Gun Parts solvent/cleaning question

There's some gun people here, so thought I'd ask. Also, guns do have a slight metal content.

I want to wash some gun parts. I need about a gallon, and I intend to store it in a jug and reuse it. Gun solvent is more expensive than REALLY good single malt Scotch. I was thinking of maybe washing on some solvent on gun parts that have powder residue, like bolt, breech, barrel, trigger assembly, etc. Let it sit a bit, then wash it off in a bath of cheap liquid. I will need this also to clean some of my pistols, where almost the entire gun can be submerged. Is this a good idea, or is this a Q-tip/rag/lots of patience thing?

Would rubbing alcohol or regular isopropyl work? Another liquid? And would gun solvent evaporate if I let it sit too long between brushing and dipping in final wash solution? Don't want anything that will harm the bluing, or the wood stocks.

I know that these parts can be cleaned with tiny brushes, pieces of dowel, etc. I just have this semi-auto rifle that looks like it has never been cleaned, and it obviously is going to have to be cleaned in stages. And how about the inside of the gun that stays attached to the stock, and cannot be dipped without getting some of the solvent on the stock?

Particularly, I'm working with a Rem 552 BDL with a very nice stock.



Reply to
Steve B
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Ed's Red

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Reply to
Karl Townsend

Harbor freight has a nice ultrasonic cleaner with a 2 qt stainless tank that can be had for $60 or so on sale / coupon. Hoppe's #9 can be had in quart bottles reasonably inexpensively (my qt was $13 some time ago), particularly if you are going to filter and save it after each use.

Reply to
Pete C.

The factory that makes VZ58 recommends WD40 as a cleaning/lubricating agent. This is likely to cause apoplexy in many. However...

WD40 is mainly Stoddard solvent, i.e. mineral spirits. I suspect this is the same ingredient of other premium compounds such as G96 (favored by RCMP). Thus another version of mineral spirits (Varsol) which costs pennies would do the job. I use Varsol on most things. I have not had problem with paint *except* cheap Chinese throatless shears where the paint dissolved.

I have never been a great fan of alcohols as cleaning agents and have found them with minor exceptions ineffective.

I would be *very* careful with Ed's Red which contains acetone. Much more aggressive, will remove some paints and dissolve some plastics (I would not want a Glock near it!).


Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC

Reply to

Karl Townsend fired this volley in news:

"NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are OK. Do NOT use HDPE, which is permeable, "

Those are HDPE. The new CARB compliant cans have an anti-permeation layer, but the older standard (approved) cans do not.

Outer's Brand "Gun Scrubber" is pretty effective at removing gunk, too. It's cheap, and it's chloroform, which (badged as chloroform, not "gun scrubber") in 5-gallon cans sells for about $3.00 per gallon.


Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

I don't think that a good idea. I can't think of any fluid safe for immersion of the stock. Kroil works as a good cleaning agent. If the rifle is that bad off, I'd take it completely apart and do an extreme clean, and thoroughly inspect every part in every way. After a proper lube, a few coats of a wax like "Armadillo" or even a good car wax makes future cleanings a breeze and it won't get as cruddy.

Reply to
Tom Gardner

Separate action and stock FIRST. For removing crud, soaking in Simple Green works, followed by a zap with the water-displacing oil of choice. I use LPS-1. I have some stainless steam table pans I use. You don't need gallons of bore solvent for removing crud. It'd work, but it's a waste.

There are a number of books out there with detailed stripping instructions, might be a trip to the library is in order. The one I have is Rimfire Rifles by J.B. Wood, put out by the Gun Digest folks. Don't strip the trigger group unless you need to.


Reply to

One very good gunsmith I know uses a lot of WD40 as a cleaner. Its only $20 / gallon.

Reply to
Bob La Londe

I've used WD-40 before, albeit not on a gun, and I've found that it leaves a gooey residue, which makes it great for a handsaw or a garage door track, but what does it do to a gun?

Thanks, Rich

Reply to
Rich Grise

Its not the final treatment for gun parts. No "cleaner" should be. It does a decent job of removing accumulated gunk though.

Reply to
Bob La Londe

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