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Old April 24, 2016, 12:20 PM   #1
nerfsrule2
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Ultrasonic Cleaning and Revolvers

This is one of those threads that could be in 2 places..(So I will start here since it is revolver specific)

I have been using Simple Green and H2o To clean my Smith Revolvers in the Ultrasonic cleaner..
Simple Green, Hit with an air compressor then re do with L&R Ultrasonic gun Lube ..(To Hopefully take care of any residue left behind..)

Sadly this did not work as well as i planned... I did not remove the side plate and water got in behind.. The L&R did not force it out or Lube the parts to Protect.. I ended up with Rusty springs....(Yeaha it happened to my Model 41 also But that is for a different time)..

So what do you guys use in your Ultrasonic cleaners ?? I would think there has to be a cheap light oil based solution that will cut carbon and clean without destroying the parts behind my revolver face plate....
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Last edited by nerfsrule2; April 24, 2016 at 12:21 PM. Reason: bad spelling..
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Old April 24, 2016, 08:30 PM   #2
gotboostvr
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I know of people that will bake their gun to get out the last of the moisture. In a regular oven on low heat.

I've used ultra sonic cleaners for alot of things, but I'm not gonna dunk a gun in one.
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Old April 24, 2016, 08:56 PM   #3
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I am not as enamored with ultrasonic cleaners as some folks are. Ive owned several high end units over the years mostly from laboratories of companies that I used to work at that shut down. Ive got a Branson unit now. To be honest I don't know what those things are supposed to be doing that a simple soak in degreaser wouldnt do. Lots of buzzing and not much cleaning that hot soak solution wouldnt do the same thing.

Having said that I will say that Hornady ultrasonic cleaner smells suspiciously like pine sol. To keep the rust out rinse, blow it out with compressed air and give it a shot of WD-40.
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Old April 24, 2016, 09:53 PM   #4
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

Why in the world do you think you need to dunk a revolver into an ultrasonic cleaner?

Revolvers existed for more than a hundred years before ultrasonic cleaners existed.

What's wrong with running a bore brush down the chambers and the bore, the way it has been done for over 150 years?
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Old April 24, 2016, 10:33 PM   #5
ColtPythonElite
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Never used a ultra sonic, but I keep a plastic storage tub about half full of Ed's Red minus acetone that I dunk old revolvers in.
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Old April 24, 2016, 10:45 PM   #6
Old Fuff
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Occasionally I get a handgun (usually an antique) that I don't want to break down, or it's glued together with old grease mixed with powder fouling.

I start with a piece of hi-tech equipment called a disposable meatloaf pan.

After removing the stocks, and sometimes doing a partial field strip, I put the pieces in the pan and submerge them in an engine additive called Marvel Mystery Oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it sit for a couple of hours to several days. Occasionally remove the frame and cycle the action. If a revolver is involved move the extractor rod back & forth a few times, and then put everything back in the bath.

When you are satisfied that things are working as they should, remove the parts and either blow out excessive solvent or wipe it down with cheap paper towels. Dispose of these as they are now a fire hazard. Dry the bore and chamber(s) with dry cleaning patches.

The solvent in the Mystery Oil will have dissolved the interior gunk, and leave a slick film of lubricant. You will not find any rust that can be caused by water-based cleaners.

Marvel Mystery Oil is not expensive, and can be found at many if not most auto supply stores.
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Old April 24, 2016, 11:59 PM   #7
nerfsrule2
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Why Use an Ultrasonic?? A big time saver... I shoot a lot..up to 800 rounds a week now that the weather has started to warm...They do work really well.. I have 2 a Hornady and a Lyman.. They will remove the carbon build up on a cylinder to like new condition...

Now that I am back to normal after surviving a bout with Atypical Melanoma I figured when it is my time to go i am going out on my terms...So all i do now is work and shoot...

Someday soon I will post pics of my set up..Reloading area and gun stuff..(Not to show off but to get suggestions for improvement)

Most people who say Ultrasonic cleaners do not do a good job have misused them....Heat up the fluid and use the degaus feature prior to putting the item in.. It comes out factory new.. Sadly a Smith Revolver got some rusty springs from a combination of chemicals I was told would be fine.. I honestly thought the L&R would displace any moisture when used as a final Dunk....


My Grandfather used to use Hot water and Soap in the Military to clean his rifle... He showed me how to clean his Smith revolver in the 60's with Hoppe's..

My Glock Armour friend cleans his Glock in the Dishwasher..(Running a very hot cycle...) Blows it dry and runs a lubed patch down the Barrel.... Yeaha his wife gets mad.. But then its a Glock..

So here it is 2016.. I was just hoping someone would of come up with a system to streamline cleaning with an Ultrasonic..In my case a two step system for revolvers..A clean and Lube.. I can always remove the Cylinder and dunk that and run it with Simple Green then L&R.. And Probably rig up a contraption to suspend the Revolver in the Ultrasonic to keep the cleaner below the face plate area..Which is what i may end up doing..
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Old April 25, 2016, 12:02 AM   #8
nerfsrule2
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Marvel Mystery Oil..I may have to research that.. I have friends using Kerosene.. But not in an ultrasonic.. I just dont like the smell... I have trouble enough cleaning my Bench rest bores with Butch's Bore Shine...The Significant other wants to kill me for using that..(Just on a Patch).. I guess I am Lucky I don't own a Dishwasher....
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Old April 25, 2016, 12:06 AM   #9
ColtPythonElite
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MMO is basically automatical transmission fluid and minerals spirits with a splash of wintergreen.
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Old April 25, 2016, 01:24 PM   #10
Old Fuff
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I suspect that Marvel Mystery Oil is a close relative to some brake and transmission fluids. It's original purpose was as a crankcase and gas additive. In any case I've found that it dissolves dry grease and works its way under carbon residue so it loses adhesion. The only problem is that it sometimes needs time to soak.

