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Discussion Starter #1
Getting ready for a day of shooting tomorrow and several rifles are heading to the range. I've been keeping performance logs and target info for my own reference and practice. Since I've not shot a couple of these since July I decided to take a look down the bores and was horrified by the look of one. RUST. In a panic I started looking at more rifles and was even more upset by rust in several. I've only got about 30 milsurps so it doesn't take too long to check them all.
My range practice is to use water/ammonia after shooting and then fully clean at home which is about ten minutes away. The surprising thing about finding rust (inside barrel surface) is that it has only occured in rifles shooting 7.62x54 (M39, 41 Tikka M91 and NEW M91). Other Soviet and Russian weapons still have the same bore condition as when purchased. Also my 24/47s have had summertime shooting activity and are mirror bright.
My question is.... Is there any difference in the corrosive nature of 7.62x54 vs. 8mm and .303 surplus ammo, or could the difference be in barrel steel ?
Each and every one of my rifles gets the exact same cleaning method.

Advice and comments most welcome,
 

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I don't have any idea if one is more corrosive than others. I shoot 54r, 8mm and .303 and havn't had any problems with rust. I don't put water down the bores of my rifles like many others do. I clean my rifles with hoppes #9 and oil them before putting them away and have never had any problem. I used to use Sweets 7.62 solvent after use of corrosive ammo until I figured out that Hoppes #9 is all that I needed.
 

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For a long time I only used Hoppes #9 and never had any rust. I use windex now just to be on the safe side though.
 

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Distilled Water Mix

I shoot only surpus corrosive ammo in the Mosin's. I use a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and distilled water {tap water may contain harmfull minerals/salts} as a pre-treatment by running a wet patch through a few times prior to final cleaning. Never had a problem. I also avoid shooting with corrosive ammo on very damp or days of possible rain to avoid wetting of my firearms that than could lead to future rust that might go unchecked.
 

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The corrosive part of the ammo is the primers. I would guess the relative corrosiveness of different rounds would be different. It would be difficult to test that opinion without destroying test barrels by subjecting them to different conditions and levels of neglect.

Another factor is the condition of the bore, especially those "frosted" grooves. Under magnification the pitting (call it what you want-its pitting) will show small areas of craters in the bore. These craters are very difficult to clean effectively. The worse the pitting the more difficult the cleaning. I did not read from your post the precise description of the individual bores, but that could certainly be a factor.

I use windex at the range, with a brush and then some patches, then a patch wet with oil. When I get home I clean again, and always leave a film of oil in the bore to keep the oxygen away from any residue especially in "frosted" (pitted) bores. Pristine bores are a completely different situation requiring much less work to keep them clean, usually they will give me clean patches before I leave the range.

Humidity levels in storage could also be a contributing factor.

regards
badger
 

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I agree that prior bore condition and subsequent humidity are both significant factors. Personally I dropped the water and ammonia after using it for a while and went back to straight Hoppes #9. I never had a problem with it previously as long as I cleaned promptly. Even if you didn't clean your bore at all rust cannot form without moisture. By using a water based solution to remove the corrosive salts you have just ensured that rust has an opportunity if the water is not completely removed. I can't explain the difference in your experiences with different rifles/ammo unless it is prior bore condition or storage conditions. I wouldn't wait to clean the water from the bore, even ten minutes.
 

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Rust....

I'm wondering how this person stored his guns after cleaning? I mean, did he as the last step run an oily patch down the bores to lubricate and rust protect them? Were these guns stored in damp humid conditions such as in an unairconditioned home? There could be more to this equation than just simply cleaning the gun after returning home from the range. I've never encountered rust issues after cleaning my guns, so do not really understand how some others can.....
 

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"Other Soviet and Russian weapons still have the same bore condition as when purchased."

What caliber are these? Tok? And what kind of ammo shot from them? Something sounds fishy here, if other flavors have been shot and cleaned the same way but only those eating x54r are causing rust in the tubes.

Also, do you finish with a patch of good oil to keep all the barrels protected after cleaning?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies. I think that Badger and Ted may have hit on the possible problem ie. frosted bores with surfaces not really as new and shiny as they appeared. I will take more precautions immediately after shooting as well. Shyquestor, no other rifles here other than 7.62x54, 8mm and .303. It just seemed odd to me that other 91/30s and M44s have not suffered from the same cleaning regimen.

As a continuing followup, yes I do run an oily patch through after cleaning. The rifles are stored as well as I can but the house is not climate controlled.

I really do appreciate your collective experience and willingness to help.
 

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ammo

i use windex then hoppe's at the range. clean when i get home. first one of the bore cleaning foams,then many patches with hoppe's. end with ballistol leaving a moderate coating in the barrel. since it is the primer and it's residue that is the culprit,i field strip my bolts,soak with windex spray,remove that with brakes parts cleaner and my compressor. last lite coat of ballistol. no problems seen with this system in several years.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I think that Badger and Ted may have hit on the possible problem ie. frosted bores with surfaces not really as new and shiny as they appeared. I will take more precautions immediately after shooting as well. Shyquestor, no other rifles here other than 7.62x54, 8mm and .303. It just seemed odd to me that other 91/30s and M44s have not suffered from the same cleaning regimen.

As a continuing followup, yes I do run an oily patch through after cleaning. The rifles are stored as well as I can but the house is not climate controlled.

