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  #1  
Old 11-11-2010, 06:32 AM
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Copper fouling issue


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I have a Win Mod 70 Featherwieght that 12 months ago demonstrated the ability to put 5 rounds of 7M-08 handloads into 1 1/2 -inches using 140 Nosler Accubonds. Subsequently I have experimented with variations using Nosler E-tip, Hornaday GMX, and Accubonds after which I routinely cleaned with Hoppe's #9. I eventually came back to my original Accubond load but the accuracy is significantly worse with no change in the rifle, scope or load. I estimate I shot approximately 100-150 rounds in various combinations during the test period.

I have been told that Hoppe's 9 is not sufficiently strong to remove fouling build up dispite the use of a bronze brissle brush, etc. Question: When do you know that you actually have a clean barrel? I stepped up to Butch's bore cleaner and the final dry patches come out a sort of grey... but clearly not blue. Should I be concerned about overuse of Butch's or just keep at it on a cumulative basis?

Thanks...Brad
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad4 View Post
I have a Win Mod 70 Featherwieght that 12 months ago demonstrated the ability to put 5 rounds of 7M-08 handloads into 1 1/2 -inches using 140 Nosler Accubonds. Subsequently I have experimented with variations using Nosler E-tip, Hornaday GMX, and Accubonds after which I routinely cleaned with Hoppe's #9. I eventually came back to my original Accubond load but the accuracy is significantly worse with no change in the rifle, scope or load. I estimate I shot approximately 100-150 rounds in various combinations during the test period.

I have been told that Hoppe's 9 is not sufficiently strong to remove fouling build up dispite the use of a bronze brissle brush, etc. Question: When do you know that you actually have a clean barrel? I stepped up to Butch's bore cleaner and the final dry patches come out a sort of grey... but clearly not blue. Should I be concerned about overuse of Butch's or just keep at it on a cumulative basis?

Thanks...Brad
after a good clean,look for streaks of copper in the grooves at the muzzle end.try a cleaner with ammonia added and then dry patch out. following this use a cleaner that will remove carbon in the grooves and to a lesser degree the bore. every one blames copper fouling,but it has been my expierence over 40 odd years that IMBEDDED carbon not removed is what causes copper to dump into the rifling.i have even used an ally cleaner called autosol at the breach end with great success.after this,if you still see copper,try a 28%B.P. ammonia solution,but be sure to completely remove and oil up well.this is only one method i know of that works and im sure other members can offer lots of info.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:47 AM
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Lots of truth in what gunho said. Powder fouling is actually harder to get out than copper, because copper is reactive. It can take two separate solvents to get out both, but NEVER mix solvents. You can get a very nasty chemical reaction and poisonous fumes with the wrong two! Use one, dry and then use the other.

Hoppes #9 is wonderful stuff, and is the Chanel of gun freaks. But it is also a bit old school. It is also not a copper remover, or not a very good one. Stick with it for powder fouling if you like, but allow it to soak in for best results.

For copper, any of the ammonia-containing solvents are good. Barnes CR-10, Montana Extreme, Butch's and a few more qualify. So do the new foaming cleaners. One caution with copper solvents is that you shouldn't use a bronze brush with them. They will dissolve the bronze as well as copper, and you will NEVER stop seeing blue because it's the brush that's dissolving! (And do use them outdoors. Not only the smell, but one spill on the carpet and you are in deep kimchi.)
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:54 AM
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Butch's should be showing copper as it has ammonia in it (the bottle I have does, as my nose clearly tells me). Get the bore wet and let it sit at least 15 minutes. If you don't show copper on the patches, then it's time to scrub.

One of the bore pastes should get things started. I find that when the copper removal gets slow, either scrubbing with a brush or using bore paste speeds up the process again. Likely the mixing of layers of copper and carbon, as suggested.

Hoppe's will take copper out - eventually. But you might want the rifle shooting well before the end of the month (or year). Even the "bench rest" version of Hoppe's is one of the slower copper removers on the market. Sweet's, Butch's, CR10, Wipe-out Bore Foam, and probably anything else on the market will be faster at removing copper. I've used all of them except CR10.

UncleNick's favorite is BoreTech Copper Eliminator, and I am going to try that next. Good luck. Remember to alternate methods.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:28 AM
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Boretech Eliminator or Boretech Cu++ will zap the copper fast. You get the same problem Rocky mentioned with bronze brushes, but the Boretech products attack copper so fast that you can't even use a brass jag without getting a blue patch. Boretech has just started selling jags with a coating that won't react. Sinclair has them. You can also buy Midway's nickel plated jags for the purpose.

