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Lead Removal/Handgun cleaning

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by highcap, Jan 11, 2009.

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  1. highcap

    highcap Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Does anyone have any experience with using an automotive brake cleaner, like Krylon, as a cleaning solvant?
    A ammo dealer at our local gun show suggested this and said it even helps remove leading?

    "where ever you go; there you are"
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Great state of Indiana
    Never used it for removing lead, used it for general cleaning however once it got on plastic and ate it up that was the end of brake cleaner for me.

    I now use lead remover from Shooters Choice with a piece of Choir Boy copper scrubing pad. Find them in the housewares section of most grocery stores. I usually wrap it around an old bore brush.
    Good Luck
  3. Guitarslinger46

    Guitarslinger46 Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Portland, OR.
    I use a lead-clean gun cloth on my stainless revolver. It is only recommended for use on stainless or nickel finishes though. Do not use on blued. It is amazing how easily it removes deposits of all kinds. I dis-assembled my revolver last night after some shooting at the club, and gave it a good cleaning. It looks as good as new now. No deposits what-so-ever. You can also cut it into patches. I have never used it on the bore or chambers though. This piece doesn't have enough rounds through it to worry about that yet. It does a great job on the cylinder face, and at the rear of the bore. Shiny clean. You do have to be careful to follow up with a lightly-oiled lint-free cloth of some kind to remove the abrasive residue it leaves behind. For the bore and chambers, I just treat them with CLP on a swab, then run a bore brush through, then swab them out with a dry patch until clean. Sometimes I'll apply a slight amount of gun oil before the dry patch.
  4. .41Dave

    .41Dave Member

    Feb 24, 2005
  5. d20111a

    d20111a Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Ditto on the lead away cloth. I use it on my stainless guns and barrels. The thing works wonders.
  6. eflatminor

    eflatminor Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    Leading in barrel requires no chemicals

    To get lead out of a pistol barrel, you only need copper mesh wrapped around an old brush. If it's a tight fit, that will push the lead out of your barrel. Lead requires no chemicals to remove.

    Once my barrel has been cleared of lead, I like to take a patch soaked with gun oil (I like Wilson's) and run it through the barrel. Then, take a clean copper brush (no mesh, just the brush) and run it through 10-15 times. Then run dry patches through until they come out clean. This will not only clean the barrel of all powder fouling, it will help prevent leading the in barrel the next time you shoot.

    Brake cleaner is great for two purposes: 1) If you shoot copper jacketed bullets, brake cleaner will remove any remaining copper cleaner from your barrel (some guys prefer rubbing alcohol for this); and 2) With pistols, it's nice to spray the slide after you've scraped away as much powder fouling as you can. The brake cleaner will get into small cracks and blow out the remaining residue of fouling. Be careful not to spray plastic parts of a gun. Brake cleaner can "melt" plastic. I think someone makes a 'plastic friendly' version, but it's much more expensive than standard brake cleaner.

    So no, brake cleaner doesn't remove lead.
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Break cleaners are just volatile solvents and shouldn't have any effect on removing lead from a barrel.
  8. miamivicedade

    miamivicedade Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    A lot of break cleaners have asitone. Never use anything with asitone.
  9. beatcop

    beatcop Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    Run of the mill carb cleaner won't harm a Glock or AR, cuts the carbon nicely.

    Ditto on the leading issue, use a brass brush or that brass screen kit material for a forcing cone. I've taken an M-16/AR chamber brush, pulled off the stainless strands and used it. Yes it's oversized, but it seems to be more aggressive. Don't change directions with it in the barrel.

    Acetone aka fingernail polish remover, probably not needed.
  10. timn

    timn Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Austin, TX
    The best formula for lead removal that I have found is a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

    I plug the barrel with an old ear plug, fill it, and leave it for 10-15 minutes.

    A brush and a patch finishes the job nicely.

    One note of caution, vinegar is an acid. It can remove bluing if left on the blued surface.

    I use a small funnel to keep the solution off the outer surface.
  11. wuchak

    wuchak Member

    Feb 18, 2005
    Shawnee, KS
    +1 on the Lewis Lead Remover. Why try to get it out with harsh solvents that might damage your finish when you can just pull it all out easily?

    Brake cleaner is often used as a cleaner since it's good at removing carbon fouling. You have to be careful though as it can damage some finishes.

    -Lewis Lead Remover to remove lead
    -Butch's Boreshine to remove copper
    -CLP or Gunzilla for everything else (usually all that is needed)

    The good dedicated gun cleaners are more but you only use a very small amount so the cost of cleaning is really not much more than brake cleaner and you don't risk messing up your finish or plastic parts. If I needed a lot of a cheap but good cleaner I would mix up a batch of Ed's Red (just Google for the recipe). Another cheap cleaner is plain old kerosene. This is what the original manual for my High Standard Sentinel recommends using. It's rumored that Hoppe's 9 is just kerosene with stuff added to help cut the smell.
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