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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this is a two-parter:

First, does anyone use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean their handguns? Any downside? How effective? Anything special to be aware of?

Secondly, I'm *really* struggling to clean the carbon traces adjacent to the lands in the barrel. They just seem to persist, and it makes me a bit crazy. What/how do you get your barrels *completely* spotless?

Thanks for your thoughts!

The Gunny
 

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I don't get them completely spotless. What for? Copper fouling is harmless and self limiting -- notice it's right back the first magazine? And you'd scrubbed for hours! The primers are non-corrosive so nothing is happening under the copper "plating" in the barrel.

I just drag a Boresnake thru the bore occasionally and brush off the breech face and extractor. Not even 1800 rounds of Wolf over two days made the pistol too dirty to function well. But I did clean it afterwards.

-- Chuck
 

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Gunny, I purchased an ultrasonic cleaner years ago to clean my watch and band. I did have reservations about water getting past the seals due to the excessive vibrating however, it worked out excellent as a cleaner on metals. Watch came out with a brilliant shine and without ever as much as cleaning all the nooks and crannies with a tool of sorts. All dirt, sweat and grime just slipped away using the powder and water cleaning solution. I've found many other uses for the cleaner once I learned to use it on various metal objects. I'm sure it would do a great job on barrels and parts!
 

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I don't use an ultrasonic cleaner.

As far as cleaning the barrel goes - What solvent are you using? And, how tight does your jag fit the bore?

I typically use Butch's Bore Shine. If I'm shooting cast bullets I follow-up with Chore Boy. I push a wet patch of Butch's thru the bore followed by a dry patch. Then I use the Chore Boy to remove the lead. After that 1 more damp patch of Butch's followed by a dry patch and the inside looks like a mirror.
 

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Gunny,

I have used a sonic jewelry cleaner on small Ed Brown stainless parts for over three years. Works great, especially on the checkered recoil spring plug. I throw in some liquid soap and leave til its done. Then I dry part off after rinsing in fresh water.

I have not seen any harm yet.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Craig
 

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I don't get them completely spotless. What for? Copper fouling is harmless and self limiting -- notice it's right back the first magazine? And you'd scrubbed for hours! The primers are non-corrosive so nothing is happening under the copper "plating" in the barrel.
+1.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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OK, this is a two-parter:

First, does anyone use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean their handguns? Any downside? How effective? Anything special to be aware of?

Secondly, I'm *really* struggling to clean the carbon traces adjacent to the lands in the barrel. They just seem to persist, and it makes me a bit crazy. What/how do you get your barrels *completely* spotless?

Thanks for your thoughts!

The Gunny
Try ignoring said carbon and shooting more. You should be spending more time shooting than cleaning. Try to be a gun shooter and not a gun cleaner. Report back to us and tell us the difference in accuracy between a "spotless" bore and a bore with 1K rds through it and try to keep yourself from changing the oil in your car every time you drive it.
 

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I don't get them completely spotless. What for? Copper fouling is harmless and self limiting -- notice it's right back the first magazine? And you'd scrubbed for hours! The primers are non-corrosive so nothing is happening under the copper "plating" in the barrel.
Actually copper fouling is very easy to get out.

Use a Sweet's 7.62 solvent and you can get it out in less than 5 minutes without scrubbing.
 

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Actually copper fouling is very easy to get out.

Use a Sweet's 7.62 solvent and you can get it out in less than 5 minutes without scrubbing.
And it's right back after the first magazine.

What's the point?
 
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Try ignoring said carbon and shooting more. You should be spending more time shooting than cleaning. Try to be a gun shooter and not a gun cleaner. Report back to us and tell us the difference in accuracy between a "spotless" bore and a bore with 1K rds through it and try to keep yourself from changing the oil in your car every time you drive it.
Wow, seems a little harsh for a guy asking a simple question. How much does he shoot anyway?
 

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Another nice thing about a blue/black pistol is it doesn't get those carbon deposits that my stainless pistol gets. They require hardly any cleaning. :)

-- Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies and perspectives, guys.

(And as an aside to Lebowski [He needs to get over .....] I have a wife who gets particular pleasure from telling me regularly what I "need". I'll just look past your "outbursts", as I often do hers.)

As to *my* perspectives, I initially qualified on an M1, then, after Cuba, did 2 tours in Vietnam carrying variously an M14, M16, and M3A1 Grease Gun, but with a Government Issue .45 also. Some other "odd" weapons thrown in along the way for good measure and to "broaden" my horizons. :) Lubriplate was my friend!

