What do you use to remove those burn rings from the cylinder face?


October 3, 2005, 10:17 AM
Not the rings inside the cylinder, but those burn rings that form on the front of the cylinder face of a stainless/nickled/chromed revolver.

I am slowly getting them off with a light bore cleaning solvent and a rag, but it's taking a long time. I couldn't say if they were there when I brought the gun, or if they are my doing (second hand revolver).


If you enjoyed reading about "What do you use to remove those burn rings from the cylinder face?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 3, 2005, 10:50 AM
I just use CLP, and I don't bother to clean up the muzzle or cylinder face on any of my SS slide actions or revolver. I just get them cleaned up enough that it functions properly. Usually I am too lazy to clean past that smoky gray color it leaves on the metal.

October 3, 2005, 11:02 AM
What works for me:
- good: old toothbrush, "Blue Wonder" or other similar solvent......and elbow grease.
- better: lead removal cloth...do NOT use on a blued revolver as it will wear away the finish.

I am interested in what works for others.


October 3, 2005, 11:06 AM
Use one of those Yellow "Lead Away" cloths from the gun store or even Walmart. Wrap it around a popsicle stick for a backer, and rub the rings. They will come off with some elbow grease.

Don't use this on a blued gun. On SS, it is just fine.


October 3, 2005, 11:11 AM
Haven't tried the "lead away" cloth, have used the "Flitz" metal polish and 'elbow grease'. Works well on my Stainless Vaquero.

October 3, 2005, 11:13 AM
For those who may have a revolver with a titanium or aluminum cylinder, using a Lead Away or similar cloth is not recommended. It will strip away the protective coating on the cylinder face, leading to flame erosion.

Kramer Krazy
October 3, 2005, 11:43 AM
For anything that is not blued, which for me is just stainless, the wife and I have used a lead-away cloth, Nevr-Dull wadding cloth, and she's used silver polish. All seem to work fairly well.

October 3, 2005, 11:47 AM
On my stainless revolvers I used to use a lead removing cloth. I found an old can of No.7 White Polishing Compound for cars and tried it out using a cloth and it quickly removes the residue from the cylinder face with minimal effort.

October 3, 2005, 11:52 AM
Flitz works well.

October 3, 2005, 11:54 AM
All great info here.

The lead wipes seem popular, I'll see if I can get one for cheap.

I could see polish working, as it would be gently abrading the surface.

Unfortunatly everyone has mentioned elbow grease.....DOH! :rolleyes:

Working Man
October 3, 2005, 11:54 AM
Toothpaste and a heavy rag. Works great.

October 3, 2005, 02:13 PM
I use Slip2000 Carbon Cutter. You can either hang the cylinder in the jar for a few minutes and rinse off (best method) or wet the surface with Carbon Cutter and wipe off a few minutes later. Works for me.

Kramer Krazy
October 3, 2005, 02:39 PM
I could see polish working, as it would be gently abrading the surface. Be careful with what you use. That brushed, satin-stainless finish on some firearms can become a high-gloss, polished firearm in spots, if you use too abrasive of a cleaner, and too often.

October 3, 2005, 04:09 PM
I feel so strongly about it for stainless that I must say it again........Flitz.

On blued finish, use extreme caution!! Some take it some don't.

I 've never had a problem with Stainless though.


October 3, 2005, 04:15 PM
Toothpaste can be abrasive. Flitz is not abrasive. That doesn't mean that Flitz won't harm some finishes, just that it is a very fine polisher. Excellent product.

Oh, and Simichrome is also a fine product but a bit more abrasive than Flitz.

Old Fuff
October 3, 2005, 06:35 PM

If you're going to shoot the gun you are going to a lot of trouble for nothing. Using a polish or abrasive with plenty of effort will get it off, but eventually you'll get through the finish - hard as it is.

You do want to get excessive build-up's of lead off of the cylinder face, because they can cause the cylinder to bind. But the burn marks don't hurt anything except you're feelings.

And the first time you shoot a cylinder full of cartridges they're back.

Ala Dan
October 3, 2005, 07:03 PM
Flitz or Simichrome

If NO gunshop/gunstore is present in your locale, swing by your nearest
auto parts dealer (or motorcycle shop) and pick up a tube of Simichrome.
Or you can order on-line from The Wood Doctor. You only use a
small amount; combined with a little elbow grease and those nasty rings
on the cylinder face of ss/nickel/chrome six-shooters will disappear. :D

Standing Wolf
October 3, 2005, 09:20 PM
I always remove the cylinder from the frame and let it soak at least a couple hours, and usually overnight, in a jar of Hoppe's No. 9. That doesn't solve the problem, but makes it much easier to contend with.

