Author Topic: Bore Cleaning - Part II  (Read 5545 times)

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Offline Hawks Feather

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Bore Cleaning - Part II
« on: May 14, 2008, 05:00:19 PM »
Bore Cleaning – Part II

Bore cleaning is something that some people get worked up about and for different reasons.  Some think that they have the only way to clean a bore, others seldom do it at all, and then there is me who is always looking for the “new” best thing to use.  Over the years I have tried many different products.  Some of these have worked pretty good and other only so-so.  The so-so products have usually left with the next trash pickup and some of the pretty goods have been accumulating dust in a crate where I keep them.  More on these items a little later.  Think of the time you spend cleaning your bore as an insurance policy on your firearm.  If you can afford a replacement barrel or replacement firearm then don’t worry about the bore.  If you are like most of us and don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on a new barrel or new firearm then you need to take care of the one you have.  One quick and slightly related item is to run a patch around the chamber of your gun when you are finished cleaning.  I usually do this on my second patch with TSI or oil.

Despite the many ads, cleaning a bore is not something that is easily done.  You are attempting to remove burn on residue left where there has been an explosion.  Leading that explosion is a piece of copper that has a tendency to start to spin as it goes down the bore and also is leaving little bits of copper on the lands of the rifling. Right behind the chunk of copper is carbon and other bits of debris that are trying to get around the copper while leaving traces in the grooves and on the lands of the rifling.  That was the first shot, but who stops there?  Very few people do and as the shots continue, the buildup continues as well.  Hum, never thought of it that way.  It is similar to way layers of rock were formed, only it is happening in the bore of your rifle – layer after layer with each shot fired.

Bore Snakes are very good at what they were designed to do – get the top layer of crud out of your bore.  And if that is you want, then they work fine.  I have several that I have tried at the range where I had time to check their effectiveness with the Hawkeye Bore Scope.  They got the top layer off and removed enough of the carbon on the lands to make the barrel look presentable, but it was not clean.  I could still see burnt carbon in the grooves and lands.  Now in all fairness to the Bore Snake, I did only pull it through about 20 times and was using Shooter’s Choice as a cleaner.  Did the snake come out dirty?  It sure did.  Did it completely clean the bore?  Nope.  Is it better than leaving your barrel just sit there after shooting?  It sure is.  So while I am not encouraging anyone NOT to use a Bore Snake, I am encouraging you to follow up later with a good cleaning.

A good one-piece, coated, cleaning rod really helps.  Is it worth the money?  To me the answer is yes, but I can’t speak for everyone.  I have several sets of takedown rods and have worked them so that they are not as bad as they originally were.  If you are wondering what I am talking about, screw your cleaning rod together and then run your fingers over the joints.  If you can feel any ridge, you have a potential problem.  If you have a drill you can greatly improve your jointed rod.  Just get some wet or dry sandpaper, chuck the end of the rod in your drill and start turning.  While it is going around start going back and forth over the joint with sandpaper.  I would start around 300 and go up to about 600 grit while using water or water with a little detergent in it as a lubricant.  It will not matter if when you are done there is a SLIGHT indent at the joint.  What you want to do is remove any edge that can cause a problem.

Next would be a bore guide.  I got mine before I bought my lathe, but now that I have it I think I could make a decent bore guide.   The guide inserts into the chamber and allows the cleaning rod to head directly into the bore and not keeps knocking the side of the chamber.  Many of the current ones also have an O-Ring that will seal the chamber and keep cleaning chemicals from getting into the action of your firearm.  If at all possible, clean your firearm from the chamber end and not the muzzle.  If you knick the crown on the muzzle you will probably have accuracy problems.

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Here is an assortment of bore guides.  There is also solvent port in the picture that can be used with many of the bore guides.

On to the chemicals.

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Left to right we have the Slip 2000, Wipe Out, and TSI 301.  These three I have used and like.  The Slip 2000 and Wipe Out are both bore cleaners while the TSI 301 is a lubricant/protector.

