is that most surplus ammo is corrosive and if you don't clean properly after shooting, you could wind up with an orange frosty bore filled with rust once humidity takes its toll.
    I'm not gonna go into the whole why its corrosive, why "mildly corrosive" is just as bad, etc. I'll just say this.... if you don't know whether or not the ammo you're shooting is corrosive, or is made with corrosive primers, clean like it is corrosive. Some people falsely label ammo as non-corrosive just because only the primer is. I say rule of thumb is that unless it was made in the late 80's/early 90's, its potentially corrosive.
    Best way I avoid ruining a bore is by bringing a few essentials to the range with me. A bottle of amonia based window cleaner (generic concentrated brands are cheap and easy to mix), a take down cleaning rod with a patch holder, some patches, a can of oil like Break Free, and a small funnel I rigged for getting cleaner in the rifle's bore without soaking the entire rifle. Some ranges don't allow clean up on site. In that case cleaning up when you get home is needed and you can use hot water to flush the bore and clean like you normally would afterwards with brushes and whatever cleaner you usually use. I'm sometimes lazy when I get home and will let a rifle sit for a few days w/out cleaning it properly so the quick clean job at the range for corrosive salts has never let me down.
    Regardless of how you do it, heres a few shots of the funnel I rigged up to use in my rifles. Best thing about the funnel is that the cleaner, be it water or window cleaner, goes right into the bore and doesn't get all over the inside of the chamber, between the stock and receiver where it could sit and do damage. A standard plastic funnel, rubber hose, and aluminum tubing is pretty much all you need unless you need a small hose clamp or two to keep the fit snug.

    [​IMG]

    Holding the rifle with the muzzle facing down, I put the aluminum tubing just inside the bore so the cleaner won't get on anything else.

    [​IMG]

    Then I put the rubber tubing between the stock and my thumb to hold the funnel in place. As you pour cleaner down the bore you can tilt the rifle to make sure all areas, top, bottom, and sides get wet.

    [​IMG]

    I'll usually flush a bore with about 4 or 6 ounces of cleaner, depending on how much I shot that day, then follow up with running some dry patches, then one thats oil soaked, then a few dry again. If i'm home i'll pour hot water down there by the cup fulls and let it run into a bucket, then clean with brushes and Ed's Red.
    Even with a quick range clean up the way I mentioned, you still need to wipe down the inside of the chamber and bolt (especially the bolt face) with a rag and cleaner because corrosive salts can attack these areas as well. Just remember to give any areas you've cleaned a light rub with oil to protect the metal. Lucky for me I have fairly small fingers and can get my pinky in most rifle actions with a rag soaked in glass cleaner.[grin] Some guys will say to strip and soak the bolt in cleaner and flush the entire chamber as well. That may be good if you live in and store your guns in a constantly humid enviorment, but I've never done that. Maybe i'm just lucky, but in 3 years of shooting corrosive ammo i've never had problems with rust after using the method of cleaning I described.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2006
    3 people like this.

  2. sheriff dudley

    sheriff dudley NES Member

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    Corrosive Ammo cleanup tools

    Great post Mill4me great idea!! the funnel and hose deal is neet, im sure alot of guys have ther own formular for corrosive ammo and such, i use the same
    stuff in my milsurps as i use on my Muzzel loaders and you know about Black powder!! that stuff has to be delt with right away, i have a Flintlock that
    a guy in Pennsylvania made for me, and i treasure this piece, but i
    clean it with three wet patches and two dry ones! thats all it takes, useing
    (Weasle Piss) and the way that is made is 1/3 Murphy,s Oil Soap,
    1/3 Hydrogen Peroxide, and 1/3 Rubbing Alcohol, i turn my milsurp upside-down and run 3or4 soaking-wet paches through the bore, then a couple of
    dry ones, take it home and clean it whenever!!

    Works for me S.D.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. jacobtowne

    jacobtowne

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    Here's some information on corrosive primed ammunition that I've gathered.

