Gun cleaning behind all copper ammo

rookhawk

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Good data in this thread. Since I started using a bore scope, I have learned a lot. Hog-P is right, you don't know that your rifle is truly clean until you scope it......but having said that, if it shoots to your satisfaction, then I guess you don't need to know more. But for older or rougher bores when shooting monometal, it may not be possible to fully clean them without using some mechanical means........not just chemical.....say JB bore paste or the like. It can be a necessary step for my older guns. Also, it is very possible to get a rifle too clean.....like over cleaning a dutch oven.......they often shoot better when the pores are sealed. If you need a two inch group, you don't need to know much about cleaning......if you need a half inch group, you had better have a good method for cleaning thoroughly.........for a properly broken in Hart Bbl it is easy, they are smooth and clean up nicely, for a 60 year old workhorse........cleaning is hard work, takes many (at least 7) steps, (and I hate it!!)..............thanks for posting...........FWB

I've bought a lot of nice guns over the years deemed "discounted" with bad barrels or innacuracy. Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never owned a ruined bore gun. Inevitably, 90% of them are just filthy and need a 1-month gentle cleaning regimen to remove caked layers of brass-lead-copper-steel-rust-powder-carbon cycled in various layers like a pearl on the barrel. Each chemical removing one later only to expose a different compound in the next layer. I've had 3-5 MOA 125 year old guns become 1MOA guns with this treatment. Failing all of this, I find its throat erosion and that loading closer to the lands without violating CIP specs usually "fixes" ruined guns.

To simplify: elbow grease is cheap and cures most ills
 

Red Leg

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@Red Leg I tend to agree with you for typical small and medium bore rifles that use soft-copper alloy barnes bullets. Anything works okay and it doesn't seem to matter. This isn't F-class stuff nor are these F-class guns, these are hunting rifles.

The only exception to this is brass/bronze solids in medium and large bores. I've found NONE of the specialty chemicals work very well getting solids, particularly mono-metal solids that have brass content, out of the bore. When I shoot my 470 using brass nosler solids its a one-hour cleaning job to remove the "gold plating" that is 100% visible to the eye out of those barrels.
I am sure that is true. My .470 and 500-416 are beautifully “plated.“ They are also more accurate now than they were when first shot. I do not believe my body or life expectancy wI’ll survive enough rounds In those calibers to make an accuracy difference.
 

rookhawk

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I am sure that is true. My .470 and 500-416 are beautifully “plated.“ They are also more accurate now than they were when first shot. I do not believe my body or life expectancy wI’ll survive enough rounds In those calibers to make an accuracy difference.

Any fears that there is "rot" happening in the barrel under that hard copper/brass plated shell? That's my paranoia, just like tooth decay creating a cave system under the hard enamel that has a pin-prick size opening and a cavern growing in soft area underneath.
 

Red Leg

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Any fears that there is "rot" happening in the barrel under that hard copper/brass plated shell? That's my paranoia, just like tooth decay creating a cave system under the hard enamel that has a pin-prick size opening and a cavern growing in soft area underneath.
I suppose it is theoretically possible. However, I have never found any rust of any kind in a rifle barrel in my care with or without any copper residue. Obviously, I am not including BP arms, and I don’t shoot corrosive powders. But a ”nitro” shotgun or rifle? Never.
 

Hogpatrol

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I suppose it is theoretically possible. However, I have never found any rust of any kind in a rifle barrel in my care with or without any copper residue. Obviously, I am not including BP arms, and I don’t shoot corrosive powders. But a ”nitro” shotgun or rifle? Never.

In my experience and although it may not happen when in your ownership, a coppered up rifle's accuracy will eventually drop off a cliff. Whether or not it happens when that cape buffalo presents itself is the question. :E Big Grin:
 

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In my experience and although it may not happen when in your ownership, a coppered up rifle's accuracy will eventually drop off a cliff. Whether or not it happens when that cape buffalo presents itself is the question. :E Big Grin:
I don’t dispute anyone else’s experiences. It has simply never been an issue with any rifle I have owned. And minute of buffalo? I’ll take that chance. :Finger:
 

fourfive8

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I haven't noticed the extreme copper issue that others report with banded copper bullets like the Barnes TSX/TTSX. Seems like they copper foul about like most other conventional smooth shanked copper jacket lead core bullets. I do think pressure and velocity have something to do with the amount of copper fouling. While not the only factors, I've noticed both pressure and related velocity do play a major role. The only issue I ever had with a Barnes, years ago, was with their original smooth shanked X. Now that was a nightmare design- quickly abandoned after about 10-12 rounds. And didn't shoot another monolithic until the manufacturers figured out (adopted) the banding solution. :)

