Gun Cleaner ruined my gun!!

This is a discussion on Gun Cleaner ruined my gun!! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have been in contact with hoppe's back and forth getting the run around for a week now after my Remington 552 speedmaster's finish came ...

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Thread: Gun Cleaner ruined my gun!!

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    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    Gun Cleaner ruined my gun!!

    I have been in contact with hoppe's back and forth getting the run around for a week now after my Remington 552 speedmaster's finish came off after using their Elite foaming cleaner. I have cleaned this gun a hundred times before and never had any problems with the baked on finish or anything. The first time I tried this stuff (yes i followed directions PRECISELY, and there were NO cautions or warnings anywhere on it) it took off the finish where it had ran and sat for maybe five minutes max!

    I had high hopes that Hoppe's would stand behind their product and after talking/emailing/sending pictures to people with no response I finally got in touch with the head of their customer service. He was kind but informed me that 'Our elite cleaners don't ruin finishes, it must be a problem with YOUR gun. Any time a finish has been ruined in our tests of our products on a firearm, we contact the manufacturer and they say, oh yeah, that was a bad batch of finishes on those guns...' Well just to be sure I called Remington, (who were very helpful in comparison to the people at Hoppe's) they looked up the serial number and hadn't heard anything about a 'batch of bad finishes'.

    Well even if it HAD been a supposed batch of bad finishes, again, why is it that I had cleaned this gun many many times with all sorts of different cleaners and all with results that hadn't ruined the finish on my firearm!
    Anyone have any similar experiences?? Any advice on anything else I can do to encourage Hoppe's to stand behind their products and make this right???

    Thanks much!

    Here are the directions it said for using the cleaner...Directions: Unload firearm. To deep clean and condition the metal, foam the cleaner onto the surface (bore or exterior). Let sit 1 to 5 min. On exterior scrub with bristle brush and wipe clean. For the bore, hole the firearm vertically (up and down) place the nozzle into the bore opening (muzzle or breach), and depress the finger pump until the bore is filled, allowing gravity to pull foam into the bore. For smaller bores (.17 to .22) apply foam slowly. There may be excess foam at the opening however it will dissipate in a minute or so. Use bore brush or gun patches as normal. Repeat entire process until patches are white or lightly gray. Difficult build up of lead copper or rust may require more dwell time and brushing. For max performace us hoppes elite gun oil or field cleaner to lubricate and prevent rust.

    Here's the emails I sent to Hoppe's already

    To: slarimer@bushnell.com
    Subject: FW: Elite foaming cleaner and my speedmaster
    Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 10:43:42 -0600



    To: ssmith@bushnell.com
    Subject: FW: Elite foaming cleaner and my speedmaster
    Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 00:48:19 -0600

    Not to be a nuisance, but I still have not heard anything from your company regarding the email below. please call me or give me the number of who I need to talk to to get this resolved in a timely manner.
    Thank you

    From:
    To: ssmith@bushnell.com
    Subject: Elite foaming cleaner and my speedmaster
    Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 0846 -0600

    Steve,

    I appreciate you taking the time to look at my firearm and see what can be done in getting it back to how it was. I am an avid sportsman and my family, friends, and I all spend many of our paychecks each year solely on firearms and hunting/cleaning supplies! We got a cabelas here and it's been heaven since! I keep all my guns VERY clean, and clean them after any time they've been fired.

    I own a few of your bore snakes and was happy with the way they'd helped clean my shot guns, and so I hoped the same out of this new foaming cleanser I tried at the recommendation of a cabela's store associate. I read and followed the directions near-perfect if not completely perfect, and there were no warnings on this product or any ingredients of what it contained for me to know it would cause any problems with my firearm.
    As I wiped away where some had ran and sat while i had it foaming in the action, it started taking off the finish right along with it. This gun looked beautiful before hand and was given to me by my father, there were no dings or peeling up or flaking anywhere on the gun that would've allowed it to get under and cause it to remove the finish to turn it to it's current state you can see in the picture below. I have trusted Hoppe's brand with products I have purchased in the past, and I hope to be able to continue to know that I am able to trust the company and products you represent and that you stand behind your products also.
    Please call me as soon as you're able on my cell and for some reason if i dont answer, please leave a message with a way to get back in contact with you.

