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Old January 6, 2012, 09:50 PM   #1
603Country
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I didn't know that Windex was the best bore cleaner

I managed to put a lot of copper in the barrel of my 223. I've been working on getting it out, but severe copper fouling is pretty tough to remove. Based on what I've read in this forum, I went out (to the big city) to get some better copper removing materials. I bought two different types and I'll try them out tomorrow. At the last gunshop I visited, I was paying for the copper cleaner and the guy at the cash register asked me why I needed that stuff. Well, I explained my problem and he said that he never worried about copper. As a matter of fact, he said, he shot his 308 about 400 times the previous day and all he did was wipe the bore with Windex about every 50 rounds. He said that "they call that gilding the bore". I have to admit that I just didn't know what to say to that, so I paid and left. So tell me...how many of you guys clean your bore with Windex and don't worry about copper fouling?
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Thats what Legacy Sports recommends for cleaning the new Howa barrels during break in.
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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Google is my friend:

http://legacysports.com/pdf/NewRifle...nProcedure.pdf

(I've used Windex in this manner... seemed OK... I'm no expert...)

Here's another long and varied read on low-cost gun care solutions... I just found this and can't vouch for any of it but it looks like it may be kinda interesting for some...

http://www.frfrogspad.com/homemade.htm
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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I think Howa recommends cleaning the barrel as normal and then put a patch of windex down the bore. I use it on my 223 all the time now. Something about all cleaning solvents containing some form of oil or so. When you fire a round down the barrel the oil is heated and turns to carbon in the barrel. Windex removes all oil residue so it is not a issue. I have been doing it on my 223 for 2 years now and after 100 rounds it takes 3 patches to clean it to new condition. Sounds far fetched,but,,Hey it seems to work.
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Old January 7, 2012, 12:47 AM   #5
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the ammonia in windex is good for removing fouling and oil from the barrel.

A good procedure is to run a patch of windex, clean the bore thoroughly as you normally would with your regular solvent, then run another patch of windex.

Personally though I couldn't be bothered and only ever do this when im running a barrel in, not usually otherwise.

Alternatively, using something with ammonia already in it. Sweets 7.62 will do the same (or better) a job, which is what i now use.

Keep in mind that ammonia is a salt and will attract water if you leave your barrel wet with the stuff. Be sure to patch it clean and then oil the barrel afterwards
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Old January 7, 2012, 09:43 AM   #6
603Country
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Most books on bore care recommend a lightly oiled patch down the barrel as a last step. I had always assumed that the oil was just to protect the metal if you were going to put the rifle away, but some folks (including Butch of Butch's Bore Shine) say the oil is for lubrication of the barrel for that first bullet - to reduce copper laydown. So, using Windex or anything else to remove all traces of oil is contrary to the logic of wanting a little barrel lubrication. Personally, I clean the barrels and only oil the bore if I am putting them away or don't plan to shoot them any time soon. If I'm going right back to the bench, my last patch is a dry one. And I guess I'd better quit talking and get back to barrel cleaning.
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Old January 7, 2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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The ammonia cuts copper fouling and neutralizes corrosive primer residue.
I use Sweets 7.62 solvent. Ya can smell the high ammonia content a block away.
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Old January 7, 2012, 10:21 AM   #8
drail
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I wouldn't go so far as to call it "the best bore cleaner"...... As others have stated make sure you get all of it out and lightly oil the bore. Any type of ammonia is corrosive.
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Old January 7, 2012, 10:49 AM   #9
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No Windex for me. Never used it in the bore, but i had some leak out on to a pair of channel locks over about a week or two and they were so rusted (much worse than water) i had to throw them away. I would never let it sit in a bore for that long but it is very corrosive, just a thought.
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Old January 7, 2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Every one I know that shoots muzzle-loaders use Windex to clean the blackpowder barrel fouling, but they still run an oily patch thru afterwards.
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Old January 7, 2012, 02:21 PM   #11
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Let me see if I got this right...
The guy at the LGS asks why you needed the "stuff" to remove copper, and he said "he never worried about copper"??

First, writing off copper fouling as a non-issue- as in "doesn't matter"....is just bad advice...

Second, he advocated using Windex. That's all well and good- but doesn't he realize that the reason Windex is used, is because it contains ammonia- which is a copper solvent??

Anyway, copper fouling is an issue, just like powder fouling...

No interest or affiliation in the company...and I've run the gamut of cleaners like everyone else.

This is the best...buy a can, and take their test. Clean any rifle of yours until you swear the bore is as clean as it can possibly get.

Then use the WipeOut.

I spray it into the bore, leave it soak overnight, patch it out dry the next day.
NO more brushes for me. None of my rifles have seen a bore brush in two years. It is a rare find when the best product, is also the easiest product...

http://www.chuckhawks.com/wipe-out.htm
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Old January 7, 2012, 04:33 PM   #12
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Here's another favorable testimonial for Wipe-Out:
http://www.6mmbr.com/catalog/item/1433308/892401.htm
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Old January 7, 2012, 05:17 PM   #13
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Windex and an acid brush is great for cleaning jewelry and titanium watches, don't know about a bore.
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Old January 7, 2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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10% ammonia is the best copper remover there is. It will remove bluing too.
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Old January 7, 2012, 06:46 PM   #15
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don't listen to butchs.

