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A limited use for WD-40?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by rpenmanparker, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I know that in many interest areas other than shop tools WD-40 is a dirty word. For sure that is true WRT bicycles. I suspect also guns. It is often blamed for gunking up works. While it seems so fluid, most of it is solvent. When that is gone the detergent and lubricsting residues may or may not be good for fine gun works.

    Fair enough. I’m not suggesting to spray it all over the springs and other small parts inside guns and then let it evaporate. What I am proposing is to use it as a good cleaning fluid for the inside of barrels especially in shotguns and rifles. My 12 ga barrel stubbornly refuses to come completely clean no matter how many times I scrub the inside with Hoppe’s and swab it with countless patches. I’m wondering if the WD-40 wouldn’t work. It's highly detergent, cheap and easy to spray in copious quantities down the full length of the barrel. Assuming I swab it all out after, any reason you can see not to try it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
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  2. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    I use it to flush 1.) Copper solvent out of my centerfires and 2.) Hot water out of my front stuffers. Follow with a dry patch, and then give a coat of gun oil for protection. WD stands for Water Displacer, and that is what I use it for.
     
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  3. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Back in the 70's WD-40 was the go-to cleaner for gun guys. Used it all the time back then. If you cleaned your gun with a little effort and lubed it with a good quality oil it did not make any difference. I still have guns today that I had back then and they all work fine. Don't use it on guns anymore and not really sure when I quit using it on guns.
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    A guy sprayed a Citori O/U barrel & chamber ever week after shooting skeet. Did not patch bores out. Put in case. Done till next week. Worked fine.

    WD40, just not for long term storage.

    Neglected guns , rust and gummed up parts can get worked loose with it.
     
  5. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    WD-40 is also a mild abrasive.

    I haven't experienced that it is a particularly good cleaner, but it can clean, displace water, and it has some film strength by which it can lubricate. There are products that are better at any of those things, but WD-40 can also be inexpensive and highly-available. I'm more likely to use it on something like the undercarriage of a 4x4.

    For the stubborn shotgun barrel, consider what the fouling is. Presumably it is either lead or powder and not copper, though plated shot could foul it with copper. It's hard to imagine regular fouling that Hoppes #9 and a bore brush wouldn't clean with a little effort, but sometimes just using an alternative chemical can help. I'd pass on the WD-40. If the barrel can be separated from parts with a finish that can be damaged, I'd try brake parts cleaner before WD-40. But before that, I'd let it soak in Ballistol or Break-Free and see if either of those would work. Remember, if you're getting fouling on the patch, then it is working. If you keep getting more fouling, it's still working. It hasn't failed to clean the bore unless the patches are coming out clean and the fouling is still in there.
     
  6. George P

    George P Member

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    Either WD-40 or non-chlorinated brake cleaner will do a great job cleaning your shotgun barrels; I have used both; if I am out of one, the other gets used.
     
  7. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I believe you are incorrect. There are no abrasive solids in WD-40. It is a clear solution. A liquid cannot be abrasive without solids in it that are harder than the material to be abraded.
     
  8. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    The patch gets dirty even without any cleaner. The fact that the dirt continues to come out for so long despite treating with a cleaner suggests that the cleaner being used isn't getting it out efficiently.
     
  9. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    How would he or you know it worked if he didn't run a patch through the bore? It could have been just as dirty after as before and who would know? Plenty of folks never clean their shotgun and think that works just fine. Now seeing the WD-40 come out the far end highly colored would suggest some positive effect, but unless he kept spraying it until it ran out clear, I don't see how it can be said that it worked fine.

    Sorry, not really trying to be argumentative. I just couldn't make sense of what you said. I do appreciate you replying to my question.
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    WD is not for cleaning. Its used to flush out/off the left overs from Red Dot powder . Dirt gets behind the extractors and on the locking surfaces. Makes the action hard to close. A good cleaning is not needed every firing, each week.

    The plastic buildup in the choke tubes needs a solvent that cuts plastic. Takes many rounds down the tubes to worry about this.
     
  11. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    I don’t understand a single thing in your post. First you say that WD-40 is not for cleaning. Then you say it is used to flush out powder residue. That sure sounds like cleaning to me. What buildup in choke tubes? I scrub them each time I clean the barrel. Confused.
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Think of it this way.

    When you flush the toilet, the chunks get cleaned away, but toilet is still dirty.. :D
     
  13. George P

    George P Member

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    WD-40 can buildup and start to gum things up in areas like extractors; it does work well inside the barrels, choke tubes, choke tube threads (as does the brake cleaner I mentioned earlier.
     
  14. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    The gumming up thing is the concern I was familiar with. I would only use it as a cleaner that is wiped off, not a lubricant that is allowed to concentrate in the mechanisms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    George P likes this.
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