What Are Corrosive Ammo Primers?

What Are Corrosive Ammo Cartridge Primers?

Identifying and Understanding the Effects of Corrosive Ammunition On Your Firearm

Today, we’ll answer your questions about “What Are Corrosive Ammo Cartridge Primers? We’ll discuss the potential effects they can have on firearms. Corrosive ammunition refers to ammo that utilizes primers containing chemicals that, when ignited, leave behind corrosive salts. These salts, such as potassium chlorate or sodium perchlorate, can attract water and cause rust and corrosion in various parts of the firearm if not cleaned properly.

ammunition primers

Corrosive ammunition is commonly found in old military surplus ammo. Shooters must understand the difference between corrosive and non-corrosive primers to take the necessary cleaning precautions. Non-corrosive primers do not contain the same corrosive salts and are less likely to cause rust and corrosion in the firearm.

In this article, I will explore the effects of corrosive primers on firearms, the importance of cleaning and maintenance, and provide tips on proper storage and rust prevention. By following these guidelines, shooters can safely use and maintain firearms that have been exposed to corrosive ammo cartridge primers.

Corrosive vs. Non-Corrosive Primers

There is a clear distinction between corrosive and non-corrosive varieties regarding ammunition primers. The difference lies in their chemical composition and the potential impact they can have on firearms. Corrosive primers, commonly found in old military surplus ammo, contain salts that attract water and can lead to rust and corrosion if not properly cleaned. On the other hand, non-corrosive primers do not have these salts and are less likely to cause damage to the firearm.

primers on ammo assembly line

Identifying whether your ammunition uses corrosive or non-corrosive primers can help maintain the longevity of your firearm. When using corrosive ammunition, it is crucial to take cleaning precautions to prevent rust and corrosion. Properly cleaning the firearm after each session reduces the risk of damage.

Non-corrosive ammunition, on the other hand, still requires regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure reliable performance. While it may not cause corrosion like corrosive primers, residue buildup can affect the firearm’s reliability and accuracy. Therefore, cleaning and maintaining your firearm, regardless of the type of primer used, is important.

Effects of Corrosive Primers on Firearms

When it comes to using corrosive ammunition, the primers can have damaging consequences if the firearm is used. One of the most significant effects is the potential for rust and pitting on the steel parts of the firearm, including the barrel, chamber, and bolt face. Over time, this corrosion can compromise the accuracy and reliability of the firearm.

Not only can corrosion affect the firearm’s performance, but it can also lead to safety issues. If neglected, the buildup of rust and corrosion can weaken the structural integrity of the firearm, increasing the risk of malfunctions or even accidents. That’s why regularly cleaning and maintaining your firearms is so important.

Applying regular solvents to a barrel isn’t effective in stopping corrosion; it allows rust and corrosion to persist beneath the copper and carbon deposits. Proper cleaning procedures should involve thorough removal of the corrosive salts. This can be achieved using hot and soapy water, a ten-to-1 mixture of Ballistol and water (10 parts water/1 part Ballistol) to dissolve and wash away the salts. It is crucial to pay special attention to the areas where the salts are most likely to accumulate, such as the chamber, fire control group, and barrel/bore. Ultimately, you want to soak any area of the gun exposed to the residue from the primer. Additionally, continue cleaning as you normally would after using soapy water to remove the corrosive salts. Be sure to lube the firearm after cleaning.

Regular inspections and maintenance are equally important in preventing the long-term effects of corrosive primers on firearms. This includes checking for any signs of rust, pitting, or other forms of corrosion during the cleaning process. If any corrosion is detected, it should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage. Applying a protective oil or lubricant after cleaning can also help mitigate the effects of corrosive primers and provide ongoing protection against rust and corrosion.

Walk Through of Cleaning Corrosive Ammo Residue

As outlined previously, properly cleaning firearms after using corrosive ammo is crucial to prevent rust and corrosion. To ensure the longevity and performance of your firearm, I recommend following these cleaning procedures:

  1. Disassemble the firearm: Begin by disassembling your firearm to access all the components that may have been exposed to the corrosive salts.
  2. Hot and soapy water cleaning: Immerse the disassembled metal parts, such as the barrel, bolt, and chamber, in a mixture of hot water and mild soap. This will help dissolve and remove the corrosive salts.
  3. Thorough rinsing: After soaking the parts, thoroughly rinse them under warm running water to completely remove all soap residue and corrosive salts.
  4. Drying, lubrication, and protection: Once rinsed, dry each component with a clean, dry cloth, removing any remaining moisture. Clean as you normally would and apply a thin layer of protective CLP, oil, or lubricant to prevent further corrosion.

Remember, it’s not only the visible parts that require cleaning. Ensure all hidden areas, such as the firing pin channel and the extractor, are properly cleaned and lubricated. By following these cleaning steps, you’ll effectively remove the corrosive salts and preserve the condition of your firearm.

“Regular cleaning and maintenance of firearms used with corrosive ammo not only prevents damage but also fosters safe shooting practices.”

