View Full Version : cleaning copper from barrels

September 20, 2004, 05:40 PM
how often is REALLY necessary to clean copper from barrels? i've talked to people who have never done this, and their guns SEEM to be fine. i know most copper cleaners are very aggressive to metal. i hardly ever shoot lead, mostly copper fmj's. i've heard stories of ruined barrels so i'm more worried about cleaning the copper than leaving it alone at this point. i plan on startin a regiment of copper cleaning of my barrels closely following the instructions of the cleaner/solvent i buy. every range session (200 rounds for me) seems like overkill. how often is often enough?

September 20, 2004, 06:42 PM
Depends on the firearm.
Pistols don't need copper removal often because the lower pressures mean less build up.

Rifles need removal often. Copper fouling builds up much more due to the higher pressures, and copper fouling degrades accuracy fairly quick.

Metal fouling should be removed before it builds up too much, to preserve accuracy AND to prevent possible pitting of the barrel.
Moisture can infiltrate under the fouling and pit a gun barrel unseen until the fouling is removed, then you discover a damaged bore.

Most match shooters use a good copper solvent EVERY time they clean, and they clean the bore EVERY time they fire even one shot.

Not all copper solvents are harmful to gun barrels. Some really aggressive cleaners like O.K. Weber's Sweet's 7.62 cleaner can damage bores if left in for more than a few minutes.

Standard copper solvents like Hoppe's Benchrest-9 Copper Solvent, Shooter's Choice, Butch's Bore Shine, Accubore, or similar solvents are perfectly safe for bores.
Most of these can be left in the bore indefinitely, and some like Hoppe's actually can be used as storage rust preventer's.

What does the most damage to bores is neglect, or improper cleaning techniques or "field expedient" cleaning material or chemicals.

Learn how to clean properly, buy good quality tools and materials, and clean the bore often.

September 21, 2004, 09:19 AM
Of several military surplus rifles over the past few years, I'm REAL familiar with copper fouling....Suspect some of the "worst" ones I've gotten had many hundreds of rounds poured through them without cleaning. I sporterized one of the Mausers I bought, and I spent untold HOURS with the regular Hoppe's Benchrest-9 Copper Solvent, and was STILL getting green-blue patches out of it (although it shot pretty well)....Then my buddy and I were in a gunshop, and however the subject came up, the gunshop guy mentioned the new foaming bore cleaners.... He gave us a partial can (Nice Guy) of the Gunslick (as I remember, I've tossed it now) brand. Soooooooo....I tried it out on FrankenMauser as follows: I'd stick the tube into the action with the barrel at a very slight downward slant to the muzzle (1st lesson: make sure its TIGHT into the chamber/bore...It comes out VERY forcefully and will end up all over the action/stock etc.!!!!)....Gave it a good squirt, till I saw it come out the muzzle...Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, give it another squirt...Did this quite a few times, until foam started coming out white instead of blue. Finally ran a couple patches through to clean out the residue...AND, much to my amazement the bore was absolutely mirror, shiny bright...No scrubbing, no (potential)cleaning rod or Brush wear..... SIMPLY AMAZING!!!!

Now the more amazing part....NO ONE (including the place we got it from) carries this stuff in my area (any brand)...He just had the one can, given to him by the salesman....So I guess its mail-order only, for now. But its well worth the cost. But I used a ton of it on this one gun, on a normal gun with less fouling it would probably last a very long time.

Any way, this stuff is GREAT, so I would give it a try...I left some of it in the barrel for quite a long time (total maybe 3-4 hours) and it didn't seem to hurt anything (although I don't have a borescope to look for microscopic damage) and the gun shoots as good or better than before.

bill k
January 8, 2005, 08:17 PM
I'm looking for that brand of cleaner also. It's Gunslick Foaming Bore Cleaner. I saw an add on Shooting USA but am unable to locate a dealer. Does anyone have a clue where to get it I'd love to try it.
I tried several web sites and they only sell to retailers. They list my local gunsmith as a dealer but he's never heard of it.

January 8, 2005, 08:33 PM
Saw the product demonstrated on that show. Have not been able to find it in the Boston area. Would like to try it in my old Enfield.

Lazy D
January 8, 2005, 10:24 PM
Any damage that is going to happen, while removing the copper, is done by the person and not the cleaner. If you want to remove copper with out ever putting a bore brush down the barrel, try a product called "Wipe out" Brownells sells it. It is a foam that expands like shaving cream. Let it set for a minimum of 1 hr. Then push patches through till they come out clean. You'll never use anything else after you try it once. I think I attached the link to the website.


Or the Gunslick link is http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=21270

January 8, 2005, 11:30 PM
The Germans came up with this product toward the end of the 1800's. It will safely remove copper fouling, powder fouling, lead fouling as well. It was designed to be their end all solution of maintaining not only the internals of the gun, but the exterior as well. I use it on stocks to drive the oil finish in deeper into the pores of the wood. It is an excellent lubricant as well. It even works on cuts on your hands. The thing is it wasn't known in this country until several years ago. Believe me, it really does all it says it will. Check it out at The Washington Trading Post. I use it on patches or a snake. I push a wet patch through and let it sit there for as few minutes. Then I push a brush through a few times and swab out with dry patches. You will not believe the crud this stuff will clean out of a barrel. The thing is, it cannot hurt you or your barrel as is isn't toxic. It is mainly made of mineral oil.

January 9, 2005, 04:31 PM
Seafoam did the trick for me in a M44 rifle that's bore was gray from fouling. Pulled the bolt, plugged the muzzle with a golf tee, filled the barrel, and let it sit for a couple of days. Results were a very bright, shiny bore.

January 10, 2005, 12:52 AM
If my gun shoots good with a little copper I leave it. But to much and the accuracy goes down hill. With the common hunting rifle copper is ok. Some of you all may find with a shinny clean barrel the accuracy may go down hill. It may take 40 rounds or so to bring it back to being a tack driver.