    CLEANING AFTER SHOOTING CORROSIVE-PRIMED AMMUNITION



    Corrosive primers contain potassium chlorate (KClO3). After firing, this chemical leaves behind potassium chloride (KCl) crystals. Potassium chloride has properties almost identical to sodium chloride - table salt (NaCl). In fact, potassium chloride is used as a salt substitute for people on low-sodium diets.
    Both of these chemicals are hygroscopic - they absorb moisture from the air, creating tiny droplets of salt water. And we know what salt water does to steel.
    Cleaning these salts from a bore requires a water-based cleaner, since they are water soluble.
    People have used plain water, Windex, water with a drop of dish soap, and black powder solvent successfully. The point is never to clean with a modern nitro solvent as a first cleaner, since most of these contain oil, and oil coats the salts, but does not dissolve them.
    Many years ago, before WWII, Army Ordnance discovered that ammonia dope was the most effective way to dissolve and neutralize these salts. (Information from Hatcher’s Notebook.)
    I use regular household ammonia diluted with two to four parts water.
    Moisten two patches - not dripping wet. Run one patch through the bore. Wait ten minutes. Repeat.
    Moisten two patches with plain water and run them through the bore several times.
    Dry the bore with a dry patch.
    Set the rifle against a wall muzzle up for a while to insure that the bore dries.
    Proceed with regular nitro solvent and brush.

    JT
     
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  4. BigBill

    BigBill

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    I have only used the orginal G.I. Rifle Bore Cleaner for many years. I run wet patches thru it until there clean. It may take 4 or 5 tops. Then just two dry patches to dry the bore and then oil it up. I waste no time I do all of them right when i get home from the range. I been doing it for over 30+ years now too.

    I forgot to clean one of my Hakims from shooting corrosive yugo 8mm ammo and the rifle sat in the safe almost a year. I cleaned everything that day but one. I just remembered recently. I looked in the bore and it didn't look good I thought it was trashed. My safe room is climate controlled and very dry there is no moisture at all. This is what saved my butt. The bore came out squeeky clean and perfect just like it was before i shot it. So the amount of moisture in the air is a big factor when shooting corrosive ammo too. It matters how and where you store your guns too. If its raining that day when your shooting clean them right away. If its wet it activates the salt right away and if its dry there's no moisture to activate the salts. A high humidity is another factor too. If its a hot humid day clean them right after shooting them too. If you live in a hot humid climate or move to a hot humid climate remember to clean them right away.

    You can also run into trouble by putting a hot gun in the bag right after shooting it and not letting it cool off before bagging it to take it home too. It can show signs of rust by the time you get home.

    Its funny when i first heard about corrosive some made me think that a dump truck load of salt was going to come out of my barrel. No matter which method you use to clean your barrel just make sure you clean it good. I like to run wet patches using a smaller size bore brush to hold them to scrub the bore. If you use the flush method flush it good because moisture activates the salt too.

    Just the thought of replacing them scares me. I went thru the hunt/search to find some decent affordable stuff and i would hate to lose them and pay them again twice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2006
  5. 50 BMG

    50 BMG Mosin Nagant Collector NES Member

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    I use windex on a couple patches and it has never failed me. The funnel may be overkill. But if it works for you.....that's great.
     
  6. Mattyb

    Mattyb

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    I'm about to purchase a nagant that is in very good shape. The bore is clean but a small area on the outer throat shows slight corrosion that I dont think will cause any problems. What can be used to clean that throat area so it dont continue to build? Or should I not purchase this. If you dont know what i'm talking about, PM me, I will forward the pic
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  7. Chris

    Chris NES Member

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    I keep a Boresnake in a ziplock just for corrosive ammo. The boresnake is saturated in Hopes #9 which was formulated to neutralize the salts that "Corrosive Ammo" deposit in the barrel.

    Every so often, I'll wash the snake out with some Dawn and run it through the laundry. (yea, the wife balked at that until we did it once and it left no stains. Although the bristles of the brush section can stick to things in a very impressive way.)

