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Old August 22, 2021, 04:09 PM   #1
Dave P
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Backstrap cleaning?

I picked up a new stainless colt the other day. Impressed with the build quality. Gap between cylinder and forcing cone is tiny, but of course I am still getting lead deposited on the backstrap.

Too many years, I forgot how I cleaned my last S&W. Will a brass brush mar the stainless? Or can you suggest a better way?

TIA
Dave
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Old August 22, 2021, 04:16 PM   #2
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A brass/bronze brush can leave brush marks on stainless depending on the brush and the stainless alloy and how it's finished.

It doesn't take much to show up on a polished stainless finish. Matte, bead-blasted or brushed finishes will be a bit more resistant to such things.
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Old August 22, 2021, 05:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave P View Post
I picked up a new stainless colt the other day. Impressed with the build quality. Gap between cylinder and forcing cone is tiny, but of course I am still getting lead deposited on the backstrap.
Lead on the backstrap?
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Old August 22, 2021, 08:09 PM   #4
44 AMP
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but of course I am still getting lead deposited on the backstrap.
If you mean the part of the frame above the cylinder, the term is "Topstrap"

If you mean the rear of the grip frame, the word is "Backstrap".

I assume you mean topstrap, so I'm wondering are you getting actual lead or just a grey buildup that is actually just carbon from the burnt powder??
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Old August 23, 2021, 09:16 AM   #5
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Yes, top strap is the right term, sorry. And yes, bit of lead buildup from lead bullets, in the top right corner.
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Old August 23, 2021, 09:37 AM   #6
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A small amount of solvent and a firm toothbrush should clean that up.
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Old August 23, 2021, 10:29 AM   #7
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I’d contact Colt, you shouldn’t be getting lead buildup on the top strap. Somethings not right and it needs to be addressed.
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Old August 23, 2021, 12:13 PM   #8
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the gun is new, so some issues are possible.

Generally speaking there are two reasons you get lead build up on the frame. The first is that your cylinder chamber mouths are not fully and correctly lined up with the barrel forcing cone. This results is shaving lead off the bullet (amount varies with degree of misalignment) and if bad enough results in "spitting" bits of lead out of the barrel/cylinder gap. A sharp edge in the right place left by machining and not properly polished out can do it, too.

This is a gun problem.

Another possibility is that your lead bullets are being very slightly melted during firing and a small amount of lead is being vaporized, and is condensing on the frame resulting in a lead "build up" there.

This is an ammo problem.

To check for spitting, put some white paper on both sides of the gun, far enough away so as not to be shredded from the gas from the cylinder gap alone (a few inches should do). Fire a round and check the paper. Torn by gas? ok, move them a back a little and try again. Look for holes and tears in the paper. Tiny little specks from burnt/unburnt powder is ok. Anything larger and perhaps jagged holes indicate larger things are hitting the paper, and that's from the bullet.

In extreme cases revolvers can be so out of time as to spit chunks large enough and hard enough to break skin.

If your new gun is spitting time to talk to the factory,

BUT before you do that shoot something ELSE in the gun to see if it spits with a different load, or not. IF its a gun problem it will be some level of problem with everything.

If the problem is the ammo, (and poor ammo can spit too) then other ammo should not show the same problem.

Clean the gun and run some tests, with different ammo, and your original ammo, cleaning inbetween. Nothing softer than steel (that isn't an abrasive) will harm the steel but it can "cloud" or dull a polished surface.

If you get lead build up with ammo A and not with anything else, the obvious answer is stop shooting ammo A, or put up with what it does and clean it regularly.

If you get build up with everything, then its time to talk to the factory and see about possibly repair.

SOME build up of carbon is normal. Nature of the beast.
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Old August 24, 2021, 10:17 AM   #9
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^^^^^^^^^^^ That, what 44AMP said
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Old August 24, 2021, 10:28 AM   #10
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
If you mean the part of the frame above the cylinder, the term is "Topstrap"
In which case, don't even worry about it. It's something, like the black rings on the front of the cylinder, that will just come right back the next time you shoot it.
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Old August 24, 2021, 07:36 PM   #11
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Trick I use to clean around forcing cone.
Select the solvent/cleaner/polish of your choosing.
Beg, buy, borrow or steal cotton string/twine (synthetic works but I prefer cotton).
Secure the pistol in your vice or other clamping fixture positioned to allow you to perform the Chattanooga Shoe Shine action with the string.
I have 3 different diameters of string; some guns have a really narrow space at the top of the forcing cone. I’ve tried looping the string around the cone and using a copping saw. That rigging seems like a great idea in theory but I haven’t developed that plan throughly yet.

After writing this it occurred to me. There may be few of us left who ever had a shoe shine. Perhaps there is a video with the song on the e-thingy.
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Old August 24, 2021, 09:56 PM   #12
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There may be few of us left who ever had a shoe shine.
Got a chuckle from that. I used to polish my black wingtips the first part of the weekend and spend the rest of it trying to get the polish off my hands. I did have occasion to get a couple of shoe shines at the airport when I traveled. Haven't seen a shoe shine station in a long time.
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Old August 24, 2021, 10:48 PM   #13
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I was in the Army in the 70s, I KNOW what a shoeshine is!
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Old August 25, 2021, 04:45 AM   #14
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I was in the Army in the 70s, I KNOW what a shoeshine is!
And a spit polish.
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Old August 25, 2021, 03:35 PM   #15
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Just try to keep any hair off of it and cut it as close to the ribs as possible.
Make some good batter and chunk it up and throw it in the frying pan
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Old August 25, 2021, 07:02 PM   #16
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An old ( or new ) Oral-B Toothbrush and solvent of your choice ... it won't hurt any finish .
The reason I said Oral-B is even Acetone doesn't melt them ... some cheap plastic tooth brushes will slowly dissolve when a good solvent ... like Ed's Red Bore Cleaner is used that has Acetone ... or other strong solvents in it ... auto brake cleaner is another .
Gary
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