Cleaning solvents?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by icebear, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    What solvents do you like for cleaning your Sakos? I've used all kinds of products over the years, including name brands, water-based solvents designed to neutralize corrosive primer residue, GI bore cleaner, and whatever. Lately I've been using Ed's Red from Brownell's for sporting rifles and Sweet's 7.62 for military. I will run an occasional patch of Shooter's Choice copper cleaner down the bore of the sporting rifles to make sure I'm not getting copper buildup (the Sweet's is a copper reagent; it stinks of ammonia). What's your preference?


    And what solvents do you know of that are definitely safe or not for use on old-style blackened aluminum finishes? A while back I was cleaning some guns in preparation for an estate sale. I started cleaning a Colt Cobra with Hoppe's #9 and suddenly realized the finish on the alloy frame was coming off. I quickly washed off the Hoppe's and finished the job with something else. I mentioned this to a friend and he said, Oh yeah, I thought everybody knew you don't use Hoppe's on an alloy frame. Now I'm reasonably certain the hard anodizing on most modern alloy parts is resistant to Hoppe's, but I work with enough older guns that I've stopped using Hoppe's altogether. Any more guidance on what is and isn't safe with older alloy finishes?
     

  2. Unclekax

    Unclekax Well-Known Member

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    Bore Tech Eliminator with a carbon fiber cleaning rod and nylon brush.
    Be careful to not get the solvent on the wood finish.
    Try it out on a bore you believe is clean.
    You may be quite surprised by the amount of copper you see on your patch.
    It does not stink of ammonia either.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I've heard about Bore Tech Eliminator before and am thinking of giving it a try on some of my old military rifles that have a lot of old copper in the bore. You say it's not good for wood finishes - do you know how it is with aluminum or plastic?
     
  4. XTrooper

    XTrooper Active Member

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    Shooter's Choice Bore Cleaner for heavy cleaning, Hoppe's Elite Gun Cleaner for "delicate" finishes (nickel-plating, alloys, etc), Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Grease for high friction areas (like slide rails), BreakFree CLP for general cleaning and lubricating and most everything else.
     
  5. Unclekax

    Unclekax Well-Known Member

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    I could not say for sure on aluminum or plastics. Great on bores though. I have heard it can be bad for blued stainless, that is to say it should be wiped off promptly. There have been many conversations on the "Weatherby nation" site which is where I first heard of it.
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    There are a plethora of solvents out there that will dissolve copper & carbon to one degree or another & almost all of them will work to an acceptable level. Some so potent that they can take off what you DON'T want gone. Knowing what it will damage on your finish is not easy. I've found James Calhoon's GT40 solvent to be an excellent cleaner while not damaging the stuff I have, at least. Wipe-Out solvent is excellent for heavy copper/carbon fouling & is safe enough to let soak in your bore for days! Your cleaning technique is probably more important than the product, as most of the new solvents work very well. Remember the old adage, "more barrels have been ruin with a cleaning rod than from shooting".
     
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  7. XTrooper

    XTrooper Active Member

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    Amen to that.
     
  8. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    I’ll second your Amen.
     
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  9. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all who posted. The old saying about cleaning ruining barrels is sure true, which is why I always use a bore guide and clean from the breech whenever possible. Once when I was helping to sell off some guns from an estate, I encountered an 1896 Krag carbine. It was a real carbine, not a later fake made from a cut-down infantry rifle. It had a few issues, like non-original sling swivels, but overall was in decent cosmetic condition. However, the bore was gone, and an inspection made it clear that it was because the gun was cleaned from the muzzle with a steel rod that rubbed out the rifling over many years. I put a few rounds through it and the group might as well have been made with a 12-gauge. We eventually sold the gun for decent money, but it would have been worth a lot more with a shootable bore.
     
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