Cleaning guns - Green patches.


April 24, 2006, 06:35 PM
I was cleaning two of my rifles (Mosin Nagant, and an M1 Garand) when I noticed this: The patches (which had break-free on them) are always coming out green after running them down the barrel.

I don't think it is normal, and it seems that subsequent patches just got green as well. Is it just some deep-in crud that will take dozens of patches to clear, or is break-free the wrong tool for this job?

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April 24, 2006, 06:37 PM
It is normal...
Green is the result of the chemical reaction between the copper from the jackets and the cleaning solvent.
It means that the copper is coming out, and that the solvent is working.

American By Blood
April 24, 2006, 06:38 PM
Hmmm... Green, you say?

Clearly your M-N and Garand are ruined. Beyond hope, I'm afraid.

I recommend sending them to me for a proper burial.

April 24, 2006, 06:46 PM
No no.
I realise now.
The guns are posessed by Satan.
I'm afraid that they will never be safe for the average person...
You should send them to me, I have experience with such things and will be able to protect myself from their evil.

April 24, 2006, 07:00 PM
My guns are evil? Cool. :cool:

So, some good copper removing solvent would probably get the barrels cleaned faster. Thanks.

April 24, 2006, 07:15 PM
Breakfree CLP removes copper fouling?
Since when? :neener:

April 24, 2006, 07:35 PM
Try SWEETS Solvent. Its ammonia based and does a wonderful job on copper.

April 24, 2006, 07:49 PM
Cleaning procedure

You will need: 2ea ssbore brush, Sweets 7.65 cleaner, tight fitting jag, LOTS of cleaning patches ( all cotton military are best) Hoppes #9, MORE cleaning patches, a good SS rod w/ muzzle guide, did I mention LOTS of patches?

Clean bore with Hoppes #9, soak, brush and patch. Patch dry. Soak a patch in Sweets 7.65 and run through bore several times. Wait 5 minutes and scrub with brush. Patch clean w/Hoppes #9 till green disaperes. Repeat till bore is clean and/or rifeling disaperes! Oil bore after dry patching. Check bore the next day for green as the Sweets has a lot of staying power!:D
You may want to do this outside as the ammonia reaction with the copper is a little rank. ;)

Livin in Texas

Standing Wolf
April 24, 2006, 08:26 PM
Try SWEETS Solvent. Its ammonia based and does a wonderful job on copper.

You can also try ammonia, which costs a lot less, and includes the exact same ingredients. Amazing, eh?

April 24, 2006, 08:32 PM
You can also try ammonia, which costs a lot less, and includes the exact same ingredients. Amazing, eh?I've always wondered about this. Have often considered buying some straight ammonia from the grocery store, mixing it with a little oil and trying it out as a copper remover. Grocery store ammonia can be had for less than a buck. I imagine the anhydrous stuff would be best.

Never had the balls to try it though. Anyone ever tried a home mix for copper fouling removal? If so what's the recipe and how well does it work?

April 24, 2006, 08:55 PM
The ammonia sold in the grocery store is ammonia water.
Sweets is a lot stronger, and the thick consistency helps it stay in place and not evaporate quickly.

April 24, 2006, 09:49 PM
Since Breakfree does not contain ammonia to react with copper to produce the greenish copper compounds, I think the green was already present in the bore that your cleaning simply brought out. The green was probably old copper fouling that just, in time, reacted with the atmosphere to produce the green material. Just like an old penny or copper utensil can form a greenish patina. I would continue brushing and swabbing with a copper solvent until things come out relatively clean. Breakfree would make a fine final conditioning swab.


April 24, 2006, 10:05 PM
I'm sure people have successfully used household ammonia as a copper remover, but I am reluctant to use it. True, it's cheap as dirt, but I would still prefer to use a commercial bore cleaner that already contains ammonia.

First, household ammonia is more caustic and irritating to the eyes and to breathe. Open a fresh bottle and take a whiff--carefully. Household ammonia is a water solution of 3-5% ammonia, which is quite alkaline. Sweets is 5% in a petroleum solvent base. Because it's in a water base, household ammonia may be more corrosive and harmful to parts of the gun other than the bore that it comes in contact with. For that reason, I think you would have to be more thorough about removing any residue after cleaning.


April 24, 2006, 10:07 PM
No! NO! NO!!!!

DO NOT USE A STAINLESS BRUSH. At least not in any barrel that you care about. You'll get the copper out, but it'll foul worse, and faster.

I'm guessing you've got a copper mine in the barrel, and it's already oxidized somewhat, which means it's been in there a while, and there's plenty of it. I'd clean it once/day for a while with Butch's Bore Shine, soaking it down liberally each evening. Use a bronze brush, which won't scratch your rifling to death.

April 24, 2006, 10:31 PM
Sweets will EAT a bronze brush!!! You do not scrub the bore. Just a pass or two to remove the fouling loosend by the solvent. If Sweets is left in the bore for too long it will EAT the bore. POWERFULL STUFF!!!:what:

Livin in Texas

April 24, 2006, 11:49 PM
Bronze brush = bad idea.

Synthetic/nylon brush = better idea.

If it's really bad, it'll take a while. And, oddly, I have had folks tell me that a barrel can be overcleaned of copper. I don't know if I believe it.

April 25, 2006, 05:14 AM
I've never seen green, but I've seen blue with copper fouling and Sweets. Also you're suppose to use a patch not bronze brush while doing it with Sweets. Follow instruction.

silicon wolverine
April 25, 2006, 07:26 AM
GUn cleaners and household cleaners contain (usually) less than 4 or 5% ammiona for a very good reason. In concentrations higher than that it can be toxic and even lethal. We use 100% pure anhydrous ammionia here at the water treatment plant and i can attest if even a SMALL amount leaks it can be a very bad thing. We wear MSHA 100% filter masks when changing tanks and have positive pressure ventilation. Also high concentraions of ammiona are EXTREMLY CORROSIVE! No it wouldnt eat your bore out overnight but it would certaily damage it. Please for your own safety stick to premade cleaners and dont try to concoct your own thinking they may be "better". You mihgt just kill yourself doing it.


50 Shooter
April 25, 2006, 09:45 AM
If you want to use ammonia, go to a pool supply or printer supply store. What you want is 26% ammonia, put it in a bottle with a little dish soap. The suds with help it cling to the bore, just don't over do it as all you'll need is about a cap full.

Don't clean in your house and if you clean in your garage, use a fan, open the door and make sure you get plenty of air flow. If you don't want to deal with ammonia and want one of the best cleaners on the market, get Boretech's "Eliminator" copper solvent. Brass/bronze brushes work the best and are cheap if you buy them in bulk but will give you a false positive for copper. Use a stainless jag or plastic one if you can find it, use it on the final pass to be sure you get as much copper out as possible.

April 25, 2006, 09:55 AM

Not to worry. The average joe can't buy anhydrous ammonia (comes in a gas cylinder) to kill themselves and their family with.

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