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Brake cleaner?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by irishvet, Oct 8, 2008.

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  1. irishvet

    irishvet Member

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    I'm looking at doing a Duracoat finnish on some weapons. Would brake cleaner work to remove all oil after cleaning? Their stuff costs more. Thanks!
     
  2. Toten Kopf

    Toten Kopf Member

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    I use Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber, removes everything and doesn't leave any residue.
     
  3. LubeckTech

    LubeckTech Member

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    I like Gun Scrubber too - it is an excellent degreaser. I've only found it in spray cans and my only complaint is the cap is on the can so thightly that I've broke the spray nozzle off the end of the can when getting the cap off the can.
     
  4. VHinch

    VHinch Member

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    Non chlorinated brake cleaner and Gun Scrubber are virtually the same thing, and neither will leave a residue. Carb cleaner usually has a lubricant added, and it will leave a residue.
     
  5. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Carb cleaner usually contains acetone and will melt plastic and strip most paints. I have seen quite a few guns damaged by carb cleaner. Just use a gun cleaning solvent. Breakfree CLP will do everything you need.
     
  6. LubeckTech

    LubeckTech Member

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    Breakfree CLP is great stuff but it is a cleaner and lubricant where here we need a degreaser that leaves no lubricant or residue behind so the surface can be Duracoated.
     
  7. Mac's

    Mac's Member

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    Use caution with industrial strength automotive type cleaners on firearms parts. The contents of auto cleaners versus gun cleaners may be the same chemicals but the percentages are not. Brake cleaner is a LOT stronger than gun spray cleaners.

    The damage to the synthetic parts of firearms may be slow to appear. The deterioration can take months, even years in some cases. Usually, the type of damage caused is brittleness...like a plastic bucket left out in the sun for a few months.

    If you're cleaning metal parts, brake cleaner is fine (& cheaper too) but if it's synthetic, stick with the gun type cleaners. Saving a few dollars is not worth risking having a slide stuck in your forehead. I do have to admit though, that it's exciting to watch it happen to the guy next to you. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
    Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
    Mac's Shootin Irons
    www.shootiniron.com
     
  8. bub

    bub Member

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    +1 Mac!

    At the PD I work for, quite a few years ago we had a problem with Glocks and brake cleaner. The Chief at the time, not knowing anything about guns, bought and approved brake cleaner for the guys to clean guns with, reasoning that if it makes it quicker and easier to clean their guns, he won't have to pay them so much overtime to clean after qualifications.

    Fast forward to the next qualification date. One of the guys, who hadn't cleaned his gun from the last time, locks the slide open on his Dept provided 1st Gen Glock 17 and proceeds to hose it down with brake cleaner before shooting. Shortly thereafter, he couldn't pull the trigger on the gun at all. Wouldn't move even a little bit. They couldn't even strip the gun because they couldn't pull the trigger. In to Glock the gun goes for examination and repair.

    As it turns out, the use of the brake cleaner melted the polymer frame to the polymer trigger. Glock managed to get the trigger out and didn't have to replace the frame but every other poly part was replaced.

    Moral of the story- use gun cleaners on guns and save the brake/carb cleaner for brakes or carbs. To me, anyway, it's not worth the money saved buying brake cleaner if it ruins your gun when you use it!

    Bub
     
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Mineral spirits. Cheap to buy, easy to find and will degrease anything without leaving any kind of residue.
     
  10. Der Verge

    Der Verge Member

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    Be cautious with brake cleaner. If you buy the stuff that actually works, it will remove all kinds of things. Things like, unburnt powder, copper fouling, the finish on your beautiful laminate stock, the coating on the lens of your very expensive scope, etc. Though a wonderfully efficient bore cleaner, it is wonderfully efficient at removing many things you would like to keep. If you buy the good stuff, that is.
     
  11. cmanhome

    cmanhome Member

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    cleaner

    I would use "Simple Green" available from auto parts or Home Depot type stores.
    It cleans a gun to a squeaky clean feel. I use this on all my guns that I redo the finish. Rinse with water after cleaning and dry as well as possible.
    AGI gunsmiths use this method also.
    cmanhome
     
  12. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    i use brake cleaner on some parts, such as barrels and non visable internal metal parts. but, for anything cosmetic, or plastic, the birchwood casey gun scrubber is the only way to go. i am also carefull not to get either of it on wood. i dont know what it will do to the finish. and i really do not want to get into a refinish job on any of my guns right now.
     
  13. cedjunior

    cedjunior Member

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    All this talk about damaging poly and wood, when the OP is asking because he wants to refinish with some Duracote. I highly doubt anything else but steel is being refinished here.
     
  14. Mac's

    Mac's Member

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    Hmmm! It does seem that this post got hijacked by all of us anti brake cleaner/anti carb spray people. However, it is still a valid concern since duracoat is often used on synthetic frames, stocks, etc. and they will require cleaning prior to any finish being applied. So, somebody who plans on spraying that duracoat stuff on their synthetic pistol frame, bow limbs, synthetic stock, etc. may be tempted to use one of those types of cleaners because they work well and are a lot cheaper. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
    Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
    Mac's Shootin Irons
    www.shootiniron.com
     
  15. Gun Slinger

    Gun Slinger member

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    Probably the case.

    However, today even "steel" guns are quite likely to have at least a few polymer components in their construction. For that reason, it seems like a rather valid "caveat" regarding the employment of "brake cleaner" for such a "prep job".
     
  16. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    I use brake cleaner exclusively on my metal prep for parkerizing after sand blasting and then for prepping for the Duracoat application. Removes all traces of contaminates which is essential for good adhesion.

    NCsmitty
     
  17. cedjunior

    cedjunior Member

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    Thats a bit of a stretch.
     
  18. Gun Slinger

    Gun Slinger member

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    Actually it is not.

    An example: some 1911s use polymer mainspring housings in their construction. There you go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  19. cedjunior

    cedjunior Member

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    Yes I know Colts ship with polymer mainspring housings. I know some guns out there have polymer components. Not my point. OP asked about brake cleaner degreasing abilities, but the thread turned into a referendum on using brake cleaner to clean firearms, which seems to happen to quite a few simple questions around here.
     
  20. telecaster1981

    telecaster1981 Member

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    I've always used denatured alcohol. Works fine for me, but I don't have any plastic guns either...
     
  21. irishvet

    irishvet Member

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    Thanks

    I didn't expect all this. I asked the question because I'm looking at Duracoating a pair of CZ52's in Coyote Brown or Dark Earth. I was also replacing the grips so they would not be touched with any cleaner. Again, thanks for ya'lls help.:)
     
  22. Lookn4Brass

    Lookn4Brass Member

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    irishvet, get some Berryman Brake Cleaner. Several years ago I had a gunsmithing shop in Alabama and did polymer finishes, using Ten-Ring Precision's polymer coating. I sandblasted my parts with medium glass beads mixed 50/50 with play sand (yes, it's true!), sprayed them with Berryman Brake Cleaner, and after a few minutes it was good to go to the pre-heat and spray finish step. Worked everytime. Never failed. Berryman Brake Cleaner is awesome. Use it for cleaning metal - don't spray anything rubber or plastic with it, and do it outside the house or next to an exterior doorway for ventilation. Good luck, and send us some pics when you get done!
     
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