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Thread: Corrosive primers vs black powder

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy rugerman1's Avatar
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    Question Corrosive primers vs black powder

    I know the mantra for cleaning my flintlock after shooting black powder.What is the correct technique for cleaning ,lets say, a 303 SMLE after shooting corrosive primed mil-surp ammo? Do you just concentrate yer effort in the bore itself,or do you have to "wash" everything that accumulates any soot like the bolt face,mag feed rails,etc?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    The bore gets rinsed in water, dried and oiled. The bolt face gets wiped clean with a wet cloth, dried and oiled.

    With an M-1, you have to wash the gas jobbie too.
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold sledgehammer's Avatar
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    Ditto. 'bout covers it. In some M-N rifles, when shooting corrosive 7.62x54, I have niticed that some 'leakage' will turn up later as flour rust in odd places, but it's generally not a big deal.
    Jon H
    If it doesn't fit, DON'T force it! Get a bigger HAMMER.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I seem to recall from military days hot soapy water followed by clean hot water. I dried the bore and then used a good solvent. I scrubbed the bolt just like the bore. All I had was military bore cleaner. I have no idea what's in it. I still use the hot soapy water followed by clean water whenever I shoot corrosive ammo. It seems to flush out the corrosive salts. My bore cleaner now is Hoppes #9 and Marvel mystery oil. Hope this helps you.

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    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    If you don't at minimum give the bolt face a quick swipe with a damp cloth, then oil it well, you'll soon have a rust ring from primer leakage. I clean more extensively in the action when shooting 1970s steel case Romanian export 8mm ammo in my Mausers, because this stuff leaks back powder gas around the cases enough to visibly soot up the outsides of the cases, the bolts, puff up my eyebrows, and occasionally sting my face with blown particles. Be sure and wear your glasses when shooting that stuff! It's getting powder gas carrying corrosive salt blown all through the action.

    Oh yeah, whenever a primer pierces or a case cracks and releases significant gas, the bolt needs to be fully stripped and cleaned inside, as well as wiping out the whole inside of the receiver and magazine.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto. You can also use black powder solvent on corrosive primers- though as I clean my muzzleloaders with hot soapy water anyhow I can't comment on it personally.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    Here's the deal on corrosive primers. The corrosive chemical is a salt and thus, is very hydroscopic. Any water based cleaner will do the job, warming it makes it more effecient but is not really neccessary. The trick is to be liberal with the water. A wetted patch is only partially effective and should not be used as a long-term cleaning option. The most effective method is to remove the bolt, insert a funnel into the chamber area and pour water down the barrel. I prefer hot because it makes drying so much easier.

    After a good flush, dry the bore with patches and go after the metal fouling with a good copper solvent. Then oil the bore lightly being careful to coat the chamber too. Then wipe down the bolt face and oil. Every couple of months or before putting it away for a season, strip the bolt wash in warm soapy water, dry, oil and reassemble.

    Adding soap, such as ivory or Murphy's Oil serves to make the water "wetter". It breaks down the surface tension and lets the water coat surfaces better. I like to use a soap rather than a detergent because it works and it's simple. Soap will not react to any other cleaners I may choose to use later on. I'm pretty certain that detergent is OK too, but, this works so I'm not changing.

    That's about it really. No Voodoo, no rocket science, just plain old hygien.
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

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    Boolit Buddy rugerman1's Avatar
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    Question

    I have a related question,
    Would corrosive primers and cordite as used in British military ammo in the early to mid part of the 1900's affect the throat any more than the bore? I have a SMLE with a nice leade/throat but a little pitting about 4 to 8 inches down the bore.Trying to get a grasp on why the throat is better looking than the bore itself.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I have always kept a bottle of windex ammonia spray in my bag whenever we have the vintage rifle matches. A quick shot down the chamber and then a spray to the bolt face after the match, heads off the corrosive salts until I get home for a more thorough cleaning.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

