NEWS | April 20, 2020

Small Arms: Bore, Ammo Dry for Firing

This Letter to the Editor initially appeared in PS 801 (Aug '19), p. 35.

Dear Editor,
PS has repeatedly emphasized the importance of running a cleaning or clearing rod through a weapon’s barrel before firing to make sure there are no obstructions.
But it’s also important that the chamber, bore and ammo are free of lubricant. Lube increases the explosive power of a round, enough so that the weapon can blow up.
After cleaning the bore and chamber with CLP, Soldiers should use dry cleaning patches to remove any lube. Before firing, it’s a good idea to use dry cleaning patches to ensure the bore and chamber are dry.
Never put lubricant on ammo, either. That’s really asking for trouble.
Scott Taylor
Ft Benning, GA
Editor’s note: Another good tip from you, Scott. Thanks again.
Here are a few problems lubing ammo can cause:
• Misfires. Lube can get into the primer and cause the primer mix to go inert.

• Jams. Lube attracts dirt and sand. As dirty ammo cycles through the weapon, dirt gets into the weapon’s moving parts and causes jams. The dirt also wears down the weapon’s parts.
• Excess stress on the weapon. Oily cartridge cases increase force on the weapon’s bolt. This stresses the bolt’s locking lugs and can eventually increase headspace, which isn’t good. If the locking lugs fail, the weapon can blow up.