looking for an effective, reliable solvent


February 17, 2012, 09:40 PM
I've looked around at a few cleaning threads, but none have quite satisfied me. Therefore, I'm starting my own. If I missed one in my search, please redirect me and I'll delete this one.

I've been using hoppes 9 for a couple years now. At first when I was using to clean brand new guns it worked great. Would take about 5 patches and 15 min to get a clean barrel. However, after 3 years and several thousand rounds later, I'll run 20-30 patches, 4-5 boresnake pulls, and still spend hours on one gun while still have carbon coming out. I use bore brushes, snakes, and took one posters advice and let the hoppes soak for 15-20 min., still can't get it clean. I should make it clear I view my weapons as tools to be used and certainly don't coddle them, but I am worried about premature barrel wear and don't like the idea of carbon building up in my barrel.

I do have some break-free CLP but am hesitant to use it since I'm not entirely familiar with how it works. Do I soak it, do I leave in after cleaning or run a dry patch through then oil it?

Cleaning my weapons used to be relaxing and even enjoyable, but now it has become a long arduous chore I dread every time. If any of you would be so kind to recommend a solvent or convert me to CLP, it would be most appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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February 17, 2012, 10:16 PM
Get some MPro-7 or KG-1 for powder residue.
They both use chelating agents to lift the carbon
I recommend the KG-1

I also recommend a bore guide and cleaning from the breech.
That will stop most all barrel wear.

Run two soaked patches through ...and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then push a dry patch through and let it drop all the crud out of the muzzle. Run 2-3 more dry patches, but scrub them in the barrel big time before dropping out the muzzle.

Another soaked patch, then a soaked bronze brush cycled a dozen times. Let it sit again.

Push another patch through and drop it from the muzzle
Patch/scrub it out dry/clean at this point... probably 3-4 patches.

Lightly oil a patch with BreakFree, scrub it through the barrel, and walk away

February 17, 2012, 10:17 PM
I use BreakfreeCLP mostly on Glocks. Glock recommends it as the cleaner and lubricant for them. So soaking should be OK. Glocks don't accumulate much carbon so I don't know how it will work for your guns.

February 17, 2012, 10:35 PM
Woohoo. I just ordered some mpro so it'll be the first I try out. Never thought to soak a brush, in fact I thought it would corrode it, or is copper solvent it's own product separate from no.9? Anyway, thank you for the replies. I'm off to work now so I'll check back in the morning. Thanks again, keep them coming.

February 17, 2012, 10:52 PM
Don't soak the brush.;) Just thorough wet it down w/ solvent before running it through the barrel that dozen times and then let the barrel sit soaking. (Few appreciate how much letting the solvent do its job solves the problem)

Rinse the brush under the kitchen tap (MPro7 is water soluable) to get the solvent off and shake it dry.

February 18, 2012, 06:55 AM
Soaking both patches and brushes is problematic if you use the solvents straight from the bottle. Dipping a brush into the bottle contaminates the clean fluid in the bottle, and soaking a patch by pouring or dipping always seems to get you too much.

These flip-top bottles solve the problem.


Buy your solvents and cleaners in bulk, and transfer small quantities into the bottles. It's easy to dribble small amounts onto your brushes and patches, or directly into the bore and action. Also, the bottles are perfect for taking to the range.

February 18, 2012, 07:26 AM
I've tried both hoppes and MPro7 and I wasn't impressed.
What I'm using now is Butch's Bore Shine and Sweets 7.62 for copper removal.
Butch's already has ammonia in it but nowhere near the amount Sweets does.

I have also tested many different patches and found that there are some patches that work much better than others.
I use pro shot 100% cotton flannel finished patches.

You have to know that powder fouling can get trapped in layers under copper fouling which is why I use a multi step process. This multi step process is long but it will lead to easier and less frequent cleaning in the end.

I start by passing 2 wet patches of Butch's and then let it sit for 5 minutes.
I then push another 2 wet patches through and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
I then brush with a bronze brush for 10 strokes followed by 2 more wet patches.
I then follow with a few dry patches.

I then pass a loose fitting patch through a plastic slotted jag.
I saturate the patch with Sweets 7.62 and run it back and forth through the bore for 1 minute.
If the patch turns blue and there is copper present I will then dry patch and repeat with Sweets till I get no blue.
If you are using a brass rod or jag you will always get some hint of blue.

I will then go back to the start and repeat this whole process till there are no more layers of either copper or powder fouling.

