Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The owner of, and the instructor at, the range I go to, said that there is a bit of corrosion in the bore of my Win. They said it is due to the corrosive nature of the primers that were used when the rifle was made. Can you tell me what the primers were made of? And primers since then?

My Win is a Model 02A from 1928 - 1931. It's possible my great-grandfather had ammo on hand, and thus, used bullets that were made previous to 1928. My father said that he mostly shot the Shorts, but used the Longs and Long Rifles, too. Don't know what my great-grandfather shot.

Thanks, again! :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,224 Posts
Primer composition in 1920s

The basics of all primer compostition before WW I consisted of mercury Fulminate and Potassium Chlorate, either separately or in combination.
The Potassium Chlorate (or "perchlorate", aka) was what produced the "corrosive" salt, Pot. Chloride, on firing.

The Germans had experimented with Non Corrosive and Non Mercuric primers before WW I, based on special lead compounds, and This work was duplicated by Dupont/Remington in the 1920s, leading to the common Non-corrosive Priming compounds used just before WW II and then in the 1950s etc.

Although all the major players in WW II still went to war with a preponderance of Corrosive priming, the Germans made a concerted effort to use NON-Corrosive compositions as much as possible, esp. in their Steel cased ammo( primers Zdh 30 and 30/40); but their mainstay was still the 1888 origin ZdH88, whioch was both mercuric and corrosive.

In the US, early 1920s composition would still have been Corrosive, but not necessarily Mercuric. The US FA70 mixture, had eliminated mercury Fulminate as the igniter compound, and substituted a great percentage of Potassium Chlorate. ( By WW I).

So, in all likelyhood, your ammo made in the 1920s, would be corrosive, but not necessarily mercuric.
As to the effects (or supposed effects) of Mercury compounds on brass, this is much over-rated, as the majority of brittleness in early brass was due to absent or incorrect case annealing in manufacture, and not to the amalgam forming ability of mercury on brass. (after firing).

By 1928, both Remington and Winchester were producing their newly patented Non-corr priming cxompounds, both in factory ammo and in components, so there is the possibilty that older ammo was still available for many years. Also the "Non-Corr" marketing blurbs made it seem that no cleaning was now necessary with esp. ,22 rifles; and as a result many rifles were not cleaned due to this mistaken idea...with the results you see now.

Rifle Barrels do rust even with Non-corrosive priming being used...but for other reasons, such as ambient humidity, storage conditions, etc.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Doc, you're a dear! Thanks so very much. I know that my great-grandfather took meticulous care of his tools, so he would have his rifle, as well. My father cleaned the rifle well every time he used it. He's always been that way with his tools. I also got the slightly stern "Never go to bed with your rifle dirty!" talk. It was sweet. My father learned a great deal from his grandfather about having, using, and caring for good tools. Those century-old tools are still in great shape.

It stands to reason that my great-grandfather had some old bullets that he used in that little Win. He might have given quite a few to my father when he gave him the rifle.

I really appreciate your taking the time to think about and write this down for me. My father will be interested to know, too.

I'm very grateful.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top