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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For your information or amusement, as you wish.


A week ago I was cleaning my handguns, and when I got to the lubrication stage, I was carefully dabbing oil here and there. I got to thinking about the where oil shouldn't be, which led me to recalling advice I have received from various quarters that I should avoid getting oil on the cartridges, particularly the primers, as it may penetrate and render the primer or powder useless.

But I wondered, "Izzatso?" and decided to run a little experiment.

I grabbed 10 rounds of CCI Blazer aluminum-cased FMJ target ammo, in 9mm, a bottle of Militec-1, and a can of Kroil penetrating oil.

I chose the target ammo for 2 reasons. One, it is (relatively) cheap and if I ruined it, I wasn't out $8 or $10 or $12 dollars. Two, I figured that if any ammo was susceptible to oil penetration, it would be the cheaper stuff rather than the premium ammo. I figured budget-priced ammo would not have sealers, metal and primer stuff would be lower quality, etc. (Not that I don't like CCI Blazer - I have loads of the stuff -- but it is practice and plinking ammo, not first rate carry ammo).

I used Militec oil because it is what I use regularly on my guns. I used Kroil because it is supposed to be highly penetrative, and I figured it would be most likely to slither into any gaps or poruous metals.

I marked five rounds of Blazer with an "M", five rounds with a "K", and lined them up in an empty ammo tray. One drop of Militec on each primer of the "M" rounds. Then tried to put one drop of Kroil on each of the "K" rounds, but Kroil is so runny, it doesn't really form a drop, it just ran all over the base of the cartridge. Figured that was good enough. I carefully set the tray in my gun cabinet at 2200 (10 pm) last Monday night.

Today, Tuesday at 1700 (or five hours short of eight days later) I took the tray out (which still had visible oil on the cartridge bases/primers), grabbed my Kahr P-9 and some other guns, and headed out back to the range.

I wiped visible oil off with my Field Expedient Cleaning Material*, loaded one round in the magazine at a time (just in case I had engineered a squib round), took aim, and fired. Checked to make sure I had a hole in the target and that the barrel was clear, repeated nine more times.

All rounds fired. Some of the cases look a little smoky on the outside, but every bullet raced down range.

I don't intend to start oiling my cartridges, nor do I recommend you do so, but I found it interesting that I didn't encounter ANY failures. I may expand this test later to include more oil types and more brands of ammo, but for now I am not going to worry too much about contaminating the ammo with the minute amount of oil I put on my guns.

I do think keeping oil out of the magazines is a good idea in order to not attract dirt and to not tempt Fate generally.

elb

* i.e., my shirt tail
 

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Howdy Mr. ELB,

Interesting little experiment. If you decide to repeat it some time, try some WD-40 on the primers. I remember like maybe 30+ years ago, LEOs were bad, to get off shift, unload their revovlers, and spray them down and wipe them off with WD-40. I did this more than once myself.

Then I read in a police magazine where an officer did this routinely, except he did not even bother to unload his revolver first, just sprayed it down and wiped it off. He got into a shooting situation one day on duty and none of his rounds would fire. He had to dump his cylinder and reload before he could fire any rounds. Allegedly according to this article, it was determined somehow that the WD-40 had penetrated and deactivate his primers.

The author of the article, another firearms instructor with another department (perhaps the one this officer worked for, too many years and I don't remember) stated their view there were other lubricants far better than WD-40. At that point I agreed with his assessment and simply stopped using it on any of my firearms.

The rounds in queston were issued duty ammo, so I would expect them to be of "premium" level to use your terms. So it would be interesting if you ran another test and have some WD-40 handy to see if it does affect a live round.

twoguns
 

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Hello & Thanks for the test. I look forward to reading your further testing.

Thanks Again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WD-40, check. Hadn't thought of that one. May be a little while before I get to it, along with my natural laziness and, got my father-in-law's funeral to attend to, with all that entails.

Will post results when I do it, tho.

elb
 

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Howdy Mr. ELB,

No problem on the delay sir. Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. You just have to deal with the important things in life first, so the test can surely wait till later. Hang in there.

twoguns
 

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ELB and all,

Oil on primers has always been a concern and is on reason I use very little on my weapons. I prefer lubes that stay where you put them. Some folk seem to think that firing pin holes/channels were made to be oiled generously. Guess that's so if you REALLY want oil dripping onto your primers.
WD-40 is a big no-no around my weapons.
This is just another reason why I change out my carry ammunition every six months or so. I use the old stuff for practice. Another area Mr. Murphy might have a chance to visit.
Just my .02 worth...

Wes
 

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If the cop in question was operating in the 'carry the issue stuff and qualify with wadcutters' era, there's no telling how old his ammo was. He's lucky the reload from the belt loops chambered what with all the green crud on them.

