Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by BattleRifleG3, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    When people talk about corrosive ammo, they're usually talking about the primers. But I think I heard somewhere that old powder can become corrosive. Is that BS? And though I clean my guns every time I shoot them, I wonder how much damage the powder residue does to the metal. I know black powder is quite corrosive, but what about smokeless?

    And is any US made ammo corrosive?
  2. jarcp

    jarcp Guest

    At the point that old smokless powder will become corrosive, you will know real fast, As in the case will not extract up to the point that the chamber will explode. Don't know if you've ever been told in reloading but that is why you need to smell any powder that has sat for an unknown period of time, if it smells like strong acid?, throw it away. If the powder has been kept clear of UV rays, and open air, it should take about 100 years or so to degrade into a problem. And yes there is old WWII out there that is corrosive. Another point, NOT ALL Berdan primers are corrosive. Hope that helps.

  3. Smokeless powder is either nitrocellulose (single base powder) or nitrocellulose/nitroglycerine (double base powder) componded with solvents (often acetone), carbon black, and various modifiers. When it gets very old or if it is stored under high temp and humidity conditions it decomposes and gives off nitric acid which will seriously corrode metal and has a sharp, grabby odor. Manufacturers used to favor steel or steel/cardboard containers which would show obvious rust. It probably causes brass in loaded rounds to seriously discolor (green or green-blue). Normally if powder is stored correctly it takes MANY years to decompose.
  4. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    Stuff I'm talking about using is M2 ball and some British .30-06. Maybe .223 as well. Which US ammo could be corrosive? I know there's plenty of corrosive Mauser and Russian ammo. Also wonderin about Chilean 7.62 NATO.
  5. jarcp

    jarcp Guest

    The only corrosive US ammo I've ever run into is WWII issue .45 hardball. There is really no way to tell if it corrosive or not as far as I know, unless you can find someone who has a list of the headstamps that are. What I would do is shoot the stuff, clean as normal, and look at your bore/chamber/action every day for a few days. If no rust appears? don't worry about it. If it does? The best cleaner I've found to clean up after shooting corossive ammo is windex (that last statement will raise a bunch of heads about their way to do it) and I've never had any problems. Incidentally, if you do find that some of the ammo you have is corrosive, post the headstamps for us so we know.
  6. Stewart

    Stewart Guest

    At one time I did find somewhere on the net a listing of ammo that had corrosive primers but I can't remember now where . As I remember one of major distinctions was the year of manufacture of the rounds not necessarily the type. In other words ammo manufactured prior to a particular year probably contained corrosive primers, when in doubt clean like corrosive. The salts which attract moisture and then rust will begin once the rifle cools, so cleaning right away is important. Anything with amonia will neutralize the salts and stop the process, its also great for attacking the copper residue. Then clean and oil like normal, hope that helps.

  7. SteveG

    SteveG Guest

    Here is some of the info Stewart is referring

    Summary of "Safe" Headstamps by Caliber:

    .30-’06 Ball:

    DAQ (Canadian) All non-corrosive
    VC (Canadian) All non-corrosive
    TW 51
    FA 52
    LC 52
    RA 52
    WCC 52
    WRA 52
    SL 53
    .30-’06 AP

    FA 52
    TW 53
    LC 53
    SL 53
    WRA 55
    .45 ACP Ball

    WRA 52
    WCC 53
    RA 53
    FCC 54
    TW 54
    FA 55
    .30 Carbine:

    All Non-corrosive

    7.62 NATO:

    All Non-corrosive (exception 1956 FA "International Match")
  8. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    have been told that the way to ck for corrosive ammo is:pull bullet and dump all powder from case.use sandpaper ,steel wool,etc to clean a piece of steel plate down to bare primed case in gun w/plate about 6 in. from end of plate in 24 hrs and see if it is starting to rust,if so ,ammo is corrosive.haven't tried it myself but sounds reasonable.