Old Fuff
October 3, 2005, 09:43 PM
I think the revolver in question is chrome or nickel plated, in which case you don't want to soak the cylinder in a bath of Hoppe's No. 9, or any other bore solvent. Bore solvents are compounded to desolve and/or attack copper and nickel compounds. I have seen a fair number of finish-ruined handguns that were nickel plated, and put away wrapped in a Hoppe's soaked rag.

Seven High
October 3, 2005, 10:10 PM
I use a typewriter eraser. It is the round one with the black plastic brush attached. It works real well. No problems so far. :)

October 4, 2005, 01:32 AM
Hoppe's "Elite" cleaner takes it off pretty nicely.

I find myself using it more and more instead of harsh solvents.

October 4, 2005, 01:42 AM
I am going to make many of you scream in disbelief at what an idiot I am, but I routinely use scotchbrite to get rid of those rings, and I have noticed no damage at all thus far. Wouldn't use it on blued, obviously, but it works wonders on my stainless cylinders.

Note: I actually just picked that pistol up and inspected it with my loop, and I can find zero damage on the face of the cylinder there, which is the only place I use the scotchbrite on....

Old Fuff
October 4, 2005, 08:45 AM
It will take a long time for the Scot-Brite pads to damage the cylinder face, but I think the real issue is that everytime you shoot the revolver the rings are back. If you seldom shoot the gun the extra work might be worth it, but if you shoot often you're going to a lot of work for nothing. The discoloration that the burn marks represent don't cause any problems.

October 4, 2005, 08:56 AM
Shooting al least 3 times a week, I might just learn to live with the burn marks...

October 4, 2005, 02:11 PM
Old Fuff,

Venerated Old One, you are, as almost always, correct. Let me say that I don't immediatly scrub the rings off after every shooting session. In fact, I generally only scrub them off once or twice a year, mostly because my hatred of cleaning guns is roughly equal to my love of shooting them.

Old Fuff
October 4, 2005, 02:16 PM
>> Venerated Old One, you are, as almost always, correct. Let me say that I don't immediatly scrub the rings off after every shooting session. <<

I am never wrong, just bady confused at times ... :D

Anyway you seem to show good judgement when it comes to cleaning ... :neener:

October 4, 2005, 03:53 PM
The lead away cloths come with instructions warning about use on not only blued but nickel finishes as well.....I don't use them on anything other than stainless.....
but old fuff(and others) are correct; why waste your time if it's a gun you are shooting alot.....I'll admit though to cleaning up my stainless guns for photo shoots :D .....tom

October 4, 2005, 07:03 PM
Timbo and Old Fuff....LOL!
My hubby asked me awhile back what was going on with me and this Fuff guy.. :evil: .."because you are always reading stuff by Old Fuff!"
Wheelgun knowledge, of course!! Fuff knows!!

Picked up a bottle of hoppes elite, and it seems to do a good job, but if I want a picture perfect look, then I get out the flitz--which doesn't happen too often this time of year, I might add. Great winter, poopie weather activity tho!

Old Fuff
October 4, 2005, 07:14 PM
The Fuff's knowledge is only exceeded by his ego ... :evil:

The only time I worry about cleaning off the burn marks is when I'm going to take a picture, retire the piece, or am getting ready to sell or trade it. :D

October 4, 2005, 07:40 PM

I just got a new 637, wondering what would be the best for that one. Not really worried about the finish, as I intend to carry it, but of course would like to keep it "nice" as long as I can...

Old Fuff
October 4, 2005, 07:55 PM
When you have it cleaned up, remove the oil from the exterior if there is any, and the give it a couple of coats of good *paste wax.* Johnson's Paste Floor Wax is fine. It will do a lot better job of protecting then any grease or oil, and is much nicer to handle. Automobile paste wax is also good so long as it doesn't have abrasives in it.

You can of course buy the super-expensive stuff they use in museums ... :neener:

R.H. Lee
October 4, 2005, 08:27 PM
What's with all this compulsive cleaning? :confused:

October 5, 2005, 04:02 PM
I used to use the yellow cloth (forgot brand and exact name of product), but it's a pain. I guess I got old and tired (or maybe a bit wiser :) and now I just leave that part of my ss revolvers looking a little used.


