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Shot Corrosive Ammo For The First Time


Active member
So I shot my first batch of corrosive ammo about a week ago out of my K98 and cleaned with hot water and bore cleaner when I got home. I came back today to check how the bore looked and ran a patch down it. It had very small traces of rust on the edges of the patch. I ran more bore cleaner down it and re oiled and am wondering if there is anything else I need to do. I’m paranoid about ruining the gun now.


Senior Member
Either add ballistol or dawn dish soap to your water next time. You need something to really wash out the barrel. This is what I do with corrosive ammo and black powder.

Its no big deal as long as there is no visible rust on the inside of the barrel.

Muncher 1953

Senior Member
So I shot my first batch of corrosive ammo about a week ago out of my K98 and cleaned with hot water and bore cleaner when I got home. I came back today to check how the bore looked and ran a patch down it. It had very small traces of rust on the edges of the patch. I ran more bore cleaner down it and re oiled and am wondering if there is anything else I need to do. I’m paranoid about ruining the gun now.
next time, use lukewarm or cool (not cold) water. water hot enough to steam can promote ‘flash rusting’. water is an electrically polar molecule, and the corrosive salt residue from the primers is also. polar soils needs polar solvents to remove. ‘generally speaking’, hydrocarbon compounds are non polar, so not as good at removing polar soils (like salt compounds). use the polar solvent (water) first, then a non polar one for the remaining soils & to exclude oxygen from the surface pores of the base metal. Fall is coming, buy some pre-moistened black powder cleaning patches. these will take out the corrosive residue, then follow w/heavy soaked patch in wd40 to remove any water residue, then oil based powder solvent, then rp oil of your choice.

try different thicknesses of patch, you don’t want to get stuck & break a cleaning rod, but some don’t wipe very hard, too thin. try using an rg34 chain & wicks, surprising what they’ll drag out.


Senior Member
I always go 1/2 ballistol and 1/2 water or sometimes 3/4 water and 1/2 ballistol at room temp and I flush the bore with a spray bottle. I haven't had any issue with rust.


Staff member
Part of the issue has to do with the ambient temperature and relative humidity in your specific Lat/Long. Get the bore flushed relatively quickly, followed by several cleansing/drying patches and you should be cleared hot to clean as normal. Most of the posts I read tend to overthink the problem but in all fairness, I live in a climate that has long and very dry, warm/hot summers and relatively shorter cool/wet winters.


Well-known member
Many other members have already posted their way of cleaning and they're all good. I shoot a lot of black powder so I've kind of standardized it. I keep a spray bottle of moose milk in the back of my truck Incase I go shooting at the range, I'll flush the bore and the front of the bolt with some until I get home. I put the rifle in a padded vise barely clamped just enough to keep it sitting there at about a 45° angle muzzle down. I put on my tea kettle full of distilled water and I use a one of those flexible transmission funnels to pour it down the bore. I usually do a full pot in 4 goes brushing in between so I don't get the rifle too hot. Then clean with Ballistol and patches like normal. Don't forget to pour some water on the bolt and the firing pin too Incase you had a pierced primer.


Senior Member
After cleaning with whatever method described above you decide recommend you still clean with some "copper removing" solvents especially if your bore has any frosting which is really very light pitting. Copper smear can trap salts in any pitting where it can continue to work. Then get some Kroil. Couple of very wet patches, let it soak for couple of hrs. Brush, followed by more wet patches. You will be shocked at what still remains. One last patch to lightly oil.


P.S. For best results...stop shooting that ammo, plenty of N/C 8mm around!
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Maple Syrup Mod Eh
Staff member
I personally use boiling water, as it in my experience dissolves salt better. Then cold water. Then a bore cleaner meant for corrosive ammo, and then oil. Never had an issue.


Well-known member
I've got a ton of different ways for cleaning corrosive residue that I've tried over the years, but a while ago I stumbled on the best one ever. 100% success rate, never going back:

I stopped shooting surplus in my rifles.

Surplus ammo isn't as cheap now as it was 20 years ago, and the guns I'm shooting now are more expensive than the mosins and RC's I was banging away with back then. There's something to be said for not shooting cheap ammo out of expensive guns. Doubly so when dealing with semi-autos. Plus my life is a lot busier than it was when I was in college, so I don't always have time to sit down and do a deep clean right after the range. Being able to throw my guns in the safe, dirty, for a couple of days has been huge. I've recently gotten into black powder and finding time to shoot those guns can be interesting, precisely because of the need to clean immediately.

If you shoot a lot, try reloading. It's not that hard to get into and even with today's component prices you can get down to about what surplus costs right now. If you don't shoot a lot then the savings between a hundred rounds of surplus and a hundred rounds of cheaper commercial (stuff like Prvi) doubly isn't worth it.

(Admittedly part getting away from surplus of that was a casehead split in some 50's Yugo giving me a quick lesson in how the safety features of the 98 mauser bolt work - also an interesting cleaning session given all the places that fouling got),

John F.

