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 Post subject: "Corrosive" ammunition.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 5:43 pm 
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Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
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Okay - what's the deal with this?

I keep being told "Oh, that old ammunition is really corrosive and dirty".

I've been shooting Winchester, Wolf, Blazer, Remington, and a couple of no-name brands, and one thing I've noticed is that no matter what the age of the ammo, it's all dirty/corrosive. Period.

I haven't noticed that the boxes of Wolf ammo out of the Russian factory are any dirtier than the Blazer ammo I used (for the same gun). In fact, the filthiest ammunition I used was W-W in 22lr.

Any clues where this 'corrosive' comparison comes from? I mean, are they trying to compare against actual gunpowder, which is sulfur, charcoal, and saltpetre? (No, that's NOT going to eat metal. Nope, nope)

BW

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:03 pm 
Ammo marked like that usually uses mercury-based priming, which can be pretty corrosive. It's fine to use, as long as you clean your gun carefully after shooting sessions.

Mercury-based priming is one reason lots of older milsurp guns have barrels in miserable condition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:01 pm 
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Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
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So what's used now in the place of fulminate of mercury? I thought primers were still made with it.

BW

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:39 am 
Bookworm wrote:
So what's used now in the place of fulminate of mercury? I thought primers were still made with it.

BW


Honestly? I don't know. But non-corrosive, non-mercury primers have been around since before WW2.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:20 pm 
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Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
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Interesting. Finding this.

Corrosive:

Refers to a primer which contains potassium chlorate.

Mercurial:

Refers to a primer composition containing a mercury compound. Non-mercurial primers are desired because traces of mercury in a fired cartridge case make it brittle and less useful for reloading.


Here's a site that gives a lot of information (sometimes the grammar isn't good) - in the primers section.

http://www.aeroballisticsonline.com/bal ... lants.html

In general, mercury works better, but damages cartriges. Potassium Chlorate dosen't hurt cartriges, but can damage the barrel.

Intermediate primers that were non-corrosive, even with the addition of mercury (with something to keep it from damaging the cartridge) tended to overstabilize after a year or two, and go inert.

BW

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:12 pm 
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Energizer Bunny
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Wikipedia wrote:
Today mercury fulminate tends to be replaced by other primary explosives which are less toxic and more stable in time: lead azide, lead styphnate and tetrazene.


Vorn


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:08 pm 
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Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
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Oh yes, Lead is MUCH less toxic than mercury :)

BW

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:18 pm 
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Concession Worker
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Well... yes actually. By about three orders of magnitude* :)
(unless we're talking about the other kind of lead poisoning, the one you get from being on the wrong side of the barrel when a gun is fired)


* for metallic lead or mercury. It varies a bit between different compounds, but they all have in common that you really don't want to mess with them (mercury in particular has some extremely nasty organic compounds).

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