Quantcast

Silencer Cleaning Thoughts and Observations

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Sebastian the Ibis, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Sebastian the Ibis
    • Contributing Member

    Sebastian the Ibis Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    "The Gunshine State"
    I just spent the long weekend soaking a couple of cans in penetrating oil, and other things to get them cleaned out. After this exercise, I think I've learned a couple lessons:

    1. I'm not going to shoot cheap Russian Steel cased ammo through my pistol cans anymore. Even though I love the price and probably shoot at least 5k+ rounds of it a year. It is just not worth the clean up. There was a substantial amount of lead in my can after approximately 1k rounds of Russian Steel case. So much so that I could not insert a fixed barrel spacer. I think this is because the cheap Russian bullets are not fully jacketed. In the future, I think my pistol caliber cans will be getting a steady diet of Speer Lawman or another fully jacketed bullet.

    2. In the future, I am going to grease the threads with lithium grease so that I can get them unstuck more easily. A week in penetrating oil, is not something I want to to regularly.

    3. The dip is the only realistic way to get lead out of all the nooks and crannies. Penetrating oil really slows the dip. It is best to get as much oil as possible off before dipping. You need a lot of dip. You probably need at least a liter of dip to get all the lead off a gunked up set of baffles, any less it sort of runs out of oompf. Even if not all the lead is dissolved, it is a lot easier to brush/pick it off once baffles have been dipped. Make sure you have an old paint can or something to put the jar of dip in, when you take it to the Haz-Mat dump.

    4. It is darn hard to find a strap wrench to get a grip on a .22 can, as opposed to an oil filter.

    5. I am going to try welding anti-spatter spray on the rear baffles to see if that helps clean up.

    6. Don't ever use a thread adapter, unless you have a rock solid plan to get it unstuck. If you can't get a wrench on it, you are never going to get it off.
     
  2. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    16,274
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    Except for rimfire, I really don't clean suppressors. If you shoot cast bullets, yeah, you need to, and leading can be an issue with exposed core FMJ, but the problems are over-stated. I'll defer to Odd Job's posts with X-ray images showing rimfire cans with tens of thousands of rounds through them and no cleaning; they certainly gain weight, but he says it doesn't much affect the suppression.

    I just tore down one of my Ocelot cans that has been on my 10/22 post sample select fire. I had gone through 6 or 7 value packs of Federal (550 packs) & Remington (525) since I last opened it up. I didn't bother to take pictures, but the first 6 anodized aluminum baffles dropped right out. The other 3 Al baffles and the 416 stainless blast baffle I poked out with the eraser of a pencil. The aluminum baffles I didn't even bother to clean, the stainless one I knocked the carbon and lead off with a wire wheel. Sprayed the tube out with brake cleaner and reassembled.

    Now, it does depend a bit on the design. Mine don't really allow any carbon or leading to get outside of the cones against the tube or into the front cap threads. K-baffles and monocores, there's no way around it, and I'm sure there are cone baffle types that don't seal off chambers from the tube as well as mine.

    My Phoenix cans are fully serviceable 9mm & .45 cal designs. The .45 is all cone baffle, the 9mm 1 cone and 5 Ks. I don't shoot lead, and find that they remain pretty dang clean inside. Thin layer of carbon, of course, but nothing worth the trouble of cleaning with any degree of frequency.

    All of my rifle cans are fully welded 17-4 cores like many other production models, require no cleaning.

    If you need a strap wrench on the body, you're putting the caps on too tight.
     
    wally likes this.
  3. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    4,749
    Location:
    Northern KY
    All of my 30 caliber cans are user serviceable because I shoot almost entirely cast lead bullets. I wouldn’t even consider owning a sealed can for my purposes. I soak them in ATF/mineral spirits before I open them, but it takes a fair bit of mechanical scrubbing to knock the lead out of all of the corners.

    There was at one time a very interesting web page from a guy who tested a bunch of treatments for his rimfire cans. He settled on pure silicone oil and it seemed to have miraculous results keeping the junk from sticking. I bought a can of Dot 5 brake fluid (same thing) and did the pretreatment on my 22 can. Don’t know how well it has worked yet, but it’s something to consider for all cans, maybe?
     
  4. SCC

    SCC Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    N. Central Florida
    If you have some woodworking tools there's an easy solution that's harder to explain in words than it is to do:

    Take about 2ft of 1x4 and drill a hole about 3-4" from the end. The hole needs to be larger than the can so that you can line it with some rubber. I use the strap from my strap wrench. At the hole end, make two saw cuts length wise down the board each off center by about 1/8". Cut through the hole and about 2-3" past. This will remove a section of board between the hole and the end of the board. Now place your rubber liner and suppressor in the hole. The suppressor should be positioned in the hole near the end you intend to unscrew just past the threaded area. Put 2 C clamps across the board on each side of the hole and tighten until you get the friction you need to unscrew the end cap.

    I use a similar process to make single use barrel clamps by drilling a hole slightly smaller than the barrel in a 2x4 and cutting it in half. The half holes are coated with powdered rosin and the 2 pieces with the barrel goes in the bench vise.

    ---Scott.
     
  5. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    West Texas
    SCC's method with the 2x4 is an excellent idea. If you use an oak board, it will last much longer than pine.
     
  6. SCC

    SCC Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    N. Central Florida
    Thanks for the complement and I agree an Oak (or other hardwood) board will last longer as a barrel vise. I tend to do these one-off and use pine for four reasons: 1) The next barrel is usually a different size. 2) I like to make the hole undersized for the barrel in order to deform the wood and gain some friction all around the hole, not just on the clamped sides. Yellow Pine deforms better than harder woods. The added friction from deforming the wood only works once. 3) By the time I need another barrel clamp, I will have misplaced the last one anyway. 4) The wood, drill, saw, and bench vise are all within 20ft of each other. #3 is the primary reason. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    adcoch1 likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice