cleaning rods and solvents


February 24, 2003, 09:58 AM
I've heard that an aluminum cleaning rod can damage rifling. All my barrels are stainless, but my next gun will have a blued barrel. I was wondering what you folks might think. I find if hard to believe that aluminum will hurt it since it is softer than steel, but I don't know for sure.

Also, what kind of solvents have you used and had good success with? I use Birchwood Casy(sp?) Nitro solvent for the copper fouling, then Hoppes solvent after that. Then I dry it good and then run some CLP down it and store it. However, every time I go to shoot, a strong ammonia smells hangs around for the first couple of shots. Is that normal?

Thanks ahead of time.

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Steve Smith
February 24, 2003, 10:16 AM
I think the real problem with aluminum rods is that #1 they are usually not finished really well, #2 they have joints, and #3 the rod end/jag junction is usually sharp. #1 and #2 can carry harder particles and can scrape the inside of your barrel. #3 poses an obvious threat to your crown. The better made rods, coated or not, will be of a single unit, with a smooth finish, and the joint with the jag will be butter smooth so it won't catch your crown.

After using Butch's Bore Shine for a long time, I'm switching over to GM Top engine Cleaner after talking with lots of Highpower friends. One of them works in a lab and found that its the same makeup as Shooters Choice, but at $4 for 16 oz, you can't beat it.

I use JB bore shine about ever thrid match (150-240 rounds)

February 24, 2003, 10:23 AM
I saw a new design carbon fiber rods from Tetra at the Shot Show. Should be available in couple of months.

February 24, 2003, 11:36 AM
Use a one piece rod,one that has some backbone to it.You can find rods in different diameters,buy SS rods keep them wiped clean.TIPS:Spray some brake cleaner down the bore and on patch,helps in getting more of the crud out especialy after copper treatment removel.Also try some Kroil it seems to help in cleaning.

Dave R
February 24, 2003, 11:59 AM
I heard that the big problem with aluminum rods is, they can oxidize (rust). Then they have aluminum oxide on them. Aluminum oxide is the stuff they put on sandpaper. So your rod, even if it looks good, could have a few particles (or a lot more) of aluminum oxide on, which could get picked up by the brush/patches, and then you have the equivalent of sandpaper dragging through your bore.

Don't know how true that all is, but that's the tale I was told.

February 24, 2003, 01:28 PM
since the aluminum rod is soft, it is possible to get debris imbedded into the rod, which may scratch the barrel.

BTW, i use a Dewey rod.

February 24, 2003, 07:40 PM
I've been trying to find out the story on these things for a while now too. The whole thing has me really confused.


February 24, 2003, 07:44 PM
Quack is right--

The soft alum picks up grit and functions as a rough grinding tool thereby damaging the bore--albeit slowly and minimally--
A harder rod (SS) doesn't pick up the grit hence doesn't have this "sandpaper" // "grinding wheel" effect--

February 24, 2003, 08:10 PM
I agree with Quack, too, and also use Dewey rods. Havent seen the carbon fiber ones, but that doesn't sound like a bad idea, either. Dewey rods are coated in something like plastisol, and won't scrath your bore or muzzle. Use all brass or plastic attachments on them. Dewey rods come sized for several ranges of calibers. I can get away with three, sizes. Depending on where you find them, the rods are (another swag) 15-25 bucks. Well worth it compared to screwing up a barrel bore or muzzle crown. I have a solid brass rod for pistols. "Proshooter', or something. Same deal.

The only drawback to the Dewey's is that they are one piece. Not handy for portable use, I guess. I've learned to live with it.

February 24, 2003, 11:30 PM
Dewey rods are the way to go. If you buy them the right size for your barrel, the'll fit right in the case with your gun. Dewey makes a rod protector which is sort of a long tube that covers the rod up to the handle. I store the rods on one of those pegboard screwdriver holders, and it works great. Each one of my cases has a cutout in the foam for the appropriate rod. Let me rephrase that... I only have 3 cases, but I have custom fitted foam for all my longguns so I just put the right foam in and go.

February 25, 2003, 02:35 PM
that sharp rifling can cut plastic coated rods.

I have a dewey rod and use it. My "favorite" cleaning rod for use on valued barrels is a graphite rod I got from Brownells. On my .22's and some other guns, I use a wooden dowel coasted with tung oil finish.

Wipe the rod clean often during cleaning.

February 25, 2003, 06:24 PM
I was wondering if Bore snakes were as bad or worse than the aluminum rod, I mean if things can imbed in the aluminum rod, then they will cling on to the bore snake right??

Also how do you clean the bore snake? and how often (after every pass)?

I'm mainly concerned with what to do to keep accuracy (New Savage .308, Ruger MKII and Marlin .22 bolt action). Are brass bushes a no no for accuracy?

February 25, 2003, 06:27 PM
Any aluminum rod will have a coating of aluminum oxide, either due to being anodized (which is done using electricity to give it a nice thick shell around the metal) or self-anodized (when the bare metal reacts with the air to become aluminum oxide, which produces a thinner, and thus softer, shell on the rod).


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