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Thread: Removing lead from barrel - how to

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Removing lead from barrel - how to

    Hi folks - Newbie question here...

    I've cast and loaded a few thousand rounds now for my .45 and 9 mm. Later this week, I plan to go to the range and have some fun.

    Aside from regular gun cleaning, is there a special way to deal with barrel leading? Is there a solvent I should use to clean it?

    Thanks,
    Rick

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
    Ben's Avatar
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    webby4x4 :

    At one time ( 20 yrs. ago ) , I used a Lewis Lead Remover to removed leading from pistol barrels.

    Now I use Copper Chore Boy cleaning pads ( about $2.00 at Wallyworld ) . I take a few strands of this stuff and wrap it several times around a worn pistol cleaning brush until it is a good snug fit in your bore. You make 4 or 5 passes through your pistol barrel with this and there is no leading. Your bore will be sparkling clean and the soft copper ( but still harder than the PB ) will not harm your barrel steel.

    You can follow this treatment with some Hoppes and then a light coat of oil .

    When you've given this treatment to your pistol, you should be good to go.

    Ben

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I second the CHoreBoy, work so easily it's not an issue cleaning up after shooting lead bullets. A drop or two of Kroil oil on the brush just makes things go faster. No chance of harming the bbl. as the copper wool is quite soft.
    Last edited by fredj338; 04-26-2009 at 01:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Ben mentioned the Lewis Lead Remover. Hoppe's makes a similar thing. In essence it is a round brass patch that fits over a slightly expandable rubber plug. As it is pulled through the bore it removes the lead from the barrel. They are caliber specific and work very well...Ray
    Proud member in the basket of deplorables.

    I've got the itch, but don't got the scratch.




  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Webby4x4
    What I have used for years is White vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mixed 50/50. A vase works great as a holder for your barrel. Totally immerse the barrel and watch it bubble. After about 20 minutes, run a patch through and you are done. You will end up with a sludge on the patch. I usually use a degreaser and then oil as you normally do. No rough stuff needed. Just be cautious and don't get the stuff on blueing. I had a compensator with poor bluing on it and now it is a wonderful case hardened look to it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    The best way is to discover a load that does not accumulate lead fouling.

    Heavy fouling? Lewis lead remover or Chore Boy. I have the Hoppe's one. As long as I can get brass patches, I'm good. This applies only to severe fouling. Other than that, a nice, new brush with sharp bristles does the trick.

    I've tried various chemicals, both commercial and the one mentioned above. The commercial ones stink (literally) and take maybe 2 layers of atoms off per pass. The acetic acid / hydrogen peroxide takes off more, but it also removes finishes and leaves white metal exposed. (Oh, it works good...reeeeeeeal good.)

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    I have found that a good bullet lube will help alot with eliminating leading. Try several different lubes and see which one works for you. If you ask which one is the best you will get multiple answers.
    Firearms have two enemies rust and politicians.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Mercury is great if you can get it.

  9. #9
    Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckS1 View Post
    Mercury is great if you can get it.
    Yep, I have a 5lb bottle of it. I got it from HVAC workers who remove old mercury switches.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    I'm glad someone else brought up mercury......fastest way to remove lead. You plug the muzzle with a tapered wood dowel and fill 'er up, then wait about ten minutes (longer on a badly fouled barrel). Pull the plug and empty the amalgam back into the original container. Clean. Fast. Politically incorrect, like most good things.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Make sure that you use the Chore Boy brand. The 'off-brands' may just be copper washed steel and scratch your barrel up. Use a magnet to be sure.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy putteral's Avatar
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    Chore Boy is the way to go.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Rockchucker's Avatar
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    Now I use Copper Chore Boy cleaning pads ( about $2.00 at Wallyworld ) .




    Would this be in the cleanning dept?
    NRA Life Member

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Chore Boy it is, then! Thanks guys.

    Rick

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Cloudpeak's Avatar
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    I use ChoreBoy, dry. And another great thing, it seems the more lead I shoot, the more polished the bore is and the easier it cleans up. My 45's take about 4 passes with the brush/C.B. and they're slick as a whistle.

    Cloudpeak

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy RoyRogers's Avatar
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    There used to be a flannel type cloth product sold for cleaning lead from barrels. One would cut patches to fit their bore from it and use on a jag. Don't recall if it was green or yellow colored cloth & I haven't seen it in years. It would remove the lead splatter from the front of a stainless steel revolver cylinder in short order as well as clean the lead from a barrel quickly. Seems I remember it was not recommended for external use on blued steel guns.

    The choreboy strands work well too & cheaper than the cloth.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Roy Rogers, E-Z Brite Wonder Cloth made by Adco. Gets rid of lead deposits, carbon fouling and plastic buildup in shotgun barrels. I only use it on the front of stainless steel cylinders to remove the carbon discoloration. It works very well. I also says on the package not to rub it on blued or color casehardend finishes. I believe other companies make a similar product...Ray
    Proud member in the basket of deplorables.

    I've got the itch, but don't got the scratch.




  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I don't worry about leading anymore since I switched to LBT(Lead Bullet Technologies) Blue Soft lube. If I do get any leading, which is rare, a tight patch on a jag will remove it.
    LBT Blue prevents the lead from adhering to the steel.
    I pushed a 314299 in a 30-06 to over 2,600fps with just a hint of leading after 3 to 5 shots. One tight fitting patch and the accuracy was restored.

  19. #19
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    I'm jumping on the copper Chore Boy bandwagon, too! Learned that trick trolling threads here long before I joined. Have had many leading problems in the past (still do sometimes when working up new loads until I get the issues worked out) and it works great!

    btw, if you were to use the vinegar/peroxide trick to treat a non-blued automatic pistol barrel when removed from the gun, it wouldn't be a problem to just soak the whole barrel, would it?

    Gear

  20. #20
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    Chore Boy works good, but I use 4/0 steel wool. That's something I have in the shop already and since it's something we use on a highly polished blued barrel I see little chance of it damaging the barrel. I picked the idea up from some of the Schuetezen guys and I don't think someone with a really good barrel is going to risk it, so I stand by 4/0 steel wool.

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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