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barrel cleaning

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by wasntme, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. wasntme

    wasntme New Member

    Jan 5, 2011
    hi guys,

    I recently bought my first gun. A Sig p226.
    I want to maintain it as good as I can by cleaning it regularly without going too crazy.
    I have read endless blogs and watch many videos.
    A question still remains:
    is it good for the barrel to clean it with those wire brushes?
    some say that it will damage the fine lining of the inside of the barrel and some say ... it's a barrel ... what can happen?

    I have watched videos where people bushing the inside of the barrel with wire bushes with no mercy. That just doesn't seem right to me. Is it?

    Please share your idea about this.

    Thank you.
  2. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Mentor

    Sep 26, 2006
    all over Virginia
    Use nylon or bronze brushes.

    Do NOT use steel brushes.
  3. reuben mishler

    reuben mishler New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    I agree with W.E.G. to use the bronze or nylon with solvent.
  4. wasntme

    wasntme New Member

    Jan 5, 2011
    thanks for the suggestions.
  5. Ruger GP100 fan

    Ruger GP100 fan Member

    Jun 14, 2010
    I was told the bronze brush needs cleaned after use...if a copper remover is used because the stuff will begin to eat the brush. True?
  6. VA27

    VA27 Participating Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Slovenly Manor, Dungheap-Upon-The-Hill
    As has been said, bronze or nylon. Better yet, Bore Snake: brush and patches all in one.

    Yes, copper cleaners will eat your bronze brushes, use patches only with copper cleaners.
  7. gbw

    gbw Active Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Deep South
    Why, exactly?

    (I admit it bugs me when folk uncategorically state "DO this..." or "DO NOT do that..." but don't bother with any reason. If the reason is obvious then the original statement was redundant. Or maybe some of us just aren't so smart. Anyhow, if something is important enough to demand or forbid, then please say why.)
  8. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Mentor

    Jan 8, 2011
    I use SS brushes in guns that have eaten a lot of lead loads. I've had my pet revolver for 21 years. It's bore still looks like new.
  9. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Active Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    If you use a metal brush, the brush needs to be a softer metal than the steel of the barrel, or the barrel will be scratched/damaged. Bronze is softer than steel, so bronze brushes are ok.
  10. Hendiadys

    Hendiadys New Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    ...and the steel in gun barrels, so called "Ordnance Steel" is a relatively soft steel. I've heard from people that crowned a barrel with a pocket knife. I've corwned one with a hand turned reamer. They cut rather easily. I avoid all brushes and rely primarily on solvent action to do the cleaning.
  11. 1max2nv

    1max2nv New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    How clean do you really need to clean a barrel? I ask this because I've ran about 5 patches thru my AR15 barrel and there is still some black residue on the patches. This is after I ran a bore snake with brush dipped with solvent a couple times.
  12. oldbear

    oldbear Participating Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    South East Coast
    It's thought best to use nylon or brass bore brushes, as steel may damage the lands and groves of a barrel.

    As for cleaning I run a bore snake through the barrel and charging holes as soon as I am done shooting. When I get home, I run a Hoppes soaked patch through the barrel and charging holes, let set 15 - 20 minuets then clean with brass brush. I then run patches through both the barrel and charging holes until the patch comes out clean. Then a wipe down of entire revolver with a clean cotton cloth and finish with a light oiling. Remember with oil or any lube less is considered to be more. Remember to keep any cleaning solvents off your grips.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  13. browneu

    browneu Active Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I've used Gunslick foaming bore cleaner for the first time this week. It made cleaning much easier, I just let it sit for half an hour and wipe clean with a jag and patches.

    The bore was cleaner than when I would scrub with brushes and solvent.
  14. lightman

    lightman Active Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    I still clean the old fashion way.I run a wet patch thru the barrel and let it sit for a few minutes.Then another wet patch,followed by several complete passes with a wet brush.Then another wet patch,followed by enough dry patches to remove the solvent.Then an oiley patch followed by a dry patch.I use brass or nylon brushes,not steel,and Shooters Choice.I also use a bore guide on rifles.
    This is just me,theres lots of other equally good stuff,and other good methods. Lightman
  15. toejamm

    toejamm New Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Western PA
    When all else fails......Read the instructions.

