Copper fouling & Sweets.

Michael Lares

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Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
14
So was going to some more work-ups on my big gun and since it had been a while, & new barrel & all, thought I'd make sure it was clean. was clean when I put it away but>>>Cleaned barrel normally, brush & hoppes. Then thought well beings its pretty new maybe check for any copper. (I had shot about 9 rounds through it for break-in start previously, shoot-clean shoot clean etc. Everything was looking good.). Had already run some sweets through last go around but>>>. So I do the sweets again and it's perfect so I go out to try some loads & get some more break-in. Mild loads of course . Shot couple rounds and after checking stuff thought I'll run sweets through to make sure about copper. So I have some pretty good copper fouling and go to cleaning. After some time and it's it's still not clean I get to doubting myself like, did I really have it clean before?
Gave up and went home. In gun room start again, (I'm on a mission). Every time I think I have it, more blue.
Have a Lilja barrel with his muzzle brake. Took a plastic spray can lid and cut a piece that just fit thought the louvers of the the brake at first set. Now I have a"stop" for my cleaning jag.
Here's the bottom line that I've seen. If you don't get the Sweets hot in the barrel, you'll chase your tail around and round.
I came up with 60 strokes as fast as I could go end to end. My apparently clean barrel gave off blue for several rounds and then, wa la, nothing. You can smell the ammonia after about 30 to 40 strokes getting hot and then here comes the copper!
We'll see>>>
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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It’s not the heat, it’s the number of passes causing the solvent to ‘foam’.
Sweets’ does very little until it foams up, I use a nylon brush instead of a loose patch, it gets it foaming sooner, then I leave it in the bore for 15 mins, then patch out.
I do this several times with sweets using brush then patch until no more copper is seen.
If you are using brass jags or brushes, you can get false blue from the solvent, so just be wary of this.

Funny thing, I rarely chase copper fouling, I’m more concerned with carbon fouling and shooting with the same conditions as the last time I shot.
Sure, I clean, but only at the end of a season or if accuracy goes away.
A few passes with Hoppe’s #9 after a shoot is enough for me.

Cheers.
:)
 

Michael Lares

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
14
It’s not the heat, it’s the number of passes causing the solvent to ‘foam’.
Sweets’ does very little until it foams up, I use a nylon brush instead of a loose patch, it gets it foaming sooner, then I leave it in the bore for 15 mins, then patch out.
I do this several times with sweets using brush then patch until no more copper is seen.
If you are using brass jags or brushes, you can get false blue from the solvent, so just be wary of this.

Funny thing, I rarely chase copper fouling, I’m more concerned with carbon fouling and shooting with the same conditions as the last time I shot.
Sure, I clean, but only at the end of a season or if accuracy goes away.
A few passes with Hoppe’s #9 after a shoot is enough for me.

Cheers.
:)
As I said, this is a new barrel>>>>>
 

Mikecr

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Aug 10, 2003
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5,450
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NC, oceanfront
After removing carbon, I use & leave Sweets in for a couple hours.
Tip: To remove sweets completely, push a patch saturated with hydrogen peroxide very very slowly through the bore(like a full minute for bore length). You'll push out a slug of foam. Follow that with alcohol on a clean bore mop.

Then I dry out the bore, and dry prefoul with WS2(Tungsten), and put the gun away ready & capable to put the next cold bore shot right on my mark.
 

Michael Lares

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
14
After removing carbon, I use & leave Sweets in for a couple hours.
Tip: To remove sweets completely, push a patch saturated with hydrogen peroxide very very slowly through the bore(like a full minute for bore length). You'll push out a slug of foam. Follow that with alcohol on a clean bore mop.

Then I dry out the bore, and dry prefoul with WS2(Tungsten), and put the gun away ready & capable to put the next cold bore shot right on my mark.
WOW. That's interesting. Was a little hesitant to leave the Sweets in that long and let it dry?!
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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5,670
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Having used Sweets for years, I switched over to the chelating solvents like the BoreTech Eliminator, and for more stubborn build up, the BoreTech Cu+2 and Proshot copper solvents. IMO, they work as fast, if not faster, and are harmless to stainless and CM steels. Ammonia WILL etch steel if exposed for long periods(as will peroxide). One thing to keep in mind when observing copper when cleaning. It may not be the barrel that is stripping copper, but the copper residue from the gas normally formed by the bullet traving down the barrel that is settling out. How many times have we seen the patch turn blue when cleaning the ports/interior of the muzzle break with a copper solvent. There is no bullet contact, but it’s still there.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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WOW. That's interesting. Was a little hesitant to leave the Sweets in that long and let it dry?!


Don't Leave any solvent in your barrel unless it specifically states on the product that it is safe to do so, and even then it is best to remove any solvent and lightly oil for storage. Unless they have changed the formulation, Sweets used to say do not leave for over 4 hours.

I have replaced barrels because of solvent damage and with the bore scope know what it looks like.

Just my opinion

J E CUSTOM
 

Mikecr

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Aug 10, 2003
Messages
5,450
Location
NC, oceanfront
Sweet's itself has only 5% ammonia, and this will not ever 'hurt' barrel steel.
The problem is with the blue copper salt if left in the bore to dry or longer.
Don't do that.
If you run cycles of Sweet's, keeping it wet, you can do this for as long as it takes to stop producing blue, if days, or weeks, without hurting anything.

In other words, don't use & leave Sweet's in a bore like you might other cleaners or oil.
Use it as the copper cleaning phase of your bore restoration. Then do what you will for bore storage.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,725
Location
Texas
I still have an arsonal of cleaning solvents and use most of them at different times because of the way each work.

When I shot matches, I needed a very agressave solvent for quick clean up, and Sweets fit the bill. But after a match, I cleaned with a mild solvent and followed up with an oily patch.

Now that I dont shoot matches any more, I am not as rushed and dont have as many rounds through the barrel befor it gets cleaned I
like to use solvents without Ammonia like Boretec. For brakein i still like using Butches. And if I get a rifle that Is realy fouled, I still use Sweets
until I get it clean and then follow up with Boretec.

The point is, not all solvents are the same and should be used as the manufacture states to get the best results. Be sure and read the lable carefully and then decide if that solvent is best for the ammount of shooting before cleaning and how long you can leave it in the bore.

Just a recomendation

J E CUSTOM
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
Messages
2,675
I leave Hoppe’s #9 in the bore overnight, never had/seen a problem doing that. Yes, the first dry patch through comes out with light blue on it every time.
Follow up wet/dry patches rarely show any colour after this.

Interesting how everyone has a totally different method of cleaning.

Cheers.
:D
 

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