cleaning a REALLY dirty barrel

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by rocky_lange, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. rocky_lange

    rocky_lange Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    I've tried 3 times of swabbing and scrubbing but still can still see visible fouling in the barrel. I've used Barnes CR-10, Birchwood Casey and Gunslick copper clean.

    What is the most agressive cleaner to use for copper and powder residue?

    I told to fill a small bucket with ammonia and put the muzzle is the bucket and use a brush to scrub the barrel. Good idea?

    The gun I am working on is a Spanish Mauser that has been sporterized with the original barrel I am beginning to believe that the previous owner never completely cleaned the cosmoline or what ever preservative that was used prior to shooting. Maybe used corrosive ammo. I don't reaaly know, I just want it cleaned so I can practice some gunsmithing on the rifle.

  2. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Put the barrel in a bucket of ammonia?????????? I don't think I'd go that route that if I were you.

    Really fouled bores often have fouling in layers. Copper over carbon over, etc. I have noticed that really stubborn fouling often requires the use of alternating between the cleaning methods.

    Try an agressive copper remover like CR-10. Then switch to a mechanical cleaner like JB compound, then switch back again. Another good alternative is using Wipe-Out bore foam along with their Accelerator. Just apply the Accelerator and then spray in the foam. Leave it in for several hours or overnight and then switch to the JB, if necessary. The nice thing about bore foam is that you don't need to do any elbow work.

    Stick to it and you'll get there.

    Weatherby once told me that 75% of the rifles that were returned to the factory for accuracy problems only needed a thorough cleaning.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    Boone's Farm will work. I prefer Strawberry Hill. Get a bottle of it and a bag of chips, a log of hard salami and a roll of Gouda Cheese.

    Wear out three bronze bore brushes and a bottle of solvent on the barrel while getting totally drunk on the Boone's farm and eating all of the salty chips and salami and cheese. In the morning roll over and crawl to the bathroom and climb up to the sink and shave and go to work. Come home and find a 0.5 MOA rifle ready to rock and roll. I still do not know what possessed me to sell that rifle. It was sold to me as having a shot out barrel but once cleaned it was deadly. I was obviuosly single in those days and could behave anyway I wished.
  4. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Buffalo Bob - you sound like a real wild-man wino!

    Rocky - how many rounds have been through that original barrel? If you've tried that hard to clean it - there may be checking & erosion that holds the fouling. Might be worth paying for a bore-scope evaluation of the barrel to see if it's worth saving.

    As an alternative, have you considered one of the foaming bore-cleaners that are typically left in the bore for some time? Might be worth a shot.

    Good luck! Guy
  5. Rustystud

    Rustystud Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    I will make the following suggestions.

    For Copper use Montana Extreme nothing compares to it.

    For Carbon Use the "old Formula" GM Top Engine Cleaner mixed 1:4 with Marvil Mystery Oil.

    Push your brushes only one direction, chamber to muzzle.

    If you take what you think is an already clean barrel, you will find it takes another 20-50 patches to get your barrel clean. I was shocked the first time I did this.

    Bore scope it before and after and you will be amazed.

    For an abbrasive nothing beats lava soap on patches.

  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    Don't mean to hurt feeling here but IOSSO worked period end of story.... Have used the bore scope to actually verify the results too many times to have any doubts---without a bore scope you are just really guessing.. Tried most of what others have listed and they are only partially effective.. Buy the IOSSO bore cleaner paste and just follow the instructions---very easy. Remember one test is worth a thousand expert opinions.
  7. rocky_lange

    rocky_lange Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    Guy M,
    I have know idea of the round count. I have not fired it since I bought it. It is a Spanish 1924 Mauser that has been sporterized. Barrel appears to be original (by looking at contour and sights). The lands and grooves look good, not worn smooth and no visible throat erosion without using bore scope. It is just that I can still see residue and it "feels sticky" when using a jag and patch. sticks mostly in the first third to half of the bore.

    Seeing I am on work comp at the moment and need not worry about going going to work with a hangover, I think I will try your method next. Come to think of it, I have several rifles in the safe that could use a good cleaning over the next week or so. Might need to take a few days off after cleaning before I go to the range and test fire though.

  8. wkinderknecht

    wkinderknecht Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    bore cleaner

    If all else fails, and I do mean all else, I used this to clean an abused cannon barrel. Janitorial supply can get I believe 10% ammonia. Combine 3 parts of this with 1 part ivory brand dish soap. Do this outside. Scrub bore with this solution on a nylon brush, allow it to set 5 minutes, and rinse with water. Inspect bore, and repeat as necessary. When everything comes out to your satisfaction, rinse well with water, rinse with white vinegar, and then rinse with more water. Oil the bore VERY well after this point, as it is extremely suseptable to rusting. The ammonia solution will destroy a brass brush. Don't ask me how I know. This is nasty stuff, and should be done with outdoor ventilation, and protective clothing. It is my strongest recommentation to protect any finish on the exterior of the gun when performing this process. Good luck, and good shooting,
  9. pjracer

    pjracer Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    bore cleaner

    I use sinclair chamber plugs and fill the barrel up with sweets. I let it sit for 1 hr on my old worn 270 barrel.