View Full Version : Cleaning patch stuck in barrell!!!

January 10, 2000, 03:47 PM
I have an Otis cleaining kit for my AR15. I just read thier manual stating use as tight a patch as possible. Well, I cut a patch about 2inch diameter circle to look exactly like the ones that came with the kit ( I ran out of the original ones). I put a couple drops of BreakFree on the patch and started pulling on the cable. I moved from the chamber into the barrell about 2 inches and now it is STUCK!!! I need help trying to figure out how to get it out without ruining my rifle.

January 10, 2000, 06:00 PM
I did the same thing in my AR-15 with an Otis kit. I got the patch through careful use of a rigid cleaning rod.

Mal H
January 10, 2000, 06:35 PM
Two suggestions:
If you can find a wooden dowel that will fit, that is the safest tool to use. Just hammer the dowel until the patch comes out.

You can use a lead bullet carefully pulled from a .22 LR and start it carefully into the muzzle and push on it with the cleaning rod.

I don't like an "unprotected" cleaning rod since the tip may be at the edge of the patch and you may be gouging a land or two as you push hard on it.

James K
January 11, 2000, 05:28 PM
Repeat after me:

"Pull through cleaners are no d--n good!"

At best, they are a compact unit for emergency use in the field. At worst ... Well, you know.


George Stringer
January 11, 2000, 10:36 PM
Sgrigs, if you haven't done it already, go with the wood dowel. That's the safest way and if you break it you're only out maybe 50 cents. If you break a cleaning rod you will be paying quite a bit more to replace it. And yes I've seen cleaning rods break with nothing in the way but a patch. George

Mal H
January 12, 2000, 05:25 PM
Sgrigs - a little feedback, please. Did you get the patch out?

January 14, 2000, 08:38 AM
wow! I finally got it out!!! I wrapped the cord around a rubber coated flashlight and the started to winch it out with all my strrength! I guess it cleaned every noook and cranny in the barrell. Thanks for all your help

August 26, 2001, 11:03 PM
Arg. Bumping this thread because I just developed the same problem. Seems *very* stuck and I'm not sure I can realistically get it out by pulling/pushing on through; however, it's close enough to the breech that I can see it, so I'm wondering if pulling it back out in some fashion might not be possible. Any ideas or help appreciated. A LOT. Rifle is a brand-new AR-15.

Mal H
August 27, 2001, 12:04 AM
Tropical Z mentioned putting oil down the barrel. I agree and would make it penetrting oil (Kroil, Liquid Wrench, etc.) The patch may be so tight that it won't allow regular oil to completely saturate the patch. You need all the slipperiness you can get because I have found that patches get a lot tighter in a dry barrel than in an oily barrel.

August 27, 2001, 12:06 AM
Hrm. .. Only oil I can find at the moment is Wd40. That worth a try?

edit: apologies for the double post. Just got frustrated, you know how it is.

Al Thompson
August 27, 2001, 07:10 AM
Don't feel like the lone ranger, did the same thing a couple of days ago with a Mini-14.

If you have a ridgid cleaning rod, you may want to try using a bore brush from the chamber end to snag a corner and pull the patch back out. Sort of the same principal as a worm in a BP gun.

WD-40 would be fine - just allow it to soak in. Patience is called for..

I have a quart of Marvel's Mystery Oil that works great in these situations - heck of a lot cheaper than Kroil.


August 27, 2001, 08:42 PM
Folks, contrary to popular belief, tight fitting patches DO NOTHING. The only real purpose of a patch is to carry solvent into the bore, and dry it out later.
Pumping a tight patch up and down a barrel has no real effect on fouling. Brushes are used to abrade metal fouling, and patches are really nothing but a substitute for a sponge. LOOSEN UP those patches.

August 27, 2001, 09:56 PM
not that i would do this but...
don't cloth patches soaked in oil tend to be combustable?

torching the patch out wouldn't get that hot would it?

August 28, 2001, 05:17 AM
I was thinking the same thing about burning it out. Wouldn't have to burn the whole thing, it'll fall out when the edges start burning.

For your guys' future reference, a 22cal patch is more like a 1" square, not 2". As Dfariswheel stated, patches are not for scrubbing. That's what they make those cotton brushes for.

August 28, 2001, 04:22 PM
Yeah, I would've burned it but there's a thin plastic coating on the pull through rod and I'm wary of that.

It's just sitting on a shelf for now till I have time & proper tools. . I've ordered a small bottle of a fabric solvent (dissolves cotton, but not plastics or even wool) and that's probably what I'll end up using.

August 28, 2001, 04:46 PM
Be careful that solvent doesn't also dissolve barrels!

August 28, 2001, 08:39 PM
had the same deal awhile back......dumped a couple squirts of good ole 3in1 oil down the bbl waited an hour and yanked it out...easy as pie when you're a biganimal !!!!good luck to ya

August 28, 2001, 09:04 PM
The patch will burn only to the point where it's stuck, so that won't do any good.

If you get it hot enough to do good, you'll likely ruin the barrel.

Penetrating oil (all of those mentioned, including WD-40) and a dowel are the best approach. Rigid rod if you don't have a dowel.

Considering the cost of a gouged barrel, a trip to the hardware store for a dowel is pretty cheap.

A solvent won't bother the barrel - you need an acid for that. In fact, hydrocloric (muriatic) acid won't do much. (dirt bikers use it to clean what's left of aluminum pistons out of iron cylinders.) Sulfuric will do serious damage real fast, as will most others. Concentration will affect how much damage and how quickly it occurs.

But a solvent that will disolve a cotton patch? Might have a weak acid in it. Be careful.

August 28, 2001, 09:07 PM
yeah, I'm going to test it first on whatever bits of metal i can find lying around.

August 28, 2001, 09:41 PM
BTW, dz, about oil soaked rags:

You need three things to start a fire:

Fuel (an oil soaked rag will do)
Heat (a source of ignition)

The reason oil soaked rags are dangerous is because of spontaneous combustion. If the right components are present in the oils, there can be a chemical reaction that produces heat. (Kind of like a compost pile.) If there is air available, the pile may get hot enough to ignite.

A patch stuck in a barrel is not going to get enough air to ignite, even if (very unlikely) it manages to even START the chemical reaction. Typically, that takes having a pile of rags. And even if it does start to get warm, the barrel will act as a heat sink, preventing the patch from getting very warm.

August 31, 2001, 12:55 PM
My, my, I must be halucinating then when I see lead flakes and what looks like powder fouling on both dry and wet patches coming out of my handguns and .22s.

Brush, loose patch, various solvents...then when I use a tight one, that last little bit of lead and other blackness comes out.

However, copper fouling does not appear affected by tightness.

The only thing I can add to the suggestions is that in a.224 bore, you're NOT going to get anywhere with a pinewood dowel. Hardwood, the harder the better. More realistic is cutting the loop tip off of a plastic cleaning patch loop so you have a flat surface. Use that on your solid steel cleaning rod and tap the bugger out.

August 31, 2001, 06:57 PM
ok, thanks for all the help folks :)

finally got the bugger out -- had to tie the pullthrough cleaning cable to a block of wood, put that under a door and close the door, and then get two people pulling on the rifle, and eventually the cotton ripped and the cable came free. Once that was done, we took a cleaning rod, ran it down the muzzle, and tapped it back out the back. Problem was basically that the patch was just too darn big.