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223 rem corrosive ammo?

oldcodgeroldcodger Posts: 1 New Member

Does anyone know if any 223 Rem ammo sold in the US was ever loaded with corrosive primers? I have a Mod 788 Rem rifle purchased new in 1981. At the time I did not reload for the 223 and purchased and fired many different brands of ammo from gun shows and shops. I gave the rifle average care just as I did my other rifles, some of which are older than the 788. About 1985 I took up reloading for the 223 and the gun has seen nothing but my reloads since. Fast forward to last year and I purchased one of the inexpensive flexible bore scopes. I examined the bores of all my rifles and found no significant problems on all but the 788. The bore on it is badly pitted and I am perplexed as to why. About the only thing that makes any sense would be if the gun was fired with corrosive ammo and not cleaned promptly. The accuracy of the gun is great but cleaning the barrel is a horrible chore.


  • pjames777pjames777 Posts: 1,421 Senior Member
    "The accuracy of the gun is great but cleaning the barrel is a horrible chore."

    I think you've solved your problem.
  • AntonioAntonio Posts: 2,986 Senior Member
    In MY experience the only ".223" ammo I've found at least mildly corrosive apparently is Israeli-made IMI 5.56 NATO from the '90s. At least those samples tried in my 185-series Ruger Mini-14 would always cause rust in the barrel and gas system parts to the point of if leaving it unattended or just cleaned with the regular non-corrosive method, will literally freeze shut the slide and clog the bore after only a few weeks without visual inspection.

    When proper boiling water method is applied or other commercial or surplus ammo is used it will stay bright and clean, so I handle that particular ammo as corrosive.

    Have seen those sold in the US before, at least as mail-order surplus from some of the big vendors. Maybe a lot of relads you bought had those rounds or was used for reloading hunting ammo by just switching bullets.
  • tennmiketennmike Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Lots of ammo from before your 1981 date and well into the late 90s was corrosively primed from foreign sources and imported into the U.S. Mostly in military chamberings like 5.56 x 45, 7.62 x 51, 30-06, 7.62 x 54, .303 Brit, and especially 7.62 x 39. A lot of it was old surplus ammo, too. That corrosive priming left salts behind that gnawed on bores like crazy. You may have gotten some of that ammo that had corrosive priming.
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