Okay.... those might not be the exact words, but I did get an E-mail asking my thoughts on cleaning products for our firearms. I thought I'd jot a few notes here amongst us friends, and let everyone poke and prod with their own advice. (I'll link where I can).
I break my cleaning and lubricating down into a few basic areas.
- General cleaning
- Removing copper from a bore
- Cleaning up after corrosive ammo
CLP, we are all most aware of already. I prefer to use it in the needle applicator, although I do have spray cans for some jobs. The needle applicator lets me put a drop into a trigger mechanism, or on a Q-tip or patch without making a mess. I also use it in my air tools at work, and the same spray can has lasted me two years so far in that role.
Ballistol.... that's an old beastie indeed. Ginned up by wily Germans about a hundred years ago, it has really stood the test of time. I use it as a general cleaner, but it's my all-time favorite go to
on my old Mil-Surp rifles. It's designed to work on corrosive ammo residue, and it does a bloody good job. It can also be mixed with water to do bore flushing, and makes quick work of black powder fouling (if you are into the dark arts).
Wipe down cloths.... I use Sentry Solutions Tuf-Cloth. Yeah, kinda gimicky, but they work well for me and don't leave an oily residue that holds dirt and dust. I keep mine in the original bags they come in, or in a zip lock. Don't leave them
out, it cuts their life span by a bunch. Kept bagged, I use about one a year... yes, they will do that.
Lubrication? Well..... the CLP needle dropper for some things, but honestly... plain old Mobile-One 5w30 motor oil. Why pay a fortune for some whiz-bang trumped up incarnation of Canola oil when a quart of Mobile One will last a lifetime and perform with perfect satisfaction? Needle applicators can be had on Amazon, if you are allergic to shopping (People... ugh) like I am.
Copper removal from a bore.... a touchy subject. There are a LOT of different approaches to this, but I always come back to relying on basic chemistry. Yes, a boatload of arm tiring scrubbing can wear away copper bore fouling, but why do that? Chemistry is our friend, and a simple, but careful, application of ammonia will turn copper fouling into a nasty blue goo that pushes right out of the bore.
On copper fouling, I use the ancient Sweet's 7.62 formula, or on a nastily fouled Mil-Surp with corrosive ammo, straight up Parson's Ammonia found in the grocery store at $2.49 a quart. In both cases, I treat copper removal as an intermediate step in bore cleaning. Some scrubbing with regular bore cleaner to remove propellant fouling, and then a soak with Sweet's. Follow with another bore cleaning to remove the blue goo, and protect with my choice of lubricant for that rifle.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE about using ammonia based copper removal products, including Sweet's 7.62. 'Soak' means a couple minutes.... not hours. The chemical will attack the metal, given time. That's bad news for a good rifle bore. I limit copper removal to my high velocity rifles, and some rougher bore Mil-Surps that live in the castle armory. Even then, only about once every few hundred rounds or so.
That's about it. A handful of products and a few simple procedures, and no great stress over it. My shootin Arns are in good shape and work every time.
Disclosure: Yes, I am an Amazon affiliate. If someone buys something through a link I post, I get a tiny percentage of the purchase in the form of Amazon credit. With this, I usually purchase shooty stuff and review it here. Think of it as a way to support the blog.... and my thanks to you for it!
(A quick check shows me it's up to $2.08 for the month. Huzaaa!)
(Edit editorial: Another read found a handful of ridiculous spelling and syntax errors. I thought we were friends here! Why doesn't anyone tell me about these things?)