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Old July 24, 2012, 10:57 AM   #1
CowboyinIL
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Need Help - How do I decontaminate my guns?

I recently had a bunch of people try out a few of my firearms and would like to clean the germs off from the trigger and pistol / rifle grips. I know that you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean cell phones and was wondering if that would be okay to use on gun metal. Guns are the Smith and Wesson M&P's in 9mm and AR style 5.56 if it matters. I'm not sure if the isopropyl alcohol would take the bluing off the guns or if it would make the gun metal brittle.

Any thoughts or suggestions would sure be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:17 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Isopropyl alcohol is fine on the metal surfaces of firearms.

Not sure about the wood or not.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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What germs are you afraid of? The vast majority of pathogens that are harmful to humans only have a life of 24-72 hours outside of a host. Sticking your guns in the safe for a week would kill those.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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Aerosol disinfectant? Lysol, etc.

But unless the people who borrowed it were carrying Ebola, I wouldn't worry too much
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:54 AM   #5
CowboyinIL
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Thanks Mike, I was afraid that it might remove the bluing. Thank you very much for your post. Much appreciated.





Doyle - Not afraid of anything. I like to keep my stuff clean and neat. I appreciate your incite on the pathogens though. One of the kids shooting had been eating Doritos and had that cheesy yellow everywhere. Also had to feed the cows, and was walking through cow manure etc.
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Old July 24, 2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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I work in a hospital environment, and there has been an occasion or two where we've needed to decon pretty much all of our gear, including weapons. We use a product called Super Sani-cloth. And they have yet to cause any damage to our radios, weapons, handcuffs, or belt gear.

http://www.amazon.com/PDI-Super-Sani.../dp/B001GEZEAK
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Old July 24, 2012, 08:49 PM   #7
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Got one of those steamer things? Or maybe a hot blowdryer.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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If somebody was eating Doritos, I'd be worried about the salt and what it will do to the finish.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
I work in a hospital environment, and there has been an occasion or two where we've needed to decon pretty much all of our gear, including weapons. We use a product called Super Sani-cloth. And they have yet to cause any damage to our radios, weapons, handcuffs, or belt gear.
Just to add to this, If you use these on a regular basis wear gloves.
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Old July 25, 2012, 02:17 AM   #10
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Ah, lay off of him guys. Not all of us like to wallow in germs. Isopropyl should be okay unless the finish is very fragile. Keep in mind it will take all the oil off and out of the metal, so a liberal re-oiling will be necessary.
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Old July 25, 2012, 04:33 AM   #11
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I think I got dried pig blood on one of my grips.

Germs build immunities, exposure to them throughout life make you live longer.
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Old July 25, 2012, 06:17 AM   #12
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Just clean them, the way you normally would!

I can't imagine many bacteria and virus that would remain functional when exposed to some of those gun cleaning compounds.

Failing that, simple multi-surface or alcohol wipes that you can get from the house cleaning aisle in the supermarket...

Given the sort of contact patch a hand would have on a gun, I don't think we need to go down the autoclave route!!
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Old July 25, 2012, 06:42 AM   #13
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I was going to suggest a blast of gamma radiation... that should do the job and won't harm the wood or bluing.

Isopropyl alcohol should do the trick, seriously.
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Old July 25, 2012, 08:11 AM   #14
CowboyinIL
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Thanks for the help guys. If anyone knew how to take care of a weapon, I knew I would find them here.

Thanks
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Old July 25, 2012, 10:23 AM   #15
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Boiling hat water sounds kinda gross,
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Old July 25, 2012, 11:09 AM   #16
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if it would make the gun metal brittle.
You are joking, right?
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Old July 25, 2012, 12:00 PM   #17
CowboyinIL
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Quote:
if it would make the gun metal brittle.

Quote:
You are joking, right?

Not at all. Isopropyl alcohol dries out objects by its very nature, even metals. Logic tells me it would not do this (make trigger brittle)if used only once, and apply a coat of gun oil on the areas it was used. However, I wanted the opinions, experience, and vast wisdom from the fellow gun owners found on this forum. It's a tremendous resource for all of us to learn from.
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Old July 25, 2012, 12:07 PM   #18
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A few minutes in the microwave will do it.

Seriously, I doubt if a lot of germs can live doused in Hoppes #9.
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Old July 25, 2012, 12:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
A few minutes in the microwave will do it.
.

Metal in the microwave?
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Old July 25, 2012, 12:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Isopropyl alcohol dries out objects by its very nature, even metals
You are joking, right?
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Old July 25, 2012, 01:07 PM   #21
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Might dry out the oil coating, but not the metal itself - It's Metal!
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Old July 25, 2012, 02:03 PM   #22
CowboyinIL
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Quote:
Isopropyl alcohol dries out objects by its very nature, even metals

Quote:
You are joking, right?

I wasn't joking. Maybe I'm wrong. I thought I read somewhere that Isopropyl alcohol dries out metals and makes them more brittle by tightening their molecular structure. That's is why I asked the question in my OP. Like I said, maybe I'm wrong.
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Old July 25, 2012, 02:37 PM   #23
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Another vote for Hoppes.
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Old July 25, 2012, 02:56 PM   #24
Sparks1957
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Isopropyl alcohol dries out metals and makes them more brittle by tightening their molecular structure
Wow, I don't know where you heard that, but that just isn't so. As a chemist, I think that is one of the silliest things I've ever heard, in fact.

There is no water in the metal for the alcohol to interact with.
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Old July 25, 2012, 03:10 PM   #25
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Alcohol absorbs water. It won't make metal brittle unless it's a poruous mesh finer than steel wool that doesn't exist to my knowledge. Most folks don't want water on their guns.

I use if often to clean off old oil and after exposure to high humidity or dunking.

It won't hurt a thing!
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