Question about Copper Fouling.....

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 45 long, Jul 24, 2022.

  1. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Not having a borescope, is copper fouling usually visible to the naked eye ? Should I be able to remove the bolt & shine a flashlight into the chamber & see it ?
    Also some follow up questions:
    How many rounds, usually, before copper fouling shows it's ugly head ?
    What's the best product to remove it ?
    Would a nylon brush work, or would it have to be bronze ?
     
  2. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Yes, you can usually see copper in the bore... most of the time - I generally notice it in the rifling grooves at the muzzle. When you see it will depend on many things, so it's not a definitive answer. It will depend on the bullet velocity, the powder you're using, etc. Over the last 50 years of shooting, the best product I have used is the "Wipe-Out" brand of bore cleaner. It is a time consuming, but easy method. Run a soaked patch through the bore, let it sit, repeat. Follow the bottle directions. You can also get an "accelerator" for it, which speeds the action considerably. Being retired, I don't care about the time it takes - I run a patch through when I get home, and over the next couple days (it can sit in the bore up to 72 hours) repeat, and its copper free. There are a bazillion other cleaners out there and only one other one I can tell you about. "Sweets" is an old standby for removing copper - lots of ammonia in it of course. I occasionally use it when I want some fast-acting cleaner. When I use a brush, I use bronze. Nylon has never made me completely happy. You're gonna get a lot of opinions on this one... pick one and good luck!
     
  3. emb

    emb Member

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    Yes, you'll see it as stated usually in the muzzle. I use Barnes. A lot of folks make copper remover. Pick one. I have heard not to leave it in the barrel too long as it may ruin your barrel. No idea if that is true. I just keep going until the patch isn't green then follow up with regular solvent to be sure the copper remover is gone.
     
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  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Nylon isn't very effective so I recommend bronze brushes.
    Brushes don't last long so buy in bulk, and to extend the life, rinse them off after using.

    I prefer to let chemistry do the work, so usually no more then 8 to 10 passes through the bore with a brush is plenty.
    After that run two solvent wet patches through and let soak 15 minutes or so.
    Then run a new soaked patch through in one pass, through the bore and out the barrel.
    Inspect for green and blue copper stains and repeat until no staining is seen on a fresh patch.

    Once clean run a patch soaked with alcohol or lacquer thinner, dry with patches, and apply a light coat of oil to protect.
     
  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    It's not ugly, any more than carbon fouling. It's just what happens.

    I'm partial to Montana Extreme Copper Killer, and Sweet's 7.62 if you've got a real motherlode.

    And there's no brush that matters much. . . you need better living through chemistry for this. A copper brush will work through the mingled carbon fouling faster, but they don't last long in copper solvent.

    And. . . it's clean when you don't be see any more copper on the patches.
     
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  6. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    I have one rifle that is really bad about copper fouling showing in the last two inches of the bore. I use KG 12 for that one.
     
  7. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    I had myself convinced it would show up @ the breech. So, with the right chemical, the bore only needs a light brushing?
    I'd read that it's best to avoid products that contain ammonia.
     
  8. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Ammonia is what it's all about, with copper. Be careful if you take a big sniff of Sweet's 7.62. It works very well though. Those with ammonia you don't leave in there longer than the instructions say. With the Wipe-Out, you can leave it as long as you want... and it works extremely well, but it takes time. It can do its thing while you're doing something else though. As someone said, "better living through the application of modern chemistry." :)
     
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  9. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    Ammonia works but... who wants to be run out of their house/garage/workshop by it?

    Science has come up with better NON hazardous materials that won't cause your wife to give you that look!

    Look for Boretech, Wipe Out and others that use surfactants to lift the copper off your barrel steel. Plus they're safe to use indoors non hazardous...

    https://www.boretech.com/products/eliminator-bore-cleaner
     
  10. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Thanks for all the good info. I'll sleep better tonight.
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Yes, then no. When copper fouling is heavy, it is usually readily visible to the naked eye, but many, many (as in vast majority) shooters will believe they have cleaned out all of their copper long before it has all actually been removed. Using a copper remover will often help indicate residual copper, as it will turn blue, standing out more from the steel.

