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Bore scrubbing - ideas?
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March 4, 2024 - 12:35 am
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I’ve been focusing on bore scrubbing recently.  I’ve got lots of bore cleaners such as Eliminator, Wipe-out, Lead-out and others.  The patches come out dirty and dozens (and dozens) of patches later, they still come out dirty.  I’ve read recently about cutting up a copper pot scrubber (or brass wool) and wrapping strands of it around a brass bristle brush (possibly soaked with Kroil).  Anyone use a method like this.  Other ideas?  

I’m mainly working on old lever gun bores – many not in great condition.  .25 to .45 caliber.

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March 4, 2024 - 1:47 am
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You’ll probably make smoothbores out of them before you eliminate the last vestiges of powder fouling embedded in the corners of the rifling, pores of the steel, & probably shallow pitting.  I can’t see how any method of mechanical abrasion is going to reach into the places the fouling is embedded.  But what harm are these micro-deposits doing?  You’re using a bore-guide of some kind at the muzzle?  I’ve used 4-0 steel wool wrapped around a brush when I thought leading was a problem.

Doubt Kroil is as effective as chemical cleaners.  Tried Ed’s Red?

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March 4, 2024 - 5:19 am
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Steve-

My recent adventures with 5744 have given me more practice than I wanted at scrubbing. The answer to your question lies in identifying the material fouling your bore. Powder and lube fouling will respond to Hoppes #9 and patient scrubbing with a nylon brush. Lead fouling will respond to Hoppes and then maybe Kroil and a bronze brush. Copper fouling will respond to a bronze brush and a copper solvent, the brush will likely not survive. IMHO a stainless bore brush should NEVER be used in a vintage Winchester bore. Patience will be important with powder and lead fouling, it’s taken me all week to clean a bore fouled by 5744 and cast bullet lube. I’ll brush with solvent and let it soak awhile, often several hours. Then I’ll patch it out then brush it with solvent and let it soak again. Repeat as necessary. The more aggressive copper solvents should be used as directed. Patience. I prefer watching old movies and drinking good whiskey to endless scrubbing. I’ll let the solvent do all the hard work.

 

Mike

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March 4, 2024 - 1:53 pm
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  Steve.

 I don’t use black powder so I only use Hoppes #9, but it takes time. I run a wet patch down the barrel and leave it set muzzle down on a patch. Repeat twice daily until patch is no longer dirty. It will turn green after the lead is out then when no longer green the copper is out. No brushes just time to soak and drain. Sometimes a week but it only takes a couple of minutes out of each day. The Hoppes does it with time of wet soak. If your can’t live with a ruff barrel shoot jacketed bullets for a while.

                   T/R

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March 4, 2024 - 2:25 pm
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I only use smokeless powder and hoppes #9.  When I can I shoot 1-2 jacketed bullets after 5-6 rounds of lead. The 3 powders I use are 4198, 4227, and 5744. The 5744 is for 40-82, 45-90 and 50-110, as you don’t need a filler.  I only shoot paper, too old to hunt. Am I correct the jacketed bullets will help remove lead fouling?  I reload 13 cartridges from 25-20 to 50-110, got to keep the bore clean..Bill

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March 4, 2024 - 3:01 pm
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426crown said Am I correct the jacketed bullets will help remove lead fouling?

That’s what I’ve read many times, though I suspect “diminish” is more accurate than “remove.”

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March 4, 2024 - 4:11 pm
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Clarence, That is why I only shoot 1 or 2 thru a Non Nickle steel Barrel..Don’t want to diminish the Lands and Grooves..

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March 4, 2024 - 5:25 pm
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When lead bullets are cast, sized, lubed and loaded properly there will be little or no lead fouling. After initial cleaning I only have powder and lube fouling to deal with. Same is true with BP cartridges but I’ll use Windex with vinegar to remove the fouling.

 

 

Mike

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March 4, 2024 - 5:43 pm
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I use Shooters Choice MC 7 and stiff nylon brushes.  I let it soak for days if I have to.  I also follow up with Gun Scrubber.  The gun scrubber is a solvent that gets into all of the cracks and even after all your patches come out clean this stuff will get more.

https://shop.egoods365.com/product/SHCMC716EA/Shooter's+Choice+MC+%237,+Solvent,+Liquid,+16oz,+Bore+Cleaner+Conditioner,+Glass+Container+SHF-MC716?src=mrcht2des01&cmp=ctclw&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiA_5WvBhBAEiwAZtCU7y0dmzj8wvOilBfPdZy8u9rK1WJV0I5x04ToGqVECZ7x70fnRIWgORoCAm4QAvDBwE

https://www.birchwoodcasey.com/products/gun-scrubber-single-purpose-firearms-cleaner-13-fl-oz-aerosol.html

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March 5, 2024 - 12:52 pm
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Wow – all of these suggestions, comments and experiences are very helpful.  Thanks to all who contributed.

I can see where I need to adjust my expectations.  

Years ago a friend used an Outer’s Foul-out electronic type cleaner (steel rod down the bore with the bore plugged and a chemical fluid filling the bore).  He was only shooting modern rifles.  I see there were had been three successive versions of this device – all discontinued.  My friend thought it did very well at getting everything out.  I recall there was a chemical for lead removal and one for copper removal.  One advantage was the device required little elbow grease.

