View Full Version : Cleaning After Shooting Corrosive

06-26-2012, 11:46 AM
Hello All,

I have a question about cleaning corrosive ammo.

Specifically about displacing water.

I flush everything with water when I get home from the range. I've read to use boiling hot water as it will basically flash dry as soon as it touches the metal. Well, I'm not that awesome. I use hot water, but it's definitely not boiling. Additionally, I let everything sit in a bucket of water for a while.

I was wondering if it was alright to use WD-40 to basically dry the receiver and other parts. It would allow me to easily get into the receiver and around the trigger group.

A guy from my LGS said it would be a bad idea. I believe it's because it would heat up and gas up.

Can I use WD-40? Is there an easier way to ensure everything is dry? I'm currently using the canned air and q-tip method which can get pretty tedious.


06-26-2012, 12:03 PM
why go through all that, take a bottle of windex and spray all the parts down when done shooting and clean as usual when you get home.

06-26-2012, 12:04 PM
^^^ This.

06-26-2012, 12:18 PM
why go through all that, take a bottle of windex and spray all the parts down when done shooting and clean as usual when you get home.

My barrel isn't chrome lined so I pay a little more attention.

Why use windex? You could just use a spray bottle full of water. It's the water content in the windex that dissolves the corrosive primer salts, not the ammonia.

06-26-2012, 12:26 PM
I just clean normally and don't worry about it.
Just spray some CLP down the barrel and run a few patches before I leave the range, then clean again when I get home, within a few days.
No rust in my barrel yet.
(I am not an expert)

06-26-2012, 12:28 PM
Hot water when you get home oil when done.

06-26-2012, 12:41 PM
Any thoughts on displacing the water inside the receiver and all the other cracks and crevices besides the can of air and q-tip method?

06-26-2012, 1:11 PM
I have always used windex down the barrel immediately after shooting then a nice thorough cleaning once at home.

The ammonia helps evaporate the water so there is none left in the bore.


06-26-2012, 1:15 PM
You dont need to douse the gun with water, simply run a few patches wet with it through the bore and then a few dry ones, and proceed with regular solvents, oils, etc. Put as much water on the patch as you would Hoppes. Dont overthink it.

06-26-2012, 1:22 PM

06-26-2012, 1:45 PM
Anything is better than nothing. I use boiling water and then clean normally, like the Tommies did. There is not enough ammonia in Windex to support the idea that it evaporates quickly, imo.

The main thing to remember is that the primers in corrosive ammo contain salt, and leave a salt residue in the barrel and gas parts if there are any. Moisture and salt cause rust. On a summer day you can shoot thousands of rounds and wait hours to clean. On a rainy day you can drag rusty red patches out of the barrel within minutes. Any introduction into the gun of water has to be cleaned out quickly.

06-26-2012, 1:55 PM
Windex. Or, using a small plastic bottle with diluted ammonia (3 parts water 1 part ammonia or even more dilute) wet a patch but don't soak it and run through the bore. Let sit for 30 seconds or until you get another dry patch ready, then run that dry patch through the bore. Take the still damp ammonia patch and wipe the bolt face and then use the dry patch from the pass through the bore to wipe bolt face dry.

That's it for Windex or ammonia. Then run an oiled patch and a dry patch and it's done. Do this at the range immediately after shooting and maybe do the rest of detail cleaning later.

Really, this is all you need to do.

06-26-2012, 2:26 PM
Just plain water! or using hot water is even better!

06-26-2012, 4:03 PM
Why use water at all? I've quit dousing my rifles unnecessarily and am just very liberal in my application of Hoppes no. 9.

Only problem I've ever had was the muzzle brake corroded onto the threads of my 74 pattern rifle, which was caused by not being careful enough getting the water off that end of the rifle. Live and learn!

Spirit 1
06-27-2012, 4:33 PM
I've posted this in the forum before regarding corrosive ammo cleanup. There's some persistent common beliefs about corrosive cleanup that aren't based in facts. The sources below are actual research studies on corrosive ammo residues and cleaning done in U.S. Govt. sponsored research labs for our military weapons. Below is proven, factual information about corrosive ammo cleaning.

