Keep your ammo away from ammonia

Storing household cleaning agents incorrectly can cause defects in ammunition, reports Roelof Bezuidenhout.
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Brass cartridges and ammunition should never be cleaned with chemicals that contain ammonia or stored near such chemicals or cleaning materials, warns ammunitions manufacturer PMP.Any chemical that has an ammonia odour must be used with caution. Usually, most chemicals used to remove copper fouling contain ammonia. These include Silvo, Brasso, Handy Andy, Sweets 7.62 Solvent, Ballistol-Klever, Hoppe’s, and various brands of bleach.

These chemicals can cause stress corrosion cracking, which happens over time. It’s mainly a function of the residual stress in the component, the concentration of ammonia, and humidity. The higher these are, the sooner stress corrosion cracking takes place. Stress corrosion cracking (or season cracking) of brass cartridge cases was discovered in the days when soldiers slept close to their horses. Their cartridge cases tended to crack due to the ammonia in horse urine.

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Today the problem is caused through incorrect storing methods and worsened when gun owners mix their own cleaning agents from household chemicals.Ammonia is the most common chemical found in household cleaning agents and gun cleaning chemicals. So, says PMP, store all chemicals separately in a suitable cabinet and well away from ammunition and ammo components.