Active member
Years ago, an article appeared in Precision Shooting magazine, which examined basically every solvent on the market. Written by 2 avid prairie dog shooters, they
used a Hawkeye bore scope to check progress as they tested products on heavily fouled barrels. (They'd shoot a number of rifles on a trip, then wait till they got home
to clean them, to maximize their fun on vacation.) They came up with a combo of 2 solvents which work fantastically well, and very quickly and efficiently. I'll summarize briefly: 1. Carbon does not dissolve chemically. It needs a surfactant (basically, a soap) to detach it from the barrel by reducing its adhesion. Slip 2000 Carbon Killer was formulated
specifically as a super-surfactant to remove carbon buildup on shotgun chokes, etc. and works great for rifle barrels. Wet patch and wet scrub the barrel with Slip 2000 and
you will remove a ton of carbon, quickly. It's non-hazardous, but it does remove oil from everything it touches, so when finished cleaning, oil surfaces as appropriate. There is no need to "soak" fouling with this.

2. Copper fouling does dissolve. Bore Tech Eliminator is a non-toxic solvent (NO ammonia!) that they found to work extremely fast and well. After having scrubbed off the first
ton of carbon, wet patch and wet brush with Bore Tech Eliminator Copper Solvent. It requires very little time to soak and dissolve copper. They recommend using a nylon brush.
My guess is that's in part due to people's not wanting to pay for rapidly-eaten copper/bronze brushes. I just use regular, high quality bronze brushes with brass or bronze cores -- not steel -- to avoid bore damage. (These are best purchased in bulk rather than as highly over-priced singles. Benchrest shooting suppliers have historically been an economical place to buy them, but with the merger of Sinclair's and Brownells... you might want to scout around find better prices on quality brushes.) I just swish the copper brush in a bottle of clean water to remove the solvent, and this preserves the brushes. These can be recycled as they wear. A worn .30 cal brush makes a great 7mm brush, which makes a great 6.5mm brush... within limits. I have quit buying any sizes except .30 and .22, myself.

Remember that as you fire, you are alternately coating the bore with successive layers of copper and carbon. I find it works best to clean with 2 regimens of the 2 solvents,
followed by a bore scope inspection, unless the rifle is only lightly fouled. For short sessions with non-corrosive priming and modern powder (much less filthy than ancient surplus powder), I may well just use a modern solvent such as Shooter's Choice (still 2 courses), and save the Slip/Boretech for heavier tasks. Integrate the corrosive priming
part of your routine as you desire. Remember, the Slip 2000 is water-based, so that may be helpful. I protect the bore with a light gun oil such as Breakfree (old habits hard to break), and will check on rifles fired with corrosive priming a couple of times after cleaning to see if any salts/fouling have emerged since it was cleaned.

In the US Army during the days of corrosive priming, IIRC the routine was to clean thoroughly for 3 days after firing, to ensure all corrosive salts, etc. were removed/neutralized.

This will be helpful to you with modern ammo and especially with heavily fouled bores. The first time I used it was on an Krag barrel that had probably never been cleaned
properly in its life. (Gun oil rather than solvent was used in the early days...) It was filthy black from end to end, and in 45 minutes with Slip/Boretech, I got it to bright/white,
shiny clean metal, after rivers of black/green sludge poured out in the process. For comparison, a couple of similar Krag/other old, badly fouled barrels I'd cleaned using alternating Hoppes 9 and Shooter's Choice in years past had taken 6-8 HOURS, over multiple sessions, to achieve similar results.

I first discovered this method about 15 years ago, and have found nothing as good as, or better, since.

Hope this helps,
Whatever method or mixture that is used, it is the water that dissolves and removes the potassium chlorate salts. These are very hygroscopic and lead to the rusting if not removed. I have extensively shot corrosive surplus and never had a problem as long as I ran plenty of warm water down the bore after shooting.


Active member
I recently got some ballistol and did a 50/50 ratio mix with water, the stuff works insanely well! Also works great for cleaning the gun itself as well.


Well-known member
Foaming bore cleaners like Outers are water based and yes they do dissolve the corrosive salts.

So if I shoot period corrosive in my RC, I use the foaming bore cleaner first and there are no problems.


Junior Member
In the US Army during the days of corrosive priming, IIRC the routine was to clean thoroughly for 3 days after firing, to ensure all corrosive salts, etc. were removed/neutralized.

In the Marines clean it, then the next day reclean the bore and chamber, so clean it again. Twice

I got tons of surplus when it was 5-10 cents per round. After firing at the range with bolt actions, I swab the bore with a wet patch or windex with Windex with Ammonia and some Dawn dish soap in a small bottle of water. Later that same day when I get back to the farm I clean the rifles in the same evening . I used my 50/50 mix of water and windex with a few drops of Dawn on the patch about 4 times down the barrel. expect to see a black patch. Then I clean it with Hoppes #9 on the patches. I run a brass brush down at least once with Hoppes #9. After it is clean to the patch, I then reclean the entire bolt, chamber, and bore with Gunzilla. You should expect to see a gray patch even after using Hoppes #9. The next day or so I reclean with a patch or two of Gunzilla down the bore and then oil the suckers with straight 50W oil for storage. When you go shooting with 50w in and on the rifle you need to run a patch down the bore and wipe down the rifle prior to shooting. But 50w works for sitting for a year. If you use a rifle every week or so then 30W motor oil is fine. The rifle should be so clean you can eat out of it. Be sure to grease the rails on the bolt-GAA of tractor grease is fine... the mix, Hoppes #9, then Gunzilla. Old T shirts cut up make nice patches. I do not use corrosive in semi autos.
Yep it is $2 per oz, but works.
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