The SLIP 2000 is what I used in the other article and what I like best about it is that it does not contain any harmful chemicals and I don’t feel like I need to wear gloves when using it.

Wipe Out is another one that works well, but needs some time to work.  I used it on a cleaning job I took on a couple of firearms that had not been cleaned in a LONG time.  (If you use it a straw from MacDonald’s fits over the nose and can be placed into the chamber.)  I left the guns lay on their side over night and then ran brushes down the bore to help loosen the build up.  I did this for three or four days and most of the build up was gone.  There was still some work that needed to be done, but J-B cleaned the last of it out.  As with all cleaners, they will only remove the build up.  They will not fill in the pitting that has been caused by neglect.  The only problem with Wipe Out is that you do not want to allow it to lie on a wood stock.  That is unless you are planning to refinish the stock.

TSI 301 is my what I normally use to wipe down the metal parts on my guns after cleaning.  It works very well.

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Left to right: Montana X-Treme, Shooter’s Choice, Break-Free, and TM Solutions.  All are bore cleaners.

I would compare Montana X-Treme to Shooter’s Choice.  Both work very well when given a short period of time to start to soak into the build up.  Of the two, I like Shooter’s Choice a little better and have used it with a mix of Kroil, which seems to make it penetrate a little better.

Break-Free is one that I use at the range to remove any oil that might be left in the chamber and bore.  There is very little residue left and it evaporates relatively quickly.

Tom Meredith who is an accomplished maker, bedder, and painter of stocks makes TM Solution.  Tom is also a bench rest shooter and came up with this product that does not have ammonia in it.

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Left to right: Shooter’s Choice (bigger bottle), Hoppe’s, and Quick Scrub II.

Shooter’s Choice was covered above, but if you use much of it you are ahead to buy a larger bottle and pour it into the smaller container that you use.

Hoppe’s is one that anyone over 45 knows as the “original” solvent.  I like to open it up every once in a while just to bring back memories of many years ago.  It still works well, but I don’t like it as well as several of the newer products.

Quick Scrub II is a cleaner/degreaser and does a very good job at this.  I sometimes use it as a follow-up after the cream polishes.

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Left to right: Tetra Gun Bore conditioner, Blue Wonder, and RB-17.

Tetra Gun Bore conditioner is a product that I have not used.  It came in a set and the set was cheaper than the oil that I wanted.

Blue Wonder is biodegradable and is very similar to RB-17.  It is a decent bore cleaner and prior to SLIP was one of the few that you didn’t have to worry about getting on your hands.

RB-17 was the “original” biodegradable cleaner and while I am not sure, believe that Blue Wonder bought it out.

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Left to right:  Sweet’s 7.62 Solvent, Pro Shot Copper remover, and Bore Tech Eliminator.

Sweet’s 7.62 would work on copper fowling when nothing else would.  The problem is that you REALLY have to follow the directions or you might end up with an etched bore or be feeling a little goofy from the ammonia fumes. 

Pro Shot Copper remover was a little less toxic than Sweet’s, but didn’t give me as good of results.

Bore Tech Eliminator is what I am currently using and is ammonia free.  It works very well on copper.

Not pictured was Montana X-Treme’s Copper Cream, which I don’t like as well at the Bore Tech.

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Left to right:  Break-Free Bore Paste, Iosso Bore Cleaner, J-B Bore Cleaner, and J-B Bore Bright.

Break-Free Bore Paste, as all of these products, are designed as a bore cleaner and polisher.  It works, but I like the other three products better.

Iosso Bore Cleaner is similar to J-B Bore Bright and is best thought of as a high end bore polish.  You do not feel any grit, but it does polish up the inside of a bore.  The directions say to keep using it till the patch comes out white.  I set up a test to see if this was possible by using two rods – one regular steel and one stainless steel.  I chucked them up in a drill press and after about five or six rounds of patches had the nicest shine you can imagine.  But I also was still getting black patches.

J-B Bore Cleaner is an old product that works as good today as it did years ago when it first came out.  It has a slight abrasive in it that helps cut through layers of carbon and copper build up in the bore.  It is NOT the quickest product to use, but I love it to get the last bit of build up out of the grooves.

