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How Damaging is Solvent?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by guyfromohio, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Well-Known Member

    When I clean (which is frequently, if not after every time I shoot), I swab a liberal amount of solvent into the hammer, trigger mechanism, magazine well, and anywhere else that I see crud. It's hard to then make sure that I've cleaned up the solvent.

    1) If I don't get it all, am I damaging the gun?
    2) Am I using solvent incorrectly?

    I tought myself to clean 25 years ago and have never felt that anything has gone wrong, but I'm second guessing. *Edit: same routine for plastic guns, polymer, steel, aluminum, etc... all of them.

    My routine:

    Wipe down dry patches and cotton rag.
    Dip brass brush in solvent and run through barrel, slide rails, cruddy areas.
    Let sit for a minute or two.
    Dry patch throughout.
    Gun oil in barrel with patch.
    Dry patch through barrel.
    Oil the metal-to-metal... slide, hammer, trigger.
    Wipe excess oil after racking slide repeatedly.
    Light oil to rag and shine up the outside.


    A search didn't bring up my specific questions. This surprised me, so go easy on me if this is like an oil thread on a motorcycle forum.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    What kind of solvent?
    There are solvents, and there are solvents.

    Hoppes #9, CLP, etc, will not harm a thing, except some stock finishes & sight paints.

    High Ammonia copper solvent, not so much.

  3. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Well-Known Member

    Mr Jewell of trigger fame uses lighter fluid on his trigger mechanisms, so vm&p naptha should be GTG. JMO
  4. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Well-Known Member

    Hoppes #9 actually. Thanks. I stress about the fact that I may be leaving some solvent and it is quietly eating through the gun's guts.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I have no idea what that means?

  6. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Well-Known Member

    I'll try that again with an edit.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    No, leaving small amounts of Hoppe's #9 on or in the gun will not hurt it.
    The solvents quickly evaporate leaving an oil film behind.

    I would think though if you are getting that much inside the action?
    You are using too much.

    Use Q-Tip's dipped in it to clean inside the gun.

    Just put a dab on a clean patch and wipe the gun down when you get done cleaning the chambers & bore.

  8. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Well-Known Member

    It depends. Hoppes #9 is pretty easy on finishes and even wood. Paint is another thing, though. However, on YOU the gun owner - you should wear gloves and work in a well ventilated area.
  9. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Well-Known Member

    I don't use q-tipps. Good suggestion. Ventilation? The buzz is half the fun! Actually, I've learned to fan out the room while working. The wife doesn't appreciate the aroma like I do.
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I use G96 Gun Treatment and have never found it to harm anything except crud.

    The only solvent I caution about is the kind that removes everything, like Gun Scrubber. Good stuff, but it takes off grease and oil and leaves bare metal, wide open to rust if a new application of an oil or other protectant is not put on soon.

  11. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    One can buy the long, 6" Q-tips from the web, Midway has them, can get into areas not normally reached. Also, along with Jim K's suggestion, I use either Gun Butter w/needle, or Pro 7 to re-lube after cleaning. I also use canned air with a snorkel tube to blow out any lingering cleaner before lubing, just my way of doing things.

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