Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Tarnished metal on ammunition - why and what can I do?

  1. #1

    Tarnished metal on ammunition - why and what can I do?

    Quick question for anyone who's more experienced than me (which should be almost everyone!).

    I bought three boxes of ammunition with my rifle when I got my FAC last year. I took all three types out on my first trip, tested them all, settled on one of them and zeroed the rifle. There was the merest "water in the air" that didn't really qualify as rain, but it was enough to make me carefully dry off everything - rifle, mod, ammo - when I got home. It was all put back in the cabinets which are warm, dry and reasonably well ventilated.

    I had all the ammunition out of the cabinets today as I needed to do a count up after finishing some reloading. Everything I'd had stored in there was in perfect condition, except for the box of Federal ammo. All 11 rounds left in there are showing signs of surface rust, most noticeably on the bullets but also on the cases in places.

    Can anyone help me with the following:
    a) I have emptied and checked the cabinets for signs of damp and found nothing. I'm 99% certain that the marks / crap on the cartridges is rust, but could there be any other explanation for what looks like the jacket of the bullets being tarnished / corroded?
    b) is there any good way of cleaning these rounds up?
    c) will they be safe to fire, or do I need to dismantle them and dispose of them?

    Thanks in advance for any experience any of you can share.

    Adam.

  2. #2
    If you mean the rust colored speckles that form just wipe with a paper towel or very fine steel wool. I like the latter. Just wipe the polished rounds off with a dry cloth afterwards.~Muir

  3. #3
    Thanks Muir - I gave it a try and got the worst of it off. I think they're now probably usable again - before cleaning they were a bit crusty and I was slightly concerned about the effect of whatever it was - copper hydroxide maybe - being between the bullet and the barrel when they were fired...

  4. #4
    Neutron,
    The corrosion will be copper carbonate, more usually known as Verdigris.
    A polish with a nylon scourer or, as suggested, paper towel or very fine steel wool will sort it out. There will be no problems with firing them.
    Peter

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PeteL View Post
    Neutron,
    The corrosion will be copper carbonate, more usually known as Verdigris.
    A polish with a nylon scourer or, as suggested, paper towel or very fine steel wool will sort it out. There will be no problems with firing them.
    Peter
    Peter,

    You've shown me up there then I did go to university and study chemistry at one point, but it turned out not to be the course for me in the end - as you can probably tell. I should have been able to work it out, but it shows how much you forget when you're not actively using your brain in a particular way. Thanks for the correction - I will now go away and try to re-acquaint myself with how rusting occurs...!

    Thanks,

    Adam.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    If you mean the rust colored speckles that form just wipe with a paper towel or very fine steel wool. I like the latter. Just wipe the polished rounds off with a dry cloth afterwards.~Muir
    +1 super fine steel wool would be my choice, as mentioned just give them a good wipe after.

Similar Threads

  1. Tarnished carbon steel blade?
    By deerstalker.308 in forum Equipment & Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-04-2013, 19:47
  2. blade metal
    By pj1 in forum Equipment & Accessories
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 16-05-2012, 05:48
  3. Think I need a metal detecter!!!
    By 243varmint in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18-10-2010, 08:25
  4. Tarnished bullet tips
    By 204 Ruger in forum Ammunition, Reloading & Ballistics
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-10-2010, 12:17
  5. Metal high seats
    By jimbo123p in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-04-2010, 08:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •