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Old February 22, 2021, 05:31 PM   #1
Toddco
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barrell cleaning

I am wondering if anyone has ever tried brake cleaner to clean rifle barrels. It cleans very well and also dissolves completely afterward?
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Old February 22, 2021, 06:37 PM   #2
Shadow9mm
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Cannot say as I have. It is pretty harsh and can dissolve varnish and melt some plastics. If used with caution the only problem I see is it flashes off pretty fast meaning it would be hard to soak the deposits at all. Also it will leave the bore completely stripped, no waxes (22s) fouling or oils when done so it could expose the barrel to rust issues if not a stainless barrel. You would need to oil after.
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Old February 22, 2021, 06:53 PM   #3
rock185
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Yes, I have for years, and found it to be quite effective. I use the non-chlorinated type. Apparently it's supposed to kill you slower. I'd advise some care in that it will dissolve some plastics, wood finishes, etc. Just as Shadow9 indicates, it will strip all oils. So I leave a film of lube in the barrel, and wipe down other metal parts of the firearm with lube...
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Old February 22, 2021, 07:11 PM   #4
FITASC
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Don't shoot much rifle any longer but I do use it for shotgun barrels; just be careful - friend went to spray some in his shotgun barrel and got a backsplash into his eyes and lost vision for the most part in one of them.
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Old February 23, 2021, 06:27 AM   #5
RETG
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I'm guessing most shooters will have gun cleaning materials around more than brake cleaning. How often does the average person do brake jobs?
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Old February 23, 2021, 09:00 AM   #6
FITASC
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Brake cleaner is an excellent solvent and a LOT cheaper than anything with "gun" in the name on the label
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Old February 23, 2021, 09:33 AM   #7
winkytink
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Cost is relative. I don't shoot as much as I used to, but I've never been the "hose down until it runs" type. A few patches dipped in cleaner followed by a good wipe down is usually all it takes.

I'm still working on the same bottles of Hoppes, CLP and Weapon Shield that I bought over 10 years ago. The Hoppes is running low, but I used most of that cleaning 80 years of gunk out of the internals of a Win '97 a few years back.
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Old February 23, 2021, 01:53 PM   #8
Carriertxv
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We go through half a dozen 5 gallon buckets of brake clean weekly. Be careful of what you use as there is some really nasty crap out there most of it from China. Had a new parts person who figured he would get some cheaper stuff and it was so nasty it melted the plastic pump spray jugs we used.
We have found Wurth is about the best as it evaporates very well and leaves zero contamination. I use it on my guns a lot.
CRC is one of the worse as it leaves an oily film.
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Old February 23, 2021, 04:36 PM   #9
jpx2rk
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I use brake cleaner to clean bore brushes but nothing else.
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Old February 23, 2021, 05:59 PM   #10
Nathan
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Interesting....I found it to be a total waste of time in terms of actual cleaning the junk out.
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Old February 23, 2021, 06:23 PM   #11
rickyrick
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I do bore snake and followed by some patches until the copper needs to come out. I’ll use janitorial grade ammonia to get the copper out... it’s a rare occurrence in the grand sceme of things.

The barrel needs less attention than the rest of the rifle. I clean moving parts well, but I wouldn’t use break clean on things that require lubricants... brake clean is to remove lubricant.
There is stuff intended for carbon removal.

Gotta go, my overly affectionate cat won’t let me type.
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Old February 24, 2021, 11:49 AM   #12
Shadow9mm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
I do bore snake and followed by some patches until the copper needs to come out. I’ll use janitorial grade ammonia to get the copper out... it’s a rare occurrence in the grand sceme of things.

The barrel needs less attention than the rest of the rifle. I clean moving parts well, but I wouldn’t use break clean on things that require lubricants... brake clean is to remove lubricant.
There is stuff intended for carbon removal.

Gotta go, my overly affectionate cat won’t let me type.

Whoa, Living dangerously. Maybe try something less potentially barrel ruining? like Bore Tech Eliminator (with copper remover) CU+2 their dedicated copper remover .... yeah its a touch spendy for chemicles, but its a LOT cheaper than a new barrel....

https://www.boretech.com/products/cu2-copper-remover

https://www.boretech.com/products/el...r-bore-cleaner
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Old February 24, 2021, 01:59 PM   #13
rickyrick
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I rarely remove copper, but many gun products contain ammonia in order to dissolve copper.

It only needs to be removed at the point of noticeable accuracy degradation.

