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Old February 7, 2010, 11:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 19, 2007
Posts: 267
ballistol vs. "home brew"

For shooting corrosive ammo in mil surp. guns and the like, I have heard nothing but good stuff about the all-purpose concoction of Ballistol. However, I was checking out some C&R site stuff and came across a recipe for another alternative. Fellow says that using 2/1 or 3/1 parts of water and ammonia will do the trick. He mentions, however, that excessive use of the stuff may do some damage. Anybody use the ammonia/water combination? Any other alternatives? If the Ballistol is really the best way to go about cleaning corrosive fouling, then I'm in. Just was wondering about some other cost-effective solutions. Thanks for any experience you may offer.
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Old February 7, 2010, 11:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: December 27, 2008
Posts: 1,032
I use Hoppe's #9 & finish up with Kroil

Corrosive Ammunition One fact holds true for all production regardless of year or country, and that is all surplus 7.62x54r ammunition is corrosive. For the novice this sounds much worse than it is. It should be considered that these rifles were used with corrosive ammo for decades through several wars and are often none the worse for wear. When ammo is described as "corrosive" all this means is that the primer contains potassium chlorate which was used as an oxidizer. When the reaction takes place and the oxygen is removed it leaves potassium chloride. A residue of this "salt" is left in the barrel, absorbs moisture from the air and creates a corrosive film. If the barrel is not properly cleaned as soon as practical after shooting it will rust. It is the rust that damages the barrel and not the ammunition itself. The potassium chloride is water soluble so it is easily removed. There are many commercial products advertised for cleaning after shooting corrosive ammo, but the time tested Hoppe's #9 is does the job as well as any of them. Some shooters advocate a simple 50/50 solution of water/ammonia. One patch soaked in the ammonia solution pushed through the barrel and then wiped across the bolt face will do the job. There is no reason to let the barrel "soak" and this can actually do more harm than good if the solution is too strong. Follow the ammonia solution with a dry patch and then clean as you normally would with solvent. Whatever method is chosent it is advisable to do the intitial cleaning at the range, including the follow up with solvent after the ammonia. This will be sufficient until a thorough cleaning can be done at a more suitable location, preferably the same day. If the bayonet is fixed while shooting it should be cleaned as well.
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