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How do you take care of ammunition???
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Printed on: 10/01/2007


Topic author: nak
Subject: How do you take care of ammunition???
Posted on: 10/18/2005 01:24:46 AM
This may seem to be a pretty basic question, but how do you care for ammunition and the brass fittings on holsters and slings? I bought a Type 26 revolver with holster and it came with 18 original bullets in the cartridge loops. When I pulled them out, the brass was covered in a greenish, waxy feeling substance and the lead bullets had a buildup of some kind where they were touching the leather. The brass fittings on the holster also had this greenish substance (oxidation I assume) on it. Should one oil the ammo and metal fittings on holsters? Is it ok to remove the green stuff (I took some completely off and it left the brass very shiny). Thanks for any info. Tracy​


Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 10/18/2005 08:46:42 AM
The green stuff, verdigris, is not good to leave on. Especially for the leather. I keep it off by using a dry paper towel on the brass parts and on the ammo. This will remove the crud without polishing the brass. Oil should not be used on the ammo & would probably make the problem worse.

Reply author: Joe Turner
Replied on: 10/18/2005 3:49:36 PM
Verdigris is the result of a reaction of the brass to the tannin in the leather. I use a shaved down piece of popcicle stick to scrape the green off. Some leather oils seem to help retard this growth but it will continue to reappear as long as there is tannin in the leather. I am sure that each collector has thier favorite " cure " or retardant for this problem. When I dress leather after cleaning or manufacture ( I have a small harness shop and service collectors who have leather issues/needs ) I use Pecards to treat the leather and I find that verdigris build up is slow to return. Don't oil the bullets as the oil will transfer to the leather and eventua;lly stain it as well as weaken it. Joe

Reply author: nak
Replied on: 10/18/2005 11:15:56 PM
Thanks for the info guys. Where I have scraped the verdigris off, it has left the brass very shiny, will the brass eventually patina over and look even colored. If I store these bullets in a plastic container, will the verdigris come back? Thanks again. Tracy

Reply author: jarjarbinks11
Replied on: 10/19/2005 12:09:28 AM
the verdigris should not reappear on the bullets as long as they are out of contact of the leather. i have had the same thing happen to alot my holsters and scabbards as well. the best thing to do is remove the bullets from the holster and keep them in a safe dry spot. the brss will eventually return to a patina look. to help speed up the process just touch the brass. the oils in your hands will tarnish the brass just enough to make it blend in. hope this helps!

Reply author: Francis C. Allan
Replied on: 10/19/2005 5:53:42 PM
To preserve historical ammunition, I suggest the following:

- clean the individual cartridges as best you can with soap and water.
- dry thoroughly
- do not use steel wool or, even worse, brasso to shine the cartridges as it will damage the exterior. If there is corrosion, use a fine grade of bronze wool judiciously
- apply a coat of paste floor wax and buff - do not apply lacquer to 'protect' the finish. This will destroy the value and can not be removed without damaging the cartridges
- store in a dry area as free of humidity as possible

I hope that this helps. These tips have worked to preserve my cartridge collection for thirty years.


Reply author: nak
Replied on: 10/19/2005 11:24:04 PM
Thank you for all your help. Tracy

Reply author: type-14
Replied on: 10/22/2005 07:16:16 AM

What is your source for bronze wool? Benn trying to find either it or brass wool with no luck expect to buy it of ebay from a source in England.


Reply author: Brock S.
Replied on: 10/23/2005 01:02:20 AM
Try this website,
They are who I procure my Brze wool from and are great to work with.Hope this helps!

Reply author: type-14
Replied on: 10/26/2005 1:20:20 PM
Brock S. Thanks for the tip. I decided to try one more idea before I ordered from them and hit pay dirt. Stopped by one of our local Marinas and there it was. A bit more pricey than off line but I didn't have to wait or pay shipping.

Again. Thanks for the suggestion.

Reply author: Francis C. Allan
Replied on: 10/26/2005 7:34:38 PM
Some, but not all, ACE hardware stores carry it also but finding the fine grade is difficult.


Reply author: yukon75
Replied on: 10/28/2005 1:36:07 PM
I also agree with Frank on the wax aspect. I use a wax paste called Butchers wax. I apply a thin coat to ammuntion, parts, guns etc, and wipe it off, leaving a nice protective coat. I have found that this really protects when I store items for a long time. Now dont get me wrong, I am not heavily applying a thick coat of paste to my collection. The wax is in solid form, and I only apply a little to a finger to rub on. Like I was saying, I apply it to just about everything after it is clean. And yes, it will come right off with a little gun oil. It will not hurt any metal you put it on. I also use it on some of my Sporter rifles on the stocks, to protect when I go out hunting on damp mornings or when hunting in a light drizzle or snow. The wax also works great on magazines. I have had alot of stubborn mags that like to drop only about half way out when released, when a thin layer of the wax is applied and wiped off, mags will fly right out when released. Great for a combat reload. Did not mean to ramble, I just have found maint on all metal is alot smoother, and collectible ammo does not tarnish when properly cleaned, or wiped down, and a little paste wax applied.

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