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Old October 23, 2012, 01:40 PM   #1
dyl
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burnt Pyrodex Acidic or Basic?

I'm trying to figure out how to neutralize the corrosive by-products of Pyrodex RS.

I've read 2 different theories with corresponding recommendations.

Theory 1: Burnt pyrodex is basic and should be cleaned with a hot wate + Vinegar mixture.

Theory 2: Burnt pyrodex is Acidic and should be cleaned with hot water + lye soap or ammonia.

My bottle of Ballistol says it's mildly alkaline so that it would be good for neutralizing the acid in Pyrodex.

I have heard reference to several different compounds: Chlorates, Potassium Perchlorate, Sulfuric Acid.

Anyone have a strip of Litmus paper?
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Old October 23, 2012, 02:33 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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As far as I know it is really neither, but is hydroscopic, so cleaning with hot water should be more than sufficient.
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Old October 23, 2012, 02:41 PM   #3
FrontierGander
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hot soapy water has never failed me, clean it like you were shooting goex.
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Old October 23, 2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Yep. Plain water is all you need. The corrosive elements are salts, neither acidic nor basic.

Constructive comment, not meant to be a criticism: hygroscopic, not hydroscopic.
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Old October 23, 2012, 06:24 PM   #5
Hawg Haggen
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Water works.
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Old October 23, 2012, 06:46 PM   #6
B.L.E.
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Acids, bases, and salts have one common property, they are highly water soluble. What water leaves behind won't corrode your barrel.

Simply neutralizing an acid or a base doesn't mean you are left with something harmless. For example, hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) and sodium hydroxide (lye) will neutralize each other forming sodium chloride (table salt), you really don't want that left in your barrel.
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:02 PM   #7
dyl
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I see. I purchased a bottle of T-7 cleaner by Thompson Center along with my ML and now wonder if that really is just water with some blue dye in it. It very well could be - wouldn't that be a great profit margin
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Old October 23, 2012, 09:19 PM   #8
mykeal
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Pretty much. I think it's actually a solution of water and a water soluble mineral oil, like Ballistol. It cleans ok and leaves behind an oil film that helps prevent rust, in case you fail to oil the surfaces after cleaning. Personally I wouldn't trust it to prevent rust alone, but it does work ok for quick work at the range. Use it up, then use the bottle for plain water.
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Old October 23, 2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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As mentioned, hot soapy water works, but I also use Hoppes #9 Plus Black powder solvent. Works well.
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Old October 24, 2012, 08:07 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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"Constructive comment, not meant to be a criticism: hygroscopic, not hydroscopic."

Constructive rebuttal...

Tell that to my stupid Droid!
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Old October 24, 2012, 08:35 AM   #11
Doyle
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I use hot water with just a couple drops of dish soap. Works perfectly and is a whole lot cheaper than buying something premade.
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Old October 24, 2012, 10:10 PM   #12
B.L.E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl
My bottle of Ballistol says it's mildly alkaline so that it would be good for neutralizing the acid in Pyrodex.
I believe the main reason Ballistol is mildly alkaline is because an oil in water colloidal emulsion needs to be mildly alkaline to be stable. Milk, for example is mildly alkaline, when it sours and becomes acidic, the emulsion becomes unstable and the milk curdles.
Mix Ballistol with vinegar and it does not form the familiar milky emulsion, it just floats on top of the vinegar like water and oil.
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Old October 27, 2012, 10:10 AM   #13
DD4lifeusmc
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cleanup

Way back in the 1970's when I first started BP, I bought two books.
One was Lymans cast bullets handbook.. I still have it
The other was the Black Powder Shooters Bible or handbook.... Misplaced it.
Anyway, the BP shooters book,
Claimed plain hot water was sufficient or add some dish soap.
They also said plain rubbing alcohol.
I have been using plain rubbing alcohol for the last 30 years.
it has worked just fine. look in the barrels of 44's spotless clean (both are 30+ yr old).
After cleaning a patch with a dab of sewing machine oil in the barrel and outside.
None in the chambers, because an empty gun is a useless gun.
I reload paper cartridges immediately after cleaning.
.....
Which begs another question for another topic I will start later.
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