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Destroyer of Lawnmowers
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see articles and discussions about corrosive ammo everywhere. Along with all the voo-doo about neutralizing the corrosive residue with coca cola and windex, there is a common belief that corrosive priming will harm your gun rapidly. I even read an article in National Rifleman that stated corrosive ammunition will start to corrode you bore in SECONDS.

I always doubted these claims of rapid deterioration based on the fact that the firearms I was using the ammunition had undergone a 50+ year service life using entirely corrosive ammo and still had shiny bores. I had a more realistic belief that corrosion would begin in a day or so. Last week however, I believe I witnessed proof that debunks these myths. I went and shot my M95 but when I got home, I didn't clean it instantly like I usually do and I wasn't worried since the bore was atrocious already. I was busy, so this gun sat in my garage through about a week of slightly muggy weather. When I finally did clean it, rather than patches coming out orange with new rust, they simply came out black with powder residue. If anything, the bore has less corrosion than before!

So if you are new to surplus firearms and are a little confused about the whirlwind of opinion surrounding corrosive ammo, I am not saying you don't need to clean your gun and I am not saying you need to use *this* chemical in *this* way instantly. I am saying you just need to get the fouling out as thoroughly as possible in a reasonable amount of time.

If you aren't new to surplus and surplus ammo, does my opinion have any merit or truth to it?
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Ahhh, corrosive ammunition!

What is commonly referred to as corrosive ammunition is ammunition using mercuric primers. Its use does not, instantly, cause bore degradation as its useage does not, instantly, result in noticable negative metal quality.

Corrosive mecuric salts can be, and usually are, deposited in the bore of a weapon using such ammunition, and these salts will cause bore corrosion. Therefore, it is wise to throughly clean the bore and boltface of any weapon used with such ammunition as soon as possible.

There is a magic solution available that instantly neutralizes mecuric salts in a rifle's bore. It is called water. Yup, water will neutralize mecuric salts.
 

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Destroyer of Lawnmowers
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Ahhh, corrosive ammunition!

What is commonly referred to as corrosive ammunition is ammunition using mercuric primers. Its use does not, instantly, cause bore degradation as its useage does not, instantly, result in noticable negative metal quality.

Corrosive mecuric salts can be, and usually are, deposited in the bore of a weapon using such ammunition, and these salts will cause bore corrosion. Therefore, it is wise to throughly clean the bore and boltface of any weapon used with such ammunition as soon as possible.

There is a magic solution available that instantly neutralizes mecuric salts in a rifle's bore. It is called water. Yup, water will neutralize mecuric salts.
You have fallen victim to the voo-doo popeye! Water does not neutralize salt! If this were so, the ocean would not be salty, eh? It is simply the cheapest and most effective way to flush it out. The corrosive residue does not ever get "neutralized", just moved around. It is a good practice to have a cleaning kit devoted to cleaning out corrosive residue, because the residue you cleaned out of your beater mosin-nagant will be just as corrosive when you run that brush/cleaning rod/boresnake ect through you $2,000 hunting rifle and redeposit it. Also, if water did neutralize salt, you wouldn't need to clean your gun anyway! The reason you need to clean out the mercuric priming residue is because it is hydroscopic, and attracts water to the surface of your bore. That is what deteriorates you barrel, breach, and bolt face-moisture, not an evil magical chemical within that 50 year old cartridge.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Really, corrosive ammunition is loaded with black powder of cordite.
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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Once again, if we clean our weapons responsibly we have nothing to worry about then.

Good idea about keeping the cleaning materials separate though.
 

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The most common MODERN corrosive ammunition is primed with Potassium Chlorate. When ignited, the Chlorate is converted to Chloride. Chlorides are hydroscopic - they pick up what ever moisture is available - when wet, the Potassium Chloride dissociates (ionizes) and the Chlorine will chemically attach to the iron in the steel - CORROSION. Ammonia combines with chlorine to form an inert white powder - Ammonium Chloride - which can be washed away. Your one experience with a non-corroded barrel does not negate 150 years of experience by millions of shooters in tens of millions of firearms. Corrosive primered ammo - if give a chance and the right conditions will CORRODE your barrel and any other steel that it may deposit Chlorides upon.
 

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Destroyer of Lawnmowers
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512 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The most common MODERN corrosive ammunition is primed with Potassium Chlorate. When ignited, the Chlorate is converted to Chloride. Chlorides are hydroscopic - they pick up what ever moisture is available - when wet, the Potassium Chloride dissociates (ionizes) and the Chlorine will chemically attach to the iron in the steel - CORROSION. Ammonia combines with chlorine to form an inert white powder - Ammonium Chloride - which can be washed away. Your one experience with a non-corroded barrel does not negate 150 years of experience by millions of shooters in tens of millions of firearms. Corrosive primered ammo - if give a chance and the right conditions will CORRODE your barrel and any other steel that it may deposit Chlorides upon.
I was not stating that corrosively primed ammunition will not corrode a barrel, I was stating that from my observations, it will not happen as rapidly as commonly believed.
 

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Destroyer of Lawnmowers
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
32 magnum, how does changing one chloride to another do you any good? It still boils down to getting everything out with no regard to what you use to do it.
 

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I would not shoot corrosive ammunition through any gas operated firearm. I shot 50 rds of corrosive 9mmP ammunition through an H&K P7 and it ate the firing pin spring.
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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Ouch! Thats not a part you would normally think to clean.
 

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Destroyer of Lawnmowers
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I usually clean the firing pin and the inside of the bolt sleeve in fear of something like that happening, Sharon. I don't shoot corrosively primed(happy popeye?) ammunition through auto loaders though, I don't want to be cleaning for 3 days!
 
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