I then polish the bore using JB Bore Compound followed by JB Bore Bright which can be seen in the Brownells Video section.

You will notice that the next cleaning will have less fouling and copper than the last.
After about the 3rd time of using this whole process I no longer had any more copper and the fouling didn't even require brushing any more.

I now only clean the barrel on my precision rifle when accuracy begins to fall off.

Trunk Monkey
February 18, 2012, 08:05 AM
I use a product that I found at work called "Houdini"


It's actually a lock lube but I watched a Facilities Maintenance guy use it on a sticky door at work one morning and was very impressed so I asked for a can and took it home and used a small amount to clean a gun.

It works best in small areas that you can’t normally get to and I watched it eat the carbon in the places I sprayed it on. I can’t speak to it’s effectiveness as a copper solvent but it will take the carbon off your guns

February 18, 2012, 09:04 AM
As far as copper removers go, I have to point the gentle readers to the actual test results:


Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- comes close to KG-12

February 18, 2012, 09:32 AM
I mean wow. Thank all of you so much for the thorough information. I have much to do. Thankfully I had the forethought to buy bulk and use little at a time. I used a graduated cylinder which was great for putting my AR's piston in while I worked the barrel (cringe if you must, but I love my M8L:D). I'm curious though, with any of the solvents listed below, is there a risk of eating through rubber gaskets and O-rings?

Still looking for a layman's guide through proper usage of CLP, I know it's just my ignorance, but something just doesn't seem right about leaving the chemical that just cleaned your gun in as a lube.

February 18, 2012, 09:52 AM
Still looking for a layman's guide through proper usage of CLP...

Believe me.... Don't over anal-ize (;)) the non-issue. BreakFree is the greatest thing since sliced bread as far as outstanding all-purpose do-all. I've been using it (not as a cleaner, but as a lube/preservative) since the mid 80s on everything but scrambled eggs. Just use it. :D

Only one thing better that I've discovered in all those years--and that was this year:

February 18, 2012, 10:12 AM
You've discovered my weakness. As abq said I'll try it out on my glock first. Thanks again everyone. Gotta be back at work in 12 so I'm retiring for the day. I'll check back before i leave. Love this forum. :)

February 18, 2012, 12:08 PM
I recently posted a thread about a stuck gas adjustment nut on a Baikal MP-153. I had tried CLP, Gunscrubber and even carb cleaner. After filtering through many suggestions I finally opted for PB Blaster and soaked it overnight. The next day the nut needed very little persuasion to break free. I worked the adjustment from fully closed to fully open a couple of times then rinsed it and soaked it again in PB Blaster. That 8 ounces of solvent was nearly black by them time I was done. I seriously doubt that shotgun had ever been cleaned and only filthy ammo was fired through it.

I can't speak for or against the other solvents but I, for one, am completely sold on PB Blaster.

ETA: But... this isn't bore solvent so I probably shouldn't have posted in this thread. Still, I'll leave it in case anyone can benefit from the info. Maybe it's good as a bore solvent too but I haven't researched that.

Just Here to Learn
February 19, 2012, 11:48 PM
The solvent that I have come to love is made by Barnes Bullets.

Although I don't know if they still make it, cause they sold out to the Wal-mart of gun manufactures :scrutiny: but they had a product called CR-10.

That stuff was 100 times better then CLP and I use it religiously on all my weapons. I bought it bulk and I will be sad if I can't find it again when it comes time to buy.

anyway worth a look. it is dang good stuff.
Just my .02

February 20, 2012, 09:44 AM
Worrying too much.
First run a patch or two soaked with Hoppes #9 and let sit for 30 mins. Then, a few passes with a Hoppes soaked brush, followed by running a few patches through with Hoppes #9 will do the job well enough. Then run a few dry patches through. Then a mop with a few drops of any brand of oil. You're DONE. Doesn't need to be any cleaner than that.

February 20, 2012, 11:42 AM
Moxie, I'm curious. When your final patches come out how clean/dirty are they? I certainly agree that guns don't need to be that clean, but this brings up the layers concept I read by Thump. I want to know if your way also clears out the copper fouling; more specifically, does the ol' no.9 act as a decent enough copper solvent on it's own?
For everyone else, I notice everyone is advocating patches, I'm curious as to how I could incorporate bore-snakes into the process, or if that would even be advantageous. I just love the idea of a washable, brush-sectioned, bore-hugger. Thoughts, gentlemen?

February 20, 2012, 02:08 PM

I don't use a bore snake. Never saw any advantage to them, unless for a quicky clean in the field. They're portable.

