Cleaning revolver cylinders


October 29, 2005, 05:05 PM
I have a very nice .357 mag Speed Six that I've shot many .38 spl rounds through. I can't load 357 mags in the cylinder now because of the build up.
Will it hurt to use a bronze brush in a rotary tool to clean out the built up ring of burnt powder?

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Mad Magyar
October 29, 2005, 05:17 PM
Use a nylon brush w/rotary drill.

October 29, 2005, 06:34 PM
A bronze brush works--but, as Mad Magyar mentioned, a nylon brush will also do wonders and will reduce almost completely any chance of scoring the cylinder bores.

Some tips:

1. Hoppe's works fine for this purpose. I recommend that you get a large bottle and a small glass wide mouth jar. Dip your brush in some solvent in the wide mouth jar--do not contaminate your main bottle of solvent.

2. Do this outside, or over a BUNCH of newspaper. Don't ask me how I know--just say that my wife reminded me, VERY stridently.:what:

3. Use a 3/8" VSR drill. Run it at slow speed, it will do the trick. Remember to run the drill both on insertion and extraction. Working the brush back and forth slightly will speed the job.

4. I recommend the use of TWO brushes--one for solvent, and after you're done with it use the clean brush with a thick patch wrapped around it. Cleans out all the gunk really well when this is done. BTW, I recommend the mil-spec patches available from Brownell's--they work amazingly well.

5. Get long bore brushes. You can drip some solvent on it and lay it across the cylinder face. Run the drill at slow speed and it will do a bang up job of removing fouling from the cylinder face. Of course, the lead removal cloths will do it too--but don't use them on blued revolvers!!

Remember to check under the extractor star when you're done. Amazing amounts of crud will find its way under there, and will cause problems.

Good luck!

October 29, 2005, 06:40 PM
a .40 caliber bronze brush works good, also if you take your .38 bronze bore brush and wrap it with some chore boy copper pot scrubber material cut into about 1.5 inch squares, running it back and forth in the cylinder will make quick work of those fouling rings without harming anything.

Just my .02,

Standing Wolf
October 29, 2005, 08:29 PM
In addition to the good advice above, please allow me to suggest you soak the cylinder in a closed jar of Hoppe's No. 9 for a day or two before you clean it. The cleaning solution is good for many soakings of many parts, so don't throw it out even though it looks dirty.

October 29, 2005, 11:26 PM
BTW, (with regard to soaking), I bought a DunKit (available from Cylinder and Slide) a while back.

When I first got it, I put a compensated barrel from one of my .45's in it. This pistol has been fed a steady diet of 200 grain LSWC's, and I had kept it clean--I thought.

After a 24 hour soak, I took the comp barrel out, and started wiping the inside through the port with a toothbrush and a rag. Lead started FALLING out in sheets! I must have pulled out enough lead to cast at least one bullet.

This really works well--again, it is available from Cylinder and Slide.

Or, if you want what is considered to be the ne plus ultra of gun soaks, whip up a batch of Ed's Red. The recipe is available on line, just do a search for it.

October 29, 2005, 11:36 PM
Brownell's has stainless steel cylinder brushes--larger diameter than the bore brush and longer. Have used them for years with no ill effects and they do get the job done.

October 29, 2005, 11:45 PM
Standing Wolf's post.

Take a fired .357 case, and using a triangle needle file on the case mouth file "teeth". After firing .38spl rds, and with the gun still warm, insert into cylinders-often times this will remove the burn rings.

October 30, 2005, 06:33 AM
I use a technique similar to what SM recommends.

I take a fired .357 case and chamfer the inside with my RCBS deburring tool.
I keep one or two in my range box.

For heavy buildup, if you can't dip or dunk your cylinder into some Hoppes (or if you just don't want to dismount your cylinder), put a tight plug of Kleenex in the mouth of each chamber and pour a little Hoppes into it. Let it set for an hour or two and then used the empty case or the brush.

October 30, 2005, 06:40 AM
Good advice so far. I will add that once you have finished soaking the revolver that this would be an excellent time to clean all the carbon off the face of the cylinder as well.

October 30, 2005, 11:46 AM
Slipp 2000 Carbon Cutter is the best thing I have foud by a wide margin for cleaning revolver cylinders. Just remove the cylinder and drop it down in the jar (it comes with metal hangers for small parts) and let sit for 10 or 15 mins. A good sized jar was only about 15.00 and can be used over and over.

PS. It Also works great for AR15 bolts.

October 30, 2005, 12:34 PM

October 30, 2005, 06:00 PM
A lot of good information. This is one of my favorite revolvers and I want to clean it correctly. Again thanks for the help.

October 30, 2005, 09:45 PM
It sounds like I'll have to dismount the cylinder? There HAS to be a good trick for cleaning the cylinder face without power tools or dismounting the cylinder...right?

I just got a first revo yesterday, and after just a few shots today I was amazed at how dirty it was...and so much harder to clean than my autos... :banghead:


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