Cleaning Copper Fowling

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by bsekf, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. bsekf

    bsekf

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    Everybody seems to have a favorite "snake oil" to clean copper fowling and most cost $2-$4 an oz. It is my understanding it is the ammonia in the "snake oil" that dissolves the copper. It is also my understanding that the ammonia will not hurt the barrel, some let it soak overnight. So, why not use straight household cleaning ammonia at $2 a quart? just asking

    Bill "Hey, I'm in FL with nothing to do"
     
  2. skeeljc

    skeeljc Silver $$ Contributor

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    Most of the copper removers specify to leave it on for only 5 minutes. I am sure there is a reason for this.
     
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  3. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    I used to use Montana Copper Killer. It worked well. However, if you were UNfortunate enough to get a whiff of it, you did not want another. I turned to Bore-Tech Eliminator and found it worked BETTER at getting copper out with NONE of the nasal effects. Eliminator works well. However, once a significant amount of firecracking sets in, you can labor for a L-O-N-G time to get it out. OR, once firecraking sets in, JB or Iosso will make quick work of it. The firecracking "holds or traps" BOTH copper as well as hard carbon. That is why it is tough to get out without the use of either JB or Iosso.
     
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  4. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    I wouldn't leave an ammonia-based copper remover in a good barrel overnight as ammonia can be corrosive. Those types of copper removers work pretty quickly and it's typically not necessary. You can use multiple applications/brush strokes/patches in quick succession for really heavy copper fouling, if necessary.
     
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  5. wbm

    wbm

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    Had the same discussion at savageshooters in September. Lilja Rifle Barrels
    gave the following.


    Q. What does Lilja Rifle Barrels think of the use of bore solvents with ammonia?

    A. While we're aware of "bad press" associated with the use of cleaners with
    ammonia as part of the solution, we have never seen any damage in one of our barrels
    caused by the use of ammonia. The rumor is that copper-removing cleaners with ammonia
    will pit and damage the interior surface of a barrel. Ammonia is very effective as a
    copper remover. We use solvents, such as Butch's Bore Shine, to remove copper during
    the break-in. We routinely leave Butch's solution in the barrel over night too. Again,
    I repeat, we have never seen a problem with ammonia in the concentrations found in
    commercial cleaners, in either our chrome-moly or stainless steel barrels. This includes
    examination with our borescope.
     
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  6. Bill K

    Bill K

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    Ammonia, if in any of the solvents, usually have a warning and/or time limit the product says for a time in the bore.
    Follow the directions that the maker puts on them.
    If you want to leave it overnight and let the cleaner work, then buy a solvent that says you can soak overnight.
    Best to read the warning labels on any product and follow their directions, since they put them there for a reason.
     
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  7. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Ive left butchs in barrels for so long it turned into a blue goo with no etching or any damage.
     
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  8. gunsandgunsmithing

    gunsandgunsmithing The best tuners and wind flags on the market Gold $$ Contributor

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    I tested this a few years back with barrel stubs in ammonia. It appears that the ammonia will strip the oil away and will rust at the "water line" after several days in it, but no damage from the ammonia itself. I left the stubs in it for a week or so, IIRC. This is far beyond what we're likely to see with our barrels. FWIW.
     
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  9. TAJ45

    TAJ45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    HERESY!! Tar and feathers for such blasphemy.
    :p:p:eek::eek::rolleyes::rolleyes::D:D
     
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  10. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

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    This is extremely interesting. Is it possible we’ve bought into an urban myth?
     
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  11. KMart

    KMart Gold $$ Contributor

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    Household ammonia is only about 20% ammonia. The 80% is water. Anhydrous Ammonia is 100% ammonia and is a gas at atmospheric pressure.

    Not sure I would want to fill my barrel with water and leave it sit overnight.
     
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  12. golong

    golong

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    Butch's contains 1-3% Ammonium Hydroxide. Household ammonia is usually around 10%.

    You can use household ammonia, but you need to rewet it every 10 minutes or so to keep it from etching.

    EDIT: I would suspect that heavy copper fowling that requires something that strong also has a fair amount of hard carbon. JB may be a better answer.
     
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  13. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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    I've had good luck with Wipe-Out. It sometimes takes several applications to get all the copper out. I put it in on a wet patch, leave it sit for 20-30 minutes and clean. Copper turns it blue. I always clean it out when finished and lightly oil the barrel.
    Wipeout.jpg Coppering.jpg
     
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  14. K22

    K22

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    I've had excellent results with Bore Tech's Copper remover, CU+2, after first removing carbon with their carbon remover, C4. This product is odorless. The dwell time I've found most effective is about 10 to 15 minutes which a little longer than the maker recommends.
     
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  15. AckleymanII

    AckleymanII Silver $$ Contributor

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    There are a lot of products that will get out the minimal amounts of copper deposits in barrels.

    Montana extreme Bore solvent is an oil base product and you can let it soak, it is effective. Their Copper Killer is very aggressive ammonia bases for some of the worst applications.

    Three other products I have used that are excellent when I know I have a lot of copper fouling:

    JB

    I prefer this to JB: Montana Extreme Copper cream which is easier to use than JB with the same results:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Western-Po...384690&hash=item4d9f198d14:g:4VEAAOSwbc5du3G7


    A tad more agressive is the Flitz Gun Bore Cleaner

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Flitz-Gun-...365589?hash=item547dd50615:g:bdEAAOSw7HhcUI00
     
  16. bsekf

    bsekf

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    I believe Flitz and JB are abrasives, so I would be a little shy of them. Wouldn't they be pretty aggressive on the throat? I just happened to read about ammonia in the article by Lilja and some remarks by gunsmiths I respect. Might want to cut the household ammonia in half, down to 5%, to be safe. I was considering plugging the barrel and letting it soak for a couple of hours. Not afraid of water in the bore, the black powder guys clean with soap and hot water. Think I've read someplace where the mountain men even used urine. Now that would be aggressive!

    Got you thinking on a Sunday afternoon..... your welcome.

    Bill
     
  17. Onebad06VTX

    Onebad06VTX

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    I have tried alot of things over the years,but I only use wipe out as it does the best job for me.
     
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  18. golong

    golong

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    Flitz and JB are advertised as non abrasive, but they do contain aluminum oxide which as far as I can tell is an abrasive. I have used them on plastic and over time you can see where they pulled material away. I think they say they are non abrasive because of how fine the material is - it is used to cause a chemical reaction, not as grit. Both are safe for use on metal. Far safer than a bullet IMO. They just need to be used properly.
     
  19. JEFFPPC

    JEFFPPC Silver $$ Contributor

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    This applies to my history with s,s. barrels and is what I have been doing for about 40 yrs on numerous competition barrels with no ill effects. I started because a friend at the time experimented with various bore cleaners and extended periods of time soaking them and examining then with some high tech microscopes at the Lab were he worked. No ill effects found. Another friend who is an engineer in an industry that uses lots of chemical told me as long as the barrel is kept wet and not allowed to dry, ammonia salts will not form and they are what can potentially cause damage. From my own experince I routinely soak my barrels over night with Sweets until I get no blue. I have showed quite a few guys who are long time shooters they were not getting their barrels clean. A bore scope is a tool, I use one, but my barrels must pass the Sweets test, every time. I am sure they don't want you to soak, they want you to use lots of product.
     
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  20. gunsandgunsmithing

    gunsandgunsmithing The best tuners and wind flags on the market Gold $$ Contributor

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    That makes sense with what i saw.
     

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