Now along with my 3 days a month range time as a firearms instructor for the Sheriff's Dept., I probably get 200 - 300 rounds a month trigger time. Split between H&K, Kimber, Springfield, Wilson, etc.

Along the way, I have developed an appreciation for what one of my early range instructors used to say, "A clean weapon is a predictable weapon." Has my weapon always been spotless? Of course not! But that didn't lessen my appreciation for the "edge" a clean and properly functioning weapon can provide. And yes, I had a well-used borebrush for my Remington 12 ga. when I carried that, also! I just never wanted to go into combat with a weapon that had a 3 day headstart on a malfunction due to fouling.

I'm always learning - that's why the question. There is always someone who has discovered a new way of doing things that I might benefit from, and I appreciate those of you who offered your views and practices. Your constructive contributions are what make this forum a valuable resource. (You can sit down here, Lebowski).

Thanks to the inputs here, I'll try Sweet's and also Butch's. Some of my guns may go weeks without being fired. I'd prefer they sleep in the most pristine condition reasonably achievable. Incremental improvements in every aspect of my tradecraft.

Thanks again!

The Gunny
 

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OK, no matter that there is no perceivable benefit, you want your bore clean enough to eat off of after every range visit.

Get a .50 bronze or copper brush, wet it with FP10 or better yet, Weaponshield CLP and run it through about 15-20 times. No nasty fumes, fast and easy. This will work with a .45 brush but the .50 brush works better. Got this advice from George Fennell; inventor of Weaponshield back when I thought a spotless handgun bore made a difference and really mattered.

If you prefer to go the chemical route versus elbowgrease (not as fast as above), use a nylon brush wetted thoroughly with Montana Copper Killer. Do one pass, wait 5-10 minutes. Continue until bore is spotless. Montana Copper Killer works on carbon deposits as well.
 

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Thanks for all the replies and perspectives, guys.

(And as an aside to Lebowski [He needs to get over .....] I have a wife who gets particular pleasure from telling me regularly what I "need". I'll just look past your "outbursts", as I often do hers.)

As to *my* perspectives, I initially qualified on an M1, then, after Cuba, did 2 tours in Vietnam carrying variously an M14, M16, and M3A1 Grease Gun, but with a Government Issue .45 also. Some other "odd" weapons thrown in along the way for good measure and to "broaden" my horizons. :) Lubriplate was my friend!

Now along with my 3 days a month range time as a firearms instructor for the Sheriff's Dept., I probably get 200 - 300 rounds a month trigger time. Split between H&K, Kimber, Springfield, Wilson, etc.

Along the way, I have developed an appreciation for what one of my early range instructors used to say, "A clean weapon is a predictable weapon." Has my weapon always been spotless? Of course not! But that didn't lessen my appreciation for the "edge" a clean and properly functioning weapon can provide. I just never wanted to go into combat with a weapon that had a 3 day headstart on a malfunction due to fouling.

I'm always learning - that's why the question. There is always someone who has discovered a new way of doing things that I might benefit from, and I appreciate those of you who offered your views and practices. Your constructive contributions are what make this forum a valuable resource. (You can sit down here, Lebowski).

Thanks to the inputs here, I'll try Sweet's and also Butch's. Some of my guns may go weeks without being fired. I'd prefer they sleep in the most pristine condition reasonably achievable. Incremental improvements in every aspect of my tradecraft.

Thanks again!

The Gunny
I have some Sweets in the cleaning box. I keep it back for really persistent dirt. Just remember, that something like Sweets can eat your barrel. Use it sparingly and quickly. This isn't such an issue with pistols, but it is there.

You also may want to experiment with pretreating your barrel before you shoot. Some lubes are better than others at keeping the fouling from sticking to the metal.

We always appreciate contributing posters here in the EB section.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have some Sweets in the cleaning box. I keep it back for really persistent dirt. Just remember, that something like Sweets can eat your barrel. Use it sparingly and quickly. This isn't such an issue with pistols, but it is there.

You also may want to experiment with pretreating your barrel before you shoot. Some lubes are better than others at keeping the fouling from sticking to the metal.

We always appreciate contributing posters here in the EB section.

Regards,
Greyson
Good inputs - thanks, Greyson. Which lubes for pre-treating? I think I'd like to experiment a bit, and I *really* appreciate the warning on Sweet's.....

The Gunny
 

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Try some aerosol type sprays first. See what happens. Then move to the Teflon / synthetic lubes. If you can find a spray, synthetic lube, even better.

If it seems like I am guess, I am. I have never worried about this myself. In the real world, some of this is simply unavoidable. A perfect example would be military match ammo from Olin. That stuff has a pop to it, but it has to be about the dirtiest 45 ammo I have ever seen.

