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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
More experienced shooters ride with me on this, ok? I get alot of private messages about this, so I'm gonna post it.

Alot of shooters who haven't dealt with corrosive ammo seem to be afraid that it will kill a rifle (semi-autos, especially) in just a few miuntes. Not true. I came home from a weekend on the road, to 4 pm's about this subject. There have been numerous threads about it, and I wanted to just post it for all to read, who might be thinking about, and afraid to look inexperienced for asking the question. NEVER be afraid to ask a question, most of us love to help somebody with a problem.

First, here's what I do, and it has worked for me, for years! When I shoot, I usually shoot a 100 or more rounds per rifle carried out to my shooting range. While the rifle is still hot from the last string, I squirt water or Windex thru the bore, and into the gas tube on an auto-loader. I also douse the bolt and carrier, pretty well. If it's too difficult for you to do, or to quick disassemble to soak it down, then you need to spend a little more time with your rifle. Windex/Ammonia is not a requirement, I use it simply because alot of rounds fired will leave more carbon build-up and the ammonia helps cut it loose. Water is the key to killing the salts of the corrosive ammo. Then, I clean the rifle while watching tv, or whatever, later. I have even forgotten to clean my PSL for a week, when an emergency came up before cleaning. No damage visible. I had a friend forget his Tantal for 2 weeks and it rusted the bolt shut, but was 'bumped open" fairly easily. No damage visible afterwards, but not recommended.

Another point to be made; if you have to spend more than 15 minutes cleaning your rifle, you might want to spend more time "learning" your rifle. Study disassembly and assembly procedures, a bit. It's not rocket science, and is done by millions of conscripts and teen-aged Soldiers and Marines around the world, every day. Heck, untrained "soldiers" do it in 3rd World, rebel armies, regularly.

Cleaning a weapon is the best way to become totally familiar with assembly and disassembly of a weapon, as shooting is best for being confident with hitting your targets. Milsurp ammo is the cheapest way to obtain that proficiency, so use it. Buy it by the can, and shoot it up. That's what these things were made for. Chromed bores make it easier on the cleaning, but are not a requirement before shooting corrosive ammo. (IJ, forgive me for this rant, but I get alot of letters, ya know?)
 

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I have had this question for quite a while but never remember to ask it. I have read that using windex to clean chromed items, ie. rims on your car or whatever, is not a good thing to do. I believe the ammonia in the Windex can eat the chrome plating over time.
My question is, what about chrome lined bores? Is this a different type of chroming?
 

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All good advices, I should follow some of them myself (I have not taken SVT apart in two years.). If most people want to pay for "snake oil" cures, all power to them. Those of us who know some history also know that soap and water is all that is needed. Don't believe me? Just read up on corrosive properties of black powders then read up on how many centuries the black powder was used.
 

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I have had this question for quite a while but never remember to ask it. I have read that using windex to clean chromed items, ie. rims on your car or whatever, is not a good thing to do. I believe the ammonia in the Windex can eat the chrome plating over time.
My question is, what about chrome lined bores? Is this a different type of chroming?
Reactions of hexaaquachromium(III) ions with ammonia solution
The ammonia acts as both a base and a ligand. With a small amount of ammonia, hydrogen ions are pulled off the hexaaqua ion exactly as in the hydroxide ion case to give the same neutral complex.

That precipitate dissolves to some extent if you add an excess of ammonia (especially if it is concentrated). The ammonia replaces water as a ligand to give hexaamminechromium(III) ions.

http://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/transition/chromium.html




The bottom line is that anything and everything is destroyed in time. The goal is not to save things from damage. The goal is to use the tools when you need them. Since none of us know when we going to need this or that tool, buy good quality tools and keep them in good order.
 

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When I get home from shooting corrosive it takes 5-10 minutes to clean up depending on the rifle. I use Hoppes #9 as it cuts corrosive salts and cleans in 1 fell swoop. I've used it on BP for 30 years and never had rust. Not rocket science, just common sense.
 

