Responding to the variations on Ed's Red, I would accept the substitution of MEK for acetone, but not the use of xylene, a notoriously dangerous carcinogen. Stick with the mineral spirits.
The use of Goo Gone is prohibitively expensive. Limonene can be purchased directly, however, at a fraction of the cost, although it is still more costly than the original recipe. Remember to keep the kerosene in the formula if you use straight limonene.
Finally, for copper fouling (which Ed's Red does not handle), I simply use household ammonia. This is a 5% solution of ammonia in water, so be sure to dry the bore out thoroughly. As ammonia is an inorganic chemical, it will not combine or form a solution with any organic compound (such as Dexron, kerosene, mineral spirits, Kroil, acetone, etc.), so there is no point in attempting to mix up a do-it-all cleaner. Ther are some excellent organic copper solvents, but their cost defeats the purpose: Sweet's is much cheaper.
No, I am not a chemist. My son is, and this is how I get paid back for all those years of college.
Either all you guys are cheap cheap, or use a lot of gun cleaner! if you need lots- then how about a gallon of this stuff= 3 quarts of laquer thinner (which has all the things for cleaning metal) and 1 quart of "MARVEL MYSTERY OIL" ... The total cost of a gallon mix is around $6.00...as with any solvent, keep it off the stock!...when the thinner evaporates it leaves a nice light film of good smelling protection...(you could cut the volume down for smaller batches just keep the ratio the same)...When I clean my guns, I always use nitril disposable gloves, and have plenty of light and ventilation around...If you pansies are worried about toxicity I'm still alive and kicking at 86 ......jonnib.
shooters choice=$12 brake cleaner lol
I clean my pistols after every shooting session,which is 3 times a week.1 can of gunscrubber/shooters choice lasts about 6 cleanings.$24 per month x12 months =$300
$300=1000 rounds handloaded ammumition which means I can shoot 10 extra times this year by making my own solvent!
I first started development on Ed's Red when I worked at Ruger and we needed to have a safe cleaner for quantity production use which would enable complete immersion of 30 racked barreled actions at a time, and neutralize bluing salts. We used the ER recipe without the acetone or lanolin, just the ATF + K1 and mineral spirits, equal parts. Worked great. Mixed it in 55 gallon drums. Cheaper than the industrial alternatives and works better.
In miliary and law enforcement training situations it works really well, especially on difficult to clean things like the SIG pistols, Glocks, Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 shotguns, MP5, M4 carbine, M60 and M240 machineguns, etc.
I keep a .50 cal. ammo can of ER without the acetoneor lanolin in it on my bench and use it routinely for soaking field stripped handguns, rifle bolts, trigger groups, etc. I made a wire dipping basket of metal window screen, which is great for washing small parts.
You mentioned blueing salts and that got me thinking of the salt reside from shooting corrosive military surplus ammo. I don't normally shoot corrosive-primed ammo, but acquired an old Turk and the ammo is just too cheap to pass up.
Other than the GI bore cleaner, which is hard to find, is there an easy way to clean this residue from your guns, without boiling water? I'm thinking of times when I'm on a hunting trip for several days and might want to do some informal plinking, without ruining the barrel.
Mike, a lot of the guys say use windex. I have just started doing this so I will let you know. You are right about the cheap ammo. I had to give it a try in my Mosin. I have yet to get that thing to shoot a group. I'm still working but hunting season slowed me down. I'll get back on it 1st of the year.
For blackpowder residue and chlorate salts you do need to have a water-based cleaner.
If you add 4 fluid ounces of a fire retardant hydraulic fluid concentrate, or water-based machining coolant concentrate, such as Arco Emulsiplex or Trimsol to your Ed's Red recipe, it will then form a stable emulsion with blended slowly into boiling distilled water in a 50-50 ratio. You want to use distilled or de-ionized water because ordinary tap water contains added chlorine and minerals which cause rusting.
The resulting mixture has an appearance and consistency resembling Pepto-Bismol and makes a great one-step cleaner for black powder guns or militaries used with corrosive ammo, with no oiling needed and no after-rusting.
I liked the man's reply mixing Marvel Mystery Oil with the lacquer thinner. I have mixed Hoppe's Number 9 with equal parts of Marvel Mystery Oil and it has done wonders. I buy Marvel Mystery Oil for $2.94 per quart at Wal-Mart, and the Hoppe's at various gun shows. This combination is probably less flammable/explosive than the mix with lacquer thinner, although I have never seen a Material Safety Data Sheet for either combination.
I like the results of the formula mixed with Hoppe's and recommend you try it.
Beyond the significantly reduced cost of this 'mix', the Marvel Mystery oil contains 'napthenic compounds' (per the material safety data sheet from a web site) that seem to improve the dissolution of powder residues. The ability to dissolve copper and lead are still very good, especially when used with a brush, as long as the 'mix' contains approx' 50% Mystery Oil. The 'mix' has to be shaken before use....
The 'mix' also seems to adhere to metal better than straight Hoppe's #9, providing more rust protection. It also should be more protective of the bronze brushes used in the cleaning. Incidentally, because bore cleaners dissolve the copper in the bronze brushes I clean the brushes in isopropyl alcohol when done using them.
The 'mix' costs about $19 per half gallon, as opposed to $30 for two quart bottles at a gun show of straight hoppe's.
Best Regards to Norther Idaho.
ps. I never mix Mystery Oil with other cleaners containing ammonia, etc. Who knows what that would create - as far as hazardous ingredients goes.
I got in the habit of rinsing my bore brushes in hot tap water when done with the cleaning session. When they dry they are bright and shiny and seem to last a long time. People don't realize that even mild solvents like Hoppe's will attack copper.
We normally clean our benchrest rifles after every group. I shoot Wipeout in my barrel and let it soak while I load for my next group. I then brush the barrel with a mixture that I make in gallon containers. I use 2 Sweets, 1 Kroil, and the balance is GM top engine cleaner. I have a bore scope to check my cleaning methods and solvent. Brass brushes don't wear out barrels, though cleaning rods without a good bore guide is **** on the throat. Butch
Couldn't stand it anymore, so located my gallon can of Marvel's Mystery Oil, went to the hardware store and bought a quart each (until I find out how this stuff works) of lacquer thinner and mineral spirits. Added equal parts (maybe just a tad heavier on the Marvel's) and robbed one of my wife's Kerr canning jars. Stuff looks good, smells good and will try some on the next shooting outing.
If the gun barrels droop in the stocks after treatments, I'll take that as indication the stuff may be a little too potent.
For a bore cleaner I found that a 1 to 1 mixture of Hoppys #9 and Kryoil is GREAT. The Kryoil will litterly get under the the lead or copper fouling and release it. It is safe to leave it soak with out worry, and it is safe to use.
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