Concentrated Ammonia for cleaning barrels

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by Ian M, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    A friend just bought some concentrated ammonia from a place that handles commercial cleaning materials. I offered an old M-70 in .308 Win. with a very rough bore for a test. The rifle had been cleaned, very little carbon, but it looked like a gold mine inside. First couple of patches came out <font color="blue"> </font> blue <font color="black"> </font>, we are talking bright blue. In very short time the patches started to diminish, we even ran a bronze brush soaked in the ammonia down the barrel and got a dribble of blue liquid out the bore. Some of that was the brush being attacked no doubt.
    Anyhow, the result was an incredibly clean barrel, I scoped it and we found pits and gouges in the grooves that account for the fouling tendencies. Now I have to foul it up again, since it shoots terribly when it has been cleaned, then it settles back to 1.5" for the next 500 rounds or so. I usually clean this barrel every 500 rounds since it is on the rig we use to practice on my moving target system.
    Anyone else use industrial strength ammonia to clean their barrels - not sure I would use it on a custom barrel but it sure did the job on this old copper fouler.
     
  2. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Ian,

    I have a friend who uses straight ammonia to clean his 50 bmg. It does work well, but there are three words to remember when using this method: Flush it out!
    If even a tiny bit of that solution is left in the barrel for longer than 10 minutes, it's good bye accuracy. My friend forgot to flush only one time and his barrel became so inaccurate that he couldn't hit a boulder the size of a VW bug at 1k!
     
  3. Agunner012

    Agunner012 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Goodgrouper,

    How many rounds, before the 50's accuracy comes back?

    Thanks
    Andrew
     
  4. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Grouper,
    Thanks for the info, another consideration is the fact that this stuff is very lethal - the salesman had been overcome by it and he was fortunate to be alive! Well ventilated area, we worked in my friends' garage with a door open.
    I will stay with what has worked for a long time for me, but still found the concentrated ammonia interesting for thoroughly cleaning the old pitted barrel.
     
  5. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Ian, I use this grade of ammonia all the time and prefer it. Will strip any copper fouling in a barrel out. Everything!!!

    Yes, use it outside only. It stinks. I use the Kleenbore nylon brushes. Forget about bronze. I'm melting.....

    I use it in all my barrels and have found no issue. The key is wipe it in, wipe it out. Leaving it sit for a few minutes is fine, not that you need to, just not for an hour or overnight.

    You might want to run a patch of Kroil or powder solvent with an oil base if you live in a high humidity area. This stuff leaves the metal bare.

    I have cleaned my barrels with just about all the new gen of cleaners till they were 'spotless'. A wet patch of this stuff and the patches are blue again.

    The only thing that is remotely close is CR10.

    Plus this stuff is dirt cheap. I bought a gallon for little more then two small bottles of rifle bore cleaner. This amount will last me several lifetimes.

    It's agressive, fast to use, and stinks to high heaven (plus those fumes are dangerous as are most solvents).

    Just make sure you use a powder solvent first. Ammonia solvent is not very good at removing the powder fouling. I use any reg. stuff (Hoppes, etc). Once the patches go from black to grey, I switch to the ammonia. If there is any copper, you will get blue. I swap the bore until the blue dissapears and goes back to grey. I shoot moly bullets and this is the moly layer I leave.

    Jerry
     
  6. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Anyone else use industrial strength ammonia to clean their barrels - not sure I would use it on a custom barrel but it sure did the job on this old copper fouler.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I need to figure out why no one reads my posts /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif ( I posted industrial ammonia was IMAO better than GG favorite - IFF U wear nitrile gloves, work outside and wear a respirator).

    Very common in the 50 crowd. I use it on all my custom 50 guns and so do most of the top shooters.

    [ QUOTE ]
    friend who uses straight ammonia ...If even a tiny bit of that solution is left in the barrel for longer than 10 minutes, it's good bye accuracy.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    This is a too common wifes tail - my first contribution to the 50 community was disproving this myth. Lilja's site says ammonia can't attack a barrel (you need to clean it out as it will strip off all the oil and allow rust). Plenty of folks soak there custom barrels in 26 degree Baume Ammonia overnight. One guy used a 2" piece of barrel, filled/sealed it with 26 deg Baume Ammonia, left it in for a week, cleaned it and there was no change.
    Ammonia concentration is measured in degrees Baume - the strongest comes from chemical supply companies and is very pure - too expensive and unnecessary for dissolving copper. You can't make a pure aquas Ammonia solution but I don't know what the strongest baume you can get - household is very weak - close to water (about 30 IIRC) industrial is 26-27 (lower stronger and it's specific gravity so it's not linear, ie 26 is much more than 2x concentrated than 30 deg Baume)
    Copper fouling is a HUGE problem with 50's so that;s why they lead the way in Ammonia usage.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Just make sure you use a powder solvent first. Ammonia solvent is not very good at removing the powder fouling.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Exactly.

