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View Full Version : how to detect lead or copper, using solvent?


Jack Reevez
April 2, 2008, 07:36 AM
Hi . Can anyone tell me how to detect if my handgun bore had copper or lead in it after cleaning it with Hoppes #9 and Hoppes Elite Gun cleaner?

I shot a few rounds a few days back and cleaned my revolver with Hoppes Elite gun cleaner. The first patch cleaned the Powder fouling and the unburnt powder... i soaked the barrel with Elite Gun Cleaner over night and ran dry patches. They came out Dry. Shouln't there have been lead on the patches?

Tempest45
April 2, 2008, 05:16 PM
Copper will turn the appropriate solvent green or blue, depending on solvent type. The only true solvent for lead is mercury, which is very dangerous.

Hoppes elite solvent will attack neither. It is a degreaser and carbon solvent. It is also water based so be careful about leaving it on the gun for too long. Hoppes 9 is a miled copper solvent, and might have a slight lead lifting affect.

Did you shoot lead or jacketed bullets?

Jack Reevez
April 3, 2008, 12:19 AM
i Only shoot lead bulletts. i got them with the guns... around 300 of them i think.
I also have many diff cleaners. Heres what i use..

1. Hoppes # 9 to remove lead from pistols.
2. Hoppes Elite gun cleaner to remove Lead from pistols ( since u said it doesnt attack lead i tyhink i'll just use to to remove carbon now and then #9 for lead)
3. Hoppes Bench rest #9 ( i ius eit to remove plastic from my shotguns)

i have ordered some Clenzoil field & range Solution , Prolix Lubricant ( CLP)and The Blue wonder gun cleaner. I havent got them yet.

Do u think i am using the right solvents for the right reasons?

Jack Reevez
April 3, 2008, 12:23 AM
u say Hoppes elite gun cleaner is a degreaser not a solvent...
what is a degreaser and how and when should it be used?

Should i use it to first remove carbon from the barrel of my handguns and then use other solvents to remove lead and then another solvent to remove copper and then oil it and store it?

Whats the need for a degreaser?

DBotkin
April 3, 2008, 07:47 AM
If you have leading in the barrel, chances are you'll be able to see it. If you're really worried about it, drag a Lewis Lead Remover (or the other brands of similar devices) through the barrel. They use a brass screen around a rubber or aluminum plug to scrape the lead out, they're quite effective.

Tempest45
April 4, 2008, 04:18 PM
Whats the need for a degreaser?

Degreasers usually attack organic compounds. Oil, grease, carbon, etc. There are many different types. Strong solvents, soaps, etc. They are used to get the metal as clean as possible. You have to be careful because they also strip away protective lubricant that prevents rust.

They will not attack baked on copper or lead as these materials are not organic. I use Weapon Shield as an overall CLP. It is the best that I have seen and cleans better than most dedicated cleaners, especially after a cleaning or 2, all without strong solvents. The products you mentioned should also be fine, but are not my favorites.

If you have heavy leading the Lewis remover or a lot of brush work is about the only way to get it out. Letting the barrel soak in an oil for a few days first may help to lift the lead off the metal by mechanical action.

W. C. Quantrill
April 4, 2008, 05:30 PM
Leading is caused by hot loads and hard cast bullets. If you will use softer alloys on loads under about 1400 fps, you will not have a problem with leading. Leading is usually caused when there is not enough chamber pressure present to bump up the bullet to barrel groove diameter, or the bullet is too hard to expand, and the hot powder gasses bypass the bullet melting some of it and soldering it onto the barrel. The soft bullets allow the bullet to obiturate to bore diameter and seal the hot gasses behind.

If you have a question, get a bronze brush of proper size and brush the barrel. If there is any lead, it will take it out. The bronze brush will not harm your steel barrel.