The toughest test I put it to was removing the barrel breech plug in an 18th Century flintlock pistol. It soaked for almost a year, but the plug unscrewed and was undamaged where brute force would have probably ruined it.

On the 'net some often advise "popping the sideplate" on older S&W and Colt revolvers. I try to avoid this because over time it can have a negative affect on the unmatched fit between the side plate and frame on these revolvers. Often a good soak will make removing the plate unnecessary.
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Old April 26, 2016, 02:39 AM   #11
ColtPythonElite
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I concur on not removing the side plate for routine cleaning.
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Old April 26, 2016, 02:45 PM   #12
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Ultrasonic cleaning does not work with non-water-based solutions, at least with the units outside of industrial settings. The ultrasound causes cavitation and the creation/destruction of tiny "boiling holes" (without the heat) which do the actual work of blasting loose and suspending the foreign materials in solution. Theoretically not even a soap is needed, which does make it easier for the dirt to loosen and remain in solution. PLUS, the ultrasound will not get behind any sideplates, though the liquid will. All in all, a bad idea, to say the least.
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Old April 26, 2016, 08:11 PM   #13
Homerboy
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I use an ultrasonic for cleaning my brass after they've been tumbled. I I ever did use one for a revolver (not likely and certainly not more than once every 10 years. Just not necessary) I would surely take the sideplate off after I was done and blow it out with air and make sure it was thouroughly dry before I put it back together.

If you say it takes the carbon ring of the cylinder I may try that, but the cylinder is the only thing going in.
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Old April 26, 2016, 10:21 PM   #14
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
PLUS, the ultrasound will not get behind any sideplates, though the liquid will. All in all, a bad idea, to say the least.
That is correct. I worked for a company for a while that made ultrasound equipment for medical testing purposes. The ultrasound vibrations would pass across a thin piece of stainless foil .002 thick. Much thicker than that and the ultrasound vibrations get damped out. If you dump a revolver into an ultrasound tank, thinking the vibrations will clean gunk out of the lockwork, you are kidding yourself. The side plate will block the transmission of the ultrasound energy. A small amount of energy will be transferred through the open slots in the frame, but mostly all you are doing is wetting down the interior parts, you are not vibrating them at all.

Then, if you used a water based solution, you have to get all the water out again, or you will get rust.
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Old April 27, 2016, 01:18 AM   #15
Gaucho Gringo
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Marvel Mystery Oil has been around for almost 100 years. It is an old school product like Ballistol which has been around even longer. If these products didn't work as advertised they wouldn't have lasted as long as they have. I can think of a lot of similar products introduced in the 60-70's that are no longer made. I have seen a lot of WD40 type products come and go since WD40 was first introduced. There has to be a reason why these products are still with us and the reason being they work.
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Old April 27, 2016, 12:01 PM   #16
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I use "Eds Red" solution in mine. Diesel, red ATF, Kroil and Hoppies #9. Heated to 120 degrees. Remove grips, dunk it in, let cool, drip dry and wipe down, install grips. DONE! The solution seems to get down into the pores of the metal and get carbon out.
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Old April 27, 2016, 06:03 PM   #17
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Put me down in the "Absolute Faith in Marvel Mystery Oil" column. Tho
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Old April 27, 2016, 06:39 PM   #18
Robert101
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There are a lot of detergents in transmission oil. That is why I use it to clean my guns. Not so good as a firearm lubricant but great for cleaning. I would not put an entire gun into a sonic cleaner that has any water based product in it unless a total disassembly was next.
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Old April 27, 2016, 09:02 PM   #19
ApacheCoTodd
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Aw hell!

Reading some of these posts, I'm surprised some of my guns work at all.

Ultrasonic? You bet, sometimes.

Dishwasher? Oh hell yes.

Parts washer at the shop? Uh huh.

Brake cleaner? Very often.

Pressure washer? Certainly.

Stove top in a pot? Not as far as my wife knows.

Good golly... I've drug a couple of black powders, shotguns and machine guns when in the Army, through a car wash.

The only ultrasonics I've ever used - or likely will use - are self heated, on top of that, I live in Arizona. Things dry up right nicely for me.


Todd.
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Old April 27, 2016, 10:19 PM   #20
Jim K
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I found an ultrasonic cleaner to be great for cleaning guns like the Browning Auto 5 with plenty of open space inside. A few minutes in the tank did the job that would require an hour or more if the gun had to be torn down and each part scrubbed by hand.

But revolvers never worked well since they are so closed in. Not only does the vibration not reach the internal lockwork, but the parts are closely fitted and there is no place for the crud to go even if it is vibrated loose. For dried up old oil or grease in revolvers, I know of no real answer other than tearing the gun down and attacking the stuff with brushes, swabs, and cleaning patches.

I am not sure just what solution we used, too much time has gone by, but it was not water, it was some kind of thin stuff, like gasoline. It took all the oil off the gun, so it was necessary to apply a light oil film right away to prevent rusting, then lubricate as necessary.

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