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Thread: Barrel Cleaners

  1. #1
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    Barrel Cleaners

    I have been on a quest for a few years now to find a chemical product that will lift carbon from barrels quickly and thoroughly. I believe I am getting closer. I tried Patchout a few months ago now and must say I am quite impressed with it. It is a great cleaner for Rimfire barrels and for Centerfire barrels. It doesn't, however, work as well in CF barrels as it does in Rimfire barrels.

    The directions say not to brush when using it but I don't know why. If it doesn't readily eat the base metal of the barrel, how is brushing going to harm anything? My standard practice for cleaning Rimfire barrels became soak a brush in Patchout and brush a few strokes, wait and dry patch, clean as a whistle.

    Doing the same with the barrel I am currently using on my HBR rifle, a set back barrel that has some rounds through it, some carbon remains, ( cut barrel with uneven grooves). For this I wrapped steel wool around a worn brush and stroked it a few times. Clean as a whistle! Hey, these freakin barrels wear out anyway and the rifles that shoot best when clean, why not scrub the buggers?

    May have found something better. A friend gave me a small bottle of a detergent with citric acid in it. I wanted to try it on the inside of case necks to try to find a way to quickly take the carbon out of them. Well, this one seems to do pretty well. Using Qtips to apply the detergent and to remove the residue, it is possible to take it all out. Not as quickly as I would like but it is reasonably fast acting. Dern if the stuff doesn't look, visually, a lot like Patchout .

    I am trying to find a larger scale process so that each case doesn't be handled several times but that should present itself soon. I do not see any reason why this detergent would not work equally as well as the Patchout or it's variants. The Detergent does etch the brass where as the Patchout doesn't. I don't really care if the brass gets etched and guess It isn't a big issue to me with the barrels either, at this point. BUT, we have something that is workin!

    Pete
    Last edited by Pete Wass; 06-24-2019 at 09:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    I have been on a quest for a few years now to find a chemical product that will lift carbon from barrels quickly and thoroughly. I believe I am getting closer. I tried Patchout a few months ago now and must say I am quite impressed with it. It is a great cleaner for Rimfire barrels and for Centerfire barrels. It doesn't, however, work as well in CF barrels as it does in Rimfire barrels.

    The directions say not to brush when using it but I don't know why. If it doesn't readily eat the base metal of the barrel, how is brushing going to harm anything? My standard practice for cleaning Rimfire barrels became soak a brush in Patchout and brush a few strokes, wait and dry patch, clean as a whistle.

    Doing the same with the barrel I am currently using on my HBR rifle, a set back barrel that has some rounds through it, some carbon remains, ( cut barrel with uneven grooves). For this I wrapped steel wool around a worn brush and stroked it a few times. Clean as a whistle! Hey, these freakin barrels wear out anyway and the rifles that shoot best when clean, why not scrub the buggers?

    May have found something better. A friend gave me a small bottle of a detergent with citric acid in it. I wanted to try it on the inside of case necks to try to find a way to quickly take the carbon out of them. Well, this one seems to do pretty well. Using Qtips to apply the detergent and to remove the residue, it is possible to take it all out. Not as quickly as I would like but it is reasonably fast acting. Dern if the stuff doesn't look, visually, a lot like Patchout .

    I am trying to find a larger scale process so that each case doesn't be handled several times but that should present itself soon. I do not see any reason why this detergent would not work equally as well as the Patchout or it's variants. The Detergent does etch the brass where as the Patchout doesn't. I don't really care if the brass gets etched and guess It isn't a big issue to me with the barrels either, at this point. BUT, we have something that is workin!

    Pete
    Get one of those bore mops a size or 2 over the case neck diameter and add a few drops of the cleaner to it and chuck it up in an electric drill and run the patch into the case and see how long it takes to clean it. If I was doing a lot of them I'd clamp the drill in a vise making sure that I have access to the trigger and button that lets it keep running. Bore mops can be cleaned by rubbing a few drops of detergent into them and rinsing well with warm water and air drying. You'd maybe want to buy them in bulk. I use them for swabbing rifle chambers and cleaning the bolt lug raceways.

  3. #3
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    Patchout is quite popular. Everybody I've seen, including myself, brushes it with a bronze brush, which it will eat unless you swirl it around in a bottle of water [water soluble]. Use the liquid with accelerator.
    Thoroughclean from Bullet Central is gaining traction as well....RF & CF.. it is IOSSO in solution with a flushing liquid.

