View Full Version : Cleaning Stainless Steel Cylinders

Woody Post
April 19, 2008, 12:16 PM
Hey guys,

I'd like to do a better job of cleaning the cylinder face on my Stainless Steel (SS )Rugers (GP-100 & SP101) Not that I will be staring down that end of the gun mind you, but I want to get the residual deposits off the face and produce a nice clean gun.

Has anyone used NEVR DULL polishing wad (used to clean all metals) and is it safe & effective on (SS) wheelguns?

Any expert opinions are welcome.


April 19, 2008, 02:14 PM
I would strongly suggest you look at carbon solvents first. Polishing cloths and lead wipes all have abrasives in them that will affect the satin finish on stainless revolvers.

Slip 2000 Carbon Killer (http://www.slip2000.com/carbonkiller.html) has been around for awhile. The image below is from their web site. Gunzilla (http://www.topduckproducts.com/products.aspx?product=gunzilla) is a good carbon remover, but you need an overnight soak. Good old Ed's Red (http://home.comcast.net/~dsmjd/tux/dsmjd/tech/eds_red.htm) is supposed to get at caked on carbon, and is really cheap to make. I buy ingredients for a gallon at a time and bought a one gallon empty paint can from Lowes that I keep it in. I soak disassembled gun parts in it with the lid on all the time, though my revolvers are not stainless, so I can't give you a direct comparison.

Given that you can run out and get the igredients to mix it yourself, I would start with Ed's Red and do an overnight soak and see if that doesn't do it? If not, try the Slip 2000 product. Their gas cylinder cleaner works well for me.


April 19, 2008, 03:47 PM
Flitz is a paste that comes in a tube and does a good job of cleaning s.s. cylinders. bores, etc. non abrasive

April 19, 2008, 04:16 PM
Flitz is abrasive - very mild abrasive, tho...

April 19, 2008, 08:01 PM
Probably the easiest/best method of cleaning stainless cylinder faces is a "lead away" type cloth.

This is a heavy, waxy feeling cloth that literally wipes leading and carbon off with only a little rubbing.
Unlike various abrasives polishes and pads, this causes NO harm to the cylinder.

DO NOT use these on blued guns. They also wipe bluing right off.

Buy the cloths at most gun stores and online gun supplies sellers.

Bill DeShivs
April 19, 2008, 10:11 PM
When a revolver is fired, carbon is actually driven into the surface of the cylinder. If it can be chemically removed, no harm is done.
Lead Away, Flitz, Simichrome, NevRdull are all abrasive to some degree.
Occasional use of any of these on a stainless gun should do no harm, but neither does the carbon ring. Enough abrasive use can cause excess cylinder gap.

April 20, 2008, 11:36 AM
As soon as you pull the trigger it's gonna look just like it did before you spent an hour cleaning it!

April 20, 2008, 02:16 PM
An ultrasonic cleaner can take it right off. I use mine on my autos when they get nasty. Make sure you lube all the metal after, as the cleaner will take EVERYTHING off the metal.

April 21, 2008, 01:03 PM
Why not use a lead removing cloth? Works for me with my SP101. Shot a lot of RNL .38's thru this .357 and have had no problem removing anything from the surfaces with these cloths; Birchwood Casey makes a good one, cheap too! I use NEVR DULL on the outter surfaces as well, to retain the shimmering glow of the stainless steel :D.

April 25, 2008, 12:53 PM
The lead removing cloth is what Defariswheel already mentioned in his post. As Bill DeShivs already answered in his post, the abrasive in those cloths (aluminum oxide; same rounded crystal abrasive many sandpapers for wood use, but around four or five hundred grit) will eventually polish the original satin finish off.

If you want to see the effect for yourself, get a flat piece of aluminum and use Flitz or even jeweler's rouge to bring the surface to a near-mirror polish. Then take a swipe across it with the lead-removing cloth, and you will be able to see the surface dulling where it touched the shined area.

April 26, 2008, 05:41 PM
The ultimate way to clean the lead off the cylinder is the "Lead away" cloth not to be confused with a "silicone cloth". both are yellow, one has an abrasive chemical like sandy grit that eats lead right off the cylinder..Walmart has them or most gun stores. Flitz isn't really for removal of carbon it's more for shinning up stainless to give it a high glossy look. Its like using wax on a car you rub it in in circles, let it dry then buff it off. The lead away cloth is worth it, just make sure when you are done you then go over it with gun blast or hoppes number nine to get the residue off. it's like magic..

April 28, 2008, 07:02 PM
What they said.:cool:

May 1, 2008, 07:26 AM
If it won't come off with solvent don't worry about it. It adds character and makes the holes look bigger to the bad guys. "Whoa dude! That looks like a fifty cal!"