Cleaning Up After Corrosive Ammo

Dave Markowitz has some advice.  I have to deal with this sometimes with the Nagant, and I’ve been the victim of shooting other Soviet Bloc ammo I didn’t realize was corrosive, but was.  It can rust a rifle pretty quickly if you don’t deal with it.

I think it’s good advice.  He recognizes that it’s the surfactants in Windex that make it a good cleaner, not the ammonia.  When I shoot my AK-74 with the corrosive 5.45×39 ammo (you can shoot all day with that stuff for a good price) I just take the gas tube, flash suppressor, bolt carrier, and bolt, and give it a bath in soapy water.  Then run some patches down the barrel with soapy water, clean the surrounding areas, and then go over everything with gunzilla once it’s dried out.  That seems to do a good job of keeping the rust away.

4 thoughts on “Cleaning Up After Corrosive Ammo”

  1. Not the ammonia?

    I’m not so sure. If you read books about shooting before WWII, you will find that almost all the bore cleaners recommended by people like Col. Townsend Wheelan contained ammonia. If nothing else, it chemically removes the very fine layer of embedded jacket metal that covers and protects part of the corrosive material from the cleaner. You can’t scrub it out of micropits in the bore.

  2. Yes, I believe that is correct that ammonia can help remove copper residue. But it doesn’t help remove the salt residues from corrosive ammunition.

  3. I’ve had good luck with it too, but it has a strong odor, and I don’t have enough of it to wash off in bulk. Miss one spot, and you’ll get rust. With soapy water, I can do immersion, and be sure I can get most of the corrosion. Of course, if you have wood, that’s a bad idea. But you can still run soapy water through the gas tube.

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