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Thread: Hard carbon removal from surplus rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
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    Hard carbon removal from surplus rifle

    I have a surplus rifle that has a completely black bore. I can tell that it has strong rifling, but it looks like it has been completely covered in rhino truck bed lining. Iíve thrown all the cleaners I can think of at it over the past few months, including JB Bore Paste, and it looks a little better, but itís still black as the inside of a barbecue grill. Iím not getting any green patches with anything, but every so often Iíll get a grey patch with a very faint pale blue/green tint to it, so there may some copper in there too. What would you guys suggest to clean this sewer pipe looking bore?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Have you tried plugging the bore and filling it with solvent overnight?

    You do need something that wont attack steel if you try this.

    Robert

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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    Elbow grease, with a patch wrapped around a JB Bore inpreganated bore brush and then shoot some jacketed bullets in it until the bore is good and hot. Rinse and repeat.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
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    Not tried filling the bore yet, but I’m all out of elbow grease, and close to out of JB Bore paste. I’m guessing that this stuff has been there since the 40s, and probably has a whole war’s worth of junk in there. I’ll look at options for a soak tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Greetings,

    I had a similar task cleaning one of GrandPa's old A3-'03 rifles.

    After many strokes with Hoppes and a brass brush, I degreased the barrel and connected my Outers Foul Out with Copper electrolyte. Many hours later the bore started to come clean.

    I dumped the electrolyte routinely and pushed a patch through the barrel. It came out an ugly black color until the Foul Out had cleaned all the remaining crud out.

    Thinking back, this project took me quite a while to get all the Copper out.

    No Foul Out? Try some Sweets. Yes, it is nasty stuff so don't get any on you.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I had Mosins with that barrel condition.
    Mostly I filled the barrel with Ammonia and let it sit overnight.
    I sometimes had to repeat that several times just to get the copper out.
    For solid carbon , I used oven cleaner in a warmed up barrel.
    If those didn't work,
    My next step was soak the barrel in Vinegar.
    That does take off the bluing.
    But if it is that bad of a barrel ,I intend on totally rebuilding it anyway.
    But JB bore bright works good.
    It takes a long time and eventually you will wear off the sharp edges of the rifling.
    But I have used JB bore bright with lapping slug on cleaning rods that I made casting the slug with JB Weld

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Bore teck eliminator / wet mop and let soak re mop every 5 / 10 minuets then just let soak barrel down all copper and crud will come out won't hurt steel like sweets

  8. #8
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    Be patient with it. It took awhile for it to get that dirty. Don't get frustrated it also takes awhile to clean it all out.

    I had a Garand almost that bad.
    I ran a wet patch of Hoppe's #9 through it every day or so for several weeks before it looked new again.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    Be patient with it. It took awhile for it to get that dirty. Don't get frustrated it also takes awhile to clean it all out.

    I had a Garand almost that bad.
    I ran a wet patch of Hoppe's #9 through it every day or so for several weeks before it looked new again.
    Good advice. You can’t put metal back on. I use some JB, but sparingly.

  10. #10
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    While it's slow Wipe Out is the best product I have found for removing hard carbon.

    https://sharpshootr.com/wipe-out/
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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    Boolit Buddy Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    Be patient with it. It took awhile for it to get that dirty. Don't get frustrated it also takes awhile to clean it all out.

    I had a Garand almost that bad.
    I ran a wet patch of Hoppe's #9 through it every day or so for several weeks before it looked new again.
    I will say that Hoppe’s has had the greatest effect on it so far. At least now the grooves and lands are well defined. Originally it just looked like the smooth inside of a tailpipe. I was worried that it was shot out, but now I can tell that it has plenty of rifling left.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master hoodat's Avatar
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    Lye works good for softening or dissolving any organic substance including carbon. I don't think it will hurt steel, but I'd experiment first for sure. Hot caustic tanks is what they use, (or at least to) to clean engine blocks and heads, and it works great. It will eat aluminum though. jd
    It seems that people who do almost nothing, often complain loudly when it's time to do it.

  13. #13
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    About a year and a half ago I bought a used Ruger 1-V in 22-250 that had a barrel that sounds similar to the one you described. I also had bought an endoscope to view the bore, which was a revelation in itself.

    I learned a couple of things that I never realized before the first of which was that copper solvents will NOT remove hard carbon. I tried Hoppes, Butches, Sweets and Boar Hog. They were effective at removing the copper but still left the black hard carbon fouling.

    The only thing that I found that was able to remove it was Kroil and JB Bore paste, a copious amount of elbow grease and a LOT of patches.
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway!

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    Forrest's Foam
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  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Flintstone View Post
    I will say that Hoppe’s has had the greatest effect on it so far.
    I really like the stuff, and buy it by the quart.
    I even leave used wet patches on the bench until they dry out.
    They make great air freshener.
    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
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    OK People. Enough of this idle chit-chat.
    This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub ScrapMetal's Avatar
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    I've had good luck using Kreen (made by Kroil) for carbon removal https://www.kroil.com/products/kreen...oil-treatment/ I learned about it on another shooting forum.

    -Ron
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master fastdadio's Avatar
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    Try Carbon off oven cleaner. I've used it many times in the past on two stroke motorcycle pistons.
    https://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Pro.../dp/B0000E2VTM
    Deplorable infidel

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    If I were working on something like this I'd inspect it with a borescope to see just exactly what condition the bore really is in. A Teslong scope can be purchased very reasonably these days and if it turns out that bore is dark due to excessive corrosion then at least you'll know cleaners aren't going to do anything aside from wasting your time and money.

    Many shooters do not understand the difference between copper fouling, carbon fouling, hard carbon deposits and corrosion damage. No one can look down a bore and know what it is. Looking at patches won't tell you what it is either but many refuse to accept it.

    I also see posts all the time from shooters who say something along the lines of 'gunsmiths love borescopes because they sell rebarrel jobs' or something to that effect. If the firearm won't shoot a group then knowing what condition the bore is in isn't going to sell a barrel. The firearm not grouping is what sells the barrel.

    If you haven't already take it to the range and shoot it. Often old mil-sup rifle barrel bores look terrible but will still shoot reasonably well. If it shoots to your satisfaction take it home, clean it as you always have and enjoy it the way it is. If it doesn't shoot well then inspect the bore for possible causes.
    Last edited by Hannibal; 12-09-2022 at 10:00 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    My 303 SMLE bore looks nasty but it shoots. I only shoot my cast boolits out of it. Was hitting a 4" plate at 1 hundred yards, with a peep sight.

    M0A no, but minute of deer/ steel plate, all day long!
    Now I just need to come up with the money too put the correct wood back on it, bubba got a hold of it!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I would try plugging the Bore and letting it soak in carburetor or brake cleaner. Then some heat with a heat gun( careful as these solvents are flammable)and some elbow grease. Be careful with abrasives as you can do more harm than good. Also sometimes shooting a few shots first loosens up decades old crud.

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