Cleaning an AK47, Ballistol or Water?

Discussion in 'AK & SKS Discussion' started by Namir-Bacha, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Namir-Bacha

    Namir-Bacha New Member

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    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.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     

  3. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    C3...any validity to using Windex to neutralize the salt or is all the benefit simply from the water it contains?
     
  4. Chip1369

    Chip1369 Member

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    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.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  6. gunman41mag

    gunman41mag Active Member

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    I've been using windex for many years to clean my guns when i shoot corrosive ammo
     
  7. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  8. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Active Member

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    Hello what is considered corrosive ammo? I do clean my muzzle loader with hot soapy water. Then oil after words.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  10. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Active Member

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    Thanks for the education. Good to know.
     
  11. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are several ways to get the job done. No right way or wrong way as long as it works.:)
     
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just remember it was not uncommon for a soldier to pee down his barrel if he did not have proper cleaning supplies.;)
     
  13. CaptMidnight

    CaptMidnight New Member Supporter

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