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cleaning stainless steel cylinders

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by JohnnyB, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. JohnnyB

    JohnnyB Well-Known Member

    I have a Ruger Blackhawk .45 in stainless steel. Does anyone know how to clean up the cylinders after shooting? My cylinders have a black ring around each cylinder bore. I cannot seem to get the black stain off the cylinder., I have tried to use Scotch-Brite, but it's still there. I would like to clean it up so that it looks "unfired?". I have no intention of selling it, I just want it to look like new,
  2. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member


    DON'T USE Scotch-brite on your ss revolver!! VERY rough on it. I've used Flitz, a metal cleaner, its a cream, or, I've seen folks of late say to use Mother's Mag Cleaner. They all have some "grit" in them for cleaning, but most seem to think MMC is better. Using the Flitz as I have, it "definitely" removes any and all of the black on the cylinder, makes it look like a new dime! I've got a 629 I clean. YMMV Good luck!
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    Use what was specifically invented to clean stainless cylinders: A "lead-away" cloth.
    These are sold in most gun shops.
    These literally wipe leading and carbon off of cylinders and gas pistons.
    They can also be cut into patches and used to clean leading out of bores and chambers.

    Use ONLY on stainless or hard chrome, NOT ON BLUED guns, it also wipes bluing right off.
  4. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    Use the lead away cloths. I've been using them on my stainless Ruger SRH for years.
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    Just to be clear, you do not HAVE TO remove the rings.
    The rings have no effect on function, accuracy, or reliability.

    If you shoot often, I don't know why you would even bother.
  6. Clifford

    Clifford Well-Known Member

    I use the lead away cloths on my stainless guns and it works great. As others have noted DONT use on blued guns, and be careful on nickle plating (they have a warning on the bag about it). I soak the area with hoppes or shooters choice lead remover and scrub it with a nylon brush first if it really scuzzed up.

    Do not use scotch brite or other abrasives on the front of the cylinder, if you do it long enough you will widen the cylinder/barrel gap and nobody likes a big unsightly gap:evil:
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Just leave it alone. Even the Leadaway cloths are abrasive. If needed I can post a picture of a piece of aluminum rod that I put a mirror polish on in only minutes, with a lead removal cloth. It hurts nothing but continual removal will alter dimensions and round off corners.
  8. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  9. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Well-Known Member

    If in a pinch, I have found that a pencil eraser works pretty well.
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Good advise.

    On the rare occasion I want to get a SS cylinder clean, Slip 2000 Carbon Killer actually works.
  11. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean especially after firing .357 rounds.

    I have used Hoppe's solvent and a copper brush for years on my Rossi snub 38/357 and accuracy, fit and function has never been affected. I've had that weapon since 1997.

    Carbon, as I learned in the military, must be removed. With moisture, nitrates in carbon residue if not cleaned out form nitric acid pitting metal. Might not see the micro pitting but it's there.

    So I have successfully removed the carbon and it takes patience but I have done that each time after firing.

    That's why I clean my weapon at the range right after firing it. I guess it's something I have done out of habit from being in the US Army for so many years. Plus, cleaning a weapon right away makes for easier cleaning.

    Take care of your weapon and it will take care of you.
  12. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    It's not carbon residue, it's carbon scoring. It's "in" the metal. If it does not wipe off with an oil or solvent-damp rag, it belongs there. To remove it is to remove metal. It is strictly cosmetic and removing it is completely unnecessary. Other than to satisify the need of some to have what they perceive to be a clean weapon. Nobody worries about it on a blued gun because it blends in with its surroundings. If you wouldn't do it to a blued gun, you shouldn't do it to a stainless gun.

    We can also argue all day long about carbon deposits actually causing rust but that's a discussion for another thread.
  13. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Well-Known Member

    craigC I understand what you're saying now-thanks for clarifying.
  14. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Clean your kitchen sink, Clean your toilet, Clean your underwear, Wash your dishes get rid of the bacteria, but you do not have to sterilize your guns every time you shoot them unless you are shooting corrosive primers or black powder.
  15. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Thanks Brian Williams. Hard to break old habits.
    I remember when having to clean my .45 before turning it in after field exercises, and I cannot tell you how many times the armorer would go berserk if there was a black speck anywhere. It was worse during officer's training when we had to clean our M16s-and sidearms, turn them in to be turned away because upon inspection the inspector had an apoplectic attack if any carbon was found even in a minute quantity.
    Over the years I learned how to clean weapons quickly, throughly and efficiently. You're right, modern ammo is not as corrosive but try to explain that to crusty old Army NCOs, God bless them! I bet you as retired Army, their personal weapons are pristine clean.
    Old habits are hard to break! But I undestand your comments.
  16. gdesloge

    gdesloge Well-Known Member

    Craig C wrote, "We can also argue all day long about carbon deposits actually causing rust but that's a discussion for another thread."

    Craig -

    I agree with your argument about removing metal when one uses any type of abrasive.

    I would like to hear about your position on carbon deposits and corrosion.



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