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Thread: Cleaning After Corrosive Primers With Garand Emphasis

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away

    Cleaning After Corrosive Primers With Garand Emphasis

    A recent query from a poster in Hawaii worried asking how GI's cleaned their Garands after firing corrosive ammo promoted me to dig out this old post of mine from 2013, which I am posting again here. Enjoy:

    Cleaning After Corrosive Primers

    As a kid I was brought up on the M1 Garand, 03A3 Springfield and M1911 pistol using WW2 era ammo having chlorate primers. Cleaning after corrosive is no big deal. When done properly there is no worry about after-rusting. Older US military primers are VERY stable and have a great shelf life. I am still using WW2-era .30-'06 and .45 ammunition. I grab every round of it that I can find at garage and estate sales.

    US military primers produced prior to about 1953 caused rusting in humid climates because potassium chlorate is used as an oxidizer. Upon combustion this converts to potassium chloride, which attracts ambient moisture from the atmosphere in the same manner as ordinary table salt. Chlorate salts are water soluble, but not oil soluble. To quickly remove the salts use boiling hot soapy water. Boiling water is best because it evaporates quickly of its own heat, simplifying drying. If you don't have a means to heat the water, cold water will do. So will leftover tea or coffee or standing water soaked up on a patch left in a hoof print!

    I was taught by a WW2 vet to bend a wire cage from coat hanger wire to hang a metal canteen near the exhaust manifold of your farm tractor, pickup, Jeep, M151, etc. Lacking that use your Natick cooker or build a small "Indian fire." Leave the canteen screw-top slightly loose so that steam can escape while it heats as you drive to the range or back and forth between the pits and firing line. When ready to clean your Garand , snug the lid and lift the hot canteen out of its cage by the cap chain, then pour out 1/2 a canteen cup full of hot water into your canteen cup. Use your Mil-K-818 pocket knife or K-bar to scrape about 1/2 teaspoon of flakes from your bar of green GI soap, Calgon, Ivory or Fels Naptha into the hot water. If your bore is rough and tends to metal foul, use cake Bon Ami wiped and worked into a lather onto your hot, wet patch.

    Put your "soap patch" through the loop tip of your M10 cleaning rod and stir the hot water vigorously until it is nice and sudsy.

    Do not use your "oil patch" or your "inspection patch" for this purpose, because your platoon sergeant will chew you out and not issue you any new patches as you are now appointed Gomer of the Day. You are issued only three patches at a time because "War is hell! Some poor seasick merchant mariner braved Atlantic storms and U-boats, barfing his guts out to bring those precious South Carolina cotton patches to you! Treat them with the same reverence as you would your girl friend's panties! "Replacements will be issued only after rifle inspection, if you pass !

    1. Field strip your M1 Garand, M1911 .45 pistol or '03 Springfield on your folded shelter half spread across your bunk or on the deck. Rest the barreled action with the sights down, so that water running out of the chamber does not run into the action.

    2. Wipe the bore with your "soap patch" of hot soapy water, passing through the bore both ways, TEN times. Remove your dirty "soap patch" but DO NOT throw it away! Place it back into the soapy water, swish around, squeeze out for washing and repeat for re-use as needed until you are done.

    3. Now change to your bronze bristle brush. Rinse the brush in the hot, soapy water and pass it back and forth through the bore TEN times.

    4. Now lather up, squeeze and wring out your used "soap patch" squeezing out as much of the water as you can. Put it back on the loop tip, run once through the bore, remove, wash, wring out again and repeat! If you still see carbon on your "soap patch" go back to #3 and repeat. If bore and patch appear clean, then use washed and wrung out "soap patch" on your combination tool to clean the chamber, gas cylinder, gas cylinder plug, operating rod piston and bolt face. Then again wash and rinse soap patch, wring out and put carefully away for later inspection by your platoon sergeant.

    5. Now take "oil patch" and apply VVL800 or other approved weapons oil in a stream making an "X" crossing corner to corner, in the form of St Andrews cross. If you don't know who St. Andrew, was GySgt. Humphrey will ask the Gomer of the Day to recite the history lesson for you (*see below). If you don't have real military weapons oil, Hoppes or Outers Gun Oil or non-detergent SAE30 motor oil is OK, but a "water displacing" dewaxed, polarized oil is best. Roll the patch tightly lengthwise to the diameter of a cigarette, squeezing and twisting tightly to evenly distribute the oil. Now insert "oil patch" into your loop tip and pass through bore back and forth TEN times, then remove the patch from the loop tip and use to wipe chamber, bolt face, gas cylinder, gas cylinder plug and operating rod piston.

    6. Inspect "oil patch." If it has more than trace amounts of carbon, rinse out in the soapy water, get it as clean as you can, wring out and go back to step 2 and repeat all again!

    7. If "oil patch" has only slight traces of carbon, you are allowed to break silence to express satisfaction and now may respectfully hum the Marine Corps Hymn or the Battle Hymn of the Republic as you then use "oil patch to wipe operating rod track in receiver, bolt lugs, bolt face, hammer hooks of trigger group, sights and exposed metal.

    8. Apply ONE DROP of weapons oil to your paint brush, brush out the operating rod track in the receiver then brush away all loose dust and dirt from metal parts.

    9. Take your Popsicle stick and dip one half-pea sized dab of Lubriplate grease from your grease pot. LIGHTLY lubricate the operating rod cam pocket, rear surface of locking lugs, hammer hooks and shiny spot under barrel where operating rod rubs as it reciprocates.

    10. Reassemble your rifle, wiping all excess oil from its exterior with the clean "back forty" end of your baby diaper not used for shining brass or shoes, then dry and remove excess oil from the bore with the "Inspection Patch."

    Now lay out "Soap Patch", "Oil Patch" and "Inspection Patch" across the footrail of your rack, prepare for inspection by Platoon Sergeant and pray quietly.

    *[Andrew was a Galilean fisherman working in the Black Sea before he and his brother Simon Peter became disciples of Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the Romans on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Greece. Hundreds of years later, his remains were moved to Constantinople and then, in the 13th century, to Amalfi in southern Italy where they remain to this day. Legend has it that the Greek monk known as St Regulus was ordered in a vision to take a few relics of Andrew to the ‘ends of the earth’ for safe keeping. He set off on a sea journey and eventually came ashore on the coast of Fife at a settlement which is now the modern town of St Andrews, Scotland. In 832 AD Andrew is said to have appeared in a vision to a Pictish king the night before a battle against the Northumbrians in what is now the village of Athelstaneford in East Lothian. On the day of battle a Saltire, or X-shaped cross, appeared in the sky above the battlefield and the Picts were victorious. The Saltire, or Saint Andrew’s Cross, was subsequently adopted as the national emblem and flag of the Scots, against a deep blue field symbolizing the waters of the North Sea. 100 years later it would appear also on the flag of the Confederate States of America, against a scarlet field symbolizing the spilled blood of martyred patriots of Scots-Irish descent, who comprised the majority of Confederate forces].
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    South of the (Canada) border
    Thank you for this post! Our very first weekly (summer) shoot -- hi-power -- commences Wednesday, and I plan to print your post for "the boys" to read!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    southern MO
    I appreciated the post too. Thanks Outpost75 for the rifle cleaning lesson when "the boys" were not in the best of conditions. In the future when I look down the barrel of an old battle rifle I hope to remember that we are indebted to "the boys" for their service and they can be forgiven for not always being able to do a thorough job of cleaning due to more pressing matters.
    Mark 5:34 And He said to her (Jesus speaking), "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

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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