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Old May 17, 2009, 09:23 PM   #1
olyinaz
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Cleaning product that works for me

I've read more than one post about guys baking their guns to get the water out of them and I don't doubt that it works just fine when done intelligently, but I've found a product that does a great job displacing water as well so I thought I'd pass it along.

After I'm done cleaning up my BP pistols in soap and water I tote them out back and hose them down with one of the relatively-new "synthetic safe" cleaning sprays that are designed to leave the gun totally dry and ready for oiling. Here's the product I use but there are others on the market:



As you can see it's a Birchwood Casey product and it's widely available. What this stuff does is bind with and displace the water off of/out of the gun. It smells almost exactly like the old ether based starter fluids that we used to use back in the days of carburetors and I don't doubt that ether is a major component but what's important is that it works great and it's designed to be safe for use on guns.

I literally hose the gun down, making sure to get inside the nooks and crannies with the little red straw/tube that's designed for spot spraying, and let it air dry which takes about two minutes in Arizona outside - perhaps twice that where you live. Sure enough, the gun winds up totally dry and ready for whatever corrosion protectant you like to use.

And get this - I hose my guns down with a good oil based anti-rust product that works great/lasts a long time but you don't want that stuff all over the gun when you go shooting because it can cause misfire problems in the cylinder and also complicates cleanup afterward right? Well I hose the guns down with this stuff before shooting as well! Gets all of the petro based oils right back off, leaves the cylinders nice and dry and waiting for powder and then you can lube with Bore Butter or Crisco or olive oil or whatever the heck floats yer boat - no worries.

Just me talkin'!

Cheers,
Oly
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Old May 17, 2009, 10:21 PM   #2
Hawg
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won't that take finish off of wood?
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Old May 18, 2009, 03:20 AM   #3
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I just bake mine also, but I guess I would probably use methanol if I wanted to just evaporate the water without using heat.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:01 AM   #4
olyinaz
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>>>won't that take finish off of wood?<<<

In my experience thus far no, but I'm sure that comes with some caveats.

When I don't feel like disassembling the grip frame I use it on my 1851 that has a Tru-Oil finish on the grips and it doesn't faze them. Of course my guns with two piece grips I just take 'em off because it's so easy and the product is listed as safe for polymer stocks and finishes (that's the primary difference between this product and some others that are not "polymer safe").

An old time oiled finish? I don't know that I'd trust it on that. I used this stuff to hose down my M1 Garand stocks when I was on a mission to re-hab them a bit and it flushed a ton of gunk off of them but how much of that was 50 years of cleaning oils vs. "finish" I certainly don't know.

However, any kind of modern finish it's supposed to be safe on but even if you avoid using it on grips it's got a bunch of handy uses around any firearms enthusiasts house. It's a fantastic degreaser and simply having it for flushing cylinders before shooting makes it worth its' weight in gold to me. This stuff has joined Hoppes No. 9 and Break Free CLP on my list of standard products not to be without. (Break Free makes a similar product by the way.)

Cheers,
Oly
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:22 AM   #5
ClemBert
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Soap, hot water, bake, spray with WD-40.

Seems to me that the WD stands for "Water Displacement" to which there isn't much more to say. Wipe off the excess the put her away in the gun safe.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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I've seen lots of info about the bad things WD-40 does to guns.

For displacing water, I use plain old compressed air.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:56 AM   #7
ClemBert
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Quote:
I've seen lots of info about the bad things WD-40 does to guns.
Hmmm, I've never seen any reference that suggests that WD-40 does bad things to guns. In fact this is from the paperwork that accompanied by Uberti 1858:

"Use only lubricants such as WD-40, Tri-flow, Break Free, 3 in 1, Hoppes or Outers gun oils, Havoline, etc."
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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Clembert, WD40 is fine as a cleaner/water remover. However, if you leave it on as a lubricant or long-term protectant it tends to "gum up". It can get particulary bad inside of actions where it attracts powder residue/dust/etc. and gets really gunky.