    See my Ammonia page for all the details
     
  7. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Big Bore,
    Where do you think we got the idea to try this stuff... Appreciate the info we read from you, Jerry and other guys some time ago. Back when we were discussing cheaper alternatives to solvents, gunoils, gunkblaster etc.

    Jerry,
    How you been. I was out in your fair province last week, north tip of Vancouver island looking for grass and clover munching black bears. Incredible county, lots of straight up and straight down. Almost blew my cookies riding in a big one ton 4by4 on those twisting, roll-coaster roads. Oh, yea, and then there were the 14 foot wide one hundred and fifty bazzilion ton logging trucks, no biggie as long as kept your eyes closed real tight. We were lucky and did not get flattened or sideswiped, or knocked off a fifty thousand foot straight drop-off. Learned a lot about logging, essentially it is about second to Alaskan crab-fishing for making dead people. Also saw a very nice cougar that had to be shot in front of the lodge the day befoe we got there, he was hanging around for some time and they decided to punch his ticket. Also watched people eat sea-stuff that pretty nearly made most of us upchuck, damn things looked like boiled dog-peckers. No idea what they were, except pretty sure they were not off of dogs. The .325 WSM did in a fine bear, one shot across a gorge but fact is I did not read the wind well and had a bit too much on - still a lethal first shot and he was dead in a few steps but I had planned on anchoring him right where he stood.
    Perfect weather, no bugs, incredible country, lots of truck-hunting the cut-overs (called "Safari-Style Hunting" in some parts of Texas I believe).
     
  8. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    How many rounds, before the 50's accuracy comes back?



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Never did that I know of. He has since sold that barrel.
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    ( I posted industrial ammonia was IMAO better than GG favorite - I

    [/ QUOTE ]


    B1g B0re my friend, try my way before you slam it man. You just might recall this statement!




    [ QUOTE ]
    This is a too common wifes tail - my first contribution to the 50 community was disproving this myth. Lilja's site says ammonia can't attack a barrel

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Curious. Sweets and CR10 are only 5% ammonia and both companies tell you right on the bottle to not leave it in the barrel longer than 10 min and you are using 100% ammonia and leave it in overnight? Sounds bad to me, but if you say you haven't lost accuracy I believe you.
     
  10. abinok

    abinok Writers Guild

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    I don't have a lot of experence with ammonia based solvents, but ive been using CR10 for a while. I leave it on stainless for a long time... no problems. Saw surface rust on a blued steel barrel that the guy claimed he only had it in there for 45min. I thought the issue was one of the ammonia stripping all the oils, and that the blued steels would develop rust quickly afterward... but like I said.... my experence is only with CR10.
     
  11. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Ian, so glad you had a great hunt. Must be nice...

    Will send you an email when I get a chance to chat. Lots of new toys and hoping to finish that 450 Alaskan in the next few months.

    New home with ground up renos, kids, no time...

    Jerry
     
  12. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    B1g B0re my friend, try my way before you slam it man. You just might recall this statement!


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I bet your right. Concentrated Ammonia is a pain in the arse - it's horrible. Remember I'm learning - so I have a license to flip flop /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I'd love to try it but I can't find it. No slam intended.


    [ QUOTE ]

    Curious. Sweets and CR10 are only 5% ammonia and both companies tell you right on the bottle to not leave it in the barrel longer than 10 min and you are using 100% ammonia and leave it in overnight? Sounds bad to me, but if you say you haven't lost accuracy I believe you.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yep, that's how the debate started 18 months ago on the BH ( 50 BMG forum ). The speculation is you leave some in your barrel, unsealed, and it drips out or evaporates. It has stripped all the oil so your barrel starts to rust.
    As mentioned Liljas site says Ammonia by itself can't harm and one guy tested it. You must clean out the ammonia in your barrel when your done then apply oil.

    One minor pedantic note (just don't call me Jon Kerry for flip flopping and being pedantic /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif) It's not 100% ammonia but it's much stronger than CR10, Sweets, etc.

    abinok writes: [ QUOTE ]
    I thought the issue was one of the ammonia stripping all the oils,

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Exactly - at least that's the consensus after extensive debate on the topic.
     
  13. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

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    1 Gallon of industrial strength ammonia: $5

    Wearing a complete bio-chemical suit so you don't burn your lungs out while cleaning your gun: Priceless /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  14. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

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    I haven't used a high concentrate. It seems that no matter how many dry patches I run and oil the barrel cr10 gives off an amonia smell after firing. I'd be afraid to use anything stronger.