Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Cleaning an AK rifle after firing corrosive ammunition

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by james83, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. james83

    james83 beaverton oregon I'am feeling fat and sassy

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    283
    Ok so recently i bought a few hundred rounds of yugoslavian 7.62x39 surplus ammunition.

    I have fired around 300 rounds of it through my AK type rifle, I have found it to be very good ammunition for the price but it is corrosive ammo. I have cleaned my rifle after each use and it seems fine, No rust ect.

    I clean the rifle in the same manner as my other guns with just solvent and then light oil, but a friend has told me that after using corrosive ammunition i should be cleaning the AK with boiling hot water and dishsoap?

    I have been looking around online and watched a few videos on youtube about this and all i get is contradictory answers. Some people say yes use hot water and soap or windex? glass cleaner, others say just regular gun solvent is fine.

    So im just wondering if any forum members have an opinion about what is the best way to clean a gun after using corrosive ammunition.

    The barrel on my AK is chromelined and looks as good as when i first took the rifle out the box, The only time i had a problem with rust was when i stupidly left the gun dirty overnight and the next day there was light rust in the gas tube, the rust removed easily with solvent.

    Anyway i would really like to know the correct way to clean my rifle after using corrosive ammunition as i would like to get a good few years of shooting out of the gun. And i really like using the yugoslavian surplus ammo its much better than the other ammunition in that price range.

    Thanks -James
     
  2. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,663
    Likes Received:
    798
    The primer residue of modern corrosive ammunition is potassium chloride...a salt. The easiest way to remove salt is with water, something oil or most solvents cannot touch. Boiling water and soap is a carryover from blackpowder days...it works, but IMO it is a bit messy and unnecessary. I run one or two patches of cotton down the bore, dampened (not sopping) with Windex. The water dissolves the salt, the patch picks up the solution, and the ammonia has the added benefit of dissolving copper that might be layered over additional salt deposited in deep pores.

    I also use a damp patch on any surface that can potentially come into contact with powder residue...the gas block, gas hole, carrier, bolt face and even the magazine. If you shoot with a bayo, clean that too (don't ask why I know this :) ).

    Follow this treatment with your standard cleaning method, Hoppes or gun oil on all metal surfaces, and it isn't a bad idea either to lightly grease (not oil) any metal to metal sliding or camming surface. I do this with all of my bolt and semi weapons, something I learned from the cleaning procedure used for Garands.

    I know this sounds a bit labor intensive, but using this method I can completely strip and clean my SVT-40, a much more labor intensive weapon to disassemble than an AK, in about 20 to 25 minutes.

    That Yugo you are shooting is some of the best out there :)

    Keith
     
  3. halmbarte

    halmbarte PDX Active Member

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    102
    Yep, it's the chlorate salt primer residue you need to get rid of. The salts will pull water out of the air and cause rust. The more humid the air is, the faster the reaction goes.

    Water is the best solvent for salts. I use soapy water and don't bother with getting it hot. You can use Windex if you like paying more for water with alcohol and perfume in it. Modern Windex doesn't contain any ammonia, you can check the MSDS yourself.

    What I do is use the brush and rod from the cleaning capsule to brush soapy water over everywhere that gets powder fouling: bolt, bolt carrier, gas tube, inside of gas block, bore, and the muzzle brake. I then use a rag (or paper towel) to dry all the parts I got wet, including the brush. After that, I then brush gun oil on all the parts I cleaned and dried.

    I'll strip the rifle the next day or two and make sure I didn't miss any spots. If you do see rust the next day, just reclean that area.

    H
     
  4. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    164
    most modern solvents will clean up corrosive ammunition
    i have been shooting military ammo for the beter part of 35 years
    hops 9 is what i have been useing most of that time no issues
     
  5. Aero Denezol

    Aero Denezol Salem Active Member

    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    56
    Excuse the dumb question, I don't shoot a lot of corrosive ammo... but Hoppe's and Windex are not equally effective?
     
  6. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,663
    Likes Received:
    798
    Let me clarify my earlier statement. I used 'Windex' in the generic sense, like folks use 'Kleenex' for any facial tissue. If you choose to go the window cleaner route, use one that says it contains ammonia, which I do.

    Regarding Hoppes, read the label. I don't use it, but my understanding is that it has been reformulated into several types, one that specifically states for use with corrosive and one that isn't. You'll have to do your due diligence.

    Is any method better than the other? As long as the method you choose leaves no rust then it works as well as any other method that leaves no rust. I'll tell you that I chose ammonia because in addition to removing copper layers (which regular water can't touch, so some salt may remain in there, hidden) it also acts as a 'surfricant' and allows the water to better get into deeper pores. After cleaning with an ammonia/water mix, the metal has a very distinct dry feeling that I don't get with other cleaning methods. That's why I then follow up with oil and grease.

