How can ANY primer/powder residues be safely removed from gun exteriors?

Discussion in 'General Firearms' started by d_p_holland, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. 45 pistols tend to collect residue on the slide near the muzzle. Some guns may collect this on the barrel near the muzzle. Revolvers collect this in the cylinder and breech area. Residue is gritty like sand. I fear wiping over this reside with the cloth may scratch or dull the gun's finish over time. This is why when cars are washed, they should first be thoroughly rinsed with water pressure to loosen and float off any abrasive grit before any brushes or scrubbers are used on the paint.
    BLACK RIFLE REVIEWS likes this.
  2. noelekal

    noelekal G&G Evangelist

    Wipe it with a clean rag that's wet with Hoppe's No. 9 or your favorite gun cleaning potion and forget about any notion of damaging residue. It's not appropriate to thoroughly rinse the gun in water before cleaning it and it's certainly not appropriate to just leave residue uncleaned.

    This 1978 vintage Colt Python shows a modicum of edge wear. It's been often shot with handloads consisting of heavy charges of 2400 and cast lead bullets which tend to leave lots of residue. The cleaning of those residues didn't cause the wear on some of the edges, but rather a holster does that on occasions when the Python has a grand day out afield. An old photo taken in August of 2009. I think I still mow the lawn in those shorts.

    I've been wiping sooty residue off of this Colt Gold Cup since I bought it brand new in 1982. The lubricated cast lead semi-wadcutter target loads are quite messy but their residue cleans away effortlessly with no scratches or dull finish. The leading edge of the front of the slide shows the reflection of our house and a bit of a tree. That's because the mirror bright blue slide has no scratches or dull finish.

    The Gold Cup's never been holstered. Holsters wear finish on guns. Cleaning them properly after use doesn't wear them.

    Guns that are used as intended will show signs of shooting wear. Don't allow this to consume you.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020

  3. noelekal

    noelekal G&G Evangelist

    On the other hand ...

    Here is my very first handgun, a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy Barrel acquired in December of 1975. It's always been the favorite and most used handgun and has been put through the wringer ever since I got it. It's not only a handgun but is a habit. I like this revolver because of my great familiarity with it. If I need to shoot something near or far, shoot single-action or shoot double-action, shoot slowly or have need to draw and shoot with rapidity, or point shoot, or shoot from the hip I can do my best work with it. It's fired more rounds than any other center fire handgun I have, has sustained every heavy experimental "performance" handloaded concoction I've ever dreamed up for .38 Special, has been carried most often, for trips afield hiking, hunting, and fishing, as well as for serious social purposes, has suffered being carried by my wife in her purse on occasion for cryin' out loud and that's the harshest environment known to man! It's showing 45 years of very heavy use, and some downright abuse through dropping on more than one occasion, but no neglect. It's worn, but it's honest. It'll see me out.

    This poor ol' World War I vintage Colt Model 1911 is my first 1911, acquired as a well used clunk in 1978. I spent quite a few years after that toting it afield, toting it beneath suit coats in a shoulder holster and shooting the livin' hooey out of it, pouring handloaded ammunition through it from canvas U. S. nickel coin bag which held 1200 rounds. When my bag was empty I'd load another batch of 1200. It's very worn, was worn when I got it, and I put more wear on it, but I was so proud of it, my first 1911. It's in semi-retirement.

    I'm sentimentally attached to the two handguns above. I've greatly enjoyed owning and using them as intended to the fullest.
    TXplt likes this.
  4. Speaking of 1970's gun acquisitions, I knew a man who acquired a spanking new Colt AR-15 in 1979, a change of pace from all your '70's-gotten pistols.

    My gun cleaning plan will be this from now on..... residue wiped off the exterior with clean large gun patches and a bit of CLP after shooting/hunting. I'm no longer concerned CLP will hurt finishes. I'm still gunshy about placing Hoppe's #9 on exteriors. Hoppe's only for bores and interior carbon-sooted parts.

