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Boiling a Mak

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Topic author: TripleL
Subject: Boiling a Mak
Posted on: 10/21/2006 11:06:37 PM

I'm thinking of boiling my Maks to get rid of the salt as suggested on a website and mentioned in a thread sometime back. Is this something the wise men would recommend? Or is it really not that necessary? Has everyone done this?

What's the preferred treatment after boiling and drying with a blow dryer?

The Maks are not NIB with the cosmo but EGs.

Thanks for any advice.


Reply author: EIGHTYDEUCE
Replied on: 10/21/2006 11:20:29 PM


New here

Boiling will do nothing to make the salt less corrosive. It might clean it off, but water does not have to be boiling to do that.

If you are worried about salts and corrosion, use ammonia/water mix.

Ammonia will react to the salts and they will no longer be corrosive.

Use 1 part ammonia x 2 parts water and dunk the pistol in solution (luke warm temp is fine) then let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with water, blow dry till dry and oil.

I have used this method while shooting corrosive ammo thru my CZ-52 on many occasions. My CZ has no rust to this day.

Reply author: ij70
Replied on: 10/22/2006 03:21:59 AM

A couple of cups of water will do "the trick" just as well. You can warm up the water.

Reply author: Teakwood
Replied on: 10/22/2006 09:08:45 AM

What "salt" are you talking about?

I have heard of using boiling water to get rid of the salts in the barrel from corrosive ammo. Have you been using corrosive ammo? I do not think it is necessary to boil the entire pistol.

I have heard of boiling a pistol to get rid of the cosmoline, but there are other ways to get rid of the cosmoline. Are you trying to get rid of the cosmoline?

Do you really have some problem you are trying to address or are you simply responding to some "good idea" that you came across?

Here are some tips, including one about using boiling water to remove the residue from corrosive ammo.

Reply author: Robert William
Replied on: 10/22/2006 11:23:33 AM

The only time I recall boiling a gun to remove salt is right after bluing it in hot caustic salts. If you don't boil it out, down the road you will notice salt growing out of every nook and cranny. It will be a never ending battle.
If you are talking about salt from shooting corrosive ammo that is alot less to deal with. Get some Sweets 7.62, it will take the salt out and remove any metal fouling. Also it will clear your sinuses. There are a number of other brands out there too that work on corrosive fouling, the names just don't come to mind right now. I shot corrosive ammo in rifles and handguns, Ive never had any rust from it though. In a pinch you can use windex to do your initial bore cleaning and once the patches come out clean then goto you regular solvent like Hoppes or whatever.

Reply author: criticalbass
Replied on: 10/22/2006 1:15:24 PM

I have never boiled a pistol, but if I did, I would completely disassemble it. That includes removing the extractor/spring/plunger and the triggerguard/spring/plunger. It would be diffecult to determine that all the water was gone from these areas without disassembly.

Since there are those folks who see field stripping a Mak as a major undertaking, normal disassembly, even not including the above mentioned parts, is frightening to them.

This fear is one that can easily be mastered. I know of no other weapon as "friendly" regarding complete disassembly. Do a little research, find a good manual (not Walton Cude), and go for it.

Having said all this, unless the gun has been reblued by someone who didn't finish the cleanup, I see no reason for boiling. CB

Reply author: TripleL
Replied on: 10/22/2006 2:55:50 PM

Originally posted by Teakwood

Do you really have some problem you are trying to address or are you simply responding to some "good idea" that you came across?

No particular problem, but since my Maks were bought used I cannot say with certainty that the previous owners did not use corrosive ammo. The article on Maks that I came across did not say what the source was for the salts but the Mak website for tech info you referred me to did address the salt issue from corrosive ammo.

If I were to use boiling water it would be to "rinse" the gun, as suggested by, and "not boil the entire gun" as I thought initially.

Thanks for the feedback.

Reply author: steve98664
Replied on: 10/23/2006 02:10:18 AM

I have never boiled a pistol for corrosive ammo, but I think the idea is that the boiling water evaporates off of the hot pistol. If you dip it in a cold solution, you loose the heat/evaporative effect, right? Boiling doesn't neutralize the corrosive effects to my knowledge.

However, anybody heard that 'dilution is the solution'? Big enough pan and enough water would probably do it.

I used a light ammonia solution to neutralize when I used some questionable ammo. I used an excessive amount of spray degreaser and the lube on the rest of the pistol after that. No problems.

I think dipping in solvent is probably best for removing heavy cosmoline. However, I have just used extreme amounts of spray degreaser on new pistols. Having gotten in on nooks and crannys like extractors and safetys, it is my opinion that if sprayed in the extreme everywhere, the spray degreaser did a really good job of removing all of the cosmoline. The trigger, hammer and more open areas definitly come clean of cosmoline with spray degreasers.

