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Whether new or used, I will be cleaning a big bore revolver by month's end!  I'll need to load up on some cleaning supplies and solvents so I'm turning to you learned sixgunners to find out what works and what doesn't.  My experience is limited to Hoppe's #9, JB Bore cleaner and Rem oil.

Group question:  solvent baths - good or bad??

1/2 gal kerosene
1/2 gal mineral spirits
1 quart auto trans fluid
1 quart Rislone
1 pint Marvel's Mystery Oil

From shooterstalk: "I immerse the entire handgun in the solution, and scrub it with nylon and brass brushes inside and out. Drain it, wipe it off with paper towels, and run a couple dry patches through and yer done.
Works great...."
 

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That recipe is similar to Ed's Red:
1part #1 kerosene
1part Mineral spirits
1part ATF Dexron II
1# anhydrous lanolin
1part acetone.
The lanolin is for long term storage and may be left out.
The acetone is a super cleaner and may be kept separate from the mix for indoor use. Add it to equal parts of the mix in smaller quantities for outdoor work. The application is optional, but I wouldn't bathe a firearm in it.:)
 

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Alan,

I'm one of the few sick folks out there that enjoys cleaning my firearms. Our gunshop used to offer a detail cleaning service for our customers that were unable to clean their own guns. I could not even to begin to count the number of cleanings I've done and I've never used a solvent bath to clean a gun. I've soaked a few parts to remove decades of gunk or a cylinder with heavy burn rings or lead deposits but thats it.

A good bore scrubbing along with cylinder cleaning will take care of 98% of the cleaning needs for your revolver. The cylinder window needs some scrubbing as well. I use Shooters Choice solvent, BreakFree for oil, and Shooters Choice synthetic grease in the spots thats called for. A bronze utility brush for the big jobs, good tight fitting bore brushes, and plenty of patches are all you need. Marshall's trick of using the copper scouring padds wrapped around a smaller bore brush works great and cuts down on time scrubbing lead deposits in the bore. I do like to rinse the bore and anywhere else I've done some major solvent scrubbing with brake cleaner and then oil afterward. Don't get the brake cleaner on plastic or you get to watch a great chemical meltdown.

Every so often the gun should be totally disassembled and each peice cleaned and lubed as needed. The problem with most solvent baths is after the soak you need to remove the solvent. After that all the oil is gone and its difficult to reapply oil to the lockwork without disassembly. A small book with plenty of pictures could be devoted to cleaning. Just do what makes sense and seems to work. Take as much input as you can get and use what works for you.

Try to enjoy your firearms maintenance as much as your shooting...well almost as much.
 
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