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    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Rugerman, I don't know why that rifle's more pitted down the bore a bit than in the throat, but I'd guess it's an artifact of the way it was cleaned. Probably got swabbed from the muzzle and from the breech in such a way that some residual stuff got left in that area.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    BTW, there's no such thing as "neutralizing corrosive salts" (that phrase hasn't yet been used in this thread, but often rears its ugly head in such discussions), and ammonia has no special anticorrosive effects other than being midly basic. Salt has to be removed by flushing with adequate water to remove it completely, and ammonia's use is to remove copper fouling.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy rugerman1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricochet View Post
    BTW, there's no such thing as "neutralizing corrosive salts" (that phrase hasn't yet been used in this thread, but often rears its ugly head in such discussions), and ammonia has no special anticorrosive effects other than being midly basic. Salt has to be removed by flushing with adequate water to remove it completely, and ammonia's use is to remove copper fouling.
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy rugerman1's Avatar
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    Question de-ionized water vs distilled water

    Would de-ionized water dissolve salts better than distilled water? If so,would those alone,without soaps and detergents be all you need?

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Water has been called the "Universal Solvent", and with good reason. However, soap and heat make it better where "corrosive" primers are concerned. Just works better. Old smelly GI bore cleaner does a great job, but no better than soap and water. The soap helps cut greasy goo, the water flushes out the salts, and the heat dries it out before it gets too rusty..

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub axman's Avatar
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    cleaning corrosive

    I have always used the gun oil CLEANZOIL to clean my P14 303 after shooting and it works very well, and I think the product info use to state it was good for corrosive bore cleaning.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Sure is hard to beat good old water, with a little soap in it for scrubbing with a patch. I use plain old tap water. A hose or pitcher and funnel is a good way to rinse the bore from the chamber end. Dry it out and oil it when you're done. Actually, the same methods work well with noncorrosive primers, too. Soapy water gets the black fouling out better than the oily solvents like Hoppe's #9. For copper fouling I cap the muzzle with a rubber cane tip, pour it full to the breech with household ammonia, let it stand for an hour, rinse and clean, and repeat as needed. Works. For lead, nothing replaces elbow grease if it's bad. Soap can penetrate under it and help loosen it, as can penetrating oils like Kroil, but they don't work together at all. If you've been using a waxy lube, heating the water hot enough to melt the lube helps with cleaning. And as is sometimes mentioned, unless you're shooting corrosive primers, you don't always need to clean the bore at all.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    The different types of "pure" waters de-ionized, distilled and steam distilled are all pure water with the steam distilled being the most ion (salt) free.

    The relative concentration of chloride ions (salts) in most tap water is very low compared to the amount of residue left over from corrosive primers so there would be little gain but no harm from using one of the "pure" waters.

    Over time and without removal the ions in tap water can accumulate (hard water rings on plumbing, tea kettle residue) but these are mainly calcium carbonates.

    Remove the high concentration of salt with plenty of fresh water (tap is lowest cost).

    Remove all of the moisture with dry adsorbing patches and or heat.

    Clean to remove fouling and displace residual moisture with cleaning solutions and oils.

    Some cleaning solutions may have better miscibility with water and the less "oily" the better. Ed's Red contains acetone and that should mix with and help remove any moisture that the dry patches did not get. The WD in WD-40 stood for water displacement I was told.

    The oils left on the surface will not attract moisture.

    The guys at Surplus Rifle.com did a neat test a couple of years ago:

    http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews2...salt/index.asp

    Good Cleaning

    Dave

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub rocklock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerman1 View Post
    I have a related question,
    Would corrosive primers and cordite as used in British military ammo in the early to mid part of the 1900's affect the throat any more than the bore? I have a SMLE with a nice leade/throat but a little pitting about 4 to 8 inches down the bore.Trying to get a grasp on why the throat is better looking than the bore itself.
    Not so much the primers as the powder. Cordite has a high burning temperature and is quite erosive to barrel throats.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto too on not being stingy with the water; I either pour through from the breech or set the muzzle in a bucket and use a patch like a pump to pull water up and down in the bore. The filth that comes out in a few seconds and the subsequent easy cleaning job proves (to me at least) that soap and water does better than MOST carbon removing agents- though does nothing for metal fouling.

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    I used to use heavily wetted patches unitil I pulled a rifle out that had not been used for several months and found rust and some pitting :>( I now pour hot water with some soap through the bore. I also have an 1871 Army rolling block pistol with the firing pin rusted solidly in the block. I believe a primer blew into the firing pin channel and was not cleaned. It was then stored for maybe a hundred years that way. I actually soaked the block in Kroil for a full year and the firing pin remains solidly rusted in place. Guess it needs to be drilled out...but that's another story.

    Vern

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check