Reloading Casings from Corrosive ammo

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by johnlives4christ, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    so i was checking out another forum. to be exact and they posted this link to a sight that offers us military ammo corrosive primer cutoff dates. and it says in the foreword not to reload casings from corrosive ammo. since i dont reload and haven't read any reloading books yet i have no clue as to why, but am curious as to the reason.

  2. army mp

    army mp Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    western Pa,
    My guess on this one would be, If the cases were fired and the old primers knocked out and cases and pockets cleaned . In a reasonable time, there would not be a problem. However I could see where cases that laid around after firing for a year or more could give you trouble . the corrosive process should not start till the case is fired. just my opinion and I could be wrong.

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    The end result of firing corrosive ammo, regardless of what makes it corrosive, is rust in the barrel. Compounds that rust steel often do nothing to the brass cases. In the case of common, corrosive primed ammo readily available today, it is a salt that is formed from the primer that causes the rust in the barrel. It is anhydrous... that is, it attracts moisture out of the air to form a mild acid that oxidizes (rusts) the barrel. That acid is not suppose to hurt the brass and the brass cases are not corroded by it.

    I have shot corrosive ammo and then reloaded it and never noticed any problem with life of that brass.

    The confusion is in still earlier mercuric priming compounds that ruined the brass when the cartridge was fired as the mercury reacted with the brass to reduce its strength. Mercuric priming compounds were eliminated from commercial loads perhaps 75 years ago. The corrosive primed ammo that is usually ex-military does not use mercuric primers unless it is well over 75 years old. Any ammo that is that old probably should not be fired. I ran across some 1940's 30-06 ammo that was stored badly and the brass cases were stained. I simply pulled the bullets, dumped the powder, cleaned the cases in my Dillon vibratory case cleaner, punched out the primers and have been reloading them for about 20 years with no problems.

    I would add, some foreign military corrosive primed ammo is of dubious quality. Who knows what priming compound was used in them? I doubt any would be using mercuric primers but who knows for sure? I do know that USA military ammo fits the profile above. Others, who knows?

    Heres a tale about surplus military ammo. My son-in-law and I bought new PTR-91, H&K-91 clones. He shot a few military surplus cartridges in his and I shot my reloads. His gun started to fail to extract. The problem was the tar used to seal the bullets into the cases for that particular brand. It had coated the chamber of the unique H&K fluted chamber design (that aids extraction) making the cases fail to extract. We later found a disclaimer in the box for the PTR-91 that listed a bunch of foreign made surplus military ammo that could not be used in that gun. Regular commercial ammo works just fine (no tar sealant). His PTR-91 worked flawlessly after a through cleaning of the chamber to remove all the tar. So, beware of any surplus ammo!

  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    I suspect that, when firing corrosive primers, some of the primer residue could remain in the case. When you reload the case, and shoot it again, that corrosive residue COULD then get blown into the barrel, causing rusting, and because you had loaded it with non-corrosive primers you wouldn't think about corrosion. I believe that if you shoot corrosive ammo, and then wash your cases, they will be just like cases fired with non-corrosive primers.

    Leastways, I was mine.
  5. Waldog

    Waldog Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    There is a lot recent manufacture CORROSIVE AMMO available. Most of the surplus 8mm Mauser ammo is corrosive. It is manufactured in the old Soviet Block countries (Hungary, I think).

    Also, if the brass is washed with hot water and soap ASAP then it is useable (If it is not Berdan primed.) The corrosive primer compound makes the brass brittle if it's not washed ASAP.

    Saving the brass is not worth the effort. Shoot it once, scrap the brass and wash your barrel ASAP.
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