Ultra sonic cleaners - pro and con?

Ultra sonic cleaners - pro and con?

This is a discussion on Ultra sonic cleaners - pro and con? within the Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; There are some mentions of this in other threads but I don't see any devoted to it. What types of guns work best in these, ...

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Thread: Ultra sonic cleaners - pro and con?

  1. #1
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    Ultra sonic cleaners - pro and con?

    There are some mentions of this in other threads but I don't see any devoted to it.

    What types of guns work best in these, what does not?
    Brand recomendations?
    Good and bad experiences?
    Is this too much of a lazy way out of what should be done properly with conventional methods???
    Etc. and Other

    Thanks for any information. I am toying with this idea as a Christmas gift for the husband. (oh, and I could use it too!!!! - the perfect gift )


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    mrm
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    I use one everyday for jewelry but have never done anything with firearms I wonder where the overall benefits might be.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
    - Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

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    Although the basic premise sounds logical, the solvent/cleaner would get into every nook and cranny, but how do you get it out? On a revolver it would work it's way into the internals with what result. Same with the frame of an autoloader. It would strip off every trace of lubrication and the gunk it loosened would now be loose in the workings. I'd pass and do it the old fashioned way.
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    Great for cleaning. I use one for pen points, jewelry, and small batches of shell casings. I'm limited by its size. A mild detergent solution is all that's needed for spotless cleaning.

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    good to go, just dont use it on ANY aluminum parts or frames...

    Ultra sonic + aluminum = bad

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    Here's a good review of the clear that Hornady makes [HTML]http://www.realguns.com/articles/202.htm[/HTML] Been thinking of getting it myself.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    We use one to clean rental guns at the range, we needed to clean a lot of extremely dirty guns fast and efficiently. Our biggest problem is the cost of the chemicals. We use them up kind of quick.

    I think the best way to clean my personal guns is an ultrasonic clean, then a follow up ultrasonic lube, then I finish up the lube with my preferred grease in specific areas. Right now I use X1-R.

    As for the machine we use, it occurs to me that I have no idea of the brand.
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    I certainly wouldn't go putting the whole gun into the bath - just detail parts, and only if you really needed to. I can't think of any parts on any of my guns that really needed more than a brush and solvent to clean, other than fouled bores.
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    I used ultrasonic cleaners for years to clean SCUBA gear, and that stuff gets really cruddy with the salt water and all. The condition of some of the equipment people trusted their lives to amazed me.

    Based on my experience, I think it would be great for cleaning "parts" of a disassembled firearm, but one that has only been "field stripped" the bits of trash would certainly work their way into places you might not want them. One also runs the risk of the ultrasonic vibrations loosening any platings that may have been applied. On bare steel, okay. On coated/plated items, probably not.
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    I recently picked one up at Harbor Freight and have used it a couple of times. I am also concerned with the cleaner lossening dirt/grit inside of areas I cannot access (an assembled slide, for instance). It works very welll with broken down components such as a dissasembled bolt carrier for my AR. I think it is a good addition to my ever growing collection of gun "stuff". Still experimenting and I am curious as to how you use the ultrasonic cleaner to clean your rentals at the range.
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    We field strip and wipe out the worst of the gunk and grunge with a shop rag. I remove wood grips, usually leave polymer ones on. I drop everything but the barrel into the tank and set it for 15 mins. Then I take the barrel and fill it with a bore cleaning foam. I set the barrel up to drain and in 15 mins it's usually done along with the rest of the gun. I rinse the parts in the sink blow off with compressed air, then into the lube bath for 5 mins. Blow out again and detail lube, usually with X1-R green grease. For revolvers I sometimes foam the barrel, clean it, then drop it in the cleaner to clean the rest of the gun. If we happen to have a lot of lead range ammo in the revolvers and they get really fouled, I'll clean the bore and chambers the hard way to scrub out all the lead, then use the cleaner if theres anything left.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring View Post
    good to go, just dont use it on ANY aluminum parts or frames...

    Ultra sonic + aluminum = bad
    Just curious....where did you hear this? I've never heard this before...
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    I had one of the HF models. I had been thinking about getting a better ultrasonic cleaner until I read somewhere about it being "bad" for certain alloys. IMHO if you used one and were particular about what part(s) you put in it, I think it would be fine. I also read that you should avoid putting your hand in it while running because the ultrasonic waves could have a long-term affect on bones. I don't know if any of this is accurate, and I post it here only as a precaution and something to consider?

    I bought a parts cleaner (small, but similar to those in a automotive shop) from HF, mixed up a gun cleaning solution and I'd wash/scrub field-stripped handguns in it, then blow them out with air pressure. It did a very good job.
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    "I also read that you should avoid putting your hand in it while running because the ultrasonic waves could have a long-term affect on bones."

    No. Doesn't happen. It's more a concern about the cleaners used.
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