Gun Cleaning Chemistry

posted on October 28, 2010

Remember those cheesy prime-time commercials that made every baby boomer's mother sigh when they watched a housewife drop her apron and return to the garden while a chemical scrubbed last week's pizza off the oven? Shooters have been collectively breathing the same sigh of relief since chemical engineers turned their sights to the shooting marketplace and bore cleaners got bubbles.

Gunslick's Foaming Bore Cleaner is a one-step solution to remove copper and powder residue with no scrubbing required. If copper fouling remains after the first application, give it a second shot. It also loosens lead deposits, shortening patch work time.

There are some things to remember though. Unlike oven cleaning, the barrel should not be hot when Foaming Bore Cleaner is applied. Also, protective oils are removed during this cleanup, so it's important to always reapply oil or barrel treatment immediately afterward. It's safe for recoil-operated semi-automatics, but is not recommended for gas-operated versions.

Simply spray foam from the chamber to the muzzle, wait 15 to 20 minutes for the scrubbing chemicals to get the job done and clean. A blue tint indicates copper was removed and black indicates powder was lifted from the barrel. Contact Gunslick: (800) 635-7656;

Heavenly Scent

The subtle scent of Hoppe's No. 9 is what first attracted me to my wife. It's traditional, smells of good, clean, old-fashioned fun and just plain works.

But the company hasn't been idly guarding its decade's old formula. Hoppe's Elite Gun Cleaner, which comes in a non-aerosol pump dispenser, is a great example. It conditions a firearm's metal, while removing carbon, lead and copper. The new formula is non-toxic, non-flammable and even biodegradable.

Simply apply, allow to sit for 1 to 5 minutes and start scrubbing. Like all Hoppe's products, this stuff really works, although it doesn't smell anything like the original. The company recommends application of oil after cleanup for maximum protection. Contact Hoppe's: (800) 423-3537;

High-Tech Option

Synthetic oils have proven their value in vehicles for years, and Royal Purple's Synthetic Gun Oil harnesses the same performance for firearms. It doesn't thicken in low temperatures and provides added protection from rust, fouling and even saltwater corrosion.

It comes in an easy-to-use aerosol container, and to treat the gun's metal surfaces you simply spray on. The company recommends you allow the oil to work into the metal after application, so avoid wiping off excess.Contact Royal Purple: (281) 354-8600;

Added FPS

If you want to squeeze the last possible drop of performance from your firearm, Full Bore Weapons Treatment & Boundary Technology is a good final step. Not only will it protect your barrel, it's touted as increasing muzzle velocities—with proper treatment and curing.

After the barrel is clean, fire a full cylinder or magazine of cartridges and swab the barrel several times with Full Bore. The company reccommends not cleaning off the treatment, but instead firing the same number of shots to activate the formula. Contact Frontline Supply: (336) 877-1399.

Firearm maintenance has never been easier, thanks to today's generation of shooting chemical engineers. Whether you want to ensure cold-weather operation, improve your firearm's performance or find time to tend to the garden, today we have it all.


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