I don't ever recall seeing a gunsmith that even wanted it on his workbench.
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:49 PM   #9
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I've seen a few folks post that they are using vegetable type oil sprays (aka Pam, et al) because they want to avoid petroleum based oils. Last time I was in the grocery store I took a look at the ingredients on a few different sprays. I noted that in addition to the oil and propellant that typically water was in it. Just doesn't sound right to me to use a spray vegetable oil that has water in it to protect your firearms. Just sayin'....
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:58 PM   #10
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I use a sink full of hot water with dish washing soap. Let it soak a few minutes, then brush out the cylinder and barrel, rinse with hot water, and let it sit- the hot water will evaporate quickly by itself. For a gun that's really dirty, Mr. Clean or Windex works great- but will also take finish off the grips or silver plated or brass parts- the dish soap is mild enough to just soak the entire gun in pieces.

When it dries, I shoot it full of WD-40, wipe it down, let it dry rolled up in a rag for a few days, until all the WD runs out into the rag
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:16 PM   #11
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Has anyone heard of or used lighter fluid ?
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:32 PM   #12
Doyle
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Quote:
Has anyone heard of or used lighter fluid ?
I haven't used that, but non-CFC brake cleaner is the same stuff as Gun Scrubber (standard Gun Scrubber - not the special stuff made to be safe for plastic parts).

I've also used carb cleaner, but you have to use it outside and be careful of the fumes.
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:32 PM   #13
olyinaz
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>>>I just bake mine also, but I guess I would probably use methanol if I wanted to just evaporate the water without using heat.<<<

Several possible problems there. 1) 100% methanol - most drug store alcohols contain 30% water - one would want to use as near to 100% as possible. 2) Methanol doesn't evaporate anywhere near as fast as ether. 3) Methanol is toxic as are the fumes. 4) Methanol is an incredible solvent and I have no idea what it would do to finishes and various polymers over time.

Ethyl alcohol is non-toxic and would be a better choice in my view but it still has many of the above issues, most importantly the longer dry time which is key to the ease of using this product.

Regarding toxicity, if this stuff is largely ether based then that's a good thing but I honestly have no clue. This stuff is designed for and tested on guns and is listed as safe for polymer stocks and most finishes. This stuff comes in a spray can designed for this use and it evaporates so quickly that using it is an absolute joy. Often times I'll hold the gun muzzle down, start at the action, hose it down towards the muzzle and by the time I finish at the muzzle end the action is already 90% dry. You can go straight to an oil spray without missing a beat if you like and then simply wipe the piece down in a rag and stow it.

I'm sure other options work, I'm just reporting that I'm getting good results and excellent ease of use from this product.

Cheers,
Oly
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:40 PM   #14
olyinaz
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>>>Has anyone heard of or used lighter fluid?<<<

Sure, it's mostly kerosene and we used to call it Liquid Wrench back in the day! It was pretty common to use gasoline for various jobs around the farm back when I was a kid as well. No doubt I'll come down with cancer any day now...

At any rate, as with most thin petroleum fuels it's going to have lubricity as well as a very good solvent action but most of them don't bind with/displace water worth a damn. Also, since they're highly volatile they tend to evaporate off and leave behind a gummy residue that I don't think is desirable on firearms.

If it was a great item to use you can bet many folks would be doing so.

Cheers,
Oly
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:47 PM   #15
olyinaz
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>>>I haven't used that, but non-CFC brake cleaner is the same stuff as Gun Scrubber (standard Gun Scrubber - not the special stuff made to be safe for plastic parts). I've also used carb cleaner, but you have to use it outside and be careful of the fumes.<<<

Yep, and there's also electrical contact cleaner available in spray cans at hardware stores and probably starter fluid would work well for this job also. Carb cleaner is certainly an outstanding solvent but wow - watch out, it'll melt plenty of polymers into goo!

Here's the rub though guys - this stuff doesn't cost much more than (or is the same cost as) these other products and it's designed to be used on guns. No need to reinvent the wheel here fellas, it's been done already by Birchwood-Casey.

Mr. Clean? Windex? Good lord...

Cheers,
Oly
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:53 PM   #16
olyinaz
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>>>I've seen a few folks post that they are using vegetable type oil sprays (aka Pam, et al) because they want to avoid petroleum based oils. Last time I was in the grocery store I took a look at the ingredients on a few different sprays. I noted that in addition to the oil and propellant that typically water was in it. Just doesn't sound right to me to use a spray vegetable oil that has water in it to protect your firearms. Just sayin'...<<<

Hmm, that is interesting but I'd bet it evaporates off pretty quickly? Still, I'm pretty sure I saw a product at our local Foo Foo Foods store that was olive oil or canola oil in a spray can with nothing else. I'm going to search for something like that because I was thinking that it would be nice to have something other than petro based chemicals in the bag for use at the range when I'm shooting BP.

