How clean is clean?

How clean is clean?

This is a discussion on How clean is clean? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, I couldn't find any post about it. How particular should I be cleaning my barrels? I usually clean ...

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Thread: How clean is clean?

  1. #1
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    How clean is clean?

    Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, I couldn't find any post about it.

    How particular should I be cleaning my barrels? I usually clean them till there is no copper residue or lead remaining. This seems to take considerable time and I'm wondering if it is really necessary to clean to this degree? I was once told that the copper smooths the bore and makes the gun more accurate. Also it seems almost impossible to remove all lead from the bore (I no longer shoot un-jacket bullets. I have been using stainless steel pot scrubber strands wrapped around a brush to help the process. Does this harm the bore in any way?

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    I clean it spotless, but...
    a)I have never seen copper fouling in a pistol barrel
    b)The barrel has always been the easiest and quickest part of my pistol to clean
    ??
    What kind of products do you use? What kind of brush? Improper cleaning can and will harm the bore.

  3. #3
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    I have used Hoppes #9, Benchrest, IMpro, Rimfire, and another one (lead remover) that the name escapes me. I always use a bronze brush first and foremost. I have used a stainless brush on occasions but restrict its use for fear of harming the barrel.

  4. #4
    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    My pops taught me to take a solvent patch and just run it through the bore and leave it wet. Go clean the rest of the gun, then go back to the barrel. When you're done with the rest of the gun, run another wet patch through... wet, dry, wet, dry, until the dry patches come out clean. Then go give it about ten swipes with a GOOD brush (I learned the embarassing way, OTIS brushes rock!) soaked in your Hoppes no.9, then a wet patch again, and dry it out. Should be darn near spotless, don't forget some oil (orslip2000*cough*).

    Reading your post again... is this a rifle you are cleaning? Or maybe you got your information about barrel break in and copper fouling from information about a rifle? Totally different story if that's the case.

    And NEVER put anything stainless in your barrel. Brushes and bullets are made of softer material than barrels for a reason. If you scratched the inside of your bore, it will be MUCH more difficult to completely clean, as you may have added hundreds of tiny crevaces to catch carbon, copper, lead, dirt, pixie dust, and other things that are not conducive to accuracy, cleaning, or safety.

  5. #5
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    I've given them a lot of soak time including overnight. It just seems strange to me that I have so much fouling considering that I don't shoot all that much. Maybe I'm just too darn picky!

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    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    What have you left in it overnight? Copper remover, carbon solvent...?

    Most of that stuff will rust, corrode, and pit the heck out of your barrel if you leave it overnight. 10-12 minutes is my limit for letting copper cleaner sit in my rifles (never used it on a handgun).

  7. #7
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    I've left the #9 and Benchrest in barrels overnight but never the lead remover. Hoppes has no problems with overnight soaks at least with #9.
    BTW, I'm referring to cleaning handguns here. I've only used the SS brush in a SS barrel.

  8. #8
    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    I went to a smith a few months back because I thought I had a scratch in the barrel, but he didn't believe me. I went in and showed it to him, and he came back with it shinning like new. I asked him how he got it out and he said "I cleaned it" real quietly. I was a bit embarassed, but he told me to grab an OTIS brush before I left. Comparing the brush I was using and my new one was like night and day.
    Throw the stainless brush in the trash, give it a good scrub, and if it still is messed up go have a smith look at it. Sorry I couldn't help, but definitely keep that stainless brush away from any gun you care about.

  9. #9
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll find an OTIS brush and trash the SS one. Thanks for your advise.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    here's my method:

    1) I take the barrel and swab it with RB-17 using a bronze brush; I use a cleaning jag with a pad and run it through, then I swab another pass with RB-17 and the bronze brush again. I let this soak while I clean the rest of the gun, becuase this dissolves the copper fouling.

    2) I use a toothbrush soaked in break-free to clean the powder fouling from the rest of the gun. On my 1911, the grips come off, and it all gets scrubbed. After scrubbing with break free, I use a trichloroethane solutiion (like gun scrubber) over the whole gun and this cleans the break free and the fouling completely off, leaving the gun pristine. Mind you, I DO NOT use this on guns with wood stocks or sensitive plastic parts (like fiber sights).

    3) I then return to the barrel and clean out the RB-17 with a patch and a cleaning jag. Then, I run a patch soaked in break free down the barrel for corrosion protection. I run a silicon gun and reel cloth over the entire gun after I lube it back up with Castrol syntech.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  11. #11
    Member Array pete156's Avatar
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    I'm horribly picky myself, but I finally saw the light with the help of another shooting buddy. I was spending a good long while on just barrel itself when cleaning my firearms.

    Get yourself some of the non-chlorinated brake cleaner from the local auto parts store. Give the barrel a couple of quick shots and then run a bore snake through the barrel a couple of times.

    Whalaaa......A super shiny, super clean barrel in the matter of a minute.

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