    Thank you

    -

    Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 0750 -0700

    ARGGGHHHHHHH!!!! Anyway, if you don't have any ideas as to what I can do or a way to encourage them to make this right, please at least take this as a warning to stay away from the Elite foaming gun cleaner. It's my hopes you don't have to deal with them and their poor customer service!

    Thanks for letting me vent!
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    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

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  3. #2
    AEA
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    Well,

    All I gotta say is you should have stuck with something that you knew worked (#9).

    Thank's for the heads up on a possible faulty product.

  4. #3
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    FYI, the Outers brand foaming bore cleaner stripped the finish off the alum. receiver on a 10/22 Ruger I cleaned as well. Luckily for me it was on the inside of the receiver. Seems the bore cleaners are harsh enough to remove baked on finishes.
    I hope Hoppes makes it right for you.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  5. #4
    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    The maddening thing was that I used the product EXACTLY like it said! If I had thought there was a chance of it ruining my finish I never would've let it touch anywhere near it! In fact it says in the directions to apply everywhere on the gun!
    AHHH.
    I am honestly so upset with all of this! I took it to a gunsmith and he said he wasn't surprised about the cleaner taking off the finish and quoted me $75 to fix it. I guess that's what I'll have to do, it's not a lot of money but really just the principle behind it that a company would just say to someone who trusted them to buy their products, Tough Luck, and then hang them out to dry. And the bad thing for them is now I will NEVER buy another product from them again! They probably don't care because they're huge, but with how much I spend on cleaning supplies and all my friends and family, they would've had that $75 back EASY within a year, plus instead of me getting on here venting about how awful my experience has been, i'd instead be talking about how great to work with they are. I just really don't understand a company not taking responsibility for their products!
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    The problem with changing cleaners is that if one cleaner is not completely removed from the firearm it may have an unexpected chemical reaction with another cleaner. This is why I stay with Hoppes #9, I have used it since I was a teenager and it always gives me satisfactury results. Some cleaners and chemicals have adverse effect on me so I avoid trying them. You might want to check what chemicals are in the other cleaners you have used. It is never wise to cross contaminate with cleaners.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Sorry for your troubles. I've always stuck with good old CLP Breakfree and never had any problems. I'd go ahead and get it fixed by a competent smith(save all receipts, correspondence and pictures) and then continue pursuing hoppes.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
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  8. #7
    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Sorry for your troubles. I've always stuck with good old CLP Breakfree and never had any problems. I'd go ahead and get it fixed by a competent smith(save all receipts, correspondence and pictures) and then continue pursuing hoppes.
    Sounds like good advice... I just tried calling the supervisor of the last person I talked to, they're supposedly out of town for a few days, so I will email them and just keep going up the company until the president tells me to quit bugging him, or they agree to get my gun back to how it was before I used their product.
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

  9. #8
    Member Array hedgehog's Avatar
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    i don't use hoppes anymore, that stuff is junk.

  10. #9
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    Buy your self a can of EEZOX its a dry lub that dries clear, prevents rust, removes lead & copper deposits, does not collect lint or dust, this stuff is used by the navy seals around salt water with lasting protection, trust me you cant go wrong with it IV'e been using it for years on everything that needs lubing, guns fishing reels, locks bolts etc, i know i sound like a commercial but really love this stuff & believe me i tried them all

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Well even if it HAD been a supposed batch of bad finishes, again, why is it that I had cleaned this gun many many times with all sorts of different cleaners and all with results that hadn't ruined the finish on my firearm!
    Playing the devil's advocate for a moment, all you know for certain is: you happened to use a given cleaner during the last cleaning when the failure of the finish was noticed. But that doesn't prove that the specific last cleaner used was the culprit.

