Solvents for Plastic Fouling in Barrels


May 30, 2006, 06:05 PM
Does anyone have a recommendation on solvents for removing plastic fouling from shotgun barrrels and inline muzzleloaders. Commercial or homemade, either is fine.

I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of solvents may remove copper, lead, and powder okay, but may not do so well on plastics. Then again, maybe plastic fouling is the easy part.

All replies greatly appreciated.

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May 30, 2006, 06:54 PM
Shooter's Choice works well on plastic, lead, and copper too. It's not made for black powder fouling, they do make a solvent just for black powder though.

May 30, 2006, 07:31 PM
I'll report back after I go home and look at what the stuff I use is called. It takes some scrubbing for a well-fouled choke tube, but it does work.

May 30, 2006, 09:09 PM
I've found Gunscrubber to congeal-n-peel plastic fouling with ease.

May 30, 2006, 09:15 PM
When I was a kid, we didn't have plastic fouling problems....

May 30, 2006, 09:31 PM

What loads are you shooting and through what gun?

When I started with factory AA's through an O/U I had a lot of fouling too. Then when I started reloading the fouling went away. I assumed that the Claybuster wads didn't foul as bad as Winchester's. Then I shot doubles (Trap) on a warm day and the fouling was back.

My conclusion is that the Winchester wads melt at a lower temperature than the Claybusters and the extra heat of shooting doubles will melt either wad.

I don't have any trouble cleaning the residue with Hoppes and a patch wrapped around a tornado brush. I've also been told that this combination puts too much friction through the bbl.

May 30, 2006, 11:34 PM

I had run a wide variety of turkey loads through a Mossberg 835 loaner and an H&R single shot 10 gauge.

The Mossberg in seemed to start throwing scraggly looking patterns after approximately 25 shells, and I wonder if the heavy 3.5" loads might be more prone to "smearing" plastic from the large payloads and heavier powder charges, especially if the plastic had not been removed entirely by previous cleanings.

May 30, 2006, 11:45 PM
Another wrinkle:

The 835 is "overbored". Do you know what the wads looked like? Did the "bang" sound "off" in any way?

May 30, 2006, 11:50 PM
Oh and factory AA's are dubious rounds, at least per a fellow shooter who has more patience than I.

He dissected and miked 100 pellets from a "#8" AA factory shell. They ranged from #6 to #11 or so. A similar experiment with an STS factory shell yielded #7-#9.

I don't know if it's an anomaly, but that micrometer test doesn't speak well for the AA shell he tested, anyway.

Anyone observed Windjammer fouling? I haven't used them with heavy charges yet, but the plastic seems harder but thinner. Claybusters do seem pretty good. Winchesters seem a tad softer.

May 31, 2006, 12:37 AM
Ed's Red has acetone it will clean some plastics very well. Don't get it on pretty stocks though.

50 Shooter
May 31, 2006, 06:50 AM
Slip2000 carbon killer.

May 31, 2006, 07:11 AM
Plastic fouling will build up to a point, then peel and clear.

If you really want it out go down the auto parts store and buy a can of chlorinated brake cleaner. It will spray the plastic away like magic. Keep away from stocks and so on, but nothing works better.

May 31, 2006, 09:31 AM
A brass brush will take it out of a 12-ga. shotgun barrel . . . in really bad cases, chucking the cleaning rod into a variable speed hand drill will allow you to scrub the bore. (A brass brush turning at low speed will NOT hurt the bore, good barrel steel is a lot harder. Just stay away from the stainless brushes.)

May 31, 2006, 11:21 AM
I think the problem with the 835 might be in the choke tube, rather than the barrel. The choke tube looks a lot less smooth and shiny, compared to the barrel itself.

I am going to clean both tube and barrel up and fire a few rounds through it, and see if that doesn't make a difference. I'll also fire a few rounds through it before cleaning, just as a little "before and after" experiment.

I must confess that the cleaning of this gun (at least when in my posession) has consisted of one patch with Hoppe's #9, followed by a single dry patch, followed by a lightly oiled patch, mostly to prevent rust.

I think I give cleaning my shotgun barrels the short shrift as compared the barrels on my rifles.

May 31, 2006, 01:56 PM
One or two passes with a tornado brush, works well for me.

May 31, 2006, 02:21 PM
A shot of Gunscrubber down the bore will cause plastic fouling to lift off like magic. Then a clean patch will push it right out in one sweep. Probably brake cleaner will do the same. Use outdoors with ventilation. YMMV

May 31, 2006, 03:45 PM
I use acetone purchased at the local ACE Hardware. Takes the plastic out very easily. Just don't get it on any stocks or forearms.

May 31, 2006, 06:08 PM
I made four gallons for under 40 dollars. That's 512 ounces, 32 pints, 16 quarts.

It lasts a damn long time. :neener:

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