Lead Removal/Handgun cleaning


January 11, 2009, 12:24 PM
Does anyone have any experience with using an automotive brake cleaner, like Krylon, as a cleaning solvant?
A ammo dealer at our local gun show suggested this and said it even helps remove leading?

"where ever you go; there you are"

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January 11, 2009, 01:29 PM
Never used it for removing lead, used it for general cleaning however once it got on plastic and ate it up that was the end of brake cleaner for me.

I now use lead remover from Shooters Choice with a piece of Choir Boy copper scrubing pad. Find them in the housewares section of most grocery stores. I usually wrap it around an old bore brush.
Good Luck

January 11, 2009, 03:25 PM
I use a lead-clean gun cloth on my stainless revolver. It is only recommended for use on stainless or nickel finishes though. Do not use on blued. It is amazing how easily it removes deposits of all kinds. I dis-assembled my revolver last night after some shooting at the club, and gave it a good cleaning. It looks as good as new now. No deposits what-so-ever. You can also cut it into patches. I have never used it on the bore or chambers though. This piece doesn't have enough rounds through it to worry about that yet. It does a great job on the cylinder face, and at the rear of the bore. Shiny clean. You do have to be careful to follow up with a lightly-oiled lint-free cloth of some kind to remove the abrasive residue it leaves behind. For the bore and chambers, I just treat them with CLP on a swab, then run a bore brush through, then swab them out with a dry patch until clean. Sometimes I'll apply a slight amount of gun oil before the dry patch.

January 11, 2009, 04:25 PM
The Lewis Lead Remover is the best thing I have ever found for removing leading in a barrel.


January 12, 2009, 09:29 AM
Ditto on the lead away cloth. I use it on my stainless guns and barrels. The thing works wonders.

January 12, 2009, 09:56 AM
To get lead out of a pistol barrel, you only need copper mesh wrapped around an old brush. If it's a tight fit, that will push the lead out of your barrel. Lead requires no chemicals to remove.

Once my barrel has been cleared of lead, I like to take a patch soaked with gun oil (I like Wilson's) and run it through the barrel. Then, take a clean copper brush (no mesh, just the brush) and run it through 10-15 times. Then run dry patches through until they come out clean. This will not only clean the barrel of all powder fouling, it will help prevent leading the in barrel the next time you shoot.

Brake cleaner is great for two purposes: 1) If you shoot copper jacketed bullets, brake cleaner will remove any remaining copper cleaner from your barrel (some guys prefer rubbing alcohol for this); and 2) With pistols, it's nice to spray the slide after you've scraped away as much powder fouling as you can. The brake cleaner will get into small cracks and blow out the remaining residue of fouling. Be careful not to spray plastic parts of a gun. Brake cleaner can "melt" plastic. I think someone makes a 'plastic friendly' version, but it's much more expensive than standard brake cleaner.

So no, brake cleaner doesn't remove lead.

January 12, 2009, 10:18 AM
Break cleaners are just volatile solvents and shouldn't have any effect on removing lead from a barrel.

February 8, 2009, 12:32 AM
A lot of break cleaners have asitone. Never use anything with asitone.

February 8, 2009, 01:03 AM
Run of the mill carb cleaner won't harm a Glock or AR, cuts the carbon nicely.

Ditto on the leading issue, use a brass brush or that brass screen kit material for a forcing cone. I've taken an M-16/AR chamber brush, pulled off the stainless strands and used it. Yes it's oversized, but it seems to be more aggressive. Don't change directions with it in the barrel.

Acetone aka fingernail polish remover, probably not needed.

February 8, 2009, 10:11 AM
The best formula for lead removal that I have found is a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

I plug the barrel with an old ear plug, fill it, and leave it for 10-15 minutes.

A brush and a patch finishes the job nicely.

One note of caution, vinegar is an acid. It can remove bluing if left on the blued surface.

I use a small funnel to keep the solution off the outer surface.

February 8, 2009, 10:51 AM
+1 on the Lewis Lead Remover. Why try to get it out with harsh solvents that might damage your finish when you can just pull it all out easily?

Brake cleaner is often used as a cleaner since it's good at removing carbon fouling. You have to be careful though as it can damage some finishes.

-Lewis Lead Remover to remove lead
-Butch's Boreshine to remove copper
-CLP or Gunzilla for everything else (usually all that is needed)

The good dedicated gun cleaners are more but you only use a very small amount so the cost of cleaning is really not much more than brake cleaner and you don't risk messing up your finish or plastic parts. If I needed a lot of a cheap but good cleaner I would mix up a batch of Ed's Red (just Google for the recipe). Another cheap cleaner is plain old kerosene. This is what the original manual for my High Standard Sentinel recommends using. It's rumored that Hoppe's 9 is just kerosene with stuff added to help cut the smell.

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