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Author Topic: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question  (Read 6102 times)

LoneStarNational

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Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
« on: May 01, 2010, 12:27:59 pm »
I cleaned out my truck today and found a speed loader of .38 special HP's in in the bottom of my cupholder, covered in sticky goo, presumably a mixture of soft drinks and melted candy.  There's no doubt in my mind that the ammo is still good, but it's gonna take a serious scrubbing to de-gunkify them.  Is there any type of cleaner/solvent I should use/avoid using on my ammo to avoid corrosion/killing the primers/etc?  Can I windex or 409 them?   

Thanks guys.
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    Thernlund

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 05:03:34 pm »
    Sure (Windex/409).  Just make sure they're dry when you're done.

    I don't recommend solvent.  That'd be bad.  CLP at the most I think.


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    JesseL

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 06:33:16 pm »
    I'd be careful about anything with ammonia in it. The ammonia can leech copper out of brass and weaken the cases. Probably not an issue if it doesn't sit on there very long, but something to be aware of.
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    Outbreak

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 06:55:41 pm »
    Is it bad to throw live ammo in the tumbler?
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    JesseL

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 07:03:12 pm »
    Is it bad to throw live ammo in the tumbler?

    That's a hotly debated question among reloaders.

    There's the concern that tumbling could increase the burn rate of the powder by breaking it into smaller pieces or wearing off burn rate reducing coatings. That could have disastrous results when the ammo is fired. I've never heard of it actually happening, but I wouldn't want to be the first either.

    I'd recommend against it, but if you do tumble live ammo don't do it for more than a few minutes.
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    Bo Smith

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 07:39:55 pm »
    I think it was Fred that wrote of the unreliability of tumbled surplus 7.62x51. He said it was only good for ball-and-dummy drills. I've cleaned ammunition with 70% rubbing alcohol. I'd be concerned to use anything more caustic.
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    xsquidgator

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 10:34:03 pm »
    Re: tumbling ammo to clean it.

    I don't do it, because of the potential as Jesse points out of some way or another changing the burn rate of the powder inside.

    But, for what it's worth, one of the guys who showed me how to reload a number of years back always did tumble the ammo he made, in order to remove the case lube from the completed ammo.  He never had any problems doing that.  However, he also only reloaded 45ACP with W231 powder.  Don't know if that did or didn't have anything to do with nothing happening to him, it's just a possible data point.  His tumbler was also the rotary kind, not the vibratory kind, so maybe it was quite a bit gentler at turning the ammo over in the tumbler media.

    LoneStarNational

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 12:49:45 am »
    Rubbing alcohol it is... Thanks fellas.
    Texas"...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right..."  -Thomas Paine

    "You all can go to hell... I'm going to Texas."  -Davy Crockett

    "Thumb back that hammer, watch that cylinder turn, and try not to s*** yourse

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 02:39:35 pm »
    The alcohol would be the best, but a quick 15 in the tumbler after the wipe down to make 'em shiny will not hurt.  I've done chrono tests with ammo that was tumbled 1/2 hour hour hour and 1/2 and 2 hours.  No difference in velocity.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    JesseL

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 02:49:44 pm »
    The alcohol would be the best, but a quick 15 in the tumbler after the wipe down to make 'em shiny will not hurt.  I've done chrono tests with ammo that was tumbled 1/2 hour hour hour and 1/2 and 2 hours.  No difference in velocity.

    Since velocity is a function of the area under the pressure curve, it's possible that the burn rate could be increased and the peak pressure raised, without making any difference in velocity.

    Now that I've got real pressure measuring tools ( :dance) I may have to investigate this a bit.
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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 04:24:05 pm »
    Jesse, that may be a possibility, but a few things come to mind-

    1.  How do the rounds leave the factories all super shiny?  The get tumbled up all pretty.
    2.  With all the viration ammo sees in shipment from the maker to the end user, and then to the range, I think a lot of folks spend time worrying about this, and they really needn't.

    Edit:

    T.-
    Quote
    CLP at the most I think.
    Actually, that's a very bad idea.  You know how CLP has a tendency to spread, and it's hard to get off by just wiping?  Not good on a loaded round, big potential for primer killing.  Basically you need the "C" element, but the "L" & "P" components are detrimental in this case.
    « Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 04:47:32 pm by THE NORSEMAN »
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    Thernlund

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 10:33:34 pm »
    Mm.  Yeah.  Makes sense.

    Really though, I was just speaking to the possibility that someone may be bent on using a gun product.  In which case, CLP is as far as I'd go, anything harsher being a pretty bad idea.  Ya know?


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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 11:30:29 pm »
    LSN, now that we've all thrown in our 2 cents,   Update?  Results? 
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    only1asterisk

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #13 on: May 03, 2010, 01:10:49 pm »
    Now that I've got real pressure measuring tools ( :dance) I may have to investigate this a bit.

    Where is the thread on THIS?

    JesseL

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    LoneStarNational

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    Re: Cleaning Ammo- Stupid Question
    « Reply #15 on: May 06, 2010, 01:58:10 pm »
    LSN, now that we've all thrown in our 2 cents,   Update?  Results? 

    Well, this got put off for a few days, and in the meantime, the sticky-goo dried into a hard crusty layer.  I was able to scrape 95% of it off with my fingernail.  I then buffed the rounds with an SOS pad, and wiped them clean with isopropyl alcohol.  They are again clean and shiny and ready to go.
    Texas"...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right..."  -Thomas Paine

    "You all can go to hell... I'm going to Texas."  -Davy Crockett

    "Thumb back that hammer, watch that cylinder turn, and try not to s*** yourse

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