To answer your questions, patches come out a little dirty, but clean enough in my judgment. You can spend a lot of time with ever diminishing returns on this.

Copper. I do use Hoppes Copper Solvent in handguns once in a blue moon if I've been shooting tons of FMJs and some shows in the barrel. Never have in rifles.

Once in a while, if so moved, I might squirt some WD-40 (oh, the horror) or Break-Free CLP down the bore as a quick flush prior to actually cleaning, but only when really filthy such as after shooting a few hundred hard cast bullets.

The trick is to find the point of diminishing returns.

February 22, 2012, 12:06 PM

This stuff sounds like a good cleaner, where is it available? I used carb cleaner on an old Rem. .22, did ok, just wondering if this stuff is really better? I can dis-assemble it and do again if this stuff is that much better. Thanks!

February 22, 2012, 12:21 PM
I bought a gallon at Advance Auto Parts for less than $40 after tax. It came with a compatible quart-size spray bottle too.

February 22, 2012, 09:58 PM
Yep I have used PB Blaster for at least 15 years and it has done some near to impossible things with rust removal/cleaning. Just watch it with plastics and rubber, it does eat/dissolve some of them completely. I will use it with the Hoppes #9 in an alternating back and forth cleaning/soaking/scrubbing until the patches come clean. I also have had some success with Zep 45 rust penetrating oil but PB Blaster still works the best for ALL my firearms needs.

February 22, 2012, 11:20 PM
For cleaning and penetrating none better than kano kroil from my experience, as far as rust preventatives none better than eezox in my opinion, as far as grease goes I use rig grease. There ya go that should cover all genres.

February 23, 2012, 11:36 AM
Thanks FROGO, I'll go get some and try it, sound like this might work better than what I've got.

February 24, 2012, 01:43 AM
I gotta say to everyone in this thread, as a smith that cleans about 4 guns a day usually, I strongly recommend frog lube. I used hoppes 9, break free, MPro7, kroil, and so many others for years. None of them can even get close to the cleaning and lubrication you get from frog lube. don't take my word for it. Try it yourself. I didn't believe it until I cleaned my whole collection with hoppes. Once I was getting clean patches out of the bore, I started with frog lube. This stuff, which has no foul smell, and no harmful chemicals, which is quite important to someone who handles it enough, produced patches that were nearly black. Again, don't take my word for it. It's sold on brownells now, so go get a small bottle! You will NOT be disappointed!

February 24, 2012, 01:45 PM
I gotta say to everyone in this thread, as a smith that cleans about 4 guns a day usually, I strongly recommend frog lube. I used hoppes 9, break free, MPro7, kroil, and so many others for years. None of them can even get close to the cleaning and lubrication you get from frog lube. don't take my word for it. Try it yourself. I didn't believe it until I cleaned my whole collection with hoppes. Once I was getting clean patches out of the bore, I started with frog lube. This stuff, which has no foul smell, and no harmful chemicals, which is quite important to someone who handles it enough, produced patches that were nearly black. Again, don't take my word for it. It's sold on brownells now, so go get a small bottle! You will NOT be disappointed!

I did try it. Worked nowhere near as well as kano in my experience.

Old Dog Man
February 26, 2012, 02:44 PM
In my almost 50yrs of gunsmithing and cleaning guns, the best, quickest, and easiest copper remover is Bore-Tech and it contains no ammonia. The copper removers with ammonia in them is very corrosive and will damage your bore and other parts if not totally desolved. Barnes CR-10 has 10% and Sweets has 7.65% stopped using them when I discovered Bore-Tech. (Brownells.Com) Al

February 27, 2012, 12:29 PM
Again. Love this forum. I don't post nearly as much as I would like and it's really nice to see this thread growing.

I have no problem saying I'm still a newbie pretty much and still have much to learn about cleaning. Naturally I have more questions. I want to get the most I can out of all this so just to ensure I understand everything I'm going to ask some seemingly obvious questions that I probably already know, and I understand I could google these and get some decent results, but I want to hear from experience and try to filter out baseless speculation. Besides, it's a good feeling knowing others' google searches will no doubt lead to this thread and we'll get more members because of it.

Which solvents have ammonia and which don't? From what I gather, it seems there are far less damaging products that still get decent if not better results. Does CLP have ammonia?