Proper Storage of Corrosive Primers

In addition to cleaning, properly storing ammo with corrosive primers will also help. Here are some important tips for storing corrosive primers:

  • Keep them in a cool and dry place: Moisture is a primary catalyst for corrosion. Store your corrosive primers in a cool and dry location to minimize the risk of moisture exposure.
  • Airtight containers: Use airtight containers to store corrosive primers, as this will prevent air and humidity from coming into contact with them, further reducing the chances of corrosion.
  • Separate from non-corrosive primers: Keeping corrosive primers separate from non-corrosive ones helps prevent any mix-ups.
Corrosive Ammo Cleaning Checklist
Disassemble the firearm
Soak metal parts in hot, soapy water
Rinse thoroughly with warm water
Dry components completely and apply protective oil

Common Ammo Brands with Corrosive Primers

Regarding corrosive ammunition, several common ammo brands use corrosive primers. These brands are often found in old military surplus ammo and can pose a risk to firearms if not properly cleaned and maintained. It is important to know these brands and take the necessary precautions when using their ammunition.

Table: Common Ammo Brands with Corrosive Primers

Ammo BrandCaliber
FA 54.45 ACP
FCC 53.45 ACP
RA 52.45 ACP
TW 53.45 ACP
WCC 52.45 ACP
WRA 54.45 ACP
FA 56.30-06 Springfield
LC 52.30-06 Springfield
RA 51.30-06 Springfield
SL 52.30-06 Springfield
TW 52.30-06 Springfield
WCC 51.30-06 Springfield
WRA 54.30-06 Springfield
FN 57.30-06 Springfield

By checking the headstamps on the ammo, you can determine if it contains corrosive primers. This information is important to take the necessary cleaning precautions and ensure the longevity of your firearms.

Proper Storage of Corrosive Ammo Primers

When storing corrosive ammo primers, taking the necessary precautions is crucial to prevent any potential damage. Here are some tips on how to properly store corrosive primers:

  1. Choose a Cool and Dry Location: Store your corrosive primers in a cool and dry place to minimize exposure to moisture. Moisture can accelerate corrosion, so keeping them away from humid environments is important.
  2. Use Airtight Containers: Store your corrosive primers in airtight containers to prevent contact with air and humidity. This will help maintain their integrity and reduce the risk of corrosion.
  3. Separate Corrosive and Non-Corrosive Primers: Keeping corrosive primers separate from non-corrosive ones is important. This will help avoid any potential mix-ups and prevent the unintended use of corrosive primers on firearms not designed to handle them.

Table: Dos and Don’ts of Corrosive Primer Storage

DosDon’ts
Store in a cool and dry locationStore in a damp or humid area
Use airtight containersStore in open or unsealed containers
Separate corrosive and non-corrosive primersStore corrosive and non-corrosive primers together

Conclusion: What Are Corrosive Ammo Cartridge Primers?

After learning about corrosive ammo cartridge primers and their potential effects on firearms, it is clear that safe shooting with these primers requires proper care and maintenance. Follow recommended cleaning procedures to prevent rust and corrosion in their firearms.

Regular cleaning with hot and soapy water, especially immediately after shooting, is crucial to remove the corrosive salts left behind by these primers. Drying the firearm and applying a protective oil or lubricant further helps prevent corrosion. These simple steps can go a long way in ensuring the longevity of your firearms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Corrosive ammo cartridge primers contain salts that can cause rust and corrosion in firearms.
  • Non-corrosive primers do not contain the same corrosive salts and are less likely to cause damage.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to prevent the effects of corrosive primers.
  • Proper storage of corrosive ammo primers is crucial to prevent damage.
  • Applying a protective oil or lubricant can help prevent further corrosion.

FAQs: What Are Corrosive Ammo Cartridge Primers?

What are corrosive primers?

Corrosive primers refer to ammunition that uses primers with chemicals that, when ignited, leave behind corrosive salts. If improperly cleaned, these salts can attract water and cause rust and corrosion in the firearm.

What is the difference between corrosive and non-corrosive primers?

Corrosive primers contain salts that attract water and can cause corrosion, while non-corrosive primers do not and are less likely to cause rust and corrosion in the firearm.

What are the effects of corrosive primers on firearms?

Corrosive primers can cause rust and pitting on the steel parts of the firearm, including the barrel, chamber, and bolt face. Over time, this corrosion can affect the accuracy and reliability of the firearm.

How important is cleaning corrosive ammo?

Cleaning firearms after using corrosive ammo is crucial to prevent rust and corrosion. The corrosive salts left behind by the primers can cause damage if improperly cleaned.

Which brands of ammo commonly have corrosive primers?

Some common brands of ammo with corrosive primers include those with Berdan primers, such as FA 54, FCC 53, RA 52, TW 53, WCC 52, WRA 54 for .45 ACP, and FA 56, LC 52, RA 51, SL 52, TW 52, WCC 51, WRA 54, FN 57 for .30-06 Springfield.

How should I clean and maintain firearms used with corrosive ammo?

After shooting, it is recommended to immediately clean the firearm using hot and soapy water to remove the corrosive salts. Parts that can be submerged should be soaked, while other parts can be rinsed. Thorough drying and applying a protective oil or lubricant is also important.

How should I store corrosive ammo primers?

Corrosive ammo primers should be stored in a cool, dry place in airtight containers to minimize exposure to moisture. It is also important to separate corrosive primers from non-corrosive ones.

How can I prevent corrosion from corrosive primers?

To prevent corrosion, it is important to clean firearms immediately after shooting with hot and soapy water. Drying the firearm thoroughly and applying a protective oil or lubricant can also help prevent corrosion. Regular cleaning and maintenance are key.

Author

  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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