Author Topic: Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue  (Read 182 times)

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Offline Joe L

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Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue
« on: January 09, 2017, 08:32:31 AM »
I've spent most of December trying to get my Kadet barrel clean, maybe for the first time in nearly 50k rounds.  I tried Kroil, JB compound, Hoppes, brushes, brushes with patches, patches soaked in combination of solutions and pastes.  Still the barrel and rifling isn't completely free of what looks like lead and carbon through an inexpensive borescope. 

I've tried to take photos of the screen of the borescope, but the resolution of the monitor is just not good enough to show up well on a photograph or video.  Suffice it to say I can see changes in the barrel with each cleaning. 

The last thing I tried were the VFG pellets on a screw type jab, again, with various combinations of solvent, JB compound, and Kroil.  This looks promising, I think because the uniform pellets put enough pressure against the debris to make whatever else one is using work. 

The Kadet has been shooting very well since the last cleaning but it still won't stay that way, like it used to, when it could go several thousand rounds without anything but a chamber brushing.  At first, I thought the barrel was shot out, but the borescope just said it was still dirty, just not as bad as it had been, with globs of lead filing up the rifling. 

I've got one more .22 to try the pellets on.  It is a Savage heavy profile .22 bolt gun rifle that shot very well when new, then deteriorated to the point it was getting frustrating to shoot it so I put it up.  I am going to work it over with the pellets, etc. and see what happens.  I've already spent some time getting the debris ("black ring") out of the chamber area, but don't have a long enough rod to push the VFG jag the length of the barrel yet.  Parts coming. 

A borescope is useful, but the real test is at the range, where I can introduce enough other variables to really complicate things!   :) :)

More later this week.  I'm interested in other people's experiences cleaning really fouled firearms. 

CZ-75B 9mm and Kadet, several SIG P226's, AR-15, Savage 308 bolt gun,

Offline AZ_CZ

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Re: Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 02:00:54 PM »
Sorry I'm no help, clean my guns too much or too often to get that kind of buildup.

I found Frog lube makes it very easy to clean off build up, but I don't shoot the volume you do. I usually field strip and clean a gun after a few range trips.

CZ Fanbot since 1996

Offline cntrydawwwg

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Re: Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 02:53:52 PM »
I'm the same as AZ_CZ.
   I would try CLP Breakfree in the spray can. It's a foam and will work it's way thru any crud.
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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 03:03:47 PM »
I've only had one problem with a badly leaded up barrel from .22's.  My youngest son's AR15 after shooting some Federal (plated) bulkpack ammo from Walmart.  He shot some .22's through it, maybe a box??  Then removed the .22 conversion kit and put the AR15 bolt back in it and almost immediately complained his groups were lousy.  I don't remember now if he popped it open at the range and saw how leaded up the barrel was or if we did it when we got home.

I went through a pile of brushes (I mean I ruined some).  I even clamped the cleaning rod in a drill and spun it in the barrel back and forth (chrome lined barrel, 20" HBAR clone, flat top).  I went through several piles of patches.  I tried Hoppe's #9, Black Off (black powder residue cleaning stuff I use when I shoot corrosive ammo through the 5.45X39 AR15), some Remington bore cleaner that is supposed to move lead and plastic residue from shotgun barrels, carb. cleaner, kroil, a foaming bore cleaner, that stuff you put in your gas/oil to remove carbon build up in car/truck engines (can't remember the name of that) and finally bought some lead removing cloth from Midway.  I worked on it for a couple hours a day for 4 or 5 days.

The lead removing cloth from Midway

I used it on a parkerized barrel.  I see (when reading on the Birchwood Casey website that it will removing bluing if you rub it on the surface).  I cut it to patches (sort of tough to cut, seemed stiff and kind of slick/waxy) and ran it through them through the barrel till they were black.  I was told the "black" on the patches was the lead it was removing from the barrel.  I finally got it clean on only had a small piece of it left when I got done.  I eventually used that for something else.

No more .22 through that AR15.  Or he can clean it himself next time.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline dlidster

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Re: Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 06:04:27 PM »
Check the following link to Rimfire Central. Scroll down to comment #10 by SGW Gunsmith (Dennis Wood) about his white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide formula. He's repeated this post many times for those seeking help for leading.

I've never tried it myself. I shoot about 15 K rounds per year of 9 mm and 45 AP. Add another 15K-plus .22 rimfire. I'd like to say* I've never had a leading problem. I've always kept my barrels clean. (I'm 73. That's a lot of cleaning, but it's been worth it.)

*The one problem I had was when my Ruger SR1911 was brand new in May of 2011. (Perhaps it was early production.) The surfaces of both the lands and grooves were visibly scored. It leaded badly with hard-cast bullets. I used strands from a Chore-Boy wrapped around a bristle brush to scrape the leading away. After frequent use of JB Bore Compound and several thousand rounds, leading ceased to be a problem. Now that I've switched to Blue Bullets it's no longer a concern anyway.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 09:32:45 AM by dlidster »

Offline DOC 1500

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Re: Cleaning of .22 pistols/rifles, lead and powder residue
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 09:07:40 PM »
I saw a guy in a video use a reamer in a shotgun barrel don't know if they have such a thing for a 22 though.
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