Moxxie's aside implies there is stigma on the use of WD40. What's the damage-effectiveness ratio of WD and would it suffice as a SHTF cleaner? Would it be used as solvent only or poor-mans CLP? For that matter, what other chemicals could be used as an emergency solvent and which sould absolutely be avoided?

As for the frog lube v. kano oil debate, how much of what kind of ammo do both of you go through?

In addition to solvents, what oils and lubes do y'all prefer? Is oil oil or is there really a noticeable difference? Again, out of curiosity, what would suffice in an emergency and what are they're respective pros/cons.

As far as the actual cleaning process, using proper procedures, how much does it take to wear down a barrel? like I said, I spent hours on one gun at a time in search of that clean patch and was always concerned about wear. How much do chrome-lined barrels withstand this? Is the chrome mainly a chemical buffer or do they help protect against pitting too?

I'm still curious about what would eat through the rubber gaskets on my piston key.

If there's any tip, trick, link, answer to unasked question, or video y'all would like to share please do. I'll take all the information I get

Thanks again to all of you for helping me out. It is much appreciated. I'll contribute whatever I can once I've had a chance to try some of these out.

March 12, 2012, 02:35 AM
Sorry for the delay in reply, I personally shoot all kinds of ammo, and usually a couple hundred rounds a week of 9mm and .45 ACP.

As for my customers I cannot say for sure, but most of them it seems shoot the cheapest stuff on the market.

This thread go me thinking though, so I started looking for a better answer, using all of the suggestions put forth in this thread. I think I have found the best method! (though not the cheapest.)

Today I had 4 guns to clean. A S&W 625,(500 rounds of aluminum blazer) a glock 21,(same case) a Sig 226, (600 rounds of federal) and my M1 carbine, (200 rounds of Vietnam era surplus) all round nose FMJ.

With each, I started with my normal strip and inspect, using a bronze brush and hoppes #9 to scrub off carbon. However while stripping and inspecting the guns I let my new formula brew. I mixed from lube paste, kroil, and shooters choice copper solvent. Since the frog lube works best on a warm gun, I heated the barrels (and the cylinder on the 625) with a heat gun until warm to the touch, nothing extreme. Using a bore brush that was damaged , I gobbed my new paste on, and ran it into the barrels, allowing plenty to sit in the bore. After cleaning the frames, slides, ect, and assembling as far as I could without the barrels, I went to work.

I got a fresh brush, and scrubbed the bores. Ten to twenty strokes did the trick. I put my brass jag on,
And ran 2 patches through. By the third they came out clean, and the bores had no sign of copper or carbon. All in all I let the paste sit about 20 minutes.

I can't express how simple this made my cleaning process. If anyone is interested I will post some pictures of how these bores came out. On the stainless guns it looked like a barrel straight from the lathe in the factory. The blued ones were close to the same story, since they had seen much use.

This metgod combines the best of all the worlds in my opinion. The paste frog lube seasons itself into the pores of the warm metal, allowing you to skip the bore conditioners. The kroil breaks all the fouling loose and the copper solvent (while high in amonia) does wonders for removing that nasty copper that you just can't seem to get out.

Hope it helps you guys out, I know it makes work (and cleaning up after playing on the range) a breeze!


March 19, 2012, 10:14 AM
First off, sorry it's taken so long to reply, but there's valid reason I promise...
Came back a week ago from 2 week vacation where all I did was shoot all day every day. I've got a lot of dirty guns that need attention, but more on that in a bit.

I just put part of my refund to good use at Brownells. I was expecting a mix of answers when I needled this thread but was honestly expecting a few collective favorites to come out of this. Working with what I have, I did my research and still had so many options of chemicals, so I just made a list and bought almost all mentioned here. I figure I'll find uses for them all eventually, but enough justification, onto the list:

froglube paste and liquid
butch bore shine
jb compound and bright
and finally a can of foam cleaner that got high marks.

this is all in addition to the hoppes, m pro 7, tetra grease, and breakfree I already have.

Since i clean in the relatively small space of my garage and most of my weapons have some plastic somewhere, I'm going to do my best to use as much non-toxic and odorless chems as I can afford without sacrificing quality. In that spirit, I replaced Thump's sweets with kg. Judging by those test results and every written review, I doubt I will be disappointed.

Now for the weapons. I have some form of plan for each but if anyone here has $.02 to share I'm all ears. Like I said, they're all in need of a good, solid cleaning and while the barrels were the primary focus of this thread, I'm curious if any of the following have any tips or tricks to them or if y'all see any red flags with any of the chems listed above. Each gun is listed with highlights/concerns I have if applicable. Bear in mind, for the older guns especially, I'm treating this as a first-clean-ever type of scenario, especially where copper is concerned. I doubt they will be worked this thoroughly for a while after I'm done with them. They all are fed brass w/ Cu jacket unless stated o/w.

