View Full Version : REALLY clean weapons

August 30, 2004, 04:22 PM
Just wondering if anyone has any techniques for getting their weapons REALLY clean. I'm referring to carbon and other buildup in the smallest pores of the barrel, and 'detailing' the action to remove soot, grit, grime and other nastiness. I'm anal, so what might be considered time-consuming and laborious to others is fine as long as the result is worth it.

I currently own an AR-15 and a M1911A1, and they tend to sit for quite a period of time (usually 9-12 months) before I get a chance to break them out and attempt to rehone my skills again. When I do, I usually run a few hundred rounds through them, but since they sit most of the time I'd like advice on how to get them ultra clean. Seems like I can run the brush - patches - brush - patches through for an hour and still have the patches come out with blackened residue on them.

I'm also looking for suggestions on cleaning solutions, etc. Point outs or links to webpages with detailed information and/or pictures are also appreciated.

I'm a newbie to this site, so if this is the wrong forum for this question, please direct me to the right place to post this. Thanks in advance!


August 30, 2004, 05:27 PM
There are two basic methods for super cleaning.

The first involves harsh and abrassive chemicals that end up stripping the metal inside the bore as well the gunk (that blue stuff on the patch is steel.)

The other way is using some sort of machinery, like the electrical "foul-out" system or ultrasonic cleaning. This option strikes me as a better idea.

Keep in mind that fouling does not damage anything or cause corrosion. I clean my guns until they look clean, which is good enough. Alot of the cleaning habits come from the days when ammo was corrosive. These days, the most corrosive substance the guns see are some of these miracle bore cleaners.

Jim Watson
August 30, 2004, 05:32 PM
The blue stuff on MY patches is copper-ammonium complex from jacket metal fouling.

If you are brushing the barrel, a lot of the dirt is being flushed out of a dirty brush, which has a lot more nooks and crannies to hold fouling than the rifling, tool marks, and "pores" of the bore.

The local shop has a Remington Ultra Mag, I don't recall if it is 7mm or .30, going off for a new barrel after only 400 rounds. I would like to get hold of it and give it a thorough cleaning and see just how worn out it is. There have been a lot of shot-out barrels rescued by deep cleaning. There could be more.

August 30, 2004, 08:38 PM
I know someone who gave his Colt Python a super cleaning job. The revolver didn't work so he asked me to fix it . Taking it apart I saw that it was absolutely clean, I never saw a cleaner gun.The only problem was that he neglected to put any lube in the gun !!! Not even one molecule of oil.A little bit of oil and it worked fine ! :D

August 31, 2004, 11:23 PM
There have been a lot of shot-out barrels rescued by deep cleaning. There could be more.

There have been a lot of barrels ruined by over-cleaning. There WILL be more!

4 Wheel Drive
September 1, 2004, 04:48 AM
Make sure that when you set up to clean, especially your AR that you are using a one piece cleaning rod, and a bore guide. Lots of barrels are ruined by scraping the rod across the muzzle or a cheap cleaning rod which contacts the bore while cleaning. Dewey rods are pretty popular, and I suspect other will list their favorite here too. Segmented rods have a nasty habit of gouging the bore, and I do not use them.

Also use a good quality brush-bronze is very good, and make sure the brush core is bronze/brass-anything but steel. Run your patches from chamber to muzzle if at all possible and use a good fitting jag and patches to do so. When the foreward part of the brush starts to get mashed up, toss it. The front 1/4 part of the brush is what does most of the cleaning.

It's a good idea to have your muzzle lower than the chamber, so that your cleaning solvent runs out that way. Not a big thing on an AR, because you can separate the upper and lower halves so the solvent does not get into the firing mechanism.

There are lots of cleaning solvents out there-I like Barnes CR10 because it attacks powder fouling and copper too. Be careful with any cleaning solution, but especially so with any which contain ammonia. If your barrel looks really coppered up, Sweets 7.62 is especially strong against copper. Follow the directions to the letter, as Sweets and CR-10 will attack the bore metal if left in too long. Follow up with a good lubricant. Barnes recommends a plastic bore brush and I have found that case mouth brushes work okay, but if you use bronze brushes, rinse them off because the solution dissolves the brush.

I also like to take a cleaning brush slightly larger in diameter than the chamber and put it on a GI pistol rod and give it a couple of twists in the chamber to break up any fouling which might be found there.

GI cleaning brushes work well in many tight places, along with some solvent.
A good supply of Q-tips is also worth having around, as are pipe cleaners.

If you fire a lot of ammo at one sitting, clean the weapon really good, wait for a couple of days and then do it again. The carbon fouling has a tendency to leech out in the bore over time.

As to your 45, if you shoot plain lead, you might take a look at Lewis lead removers. They work very well. Some folks like to use Gun Scrubber or carb cleaner aerosols after they have scrubbed all the parts in solvent-make sure you are in a well ventilated room when/if you do so. Make sure every part gets a light coat of oil, as these spray solvents tend to take all the lubrication away. I buy 45 caliber rifle brushes for my 1911-they cost about the same, and give you more bristles by far. So far as lubrication goes, if the tolerences are tight, I use oil, and if they are loose, I use grease.

September 1, 2004, 08:03 AM
"that blue stuff on the patch is steel"

What kind of guns do you own? :)

The blue stuff on the patch is probably what's left of a brass(Cu3Zn2, copper zinc) bore brush that's been dissolved by copper-eating bore solvent. The brush ends up coating the inside of the barrel with copper instead of cleaning it.