Seems like Mak dot com has a recipe for a red degreaser/cleaner/dipping solution to knock the cost down.

Reply author: Macs
Replied on: 10/23/2006 08:57:22 AM

I have many times boiled gun parts but not to get rid of corrosive ammo residue. Many firearms have pressed togther tight fitting areas that just seem to soak up the oil. (& old Cosmolene, boot wax, blood, etc) When re-finishing, very often the heat involved causes that stuff to seep out of it's hiding places and affect the fresh finish. Some firearms that this seems to happen to a lot are AK's, SKS's and Makarov's around the barrel to frame boss.
I have found that boiling the questionable part in a water based solvent does a good job of removing those contaminants. The reason is that it disolves the oil and the boiling action tends to swirl it out of it's hiding places. Plus, the heat causes the metal to expand and release the crud better. I have found this to work a lot better than a solvent tank but I do use the solvent tank to do the rough cleaning.
The parts dry instantly as soon as they hit the air but forced air is better. Two things to keep in mind if contemplating this:
I do this on certain firearms/parts as part of our re-finishing procedure. The parts need to be disassembled. Don't do it to an assembled firearm. AND if you plan on doing this as part of a good cleaning, re-oil it fast since there is a danger of flash rust.
Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Mac's Shootin' Irons
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All

Reply author: mr44
Replied on: 10/23/2006 11:23:06 AM

recipe.. 1 makarov.1 potato.1 beet.1 pot of water.1 celery.1 onion..boil for 10 will have good hearty bowl of BORSH..DA

Reply author: arcom the first
Replied on: 10/24/2006 08:52:44 AM

Yeah, well I tried that recipe and the slide was still too tough. The grips, OTOH, came out very tender.

Silver Bullet Member
3,305 Posts
Add a little cheese after boiling your Makarov and you'll have Mak and cheese, *groan* ;-)

A little chemistry for Friday night fun:
Salts in firearms come from discharge of potassium chlorate primers. (The old thread is also mentioning salts from hot bluing. Those are different salts but they are in the same broad category of pairs of cations and anions, i.e., salts.) The strong oxidant, potassium chlorate, (and other components) detonates upon a sharp impact to the primer and leaves behind a residue of potassium chloride.

Salts are already neutral or near neutral so they don't require neutralization. Therefore, ammonia (ammonium hydroxide, a weak base) doesn't neutralize corrosive salts. Salts do require solubilization in order to remove them from the metal surface of the bore etc. Salts are very, very soluble in water (you don't need to add anything to the water, but you can for other reasons, e.g., detergents for removing other residues, ammonium hydroxide for removing copper residue). Boiling, or hot water, or even cold water are good for dissolving and removing the salts. The best way is rinsing rather than soaking. Passing 5 shots of 1 oz. of water down the barrel is more effective than soaking it in 20 oz. of water (the salts are still there). The hot water is good for heating the metal and making sure the water evaporates before you lubricate properly (I like a water displacing spray between the water and the final application of heavier weight oil or grease).

Using the word corrosive does lead to some confusion regarding neutralization. Acids and bases, especially strong acids like hydrochloric (aka muriatic), sulfuric or nitric acids; or strong bases like sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, are corrosive, but for somewhat different reasons. If they were present, they would require neutralization to reach pH 7 or thereabouts. With salts like potassium chloride, the corrosive nature isn't due to them being acidic or basic--they aren't--it's because they attract water from the air. Water is needed to mediate the corrosion reaction of Fe metal with oxygen to produce ferric oxide, rust. Chloride salts are especially effective (in other words, harmful) in this regard.

Platinum Bullet Member
499 Posts
More years ago than I care to remember I owned and shot a mint condition 1944 Mauser made P38 pistol. And friend and I purchased a complete case of German WW2 9mm Para. ammunition and I shot almost one half of the case thru this P38. After EVERY shooting I completely disassembled the pistol and placed the parts, (no springs or grips), into a pan of boiling water. Both rubber and cloth gloves, soap, cleaning rod, brushes and patches gave the barrel and breech a good scrubbing. Removing the parts from the boiling water usually dried themselves in a moment. Very heavy coating of WD40, (WD40 is really not a lube, it is a moisture displacement item), and a wipe down. Hot water and soap will dissolve the salts left behind by corrosive priming. Years later when I sold the P38, it still was in near mint condition without a single spot of rust any where.

33 Posts
You could have skipped everything but the recipie at the very end:) Very good information I would use a Chinese Mak for the Eastern flavor.l
I agree with you. If I'll boil my Chinese SHI, the temptation to eat it will be unbearable. Heck, i'll eat all my collection in one day. On the other hand, I should of boiled it long time ago to kill all the bacteria on it. Who knows what kind of microorganisms that high ranking officer had in him . If he loved this gun the way I do then I'm sure he was kissing and licking it.
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