    Sig's P226 owners manual specifically says to NOT use a steel brush for bore cleaning. It says to use a SUITABLE rod and brush of the correct caliber. If the engineers at Sig thought brass would damage the bore, they would have stated it in the manual. I have never read a manual that warned against usage of brass bore brushes, although I have read ones warning against using nylon ones.

    Everyone cleans their firearms differently with different hardware, solvents, lubricants and techniques. One constant I've seen, is that everyone I know, right or wrong, uses a brass brush on their bores.

    Enjoy shooting your P226, it is a fine weapon.
  16. awgrizzly

    awgrizzly Member

    Oct 10, 2010
    I wasn't aware they even made steel brushes for cleaning barrels. That seems weird.
  17. Larry E

    Larry E Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    Billings, MT
    The stainless steel bore brushes are harder than the hubs of Hades and will scratch bores, especially in stainless barrels which are soft.

    A couple of patches with bore solvent to shove the loose junk out, push the patch through once and discard - yes it uses a bunch of patches, but do you reuse toilet paper? :evil: Then a bronze or nylon brush with bore solvent for 10 to 20 passes re-juicing the brush every 10 or 12 passes. Let it sit for awhile, if you use something like Hoppe's #9 it can be left indefinitely without harming the bore. If you use bronze bore brushes with any solvent capable of removing copper rinse your brush with denatured alcohol, iso-propyl alcohol, or water with something like a Simple Green in it after use. Brushes last much longer.

    After 10-15 or 20 minutes run 3 or 4 patches wet with solvent through the bore and let it sit for a while longer. Another 2 or 3 patches with solvent and check them. If they have blue or green on them that's copper and not likely from the bronze brush. If it's nasty black with green or blue then slop some more solvent in the bore and let it sit. Keep patching it out with solvent until the patches don't show any significant blue or green (copper) and only minimal dark smudges.

    Cleaning a bore to bare metal isn't normally necessary unless there's a need for it. After the bore is clean a light coat of oil should be applied, A VERY LIGHT COAT.

    Although there are bore cleaners that work faster, Hoppe's #9 works well, can be left in the bore indefinitely, and won't cause any problems. Smells good too. I don't have any financial interest in whoever makes Hoppe's either.

    This has worked for me for over 50 years, and I haven't wrecked any barrels from cleaning them - which is pretty easy to do if done wrong.
  18. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Mentor

    Feb 23, 2006
    Makes me wonder why they even make stainless brushes. What are they for? Severely leaded barrels? Chrome lined barrels (is chrome harder than stainless?)
    I use bronze brushes in mine. Nylon seems like a good idea but they seem too soft to do much.
    I mainly use Hoppes #9 and love the smell. It's not very fast though, I had a leaded .45acp barrel and had to let it sit for over 24hrs in hoppes to get the crud out. Today I used sweets in an AR. Man that stuff is strong smelling! I didn't have much copper fouling so it came out fairly clean.
  19. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Better yet, Bore Snake: brush and patches all in one

    I think Bore snakes are okay for a quick clean as after the first pass you're putting a dirty brush and "patch" through the bore.

    the only way to really get a bore clean is using Larry E's method.
  20. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Mentor

    Jan 6, 2011
    Hastings, Michigan
    If I want my barrels to be like factory new clean, after I scrub 'em I'll plug the muzzle and spray some CLP in the barrel and let it soak for a few hours. I've only done this with my M-N's to clean up excess cosmoline and after firing a lot of corrosive primer ammo and my BP rifle. Usually, a brass bristle brush and some Hoppes #9 followed by some wet patches followed by some dry patches gets it clean enough.

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