.38 revolver-
lots of wadcutter along with Cu jacketed. need to see which chem is best for straight lead

.40 glock-
thinking might try the froglube clp on this one

.40 czp06-
dad's gun. Found out he took it upon himself to clean it... using flux cleaner.:uhoh: definitely worried about damage since I doubt he did anything else. Rea lly want input on this one. Don't know much about flux or cz barrels. ooked on MSDS. Flux he used eats aluminum and zinc. He just used it barrel. Still, hope that gun doesn't have any parts made of alkali, alkaline, or poor earth metals...

Piston AR-
has chrome-lined barrel but still going to going to go after it with a butch-kg12 laryer treatment followed by Jb finish which I will refer to as the modified thump treatment for remainder of thread. The piston itself is steel so not worried about corrosion, however the piston key always has a ton of carbon requiring a thorough soak, and I want to make sure I don't damage the rubber O-ring gasket on it. Thinking a soak in Mpro 7 might be enough to get job done. Unsure about what to use on bolt.

m1a- modified thump treatment on barrel, maybe froglube liquid on piston rod... tetra grease and either froglube liquid or hoppes oil as finishing on all other parts.

rem 700-
modified thump treatment on barrel, unsure about bolt.

rem 870-
foam cleaner on barrel followed by froglube heat treatment from roadsidesaint. Unsure about other parts, but need to find a friction-fighting lube for the forend guides as they tend to get stuck during rapid fires.

win 1906 .22- been neglected for decades. still shoots but not accurate. I see kroil in it's future.

marlin 30-30- sister's gun. She has no idea how to clean it so she hasn't touched it. It's a used gun too so probably will kroil it as well. Beyond that... I dunno.

And finally, mosin m44-
Made in 1950 and used by polish trainers for a loooong time. Not once have I been able to get a clean swab. In addition, she has a nasty habit of breaking my cleaning rods. I'm thinking extended and heavy modified thump treatment after it's had some kroil and maybe some foam put through to attempt to loosen. I expect this one to take a few days to work on.

Anytime I mention froglube, I want to make clear I plan on taking roadside's advice and warming the barrel, which leads to a question for Roadside: when you heat the barrel, do you lightly torch from the outside or heat from the inside?

I'm working on a recipe for when the chems get here and I can see what mixes well, and will of course share my results once I have them. Until then, I look forward to reading everyone's advice and of course hope to help out if I can. Ill post pics if requested, but of course that's all still a few days away.

Thanks again to all of you. For the first time in a long while I'm actually looking forward to breaking 'em down and cleaning up.:D

March 19, 2012, 11:19 AM
IMO, it doesn't matter much which cleaner or lube you use as long as you do the work. For the barrels, run a few soaking swabs through the bore, get it real wet, and let it set for a few hours. Then proceed. Use bronze brush if necessary.
A really filthy receiver might need a good flushing with brake/carb cleaner, Gunblast, or even WD-40. Yes it's a good cleaner. Swab it out well, and then clean and lube with whatever is handy.

March 19, 2012, 11:38 AM
I'm still pretty fond of Gunzilla for most cleaning.

If I need to deal with copper fouling I also like a good foaming bore cleaner and I tend to go back and forth between Outers or Gunslick for that specific application.

March 19, 2012, 03:29 PM
I have tried many of the cleaners mentioned. But by far the easiest quickest and best cleaner I have used is Bore Tech Eliminator. I have cleaned guns with Hoppes ,Gunslick bore foam breakfree and many others and when finished went back and cleaned the same gun with Bore Tech Eliminator and removed more carbon and copper. The other products had removed all that they would but the Bore Tech showed me what they were missing. Great stuff I say.

hang fire
March 19, 2012, 09:28 PM
There is a wonder product for such that is readily available most anywhere, it is called automatic transmission fluid.

March 19, 2012, 10:13 PM
Love ATF as a lube, but it's not the greatest solvent.

March 20, 2012, 04:33 AM
I have tried many of the cleaners mentioned. But by far the easiest quickest and best cleaner I have used is Bore Tech Eliminator. I have cleaned guns with Hoppes ,Gunslick bore foam breakfree and many others and when finished went back and cleaned the same gun with Bore Tech Eliminator and removed more carbon and copper. The other products had removed all that they would but the Bore Tech showed me what they were missing. Great stuff I say.

