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Old January 23, 2020, 09:59 PM   #1
2wheelwander
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Ultrasonic gun cleaning

Pulled out the used Super Redhawk I bought recently to give her a good scrubbing. When I bought it I noticed what appeared to be old, gummy oil in the cracks and crevices. She operated nicely so I didn't worry and figured it'd come off easily. I was wrong. Very gummy, very tar like. Whatever it was, I'd never encountered before. I knew the PO had shot cast lead out of it and the throat was filthy.

Ended up stepping to the dremel with metal polish/cleaner and it was still stubborn, plus didn't like the idea of hitting this pistol in certain spots with metal polish. I bought a 15L ultrasonic cleaner for motorcycle carb work a short time ago ($150/ebay). Figured I'd give it a whirl. For solution I just used the industrial purple jug cleaner sold at Sam's. Its worked well on my carbs and figured it couldn't harm the stainless. Very, very pleased with the results. I did not strip it whatsoever and just threw it in the cleaner. Though the grips were removed and the cylinder was left open. All nooks and crannies came out spotless. Rinsed the solution off with warm water when I was done, stripped the major components down and gave her a wipe down and a good oiling. Trigger is noticeably smoother and she looks new again. It even brightened up the white outline of the rear sight.











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Old January 23, 2020, 10:00 PM   #2
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Old January 24, 2020, 06:06 AM   #3
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I've never understood why more shooters don't use ultra-sonic cleaners, as they make a tedious process nearly effortless. For gunked up crud (like milsurps) I just use plain ole water as its free and I can drain & replace as needed to carry the crud away. For normal cleaning I use M-Pro, one "dirty" tank to remove the bulk, and a "clean" tank for the final cleaning. Nearly effortless and hands on time is reduced to just a couple of minutes, the results are wonderful as compared to cleaning by hand.
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Old January 24, 2020, 06:50 AM   #4
2wheelwander
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Spot on TBM900. I'll be using this quite a bit!
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Old January 26, 2020, 03:38 AM   #5
Hal
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You make a very compelling case for draining yet more money out of my bank account... .

LOL!
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Old January 26, 2020, 04:12 AM   #6
ms6852
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I like to use ballistol in my sonic cleaner. As I use ballistol to clean my sharps when shooting black powder. The great thing with ballistol even after mixing it with water as that it cleans and lubes at the same time. Afterwards I spray it with WD-40 as it repels water and than apply a thin coat of Corrosion X the one made for marine products and than wipe all the parts with a dry cloth. For me this works great on all my firearms. Ballistol emulsifies great with water.
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Old January 26, 2020, 10:24 AM   #7
TBM900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal View Post
You make a very compelling case for draining yet more money out of my bank account... .
Worth every penny

But if you go the USC route, be sure to invest in one.
Don't waste your time/money with the cheapo HF rebranded ones that are sold by many gun companies.
They are all single transducer and relatively pathetic.

The biggest regret I've found folks have when getting one is that they wished they had picked up a larger one. Once they see how well they work on small parts, they want to be able to use them on large items like entire receivers.
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Old January 26, 2020, 12:42 PM   #8
tangolima
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How do you get rid of the water trapped, say between hole and pin?

-TL

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Old January 26, 2020, 03:11 PM   #9
Bill DeShivs
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A WD 40 spray should get rid of any trapped water.

Another good method of cleaning is a soak in a gallon can of mineral spirits.
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Old January 26, 2020, 04:17 PM   #10
tangolima
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I don't know. I don't trust spraying something will 100% displace the water. I always fully disassemble and clean with simple clean, dried with compressed air, oil, and reassemble. If I ever ultra sound clean without disassembly, I will bake to rid of trapped water.

Does anyone here use wd40 after ultra sound? Wasn't it considered not kosher for gun actions? I don't know as I don't use it.

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Old January 26, 2020, 04:24 PM   #11
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I went up to a USC designed for gun cleaning. Most of the inexpensive ones and even some of the not-so-inexpensive ones designed for laboratories or jewelry or other general-purpose cleaning produce about 35W of ultrasonic power per gallon of liquid. The gun cleaning one is 100W per gallon. It has you use their cleaner, then a water rinse, then a soak in water-displacing oil. I prefer the latter to WD-40, as WD-40 dries tacky, so I always feel like I need to follow it with mineral spirits to get rid of the WD-40 before the gun becomes a lint magnet. An oil or preservative lube then has to be applied.

Anyway, the bottom line is there is a process involved. Is it better than manual cleaning to do all that? For detail cleaning, yes, it's definitely better. For just cleaning a bore and chamber for the next day, I don't find it easier. YMMV.
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Old January 26, 2020, 06:38 PM   #12
2wheelwander
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I like the mineral spirits idea. Disassembly and compressed air have been my friend followed by gun oil.

So far I've only done SS guns. I'm hesitant to try a blued gun. I have an old H&R .22 I was going to give it a whirl just for giggles. I'd never toss a collectible in there, but I'd like to hear others experiences.
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Old January 26, 2020, 07:17 PM   #13
tangolima
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From time to time I run into actions that I don't want, or am unable, to fully disassemble. For those, I have a few options. Oil bath is to submerge the assembly into clp (breakfree). Solvent bath is with denatured alcohol. The latter is followed by compressed air and oil.

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Old January 26, 2020, 07:31 PM   #14
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If anyone is truly worried about retained water you can just blast with compressed air, place in a convection oven on low, or....
Use a second tray filled with the light oil of your choice, set the gun inside, then place tray into the solvent.
The U/S waves will carry through both fluids and work the oil into all the nooks & crannies.
Hang it up over the tray to capture oil drippings, then wipe down.
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Old January 26, 2020, 09:06 PM   #15
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Sounds a lot like cleaning a black powder revolver. Dunk it in a tub of water, scrub it with some Dawn and blow it off with the compressor, and then hose it down with WD40. Give it a wipe down after it drips for a bit. Have had no issues doing this.
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Old January 26, 2020, 09:49 PM   #16
Bill DeShivs
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WD 40 does not dry tacky!
ALL oils will eventually dry and get sticky. WD 40 is no worse than any oil.
If you use enough of it it will displace any water in your gun, and it's fine to use on guns.
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Old January 27, 2020, 09:54 AM   #17
Hal
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I've always just run the hottest tap water I could get over my stainless guns & black powder guns that are/were blued.
Once the metal heats up, the water evaporates almost instantly.
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Old January 27, 2020, 02:11 PM   #18
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Bill, your experience just doesn't match mine. I see less tack and lint pickup with several other gun oils. Currently am using mostly Sprinco Machine Gunners Lube.
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Old January 31, 2020, 03:54 AM   #19
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Might be fun to belong to a gun club that had bought a big ultra sonic unit that the members could use. In my youth I belonged to a couple different hobby clubs that bought expensive equipment, not really practical for an individual to buy, and then let the members use the devices for free or a very low cost.

I bet there are clubs out there doing this already.
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