    In the same manner as how you always find the thing you're looking for in the last place you look, the last cleaner you used coincided with the finish showing a problem. Doesn't mean the finish or the cleaner was necessarily, absolutely, the culprit.

    You may never know the true cause.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Member Array mikeprekopa's Avatar
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    wow, hope you get everything straitened out. hate to hear of something like this on a gun with history (coming from your father, and possibly passed down... )
    NREMT-B

    "Dead is dead"
    "Yea, till we show up with jumper cables and drugs to debate it"

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    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    In regards to the 'never knowing the culprit'... I guess there's an outside chance that could be true, that it's just a big coincidence that things worked out that way, but i'm telling you, the rest of the finish on the gun was flawless. I had gone camping/bunny blasting 2 weeks ago and cleaned it when I got home, then I used it the very next weekend and cleaned it when I got home again. the only difference between week 1 and week 2 was the hoppe's elite foaming cleaner.
    It COULD just be a coincidence, but I am 99.99999% sure that it's not.
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

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    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    stay away from the foam

    well, that really sucks. finger pointing at the foam sounds about right.
    thanks for the heads up on the foam spray. too bad about the sacerfice.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    My suggestion since the customer service supervisor blew you off is to send a certified letter to the CEO of the company that produces the cleaner. Let them know that you have already posted your bad experience on an internet board with a high readership of gun owners, and that you intend to continue with similar posts on other gun boards. Also, you will submit a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, as well as your state's attorney general or consumer affairs commission. Be polite and respectful, but let them know that you believe them to be responsible and expect them to take care of the problem. I have had success with this method (I once received a personal phone call from the CEO of Circuit City Superstores when I went this route with a problem that I experienced. Of course, I had also threatened legal action, but bottom line is that my problem was quickly solved).

  16. #15
    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squawker View Post
    My suggestion since the customer service supervisor blew you off is to send a certified letter to the CEO of the company that produces the cleaner. Let them know that you have already posted your bad experience on an internet board with a high readership of gun owners, and that you intend to continue with similar posts on other gun boards. Also, you will submit a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, as well as your state's attorney general or consumer affairs commission. Be polite and respectful, but let them know that you believe them to be responsible and expect them to take care of the problem. I have had success with this method (I once received a personal phone call from the CEO of Circuit City Superstores when I went this route with a problem that I experienced. Of course, I had also threatened legal action, but bottom line is that my problem was quickly solved).
    That is fantastic advice! I actually just last night did a few of those things. I found out who the supervisor of the supervisor I last talked to was and got their email address. The parent company of Hoppe's I found out also in my dealings thus far is Bushnell. How do I go about finding the CEO?
    The CEO like you stated is a better route I believe! I will do exactly as you said... Here's what I already wrote and sent:

    to:mjones@bushnell.com
    Mary-

    My name is ------- and I've been in touch with some people who work under you in your department. I have had some problems with a bottle of Hoppe's Elite Foaming cleaner and my rifle; I used it and it took the finish off!

    I was very upset and hoped that I could get things worked out with your company but the people I talked to (I don't know if they just plain don't believe me and think i'm some sheister who is out to take advantage of them or simply just don't care) seemed unable or unwilling to help fix the problem.