    No need to go to any great lengths. Corrosive Ammo gets a bad rap due to the term used. By itself it isn't corrosive. The primers break down when used into a compound that is essentially a salt. That compound is cleared out of the barrel every time you fire and a new batch is left. So far, no problem. If you stop shooting and allow the barrel to cool, the salts will begin to attract moisture. It is the actions of this moist salt that starts the corroding process. Just like you can put metal into the ocean and not have it instantly rust, your gun won't rust in any short amount of time. It is only if you leave the gun without cleaning for a while in the conditions that permit the salt to go to work will it start to corrode.

    Hoppe's #9, that great old fashioned solvent, was in part designed to neutralize the salts from corrosive ammunition. Its the only thing you really need. Dab a patch into the zip-lock and use that to wipe the outside of the gun after you pull the snake through and you've pretty much eliminated all the corrosion potential. This shouldn't replace a proper cleaning, but if you don't have the time for that, this will at least eliminate the 'problem' for the short term.
     
  8. sig shooter

    sig shooter NES Member

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    I keep a spray bottle with me when I shoot corrosive ammo. While the gun is still hot I spray water down the barrel until it runs clear. Then I dry it all up with a few patches and then clean normally. I have added a bore snake to my cleaning kit now to go easy on my milsurp barrels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  9. majspud

    majspud NES Life Member NES Member

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    I keep a plastic musket caps tin in my shooting box with patches soaked in generic windex. I run about three of those doewn the barrel first, then a dry one, then a brass brush with break free, then patches in break free or Hoppes until clear. A final swipe with a tetra lubed patch finishes off the barrel. I also use the windex patches on the entire bolt after I field strip it, then reassemble with a light coat of tetra lube.

    MajSpud
     
  10. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    Since my original post, I've learned my best cleanup method is once I get home I pour a funnel full of hot water to neutralize the salt deposits, dry patch until the bore is dry. Then clean with Break Free CLP.

    No immediate range clean up needed as nothing happens from the time I finish shooting til the time I get home.

    Fact... surplus ammo has salt as an ingredient. Be it primers or old powder, no matter which way you look at it, if left untreated it will rust a bore and any other unprotected parts of a rifle or handgun if the gun is not cleaned properly after shooting.

    Say for example if you shoot Yugo 7.62x39 ammo through your SKS or AK47, be prepared to clean your rifle including chamber, bore, gas valve, and gas system with a WATER based product like M Pro7, Simple Green, Windex, etc. Then dry completely and clean with quality oil based products like Break Free, Kroil, etc.

    The same goes for surplus 7.62x54r through a Romak or SVT40, or surplus 8mm through a Hakim.

    The reason I use scalding hot water is because it dries fast and makes for getting the internal parts bone dry so I can continue with standard cleaners.
     
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  11. BullieBred

    BullieBred

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    Do you have to spray down the bolt and inside the firing pin housing too? If so do you just shoot some gun oil down in there after you spary the water in there? Or do you recommend taking the bolt apart to clean it? What can you use that is just lying around the house to take apart the bolt on an AK, some sort of nail punch?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  12. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    M-Pro7 would probably work for an AK bolt. You can spray it directly inside the bolt body and blow it out with a can of compressed air. If you want to take it apart there should be a punch in the cleaning kit that will fit the pin.
     
  13. peteyb

    peteyb

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    Ive been using this tut for two years now with great results. SKS Ray knows how to clean up after corrosive ammo!
     
  14. inerlogic

    inerlogic NES Member

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    eh, my M-N 91/30 has such a great carbon coating (think cast iron skillet) that i don't need to worry about corrosive primers....
    actually i read this thread and *just* cleaned it after having it sit since the milsurp shoot on 7/17
     
  15. fishhawk357

    fishhawk357

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    Would shooting modern non-corrosive ammo right after shooting the corrosive stuff eliminate any salt residue in the bore? I would think, and i may be wrong, that if I shoot a few rounds of moden factory ammo through my rifle after I'm done shooting surplus ammo, that would pretty much blow out any corrosive residue left in the bore.
     
