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Old 07-22-2011, 14:05   #1
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Revolver/pistol cleaning question?

1. If you do not get all the carbon/powder cleaned out of the barrel, that is, the amount you cannot see, will this adversely affect the barrel over time?

2. What seems to be the safest and best way to clean the barrel of revolvers and pistols. I hate going down the muzzle with anything.

Thanks
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Old 07-22-2011, 14:35   #2
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1. Revolvers, by their design (both those with movable and immovable cylinders), invite cleaning methods from the muzzle. I do understand you are 'touchy' about the muzzle crown.

2. Most of the cleaning kits by Hoppe's, or Winchester, and I think I have seen one by Birchwood Casey, have rods made of materials that will not harm the muzzle. There is an Otis cleaning kit, that uses a 'floppy string', that you can move from the breech towards the muzzle. There is a 'boresnake rope' with a cleaning brush inside of it, that is inserted from the breech. You have many choices, and they all do the same thing .. clean your revolver.

3. Most pistols that I have laid eyes upon, are able to be field-stripped, or quick-stripped, (magazine removed first), down to the spring, frame, slide, and barrel, via the removal of the magazine release lever. Pistol barrels, I have cleaned in both directions, at one cleaning, after one set of patches came clean. Same rods, or ropes, or strings.

Lastly, the chief desired result, is to have cleaning patches run through the barrel (revolver and pistol), and the cylinders (revolvers), as clean as can be seen with no residue evident.

A note on revolvers: If you are shooting a revolver that accepts a "magnum" cartridge and its shorter "special" brother cartridge, and you shoot the "special" on the range, and leave the "magnum", for more business matters, clean the cylinders BEFORE you switch to the "magnum" cartridges.

Why?

There is a slight bit of 'gunk' left in the cylinder, where the cartridge lip ends, and the bullet leaves the cartridge while in the cylinder, before it goes down the barrel to your aiming point downrange. "Special" cartridges are SHORTER than the "magnum" cartridges. That "gunk" could build up just enough to create a smaller cylinder width, and you might feel a little shove to seat the "magnum" cartridge properly. That layer of "gunk" JUST MIGHT be thick enough to STOP the forward travel of the bullet. The trapped gases of powder ignition have to go "somewhere"! Not good for you physically, not good for your revolver cylinder, not for making a good day all around!!
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Old 07-22-2011, 14:52   #3
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Thanks SFsc....appreciate your thoughts I get nervous when I seek brass scraping off as the rod is pussed down from the muzzle end. Yes, I know its a softer metal, it just makes me nverous. I lovesw my guns and shooting and try to take the best care of them as possible. Like most of due I know.
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Old 07-22-2011, 17:02   #4
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There are conical muzzle protectors that will absolutely prevent contact of the cleaning rod with the muzzle, but they are kind of a PITA in use. The Otis pull-through system works very well.
Personally, I'm fairly lazy, so a Boresnake and Ed's Red take care of all solid frame revolver cleaning chores for me. With pistols and top-break revolvers, I use a custom 8 inch rod and clean from the breech. I stay away from rods made of metal softer than steel or with soft coatings. Grit and crud will become embedded in the softer rod or coating and act like sandpaper in your bore. I like plain steel tempered drill rod for both pistol and rifle rods: it will snap before it will bend. That and brass or bronze jags, not plastic.

As to getting out the stuff you can't see, don't worry about it. As long as you don't have visible streaks of jacket or lead and the patches come out clean, you're good to go. Remember that far more firearms have been ruined by over-cleaning than by over-shooting.

To add to what SFsc said, if you do have jacket or lead fouling, it's gotta come out. One of those reverse electrolysis systems should work nicely, if you're real obsessive compulsive.
Otherwise, to remove jacket fouling, you can scrub the hell out of your barrel or use something like Sweets 7.62 with lots of ammonia in it, which is less damaging to your barrel and much quicker.
To remove lead fouling, again, you can scrub or let chemistry work for you and soak it free with Kroil, Ed's Red, or good ol' Hoppes #9. An overnight bath will usually do the trick, and you can just push it out with a patch the next day.

To minimise leading with cast bullets, match bullet diameter with throat diameter. Usually this means going up a few thousandths on bullet diameter. With swaged bullets, lower your velocity a bit. Not much you can do about jacketed bullet fouling except firelapping.
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Old 08-05-2011, 18:17   #5
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In the event of heavy "metal fouling"

I have cleaned my weapon normally but run a wet patch with Hoppes #9 down my bore and have left overnight. Come back the next day and push patches through until clean.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:36   #6
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It don't matter.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:12   #7
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make sure your pistol is unloaded before you start cleaning then wipe down all components using some clean cloth rags..

For detailed steps you can look at this:
http://www.wikihow.com/Maintain-a-Pistol-(Handgun)
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Old 09-13-2011, 00:31   #8
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Copper fouling begins at near 2500fps, I can't think of any pistols that can achieve that. So unless you are shooting lead, I wouldn't worry about metal fouling.

I get my barrel and chambers to look like a mirror I settle for nothing less.


Remember that far more firearms have been ruined by over-cleaning than by over-shooting.
Replace "over-cleaning" with [improper cleaning,] and I'll agree with you.

Many would charged me with "over-cleaning;" does this look "ruined?"


This one didn't receive proper cleaning before I got it.
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Last edited by Win_94; 09-13-2011 at 00:34. Reason: general editing
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:30   #9
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Re. "overcleaning v. "improper cleaning": good point, agreed.
And may I steal your bore photos for use in teaching? They are awesome!
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Old 09-14-2011, 00:53   #10
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Originally Posted by PigBat View Post
And may I steal your bore photos for use in teaching? They are awesome!
Indeed!
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:39   #11
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Just in case anyone might still be interested...

I took my 357 out today and decided to take pics of the bores conditions at different times of day.

Before I shoot the pistol, I run a dry patch to get the oil out.


Forcing cone...


This is after firing, the copper colored streaks is copper but not adhered to the bore itself.

In the 30-06 there are streaks, but they are fixed to the bore, the penetrating oil has no effect. The copper in the bore of the 357 is more like compacted dust; as opposed to a solid in the 30-06.

This is after cleaning with a brass brush and penetrating oil. Notice the copper-ish tint on the lands?


5 strokes of a copper solvent soaked patch then 1 dry patch and the copper-ish tint is gone. (even though I wasn't concerned with it)


Thick coat of 10w30 for storing and I'm ready for next time.


Thought it might be interesting.
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