What is Corrosive Ammo?

Ammo is used by all guns, from a basic firearm to an AK-47. But can ammo corrode your gun?

Corrosive ammo is ammunition that leaves corrosive deposits in the bore and chamber after firing. It is a type of ammo that has a primer with corrosive properties on it. While this kind of primer is mainly found on surplus ammo, it is nearly impossible to tell if the ammo is corrosive.

If you find out that you have recently used corrosive ammo, there are ways to get rid of the salt that builds up the corrosion before it causes any damage.

What Is Corrosive Ammo?

Corrosive ammunition is ammunition that leaves corrosive deposits in the bore and chamber after firing. Corrosive ammunition is not an entirely accurate term since it is only the primer that has corrosive properties, not the entire cartridge.” Source

“After a cartridge with a corrosive primer has been fired, a type of salt gets deposited everywhere that the combustion took place. Rust and pitting form from the chemical reaction between the salt, water in the air, and the steel of your rifle.” Source

Corrosive ammo is mainly found in United States surplus ammo and can still be used when necessary or with proper cleaning. However, the use of corrosive ammo is not recommended, especially in a firearm with a pristine bore, as the corrosion can reduce the accuracy of the firearm.

Removing Salt From Corrosive Ammo

The best way to clean the salt off of your gun is water. Oil-based cleaners will not remove the salt that is left by the primer, so it will not prevent the corrosion of your weapon. Contrary to the beliefs of some gun product advertisers and gun enthusiasts, oil-based solvents and oils will not get the corrosive salts out of your gun.

Instead, the oil-based cleaner will just rust and corrode under the copper and carbon deposits, right underneath the oil.

The best way to remove the salt before it causes corrosion is with water. It does seem odd to pour water in a metal gun, but trust me. The water will dissolve the salt, and you will continue to be able to accurately use our gun. Simply make sure that you have thoroughly dried where you poured the water after you finish cleaning your gun.

In order to remove all of the salt left by the primer of the ammo, take apart the small pieces of your gun and soak them in water. Once they have soaked, and you are sure that all of the salt has been dissolved, remove and dry them thoroughly.

When cleaning the barrel of your gun, gently pour water through it. After you have finished with the water, gently scrub it with a brush, and dry it thoroughly. Then, clean your gun as you normally would.

For More Tips On Cleaning a Corroded Gun, Watch This Video:

Best Ways To Clean A Gun With Corrosion

It is very difficult to clean a corroded gun. It is best to clean your gun before corrosion affects it. Water will remove the salt from your gun better than any other product. However, if you are not comfortable putting your gun in water, even when it has been taken apart, Ballistol is a great product to use.

It is not commonly used to remove the salt from guns, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work. That being said, water is still the best product to remove salt from your gun.

If you choose to use Ballistol, make a mix with it, 10 Parts Water/1 Part Ballistol. Once mixed, the solution will look like milk. If the solution sits for an extended period of time, it can separate, so before using, shake the mixture thoroughly. The Ballistol Mixture cleans the corrosive salts with the water and leaves a nice protective finish of Ballistol Oil once the water evaporates. Source

Does the Military Use Corrosive Ammo?

The United States military does not currently use corrosive ammo. They want the firearms their soldiers use to be in tip-top shape, even if the soldiers do not have time to clean them after each use. Ammo manufacturers stopped making corrosive ammo in the early ’50s, and it has not been made since.

However, corrosive ammo can still be found in surplus stores. Luckily, the soldiers who fought in WWII used a solvent that neutralized the corrosive compounds of the ammo, so their weapons did not become damaged because of it. Some firearms and ammunition from WWII can still be used to this day.

Is My Ammo Corrosive?

It can be difficult to tell if ammo is corrosive until it is too late, especially if you are simply looking at it. If the ammo that you are using was made before 1950, thoroughly clean your gun with water, and other cleaners, after using the possibly corrosive ammo.

However, if you did not get your ammo from a surplus store, and it was manufactured after 1950, then it is most likely not corrosive if it has been stored properly in a cool, dry place. If you’re worried about damaging your firearm with corrosive ammo, consider using different ammo.

Can I Still Use A Corroded Gun?

The use of a corroded firearm is not recommended. Once your gun corrodes, the accuracy can be affected, and you can cause harm to others around you when firing. Even if you are an experienced marksman, a corroded gun may misfire. Again, if you are worried about corrosion, clean your gun with a solution.

Should you still be worried that your gun has been damaged or has corrosion where you can not see it, then take it to a gun store or a gun expert that can tell you if something is wrong with your firearm. They will recommend the best course of action.

The best way to avoid the corrosion of your gun is to use ammo that was made in the past decade and clean your gun after each use. This will make sure that nothing can damage your firearm.

Recent Posts