  16. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    When I first strarted shooting I use to shoot a few rounds of non corrosive first and then a few after but it doesn't make a difference. If anything I think it would bury corrosive deposits making it harder to clean. Its best to just clean your gun that same day accordingly if you shoot corrosive ammo or suspect it may be corrosive.
     
  17. Monte1

    Monte1

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    myself i take a bottle of windex to range with me ,When im done and they have relativley cooled off i spray bore ,chamber and bolts down with windex, drive 20 mins home, and tear down and clean,i never drive home without spraying them down ,and has never found one of them ever rusting from corrosive ammo. my svt. and fn49, the gas systems require disassembly to clean them correctly and i will then spray with gun scrubber to kill all moisture.all peices of rifle i have cleaned with windex i use the gun scrubber to get down into places i can not reach and into firing pin holes, drys all the moisture right up then clean with hoppe's. everyone has their own way . but some of my rifles cost me a pretty penny to collect so i take no chance,s. after the hoppe's i leave a thin coat of triple shot in bore and all parts and back in safe she goe,s till next time.
     
  18. 24GordonfanX54R

    24GordonfanX54R

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    i use T/C black powder solvent (mostly water based), then hoppes or Break free, haven't had any issues yet
     
  19. improman

    improman

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    home made corrosive ammo cleaner

    [grin]A good recipe is automatic transmission fluid dextron 1 part/1 part kerosene/1 part paint thinner/1 part acetone.check out this Homemade Firearm Related Products
     
  20. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    Other wise known as Ed's Red. Its a great general cleaner and protectant at the same time but I don't think it does anything to get rid of corrosive deposits.
     
  21. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Warm soapy water does well also.
    I clean with warm soapy water. Either dish soap or simple green. I will run some windex soaked patches for added measure. Then dryvpatch and oil.
     
  22. shotgunwilly870

    shotgunwilly870 NES Member

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    I would just like to add that I recently used castrol super clean to clean my brand new waffen werks AK-74, and it cleaned so well it removed the paint from my bolt I think it was (gun coat) so do not use castrol super clean unless you want to remove everything my mistake,it does however eat carbon off stuff in a hurry.
     
  23. GreenStreak

    GreenStreak

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    tea kettle off the stove. yep, boiling water, about half the pot right down the bore. works great on cosmoline as well. then clean it like you would any other rifle. I have owned milsurps and shot corrosive ammo for 35 yrs and never once used ammonia on any of 'em. waste of time.
     
  24. NinerMaine

    NinerMaine

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    Yep I just use water, hot if I can but cold works just as good. It is just a matter of chemistry. The salts that cause the erosion or water soluable. It is that simple. To keep the water in the bore only and to the maximum amount of water through the bore I use one of these.


    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?299451-WTS-Full-Bore-Flushing-System-for-8mm-303-7-62x54-7-62x39-Corrossive-Ammo
     
  25. Road_Clam

    Road_Clam

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    I have a few tins of corrosive ammo and with some extra caution the stuff cleans up no problem. It's when you don't know your shooting corrosive and let it sit uncleaned for months that will surely cause problems. I bring a bottle of windex to the range, after shooting is done I just spray down the chamber and bore and toss it in my bag. I bring a zip lock bag and toss the brass in the bag and spray more windex in the bag. That night I give a good hot water and more windex swab, then finally Eds Red , and wet to bore for storage with Eezox. Eezox is awesome stuff for long term storage of your millsurps.
     
  26. jpm

    jpm NES Member

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    Windex does nothing, there isn't enough ammonia in it to do anything. Water would work just as well since you just want to dissolve the salts deposited from the corrosive primers.

    Not sure why you're bothering with the brass though, corrosive brass is typically berdan primed and useless to most reloaders.
     
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