Back then, ammo for auto's was labelled 'Oilpruf' and 'OilProof' (I assume someone had copyrighted 'oilproof') and revolver calibers were not.

I assume they wised up and started sealing all of it by now. 9mm would have been sealed even then.



Regards,

Pat
 

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Twenty years or so ago I wrote a training bulletin for my department concerning Break Free and primers. Break Free was the new wonder lube/cleaner at the time. I took six rounds of 38+p+ issue Federal and placed one drop of break free on each primer. A week later two of the rounds failed to fire when tested. The ammo had sealed primers by spec and visual inspection. I would bet the number of failures would go up the longer the wait before firing. Newer lubes seem to be better at penetrating so care must be taken with them. Oil is also a great way to deactivate primers.
 

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Howdy Mr. Pff,

I only have some recall of the article I spoke about before. But it was clearly not the situation you suggested. I have dealt with that very issue once while doing the Chief's wife a favor and providing the mandatory state training to armed security guards she employed. One individual was a retired police office I had worked with from an adjoining department. He could not get his revolver out of his Don Hume River holster to fire the first relay on target. I had to literally cut the holster off of his pistol as it had rusted to the metal shank inside the hoster from years of neglect. He estimated he had not had it out of his holster in roughy 5 years.

I asked how he had managed to avoid required quals for 5 years, as I knew his department's firearms instructor well. He just shrugged. He had been retired for about 2 months and I just shook my head and said be glad you had not needed your revolver for the last 5 years.

The cop in the article was using fresh ammo that had been issued at his last qualification. I can not recall how frequently his department qualified then, although the article did state that. But from memory it was likely twice per year. So this ammo would have been no more than 6 months old at this point. But he was giving it a daily dose of WD-40, which I suspect easily deactivated his primers over time. The good thing was his reloads were still fresh.

But yes sir, I too have seen the corroded ammo stuck in belt loops, and one revolver rusted into its holster. Which I guess also helps to shatter the myth that all cops are active shooters.

Mr. Xcop, I am with you sir on using oil to deactivate primers. I have soaked live rounds in containers with oil several times, when I found cops with corroded ammo that I felt was not safe to be fired. I had always heard the same and practiced that technique as well. But you have a much larger amount of oil and perpetual soaking as well. I think those points help to make it deactivate primers so well. At least I have always used that technique to kill live rounds before discarding them.

twoguns
 

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Along the same vein I remember reading somewhere about a guy doing quals and loading out of his pocket rather than the belt loops.

Instructor inquired why?

Seems the loops got loose, so he'd wrapped the rounds in the belt with Scotch tape so they wouldn't fall out.................


One thing about Breakfree and Remoil is that they're polarized oils; they will always try to attach to metal. So they'll run under the sealant and penetrate that way.


Regards,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
twoguns wrote: "I had to literally cut the holster off of his pistol as it had rusted to the metal shank inside the hoster from years of neglect. He estimated he had not had it out of his holster in roughy 5 years."

YIKES. Incredible. At the rifle class I wrote about in another thread, the instructor mentioned a cop who got to his sem-annual qualification and found out is revolver would not operate. Couldn't pull trigger, couldn't rotate cylinder, couldn't even open the cylinder. They determined that during an unpleasant divorce, his wife had super-glued his revolver. The divorce was 6 months prior to the qualification. Pays to check your hardware once in awhile even if you aren't shooting.

Got Pops (my father-in-law) properly sent off yesterday with a service at the funeral home, officiated by one of his nephews (a Catholic priest), and a 21-gun salute at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetary. Pops was a Navy SeaBee in WWII, helped build runways in the Azores the Philipines, among other things. He's interred in the same National Cemetary as his brother, retired Marine and WWII vet, and a lot of other good guys. Hate to see him go, but he had a good long run, and it was time.

Reading some of the comments above, about WD-40 and soaking and such, has me intrigued. I will pursue this a bit further in the next couple three weeks.

Ok, let's see, so far we got:

- WD-40
- RemOil
- Break Free
- Soaking as well as "dabbing"
- Revolver ammo as well as semi-auto

Will add that to my list.


elb
 

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Howdy Mr. ELB,

Sorry for your loss as I am sure he was indeed a fine gentleman, who probably had some amazing things to relate. But at least he is with folks who can both relate to and welcome him as well.

There is no rush on these new tests, just whenever you get the chance. We do appreciate your efforts sir.

twoguns
 

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Wow! some interesting comments here, ill be sure to "hide" my gun and the super glue from now on when my girl is on the war path. lol

One of my earliest memories of bullets was at the age of 5. I found an old box of ammo under the house and proceeded to use then as torpedoes, dropping them from my plastic model kit planes into a metal laundry tub full of water! much to my mothers horror when I was discovered.

I would be curious to see how easily water would penetrate and what effect it would have on a bullet if left for long enough?

Cheers Bang bang.
 
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