Oil in the barrel while firing is an extremely bad idea. It reduces the space the bullet has to go down the tube and creates extreme hydraulic pressures in the bore. As a worst case your barrel will burst open - but really whats more likely to happen is that you'll bulge your barrel and open it up slightly (or parts of it) and your gun will be a whole lot less accurate.

Basically either that oil has to follow its way around the rifling in front of the bullets, which will slow the bullet and cause high pressures, and/or the oil will around the bullet and cause barrel damage.
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Old January 7, 2012, 06:50 PM   #16
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Ammonia's not king anymore. Over the last decade a couple of new chemistries have appeared that act faster and more completely. Probably the best one is KG-12. Jim Owens has pictures up. Take a look at how much copper it eats off. 9.5 grains off a bullet in the same time that teh ammonia in Sweet's takes off 0.02 grains in the same conditions. The only drawback is it doesn't turn blue or green, so you have to follow it with something that does if you want proof the copper is gone.

KG-12 is what I hit heavy copper fouling with, but for normal cleaning I use Bore Tech Eliminator. It doesn't have the copper capacity of KG-12, but it's way faster than ammonia. You can't use a brass jag or bronze brush with it without everything immediately turning blue. They make a special alloy jag you can buy that isn't attacked by it, or just use a Hoppe's plastic jag. It loosens carbon really well and even etches cast bullet alloy (though very gradually). On top of all that, Eliminator is water based (so it removes corrosive priming residue easily), odorless, and non-toxic. It has corrosion inhibitors so it may be left in a bore indefinitely.

These days I keep a little pump sprayer of Eliminator in my range box. At the end of the range session I tip the muzzle down and squirt a pump or two into the chamber and let it run down the bore to the muzzle. I stick a rag in the breech to protect the bedding from any excess, and a Neoprene stopper in the muzzle to protect rifle case, and go home. By the time I get there, a few patches wet with Eliminator will usually be all it takes to finish the job and start coming out clean. Don't put too much on the last patch, and you can just leave it that way for months. No oil. The corrosion inhibitors work just fine.
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Last edited by Unclenick; January 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old January 7, 2012, 08:27 PM   #17
603Country
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First of all, I hope you guys understand that I wasn't taking that guy seriously about the Windex. Yes, it's an ammonia product and I already have plenty of those, though I'm out of Sweet's. What brought all this about was my gun cleaning session late last week. Deer season is over. I cleaned the 270 and the 260 and the 220 and then got started on the 223. The 223 was far more copper fouled than I had realized, and I decided to just go ahead and take the time to clean it up. That was a fine plan but, like a lot of plans, it didn't work as well as I had hoped. Over the weekend I saw the thread about copper removers (KG12 and others), so I went out and got a water based copper remover and started in on the rifle this morning. Man...I must've had a pound of copper in there (not really), but I finally got the bore clean with that water based cleaner. Good stuff. And then I went to the bench (25 feet away) and shot a few rounds to burn out any chemicals. Then I let it cool for a half hour. After that, I snugged into the rifle and put 4 in one hole at 100 (Sierra 65 grain GK). The 5th was a bit out of the ragged hole, darn it. The rifle is a Ruger Hawkeye in stainless. Tomorrow I'll try the 40 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips to see what they'll do. This rifle hasn't shot the lighter bullets that well, but maybe the copper was the problem. I'm going to find out.
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Old January 8, 2012, 10:11 AM   #18
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Do share which one you got. I know Hoppe's Elite now has one also, but I haven't heard it get the raves that the Boretech and KG lines do. Still it may be good.

I sometimes still drag out my Outer's Foul Out to clean a severely fouled bore just because it's fun to see how much copper is plated onto the rod when you pull it up. The copper grows on it like hairs, sort of, so it exaggerates the amount. Those hairs will actually grow across and short the rod to the barrel if there's enough copper fouling. Then you have to wipe them off the rod before continuing.
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Old January 8, 2012, 01:59 PM   #19
603Country
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The water based stuff I used yesterday was Aqua Clean Bore Cleaner from Shooter's Choice. I couldn't find any of the others that had been mentioned on the forum, but I figured that Shooter's Choice would have a good product. This isn't just a copper remover, but I used Butch's Bore Shine to get the bore clean (except for the copper) before I used the Aqua Clean. Then I applied the cleaner and wasn't stingy about it. Once the Aqua Clean got to work there was a slow drip of blue liquid out the end of my barrel, so I could tell it was working. I can't tell you this stuff is as good as some of the others mentioned, but I'm happy with it. I think I paid about $10 for 4 fluid ounces.
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Old January 9, 2012, 12:12 PM   #20
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Sounds like the chemists are starting to copy each other. Glad to hear it worked.