I know with pitted bores, lead will fill the pits.  I suppose this isn’t necessarily a problem?

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March 5, 2024 - 1:41 pm
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Steve-

If lead would fill the pits and stop that’s one thing. Unfortunately the lead and other fouling continue to accumulate. I wasn’t aware the reverse electrolysis machines had gone away. Toxic chemicals, maybe?

 

Mike

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March 5, 2024 - 7:51 pm
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TXGunNut said
Steve-

If lead would fill the pits and stop that’s one thing. Unfortunately the lead and other fouling continue to accumulate. I wasn’t aware the reverse electrolysis machines had gone away. Toxic chemicals, maybe?

 

Mike

  

Mike –

Most devices come with user manuals and instructions.  There are some devices where reading the manuals and following the instructions are particularly important.  I suspect this is true of the Foul-out devices.  I also suspect that of the many people who did not follow the instructions received a unsatisfactory result and complained, sent it back etc.

I’ve been trying to get many of my bores in optimal shape as I am switching to the encapsulated Bear Creek bullets.  I have ordered thousands of them and will be shooting them in a large variety of calibers from .25 to .45.  They claim that bores need almost no cleaning when these are used.  If they don’t leave behind lead, copper or lube fouling, all that is left is powder fouling?

They’ve been around 30 years or so and I’ve read nothing but positives about their bullets.  

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March 6, 2024 - 3:12 am
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Steve-

Are these Bear Creek bullets powder coated? I’ve known several casters that made them, always heard good things. Several even had some fun with the different colors available. I don’t mind most powder and lube fouling but sometimes the combination has the consistency of tar. I like the old school lubes, I even use LLA now and then when I cast for pistols. That lube with a clean burning pistol powder makes me wonder why I bother to clean a pistol after shooting.

 

Mike

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March 6, 2024 - 12:39 pm
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To get the best condition out of some of the sewer pipe barrels in my stable, I use Kroil and JB bore paste.  Once I see shine, using the bore scope, then I know it’s the best it’s ever going to be…

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

WACA #10293

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March 6, 2024 - 8:37 pm
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The worst thing I did was to buy a bore scope.  It taught me that I had no idea of how to clean a barrel.

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March 7, 2024 - 12:07 am
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TXGunNut said
Steve-

Are these Bear Creek bullets powder coated? I’ve known several casters that made them, always heard good things. Several even had some fun with the different colors available. I don’t mind most powder and lube fouling but sometimes the combination has the consistency of tar. I like the old school lubes, I even use LLA now and then when I cast for pistols. That lube with a clean burning pistol powder makes me wonder why I bother to clean a pistol after shooting.

 

Mike

  

Mike –

Here is Bear Creek’s description of their bullets:

Bear Creek Supply bullets (BCS) undergo a very unique coating application process that allows lead bullets to perform to their full potential. This coating is a strong, high-temperature polymer containing a mix of proprietary lubricants that is permanently bonded to the bullet and is not a simple tumble-on dry powder coating like that which is utilized for jacketed rifle bullet use. Because of the unique properties that makeup our coating, BCS bullets have the lowest bullet-to-bore friction of any projectiles available on the market today. This coating creates a hard shell that is chemically and physically bonded to the bullet and because of this, lead never touches the bore, it gets rid of human contact with lead during the loading process, and it eliminates leading in the barrel of the gun so the need for bore cleaning is practically gone.

​Here is a link – take a look at what one of their melted bullets looks like:

https://www.bearcreeksupplybullets.com/aboutourbullets

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March 9, 2024 - 12:31 pm
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Steve,

I’ve had really good results using this Big 45 Frontier metal cleaner. I just wrapped a small bit around a nylon brush with Pro-Shot 1 step.

big45metalcleaner.com

https://www.proshotproducts.com/1-Step-CLP-8-fl-oz-Bottle_p_1044.html

Darrin

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March 9, 2024 - 4:19 pm
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Darrin Smith said
Steve,

I’ve had really good results using this Big 45 Frontier metal cleaner. I just wrapped a small bit around a nylon brush with Pro-Shot 1 step.

big45metalcleaner.com

https://www.proshotproducts.com/1-Step-CLP-8-fl-oz-Bottle_p_1044.html

Darrin

  

Darrin – 

Thanks for the input.  Do you happened to know if the formula changed in the past few years.  The bottles used to be marked, “not hazardous” quite prominently on the front.  Now they are no so marked.

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March 9, 2024 - 5:14 pm
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steve004 said Do you happened to know if the formula changed in the past few years.  The bottles used to be marked, “not hazardous” quite prominently on the front.  Now they are no so marked. 

Generally “not hazardous” equates to “not effective.”

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March 9, 2024 - 8:35 pm
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steve004 said

Darrin Smith said

Steve,

I’ve had really good results using this Big 45 Frontier metal cleaner. I just wrapped a small bit around a nylon brush with Pro-Shot 1 step.

big45metalcleaner.com

https://www.proshotproducts.com/1-Step-CLP-8-fl-oz-Bottle_p_1044.html

Darrin

  

Darrin – 

Thanks for the input.  Do you happened to know if the formula changed in the past few years.  The bottles used to be marked, “not hazardous” quite prominently on the front.  Now they are no so marked.

  

I’m thinking someone took it as a challenge.

 

Mike

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