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Thread: Question about aggressive barrel cleaning, what to use...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Question about aggressive barrel cleaning, what to use...

    I've got an M1 carbine that I don't believe has been cleaned since it was made! I've spent more than 5 hours scrubbing that barrel with 4 different solvents and worn out 4 phospor/bronze brushes and the patches are still coming out BLACK! Any suggestions as to what might work better at clearing the crud out of that barrel? I've tried Hoppes, Hoppes copper remover, Quick scrub and another foaming cleaner. Or do I just have to keep working on it til my arm falls off?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I had a Garand like that.
    I wasn't in a hurry, and just to see what would happen, every day or so I'd run a wet nylon bore brush in it.
    Then a dry patch, then a wet one with Hoppe's #9.
    ( I use nylon bore brushes since they don't rot or trash out nearly as fast)

    I had used almost a hundred patches before they stopped turning green.

    Its not a method to use for instant gratification,,,,,,
    But, the barrel sure came out nice, and there was no way I'd damage it doing that.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 05-18-2019 at 10:14 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    One thing is to fit the jag and batches to the bore so they are tight when cleaning. A lose patch jag combination dosnt clean or scrub as well. Use fresh brushes and don't reverse in the bore. On the solvents giving them time to work and loosen build ups helps. A mix I've really used a lot is kroil shooters choice mixed 50-50. Give time to work between applications. JB bore cleaner is a mechanical cleaner works well but requires a lot of scrubbing it gains nothing by soaking.

    A lot depends on the fouling your dealing with jacketed carbon or a combination of.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    For hard lead, I've used Char-boy on a rod, Creosote - mineral spirits, and copper - ammonia. Of course they all need the addition of elbow grease .

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    fiberoptik's Avatar
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    Following this theme, Iíve got an old 7x57 Mauser with a dark, pitted looking barrel....
    Same suggestions??


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    I am prolly gunna get in trouble here, but on really bad cases, and I see a lot of them, I have a cleaning rod that I chuck up with whatever cleaner I deem appropriate to the issue, and run it in my hand drill.. and I take a single patch and wrap it around the brush tight so the bristles poke through.. helps hold in the solvent. And I run it. Till it’s clean. Like was said before, no instant gratification. I also have a big pile of corks that I use to plug up barrels to let them soak. Clean, soak, drill, repeat.
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Carbine, I would if that bad first move full strip. Remove piston nut and piston, guess where extra crud goes? Invert (gas hole up) with muzzle slightly pitched down and just keep after it with the foaming. I hope you have some form of muzzle centering devise to eliminate knocking the muzzle out as you get to clean. I have recently been using the Bore Tech Eliminator and am very impressed so far, but I did not start that dirty it sounds.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    One (hopefully not me ) could open not a can, but a vat of worms discussing cleaning recommendations. There are many, many cleaning recco's printed in books, on-line, and i magazines -- not to mention local lore you can get from persons at the range.
    That said, I've become a fancier or the Otis-type pull through cleaning system, as it both enables breech to muzzle cleaning and almost eliminates the possibility/probability of doing damage to the muzzle.
    In a few (military) firearms I've had through the years, I think (not "know"!) one of the major cleaning challenges is what I call "layering". To wit, there'd be a layer of copper "plating" the bore; then, above it a layer of other residue; possibly some lead, though doubtful unless a reloader was a prior owner of the firearm; another layer of copper; etc., etc., etc., etc... Hopefully, you get the concept .
    I "discovered" Butch's bore cleaner, which pretty much replaced my use of Shooters Choice M7. Using either of these two has done remarkable cleaning of a layer for me. Then, use Sweet's or JB. CLEAN with (I use Ronson cigarette lighter fluid) something to hopefully prevent cleaner "A" from having a chemical reaction with cleaner "B"!!! And repeat; repeat; and repeat. A labor of love -- but it does have its rewards.
    Remarking again on chemical mixing -- I always keep in the back of my mind that Clorox is an ok over the counter product; as is Ammonia. But -- mix the two and you make a pretty deadly gas!
    After successful cleaning, I coat my bores with a thin application of G96 or Ballistol.
    BEST!
    geo

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    ATF with very tight patch's, followed by dry, then a very wet one. Let it soak for 4-8 hours. Repeat.

    When you think it is getting close go shoot 20 rounds through it and clean again.

    I had a pair of mosin's with very dark bores, very little rifling showing. By the time I was done it was clean and sparkling, with good rifling.

    I also like 1% carnuba wax in my BLL, just because it leaves the bores clean, shiny, and with a very thin protective layer.

    Same thing happened with my Yugo SKS, leaded it up with too small boolits and not good enough lube. Spent 3 days getting it all out. She shines now.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    ATF is wonderful stuff. One of the primary ingredients in Ed's Red. 50-50 ATF and acetone is a wonderful crud cutter and rusty thread breaker, works the same as Kroil and less expensive.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've cleaned some really nasty old barrels, for which Outer's foaming bore cleaner has made my life much easier. I fill the bore, let it set several hours in the bore, run a couple patches through and apply again until they come out reasonably clean. But those patches are (after the first few) coming out blue, not black. Is that thing of yours leaded up rather than jacket-washed? That would explain lack of effectiveness of your foaming cleaner. I have read that somebody makes a foaming cleaner for lead -- I'd be looking for that stuff if I had a badly leaded barrel.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm with GhostHawk,clean, then shoot a few rounds,then more Ed's Red while the barrel is still warm and let it soak overnight,thenbrush and shoot again. Check for accuracy improvement, and quit when it shoots to your satisfaction. I think sometimes we can overclean, and actually hurt the accuracy potential of old barrels.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    The foaming bore cleaner works well on jacketed fouling, most commercial cleaners work well but some are slower than others.

