brake fluid for cleaning?


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sonier
April 22, 2010, 12:29 AM
I have been using brake fluid to eat rust and disolve grime in a few tractor engines before, this fluid seems to eat all the unnatural material away and not screw the metal up, so I had a nice 30/30 leveraction that had horrible blackpowder grime build up and rust from shooting it, say 100 times? and not cleaning it for 6 months, BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER so I was out of blackpowder solvent and decided to give brake fluid a try, so i ran a patch saturated with this. I let it sit for 5 minutes, then scrubbed it 5 times with a bronze brush and ran patches till it was dry, I then did this process one more time, and sure as heck now I have a squeaky clean shiny bore, the easiest i have ever cleaned blackpowder out in my life.
I thought of some precautions like brake fluid will eat paint and dissolve a lot of stuff so i made sure non got on the stock or bluing, I dont know if this is a smart idea using brake fluid, but i dont think brake fluid will disolve metal, so another precaution was clean all the brake fluid out and run a patch of transmission fluid full synthetic to oil the bore. Im just wandering if anyone else has tryed this before me :)

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scythefwd
April 22, 2010, 01:25 AM
I've thought about it... never tried it. I've also thought about carb cleaner and engine degreaser. They seem to be able to eat away anything but metal... Never tried it though.

scrat
April 22, 2010, 01:46 PM
Only i problem i see with that is leaving the inside bare metal. most guns are blued on the inside as well. now im sure after a period of time that bluing starts to come off. Running brake cleaner would for sure remove any bluing off. So you are going to have a shiney barrel that needs to be forever treated. This unless you get one of those cold bluing kits and run a couple of passes through to reblue the inside. otherwise you will need to make sure forever that you put some oil down the barrel. i would have for sure stayed away from brake cleaner with mine.

scythefwd
April 22, 2010, 03:45 PM
I don't think the bores are blued. The first 20 shots or so will wear that off pretty quick if it was. I would only use it on the bore, not any other parts, but I have never tried it.

scrat
April 22, 2010, 03:54 PM
looking down from the muzzle on almost all of my guns from the begining you see the same color as the outside. even on my 30-30 you see the same color. now not too sure how much it goes but its blued. now on my revolvers that i de blued there is no color but solid steel. 2 of these i have re blued the inside and i no longer see the rust spots on them as you did after cleaning them before. still best to lube but i just like the pre caution. my 30-30 probably has around 3000 rounds through it. and if i look down the muzzle end and see bluing at the end and what about an inch you can see down its good to me to assume there is some bluing.

sundance44s
April 22, 2010, 04:32 PM
only problem I can see it would be hard on the finish of the wood ...it would eat it off ...
and it might eat blueing off also ..
brake fulid is some stout stuff ...I would try it on a bad looking bore though when all else failed ...and I wasn`t worried about the blueing as much .

Chawbaccer
April 22, 2010, 04:52 PM
Brake fluid is pretty hydroscopic. Leave it on metal and it will rust.

Hellgate
April 22, 2010, 05:03 PM
Just for clarification here.............. are we talking about brake FLUID or brake CLEANER? I have used brake cleaner before (in an aerosol spray can) and it is very quick to evaporate and really degreases & dries everything off leaving bare but still blued metal in need of oil. I've not used brake fluid yet but have made Ed's Red with transmission fluid.

Sniper X
April 22, 2010, 05:27 PM
I have been using brake CLEANER for cleaning guns for years. But never tried brake FLUID.

AbitNutz
April 22, 2010, 05:59 PM
Most brake cleaning chemicals involve Carbon Tetrachloride, which is just fine for degreasing most anything. Brake fluid on the other hand is relatively caustic and will absolutely cause rust. This is why brake lines are now almost universally stainless steel.
Brake cleaner on guns...yes. Brake fluid on guns...no.

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 22, 2010, 06:02 PM
Well, I have looked down the barrels of lot's of black powder firearms, plus 30-30's, .45-70's, .338 Win. Mags, M-16 and it's various designations, M-14's, M1's, M14 and M1 Carbines, .50 cal. machine guns, M-60 machine guns, .30 cal machine guns, .50 sniper rifles, and lot's and lo's of other kinds of rifles, shotguns, and revolvers, and semi auto pistols and whatnot, and I have yet to see one of them that was blued. I'vd seen them with the treatment and the finish where they had been rifled and they were coated to protect against rust while they were being shipped to some store to be sold but By God I'vd never seen one blued from the factory and even if they were stupid enough to do that the bluing would all burn right out of there with the first couple of shots. Damn! Just when I start to think there's some good common sense people on here someone will come up with some sort of dumb ignorant uneducated s*** like bluing the inside of a damned gun bore....

Ohio Gun Guy
April 22, 2010, 06:32 PM
^ Breathe....... 1......2.......3......... Breathe (Repeat)

;)

jimmyraythomason
April 22, 2010, 06:36 PM
Just when I start to think there's some good common sense people on here someone will come up with some sort of dumb ignorant uneducated s*** like bluing the inside of a damned gun bore....
I ALWAYS blue the bores of EVER gun I reblue. I doubt that it stays blued after a couple of shots but they ALL start out that way.

