30-06 ammo???

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by MarkC, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. I wasn't quite sure which topic to post this under... but anyway, here's my question.

    Can I shoot this ammunition through my 30-06 hunting rifles just for plinking practice??

    I've heard that some of this ammo has corrosive primers?? I know what a primer is and I know the definition of corrosive, but I don't really understand the concept of a corrosive primer.

    One more bit of info... there seems to be a red ring around the perimeter of the primer, almost looks like it can chip off like paint... does that red color mean anyting?


    Attached Files:

  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Until the early 1950's the US Government insisted that its stores of 30-06 ammo only contain a type of primered ammo that left a salt in the barrel after firing---corrosive primed. That salt when mixed with the moisture in the air became a compound that rusted steel barrels. The justification was that the commercial primers that were non-corrosive were not proven to have the shelf life of the corrosive primers. After the early 1950's the commercial primers were proven to have sufficient shelf life and non-corrosively primed ammo was allowed to be used and stored in the government ammo stores.

    30-06 ammo made for the the US Governement usually has the date stamped on the primer end of the cartridge case. If the ammo you mentioned has a date prior to about 1952 it is probably corrosive. Ammo head stamped after that date is probably non-corosive. But I would not be buying any ammo that is over 50 yeras old. There is plently of surplus 30-06 ammo out there that is much newer.

    Another catch is that foreign made ammo from any period of time may be corrosively primed. If the boxes are not marked "Non-Corrosive primed" don't buy it unless you clean your gun at the range the very day you shoot it. And the cleaning must be done with either hot soapy water followed by a regular cleaning or with special bore cleaners for corrosive primers.

    Military ammo usually is sealed against water intrusion. The junction of the bullet and the case is normally sealed with a little paint as is the junction of the primer and the case. What you are chipping off the case/primer junction is paint.

    I think it best to only buy known non-corrosive primered ammo.


  3. Thanks for the info LDBennett.

    The base of the cartridge is stamped WCC 57. I'd assume that means 1957 which I would interpret means "shoot it up"!! I will not seek out and purchase any of this ammo, but plan to use up what I have.

    A decent same day cleaning with a typical bore solvent should suffice?? The bores of my 03A3 and Garand look great after pumping out several round of this ammo throughout the last 15 years. I'd assume I have not made a mistake by using that ammo in these gun either??

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    A Q&A in a recent magazine claimed that Hoppe's No. 9 or Sweets was sufficient but I had not heard that before. The question was about a pristine bored Chinese SKS that was ruined in a few days by one episode at the range with corrosive primed bargain ammo. The 1957 stuff is on the cusp of the US Government changing to non-corrosive primers and I would not shoot it in any gun I cared about, but I am a cautious person. It is alright to shoot it but take extra care with the soapy hot water in the bore until you get absolute verification that 1957 WWC ammo is non-corrosive. I actually don't know but someone else might. Another is to find a bore cleaner that claims to remove the corrosive primer salts, one that is water based rather than petroleum based. I honestly don't know if Hoppe's No. 9 will work(?????).

  5. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Hoppes #9 will work, but you've got to use a well saturated patch, get the bore nice and wet, and let it sit a while.....say 10 to 15 minutes.

    Even better, if you can find some, is military GI Bore Cleaner.....that's what it was made for.

    When in doubt, always assume ammunition is corrosive.

    Here's some good advice on cleaning your rifle....

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