Let me begin by saying my recommendations are not the ONLY way to do something, just MY way. I have Observed other Professionals use these methods, and I have
fine-tuned the process working as a Professional Gunsmith for the past decade. So if I have piqued your interest please continue reading.
Cleaning Firearms at the Shop:
I use Detergent and Water to clean Firearms. The only exception to this regiment is Firearms that were fired with Corrosive Ammunition.
At the Gun Shop I have a Parts Washer that uses a Water and Simple Green Mixture held in a Heated
Reservoir (50 Gallon Drum) hooked up to a Recirculating Pump. The Pump is attached to a Nylon Brush that dispenses the Heated Water and Simple Green Solution. As the Firearm and Parts are cleaned the Parts washer funnels the solution back into the reservoir to be recycled. I clean the Firearm in the tank
and once I’m satisfied that I have stripped all contaminants off, I place the parts in a mesh basket and transfer them to the shop sink for a Water Rinse. You want to do a rinse to ensure you don't leave any trace amounts of Detergent on the Firearm.
The down side to this method it the solution becomes contaminated after cleaning about 100 Firearms. The positive side is the contaminated solution is something you can dispose of in the drain unlike harsh
chemicals which require disposal at a waste center.
Be aware, you have to remove Wood Furniture and Grips before using this Cleaning Method.
Many of you have probably read my comments about a preference for LaRue Quick Detach Optics Mounts. Well this is one of the great things about Repeat-Zero Mounts like LaRue. You can remove optics to give the Firearm a good bath and reinstall without ANY loss of Zero.
Here is how you can replicate this method at Home:
At Home you can skip the Parts Washer and use a Stationary Tub as your Parts Washer. Some people use things like Dish Washers or Kitchen Sinks. I do not recommend doing that, it’s generally a bad idea to clean firearms on, or in things your food comes in contact with.
To clean you just Field Strip the firearm as Recommended by the Manual/Manufacturer. Next you place the Components in a Mesh Basket (They sell Paperwork Organizers at Office Supply Stores that works perfectly for this application. The Basket is a safeguard in case the drain opens or you drop a part while cleaning. You can use Dish Detergent, Simple Green, Citrus Cleaner, or whatever Detergent that is Water Soluble. Just don’t let your Firearm or Firearm Parts sit in the Water/Solvent Mixture for more than a few minutes as it can allow corrosion on certain Steels/Finishes if left submerged. DO NOT let any Aluminum or Magnesium based items sit in the solutions like Simple Green because can attack Aluminum, but using it to quickly to clean and rinsing off with water is harmless.
Use the hottest water you can utilize use that won’t burn your skin. I use cheap Bottle Brushes and Nylon Brushes from Harbor Freight to get in tight spots. Using this method you can get your Firearms spotless.
Once you have cleaned the parts to you satisfaction I suggest you place the parts in a mesh basket and give them a water rinse. You want to do a CLEAN Water rinse to ensure you don't leave any trace amounts of detergent residue on the firearm.
For Firearms that were fired with Corrosive Ammo I add a step to flush them before exposing them to my Cleaning Tank and I recommend you do the same if you use the Sink and Detergent method because if you don't then ALL of your Solution will become contaminated and get trace amounts of Corrosive salts deposited on every area of your firearm.
Here is how I Clean Corrosive Firing Residue:Corrosive Ammunition Gun Cleaning
I have 2 ways I to remove the water residue.
1) At the Shop I use an Air Compressor and blow the water off. You can do this at home but it likely has to be done outside or in a laundry room, workshop, or garage because it will get
You can get a CHEAP Air Compressor here: $60.00 Harbor Freight Air Pancake Compressor
2) If you don't have access to an Air Compressor then you can use the same Mix I Ballistol/Water Solution I use on Cleaning Corrosive Residue from a Firearm. The Water/Ballistol Mix is 10 Parts Water, 1 Part Ballistol. You put the Solution in a Spray Bottle and spray everything down in a sink. From there you place the parts so water drains in the most efficient way and let them air dry. No rust
will occur because the Ballistol protects the metal as moisture evaporates.
Be sure ALL Moisture EVAPORATED before adding Lubricant and Storing the Firearm.
From there I use Wipe Out Bore Foam to clean my Chambers and Bores. No brushes are needed for Wipe Out and it won't harm the Barrel.
Next, I lubricate the internals with Synthetic Oil and Synthetic Grease, and then I spray the exterior if the gun with Eezox and you are all done.
All of these products mentioned in this write-up are all very mild, don't smell bad, and works fantastic for performance/cost ratio.
Some people get freaked out about Water being used on Firearms but the truth is many Gun Manufacturers Service Departments use the Water/Detergent and Air Compressor method because it’s fast, safe, and efficient for cleaning Firearms without toxic materials left over.
I hope this helps anyone looking for a more affordable and thorough way to Care for your Firearms.
Scott's Gunsmithing Service
231 Thelma Avenue
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
Phone: 410 761-9815
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