  4. #4
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    I have been using JB Bore Cleaner for Carbon going on 50 years now. But as you say if one doesn't stay on top of it Carbon can become very difficult to try and remove.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis.J View Post
    I have been using JB Bore Cleaner for Carbon going on 50 years now. But as you say if one doesn't stay on top of it Carbon can become very difficult to try and remove.
    For hunting rifles some say as long as it shoots [I assume sub MOA or when the groups start to open up] that they don't clean which could mean several hundred rounds. How many rounds on average is it necessary to clean to prevent carbon buildup? 20? 50? more?

  6. #6
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    Bore Tech Carbon cleaner is great. Smells like orange / citrus....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy06 View Post
    Bore Tech Carbon cleaner is great. Smells like orange / citrus....
    probably the d-limonene. or orange oil
    Last edited by antelopedundee; 06-24-2019 at 10:37 PM.

  8. #8
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    Texas
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    Bore Cleaners

    Choosing a bore cleaner is like choosing a good wine. They all probably work, you just need a borescope to examine how effective bore cleaners are.




    Glenn

  9. #9
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    Antelopedundee being a plainbase cast bullet benchrest competitor I typically clean every two targets. Depending on sighters it probably averages out to be every thirty rounds. Carbon based on my own experience, rifle, load etc. does very quickly degrade performance / group size. I tend to believe it's more primer related than powder. When I take a primed only case and fire it and then run a clean dry patch down the bore. It still amazes me how much fouling one primer alone can provide. The reason for not cleaning after each target is it can take another five or more rounds for the rifle to settle back down being bullet lube related and re-conditioning of the bore. And there are days I will have to depending on temp., humidity etc. and being aware of the accuracy starting to fall off on the first.
    Last edited by Louis.J; 06-25-2019 at 09:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    281
    We’re all on a quest for a clean barrel and at the same time a reliable first shot out of a clean barrel. I use the cleaner du jour. That may be GM Tec, Sea Foam, or Lucas engine treatment. These are all carbon cleaners of note on gasoline engines. Before the barrel has a chance to get coppered up I will brush with a mix of Montana Extreme and some carbon cleaner. After the cleaning and the dry patches, I run a patch of BN and alcohol to pre-treat the bore. I also tumble my bullets in BN. Cleaning isn’t a big deal with this procedure, in my experience.

  11. #11
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    Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    For hunting rifles some say as long as it shoots [I assume sub MOA or when the groups start to open up] that they don't clean which could mean several hundred rounds. How many rounds on average is it necessary to clean to prevent carbon buildup? 20? 50? more?
    is a subjective thing. In the case of Score shooters, it depends on how big the x is as to how accurate one needs their rifle to be. Most Benchrest barrels need to be reasonably clean to hit tiny dots. A few barrels like to shoot dirty but there are more that like to be clean. So, comparing folks who need to hit 1/6" dots to folks who only need to hit targets in the inches size is an exercise in futility. We talking 1/16 th of an MOA here.

    Pete

  12. #12
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    Well, I've tried a lot of wines

    Quote Originally Posted by Chism G View Post
    Choosing a bore cleaner is like choosing a good wine. They all probably work, you just need a borescope to examine how effective bore cleaners are.




    Glenn
    It becomes a matter of what one wants. I want to spend as little time as possible cleaning so I continue to look for instant cleaning without much process to it or mixture of things. I want it done right now if I can get there. I realize people get use to things and become satisfied, I did for years but the quest for new stuff is a big part of it for me and improving our lot. We don't gain anything doing the same thing.

    Pete
    Last edited by Pete Wass; 06-25-2019 at 10:53 AM.

  13. #13
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    The Citrus

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy06 View Post
    Bore Tech Carbon cleaner is great. Smells like orange / citrus....
    is a big part of this but the detergent they use along with it is a big part as well. I find these formulas way ahead of distilled stuff of any kind I have ever used. From what I have seen, they are pretty much using the same kind of thing, maybe they buy big drums of it somewhere from some chemical company and re-package, very likely the case actually but good for them. At least they are improving out lot instead of offering the SOS!

    I have also watched several YouTube test of the various bore cleaners of the distilled variety and all of them are relatively unimpressive.

    Pete

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    759

    For carbon

    For carbon I have always used carbon tetrachloride. Not sure if you can still buy it. It's very efficient but you need to be careful of the fumes and skin contact.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    585
    the problem with a bronze brush. is that you are wiping/wearing a metal onto/into the bbl,
    the thing you are trying to clean.
    who knows in the world of lead and 22 rf,
    but in the rest of the world..it is counter productive.
    we all know bronze brushes wear out, get smaller in dia.
    WHERE DO YOU THINK THAT MATERIAL GOES ?
    i quit using bronze as a normal cleaning brush maybe 15 years ago.
    i use chemicals, patches, mops, and most recently wipeout with accelerator.

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