My experience with the stuff is similar. Nothing I've found will clean an old milsurp's bore faster or better.

March 20, 2012, 04:43 AM
I like MPro7. One thing to keep in mind with CLP (MPro7 calls theirs LPx) in my experience is that it continues to lift carbon so any time you wipe a little oil it always appears dirty. They have cleaner, copper cleaner, and their LPX.

I also like the fact that it doesn't have smelly fumes. Nice to be able to clean guns in the house and not the garage if I feel like it without bothering anyone.

April 1, 2012, 12:08 PM
Ok. Finally done cleaning and have great results.

I should mention in addition to the chems, I also ordered the big, expensive Otis kit, as I was sick of rods and jags breaking on me. I must say I was thoroughly impressed with it and used every tool in it. For those on the fence I gotta say it exceeded my expectations. I can tell it'll survive on my bench for a long time. =)

Basically, I stripped them down as much as I felt comfortable, hit trouble spots with the foam, let sit for 15-30 min, ran a patch or two then sprayed mpro7, sit, and ran a couple more patches. Once the easy cleaning was done, I scrubbed the barrels then either repeated the foam, mpro, or butches, and again let sit 10-15 min. once I was satisfied I broke out the kroil. This is where it got interesting. No matter how many clean
patches I was pulling out before oiling, the first kroil patch came out black every time. So, I ran kroiled and dry patches in intervals of two until I was seeing mostly pink. Then worked over some small patches of surface rust from a rainy day at the range with more kroil. Assembled and that was it. Each gun took between an hour or two.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to try out the froglube or either JB paste, as I just didn't see the need to break them out at the time. :/

Biggest props go to the kroil, although it isn't a solvent at all, when soaked into a patch it seems to creep deep enough into the fouling to at least remove it if not break it down. That plus it's use for rust prevention/removal, lube, and its subtle, almost pleasant odor makes it one of my new faves.

The Mpro 7 surprised me. I honestly wasn't expecting the results it gave me.
Put the spray bottle to the barrel, squirt twice then rolled it around while looking through the bore. It was so cool watching the carbon softening and expanding before my eyes as it broke down. First patch was always black. However, this may in combination with the foam put in before it. I didn't try the mpro on its own and it could just be that the two make a powerful combination.
The foam is made by gunslick and made cleaning a lot easier being it expanded into every tiny space and a copper solvent as well as carbon. All I had to do was make sure I wrapped a towel around the straw to prevent it all from coming out towards me and apply it. Like I said, I was going off reviews and was expecting decent coverage. I was again pleasantly surprised when I saw blue foam spitting continuously out of the barrel and the gas ports on my AR and M1A :what:. After 30 min all that was left was a lot of softened fouling.

The butches I wasn't as impressed with. Aside from the noxious fumes, it didn't seem to put that big a dent into the fouling. Sure, patches came out a deepish gray, but eh, not worth the fumes. To make sure I gave it a fair shot, I let it sit in my mosin for 12 hours. Basically after regular cleaning mentioned above, I swiped a soaked butches patch through then soaked a bore snake in the stuff. I then ran it through and stopped with the just the brush section sticking out. Every hour or so I would come down and run it back and forth a few times to ensure the snake wasn't dry and air out the garage. After the 12 hours I pulled out a slightly darkened snake, with the barrel seemingly untouched. Scrubbed with a brush and ran some dry patches through. Gray. That barrel is still caked with fouling from 1952. I'm tempted to run the snake again with kroil instead of butches.

I also ran a patch or two of kg 12 on the rifles. While the lack of odor was nice, the results were a little lackluster. I was expecting a nice deep blue. Maybe it was because I only let it sit for 5ish min, but the patches pulled were a light blue. Of course, there's no telling how much the initial foam application got out.

All in all, after a lot of work, I have 10 clean guns and a clean-er mosin. Will probably put the snake through the wash then try the kroil soak.

TL;DR- expensive otis wise and worthy investment.
kroil- best stuff on the planet, no odor (go back and read this part)
gunslick foam- very effective, surprised how well it works, no odor
mpro7- effective and plays well with the foam- no odor
butches- works ok, but expected higher yield after a 12 hour carbon buffet- will burn your nose off
kg-12- you'll get blue patches, but may have to let it sit longer than 5-10 min
JB pastes and froglube- didn't get a chance to try. Will post when I do.

