When you go to an outdoor range and look down, you can’t help but notice that caked into the ground lays hundreds of cases of rusted steel cased 7.62×39, 5.56×45, and whatever else companies like Tula and Wolf sell in lieu of brass cases. First of all, I have never really had a problem with shooting steel cased ammo in most of my firearms, and for just blasting away and turning money into noise I have always felt steel is the way to go. But every time I buy it that little image of the rusty case coated range tells me that it just wouldn’t be good for long term open-air storage, especially in the hot and humid climate of Texas. To put my mind at ease and hopefully learn something I devised a little test to see if a month of open air exposure effected unfired Tula 7.62×39 on SKS stripper clips. The parameters for the test are as follows:
- 5 Stipper clips containing ten rounds of ammunition would be placed outside
- Each clip (sans for a control clip) and its contents would receive a generous coating of lubricant via paint brush (no hand contact)
- The ammo would be shielded from direct rainfall by placing it under an extended section of roof
- The ammo would not be shielded from dirt/dust/etc. flying around in the air
- Every 3 days a set of photos would be taken for a month starting June 1st
So pretty simple set of rules here, now lets move on.
Entrants to the competition include Rem Oil, Mobil 1 10W-30, Hoppe’s Gun Oil, and a generic CLP product I bought at a gun range called “Safari Charlie”.
Anyways I coated the combatants with some of these spongy brushes I got from a hardware store. I used a new one for each clip:
And I was left with a row of nicely lubricated ammunition and a porch stained by 10W-30 that will forever serve as a reminder that I performed this test:
The previous photos were all taken on June 1st, 2013 and I was looking forward to seeing the progression of the test (which you folks get to see all at once).
No noticeable changes.
The ammunition begins to collect dust and other debris. The control is less effected.
Starting to notice that the jacket on the Rem Oil soaked rounds are starting to change color. Other rounds remain the same.
Rem Oil rounds continue to degrade. More debris gets stuck to the other ammunition.
Mid month status check. The Rem Oil jackets are still getting worse but none of the cases are rusting or corroding. The control now begins to show some spotting on the jacket. Mobil 1 stripper clip seems to attracts all the dirt in my lawn.
Photo of each clip individually.
Left to right:
Rem Oil jacket looks bad.
Test almost over. Control looks pretty dusty.
End of test!
Results after being wiped off with a towel:
So there you have it. The test more or less showed that a month of leaving lacquer coated steel ammo outside will yield you nothing but some light jacket corrosion, shootable ammo, and an oil stained porch. The most interesting thing I found about this was how the chemicals in the Rem Oil seemed to mess with the jacket more rather than protect it when compared with the control. I do intend to shoot all of this through an SKS too as it is all in perfect shootable condition, so at least I am not out any ammo after performing this test!