Eliminator runs $12.95, though it also comes in 16 oz. for just twice the price of the 4 oz. bottle. Sinclair has those 16 oz bottles on sale for $20, currently. The main advantage it would have for you is you wouldn't need to use anything else with it.

Bore Tech also makes its copper dissolving and carbon dissolving elements available separately, but I haven't found a need. They also make a black powder solvent and a moly solvent and a couple of shotgun solvents. But I find Eliminator does i tall pretty well.

Read this 2006 Precision Shooting article if you want to know more. The author, Irv Benzion, spent 3 years testing every cleaning product he could find. He concluded several things at that point:

One is that no petroleum based cleaners worked well on carbon and all depended on mechanical action by a brush or abrasive cleaner to try to get it out, and most never actually get it all out no matter what you do. Loosening the bond between steel and carbon requires surfactants that are only water soluble. In 2006 that was true, but I've found Gunzilla chemistry does a great job on carbon if you have time to wait for it to work (and I do have a Hawkeye bore scope like the one mentioned in the article, so I can check the way the author did).

In 2006, compared to Slip 2000 Carbon Cutter, all other carbon removers pale (even the Eliminator). I can verify from cleaning ancient carbon cake off Garand Op-rods just behind the piston that this stuff is very impressive, but it is harsh and appears to etch Parkerizing slightly if left long enough to get rid of a really thick cake (a couple of hours). Carbon hardens as it ages, so some of these cakes that are decades old are tough customers.

As I mentioned, I have used Gunzilla to get complete carbon removal, but it has to stay in the gun for awhile (days or weeks) to do what the Slip2000 does in 20 minutes. On the other hand, Gunzilla is vegetable oil-based and is non-toxic and has less odor and won't etch or hurt anything except it slightly greens brass and copper. Also note the new Bore Tech C4 Carbon cleaner is stronger than Eliminator at attacking carbon, and I have not compared it to the other two products yet.

Another is that as a copper remover, compared to Bore Tech Eliminator, all the ammonia based products were like "buggy whips": obsolete. They are, indeed slower and less effective in all my experiments.

Bore lubrication was best done with Slip 2000's synthetic gun oil. It's flash point is 10 times higher than that of petroleum products so it doesn't get time to burn during firing of a shot, and instead makes it easier to clean fouling after shooting.

From the article, which did not include a list of the failed products:

Quote:
The question might be raised, “What were the other products that were
tested?” The names of the myriad other products used in this study have
been purposely been omitted since Bore Tech’s Eliminator, and Slip 2000tm’s
Carbon Cutter and Gun Lube were clearly far superior to all other products
tested.
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Old January 9, 2012, 12:31 PM   #21
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I guess that I’m out of the loop. I’ve been cleaning lead and copper fouling out of my bores for years with a chunk of lead rag cut to make a patch. The bores always come out shiny and clean with no problems and no drippy mess. Does a fast and neat job on stainless and plated cylinder faces also.
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:26 PM   #22
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"The ammonia cuts copper fouling and neutralizes corrosive primer residue."

Well, sort of.

Ammonia will attack copper fouling.

However, it does nothing about corrosive primer residue. It's what the ammonia is dissolved in - water - that removes corrosive primer fouling by dissolving it in the same way that water dissolves table salt.

But, just as you can't really "neutralize" table salt without some incredibly harsh chemicals that will either combine with the salt to form non hygroscopic compounds, or actually unzip the bonds that join the Na and Cl. And then you get free chlorine gas, which is never a good thing.

As for the ammonia, there's been a fair amount written (and a lot of debate) about ammonia's role in hydrogen embrittlement of barrel steel.
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:38 PM   #23
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"don't listen to butchs.

Oil in the barrel while firing is an extremely bad idea."


Don't listen to Butch? I'm sorry, but who are you to say such a thing and what are your accomplishments? A drop of oil in the bore might cause the problems you mention, but otherwise it's a non-issue if it's a thin film.

John
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Old January 9, 2012, 01:46 PM   #24
603Country
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Darn it. Just last week I bought a big bottle of Butch's Bore Shine. I never thought it was any better than Shooter's Choice, but was as good. Now I am placing orders for the Boretech Eliminator and the Slip 2000 products. I might as well get the good stuff. That barrel cleaning article was extremely convincing. I have to wonder how much carbon and copper are still in the barrels of my 220, 223, 308, 260 and 270. I guess the good news is that I can clear out some space in my gun cleaning box. It's full of various potions and lotions for cleaning. I'll demote some to use for 22 LR cleaning.

I'm glad that nutcase at the gun store was pushing the use of Windex. Listening to him almost made me crosseyed, but it did cause me to start this chat.
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Old January 9, 2012, 03:02 PM   #25
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While I do have Gunzilla at home, the GF hates the smell of anything else, I'm going to be making some changes myself based on the article. Thanks Unclenick for once again providing in-depth information for us unwashed masses to consume.
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