I really do appreciate your collective experience and willingness to help.
Windy--also note that the windex/ammonia and water mentioned here is a mixed effect. The ammonia works on copper fouling and will not do anything more than plain H2O on the corrosive salts from primers.

The ammonia does give a head start to removing copper fouling when applied at the range immediately after shooting, but the other solvents you use really do the job on copper. I like Shooters Choice for this purpose.

Also, if you have some frosted bores, consider cleaning them "hot" at the range and try some of the foaming bore cleaners out there as part of this. The foams seem to really get a lot of crap out that the normal cleaners won't on a frosted bore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've learned a lot in the last couple of days. Since joining these boards I've been reading about bore cleaning and other people's rust woes and assumed that I was doing things right. I was wrong. The frosted and well used bores are the only ones that have shown any sign of rust and I can only assume that it is because I've not been as diligent as needed in cleaning, especially in the water removal / oiling step.
After shooting today and cleaning much more thoroughly the problematic bores show no residual effects of past neglect. Thank goodness that not much time has elapsed since last firing and recent inspection on these rifles.
To be safe, each rifle is going to get a look see and recleaning in the next couple of days with the emphasis on the favorites that have been fired recently.
Bore condition ie. shiny, smooth, frosted and new now have much more valuable meaning in my vocabulary and I consider myself very lucky that this situation was caught early, instead of next year.
I guess that some of life's best lessons are the ones that cause some pain.
 

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Tried the water/ammonia after reading the boards. I quit using it after I got some rust for the first time in years. I don't clean at the range. I wait until I get home and use the time proven hot water and detergent like I have for over 20+ years.
 

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Windstar, FYI the "corrosive" part of the corrosive ammo is trace amounts of potassium chloride produced when the primer compound ignites.

Potassium chloride is more hygroscopic than table salt (sodium chloride) and attracts water vapor from the atmosphere to produce the rust. Potassium chloride, by itself, is harmless to steel, so in low humidity environments you can wait a long time before cleaning without it causing rust.

Its attraction for water provides the best method for its removal ... it easily goes into solution with any water present and is removed with same.

Be aware that those trace amounts of potassium chloride are carried with the propellant gases so that where the gases touch, the salt may be deposited. An example of this is if you are firing corrosive ammo in a rifle with a bayonet attached and extending beyond the muzzle, be sure to clean the bayo. The boltface is also an area for attention.

If you are using an ammonia/water mixture for pre-cleaning, be aware that ammonia, given time, will remove bluing.
 

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I've learned a lot in the last couple of days. Since joining these boards I've been reading about bore cleaning and other people's rust woes and assumed that I was doing things right. I was wrong. The frosted and well used bores are the only ones that have shown any sign of rust and I can only assume that it is because I've not been as diligent as needed in cleaning, especially in the water removal / oiling step.
After shooting today and cleaning much more thoroughly the problematic bores show no residual effects of past neglect. Thank goodness that not much time has elapsed since last firing and recent inspection on these rifles.
To be safe, each rifle is going to get a look see and recleaning in the next couple of days with the emphasis on the favorites that have been fired recently.
Bore condition ie. shiny, smooth, frosted and new now have much more valuable meaning in my vocabulary and I consider myself very lucky that this situation was caught early, instead of next year.
I guess that some of life's best lessons are the ones that cause some pain.
When you do your "look-see", start with a clean dry patch and look for any tell tale rust stains. Also, depending on how you store these, there are anti-rust products that can be set in a gun safe/security cabinet to help the storage environment. This can run from dissecant packs to Goldenrods.
 

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread but I have read on another forum about using Johnson's Floor Wax as a metal treatment to stop rust, as well as lube cast bullets. With the pitting in the bore of some of these older rifles I wonder if the wax would fill the pits and give more protection then oil. What do other think? I bought some the other day and think I will give it a try on some of my guns. But I live in a very dry part of the world and I don't have to worry about rust much. How I would apply the wax would be to melt it then use a bore mop soaked in the melted wax. You might have to load the mop a few times but it's very cheap. And if it works it should last longer then oil.
 

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Make sure you get that wax out before shooting.

I use hot soap and water. Simply because in windex, hoppes, etc., it is the water that removes salt and what has a higher concentration of water than....water? Especially for frosted bores or pitted bores, I put the muzzle in a pail and pump a patch back and forth filling the bore entirely with hot soapy water, expelling, repeating, etc. This means that a LOT of water contacts the bore, not a tiny bit as with Hoppes or whatnot. While hoppes would work fine for a smooth bore, i.e. no pitting, I want to know it is all getting out. No rust here.
 

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Ammonia, as in Windex, WILL CAUSE RUSTING!
Ammonia is an excellent electrolyte and unless you rinse thoroughly with clean water will promote rust, especially if you dont get all the corrosive salts out.
The typical Ammonia/Water mix will NOT dissolve corrosive salts any better than pure water, and a spray of Windex at room temperature is much less effective than pure hot water.
You need to scrub with hot water and a little liquid detergent (just a few drops) to get rid of the corrosive salts. Use water as hot as possible so it evaporates quickly making it easy to get a dry bore before the next step. I usually pull the bolt, stick the muzzle in a bucket, squirt in a little hot water/detergent from a squeeze bottle, scrub, repeat as needed, then rinse with just hot water and dry.
Then use something, like Hoppes or Ed's Red, to remove any residue that's not water soluble, then lube.
I've shot surplus ammo for decades with zero bore rust problems and NEVER used ammonia or Windex.
 
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