    Just so you will know what's going on, here are the emails back and forth we've had:

    (then I have all the emails back and forth that i've written with people, I think all are already posted in my initial post)

    As you can see Mary I have been in pretty good contact with your department! I called first and talked to someone who told me I needed to email steve smith, and that he was the professional on this and he'd look at the email and picture and write me back that day. Well steve never emailed me, after two emails to him with no response in two days I then called to talk to his supervisor and was directed to Shawn Larimer. Shawn was much better in at least calling me back, but said there was nothing he could do to fix the problem with my firearm. He said that he talked with people who 'were in the know...' about it and that the problem was with my firearm and that all the testing that'd been done said that the only time the finish was removed with this product was when afterward they'd contacted the manufacturer and they'd say that there was a 'bad batch of finishes...'
    To me that sounded like he was just passing the buck on to someone else! However, I still called remington, they had never even heard of a 'bad batch of finishes' and looked up my serial number to see if there had been any problems with this 'batch' and of course they found nothing as I suspected they wouldn't!
    I have cleaned this gun MANY MANY times with a number of different products and have not had one ounce of trouble with any type of a 'bad finish' on my gun or anything! The one and only time I use the Hoppe's foaming cleaner, it stripped it right down to the bare metal!!! Bad Finish??? I call it a Bad Excuse for poor customer service and not standing behind your products and taking responsibility!

    That is not good enough for me!

    I have been a customer of Bushnell and Hoppe's for years and to know that you refuse to fix something your products caused when being used following the exact directions honestly makes me sick. I am relatively young in age, but I feel like i'm a little more old-school in the sense that when someone says they'll do something, you expect them to do it. To me a handshake is as good as a signed contract. And if my company or anyone else's does somebody wrong, they should do EVERYTHING they can to fix it and make sure that person is happy with it! I am not being irrational or greedy and saying I want some sort of punitive damage for my 'emotional harm' from this, I just want my rifle restored to how it was before it met your product!
    I want you to know that the $75 estimate I received from a local gunsmith to fix the finish on my gun would be FAR outweighed by the money my family and friends would have spent on your products even over the next year, and how much greater it would be over our whole lifetimes knowing and trusting a company and a product/brand name.
    The way things stand now I nor anyone close to me, would ever in a million years buy another product from your company.
    I plan on searching every site I can that sells this particular product and leaving reviews that match how my experience has been. I am an active member of many online hunting/gun forums that will ALL hear about my experiences with Hoppe's cleaners and the lack of support I received. I will be contacting the Better Business Bureau and listing a formal complaint with them and even going so far as to speak to the managers of Cabela's to try and get them to pull this particular product from their shelves, or at least to many sales associates and let them know that if someone comes in asking for a cleaner to definitely not recommend this one!

    I will not be doing this because I want revenge somehow or am just vindictive, but because hopefully someone reading these reviews or who reads the forums, or shops at Cabela's or whatever, will think twice about purchasing a product from your company and then would not have the head ache of having one of their prized possessions ruined and being told by the company they trusted and that was responsible, that it's just too bad and there's nothing to be done.

    If your company would handle this appropriately it could be the exact opposite! I would be praising your name from the rooftops and people would know from me that Hoppe's / Bushnell is a great company that stands behind their products if something goes wrong with them even if there is a so-called 'bad finish' involved.

    Mary, I hope you can understand my frustration and where I am coming from with this.
    Please respond as soon as is possible.

    Thank you for your time

    For your reference, here are the directions as listed on the bottle I purchased. There are absolutely NO warnings or Cautions and I followed these exactly! And NO, i'm not some idiot who says, "oh the coffee didn't warn me it was hot, and i got burned, so it's THEIR fault for not warning me coffee is hot..."
    I am very familiar with firearms, would like to think i have pretty good common sense, and I know how to properly clean a gun.

    Directions: Unload firearm. To deep clean and condition the metal, foam the cleaner onto the surface (bore or exterior). Let sit 1 to 5 min. On exterior scrub with bristle brush and wipe clean. For the bore, hold the firearm vertically (up and down) place the nozzle into the bore opening (muzzle or breach), and depress the finger pump until the bore is filled, allowing gravity to pull foam into the bore. For smaller bores (.17 to .22) apply foam slowly. There may be excess foam at the opening however it will dissipate in a minute or so. Use bore brush or gun patches as normal. Repeat entire process until patches are white or lightly gray. Difficult build up of lead copper or rust may require more dwell time and brushing.
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

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