View Full Version : Testing for corrosive ammo?

Death from Afar
May 4, 2005, 03:58 PM
I vaguely recall reading that the way to test if surplus ammo is corrosive is pull the projectile, dump the powder, and "fire" the primed case at a piece of iron or steel. If you get rust after 24 hours, it is corrosive. Does that sound right? Has anyone heard of a similar test?

May 4, 2005, 04:33 PM
Yep. Easiest way is to use nails sticking out of a piece of wood. It may take 3-4 days to rust.

May 4, 2005, 05:06 PM
Yep. The corrosive salts come from the primer.

As a control sample, you may want to do a known non-corrosive next to it. That way, if the control sample rusts (humid environment, etc) , you know that it may not have been corrosive, but more tests are needed.

May 4, 2005, 05:52 PM
I know a boy who just dumps the powder onto a steel plate and lets it sit. Says it will rust if its corrosive. I havent tried it, but he swears by it.

May 5, 2005, 07:44 PM
polished putty knife shows nicely if not stainless.

the mention of powder confuses me? how does powder relate to the unfired primer?

Death from Afar
May 5, 2005, 07:46 PM
I'll use the putty knife this weekend. I would have thought the nitric acid in the powder would cause rust in any event....

May 7, 2005, 03:07 PM
Dumping the cartridge won't work. First off, it's the primer that is corrosive, not the powder; and second the combustion products are chemically different from the contents of an unfired primer, so you can't learn anything by just dumping it. Setting off the primer is really the only way.

Jim Watson
May 7, 2005, 03:54 PM
Don't forget to wet clean the gun as though corrosive after the test. Treat it as corrosive until proven otherwise.