Solvents ?


October 26, 2006, 09:59 AM
Hi Y'All...

Well, since I am only about 1985-compliant I haven't figured out how to do a major search here and the old threads I could find didn't really address this directly so, sheepishly asking your patience with a request for info I'm sure has been cussed and discussed here ad infinitum, here goes another ...

What are the names/brands of a couple good lead-removing bore solvents and a couple good powder residue removing solvents - hopefully that are widely available rather than some secret, private recipe that can be ordered only from a Tibetan Kilbasi Heiresss who is only open for business during leap years and sells it only in 30 gallon jars for $40/gallon. :D

Brand loyalty is good, to a point, but I'm not looking to start a donnybrook over whose is "The Ultimate" - just would like to know a couple brands of each that many have had decent effectivness from. :confused:

Will welcome input from anyone! :)

And in return for your generous indulgence I will treat you to the best news story I've read in a long, long time ......

"Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Chrysta Orr, 9, won a city contest allowing her to name Coeur d'Alene's winter storms. The Winton Elementary School student used ice cream as a theme to arrive at the names, which include Arctic Almond Avalanche and Howling Huckleberry." :D

Many, many thanks, Lads !!!

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October 26, 2006, 06:42 PM
Well, I admit a certain amount of brand loyalty, but only because it works better than the 40+ bottles of stuff I have collected over the decades. Ballistol. It's about the best all around gun chemical I've found. It removes lead and powder fouling great. Works for BP and centerfire guns.

It's also a great patch lube mixed with about 5-7 parts of water. Let the patches soak it up, then let them dry out. This leaves behind just the right amount of Ballistol to keep the barrel clean without wetting the powder. That's part of Dutch Schultz's muzzleloader accuracy system.

I clean with the same Ballistol/water mix that I lube patches with. This pulls fouling fast. They recommend it mixed 50/50 for cleaning but I haven't needed to mix it that rich. I follow up with a swabbing of pure Ballistol to remove any water and neutralize any acids that might be left.

For cleaning leading, straight Ballistol and a brush makes short work of it. Brush it a bit, let it sit for a while to penetrate, and brush again. It gets under the leading and helps lift it off the metal.

October 26, 2006, 07:32 PM
Hi Plink...

Thumbs Up, Plink - I ordered some a few minutes ago from Southern Shooters' Supply along with some jags etc.

Mark whiz
October 26, 2006, 08:04 PM
Shoot, for cleaning black powder guns, I just use a 50/50 mix of Simple Green & water. It does a fantastic job and will even work to get the lead out too with a bronze bore brush. From what I'm told, Dawn dishwashing soap will do the trick too, instead of the Simple Green
Not to contradict Plink's advice, but be careful with the Ballistol. I used it straight once on all my guns after a day at the range for a final cleaning and lubing and within 2 days, every one of them developed some surface rust in the bores. Fortunately I caught it early and a little bore paste cleaned everything up nicely - but I won't use Ballistol like that again, I just use it in my patch/wad lube formula and it's also great for wiping down your stocks too.

Another word of advice, you didn't say if you was shooting traditional or modern firearms, but if you shoot any plastic-saboted bullets you'll also want to make sure you get any plastic residue out of the bore or it can affect accuracy. CVA makes a sabot shooters solvent that is good for that or just a few patches of acetone, along with a scrubbing with the bronze brush will take care of the plastic.

October 26, 2006, 09:28 PM
+1 on the Simple Green. I can clean the barrel on my Sharps with 3-4 patches! Photos of my Black Powder cleaning/shooting box. It goes with me whenever I shoot. Weights about 10lbs.

It also has a Brownells screwdriver kit, mainspring vise, and a small 3" vice that can be clamped to a bench. With this kit I can clean and/or make small repairs on most calibers from 32-62.

Livin in Texas

October 26, 2006, 10:03 PM
Equal parts Murphy's Oil Soap,isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure to oil down any metal afterwards. Have also used windshield washer solvent in a pinch.
J Schmidt
46th Illinois,N-SSA

October 27, 2006, 09:55 AM
Hi Y'All...

Many thanks, Lads!!! That should enable me to take care of business without getting too complicated! Much Appreciated !!! :)

Dave Markowitz
October 27, 2006, 01:26 PM
Windex is a great BP solvent, in my experience.

October 27, 2006, 07:36 PM
Mark, as long as you use Ballistol mixed with water to get the salts out, it won't rust. If there was rust, there had to be some salts left somewhere. I use it straight as a final cleaner too, to protect against any water I might have missed when I dried the gun. I don't use it as a long term rust proofer, but for general cleaning, lubing and protecting, I haven't heard many folks mentioning rusting problems. Do you live in a high humidity environment?

Mark whiz
October 29, 2006, 01:15 AM
Yeah Plink, at the time I was in FLA so humidity could have been as issue. The arms were cleaned on the back porch but then stored inside immediately under full climate control inside. I really don't think I trapped any moisture in the bore before using the Ballistol though as my last step between cleaning and a final lubing/preservative is to run a patch of de-natured alcohol thru the bore to remove any water, salts, etc. And in this case Ballistol was used in black powder, standard cartridge, and air rifle arms all on the same day and all developed the rust - so it wasn't a issue with the salts left by black powder or BP substitutes.

I'm at a loss as to why this happened to me, but I feel it's good info for folks to know if they try Ballistol. A quick inspection a day or two after use could possibly save a lot of headaches down the road. And if they don't have the problem I did, then all the better. :)

October 29, 2006, 04:31 AM
Mark, that's good advice and good information to know alright.

The area I live in is usually quite dry, although this year has been the rainiest ever, with flooding and all. We use evaporative coolers here in the summer, so the house is somewhat humid in the summer but probably not near the level of humid areas like FL. I hadn't had any problems so I was wondering if a higher humidity level might be causing it. Condensation perhaps?

I haven't trusted Ballistol with long term rust protection because I just have a hard time trusting an oil that can mix with water. I think I am going to start using alcohol as a rinse though. I've heard it recommended many times but have never gotten around to trying it.

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