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+1 to John's statements, above. The weapon is either clean, or it isn't. It really IS that simple and a lot of people would have you believe that there's some type of voodoo potion, chant and dance involved. There isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There ya have it. I used to dump my re-enacting and skirmishing military black powder barrels in the tub with hot soapy water. Sharps', Smiths, Maynards, Enfields, Springfields, everything. Let 'em soak. Heck, I've dumped all my pistols and revolvers, too. Cavalry re-enacting uses ALOT of pistols and carbines, not to mention shotguns. Saves clean-up time, and I never had rust problems, either.

IJ, wtf? haha! Soooo...does that mean it's hurtin' my AK's and PSL when I use the Windex? ;) Never paid attention in chemistry after I figured out how to make things go boom!
 

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At the risk of sounding like a me-too poster. I bought my PSL to shoot. Surplus ammo allows me to shoot it pretty much as much as I want without going broke. I spend a little extra time making sure I get it extra clean when I'm done. I don't do anything unusual for an ak style mechanism, other than removing and cleaning the inside of the gas tube every time. I break it down, I dry brush the gas tube to knock out the loose powder so it doesn't take as much solvent/turn to mud. Then I clean it with Butch's, re-oil and reassemble. I use a few more patches than I do when cleaning after cleaner/noncorrosive ammo. But patches are cheaper than barrels.
Also the eastern block mils all have used corrosive ammo for years, so your 70-80 year old Mosin has fired a crap ton of corrosive ammo.

My tins of Hungarian are cheap and have never failed to go boom.

-Jeff
 

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All good advices, I should follow some of them myself (I have not taken SVT apart in two years.). If most people want to pay for "snake oil" cures, all power to them. Those of us who know some history also know that soap and water is all that is needed. Don't believe me? Just read up on corrosive properties of black powders then read up on how many centuries the black powder was used.
Amen to those sentiments, hot soapy water, followed by hot clean water is the way I have cleaned my black powder and milsurp weapons over the last 40 years or so with no problems, although the introduction of products such as WD40 has made the job of cleaning easier, I spray the bores with it before I leave the range to keep moisture at bay until I get home and use it again after cleaning to make certain the bores are dry before being lubed.
ukrifleman
 

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Consider ALL ammo corrosive! If not the actual powder composition, the more highly corrosive salts in the primers.
The deposits by themselves can sit for long periods with no damage. It takes a third component, water, to activate and cause the reaction. Humidity in the air will be absorbed by the carbon fouling and then activate the chemical reaction. Hot, humid summer days will ignite rust and pitting in short order whereas crisp low humidity winter air gives a much longer time span to get to your cleaning.
Water and ammonia can neutralize the salts but the majority of them are embedded in the carbon fouling. Get out the carbon and the salts come with it.
Rather than saturating the carbon with water and activating the chemical reaction, I prefer to remove as much of the carbon fouling with Carb & Choke cleaner, taking the salts out with it. A quick spray with carb cleaner, aggressively brush and then flush with carb cleaner gets out 90% of the carbon fouling. Done when I get home, the quick flush and brush means I can let the gun sit for several days before getting around to a thorough and proper cleaning.

Treating the bores with MolyFusion makes a huge difference! As a super lubricant, crap no stick! Treated bores accumulate 2/3 less fouling than non-treated. As a super rust preventative, it is highly resistant to rust and corrosion. It is a permanent chemical bond with the metal and while yearly touch-ups are recommended, it only has to be applied once.

Motor oil is the best! Guns that would rust and pit with every brand of gun oil on the market hold up just fine with plain old 10-40W even if not cleaned for extended periods. I gave up on expensive gun oils and just keep a quart of cheap 10-40 around for the purpose. The safe queens that don't often get shot get liberal application of motor oil. You won't be surprised in six months with a haze of rust!

Chromed bores don't accumulate fouling and don't rust or pit. The guns with the chromed bores have very little fouling in them and clean up quickly even after heavy shooting. On the PSLs, forgetting to clean them for a week or two has no effect on the bore. The gas tube will pit and rust but the bores come clean with a couple patches and carb cleaner.

Ammonia is caustic! It will neutralize the salts but ammonia, even in small concentrations will ultimately cause some damage. Fail to follow directions with a high ammonia content copper cleaner and see the results!

