I handle the Vintage Military Rifle and Pistol matches here at our local club and we shoot a lot of corrosive surplus ammo. Our favorite procedure, that we've even written into the Match Manual, is this:
1. With the bolt removed and the rifle held vertically (downward)at the balance of the piece, squirt Windex into the chamber until it starts to run out the muzzle. Do this twice, rotating the rifle to get the Windex thoroughly around the bore's circumference.
2. Run a minimum of six Windex-soaked patches through the bore from chamber to muzzle and let the patches drop to the ground. Don't pull them back through. If you've done a great deal of shooting you might need to use eight patches. Anyway, do this until they don't get any whiter.
3. Run two or three patches through the bore in the same manner to dry it out, letting them fall to the ground also.
4. Wipe off the muzzle, front third of the bolt, and any other parts that may have firing residue on them, like folding bayonets and front sights, with a cloth saturated with the Windex. Don't forget to dry them off and lube them. The corrosive residue is now gone.
5. Clean the bore as you normally would.
DON'T make the mistake of thinking normal bore solvents and CLP's and so on will remove corrosive fouling. It usually won't and you run a very good chance of ruining your bore, i.e. eat it up in a day's time. Also, soapy water is the standard old-timey solution, but Windex carries in the range bag handily and always works .
This is how we do it on bolt action rifles and gives you the general idea, so you can adapt it to other types of arms as well. DON'T forget to clean the gas system this way as well if you are shooting corrosive ammo in a gas operated semi-auto arm.
I'll email you the Club's page on this from the manual tuddayertummar. Hope this helps.
What I neglected to say above is don't be afraid of corrosive ammo. As long as you get rid if the corrosive elements from its primers with a good cleaning procedure it's every bit as good as the non-corrosive variety. The biggest draw to non-corrosive ammo is that it is often boxer primed and reloadable where the corrosive variety isn't, and folks are often afraid to shoot the corrosive ammo because they don't know how to clean their firearm afterwards.
Finally, never believe it when someone markets foreign military surplus ammo as non corrosive. That little bit of bum information has ruined a lot of nice bores. Go ahead and use it, but do the Windex thing to protect yourself. Best.
Thanks JayPee for the methodical and detailed instructions.
I have been doing much the same, although with variations from this regimen you've got here.
As for the "old school" soap and water method, I've done it by putting boiling hot water in a stainless steel bowl, and then running patches one-way through the bore, followed by careful drying, using a water-displacing lubricant (even WD40 in a pinch), followed by Hoppe's #9 and then something like CLP or Rem Oil or similar type of lube. I think of it as cleaning twice.
I've heard, but never tried, using a shop vac to help dry things out too.
Yes, I've used methods similar to yours myself. Back in the 60's when foreign military arms really became popular here, the method most commonly "recommended" and used was to immerse the muzzle a couple of inches below the surface of a container of hot soapy water and then run a patch on a loop in from the chamber end and draw the soapy water up into the bore with repeated strokes with the rod and scrub it out that way. In fact some of us used to take soapy water in plastic jugs to the range just so we could do this. It is an utterly reliable method, but the Windex routine is much more convenient and equally reliable. The key to all the methods I've read about seems to be water.......solvents and oils just won't remove the fouling like water will, and the soap and other agents (like the ones in Windex) makes the water more effective.
Thanks for telling us about your method. Best wishes for a prosperous '08.
Corrosive priming contains potassium chlorate. Upon ignition, this potassium chlorate leaves behind potassium chloride - a salt, in other words.
This salt attracts moisture. It's not the salt per se which causes corrosion, but rather the moisture trapped by the salts rusts the unprotected metal.
I used to, on my M44, stick the bayonet in the ground, remove the bolt, and pour boiling water down the tube. I also did the Windex thing.
All this does is it washes the bore out. I got with a chemist at college and tried to figure out if ammonia really did anything to the salts - the answer was no, after working it out a few was on the board.
What Windex does do is act as the old soap and water trick - it is, after all, a detergent of sorts.
Anymore, I do just use cleaner: I saturate the barrel with G96, let it sit for a minute, run a saturated patch through, let it sit for another minute, then a couple dry patches go through it. After that, I spray some foaming bore cleaner down the barrel and go to work disassembling and cleaning the bolt with the G96 while the foaming stuff works. I push the foaming barrel cleaner out with a couple dry patches and follow it with another patch saturated with G96, then two more dry patches.
I've not had any trouble using this method. It doesn't seem to work any better or worse than boiling the barrel or using soapy water. After all, soapy water, Windex, and gun cleaners are just all soap of different sorts. It's just a matter of using enough in the right way to get the salts completely out.
It's a different story altogether if we're talking about corrosive powder as well. I would go with the soap and water on that one.
From what I'm told by someone over on FFF, it's the original CLP. Just a powder solvent and lube that was developed for rocket tests and such. I like it because there's almost no smell - just very light, like bananas almost.