Copper remover thrash: modern spartan systems vs. sweet's 7.62 vs. wipe-out

Discussion in 'Videos Of Tech Stuff And Reviews' started by BallisticsGuy, Mar 18, 2019.


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  1. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    The motivation here was to test Modern Spartan Systems line of gun cleaning kit against established known quantities with proven performance. Their promise of no foul smell, lack of toxicity and some of the other claims they made caused me to get curious enough to do a Pepsi challenge for their whole cleaning system. This includes Accuracy Oil; which claims to increase velocity & cut group size & extend barrel life (see my other post on that topic and the related experiment). It also includes their Carbon Destroyer and Copper/Lead Destroyer.

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    I've already started long term testing of their Accuracy Oil's claims at longer barrel life and improvements in velocity, group size and consistency. Those experiments are continuing and I've built an impressive data set so far with more coming in every week. In the meantime, the fundamental ability of the fouling removal products to perform like they say it will had not yet been established by any kind of usefully conducted experiment I could find. So, I'm doing it, or rather just did it. I've already put the Carbon Destroyer up to the Pepsi challenge and it flat works. It's pleasant enough to use and worked like a charm on everything from revolvers to pistols to high power modern rifles to black powder cartridge rifles. The way it worked on our set of Trapdoor Springfields was terrific. What about the big one though...COPPER!?! Let's git'er done.

    I've got enough barrels laying around with sufficient fouling, including some I'm entirely willing to destroy, to give a good test of effectiveness and look for any possible negative effects. In the spirit of experimentation I set up the first round of testing with 3 barrels:
    • Stock Glock 21 barrel. 1000's of rounds since being cleaned, lead and jacketed.
    • Savage 10 .308 24" heavy barrel, >500 jacketed rounds since cleaning.
    • Black Hole Weapons 26" .223 barrel > 200 rounds since cleaning.
    Cliff's Notes: In short, MSS's Copper/Lead Destroyer is very effective. Zero question about that.

    More detailed findings and experimental procedure:
    C/L-D not as strong as Sweet's by a mile nor is it as strong as Wipe-Out as a copper remover but it's a lot more pleasant to use than Sweet's and less messy than Wipe-Out. This is about removing copper and copper fouling is hard to remove well without damaging barrel steel. You either get mechanical action which is by definition damaging to the bore or you get chemical action which may be damaging to the bore. Bore damage is usually dependent on the length of time of exposure to chemical agents but some of them are really nasty for everyone involved even in short time scales of under an hour.

    To start I took a G21 barrel that had been belled just in front of the chamber by a squib. It had previously had Carbon Destroyer run through it and then was soaked overnight (26 hours) in Copper/Lead Destroyer, hosed out and stored. I ran some Wipe-Out into it and gave it 15 minutes to soak and pushed a patch through. Zero color change on the patch. Then I ran some Sweet's in it and let that soak for 5 minutes and pushed a patch through. Zero color change on the patch.

    Ok, that's the null result I was expecting. The barrel was clearly clean of copper to begin with but you don't know the state of fouling before the 26 hour soak. Could have been a lot, could have been a little, could have been none for all we know, right? Fine. We'll move on.

    Now to find the more interesting results. I took a factory Savage .308 Win barrel that I'd abused and not cleaned in literally years. It had at least a couple hundred rounds put through it till it was smoking hot before it got yanked and set aside. I started by running patch of Sweet's through the barrel without running a brush through it. Why? I was hoping that the carbon that stayed behind would protect some of the copper from the Sweet's so as to serve as an indicator later. It came out with gooey gobs of blue on the patch with no soak at all, just applied and patched out. I immediately took the barrel outside and hosed it out for a solid couple minutes to keep the Sweet's from finishing the job. I plugged the breech with a .45acp case and filled the bore with Copper/Lead Destroyer and gave it 2 hours to soak. After the soak I ran a patch through it a couple times (remember, no color change on the patches, C/L-D doesn't do that) and then went and hosed it out. Now I needed to see if there was any copper still in there so I took the Wipe-Out and ran that in the barrel and gave it a 20 minute soak. After pushing a patch through what I found were traces of blue streaking on the patch and plenty of black and brown. Not much blue but enough to tell me that the carbon was in fact protecting the copper. There wasn't enough copper coming out to make a good finish up to the experiment on that barrel so I reset the experiment by virtue of moving on to the .223 barrel.

