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Chemicals safe for Stainless?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by abq87120, Feb 13, 2012.

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  1. abq87120

    abq87120 Member

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    Can any of you guys tell me which chemicals to avoid cleaning stainless barrels/guns? I have a S&W 629, a Savage 116 and a Ruger 10/22. All are stainless or have stainless barrels. I know not to let vinegar sit in a stainless pot for any length of time. So I assume there are chemicals in solvents / cleaners that should not be used on these great guns.

    I am also interested in making my own solvent. I understand ammonia is a commonly used ingredient in the home brewed slosh.

    Thanks in advance,
    Dan in ABQ
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  2. Fleet

    Fleet Member

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    Google Ed's Red for brewing your own. Works great, and cheap.
    Vinegar is bad because it's acidic. I'd be careful with ammonia, too. That's what's in most cleaners that will remove copper fouling.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  4. Lee Roder

    Lee Roder Member

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    Chlorinated solvents apparently can promote stress corrosion cracking in stressed steels (e.g. barrel threads).
     
  5. warbirdlover

    warbirdlover Member

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    Stainless is used in chemical vats, kitchens, hospitals etc for the main reason that they are not affected as much by chemicals. The higher the amount of chromium in the stainless the less the chemicals affect it. The 400 series stainless used in rifle barrels has less chromium so that it can be hardened to the same as chrome/moly steel barrels. Short duration cleaning and quickly washing out with water will be okay with most anything (avoid strong acids) and dry and lightly oil afterwards.

    Btw, stainless barrel steels can rust if not kept oiled and in a salt spray (Alaskan coast) type atmosphere.
     
  6. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Generally speaking, any chemical that's sold for use on guns will be safe on stainless.
    READ THE LABEL. Some very strong bore solvents like Sweet's 7.62 can cause damage if left in too long.

    Where you get into potential risks is when you use "expedient" or home-brew chemicals in a mis-guided attempt to save money.
    This is usually a case of "penny wise, Dollar foolish". In attempting to save a few cents you can damage a $1,000 gun.
     
  7. abq87120

    abq87120 Member

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    Thanks all for the advice. I am interested in home brew only because I want a safe product for cleaning my hardware. I also change the oil in my cars myself because I worked as an auto mechanic many years ago. And I'm 66 years old. I know what goes on in garages, lol. I'm not trying to start a flame war with any mechanics out there. But, I know what goes on. And, yes, I made an occasional careless mistake myself on customers cars. And I didn't even smoke wacky-tobacky as many of my fellow wrench monkeys did back in the day.
     
  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    If all you want is chemicals and products that are safe for use on guns, blued or stainless, just visit any gun store.
    Anything sold as for use in guns is safe.

    Again, read the label for any cautions and use as directed.
     
  9. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    I am finding that the Montana Extreme products are very effective, but don't leave it in your barrel for an extended period of time.

    I have been finding myself cleaning until I feel I have all the copper out which is a lot of cleaning. When I feel I've got to that point, I have taken the Gunslick foam cleaner.sprayed it in the barrel and let it sit overnight. Upon running a patch through the next morning, I generally get a bit more copper out. At that point the barrel is clean. I only go through this process for the rifles that need to be really clean to shoot at there best.

    I got off the beaten path a bit. I would say that the gunslick foam and butches bore shine are the safest to use for SS at lrast in my opinion.
     
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