I'll stick with Barricade or Break Free for rust prevention/storage. The thought of opening a bag and smelling a rancid pistol doesn't float my boat.

Cheers,
Oly
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Old May 18, 2009, 04:24 PM   #17
Hawg
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Quote:
WD40 is fine as a cleaner/water remover. However, if you leave it on as a lubricant or long-term protectant it tends to "gum up". It can get particulary bad inside of actions where it attracts powder residue/dust/etc. and gets really gunky.
It is a water displacer and I use it on my bp guns after cleaning and before lubing. It's not a lube and shouldn't be used as one, however I've seen guns that were used for years with WD-40 only and never gummed up.
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Old May 18, 2009, 04:39 PM   #18
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I know its not a heavy lubricant which is probably what you refer to for the base/cylinder pin etc but this select excerpt from Wiki on WD-40:

The long term active ingredient is a non-volatile, viscous oil which remains on the surface, providing lubrication and protection from moisture. This is diluted with a volatile hydrocarbon to give a low viscosity fluid which can be sprayed and thus get into crevices. The volatile hydrocarbon then evaporates, leaving the oil behind.

These properties make the product useful in both home and commercial fields; lubricating and loosening joints and hinges, removing dirt and residue, extricating stuck screws and bolts, and preventing rust are common usages. The product may also be useful in removing moisture, particularly in electrical components.
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Old May 18, 2009, 05:13 PM   #19
Chris_B
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Hot soapy water, blast off with WD-40 while it's still wet, wipe dry, then lube with gun oil.

Seems to work for me so far.

I love the gun scrubber synthetic-safe cleaner on my P22
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Old May 18, 2009, 09:55 PM   #20
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I think I'll take WD-40 and put it in new can and market it as some kind of special gun lubricant and water displacement product. I'll soon be rich.
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Old May 19, 2009, 09:39 PM   #21
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Use Caution with Birchwood Casey gun scrubber it took the painted finish off of my Ruger 10/22 it ended up in the garbage can (the can not the gun). won't buy it again.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:04 PM   #22
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I like to spray water displacing lube into the barrel while it is still wet with water and then blow the barrel dry.

I discovered when honing car engine cylinders, after washing them clean with soap and water, there is always a small amount of flash rusting that occurs when the water dries, but, if you spray the water displacement lube on the cylinders while they are still wet, no flash rusting occurs.

That's why I do the same with my guns. After the WD-40, I apply a more substantial rust preventative for long term storage, RIG for example. ATF is said to be good also.
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Old May 20, 2009, 06:54 AM   #23
mrappe
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This is what i do.

Take grips off.
Wash in hot water and Simple Green
Paper towel dry
Blow out with compressed air or hair dryer or bake
Oil with Balistrol or Break Free or some other good lube in action
Put Bore Butter on cylinder parts and base pin

I am sure that there are many other good ways to do it but that is just how I like to do it. I personally prefer to take things apart and wash with water. It must be a psycological thing.
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Old May 20, 2009, 07:14 AM   #24
4V50 Gary
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I learned this at Remington's Armorer's School

I won't use WD-40 on my guns because it leaves a film. Someone did on his Rem 700. The film built up around the sear and firing pin area. The shooter did this for over ten years, never once cleaning the affected parts of the gun. One day he goes out with the gun and places the gun, muzzle down, in the cab of his truck. The gun discharged, blasting the shooter's foot. The shooter sued Remington and Remington lost.
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Old May 20, 2009, 01:09 PM   #25
olyinaz
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>>>Use Caution with Birchwood Casey gun scrubber it took the painted finish off of my Ruger 10/22 it ended up in the garbage can (the can not the gun). won't buy it again.<<<

There are two Gun Scrubber products. The original can take off paint and finishes and should be used with caution on anything other than metal.

The product that I'm offering a testimonial regarding is the newer synthetics and finishes safe version and I've not had it harm anything on any gun I've used it on.

Oly
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