What would damage a barrel would to be incessantly scrubbing copper out that is doing no harm.
I also will not scrub a bore if I couldn’t fire a few fouling shots immediately after being cleaned of copper.
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Old February 24, 2021, 02:32 PM   #14
SIGSHR
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Haven't used it in a barrel, I found using it on actions, especially semiauto 22s worked fine, removed the action from the stock, make sure it doesn't get on any plastic or wood parts. Let it soak for some time, I let it dry for 24 hours.
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Old February 24, 2021, 02:55 PM   #15
hub1home
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Why would you want to use brake fluid? Yes, it does clean very well so I have been told but there are too many risks associated with it. There are literally hundreds and maybe even thousands of gun cleaners out there. I have been using Hoppes #9 all my life. I have also used others that are excellent cleaners. Why ruin your eyes or lungs with something that wasn't even designed for cleaning?
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Old February 24, 2021, 05:01 PM   #16
Shadow9mm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
I rarely remove copper, but many gun products contain ammonia in order to dissolve copper.
True, however a product CONTAINING ammonia, and straight ammonia are 2 very different things. I avoid the products that even contain ammonia, if for no other reason than the smell.

Quote:
It only needs to be removed at the point of noticeable accuracy degradation.
I somewhat agree. It does not NEED to be removed until it starts to effect accuracy. However I prefer to manage it. The Eliminator I use has a mild copper remover. It does not get all the copper out, but it does seems to significantly slow the buildup.

Quote:
What would damage a barrel would to be incessantly scrubbing copper out that is doing no harm.
Depends on how you define "incessantly scrubbing" and the tools used. In my case it is 4 patches with eliminator. followed by 15 passes with a nylon bore brush with eliminator, followed by 4 more patches with eliminoator. let it sit 5 min, then dry patched until clean. This is just my regular cleaning routine after shooting. Gets the carbon and copper out pretty well. Does not seem overly harsh IMHO.

Quote:
I also will not scrub a bore if I couldn’t fire a few fouling shots immediately after being cleaned of copper.
Never understood the purpose of fouling shots. Cant stand to leave my guns dirty. After cleaning a lightly oiled patch and its good to go. "a clean gun is a happy gun, and happy guns save lives" by buddies DI.
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Old February 24, 2021, 08:01 PM   #17
AzShooter
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I use de-clorinated brake cleaner to start on some of my guns but I primarily use normal gun cleaning solutions. My favorite is MPro-7. It was developed by the military to clean the Volcan Cannon on jet fighters.

There is no nasty odor and it's non toxic. I run a wet patch then a wet nylon brush and finally dry patches until they come out clean.

I ran tests for MPro-7 many years ago. We would ask if customers would like us to clean their guns after they had already used whatever solution they were use to. It never failed that after using MPro there would be dirty patches coming out. A little scrubbing followed by clean patches worked and I sold a lot of their product.

Although I'm no longer a sponsored shooter I still believe in their products. It pays to shoot a clean gun. I try not to be surprised with failures that could have been eliminated.
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Old February 24, 2021, 08:10 PM   #18
rickyrick
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I don’t think we are too far apart, on most of this except the ammonia.

The first shot out of the barrel of is the most important. A shot out of a clean bore will have a poi different than a fouled bore.
I spent several years hunting nuisance animals for ranchers in my area. Every gun is zeroed for a fouled cold bore.
Some guns it may be the same poi, but many it’s not.
Any maintenance on the gun, I verify the zero.
If I hunt and don’t fire at an animal, I will fire that bullet at a target to verify the zero.

I’m more obsessive with my first shot zero than I am about anything else, because The intended purpose of the gun is to fire at a living creature with other living animals nearby.

Consistent bore condition means consistent accuracy. A bore is only clean for a few shots then things change.

I’m not saying leave a bunch of crud in it either, run a patch or two through and call it good.

Some people will scrub down to the bare metal each time... or attempt to polish the bore or lap it.
I doubt judicious use of a bore brush will harm anything, and I don’t have anything against someone doing that, I just find it unnecessary.

So, I’ll concede that carefully scrubbing the bore is harmless if done properly.
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Old February 24, 2021, 08:47 PM   #19
Shadow9mm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
I don’t think we are too far apart, on most of this except the ammonia.

The first shot out of the barrel of is the most important. A shot out of a clean bore will have a poi different than a fouled bore.
I spent several years hunting nuisance animals for ranchers in my area. Every gun is zeroed for a fouled cold bore.
Some guns it may be the same poi, but many it’s not.
Any maintenance on the gun, I verify the zero.
If I hunt and don’t fire at an animal, I will fire that bullet at a target to verify the zero.

I’m more obsessive with my first shot zero than I am about anything else, because The intended purpose of the gun is to fire at a living creature with other living animals nearby.

Consistent bore condition means consistent accuracy. A bore is only clean for a few shots then things change.

I’m not saying leave a bunch of crud in it either, run a patch or two through and call it good.

Some people will scrub down to the bare metal each time... or attempt to polish the bore or lap it.
I doubt judicious use of a bore brush will harm anything, and I don’t have anything against someone doing that, I just find it unnecessary.

So, I’ll concede that carefully scrubbing the bore is harmless if done properly.
I admit I have tried fire lapping and the jb bore paste methods and cleaned down to bare metal. It did not do any damage that is visible or effect accuracy. I personally, found it made no noticeable difference for my uses. Now I just try and keep it clean and rust free.
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