Completely cleaning copper out of a bore is a chore no matter how it's done. Like many, I've tried a ton of different brands and formulas. Started out with Hoppes 9 and it's still a mainstay for my cleaning but it is slow on copper and will remove it with a lot of time and patience. The ammonia based chems will also work but I have never completely trusted them nor myself for their proper use while guaranteeing no bore surface damage. It appears that the ammonia % is directly seated to how quickly it removes (oxidizes) copper. But ammonia will attack steel so it is a tricky tightrope to walk. :)

I can usually do pretty well with JB plus oil or Rem Bore Cleaner which seems to be similar to JB that is premixed in an oil. Just takes lots of work. I doubt it does damage and at most slowly laps/polishes over time.

That brings us to the more "modern", non-ammonia based, copper solvents. I've tried both Wipe Out alone and with it's "accelerator" catalyst solution. Doesn't seem like it would harm a bore and I've noticed no damage from leaving it in bore long duration, like overnight, but it seems slow acting and not up to its advertising/marketing hype. More recently I've tried Pro Shot Copper Solvent IV. It smells and "feels" something like Wipe Out with no acrid nor ammonia odor. But it is many times faster acting on copper than Wipe Out. The only question I have about it is the black residue it shows both on patches and in the bore. It almost seems like it is "bluing" the steel??? If that is the case then it is slightly oxidizing the steel surface. I know several here have used it and report good success but also wonder if anyone knows of any detrimental affects of the black residue or oxidation/steel damage potential?
 

bruce moulds

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458,
could the black be carbon?
given that every layer of copper would have a layer of carbon on it this poses a question.
i have used it in fclass and hunting rifles for some time now, and have yet to to discover an issue.
note the term "have yet to find"
bruce.
 
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I haven't noticed the extreme copper issue that others report with banded copper bullets like the Barnes TSX/TTSX. Seems like they copper foul about like most other conventional smooth shanked copper jacket lead core bullets. I do think pressure and velocity have something to do with the amount of copper fouling. While not the only factors, I've noticed both pressure and related velocity do play a major role. The only issue I ever had with a Barnes, years ago, was with their original smooth shanked X. Now that was a nightmare design- quickly abandoned after about 10-12 rounds. And didn't shoot another monolithic until the manufacturers figured out (adopted) the banding solution. :)

Completely cleaning copper out of a bore is a chore no matter how it's done. Like many, I've tried a ton of different brands and formulas. Started out with Hoppes 9 and it's still a mainstay for my cleaning but it is slow on copper and will remove it with a lot of time and patience. The ammonia based chems will also work but I have never completely trusted them nor myself for their proper use while guaranteeing no bore surface damage. It appears that the ammonia % is directly seated to how quickly it removes (oxidizes) copper. But ammonia will attack steel so it is a tricky tightrope to walk. :)

I can usually do pretty well with JB plus oil or Rem Bore Cleaner which seems to be similar to JB that is premixed in an oil. Just takes lots of work. I doubt it does damage and at most slowly laps/polishes over time.

That brings us to the more "modern", non-ammonia based, copper solvents. I've tried both Wipe Out alone and with it's "accelerator" catalyst solution. Doesn't seem like it would harm a bore and I've noticed no damage from leaving it in bore long duration, like overnight, but it seems slow acting and not up to its advertising/marketing hype. More recently I've tried Pro Shot Copper Solvent IV. It smells and "feels" something like Wipe Out with no acrid nor ammonia odor. But it is many times faster acting on copper than Wipe Out. The only question I have about it is the black residue it shows both on patches and in the bore. It almost seems like it is "bluing" the steel??? If that is the case then it is slightly oxidizing the steel surface. I know several here have used it and report good success but also wonder if anyone knows of any detrimental affects of the black residue or oxidation/steel damage potential?
@fourfive8
I've taken to using Hogdon CFE223 in as many calibers as I can. 300 round in my son's 308 and 150+ In my Whelen as well as over 400 rounds thru my mates 223 and nary a hint of copper fouling in any of them.
Bob
 

bruce moulds

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bob,
it is a good approach.
however, even then it can get away from you.
if you use a bore scope, you can pick up on this early enough to use j.b. or such minimally when necessary.
bruce.
 

fourfive8

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458,
could the black be carbon?
given that every layer of copper would have a layer of carbon on it this poses a question.
i have used it in fclass and hunting rifles for some time now, and have yet to to discover an issue.
note the term "have yet to find"
bruce.