FuzzyBunny
April 22, 2010, 08:13 PM
All my rifles are blued on the inside of my barrel.
Your Fang Face ammo will perform like it should if it is blued.

sonier
April 22, 2010, 11:49 PM
Brake fluid as in the thing that goes in the cylinder and lines, i used it in my 30/06 ran 150 rounds threw my rifle watched accuracy go from 3/4 moa to 2 moa then ran brake fluid one pass let sit for 5 min the 5 scrubs with bronze then wipe it out coat with lil tranny fluid and was shooting 1/2 moa and 3/4 moa groups. but yes it will kill the wood and kill the bluing.

scythefwd
April 23, 2010, 01:25 AM
Scrat - I have an unfired .308 and the bore is very shiny, most definitely not blued.

arcticap
April 23, 2010, 01:58 AM
I have a Pedersoli rifle with factory bluing inside the bore which is still completely intact after 100's of shots. That's probably because of the patches being lubed with bore butter which eliminates a lot of the friction.
Traditional muzzle loaders must be a different breed...:D

scythefwd
April 23, 2010, 03:29 AM
It may depend on how the company blues its barrels. IF they are blued by being dipped, then the bore (assuming the bluing occurred after the cutting of the bore) would be blued. If the bluing is sprayed on, then the bore would be clean. If the bluing was applied before cutting the bore (why would you do that even... you'd run a high risk of marring the finish during the rest of finishing the barrel) then the bore would be clean.

Benmathes
April 23, 2010, 10:20 AM
Soo if you use brake fluid to clean a revolver- will you then be "firing on all cylinders?"

Sorry- couldn't resist

I'm in Iraq and a laugh is a laugh!

sonier
April 23, 2010, 02:10 PM
well not sure what you mean by firing on all cylinders, but i dont know if brake fluid is flammable and will cause a chain fire, theres a lot of safety and other precautions that need to be looked at before just anyone starts using any new fluid for any cause.

sonier
April 23, 2010, 02:15 PM
well i decided to checka nd see how flammable brake fluid is, and its not that flammable, maybe brake fluid vapors could be explosive so id still wipe any of it out of the barrel completely before firing.

jimmyraythomason
April 23, 2010, 03:25 PM
Thanks for your service Benmathes. I got the ''firing on all cylinders" being a former mechanic. Sonier; that reference has nothing to do with flammability.

gotgcoalman
April 23, 2010, 04:29 PM
well i decided to checka nd see how flammable brake fluid is, and its not that flammable, maybe brake fluid vapors could be explosive so id still wipe any of it out of the barrel completely before firing.


Over here it is very flamable!

Ronson or similar lighter petrol breaks down BP crud and evpourates quickly!

ClemBert
April 23, 2010, 10:09 PM
]By God I'vd never seen one blued from the factory and even if they were stupid enough to do that the bluing would all burn right out of there with the first couple of shots. Damn! Just when I start to think there's some good common sense people on here someone will come up with some sort of dumb ignorant uneducated s*** like bluing the inside of a damned gun bore....

Wow....just wow!

I'm no expert but it should be intuitively obvious to anyone with common sense that at least some barrels do have the inside blued. It is very typical that a complete barrel/assembly be submersed in the bluing solution without the ends capped. While the intent may not be to blue the inside of the barrel the end effect is to have the inside blued. Capping the ends of a barrel typically serves no purpose as the bluing does not have an appreciable thickness.

ClemBert
April 23, 2010, 10:10 PM
See the above.

Pancho
April 24, 2010, 12:47 AM
Interesting subject. Dot 3 and 4 brake fluid is a glycol-ester and is "hygroscopic" meaning it absorbs water. This is a good thing when you consider cleaning your firearm and it is not corrosive to ferrous metals in the short term because brake fluid also includes rust inhibitors to prevent corrosion to the insides of master cylinders,slave cylinders,and brake lines. The down side is that brake fluid is the devil on coatings such as paint and even polyurethane (don't get it on your gunstock). I don't know what it would do to bluing because bluing is not just a paint it is a chemical reaction with ferrous metal and I don't own a gun that I'd want to experiment with.
I think the bottom line is that brake fluid might work but unless you have an extreme problem like Sonier had I'd stick with Balistol or anything else you have experience with and faith in.

sonier
April 24, 2010, 01:19 PM
I have some blued parts im going to submerge in brake fluid for a test, but interesting info on the dot 3 and 4 fluid.

Chasing Crow
April 25, 2010, 07:48 PM
I am from a different school htan you fellas. I always "Break in" my barrels shooting with wonderlube only. I never clean with anything but water. My guns clean easy and barrels are bright as can be.

R.Clem
April 25, 2010, 10:36 PM
Off subject to a point: My son needed to clean a gas tank, used brake fluid, it came out spotless.
He thanks you all for the posting.

Ray

sonier
April 26, 2010, 03:11 PM
awsome i think brake fluid is a very interesting liquid. i used it on my savage 30/06 and I looked at my rifling and there is copper coloring in between my rifling im thinking its copper fouling if it dosnt come out with solvent i think it may be some corrosion or brake fluid intereacting with transmission fluid.

BCRider
April 26, 2010, 03:21 PM
On it's own brake fluid will not etch steel. The reason a lot of cars are using SS brake lines is two fold. Reduced rusting from external exposure to the elements and reduced rust from internal exposure to OLD WATER SATURATED BRAKE FLUID. Brake fluid is highly hygroscopic. Sucks water out of the air like a sponge. Unless brake systems are flushed on a regular basis the water in the fluid can attack the steel lines and other components. There's also the fact that it greatly lowers the boiling point of the fluid as the percentage of water rises. But this last part has nothing to do with it being used for our guns.

It's also excellent at ruining paints or varnishes. But I'm not sure about blueing. I'd have to try it.

The point is though that unless the brake fluid is left on the gun in place of an oil then it'll be fine for short term use such as cleaning. Only if left on the metal long term will it soak up water from the air and cause a rust friendly setting. But used for short term applications such as cleaning away deposits where you may let it sit for an hour is nothing.

MachIVshooter
April 26, 2010, 04:48 PM
Most of the downsides have already been pointed out, but I feel I should add that, when left on the surface long enough, brake fluid will absorb into the steel and make refinishing a nightmare, if not impossible. This may not be so with bluing (never tried to reblue brake fluid saturated steel), but it's true for paint.

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