At some point in the equation, when you roll in the mud, your gear has to get dirty no matter what you try.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Just remember, that something like Sweets can eat your barrel. Use it sparingly and quickly. This isn't such an issue with pistols, but it is there.

Regards,
Greyson
Just one sniff of the sweets and you'll know the truth of this statement.

Gunny,
You're not alone, I'm pretty anal about gun cleaning but I don't use an ultrasonic cleaner. At some point I just have to stop cleaning the barrel as I can always get more fouling out of the barrel with one more pass. I find this especially true when I switch from one cleaner to another during the same cleaning session.

I usually start with three or four passes with patches of Rem Oil, then copper brush, followed by several passes of weapon shield soaked patches. A few more passes with a clean copper brush, followed by weapon shield patches, then dry patches. Then, I send some sweets down the barrell and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. Pass several dry patches and then more weapon shield followed by more dry patches.

This is where major OCD kicks in:

I let the barrel soak in hot water with Simple Green for about 10 minutes and run a nylon brush through the barrell while it's emerged (a local gunsmith recommended this and it works). A few dry patches later and it's back to more weapon shiled.

Barrell should be spotless, right??

Wrong. Now, I break out the JB Bore Cleaner and JB Bore Bright and can't believe the crud that's still being removed.

At this point I usually stop. I know, it's pathetic. But I enjoy it and the barrell is shining after the Bore Bright.

I don't do all of this with the Sig 226, XD40 SC, Ruger 22 Mark III, and my other pistols. No, this amount of crazy cleaning only goes into the EB SF.



 

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You are prematurely wearing out your barrels, av8or17. Those abrasive cleaners are far worse than chemical cleaners. You are wearing down the lands bit by bit in an uneven fashion.

Here's a quote from Gale McMillan who knew a thing or two about barrels.

Gale McMillan said:
When some one uses JB on one of my
rifles I void the warrantee! For two reasons. ! it dimensionally alters the barrel dimensions and not evenly and the second reason is the barrel maker
laps the barrel with a grit of lapping compound that is most effective in preventing metal fouling. Then a customer polishes that finish away with JB.
I wouldn't be as apposed to it if it were applied on a lead lap and very sparingly. It is very obvious when you look at a barrel with a bore scopes all the sharp edges are worn off the rifling. if it has JB used on it on a regular basis. As you know ,it is an abrasive of about 1000 grit. As for using it on
factory barrels I will say that while it is difficult to hurt a production barrel but the thing that hurts a match barrel will do the same to a factory barrel.
 

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And one more bit of knowledge from Gale:

Gale McMillan said:
Look at it this way, A barrel starts out with nice sharp areas of the corners of the rifling . Along the way you build a big fire in it a few thousand times
and it burns the corners off. Now take a barrel that to break in you put an abrasive on a patch and run it in and out. The result is that you take the
corners off the rifling so that all that fire which would have started with sharp rifling is now starting with rifling that is thousands of rounds old. Which
means that a lot of the life is gone. A lap always cuts more on each end where the compound reverses direction as it starts back through the barrel
which means that it is enlarging the bore at each ends of the barrel. And last picture a patch riding along the barrel with abrasive on it. It is removing
material at a given rate. It comes to a place where there is copper fouling and it rides over it cutting the same amount that it was cutting before it came
to the copper. You continue until all the fouling is gone and what have you done? You have put the came contour in the barrel steel that was in it when
it was metal fouled. It would not be as bad if it were used on a lead lap but I ask why would you want to abuse the barrel when you can accomplish
the same thing without the bad side effects. There is Sweats, Otters foul out or just a good daily cleaning with a good bore cleaner till the fouling is
gone. To top this off I will relate a true happening. I built a bench rest rifle for a customer and as usual I fired 5 groups of 5 shots and calculated the
aggregate. It was good enough to see that the rifle was capable of winning the Nationals so I shipped it. I got a call from the new owner saying how
happy he was with it the way it shot. About 4 weeks later the rifle showed up with a note saying it wouldn't shoot. Sure enough when I tested it it
was shooting groups three times the size if the ones I had shot before I shipped it. When I bore scoped it the barrel looked like a mirror and the rifling wasn't square it was half round. From that time on I put a flyer in each gun saying if any abrasive was use in it voided the Warrantee.
Now I am not trying to stop you from doing what you want but just inform you what is happening when you use JB. Brass brushes are softer than
barrel steel and does no harm. S/S brushes are harder than barrel steel is definetly a no no. Nylon may surprise you to know is very abrasive If you
doubt this look at the carbide eye on yout fishing rod where nylon line has worn groves into it.
 
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