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Cleaning an AK47, Ballistol or Water?


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Old 07-17-2011, 12:55 AM   #1
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Default Cleaning an AK47, Ballistol or Water?

I just got my first batch of corrosive russian ammo and I am concerned about the best way to clean it.

I have heard many say that water is best. But water causes rust.. I have heard that boiling hot water so it evaporates quickly, but it can still leave moisture and moisture causes rust.

Has anyone had any experience with Ballistol? I understand it is water soluble.


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Old 07-17-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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First, welcome to the forum. When you get a chance, stop by the intro thread and say hi.

Ballistol is good stuff. It does not dissolve in water, it DOES emulsify in water.

However, the issue with corrosive primed ammo is that the primer contains potassium chlorate- which burns into potassium chloride- a first cousin to sodium chloride- table salt. Potassium chloride is soluble in WATER- but not in most oils.

The standard method of cleaning firearms for LOT of years was HOT water to dissolve and flush that salt out, followed by a light coat of oil. Those firearms were also typically cleaned several times in the days after firing. Remember that ALL the M1 Garands, ALL the Enfields, ALL the Mausers, ALL the Mosin-Nagants, ALL the Carcanos, and ALL the Arisakas fired during WW 2 used corrosive primed ammo. And were cleaned mostly with hot water.

I use hot water, a drop of Dawn dish detergent, more hot water, dry patch, oiled patch. Would use Ballistol AFTER a hot water rinse, not instead of.


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Old 07-17-2011, 02:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
First, welcome to the forum. When you get a chance, stop by the intro thread and say hi.

Ballistol is good stuff. It does not dissolve in water, it DOES emulsify in water.

However, the issue with corrosive primed ammo is that the primer contains potassium chlorate- which burns into potassium chloride- a first cousin to sodium chloride- table salt. Potassium chloride is soluble in WATER- but not in most oils.

The standard method of cleaning firearms for LOT of years was HOT water to dissolve and flush that salt out, followed by a light coat of oil. Those firearms were also typically cleaned several times in the days after firing. Remember that ALL the M1 Garands, ALL the Enfields, ALL the Mausers, ALL the Mosin-Nagants, ALL the Carcanos, and ALL the Arisakas fired during WW 2 used corrosive primed ammo. And were cleaned mostly with hot water.

I use hot water, a drop of Dawn dish detergent, more hot water, dry patch, oiled patch. Would use Ballistol AFTER a hot water rinse, not instead of.
C3...any validity to using Windex to neutralize the salt or is all the benefit simply from the water it contains?
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
First, welcome to the forum. When you get a chance, stop by the intro thread and say hi.

Ballistol is good stuff. It does not dissolve in water, it DOES emulsify in water.

However, the issue with corrosive primed ammo is that the primer contains potassium chlorate- which burns into potassium chloride- a first cousin to sodium chloride- table salt. Potassium chloride is soluble in WATER- but not in most oils.

The standard method of cleaning firearms for LOT of years was HOT water to dissolve and flush that salt out, followed by a light coat of oil. Those firearms were also typically cleaned several times in the days after firing. Remember that ALL the M1 Garands, ALL the Enfields, ALL the Mausers, ALL the Mosin-Nagants, ALL the Carcanos, and ALL the Arisakas fired during WW 2 used corrosive primed ammo. And were cleaned mostly with hot water.

I use hot water, a drop of Dawn dish detergent, more hot water, dry patch, oiled patch. Would use Ballistol AFTER a hot water rinse, not instead of.
Sorry to resurrect a zombie thread, but since I found this thread in a Google search I figured it would be best to reply to complete the answer.

When cleaning after using corrosive ammo, use 10% Ballistol to 90% water for an initial flush, then continue regular cleaning with straight Ballistol.
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Old 06-22-2017, 06:58 PM   #5
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Will not disagree with that at all, Chip.

To me, the important thing is to be able to WASH away the salts from a corrosive primer. That can be water, it can be water AND, but water needs to be in there somewhere.

Re: Earlier question on windex- IMHO, windex or similar ammonia containing substances do not really work any better than water for getting the salts out. CAN help clean copper fouling. Can also etch steel if left on there.

And as said- Ballistol is good stuff. I know a major locksmithing company here that will use nothing but Ballistol to lube locks.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:05 PM   #6
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I've been using windex for many years to clean my guns when i shoot corrosive ammo
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:15 PM   #7
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After hot water, I use a clean dry patch to get most of the water left in the bore.

Alcohol absorbs water. I run two patches soaked in alcohol down the bore to get the rest of the water.

Works for me.
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:40 AM   #8
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Hello what is considered corrosive ammo? I do clean my muzzle loader with hot soapy water. Then oil after words.
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:58 AM   #9
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TRUE black powder residue attracts moisture, which will encourage rust. However, as we use the term corrosive-

Early primers were fulminate of mercury- but mercury reacts with copper/brass casings. It was replaced with a priming compound based on potassium chlorate (KClO3). Which burns to potassium chloride- similar to table salt. That was used throughout WW 2 (except for M1 carbine ammo) and replaced by lead azide- non-corrosive- in the mid 50s.

However, many of the Communist nations kept using it for years after. Which is why some of us are still shooting it. We bought a lifetime supply of 7.62x39, 7.62x54R, 8mm Mauser and .303 Brit when you could still get it for a nickel a round.

Decent ammo, but you need to wash the rifle after shooting it.

And for my .50 Hawken- yeah- hot water, Dawn dish detergent.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:19 AM   #10
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Thanks for the education. Good to know.


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