Lead and Copper fouling

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dsv424, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. dsv424

    dsv424 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Garland, Tx.
    Not sure if this is the right forum for this but I'm sure there is a lot knowledge in this forum for this topic. I have two barrels(SA Loaded & M9 Baretta) that I'm beginning to see some build up of material in the grooves near the chamber end. Not sure if it is copper or lead since I shoot both. I always clean my guns each time I use them and I think this has been a gradual build up and I wasn't checking with a light during each cleaning. What are some good brand cleaning products and also a good cleaning process. I use Butches Bore Shine and Hoppes #9 Copper solvent but it doesn't seem to get it all out. Does soaking the barrel overnight work better? Thanks for any advise you'all may have on this.
  2. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I absolutely love boretech eliminator. That stuff works wonders plus it doesn't have any smell and is perfectly safe for the bore. Yes, soaking overnight will help as it allows more time for the chemicals to react. I would not recommend soaking overnight with an ammonia based cleaner, it could start to corrode the bore. I'm sure some people do it, but I know I wouldn't. When I was using Hoppe's I only let it sit in there maybe 15 minutes tops.

    When I clean with the boretech I usually run three or four patches through (the first one will come out blue, this stuff is really that good). I let that sit for however long, then I brush it with a NYLON brush. If you use a bronze brush it will eat it to pieces and make it look like you still have copper in the bore. I then use a few more patches with eliminator on it and follow that with some dry ones. If its really really bad I'll let it sit overnight with cleaner in it, then brush it a few more times, then a few more wet patches and finally some dry ones.
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,264
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    Butchs should do it, just give it longer to soak. Overnight wont hurt it. I have plugged barrels that were fouled real bad at the chamber end and filled the bores and left them to soak for a couple days. Had a .17 remington that I thot was 'shot out' but it was just copper fouled so bad it looked like the rifling was gone. copper came out in long spirals after 3 days on the soak with hoppes#9... Dont forget to add elbow grease, sometines they just need a little scrubbing especially where lead is concerned. thats really the only way to remove lead buildup... good luck with your clean up.
  4. res45

    res45 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    184
    I've used Barnes CR-10 for a quick copper remover,just follow the instructions on the bottle and you want have a problem,I'm the inventive type and like to make my own products to remove copper fouling I use straight "strong ammonia" (9 - 10 percent) carried by many janitorial supply houses and hardware stores. ACE hardware carries the 10 percent janitorial strength for a few bucks a quart and it works great straight. If you like it weaker like most commercial copper removers use 4 parts 10% ammonia to 1 part water. The PH of 10% ammonia want hurt your metal bore unless you leave it in for a couple days without cleaning,just let it set for about 15 min. then run a few tight patches through the bore then clean as usually and you will be fine.

    For lead a lot of old cast bullet shooters use just plain old K1 Kerosene or mineral spirits just push a saturated mop through a couple times let it set about 15 min,give it a good scrubbing with a copper or stainless brush then use a couple tight patch to push out the lead. You can also get one of those copper chore boy scrub pads and wrap a strand around your brush and pull it through that will also help strip out the lead.

    Kroil oil is also a good overnight cleaner that will loosen up copper and lead foulings,benchrest shooters love the stuff for cleaning there bores. As stated don't use copper or bronze brushes with the ammonia base copper removers.

    Just a note if you shooting both jacketed and lead or cast bullets make sure you start with a clean bore before shooting lead or cast,copper foulings in the bore will strip lead off the bullet and make your leading problem worse.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  5. dsv424

    dsv424 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Garland, Tx.
    I was always afraid of damaging my barrels by excessive "elbow grease" but after reading all of your advise it appears I'm not scrubing enough. So I assume it is OK to scrub the "snot out of it" with a brass brush. I thought I read somewhere to go easy with the brush and let the solvent do the work.
  6. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,943
    Location:
    SW Fort Worth
    Think of it this way, you've got copper plated bullets and lead being thrown down the barrel at 1000+ fps; that's going to build up large amounts of friction/heat. There's no way a brass brush is going to do any more wear and tear than that. Yes, I'm sure if you sat there for an hour straight and took off all the fouling and then were brushing on "bare barrel only" that you may see some minor wear. While you're brushing, take a look every few strokes to see how much fouling is being removed; this will help prevent undue brushing of the barrel. The one problem I do see with brushing the heck out of a barrel is by overexerting and stuffing the tip into the receiver and possibly doing damage there. I keep a rag inbetween whatever the tip of my cleaning rod is looking at.

    should note that I never "scrub the snot out of it", I just use steady stokes until the fouling is out of it, alot of force isn't required IMO ! ;) Snot is a good lube, leave a little in there !
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  7. res45

    res45 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    184
    Brush material is much softer than the hardened steel used in the barrel,let the solvents and time do most of the work for you and the brush and patches do the rest to remove the crud from the bore.
  8. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    My understanding of the cleaning process is its not the brushes that can cause the wear on the barrel, it is normally the cleaning rod rubbing on the chamber and throat and crown. That's why the competitive shooters all use bore guides, without fail. One note here, It is very highly recommended to NEVER use the steel tornado brushes. Those things are a disaster in a package! I use nylon brushes myself, but that is because the boretech eliminator will litterally eat straight through a bronze or copper one. The latter two choices are just fine and used by many many shooters.

    You should definitely allow the chemicals to do the hard work, why make life harder on yourself by trying to rush the process? Allowing the chemicals to work also saves the wear and tear on the barrel from the cleaning rod.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,264
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    I use coated steel rods or carbon fiber rods. I have one aluminum rod and its used strictly for my muzzleloader.
  10. dsv424

    dsv424 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Garland, Tx.
    Well guys as usual my problem was "instant gratification". I let soak with Butches Bore Shine overnight and scrubbed it a little when I got home tonight and low and behold its as clean as a babies bottom.:) I'm going to the same with my SA Loaded barrel tonight and hopefully I'll get the same results.
    It has the same build up near the chamber end of the barrel.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,264
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    good on ya mate;)
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Copper plating your own lead cast Mar 15, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Don't understand treating copper plated like lead bullets Nov 13, 2009
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Found some lead ingots - AP ammo? May 23, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Lead Bullets May 10, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum So is this normal when loading lead bullets? May 5, 2014

Share This Page