Could be just doesn't look like carbon. The rifle I'm using it in, I don't think has had enough rounds through it to build up that layered copper/carbon/copper laminate. At first I thought it was the oxide product of the reaction between the copper and whatever chemical is in the Pro Shot solvent. Usually copper oxides are blueish green but who knows about every oxide of copper??? The ammonia copper oxides are blue-green and the the non-ammonia Wipe Out residue/oxide is definitely blueish. This black color has me stumped. It appears on the patches during the process. Then after the patches come out mostly clean, the bore surface appears to be down to bare metal and the surface appears like it was "blued" a flat black color. The barrel is CM.

If in fact it is taking the copper out by chemical reaction, along with the normal carbon, it seems to be very efficient in the process. My method after a range session of about 10- 20 rounds of full pressure rounds, either normal copper jacketed A Frames or TSXs or both out of this rifle, a Win 70 in 416 Rem Mag, is to dip a brass brush in Pro Shot Sol IV and pass through back and forth at least the number of rounds fired. Let sit for an hour and wet a patch with Pro Shot and scrub back and forth then push out. Dip the brass brush again in the Pro Shot and repeat pass throughs as before. Wait an hour or so and wet a patch with the same solvent and scrub and push out. Then a couple of dry patches to remove solvent and lightly lube with Gunslick Ultra Lube.
 

fourfive8

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OK I've been working on this with some methodology and think I have some kind of answer to my own question- maybe :)

Shot and cleaned again today same rifle and ammo. This time only 5 rounds. Used the same routine- waiting between solvent brushings and patchings. After the first brushing and solvent patch scrub I continued to run solvent patches until most of the black residue was gone. As suspected, I think the Pro Shot IV does oxidize the copper but it also does a pretty good job with carbon and other powder fouling compounds from the get go- so the initial, heavy residue patches are black with no blue-green color showing. But presto!... by slowly diminishing the reactant residue into smaller and smaller dilutions, I started to see tell-tale traces of blue. The solvent does such a good job on all fouling, that the heavy, combined residue from the first solvent brushing and patching masks the blue-green color indicator for copper oxide.

Pro Shot is very cryptic about their formula simply saying it attacks copper by a process of ion transfer using positive ions... simply a fancy way of saying their chemical oxidizes copper. I still think it is similar to how Wipe-Out works. But as I have found and what Bruce posted earlier in this thread- much, much faster than Wipe-Out The dark flat black appearance of the steel after cleaning is likely a very thin oxide layer, maybe a molecule or few thick, of possibly a combination of elements. For now, I'll continue to use it as a primary copper remover and monitor bore condition and any changes in accuracy. I don't foresee any issue and so far am very pleased to find a practical copper solvent that lives up to its advertising.
 
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bruce moulds

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458,
good post.
i must admit to making sure all solvents are out when finished.
then a quick clean with hoppes no 9, as this invariably seems to pull something more out.
i wipe it out with 1 dry patch only, as experience has shown it to be safe in barrels, and a reasonably good protectant for short term storage.
hoppes is also quite a good carbon solvent.
bruce.
 

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I used Wipeout (their Patchout version) about a year, maybe longer. No issues except you had to leave it in the bore all day, or longer. Finally converted to Boretech based on recommendations from several members at my club.
 

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Please tell me if Butch’s Bore Shine to clean my rifle after Barnes TSX bullets? I am very happy with how my 30.06. And my 270 soots these bullets but am not sure how to clean afterwards. Any advice is appreciated!
Well don’t tell all these folks but I only clean mine 1 time a year with hoppes 9 cleaner and have been doing so for the past about 15 or so years and it is still working great, I may not be the best example to follow though haha.
 
 

 

 

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