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Discussion Starter #1
Mr. Stanton:

I read with interest your tip on cleaning dies with carb cleaner.  I've used it as well.  Works great.

I knew a guy in the National Guard that told me once that they used carb cleaner on their M-16's.  I got to thinking about it a while back, and thought I'd try it on my guns, rather than paying more money for "Gun Scrubber," which I've used as well.  They smell the same.  I've used it a couple of times, and it works well, but I'm wondering if anyone knows if there is anything in carb cleaners that could damage the steel of fireams.

I've used it to clean out hard-to-reach areas, then sprayed a good coat of Remington Dry-Lube into the action after it dried.

Any thoughts?
 

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Ray, I've been using Carb cleaner on my metal guns for over 20 years now, no problems yet. I'd be cautious if the firearm had plastic parts as the solvents might attack them. I also wouldn't get any on the wood finish. Be cautious about breathing the fumes.

I get the generic or any other brand that happens to be on special at the local auto parts stores, they're all the same, the label will bear this out. Generally I pay about &#361.25 per can.

Brake cleaner works also, but I've heard scuttlebutt that there are water based brake cleaners on the market, but label reading should turn those up.
 

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Ray,

I'll second BrianK's advice too. Just watch the stocks and plastic as he says. Also some rubber grips.

Actually for general cleaning as far as degreasing say action parts, you can get away with something like Brakleen or a substitute. For carbon or gas port cleaning and some carbon buildup in barrels, cylinder faces and such, the carb cleaner is fine. It won't remove jacket fouling however and that's best left to a good bore cleaner rated for it.

If you ever come across some Berkabile Carb cleaner, leave it at the store. The fumes will knock your brains out!

Have Fun,


:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice.  

I always remove stocks and grips if I'm going to be spraying anything into actions.  

What I like to use it for is things like the action of my Marlin lever-action, where grit and grime eventually accumulate.  The farthest I've taken it down is removing rear stock; lever, bolt, and ejector; forearm and magazine tube.  I'm a bit nervous about taking it down further than that, at least until I learn more about how to do it!  Easier to just remove all the above and flush it out, then spray lubricant into it after the the cleaner has drained and dried.

I had used it as well on my S&W 686, but actually got into the action this past weekend.  I bought it used about 8 years ago.  Previous owner had chewed up the screw that holds the cylinder assembly, and scraped up the finish around it.  Long story short, I was cleaning old lead deposits out of the cylinder (via mesh copper kitchen scrubber - works great!), and the cylinder fell off!  I was concerned until I figured out that the screw holding it in had backed out.  Anyway, I took out the other two screws on the sideplate, and tapped it out.  Now I know more about my gun, and can take it down occasionally for a thorough cleaning and lubrication.

Thanks again,

Ray Floyd
 

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Hi, Ray:
  I posted Marlin disassembly instructions on the Leverguns thread a while back. It's on page 4 now. Complete disassembly isn't often necessary unless it's really dirty. Sounds like you know about the need for good screwdrivers.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jack:

I did see your instructions in the Levergun section.  Very informative.  That helped when removing the forearm and magazine tube.

I have to get some good screwdrivers.  I'm kind of making do for now, and being really careful with the screws, but try to stay away from them as much as possible till I get a good set.  I've been looking at one at Brownells, a driver with interchangeable bits.  Less money than the bigger sets, but looks like it should do the job.

Thanks again,
Ray
 

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Hi, Ray:
  You might be further ahead to get some at your local hardware and grind them to fit the screws on your gun. If depends on how many you need. Fact is, you might have to grind one or two even if you buy Brownell's complete set.

  Just be sure the hardware store stuff is good enough. Buy one, clamp the tip in a vise and twist hard. If it doesn't survive, spend a little more money. I've had one of a well known make for years. It survived some brutal treatment fixing farm equipment without a scratch. About 3 years ago, I saw 2 of that make twist off. Both were new, and of different sizes.

Bye
Jack  
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jack:

Is there a type of head design I should look for?  Seems like I read somewhere that standard-type screwdrivers tend to slip out of the slot due to the angle of the head.

Actually, this happened to me when I was re-installing the front sight base on my Marlin 45-70.  I had stripped the screws out by trying to tap the new sight into the dovetail, instead of using a front sight pusher, which I ended up buying anyway, in addition to new screws.  

The screwdriver slipped on the front screw (you have to really apply some torque to tighten that base all the way down) and chewed it up pretty good.  Fortunately, the screw can't be seen since it is underneath the front sight.  But it really made me think about new screwdrivers.

Actually, I suppose it would have been easier if the gun had been clamped into a vise.

Thanks,
Ray
 

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Hi, Ray:
 The blade type Brownells sells, with the absolutely square tip is the best, much better than the wedged blade of the ordinary screwdriver. You can fix the ordinary ones with a grinder. Take one that's a bit small and grinder the tip back until it just fits in the slot, then grind the faces back a bit so the wedge is gone at the tip. You can do a good job if you've got a steady hand and a good eye (haven't got either anymore). Fact is, you really should grind the tip back until it won't fit in the slot, then grind the faces back square until it fits.

  It's a good idea to square the sides of the tip too, particularly if the screw head is in a couple of turns past the surface, like they are on some revolver grips. It's tempting to use a screwdriver that's half the width of the slot in a place like that. I know, grip screws aren't usually that tight, but you might find a buried one that needs some real torque.

  Here's a couple of tricks for the mean ones.  First, a couple of days soak with penetrating oil. WD-40, Kroil, diesel fuel, whatever; standard procedure. Apply a soldering iron to the screw head for a couple of minutes before you give it the torgue. Get your screwdriver down square in the slot, then hammer it a few times. Some cheap plastic handles might resent that.

  Here's one from Jerry Kuhnhausen's S&W Revolver Shop Manual. You need a detachable tip that you can chuck in a drill press. Clamp your work to the bed, come down on the screw hard and turn the chcuk by hand.

  You can fix a chewed up screwhead if it's not too bad. If the edge of the slot is bent over 90°, use a screwdriver or a square punch and tap the metal back over, working from the side. Then use a round punch about half the size of the screw head and tap it down to it's original shape. Clean up the slot with a needle file.  It takes patience, just tap away until you get it.

  What you do depends on your situation. If you've got a lot of guns and no screwdrivers, go for the Brownell's set. If you've only got a couple of guns and a drawer full of old screwdrivers, start grinding. I'd love a Brownells set, but I've got that drawer full.

Bye
Jack

P.S.  Get the Kuhnhausen manual for your S&W (from Brownells). I learned more about my newly acquired M28 in one reading than I knew about my 1911A1 from reading gun rags for 30 years. Got his 1911 book right quick like. Loved it.



(Edited by Jack Monteith at 9:37 pm on May 23, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jack:

Thanks again for all the advice and information.  I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me.

Ray Floyd
 

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Hello all,

I take it that carb cleaner doesn't remove blueing???

It does remove paint (no, I don't have any painted guns:) )

A note of caution:  Most carb cleaners contain toluene.  That stuff can destroy your liver function.  If you're getting much skin contact, remember that it soaks right through your skin into your blood stream.   Guess what, too much of that stuff will affect your liver.  

Respectfully, John
 
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