To each his own ... I've found products that work for me but everybody has their own opinion and preference.
 

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I use windex with ammonia, water then finish up with clp since I have several gallons of the stuff, in AZ I could get away with not cleaning my rifles for a while but up here in ND where it's super humid you will see rust inside 2 days. As for black powder I use windex to break up the crud then warm water and oil, been doing it for many years on over 30 ML's with no rust. It's quick and simple. I always use a water based cleaner with corrosive loads 1st, it seems to remove the residue faster than a oil based solvent alone.
 

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Reactions of hexaaquachromium(III) ions with ammonia solution
The ammonia acts as both a base and a ligand. With a small amount of ammonia, hydrogen ions are pulled off the hexaaqua ion exactly as in the hydroxide ion case to give the same neutral complex.

That precipitate dissolves to some extent if you add an excess of ammonia (especially if it is concentrated). The ammonia replaces water as a ligand to give hexaamminechromium(III) ions.

http://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/transition/chromium.html




The bottom line is that anything and everything is destroyed in time. The goal is not to save things from damage. The goal is to use the tools when you need them. Since none of us know when we going to need this or that tool, buy good quality tools and keep them in good order.
Just to clear this up your bore is plated with metallic chrome Cr0 not the ionic Cr6+ form (which is metal in solution) it maybe have started in ionic hexavalent form before the plating process but ended up metallic.
 

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Bottom line, clean your damn gun! Everybody has their own routine, but if you shoot it, clean it! I get sooo tired of people whining "I hate to clean my guns". If you've got the energy to shoot it, you can run a couple of wet patches down the bore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bottom line, clean your damn gun! Everybody has their own routine, but if you shoot it, clean it! I get sooo tired of people whining "I hate to clean my guns". If you've got the energy to shoot it, you can run a couple of wet patches down the bore.
YES! A lil cheese to acompany the whine, I say. THAT was my main point. HAHA! You NEED to know your weapon. Cleaning it is a great way to familiarize yourself with it in order to be able to diagnose and repair it!

As for the carb cleaner, be careful with that stuff. I had one of my Staff Sergeants (Yep, I went to OCS and became "The Enemy'!) spray his M16 with carb cleaner, and I then took up a fund to help him pay for it, because it ate the Parkerizing off of the entire lower receiver! I avoid ALL carb cleaners, ether-based or not, when it comes to guns. I have carbs on my old H-D's, not on my rifles. I keep the carb cleaner outta the gun room, and the gun oil outta the bike shed.

+1 on the motor oil routine! 70 weight for my old Flathead works great as a rail lube for AK-types, and 50 weight from my old Shovel works great as a gun finish preservative for hangar queens. Especially USED 50 weight. Gives them a nice, DARK look. hehe ;)
 

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Windex, ammonia, soap and water, hot water, Hoppes, etc. The point is clean your firearm. A clean and properly oiled firearm will not rust under normal conditions. Don't let the term corrosive scare you. It's not a big deal. I've seen plenty of rusted, pitted barrels and firearms that never saw corrosive ammo. My son in-law was in Afghanistan and commented on the AK's he saw over there. Ones that had even modest care were rust free. Alot were cleaned with a old cloth and motor oil.
 

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I'm sure there are AKs in SE asia and africa that would be lucky to get an old bootlace with a knot in it pulled through them and would feel spoiled to get wiped down with an old rag and used motor oil.
Cleaning your rifle after a day of shooting, and transporting/storing it relatively dust free is already better treatment than it might see in war.
Many bolts and semis made it through the world wars. Neglect, abuse, mud, sand, dust, rain, snow, and likely a lack of maintenance all while shooting "corrosive" ammo.
Some of your beloved Finns sat in a battle field for a while uncleaned, unprotected after shooting old soviet ammo.

Shoot your rifle. Clean your rifle, and it will probably out last you, just like many of the rifles on this forum outlasted their previous owners.

That "perfect" 1930 Hex Tula was probably killing germans (or finns) long before most of us were born all the while using that horrible gun ruining corrosive ammo.

Wait.. on second thought, don't buy that nasty stuff! Save it for me and keep the priced low :)

Jeff
 
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