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Flitz abrasive or not?

15935 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  recoil junky
I could not wait to post this one. I just got back from a hunting and fishing show in Charlotte, N.C. I was going to get some Butch's Bore Shine at one of the booths but the guy had a new product there called Monana X-treme. He had the Butch's but only in the big bottle and being short on funds I asked if he had the smaller bottle. This opened up the discussion on cleaning and he offered a bit of advice. I want get into all that we talked about but I did buy a small bottle of the X-treme to try but I mentioned that I used Flitz as a kind of bore conditioner and he said you do realize it is an abrasive. I had always heard it wasn't so he peaked my interest. He pulled out a stainless steel rifle barrel and cleaned a spot on it with a jewlers rouge. wiped it clean and then rubbed vigorously with a clean cloth. The cloth remained completely clean. He then put a small amount of Flitz on a patch and rubbed. It was very dirty. Just like it was finding more dirt or fouling. He rubbed with a clean cloth until it was clean. It's clean now, right. Anything else that comes off now has to be part of the metal, right. Patch of flitz again, guess what, dirty as everything. Just like you had went at it with a lapping compound again.

I came home and went to work. I had to try this for myself. Yep, same result. I used a stainless steel cleaning rod. I cleaned it with a jewlers rouge and then with Sweets, then with Breakfree. I got it clean. Applyed the Fritz and you guessed it. Dirty. This changes my view on Flitz. I will still use it but I realize now it is abrasive. I think it still is conditioning the metal also because I am happy with the bores I have used it on.

Oh. The new stuff. Seems to be good. It smells just as stought as the Sweets to me. The guy said he had left it in the bore of a gun for days with no problems but the instructions do not say you can do that. It is suppose to not have an etching acid that Sweets has but on the bottle it lists an acid with the other ingredients. The oil is something I may continue to use, It says it is a good breakin product for new barrels.
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We had this "discussion" a couple of months back.  If one goes to the flitz website and looks at the MSDS info on Flitz compound, they will find it is 25% polishing powder.  Freedom Arms discourages the use of Flitz for cleaning the face of the cylinder of revolvers they manufacture.  Personally, I use it to buff out scratches on the finish of stainless steel guns.  That should be enough said on how I see it.
Thanks Hitman,

I guess I forgot how it turned out. I difinitely don't need to make anything any bigger on my SBH. I have already done the bore and cylinders a couple times. Probably just enough to hit the high spots. I sure won't do it anymore.

How bought this new stuff, Montana X-treme. Any word on it,or is it just another attempt at entering the cleaning market. I hope everyone keeps making stuff so the price will go down. I'm too sloppy with my cleaner to use Ed's Red and I like something that could be used all over the gun including the bore.
This is verbatim from Flitz customer service in an e-mail:


I'm sorry to keep you waiting for the answer to your question.  I had to wait for our president, Ulrich "Olie" Jentzsch, to return from two trade shows for his official statement.

The gentleman that stated "if it is a polish, it has to be abrasive" is right in a very literal sense.  However, you are also right about the Flitz, because our polish falls 12% below the government standard for abrasiveness.  In other words, the polishing granules are so fine that Flitz can be considered non-abrasive.  We can safely claim that because, as you can feel just by putting it between your fingers, it is very smooth.  Flitz can be used on even the softest precious metals without scratching.  (Of course,  a person would have to consider the applicator cloth and make sure they are using a clean, high-quality, soft cloth to apply the polish and for buffing.)

I hope that this helps you.  You are welcome to address any other questions or problems to us directly at [email protected] (for Customer Service) or [email protected] (for the president).  Thank you again for your question and for using the Flitz.  We always stand behind it and it's nice to have customers like yourself.

Flitz Customer Service


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Hey Contender, that was official. Sounds like the legal department has it all under control. It does remove metal, but not enough to meet the government standard to be called an abrasive. So it is abrasive but it does not meet government definition of abrasive.

I love the stuff but I won't be using it the same way I used to. Wonder what the metal conditioner in it is. It is real slick. Maybe it is slick 50.
After working for the gun and ammo companies all of my adult life, I have noticed that it is next to impossible to pass on to shooters any ideas without the subject getting polarized. The subject about Flitz came up in the past and I made the mistake of suggesting that it was an excellent product for clearing residue from firearms. I finally contacted Flitz to get their position as to whether it was abrasive or not. Their answer is what Contender posted. I felt it was an honest answer, not Lawyer Lingo.
Now.....When is an abrasive, abrasive? Let's look at some other items...residue, copper fouling, plastic smear from shotgun wads, etc. can only be removed with either acid or abrasion. Even dry paper towels can be abrasive! So, we have a choice and it's up to you to decide which is best. Some of the discoloration seen on patches with Flitz, and other cleaners, is the reaction and breakdown of the chemicals in the product. I have used Flitz on both blued and stainless fierarms since 1979. If it was as abrasive as some think, don't you think it would have removed the bluing? Does someone really think that cleaning the front of a cylinder of powder residue with Flitz is more abrasive than powder residue from each shot at upwards to 40,000 psi? Why have bench rest shooters used it for decades in high dollar barrels? Why do photo people use it to clean expensive lens.
I have about quit posting since in many cases, as elsewhere, a question will be ask and then they argue with you when you have answered them. Quite frankly I'm through with the subject of Flitz!
So......Use what "you" think is best
Best Regards, James

(Edited by James Gates at 5:34 am on Jan. 21, 2002)
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Now there is a test of time worth looking into. If you have used it on blued guns for a long time and not got through that very thin layer of rust which is called blue then a polish worth its salt it is. If it can be used on glass without scrathing, a very fine polish it is.

The part of it going from blue to black on the cloth could very well be a reaction of some kind rather than evidence of metal removal.

I did not mean to question anything or shead a bad light on anyone or anything. I think I did jump to a conclusion that may bear out to be wrong. I am very new to this firearms game even though I have been shooting them for about 40 years now. Until the last couple years I ran some Hoppes through and maybe a brush every once in a while and that was cleaning. No conditioning new barrels, no cleaning a hot barrel on the bench, no special solvents, bore paste, penetrating oils, mops,jags and muzzel and chamber protectors. This forum is my mentor, and instruction manual. I especially admire your work James and your good natured attitude about big bore rifles and pistols.
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I guess James has a point here... nearly anything is abrasive!  Water, wind... will eventually carve through solid rock, due to the grit carried in it.

Just use some sense when applying and don't go overboard.  I use some of the Remington bore cleaner (which is an abrasive suspended in oil) from time to time... not much and only as needed.  Steel wool with a little Break-Free cleans rust off blued guns, but go too long and too hard and the bluing comes off also.

Well, thanks Chief, for bringing Flitz's answer to the board.  Now we know and can proceed with intelligence when thinking about using this product.
I think bottom line is to test the products yourself and post the results.
Best Regards To All, James
X-Trem Bore Conditioner

Sorry to comment on such an old thread, but what do y'all think of this product?
I have a buddy that says it "fills in flaws" and increases accuracy.
Thought I would ask the experts, first.
It is definitely an abrasive; so it cuts some metal.

In the early 1960, I used it to polish airplanes (beech 18). So it can be used on soft material.

It is a great polish, and so fine it removes min metal. I know guys that polish bluing with it (not my recommendation).

It can smooth out flaws put NOT 'fill' them in.
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I put a cap full in my corn cob media to "rejuvenate" it. Never used it for anything else.

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