Chemicals that cause issues with 80s Swedish Blanks


I just picked up my second batch of 4800 rounds of 6.5 Swedish Blanks from J&G sales in Prescott Arizona. I can’t help myself! I have found head stamps all the way back to WWI and many different varieties of Norma and others.

My question is, does anyone know what chemical was causing the problems in the cardboard boxes that caused the discoloration? Some have a mild corrosion but most on the outer layers of each box seem to have this orange coating. It almost looks like copper has come to the surface of the brass. I was thinking that something mixed with Hydrogen peroxide might fix that. I’m sure it was from the boxes because there are four layers of 5 cartridges and the six in the middle have very little discoloration. It’s the ones around the edges that were mostly affected.

Of course I don’t want t do this for the collectible headstamps, just the one’s I will use for loading :)

Also, for those of you out there that like to use these for reloading . . . you can wet tumble them to clean them up and it will NOT affect the primers as they all have a foil seal. Sounds crazy but I have tested this process.



For Many Years, Chlorine was used to Bleach Wood Pulp for Making Paper and Card; with age, the Paper becomes Brittle, and Items Packed in the Card made from Cl bleached Pulp start to corrode; especially if there is some Moisture present.

Since WW II, most (not all) Papermakers and Pulp processors have gone away from Chlorine Bleaching, so the Problem is less evident.

Your Problem is common to Ammo Packed in airtight plastic sleeves or other airtight containers, where any Humidity trapped at Packing can’t get away, and reacts with the Cl ions in the Card/paper and "de-zinc-s"
the Brass, giving that brown coppery look…and you are correct…the effect is seen more towards the outer layers of a cartridge box, and not towards the centre. It usually takes Years to develop.

Quality of the ammo is usually not affected; if the corrosion is simply a “stain”…but if there are “pin-holes” into the case, then the Powder may be compromised as well.( as will the Primer…)

Doc AV


Thanks DocAV! As always, your information is extremely valuable.

As an experiment, I mixed one part vinegar and two parts Hydrogen Peroxide. I swooshed the brass case around in the solution for about 20 seconds and the orange coating disappeared. I tried everything under the sun before trying to clean it off and this was the only thing that worked. Nothing else touched the coating.

My conclusion was just as we thought, the copper had come to the surface. This is great news because now I know how to clean the cases I will reload.

Of course all the old headstamps I will put in my collection. I found one this time I had never seen.

RANO at the top, H at the bottom and 2 on the left with 2 on the right which I’m sure is 1922 like most the others with dates. The RANO is RAUFOSS AMMUNISJONFABRIKKER, RAUFOSS, NORWAY. & NORMA PROJECTILFABRIK, AMOTFORS, SWEDEN by what I find online.




Norma in Sweden was not part of RANO. This was Raufoss and Norma projektilfabrikk in Oslo, Norway. They had a cooperation to manufacture ammo for the norwegian shooting organisation, from 1965 to late 1980’s. Norma in Oslo stopped the production of ammo in 1989, but they are still around. I think they switched their name from Norma projektilfabrikk AS to Norma AS shortly after 2000.
Also it’s not from 1922, the 22 must be a lot nummer or something.



Bernt, thanks for the reply. As for the RANO part, I’m getting that from the following site:



Interesting site, he just got the two Normas mixed up. Not so strange really. Norma Projektilfabrikk sold their factory in Sweden in 1975. The buyer, Hasselfors bruk AB. also bought the rights to use the Norma name internationally, while Norma kept exclucive rights for the name in Norway. So for some years there was two different ammunition companies both with the name “Norma projektilfabrik”. The swedish one is now Norma presicion, and the norwegian is called Norma A.S. They still sell their ammobrands btw, but the ammo is now (since 1989) loaded by Norma in Sweden. Not confusing at all :)