The best original work on the subject was written by Dr. Wilbert J. Huff of the U.S. Bureau of Mines in 1922, as Technical Paper #188, 'Corrosion under Oil Films', which was a direct reference work on corrosion caused by firearms primers of the day. After WWI the U.S Govt. directed the U.S. Bureau of Mines to research the cause of corrosion in firearms resulting from corrosive primers. It's available here for online viewing reference and download:

PDF: http://archive.org/details/corrosionunderoi00huff

View online: http://archive.org/stream/corrosionu...ge/n1/mode/2up

Dr. Huff later developed and marketed his own product for firearms cleaning and protection, 'Huff's Chloroil'. It was water based but also contained oils for protection of metal. The Hoppe's #9 formula was developed in 1903, many years before Dr. Huff's research and did not benefit from his knowledge on the subject nor from any experiences of World War I. Hoppe's #9 original ingredients have seemingly become 5-6 ingredients today but still nothing specific in accordance with Dr. Huff's research. Hoppe's #9 doesn't seem to have any ingredient to neutralize or remove Potassium Chlorate according to their own MSDS:


Many suggest using Windex or other Ammonia products to neutralize the corrosive salts. The working action of Ammonia is only to dissolve Copper Fouling. The Copper Fouling is in direct contact with barrel steel and holds a Corrosive Primer's salt residue in contact also. It's the Potassium Chlorate KClO3 crystalline salt oxidizer component in Corrosive Primers that's the actual cause of corrosion problems. Ammonia can help break down the adhesion of Copper Fouling, which can then expose the residues of Potassium Chlorate or Potassium Chloride to be washed away or neutralized. In the treatise by Dr. Wilbert Huff the references to 'deliquesces' apparently means to become liquid by drawing moisture from the air.

Ammonia has no direct effect on the Potassium Chlorate KClO3 by itself. A somewhat similar form of these salts is Potassium Chloride KCl, ordinary 'Table Salt', lacking the oxidizer effect of Potassium Chlorate because of missing Ozygen [O3] radicals. Potassium Chloride is the end result after Oxygen molecules in Potassium Chlorate have evaporated off in a gun barrel. Potassium Chlorate is also the stuff that's on old-fashioned 'Strike Anywhere' wooden stick matches to ignite the other chemicals.

The more rounds fired the more the copper fouling occurs. Behind or under each layer of copper fouling the corrosive primer gases containing Potassium Chlorate/Chloride salt residues coat the bore, then progressive layers of both build up. We need to break through the copper fouling that's plated to the bore to get at the Potassium Chlorate/Chloride and dissolve it or flush it away. That's Ammonia's job, to dissolve and remove copper fouling, to expose the Potassium Chlorate/Chloride for removal.

If there is no Copper Fouling, which is highly unlikely, plain water is sufficient to remove the Potassium Chlorate/Chloride completly from a gun barrel, though some swabbing is suggested. After causing or allowing drying of the cleaned barrel a suitable oil is used to protect against any further corrosion or rust that might occur as a result of normal variations in humidity above 55%.

I personally prefer a cleaning rod sop with ammonia, and a scrub with a bore brush to further loosen copper fouling, followed by a rinse & swab with plain water, dry and oil. How one does that is a matter of personal convenience and what's available at the time. From a Chemical Engineering standpoint and according to a man with a doctorate in those sciences this method is virtually guaranteed to protect your investments after firing corrosive Milsurp ammo.

Oh and by the way, a common blow drier for hair works well for drying out the receiver etc. after washing parts down.

06-27-2012, 10:05 PM
i blast water out of everything with gunscrubber....i use the synthetic blend just in case of contact with wood varnish or plastic...canned air or compressor would work well but me no have...cheers..

06-27-2012, 10:10 PM
I've posted this in the forum before regarding corrosive ammo cleanup.

Good post. How much ammonia is need for stage 1. Is Windex enough?

06-27-2012, 10:29 PM
I use a 10:1 mix of ballistol and distilled water. I spray everything down, run a couple patches down the bore and wipe everything else clean.