    Depends on the bullet, barrel, and cartridge - and it depends on what you consider to be “rearing its ugly head.” Benchrest and F-class shooters might consider any copper visible under borescope to be unacceptable, whereas a 3 Gunner might be able to tolerate copper fouling for ten thousand rounds or more.

    I tend to push copper from my precision rifles around every 600-800 rounds, or as little as 300-400 rounds. I don’t typically clean very often nor do I push copper out during every cleaning.

    Boretech Copper Remover and Butch’s Bore Shine.

    Nylon brush will do the job. Bronze brushes get eaten by the copper solvents, so do not use bronze for cleaning copper - and in general, don’t use metallic brushes on bores. If nylon won’t clean it, you’re using the wrong chemicals.
     
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  12. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    The first time I cleaned the rifle I used a bronze brush. Then I switched to nylon. Looks like Boretech might be my best option. Thanks.
     
  13. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    Agree with RainDodger, Wipe-Out works very well. Lots of cleaners out there, but, this one works.
     
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  14. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Something to think about before you get all excited about copper removal.

    I know the “less is more” philosophy is boring and lost on many but this is an example of, if you don’t have to clean it, then why should you.

    Granted, the poster here is cleaning this gun…,

    https://forum.gon.com/threads/gun-cleaning.1021467/#post-13472568
     
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  15. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    My opinion is that if you’re serious about cleaning you’ll need a borescope. It’s the only way to know for sure if your cleaning regiment is working and whether your rifle is clean, or not.

    I started a thread on the subject here:

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/my-2-cents-on-bore-cleaning-with-more-teslong-pics.860996/

    Probably more info than you wanted but it’s a good discussion.

    Copper is a whole lot easier to remove (if you use the right chemicals) than hard carbon build up.

    Gun cleaning is the worst part of this ridiculous hobby. If someone invents an easier, quicker way to tackle this task they could write their own ticket.
     
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  16. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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  17. robin banks

    robin banks Member

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    I have found foaming bore cleaner to be the best. had an old mauser and tested the foam cleaner on it and green paint came out of it. there are so many powders now that do not leave copper in the barrel an the CFE powder will actually erase copper from the barrel that is what the E stands for. I would think most shooters know this but it dont seem that way. there should hardly be much talk about copper fouling
     
  18. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I wish it were true, but unfortunately carbon doesn’t react with most chemicals. Hard carbon has to be scrubbed out.. I believe the most effective chemical that can assist in this chore is a good penetrating oil that loosens the bond between the carbon and the barrel steel as you apply some mechanical action
     
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  19. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    "Gun cleaning is the worst part of this ridiculous hobby. If someone invents an easier, quicker way to tackle this task they could write their own ticket."

    The Great Dream of the American male is to discover a hobby that's not expensive, and doesn't require a lot of cleaning up after.
    So far, none has been found that fills both wishes.
     
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  20. BRatigan

    BRatigan Member

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    Late chiming in. I have been cleaning bores for 50 years. I have used Hoppes for decades and tried many others. 'Sweets' was a favorite. I bought Sharp Shooters Patch-out and Accelerator and was stunned at how effective it is in removing every bit of copper. The best method I used was to run Accelerator down the bore with a wet patch a couple times. I then followed with Patch-out with a wet patch. I then brushed about 20 times with a nylon brush and pushed a tight-fitting patch through to get the bulk of the copper out. I then repeated the wet patch process and let it sit overnight. Amazing amount of blue and green came out. One wet patch and dry patches till clear. Borescope revealed zero copper. I use Slip2000 patched for carbon removal. I have an order Midway for the Lead-Out product as I have a couple bores that have lead buildup. Their products are very effective for me. I still use others to see if they can remove material but I'm pretty zero'd in on this company.
     
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  21. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    All good replies on copper removal. If you have a barrel that fouls quickly, a good cleaning with JB Bore Paste might be in order. Takes a lot of elbow grease, 50 passes or more, but the bore will not foul nearly as bad as before.
     
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  22. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I use Wipeout and Accelerator. Amazing product. I also use JB bore paste for other fouling. It really makes a difference in accuracy.
    Cleaning is the bane of many hobbies. I bought a Polaris RZR this summer for trail riding and exploring. It is worse than my old Harleys to keep clean. But I don't clean it as often.
     
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