    I will use a separate toothbrush and cloth to clean the interior parts and have a separate toothbrush and silicone cloth for wiping gun exteriors after soot is removed.

    I want to keep cloth and toothbrush for exterior gun wipe-down as free from gritty contamination as possible. The toothbrush is to get into fine exterior nooks and crannies (hammer serrations, stock checkering, letter-stamping impressions, engravings, screw head slots, slide serrations, etc.) where the cloth can't reach to clean out debris and spread a film of oil there. The brush also removes any lint left by the cloth. I used a clean 2" wide soft-bristle paint brush to dust off my gun exteriors as well like my home-defense shotgun which is leaning against my bedroom wall exposed to dust. Gets the dust out of the stock checkering, off the nylon sling and all.

    I've had an Outers gun cleaning kit (for .22 rifles thru .45 pistols) for 30 years with sectional 3-pc. aluminum rod. I've just noticed that the threads are stripped out on one for the sections so I just ordered a new Outers 3-pc. Universal bore size brass rod from Walmart which is supposed to take cleaning tools with 8-32 threads according to Outers website. Hopefully, the new rod will fit the old nylon slotted tips/bronze bore brushes/nylon jags I already have. I'm just learning aluminum rods are horrible for gun bores.

    On second thought, I've been doing some more reading. A guy on another forum states he's been using the same Outers aluminum cleaning rod since the 1960's with no issues to his gun bores. I just requested Walmart to cancel my new order for the Outers brass cleaning rod. I also read that a thin brass rod can easily break. I need a sturdy enough slender rod for everything from 22 bore to 12 gauge.

    I just had an afterthought about using the aluminum cleaning rod from my much-newer Outers shotgun kit and, voila!, that shotgun rod fits all my rifle and pistol cleaning tools from the old Outers kit. The "shotgun" rod is also the same outer diameter as the old damaged rod so it will fit in my 22 bore rifle.

    After all, aluminum is much softer than barrel steel. Even a thin aluminum rod is sturdier than a thin brass one. I know because one of my thin brass gunsmithing pin punches bends real easily at the tip.

    I think the army issued us steel rods for cleaning our M16s as those had chrome-lined bores. Steel rods are supposed to be the worst for civilian gun bores. In the army, the rule was to push the rod from chamber end to muzzle end and unscrew the bronze brush for each pass of the barrel going in one direction only. Supposedly pulling the brush from muzzle to chamber could cause damage to crown or rifling according to one drill sergeant. Ideally you want to push fouling out from chamber to muzzle.

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  5. For 55 years I use a clean rag that's wet with Hoppe's No. 9 solvent then a very lite coat of gun oil I now use Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil. Works for me, I did use Break Free CLP Gun oil but switched to the new Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil. Hoppe's No.9 is not just for the Bore its for all gunpowder residue. But you do what you want so why ask the question in the first place if you are not going to listen to the advice you asked for in the first place. Then you insult the people giving you the advice you asked for by posting some lame how to clean a firearm YouTube video. I just bet you are a DEMOCRAT ANTI TRUMPER ALSO!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
    TXplt and austinjoe13 like this.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  7. noelekal

    noelekal G&G Evangelist

    Hoppe's will never harm exterior metal surfaces so banish the thought of avoiding applying it to your guns. Older bottles of Hoppe's No. 9 used to recommend it as an expedient preservative. While it's not harmful for that purpose it's not highly effective either as would be easy to see.

    The unsegmented, uncoated steel cleaning rod and only the unsegmented, uncoated steel cleaning rod is employed to clean guns here. I even retired the factory provided Smith & Wesson aluminum handgun cleaning rods that used to come with their revolvers.

    There are rifles on hand here that have been cleaned religiously with steel cleaning rods for up to 40 years with no degradation of bore or loss of accuracy. A rod guide is your friend as is an unhurried approach to cleaning. Slap dash, git 'er done cleaning is more harmful to the guns than the cleaning equipment and solvents used.