    Keith
     
  7. krivey

    krivey mcminnville oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    35
    I shoot corrosive 5.45x39 in an AR platform. When cleaning, I flush everything with boiling water, then dry with an air compressor and clean as usual. The hot water bath might be overkill, but it is a simple extra step to ensure your gun doesn't rust out. You never know ;)
     
  8. Iceberg

    Iceberg Forest Grove Active Member

    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    88
    Hot soapy water, Windex or Hoppes #9 work to remove the primer salts; I use hot soapy water because I'm cheap. Make sure you remove and clean the gas tube when you are cleaning your AK. Most AKs (except your Yugo and the new mfg AKs w/ US bbls) have chrome plated gas pistons, bores and chambers which significantly reduce the corrosive reaction w/ the salt, however the gas tubes are usually blued or parked steel that will rust quickly if not cleaned correctly. I bought many a Norinco AKM during the 90's that had severely rusted gas tubes, but good chrome bores and gas pistons, from improper or even no cleaning. Like I tell my 13 year old son (& it applies to cleaning up after using corrosive ammo), "A little soap and hot water will not hurt you".....lol.
     
  9. EagleEyeEOD

    EagleEyeEOD Pacific NW Member

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    14
    Vote #2 for Windex!
     
  10. PMC

    PMC Lynnwood Active Member

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    47
    Good ol' warm water, followed by WD-40, then the standard cleaning routine with any kind of gun cleaning solvent has worked well for me.
    Windex works fine as well.
     
  11. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    614
    I remove the bolt and I use a long neck funnel to pour 2 quarts of Hot soapy water and then 2 quarts of clean Hot water. Then patches one way soaked with Hoppies 9.

    Hoppies no. 9 is the only solvent that I can find that states on the label it is for corrosive primer residue. If not cleaned properly you can get some rusting inside the bore. This method works well and is easy
    I always been told that WD-40 is not for firearms ? And I would not use windex.
     
  12. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Milwaukie Active Member

    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    225
    At the range: Quick scrub down with a 10:1 Water and Balistol mix, or water with a touch of dish soap.

    Once I get home: Ed's Red ( my favorite cleaner, google it ) or Hoppes, clean, dry, oil.

    I will be the first to admit, I've been lazy....to the detriment of my non-chrome lined muzzle brake...but it only takes one time of that to make sure you get in the habit.

    ETA: Windex is throwing money away....I like the Balistol because it will leave a light coating of oil, so if you forget or can't get to it right away once you get home, it won't be the end of the world.
     
  13. PMC

    PMC Lynnwood Active Member

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    47
    WD-40 isn't that great as a lubricant or as a cleaner, but it works fine for getting any leftover water out.
     
  14. pogi

    pogi Gresham, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    72
    Hot water and clean green with liberal use of a tooth brush, dry, clean with Hoppes #9, spray some WD40 in the nooks and cracks, oil the usual spots & double check the next day.
     
  15. yurik

    yurik Vancouver, WA New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Interesting.. I spent a little under 3 years in Afghanistan 25 years ahead of you, guys, and I never had to think about it. We cleaned our weapons whenever we had a chance: twice a day or once a month. All we had was called 'gun oil' in a tiny oiler.

    But if you want to overthink it a bit more, any high TBN motor oil will do. TBN= total base number, takes care of KCl or whatever you believe it is. Will be cheaper than that Chanel number 9 you are using..
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  16. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    46
    It's an AK. Throw it in a mud puddle or pee on it, shake out the excess fluid, and you're good to go.

    Actually, I won't shoot corrosive through an AK. I'm lazy, and the cost savings of corrosive ammo in that caliber over non-corrosive isn't worth the hassle to me. The best results I've had so far with other guns though was boiling hot water, then hoppes, wait a day, then hoppes again just to make sure there's no rust.
     
  17. BSG 75

    BSG 75 Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    271
    Calguns.net - View Single Post - Yes Or No For Hoppes' #9 For Corrosive Ammo

    Surplusrifle.com tested various agents for removing corrosive salt. You can see Hoppe's #9 did a poor job http://www.sportsmanmaps.com/surplusrifle/alittlesalt2.pdf

    Dish soap and water is cheap and worked well http://www.sportsmanmaps.com/surplusrifle/alittlesalt4.pdf
     
  18. halmbarte

    halmbarte PDX Active Member

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    102
    TBH is a measure of motor oils ability to cope with acid products of combustion.

    Which would be useless for neutralizing chlorate salts.

    H
     
  19. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,663
    Likes Received:
    798
    I'd be very interested to hear of your experiences there. I'm currently reading a book about the Soviet-Afghan war written by the Russian General Staff.

    Regarding your cleaning methods while there...I would counter that enviroment has alot to do with how careful the cleaning needs to be. The desert has less humidity than where we live here in the PNW, so less stringent cleaning would probably suffice. Those folks living near the ocean would need to take even more care of their weapons then we do here inland.

    Keith
     
  20. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,605
    Likes Received:
    981
    formula 409 followed by regular plain old hoppes