Take a look at the product reviews of Eliminator on Midway's site and you will find others report what I have: that hey have tried about everything else there is and this stuff seems to be best.

For carbon, Gunzilla is perhaps the best. I get this little ring of carbon in the corner of the neck of the chamber in my mouse gun where it steps down to the freebore diameter. My borescope revealed that no amount of brushing or regular bore solvents or even using Iosso Bore Cleaner (an abrasive cleaner like JB bore compound) would remove it. Then I got a free sample of Gunzilla at Camp Perry one year, and Topduck's owner (the maker) was there and said his chemist told him it would break down carbon bonds. So, back home I wet the AR bore with it using a bore mop to get it good and sopping wet and let it sit 24 hours. After that wait, I ran a patch through to get the excess out. The patch came out dark, so I took a look with the borescope before brushing, and lo and behold, the carbon ring was gone, wiped away by a mere patch.

Both of the above products are non-toxic and don't make your eyes tear up. They are safe to dispose of anywhere. Gunzilla was designed specifically for armorers whose hands may be exposed to it all day long. It doesn't leech the oils out of your skin or otherwise damage it.

I've heard that Ed's Red can also break carbon down with enough soak or if you get it in the gun while the barrel is still warm. I've not got around to doing an exact side-by-side with it and Gunzilla, but Ed's Red is sure cheap enough that you can plug a bore and fill and let it sit a week if you want to. I have a copy of its formula in PDF format at my file repository, here. Slip 2000 makes Carbon Killer which also removes carbon well, but it is harsh chemistry to be used with gloves on.
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2010, 10:41 AM
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I've had great luck with Gunslick's Foaming bore cleaner. I never clean a gun so fast and so easy in my life. Butch's Bore Cleaner acts like water compared to the Gunslick Foaming Bore Cleaner. I've cleaned about 10 guns with it and you'd be amazed how little is needed to get the gun like brand new.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:41 AM
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Couple months ago I unfortunately had a encounter with copper fouling while sighting in a new rifle. Initial accuracy was MOA but had deteriated drastically after twelve shots. Upon examination found barrel was extremely copper fouled around two inches from muzzle (ultimate finding was barrel defect from slag).

Normally I've used Hoppe's No. 9 black label which is there copper remover formulation. It would remove some but very slow process. After trying several others including foaming copper cleaners came across Montana Extreme 50 BMG copper remover which worked the best up too this point. After several days of use begin to realize this was going too take long time removing the fouling.

Researching other gun related forums came across thread about product called KG-12 which is available from Midway. It's a water based specialize etching formula for copper removal with no need for neutralization after usage. Got some of this product and was pleased with its performance. My speculation on this product is its used too etch printed circuit boards for the electronics industry. This speeded up the copper cleaning process but was still slow going.

Finally checked into Outers Foul Out bore cleaning system which is based on using electrolysis to plate the copper onto center electrode. Initial trials using home made setup with home made electrolyte were less than desired. Talked to a gunsmith who swore by the system which encourage me to buy the Outers solution. It was unbelieveable how much copper fouling was removed using this setup. Using a stainless steel rod along with the Outers solution resulted in over two inch length of the rod plated with copper. At this juncture copper removal accelerated. After two cycles with the electrolysis and like number of copper removal solution treatments the bore was clean. Results were verified by bore scope examination.

Hope I never have a repeat occurance with a new rifle but copper build up can happen anytime.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:25 AM
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I only clean about once a year. I can't get a clean bore to shoot worth anything.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:48 PM
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Hailstone,

Which home made system did you use?

Never mind. Found your thread.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:13 PM
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Brad,

If you are worried about copper build up you should look into the Outers Foul-out system. What you do with this system is plug the barrel (they give you plugs) and fill it with the fluid in the system for copper removal. Then you place a rod in the barrel (that doesn't touch the side) and attach a clip to it that sends an electrical current down it. This essentially makes the barrel act as a battery. The copper is lifted from the barrel and attaches to the rod you put in it. Let it sit for an hour or two and then check it for copper. If you find some, clean it off of the rod and then put it back in. Repeat the process until the rod doesn't show any copper.

