Corrosive Ammo

This is a discussion on Corrosive Ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I did a search and just couldnt find anything that really touched on this if somone knows a forum on here and could link me ...

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Thread: Corrosive Ammo

  1. #1
    Member Array J0eyg86's Avatar
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    Corrosive Ammo

    I did a search and just couldnt find anything that really touched on this if somone knows a forum on here and could link me to it i would appreciate it. otherwise....

    Does anyone know about corrosive ammo?? how corrosive are we talking here is it going to start doing damage within min or hrs or will it take weeks to months to start causing damage.
    the reason why i ask is ive always just stayed away from anything that says corrosive just b/c of the word but when looking into buying bulk ammo sometimes it seem that this stuff is a much better deal. Ive had someone tell me that it should be fine as long as i clean after going to the range and maybe spray down with windex befor i clean (something about the ammona in the windex stopes the corrosion???). the only thing is sometimes when i go out to the range w/ work and family i dont get to clean my guns the same day. sometimes i have to wait to the next day or even two days after going to clean them, dont like doing this but somtimes i have no choice. would the corrosive ammo cause proplems/damage to my guns if when i got home the guns had to sit in the safe for a day or two befor i could clean them?????
    any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array DaveJay's Avatar
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    I can't talk to the chemical reasons except to say corrosive ammo has certain things in the primer or powder that are corrosive...

    I own an M1 Garand and certain milspec surplus ammo is corrosive...I only buy ammo marked not corrosive since I don't want to go through the hassle since normal cleaning is inadequate to remove those corrosive elements...

    It's NOT dangerous...just requires attention to detail and you really should clean your weapon immediately after you finish a shooting session...
    VCDL Member
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    Theodore Roosevelt

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    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    First off, something to note, just to add to your knowledge. "Corrosive" ammo is so named because it uses compounds in the primer which form metallic salts - which, in the presence of moisture in the atmosphere - can corrosively attack steel. Nothing other than the primer compound in the ammo is "corrosive."

    With that behind us - some history. Until around WWII, nearly all military ammo was corrosive (used corrosive primer compounds). By the time WWII came, most of the Western allies had moved to noncorrosive ammo. World-wide, nearly all new ammo made by the mid-60's was non-corrosive.

    The problem with corrosive ammo is that the metallic salt deposits left in the barrel and throat after firing are hygroscopic and left untreated will work with moisture in the air to attack steel. If you check the bores of a lot of milsurp guns you'll see darkness close to the chamber and even down the full length of the bore instead of shininess, a sure sign of corrosion.

    As you have found, the reason why anyone would use corrosive ammo is that there are millions of rounds of surplus ammo around which have corrosive primers. Want some 7.62x54R for your Mosin-Nagants? Unless you're prepared to pay 80 cents a round, you're going to use the old milsurp stuff at about a fourth of that price.

    Identifying corrosive ammo is virtually impossible by inspection, without looking at the headstamp to ID the ammo. Milsurp stuff made post 1965 is almost exclusively noncorrosive, and nearly all made prior to WWII can be considered corrosive (the Swiss 7.5x55 being a notable exception). Between those chronological mileposts, it's prudent to assume that non-US milsurp ammo is corrosive.

    Now, on to your question. Here's a basic tenet: "Rust never sleeps." From the moment you fire that round with corrosive primer, your chamber and barrel are covered with metallic salts that WILL combine with any available moisture and start to attack that steel. How long can you put off cleaning to avoid corrosion? It depends! Clearly, the sooner you clean the chamber and bore, the less likely it is that any corrosive attack will occur. Just like leaving a tool outdoors - how soon will it start to rust?

    How about this: When you go shooting with your corrosive ammo, save 10 minutes at the end of your shooting session for a brief cleanup. Pull the bolt out of your gun, spray a good dollop of Windex (yes, the ammonia dissolves those nasty salts) down the bore, then run a Bore Snake thru the bore... and repeat. With that basic treatment, which can't take more than a couple of minutes, you can put off a full cleaning for a few days (but not indefinitely) with a clear conscience.
    Smitty
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    Member Array J0eyg86's Avatar
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    gasmitty thanks for the post and advice that is some good information. thank you that is good to know the windex thing is true

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J0eyg86 View Post
    gasmitty thanks for the post and advice that is some good information. thank you that is good to know the windex thing is true
    Be careful with ammonia solvents in a chrome lined bore.
    Both of the previous replies speak for me as well, without me going into a long tirade. Generally speaking, I try to avoid the berdan primed ammo in anything other than my AK47. I have my own reasons. Just like I stay away from anti-freeze that says it's okay to mix with any other color anti-freeze in your automobile. Just me........I'm particular or peculiar in that way.

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