    Sometimes, and maybe it's just me, it seems to go better with the bore warm from firing. If the barrel is such that you cane see rifling in it I'd run a few rounds thru it at the range and start to clean right there, with the barrel still warm. It seems to go quicker to me.

  14. #14
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Like outpost said, soak with 50-50 ATF and acetone
    then wrap some chore-boy 100% copper pad strands around a cleaning brush then scrub and soak with the 50/50
    https://www.amazon.com/Chore-Boy-Cop.../dp/B006K3XS5A

  15. #15
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    For my approach to "aggressive" bore cleaning I wrap a patch around a brass brush, dip the very end of it in Hoppes #9, then smear some JB Bore on the patch and brush, brush, brush. For a M1 Carbine be sure to use a muzzle bore guide. Then I will spray it all out with Gun Scrubber from the muzzle. Soak overnight with more Hoppes and repeat the JB treatment. It WILL come clean, and JB won't harm the bore...but it may take several "treatments". Thankfully the M1 Carbine ammo was never loaded with corrosive primers, so it's just fouling from both copper and powder. Gotta scrub the daylights out of it...

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    If you have any, or can locate any locally, try Wipe Out or one of the other foaming cleaners. All that scrubbing could damage the muzzle.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Here's what I'd do. Wet a patch with Kroil and run it through the barrel and leave it sit 24 hours. Clean with your favorite bore cleaner, then patch dry. Now do the 24 hour soak with Kroil again. Clean with cleaner/dry patch. Then use JB Bore paste on it. Keep repeating this process until clean.

    Kroil has a way of "creeping" under fouling and loosening it from the barrel. Whatever method you use...its time consuming. There is not quick solution.

    redhawk

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  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    JB and Kroil, or JB with the 50-50 ATF-Acetone mix works well for metal fouled barrels.

    Also good (if you can find any) is the old fashioned cake Bon-Ami which we used to do windows when we were kids. Use this with hot water on a patch and work up a good lather, then clean with it as you would after firing GI ammo with corrosive primers. The very mild feldspar abrasive removes encrusted carbon, leading and metal fouling, but does not harm the underlying steel.

    After using the Bon Ami or JB paste flush the bore well with Ed's Red or Mil-C-372B and leave wet. Then clean again daily for a few days until you get no more black out.

    If you cannot find cake Bon Ami you can use the powdered Bon Ami or Bar Keeper's Friend by making a paste of this with ATF and use on a tight patch the same way you would use Brobst JB paste. Col. Maurice Kaiser of the USAMTU taught me this trick 50 years ago. He claimed to have learned it up from George Stidworthy at Camp Perry, having used it on smallbore target rifles once the old Stoeger and Parker-Hale X-ring paste were discontinued.
    Bert Rollins and Clint Fowler of the VA State Team also used it on their DCM-issued M14s when shooting M118 ammo. Bruce Wincentsen told me the Marines used it cleaning their Winchester Model 70s in the early Vietnam sniper days before the Remington M40.

    Apparently goes back a long way to the 1930s days of "tin can" ammo.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Lot of good solvent choices above. I like to plug the bore and fill it up with your solvent of choice. Let it work for a few days then brush and swab. I would be very careful with abrasives as I have seen many bores ruined. Go slow and easy. It’s a lot like cutting wood as you can always cut more but it’s hard to put it back. And I have seen some pretty ugly bores shoot pretty good. Sometimes shooting it warm and then proceeding to clean softens up the crud.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. First, I'm not a novice with carbines. I know about gas vents in the barrel and know that you can't fill the barrel and let it soak unless you remove the gas piston. I have the tools to do that along with the equipment to chase the threads in the gas cylinder to remove the staking before trying to replace the castle nut. I've been rebuilding carbines for myself and others for years. Second, I do use a rod guide to protect the muzzle from rod wear. I know cleaning from the muzzle can destroy accuracy. Third, if I have to, I have the equipment (barrel vise and correct receiver wrench to remove the barrel and to replace it) to remove the barrel for cleaning from the breach end. Fourth, I do wrap the brush with a patch to hold more cleaning solution. Fifth, I started out with a good soaking of foaming cleaner and let it work for 4 hours before starting the cleaning process. Sixth, I've already gone through over 200 patches and 4 new brushes! I've never seen so many layers of crud in a barrel!
    I do have some of the supplies that you guys have suggested using here like bartender's friend, acetone, Breakfree, Kroil, etc.... I'll give that approach a try. I'm not about to give up. That barrel WILL COME CLEAN! or I'll wear right thru the sides trying!
    And Marcopolo, I use the method you suggested for getting the plastic residue from wads out of the chokes in my shotguns. I works pretty darn well. I'm just not sure I want to try it on rifling.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check