Thanks again for all the help and input. It is greatly appreciated and hope I was able to return the favor. Any questions y'all have I'll happily answer if I can. Happy Cleaning. :D

April 1, 2012, 12:23 PM
posted twice accidentally. Couldn't figure out how to delete totally, so did this instead :/

April 2, 2012, 09:22 PM
I also ran a patch or two of kg 12 on the rifles. While the lack of odor was nice, the results were a little
lackluster. I was expecting a nice deep blue. Maybe it was because I only let it sit for 5ish min, but
the patches pulled were a light blue. Of course, there's no telling how much the initial foam application got out.

KG-12 is specifically for copper (though it will also clean up any leftover powder).
KG-12 does not -- repeat -- NOT turn blue as it removes that copper.
Instead you get the copper coming out after a few minutes wet/soak as
a brown crud on the patch that is unmistakable as you dry-patch it out.

It's one-shot effectiveness can be measured by the fact that Butch's BoreShine run
through the barrel afterwards indicates no residual blue at all.

April 4, 2012, 07:02 AM
Good to know. I'll be sure to run some on a friends mosin I got coming to me for cleaning. Thanks for the correction.

Red Cent
April 4, 2012, 07:38 PM
"one quart ATF, one quart HD w30 motor oil, one pint Marvel Mystery Oil, one pint STP Oil treatment, and one small bottle of Hoppes #9."

This is a mix of a former sniper and Marine rifle team. This is a concoction shown in the Rifle Shooter, May/June 2012 edition.

Seems automatic transmission fluid turns up in a bunch of cleaning and lube cocktails on popular firearm sites on the internet. They claim while it lubes and cleans, the Hoppes will not allow carbon to "stick" to the metal and cleans easily.

The Marvel MysteryOil is prescribed to be added to the fuel AND the oil of diesels. That interests me.

I have stated before I am a big fan of RemOil. Ispay it on the firearms, let it set, and spray again to rinse off. 100#s of air later I wipe down and store barrel down.

However, I am going to mix the aforementioned brew and try it.

April 5, 2012, 01:33 AM
Red Cent, Mike1-7, and Moxie, a few questions:

It seems auto fluids (atf in particular) have gained a confident fanbase over time. It may be that I'm just green to cleaning and lube or that I'm just a snob, but I just have a skepticism about using auto chems. I just imagine thick, noxious goop getting into unreachable areas and possibly corroding parts. I definitely saw their potential for cheap plentiful cleaning alternatives for a shtf scenario, but am just now starting to come around to the thought of using them for regular cleaning. Mainly I just need the skinny on processes, recipes, and risks.

In that mixture Redcent wrote about, did they specify how long it should soak in the barrel? For that matter, are these chems safe for any other part besies the barrel/non-moving parts?

Would it behoove me to sub the hoppes in that mix with butches? If smell is any indication the butches is more powerful and it wouldn't surprise me that they only used hoppes because of its availability.

From what I've read here, atf seems to make for a reliable lube but not solvent. Would it work in the same vein as my kroil theory where, even though fouling isn't dissolved, it is loosened up to where it just catches the patch?

Aside from auto fluids, what other chems have been known to show results on guns? Of particular interest to me is WD-40. I personally have no problem using it on some parts (says it works for guns on the can), but from research and discussions I've had there seems to be a stigma to using it, with no particular reason as to why. Any input on that would be appreciated.

Basically, I don't care if what I use on my guns as long as they give me results and don't damage the functional parts of the weapon. I'll be mixing up that marvel recipe too, though I'm going to make two types; one with hoppes and one with butches. I'll post my results and hope Redcent does as well so we can compare results. For science, Gentlemen.:cool:

April 5, 2012, 07:08 AM
I don't have the knowledge to answer those questions. I only know that one of the solvents recommended to me worked for the one application... dissolving the carbon build-up an a shotgun gas adjustment nut.

April 5, 2012, 08:42 AM
Don't be a skeptic. Most automotive applications are far more severe in terms of pressure and heat than for firearms. As I said earlier, ATF is a great lube but not a solvent. A good synthetic motor oil like Mobil 1 is a great lube also. Auto greases are great for slide rails, etc. Hoppe's has dissolved everything I needed to be dissolved on my guns lo these many years, and their copper solvent is also good when you get a bit of copper fouling in the bore. Just run a few wet patches down the bore when you start the cleaning job. When you're finished with everything else, clean the barrel bore.
Redcent's mixture above looks OK to me. The Hoppe's is there probably to thin the mix. I haven't seen STP in a long while, as automotive oils have become so good there really isn't any need to add stuff anymore. It was different back in the 60s.
WD-40 IMO is in fact a great cleaner and solvent. I often spray it on after I've cleaned with Hoppe's and wipe everything off. Then lube. It's very thin and evaporates fairly quickly. It does help protect against corrosion. Before the internet, many people used it on guns all the time. Those guns are still in good shape.