J-B Bore Bright is very similar to Iosso and designed to give a polish to your bore.  Works well.

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Left to right:  Bullfrog Lubricant and Rust Blocker, SLIP 2000 lube, Tetra Gun Oil, Montana X-Treme Bore Conditioner and Accuracy Oil.  All of these products are designed to prevent rust.

Bullfrog does work, but I don’t care for it on my firearms.  It leaves a thicker film than I like.  It might work best if you don’t have a gun safe and live in a humid area.

SLIP 2000 lube is what I have been putting on as a final coat to the bore of my guns.  It is very similar to thick oil and doesn’t seem to “run off” like some oils do.

Some gun writers promoted Tetra Gun Oil a few years back as the best thing ever.  It does prevent rust, but is thinner than SLIP.

Montana X-Treme Bore Conditioner and Accuracy Oil is thinner than I like if leaving a bore for an extended period of time.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Good shooting,

« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 02:03:08 PM by Hawks Feather »

Offline Frogman

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Re: Bore Cleaning - Part II
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 05:56:57 PM »
Very thorough write up.   Thanks.  Some I have, some i don't have, some I've never even heard of. 

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Offline FinsnFur

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Re: Bore Cleaning - Part II
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 06:26:25 PM »
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNICE little article, Jerry  :yoyo:
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Offline KySongDog

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Re: Bore Cleaning - Part II
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 06:24:52 AM »
Very nice article, Jerry.   :congrats: 

Questions:  Have you tried any of the Foaming Bore Cleaners such as Outers or Gunslick? 

Also, have you any experience with the electric bore cleaners?  Such as this one Electronic Bore Cleaner

Or is this stuff "snake oil"??? 



Offline Hawks Feather

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Re: Bore Cleaning - Part II
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 08:27:01 AM »

Wipe Out is one of the foaming cleaners.  I have a friend who has used Outers and when I looked at a small shot from his can, it looked and felt much like the Wipe Out.  Like Wipe Out he found that to get the job done he needed longer periods of time.  The good thing about foam is that you just shoot it down the barrel and leave it go.  Wipe Out has an accelerator that can be used with it, but I have not tried it.

As for the electronic units I have an "original" Outers Foul-Out that I got to get lead out of my pistols.  It works well, but does take some time. It usually takes several hours to get the lead out of the barrel.  For those who are interested, the electronic cleaners have a rod that goes into the bore of your firearm.  There are small O-Rings that go over this rod to keep it from making contact with the barrel and shorting out.  You use a rubber stopper to seal off one of the ends of the bore and chemicals are then put into the bore.  The Foul-Out that I have has two different chemicals that are used - one for lead and another for copper.  There are two alligator clips - one clips on the rod going down the bore and the other clips on any metal that is in contact with the barrel.  When the unit is plugged in there is basically a plating process taking place.  The plating is going from the lead or copper in the bore to the metal rod that is in the bore.  There are indicator lights that let you know that the unit is working, if there is a problem, or when it is done.  The only problem that I have had with mine is that the buildup on the rod happens pretty quickly (at first) and this slows the cleaning down.  I usually remove the rod and clean it every hour or so with a rag or steel wool.  There is a light that comes on when the unit thinks there is no more lead or copper to be removed, but I usually will again wipe down the rod and there will be some additional lead removed.  When the unit has finished removing the lead, I will run several patches with bore cleaner through the bore to neutralize any chemical that was used and then follow with a couple of lightly oiled patches.  The "negative" with electronic cleaners is the mess involved with pouring the cleaning chemicals down the barrel and making sure there are no leaks. 

The electronic bore cleaner you have linked is very similar to the Foul-Out that I have and the directions are the same.  The only difference I could see (from checking the EBC review) is that I have never had the bore cleaner bubble up like is pictured on page 8 of the review.

Having tried several of the "lead removers" with very little success, I like the electronic cleaner for removing lead from my pistols.  For copper, I feel that I can do a equally good job (with much less mess) by using one of the copper removal products.