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Old March 11, 2010, 07:43 AM   #1
stevieboy
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forcing cone fouling

Here's a cautionary tale for those of you who say you don't see why it's all that necessary to clean your revolvers often.

I recently purchased a used S & W 625JM. I love the gun, shooting it is sheer fun. When I purchased it I found it to be very dirty by my standards. There were carbon deposits in the chambers and around the forcing cone, the cylinder faces were stained black, and the bore of the gun had a pronounced film in it. I cleaned it thoroughly, several times and thought that I'd returned it to pristine condition.

However, after firing it last weekend, and cleaning it, I did my usual post cleanup inspection. I shone a flashlight into the forcing cone and, to my amazement, discovered that the entire interior of the forcing cone was coated with a silvery grey substance, about a millimeter in diameter. It wasn't a uniform deposit, it was bumpy, thicker in some places than in others.

Out came the bronze brush and I began brushing vigorously. After about 10 minutes, I ran a couple of swabs down the barrel, which came out coal black. I looked into the forcing cone again. Half the deposits were gone, but there remained many that were seemingly untouched. I brushed again, for about 20 more minutes (my right arm got very tired from doing this, I might add). To my dismay, there were still a lot of remaining lumps and bumps.

I then got out a dental pick and went to work on the lumps and bumps, one at a time. They came out, with much scraping, and it took me two hours of steady work to complete the job. The forcing cone is now as new. The total labor necessary to get it that way: about 3 1/2 hours of work.

When I began cleaning I was concerned that I was witnessing leading in the forcing cone. But, the deposits were made of a crumbly substance and they broke up easily into a powder that came out of the barrel black. I'm convinced they were carbon deposits.

Now, I'm not sure what are the effects of firing a gun with a forcing cone that's been significantly narrowed by carbon deposits, but I doubt whether they're good. I don't know whether continued buildup would eventually cause the cone to crack under the resulting increased pressure. So, I'll leave that possibility to the experts. Suffice it to say, I intend to keep my guns clean.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:30 AM   #2
Icopy1
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I use a Lewis Lead Remover to keep the forcing cone clean. It will clean up years of neglect in about 5 minutes. I paid ten bucks for it from Brownells.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:34 AM   #3
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What Icopy1 said.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:56 AM   #4
Standing Wolf
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I bought my first Lewis lead remover in about 1980. It still does a fine job of cleaning my .38 and .357 magnum forcing cones. I go through a packet of cleaning screens about once a decade.
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Old March 11, 2010, 09:04 AM   #5
stevieboy
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I agree, a Lewis Lead remover is a great idea, and I use one all the time on my several .357s. Unfortunately, I didn't have one in .45 and I'm so damn compulsive about my cleaning that I decided that it couldn't wait 'til I got one.
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Old March 11, 2010, 04:04 PM   #6
Standing Wolf
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Quote:
...I'm so damn compulsive about my cleaning that I decided that it couldn't wait 'til I got one.
I'm still not all the way over that, and I've been chipping away at it for decades.

By the way, the Lewis lead remover may leave traces of copper in its wake if the surface being cleaned is at all rough. You'll still have a skosh more cleaning to do.
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Old March 11, 2010, 04:19 PM   #7
Don P
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Yep I found cork and rubber plugs at Lowe's. Plug the muzzle and with a dropper fill the barrel with the 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and peroxide. Make cleaning SOOOO! much easier.
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Old March 11, 2010, 10:07 PM   #8
Dfariswheel
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Be advised that vinegar and hydrogen peroxide also does an excellent job of removing gun bluing if you get it on the finish.
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Old March 12, 2010, 12:31 AM   #9
johnwilliamson062
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You have blued guns?
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Old March 12, 2010, 08:54 AM   #10
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He's got a few, and man are they nice!
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Old March 12, 2010, 10:57 AM   #11
doc540
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(chants) Lewis!! Lewis!! Lewis!!
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Old March 12, 2010, 11:35 AM   #12
rclark
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Quote:
You have blued guns?
What other type is there? . There is unfinished (SS) and then ther is blued/case hardened/etc. .

I use the lewis tool for .357,.44, and .45. Works great.
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Old March 12, 2010, 04:00 PM   #13
Don P
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Be advised that vinegar and hydrogen peroxide also does an excellent job of removing gun bluing if you get it on the finish.
Yep you be absolutely right. You have to be careful when doing this on blued guns. By the way I was under the impression that the S&W's that are of the 6 series are SS. Am I correct?If I am there shouldn't be a problem with his 625
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Old March 12, 2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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Regular Cleaning Avoids Use of Lewis

I also have a JM S&W 625, but it's a Performance Center. I also have a 4" Mountain Gun and a 3" 625, all in .45 ACP, which I also treasure. I clean them and other stainless steel handguns with a good bore cleaner, e. g., Blue Wonder, and a Birchwood-Casey lead remover cloth. I use a brush and Blue Wonder and swab the bore a few times, let in soak in a recloseable plastic bag, and later brush and swab it. The soak really loosens up any lead or copper in the bore. The lead remover cloth I use for to buff away deposits on the forcing cone, esp. the area between the forcing cone and top strap, and the cylinder face. A lead remover cloth is fantastic on stainless, but never use it on blued guns. So far, I haven't had to resort to very aggressive cleaning with Lewis Lead Remover. But I have it handy just in case I get my hands on a gun from a lazy owner. Like you, a dirty gun drives me to distraction.

Last edited by Ops Officer; March 12, 2010 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Clarity & Title
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Old March 12, 2010, 10:16 PM   #15
enjundoc
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I'm glad to hear about the lewis cleaning system I'll give it a try. I too have a 625JM and have experienced the same scenario as stevieboy. After the first cleaning I sent it back to s&w for a warranty repair. Under light magnification you could see very rough machine marks in the forcing cone. It looked like they forgot to finish cut or stone the cone. Also the cyl gap was in excess of .006. 6 days later I received the gun back via Fed-Ex and found a new bbl had been installed and the gap set to .004 !! Can't ask for quicker service than that. I am now breaking in the new bbl with fmj bullets, and will try lead again soon.
Also I've experienced misfires using the polymer moon clips. I think the plastic absorbes the firing pin shock and shallow dents the primer. No problems with the steel clips. Anyone else had this problem?
Gotta love .45ACP!!!
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Old March 13, 2010, 09:52 AM   #16
GP100man
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The 625is finiky about primers ,I installed a.008 longer 1 while workin mine to resolve the misfire issues & used only federal primers.

For cleanin the barrel I turned from the lewis kit & use EDs RED & choreboy copper pot scrubber wrapped around a brush it cleans crude, lead ,& carbon in even the forcin cone in just a few passes !

I tried a copper solvent but went back with EDs RED it does`nt attack my choreboy & it does an excellent job on lead in conjunction with the choreboy !

Wrap enuff to make a tite fit & make a few passes & the scrubbin is over!!

Carry a magnet with ya so ya don`t buy copper coated steel !

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