Red Cent
April 5, 2012, 09:39 AM
I believe WD-40 is better known as a penetrant and water displacement. It is not recognized for its lubricity.

Someone gave me a number of cans of 318 a while back. This is a tool oil for compressors, air tools, and a penetrant. I used it on a couple of rode hard put up wet firearms and was surprised how easily I could remove the black stuff.

I compete in SASS every weekend so I clean my comp guns regularly. Another thing: I shoot lead and plated/washed bullets only. I cannot speak to the ability of 318 on copper fouling. The Hoppes mixture should take care of that.

Again, I am going to mix a few gallons of the aforementioned concoction and use it in my parts washer. I, religiously, remove the stocks and submerge them in a cleaner to soak. 100#s of air takes care of the excess.

What interests me that the Hoppes will not allow carbon to "stick".

Red Cent
April 5, 2012, 09:44 AM
No mention of time spent soaking.

April 6, 2012, 08:43 AM
ATF won't corrode your gun parts. Transmission gears are metal too. I can't swear to its effectiveness as a solvent but I can attest that it makes a first class firearms and knife lube when mixed two parts ATF to one part STP and one part Mobil 1 synthetic oil.

I can see how ATF would be useful as a soaking solvent for powder or bullet lube fouling just by virtue of being so cheap. Soak a patch and liberally wet the bore, then let it work for a few minutes. The biggest amount of initial fouling is probably removed more by mechanical than chemical action anyway, so why use the expensive stuff for the first pass when the brush or patch is doing all the work anyway?

I think the takeaway message of this thread is that we all will never agree on the best bore cleaner :)

Of particular interest to me is WD-40. I personally have no problem using it on some parts (says it works for guns on the can), but from research and discussions I've had there seems to be a stigma to using it, with no particular reason as to why.

The stigma comes from its lack of staying power as a long-term rust preventative. WD40 will evaporate over time, leaving guns to rust whose owners think they are protected. It happened to a fantastic original High Standard target pistol my Dad owned. He hosed it down with WD then stuck it under his bed. When he pulled it out a couple of years later it was rusty, and the part that wasn't rusty was gummy. I would be happy to spray it on a wet gun, or to spray it down a dirty bore, but I wouldn't depend on it for long term storage. That's why they invented Johnson's Paste Wax!

April 8, 2012, 10:55 AM
Elkins- Agreed. Didn't expect a true consensus went I needled this thread but still got some great information and insight nonetheless.

I can see with the quick evaporation why wd-40 wouldn't be good for protection. I remember reading on the company's website how it was originally developed in trials as a rust prevention for ICBM's, and considering the things it lubes (doors, fans etc.) I wonder what makes it evaporate in storage? I'm curious if that only applies to the aerosol. Not sure if they sell it in a can, though I do have a wd-40 pen in garage. (very useful) I dunno, just a thought. :rolleyes:

While were on the subject, We've covered shtf solvents and lubes a bit, but what else would work in a pinch. Particularly in the case of a substitute grease lube for my m1a. Haven't had it for very long and so far have only used tetra grease. Interested in knowing my options..

April 8, 2012, 03:01 PM
In a shtf pinch, a fingerful of oil off a dipstick will keep most any gun running for awhile.

April 8, 2012, 03:51 PM
Carbon cutter is the most aggressive carbon remover I have used.


April 8, 2012, 09:17 PM
I like Breakfree CLP as a general-purpose gun cleaner and lubricant. I started using Ballistol for cleaning blackpowder guns, though, and I've found it works as well as CLP as a general cleaner, and is a good protectant and rust preventer. Unlike a lot of other cleaning solvents, it's non-toxic, and doesn't eat brass brushes or harm plastics and gunstock finishes. Ballistol and water, AKA "Moose Milk", is very good for cleaning up after firing corrosive primed surplus ammo, as well as blackpowder.

April 8, 2012, 09:20 PM
Ed's Red works for me, followed up by a rinse with WD-40 and then liberally oiling....I also have used WD-40 as a wash/cleaner for years with good results.

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