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Discussion Starter #1
So I’m new to shooting older rifles and corrosive ammo. I went out shooting and thought I cleaned it properly afterwards. Apparently I didn’t. (I did not get the bore). It looked pretty bad. I did an invasive cleaning with wire brush and heavy gun oil. The bore looks OK now but I’m worried I did irreparable damage. I shot about 50 rounds and it sat around for 2 weeks. What are the chances I’ve ruined it?
 

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It depends a lot on climate conditions but if it looks 'good' (shiny, clean) there is no damage.
I assume you got red rust from the first patch?
What gun, caliber and ammo?
 

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It depends a lot on climate conditions but if it looks 'good' (shiny, clean) there is no damage.
I assume you got red rust from the first patch?
What gun, caliber and ammo?
Yugo M24/47, 8mm. Ecuadorian surplus. First couple of patches were reddish, after that just the standard dark ones. Yeah from looks, it looks good now but kinda scared me when I looked down the barrel. I used gun cleaner that I’ve removed surface rust before.
 

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I think you learned a cheap lesson!

NOTHING is as good as detergent and hot water to clean corrosive ammo residue. It's not as hard as a seems, but you need long arms.

Put two inches of hot water in a dish pan or tub with a long squirt of Blue Dawn dish detergent in it. Put the rifle muzzle down in the water and then pump back and forth with a patch on a rod. First patch down blows bubbles, subsequent passes sucks water up through the bore until its released when the patch reaches the chamber and relieves the suction. A dozen slurps will wash the salts out of the bore. Rinse with clean HOT water by the same method. Dry with a few patches or one pull of a Bore Snake and lightly oil it while still warm.
The same process cleans BP residue, too.
 
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I think you learned a cheap lesson!

NOTHING is as good as detergent and hot water to clean corrosive ammo residue. It's not as hard as a seems, but you need long arms.

Put two inches of hot water in a dish pan or tub with a long squirt of Blue Dawn dish detergent in it. Put the rifle muzzle down in the water and then pump back and forth with a patch on a rod. First patch down blows bubbles, subsequent passes sucks water up through the bore until its released when the patch reaches the chamber and relieves the suction. A dozen slurps will wash the salts out of the bore. Rinse with clean HOT water by the same method. Dry with a few patches or one pull of a Bore Snake and lightly oil it while still warm.
The same process cleans BP residue, too.
Seems fairly simple. I will do that next time if I ever shoot again.
 

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All good points. Cleaning a rifle after shooting corrosive ammo requires some additional steps as have been mentioned. The standard in the military was to use hot soapy water and patches or G.I. bore cleaner to dissolve the salts. Dry patches and a light film of oil were applied to protect the bore. Then check the bore over a few days and repeat as needed. All the best...
Gil
 

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After the fact.

Clean it/scrube itas best you can don't give up on it just because it's a little crusty. Whole lot of dull bores actually can still shoot well.
 

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Hot water dumped down the barrel and through the gas system at the range immediately after shooting corrosive ammo will head off the rust gremlins until you clean it (within 24hrs at the most).
 

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Even if the bore looks shiny it can still have some hidden corrosion in the groove edges so the best solution is a complete scrub with bronze brushes and solvents . Hoppes 9 or sweets 7.62 . Sweets is better as the ammonia will convert the rust . Leave it in the barrel for 20 minutes then scrub and patch out , final patch out with turps to neutralize any remaining solvent , patch dry then re-oil .
Don't forget to wash the cleaning brushes and jags in turps , mineral spirit as the sweets solvent will eat them away also as they contain copper . Don't forget the chamber area , bolt face , gas systems etc , they also get contaminated with mercuric salts .
 

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Shot a lot of cheap corrosive ammo....I'd buy more if the opportuity presented. I'd just remind myself that most of the corrosive residues are water soluble. It'snot all you need,are other types of fouling, but at least starting with a blackpowder type cleaning...then the tradtional bore solvents/cleaners.

Some of the semi-auto systems are a real PIA to get apart and clean....but you'd pretty much want to do that even with non-corrosive ammo too...so really not that much trouble.

(Yeah...are folks who seem to take pride in being able to go 5,000 rounds with out a cleaning. To me,that's like braging about how long you can wear the same pair of drawers without washing.)

From where you stand now....give it a top notch cleaning, new brushes, warm the barrel and do it again. Known to be crusty/rusty barrels are about the only excuse for a stainless brush....but I still avoid them.
 

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Using the old hot water trick is not a full solution . Once the mercuric salts have created actual rust then the rust is not removed with a short splash of hot water . Only boiling in water for extended period will convert the rust and then you have the extra problem of drying the gun because water can create rust also if left to oxidize . Thorough cleaning after every use is what is needed to properly combat corrossive ammo . You can't get away with a slipshod job .
 

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Yeah that's what some people think for all cases but inside some complex parts like inside autos the water just evaporates and then some condenses back to water inside as the metalwork cools .
It works for a simple structure like a barreled action with the bolt and stock removed as long as no water got into the barrel threads . I would advise giving an extra warm up with a hair dryer on high to make sure all condensate is gone .
 

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Country, the corrosive residue is potassium chlorate salts... not mercuric. Mercuric primers went out of fashion when the black-powder age ended in the early 20th century.

Water, if the surface tension is reduced enough, WILL dissolve the potassium chlorate salts, and flush them out. I guarantee it. Any detergent basically works by lowering the surface tension of the water, making it 'wetter' and allowing it to get under dirt, or down into any crevices where salts are remaining. Heat helps, too, but isn't strictly required. Get it WET, get the salts dissolved, then clean/oil as normal. I've shot a bit of corrosive ammo, too. Probably a good idea to clean again on day two.

You can pour water through the barrel (really bad examples work great with some steam pushed through them) or just wet a bunch of patches down with the usual spray glass cleaner, and use those.
 

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Some Chinese ammo has still got mercury primers and also some old 303 and 30-06 ammo but yeah who knows what is in some old ammo .
 

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I doubt that. Mercury weakens the brass, pretty badly. This was discovered well over 100 years ago.

There's commie 8x57 and 7.62x54 and whatnot floating around with chlorate primers. And even surplus .30-06. 303? No telling. It's been loaded all over the world, even today. But potassium chlorate (military) and lead styphenate (civilian / sporting) have been the standards for over a century.
 

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There hasn't been a mercuric primer made since the mid 1880s. Chlorate primers went out of military use last and by 1955, all US military ammo was non-corrosive. (M-1 Carbine ammo was never loaded with corrosive primers.)
Interesting to note, non-corrosive primers were invented in Germany. Remington's 'CleanBore' and Winchester's 'Stayneless' primers came out about the same time in the early '30s based on those two German patents.
 

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I don't know about Mercury but Ammonia and other amines do weaken brass and excellerate stress corrosion in brass . Corroisve ammo does still exist no matter what the actual chemical content is and it was still being made around WW2 .
 
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