    The .223 barrel started with at least 200 rounds since the last even partial cleaning. It got a thorough carbon removal with Carbon Destroyer before going on to copper removal. When patches wrapped around a bore brush came out without any black or brown on them, I called that done for carbon. I put a fired case in the breech, closed the bolt and then filled the bore with Copper/Lead Destroyer and let it soak for 2 hours, turning it occasionally to agitate it a bit. Then I pushed a pair of patches through which came out not much different than they went in.

    Now to see if the C/L-D worked I ran a patch of Sweet's down the bore, gave it a solid 3 minutes to soak and pushed another patch though looking for color change and got NONE AT ALL. That was a null result I did not honestly expect. I expected to find some copper remaining, I mean Sweet's is as aggressive as it gets. Nothing is as hard core as Sweet's right? But no.

    What's that all mean? Leave the Copper/Lead Destroyer to soak a while after getting all the carbon out and it works as thoroughly as Sweet's or Wipe-Out. I really like using C/L-D way more than Sweet's. I can't even stand opening the bottle on that cat pee smelling Sweet's. I actually really like Wipe-Out too; the foam minimizes the odor, and will continue to use it at the range because it's super easy to deal with there. At home though, I think I've found my new cleaning product suite. All the chemicals I need are now, finally, not entirely unpleasant.

    Modern Spartan Systems - Copper/Lead Destroyer: No bad smell. A detergent-y smell similar to birchwood casey perma-blue solution is what it reminds me of most. The directions say you can leave in barrel safely for many hours, even overnight. I left it in a G21 barrel for 26 hours with no adverse affect noted (inspected with a bore scope). MUST use a carbon solvent prior to applying for it to be properly effective. Modern Spartan's carbon remover works great. Getting C/L-D to stay wet in the barrel was another story. It dried quickly in my low humidity area. I eventually stuffed a fired case in the breech, stood the barrel up and filled the bore on rifles. On pistols it was easier to soak a narrow strip of paper towel in it and thread that down the bore and let it sit that way overnight. Directions say 3-5 minutes of soak. I got best results on heavy fouling after more like 2 hours. No color change on the patch so it's a little hard to "know" when you're done.

    Wipe-Out: It's got a smell but nothing like Sweet's. Can leave in barrel overnight in theory, I wouldn't, no ammonia. It's a foam that expands so some will end up in your action and it'll probably drip out of the muzzle so it's a little messy to use. Patch's change color to blue if copper is present. Works on carbon and copper. Usually 15 minutes is a sufficient as a soak time.

    Sweet's 7.62: Super strong ammonia smell. Do not leave in barrel longer than necessary, clean residue off skin and gun thoroughly immediately after use. Known to be hard on steel. Must use carbon remover prior for full effectiveness.

    I have video and all that jazz but it's not very interesting TV, not interesting at all is more like it. It's just me slowly, methodically and boringly working out what ended up being the surprisingly obvious. On the upside, MSS's cleaning chemicals work like a dream. They work as advertised.

    Now about that Accuracy Oil....
     
    338LAPUA likes this.
  2. Laelkhunter

    Laelkhunter Well-Known Member

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    Nice write-up, Thanks for posting. Do you normally insert a fired case to seal the chamber when cleaning? I thought that most of the solvents required some "air" to complete the chemical reaction with the copper or lead to allow it to be removed. Do you think you would have gotten the same results if you just swabbed the bore with wet patches and let the barrel sit, instead of filling the barrel with the solvent?

    I have not heard of Modern Spartan Systems until you posted this. Looks interesting- I might have to try some out. Thanks again
     
  3. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks much!

    For just swabbing the bore down and letting it sit 5 minutes the MSS copper remover stayed wet down the bore without issue. It is not a viscous like Sweet's or a foam like Wipe-Out. It's as thin as water.

    Due to environmental conditions of low humidity and warm weather that's been around the last few days I couldn't get it to stay wet in the bore without plugging plugging the breech and filling it up for the purpose of tests running longer than 15 minutes. With the Glock barrel I could get away with a length of paper towel soaked in the solution but it was colder and damper during that part of the test and the pistol barrel was both a .45 and much shorter than a rifle barrel. Air circulation should not be and turned out in fact not to be required for the necessary chemical reaction to take place.
     
  4. Laelkhunter

    Laelkhunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks !!