Aluminum safe bore cleaner


August 19, 2011, 11:47 AM
What is a safe and effective bore cleaner that will not affect/damage aluminum?

What chemical in bore cleaners react with aluminum?

I have a Ruger LCR which I read is aluminum frame. I also have a semi-auto that has aluminum. I donít want to take any risks with aluminum, so want a 100% safe bore cleaner that will not affect aluminum.


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August 19, 2011, 11:56 AM
Anything that is strictly solvent based will be fine. The classic bore cleaner would be Hoppes #9.

It's only if you want to use the foaming or other lead or copper dissolving type cleaners that you need to look at what it may or may not do to aluminium.

For my own part I have never found any need to use anything other than a solvent style cleaner on any handguns. And perhaps after shooting a lot of lead rounds sometimes a bore brush to remove the odd spot of stubborn leading in the grooves. I use the cheap to make and effective to use Ed's Red mix for this. The rare time a spot of leading is stubborn I pull out my bottle of Hoppes wet patch it, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then one or two passes of a bore brush and it's done.

August 19, 2011, 02:19 PM
I've been reading anything with ammonia or chlorine reacts with aluminum. Is this true?

Hoppe's has their #9, Elite Bore Cleaning Solvent Gel, Elite Gun Cleaner.
#9 has ammonia.
Elite does not have ammonia.

Not sure if copper is going to be a problem that needs more effective (harsh) bore cleaning, so I'm trying to be safe and conservative so I can keep my guns longer, looking good, and not malfunction or lose accuracy.

August 19, 2011, 03:03 PM
that is what the military used on the M16 for years. Also , I have used for many years Hoppe's #9 with good results. Anything with a high pH which is caustic (too basic) such as ammonia is not good and those with very low pH , which is too acidic, such as chlorine compounds are not good for aluminum. Most gun cleaners do not fall within those ranges for good reason. Also , Ammonia is extremely bad for nickle finished guns.

August 19, 2011, 03:22 PM
affect the aluminum. It is less than 3%.

August 19, 2011, 06:53 PM
I would tear off a piece of aluminum foil, degrease it and apply some suspect products to it and see what happens. Straight ammonia will begin to flatten the finish on shined non-anodized aluminum surfaces with repeated applications.

August 19, 2011, 08:16 PM
I limit my cleaning to CLP type products such as BreakFree CLP, Ballistol, and Slip 2000. I haven't used SteelShield and Frog Lube, but I'm sure they are also good.

My guns just don't get that dirty that I need to use hazardous chemicals to get them clean.

I also haven't used degreasers since I spend some time, effort and money putting lube on my pistols. I'm not interested in taking all of it off unless I need to apply a finish or something else I need to stick to the pistol.

August 19, 2011, 08:20 PM
If you have the time to let it set (say overnight) Kroil actually does a good job of loosening fouling which can then be brushed out.

August 20, 2011, 08:41 AM
...and check the product directions before buying...


August 20, 2011, 12:56 PM
Anything that is strictly solvent based will be fine.

Depends on what solvent.

Chlorinated solvents can be hard on aluminum (trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, etc.).

While the oxide layer and passivation layers provide some protection, any scratch that occurs with a chlorinated solvent present will allow a reaction.

August 21, 2011, 10:35 AM
I've used Hoppe's #9, Kroil and Shooter's Choice solvents on aluminum-framed SIGs and S&W Airweights. The finish on one of my S&W 642s has holster wear down to the bare aluminum in several areas but these cleaners have not had any damaging effect on the finish or the bare aluminum. Typically, in addition to swabbing the bores, I saturate the guns with solvent and scrub them with a nylon brush to remove deposits. I think you will be safe with any of them.

August 21, 2011, 11:16 AM
Ballistol does it all IMO. If you are shooting cast lead bullets or filthy foreign rounds, you might want something a bit stronger.

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