Burt Blade
October 5, 2005, 10:19 PM
Load 50 cartridges with American Pioneer FFFg powder (a black powder substitute). Fill case with powder to within 1/8" of top. Bullet seating step should slightly compress the powder.

Shoot the gun with your APP ammo.

Remove the grips and clean with hot soapy water.

Allow the gun to dry. You may safely bake the metal parts at 150 degrees for 15-30 minutes to aid drying.

Oil the gun.

The marks on the front of the cylinder should be gone.


When I want to detail-clean my Ruger Vaqueros in .45, I shoot 100 rounds of APP loaded ammo through them, and then clean in the traditional BP way. They look astoundingly clean afterwards. Almost all lead residue and nitro powder residue burn away from the heat of the BP substitute powder.

October 6, 2005, 01:09 PM
I'm with RH Lee. I just get my 629 clean enough so it functions without binding and call it good enough. Occassionally I'll hit the bore with a Lewis Lead Remover, but that's because I shouldn't be driving some of the lead bullets I find as fast as I do. :rolleyes:

(1000fps is really on the edge with the batch of cast bullets I have now. What's funny though is the old guy at the range who was telling me, "Yep, 1100 sounds a bit hot." I didn't bother tell him about the 240gr jacket bullets I've driven around 1400fps from a 6" barrel. Not something I like to plink with with, but my 629 shoots like a house on fire with a 240gr XTP at that speed. Gotsta get me some more soon.)

October 6, 2005, 08:27 PM
:D well there is a rag that has been chemically treated its a flannel cloth and it just "wipes away lead" its just that easy no real effort it's called <lead away> it comes in patches or the gun cloth its made by kleen bore check there website for more info on a bunch of other stuff they sell www.kleen-bore.com or i'm sure your gun shop has them or can get them, best wishes :)

Ohen Cepel
October 6, 2005, 08:33 PM
Mother's Mag Polish.

However, can't say I worry about them much anymore.

Brian Williams
October 6, 2005, 08:34 PM

Carl N. Brown
October 7, 2005, 01:10 PM
On my stainless GP100 I remove anything that looks like lead,
powder or lube deposits with CLP and a bamboo skewer stick.
Removing the "stain" that remains could wear away metal, so
I think of it like the "patina" on my brass frame cap'n'ball that
adds to the charm of the gun and reduces my cleaning labor.

October 8, 2005, 08:24 AM
I use the yellow led removal cloth. The work great. Like others have said, DO NOT use on blued guns.

December 18, 2005, 10:33 PM
I highly recommend Slip2000's #725 cleaner. It cleans the stainless revolvers to make them look like new in less thatn 2-minutes with a plastic tooth brush.
It works great on other guns as well. I now am using it in my parts washer just for cleaning guns.

Greg Sullivan "Sully"

Top Gun Supply
December 19, 2005, 12:06 AM
Be very careful with nickel. Pay close attention to staying away from the sharp edges of the charge holes. If you go through the finish, it will be there first. I found this out the hard way using a lead cloth. I am still sick over that and it was a few years ago. And as others have said, just say no to Hoppe's or any other solvent with any ammonia content.

Carl N. Brown
December 19, 2005, 12:36 PM
As I understand it, nickel is usually plated over a plating of copper:
ammonia based copper removers are not good for nickel plated
finishes because they can remove the copper base.

I have also been told NOT to leave ammonia based cleaners on
stainless for any length of time. Anyone know why?

December 19, 2005, 01:22 PM
3m fine cut rubbing compund...

December 19, 2005, 07:19 PM
Flitz will take it right off.

December 19, 2005, 10:22 PM
gunbrite bore polish in paste form........works great for the bore too...imagine that

December 21, 2005, 11:29 AM
A product called Blue Away takes the discoloration from my 686 and 617. I purchased it several years ago from Brownell's. I don't know if they still carry it or not. A statement on the containers says, "known to remove heat caused blue discoloration from chrome, stainless, precision metals." I can't find it on the container, but if my memory serves me correctly (lately my forgetter works better than my rememberer) it should not be used on blue finished guns. It is manufactured by Competition Chemicals, Inc., Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Hope this helps.


If you enjoyed reading about "What do you use to remove those burn rings from the cylinder face?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!