I love this process because it doesn't involve scrubbing of the barrel which will reduce barrel life.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:24 PM
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I put links to the Foul Out and a homemade version that matches it in Hailstone's thread on electrolytic cleaners, post #6 here.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:01 PM
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Gentlemen:

I really appreciate the insights. I realize that my twice over with Hoppes #9 appears to be hopelessly niave; will have a go with a couple of the alternative products.

Brad
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:07 AM
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It sounds as the KG-12 is a solution of ferric chloride, the stuff they etch circut boards with. It will remove the copper, but is very toxic.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
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I only clean about once a year. I can't get a clean bore to shoot worth anything.
is that because your barrel may be on the way out or you dont give a rats .had a 303(1942) that did the same.clean it at your peril. --barrel was shot out
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:04 PM
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Jaguarxk120,

No. It's not ferric choride. You'll find that eats steel, too, if you drop a nail in some. It should be kept well away from guns. The KG12 is a much lighter color than ferric chloride solution and has a slight ammonia odor. I've used it to eat the copper off plated bullets before. It's very effective. It's one drawback is it does not turn blue or green as it eats the copper so, making it hard to tell when it's finished. Pretty much, you either have to remove it, then run a patch of something that does turn colors after it, or you have to own a borescope.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:44 PM
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Jim Owens is a respected man in the rifle shooting community. He recommends the KG-12 for cleaning out copper fouling. You can find him on JarHeadTop.com.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad4 View Post
Gentlemen:

I really appreciate the insights. I realize that my twice over with Hoppes #9 appears to be hopelessly niave; will have a go with a couple of the alternative products.

Brad
When I fire my rifles at the bench target or sighting in; I always run a patch saturated with Hoppes #9 while the barrel is still hot or warm. Let sit for about a couple of hours and wipe out the bore. Then apply another patch saturated with #9 & let it sit over night & wipe the next day.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:45 AM
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7Ring,

Yes. His site is where I first heard of it. It is sold by Owens and also by Midway. It has huge copper eating capacity. It's just the lack of any clear indication of when it's finished that is its drawback. When do you stop pushing wet patches through?

I would guess that if you wet a bore with it and leave it for a time, its great capacity will have got the copper out in a normal fouled bore. But in one that really grabs copper, I don't know if that thin coat will use itself up on the deposit before its gone or not, and need some way to tell. You get a bore so badly fouled that all accuracy is gone, and I bet you'll have to plug it and fill it with the stuff for a time. It does seem to get a little browner after reacting with copper, but that's all I can really see.


Davers,

The immediate application of any carbon softener is a big advantage for getting powder fouling out of the gun when you get it home. Ed's Red will work, too, as will most commercial bore solvents. The only limitation with #9 is in dissolving copper. You eventually get a little green in it, but not much unless you buy Hoppe's copper etching version. If you have a bore that picks copper up to a serious degree, as the OP seems to be concerned with, you will not normally get satisfactory results with the original #9.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:23 PM
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I agree that Hoppe's #9 does not dissolve copper very well compared to some other available.

It does have some properties to it that makes it so it doesnt need to though!

Allow the "stuff" an opertunity and some time to "wick under" the copper fouling. Then brush it out (rather than disolve it).

#9 WONT work without some elbow grease though. If your in a hurry, try another method.

I dry brush a few times breech to muzzle (pull the brush if you need to).

"Wet patch" breach to muzzle (how you can).

Again and repeat until black/brown is gone and patch is blue/green.

Let that stand over night. Push/pull another "wet one through and let stand until you get home from work.

Repeat as needed.

I have one rifle that takes a week to get a "white/wet" patch. Flooded bore takes the same time with Hoppe's #9!

If your in a hurry, #9 is NOT your product. It does WORK though! I like the smell and the gentleness of the product (Ladies like it too!).

I've not been in a hurry (I guess).

Cheezywan
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:38 PM
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Back in Thee Olden Days, before good copper dissolving bore solvents were common (or before I knew about them, anyway), I bought a 1909 Argentine cavalry carbine, covered in cosmolene. After cleaning off the cosmolene, the rifling in the bore looked pretty faint. No pits or rust, but the rifling appeared worn out.
So, I ran a bronze brush through the bore and starting using Hoppe's #9 on it. My procedure was as follows: before work in the morning, run patches through the bore until they came out dry. Dry brush the bore several passes. Run several patches wet with Hoppe's #9 to soak the bore. Let rifle sit all day with the bore horizontal. When I came home at night, repeat the procedure.
I actually did end up with a good bore, after cleaning out a whole lot of fouling. It took about a month . . . . .
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