Been shooting non-jacketed ammo thru the wife's .38 special. I was wondering what a good cleaning solvent is that dissolves lead. Never thought about this as I have always shot copper jacketed ammo. Thanks in advance for any advice given.
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November 13, 2003, 02:18 PM
Nothing really dissolves lead easily, at least not without being just turbo toxic...
Your best option is a Hoppe's Lead Remover, which uses a brass screen to mechanically scrape the lead out of the barrel and chambers.
Works like a charm (labor intensive, though) and won't hurt the gun.
November 13, 2003, 02:39 PM
I just use some Shooter's Choice followed by brushing with a bronze brush with some SC poured on it. Follow the brushing with a couple of dry patches and it seems to work fine in my handguns for getting the lead out. I do this for my .45s, .38s, .357s, and .44s which all shoot healthy doses of cast bullets.
November 15, 2003, 06:10 PM
I've had good luck with Ed's red (homemade and recipe readily available on the net) and would use that (since I use it for EVERYTHING.)
November 15, 2003, 07:01 PM
Check this out:
For really stubborn lead removal try a 50/50 mix of Hydrogen Peroxide (the common drug store variety) and white vinegar. Plug the bore, fill it up using a dropper or syringe and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. (Do not let it stand for too long.) You may get some foaming so protect the barrel's external finish as this solution is not kind to bluing--so take appropriate precautions. Drain and wipe out the black muck that used to be lead and then immediately clean well with bore cleaner.
Thanks to Joe Sledge for this recipe.
Pure turpentine has reportedly also been used as a lead remover.
November 15, 2003, 09:44 PM
Spend the $15 (or something close to that) on a Lewis Lead Remover. Save yourself some elbow grease. It takes about 30 seconds to clean a moderately leaded bore. Maybe two minutes for a heavily leaded bore.
November 17, 2003, 12:03 AM
Bill Wilson's trick of wrapping some chore boy scouring pad (the copper kind) around an old bore brush and dry brushing the bore works like a charm. Cuts the lead right out in about 30 sec (like the Lewis remover, I imagine). The copper won't hurt your bore.
Just do it dry before you put any solvent or anything else in the barrel.
I fooled around with solvents with minimal success. I hear the foul-out reverse electroplate process works but sounds like too much trouble to me. The method above is cheap and super quick and works great.
November 17, 2003, 12:12 AM
I'd DRINK the hydrogen peroxide/vinegar mix before I put it in one of my guns.
I've heard of far too many problems that have been caused by this treatment.
November 17, 2003, 10:16 AM
I have not tried that peroxide/vinegar mix myself. just found it on that web site and passed it on.
I use the Hoppe's lead remover kit.
November 17, 2003, 11:34 AM
The Lewis (or Hoppe) lead remover works, but you've got to spend an extra $10 to buy the kit. JiminCA's suggestion of ChoreBoy is cheaper and works just as well.
November 17, 2003, 02:30 PM
A lead-removing cloth, Outer's or Hoppe's or some such. It's a thick cloth material impregnated with some sort of wonder substance. You just cut a patch and run 'er up and down the bore awhile, and it gets the lead out niceely with no strange solvents, no elbow grease. Works like a charm. I have a lewis tool but haven't needed it since finding the cloth.
November 17, 2003, 05:49 PM
From what I remember about shooting (it's been several weeks now), I use the Lewis Lead Remover to get the majority of the lead out, then use a couple of Kleen Bore patches to get the rest.
The hydrogen peroxide/white vinegar mix was discussed at length on The Firing Line. Here's some links to those threads: