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Best lead cleaning solvent?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by stratmeister, Jul 12, 2010.


  1. stratmeister

    stratmeister
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    Guitars 'n Guns

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    I'm doing a fair amount of reloading lead bullets and need a really good lead solvent because I'm working to hard and too often on cleaning my guns. What do you guys use for lead removal?

    In particular I was cleaning my G17 today and it was a pain. I have a Storm Lake replacement barrel, use Precision black bullets over 4.0 gr of Bullseye, and Hoppe's #9. Shooting 100 rounds or so at a time.

    Any suggestions for reducing the leading in my barrels? And lead cleaning solvents?

    Thanks...
     

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  2. BigDog[RE]

    BigDog[RE]
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    An easy way to clean the lead out is to cut up a Copper Chore Boy pad into strips and wrap a strip around a used bore brush. That tends to take the lead right out. All I shoot through my 1911 is lead, and I run that through it every 1000 rounds or so. In between I just use a boresnake.

    The main key to cleaning lead out of your barrel is simple: don't get the lead in there in the first place! A properly sized and lubricated lead bullet will leave little to no lead behind when it exits the barrel. You might want to slug your barrel and measure it. As an example, most store bought lead 45 bullets are .452". If I shoot those in my 1911, I have some leading. If I shoot a bullet that is sized at .451" I can literally shoot a 1000 of them with very little leading.


    [​IMG]
     

    #2 BigDog[RE], Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  3. WiskyT

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    Use a slower powder or a lighter charge.
     
  4. fredj338

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    You shouldn't be getting leading w/ the Prec black bullets. Something is wrong there. I shoot convetional cast & lubed bullets to 1200fps in my G17 w/ LW bbl, little to no leading. Proper bullet fit helps plus I never use powders like BE or TG. Unique, WSF or WST works fine. If there is leading, ChoreBoy on a brush is as easy as it gets.
     
    #4 fredj338, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. sig2009

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    Hands down. Chore Boy!
     
  6. stratmeister

    stratmeister
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    You know I wondered about my powder/charge some because I didn't expect any leading from the Precision black bullets. Could you explain to me how a slower powder will help? Lower temperature, higher pressure?

    What exactly causes the leading? Melting of the end of the bullet right? How does powder selection and charge effect that?

    Thanks for the help guys...

    p.s. I'm using Bullseye because back in the shortage (last year) all I could get was a 5 lb. canister of BE. So I've got a bunch of it at 4 gr. per bullet...
     
  7. unclebob

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    A Glock barrel or a stainless steel barrel you can use a mixture of 50/50 vinegar and hydrogen peroxide plug the breach end and pour the mixture in the barrel for no more than 10 minutes then rinse with water. Then clean out the lead with a brass brush.
     
  8. sig357fan

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    Just make sure you get the copper pad not the copper clad steel pad. Just take a magnet with and check before you buy.

    sig357fan
     
  9. cysoto

    cysoto
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    What you are seeing inside your barrel is not lead but instead the molybdenum coat that is used on the Precision bullets. The deposits you are seeing typically look more like flakes than the usual streaking that lead will leave behind.

    Molybdenum is very resilient and therefore difficult to brush off but, as others have very well mentioned already, using some Chore Boy over an old bronze or brass brush will help to remove most of it.

    If you were shooting bare lead bullets and you had to remove lead deposits, your best option to use for a solvent is Shooter's Choice Lead Remover. I used Hoppe's No. 9 extensively but, once I tried the Shooter's Choice product, I have never looked back. Sadly, neither of these will dissolve the moly deposits left behind by the Precision bullets.
     
  10. WiskyT

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    I can't give you a good explanation. I can't even figure out how a thermos works. How do it know? Seriously, I have red various plausible explanations, but I don't know the exact mechanism. What I do know, and you can see for yourself, is that powders have a limit regarding their burn rate and leading.

    So, I used 4.0 Bullseye and got leading with 158's in 38spl. at roughly 900fps. I lowered to 3.5 and got no leading. I then tried 5.2 Unique with the same bullet, got 900fps, and no leading. Up the Unique charge with the same bullet in 357 mag, and I start to get leading. I take the same bullet and send it out of the same 357 mag at 1200 fps with 2400 and get no leading. I got similar results with 9mm and 40SW.

    So, fast powders like bullseye work great at lower velocities, medium powders like Unique work for warmer loads like 38+P and near max 9mm, and slower powders like 2400 work best for magnum loads. I reference my experience with Alliant powders because that is just what I have always used. Other powders by different companies will give similar results.

    What bullet weight are you using? If it is 124/125, try 3.5 Bullseye. That gives me somewhere around 950fps, no leading, good functioning in my G17, and good accuracy. 4.0 BE with the same 125 lead bullet gave me some keyholing, which means leading isn't too far behind. If it's a 115 bullet, 3.5 might not cycle the gun, so just load a few and see how it works for you.

    If the lower charge of Bullseye works well for you, you can stop there and call it good. You can also get a # of a medium burner like Unique, Power Pistol, Universal, AA5 etc. You will find uses for Bullseye, it's a great powder, it just has it's limits.

    Also, harder bullets have higher limits than softer bullets. My bulets are soft, yours are probably harder and will let you "get away with" higher charges of a given powder regarding leading. So, 3.8 might work with your bullets, but not with mine. Play around with it a bit and see how it does.
     
  11. WiskyT

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    Interesting, I haven't used moly bullets and didn't realise they could leave deposits behind. If it is moly, not lead, does it need to be cleaned out?
     
  12. WiskyT

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    I have seen barrels pitted from the 50/50 solution. They were left in longer than ten minutes. I have used it and it works great. I have found that two minutes is plenty and I would only use it when it's really needed. I think the composition of the steel has something to do with it. One of the pitted barels was stainless, so that in and of itself doesn't make it safe.
     
  13. cysoto

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    I will still clean the moly but I don't think that this sort of deposits will affect the accuracy of a pistol as much as lead deposits will.

    I typically shoot bare lead bullets through my OEM Glock barrel and, if I don't clean it every 600 to 800 rounds, my accuracy decreases significantly (from a 2" group at 25 yards to 6" or larger at this same distance from a benched position).

    I have used moly-coated bullets in my 1911 but I have never gone through more than 500 or 600 rounds without cleaning it so I don't know what will happen to the accuracy of the pistol past this.

    Moly-coated bullets could be good alternative to bare lead bullets but they can be problematic in some barrels; including some Glock barrels.
     
  14. unclebob

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    That is why you only use it on Glock's and stainless barrels.
    And you do not leave it in the barrel for more than 10 minutes. You also make sure you wash it off too get rid of all of the acid.
    For molly coated bullets too clean the barrel you use a mixture of Krol oil and Shooters Choice.
     
  15. dudel

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    Easiest thing would be to change the load to produce less leading. Maybe something slower than BE. Something harder than what you're shooting. Loading to less velocity, etc.

    Easiest way to avoid cleaning lead is not to create it (or as much of it).

    For really geting rid of lead, I like my Foul-out.
     
    #15 dudel, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  16. coachg

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    This is from the Precision Bullets website.

    CLEANING YOUR BORE
    Normal cleaning methods will work for our bullets, but sometimes the coating will stay in the barrel. If you cannot remove the coating with traditional cleaners—Shooter’s Choice, Breakfree, etc.—see methods below.
    Stainless steel barrels only
    50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in a jar
    Make a hook out of a paper clip
    Remove barrel and lower into mixture with paper clip hook
    Soak for 20 minutes
    Remove barrel and wipe off excess with paper towel
    1 pass with a bore brush
    1 pass with a tight patch
    Flush out under sink with water
    Dry off, patch out, and oil
    Carbon steel barrels
    Take a “Chore Boy” stainless steel scrubbing pad
    Cut off a spiral portion from the pad
    Wrap around brass cleaning brush
    Apply Breakfree CLP—5 or 6 passes through the bore
    Patch out with favorite cleaner
    Dry the bore and oil
     
  17. PCJim

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    I thought I posted an explanation yesterday, but must have changed screens before submitting..... Leading can be caused by several factors, both by physical scraping and by atomization due to gas cutting.

    The most common situation is probably that the lead projectile is not sized properly to the barrel. Hot gasses cut past your projectile, atomizing the surface of the bullet and depositing same on the (relatively) cold barrel. Your 9mm barrel (if it was not a Glock polygonal) would typically have a bore diameter .355". The ideal lead projectile is .001" larger than the bore diameter, so a .356" diameter projectile would be preferred. Keep in mind this is not always the case for 9mm, as the barrel diameters can vary significantly. This is why slugging the barrel is always recommended.

    Another cause may be a rough barrel. This doesn't need further explanation. The remedy may be as simple as lapping the barrel.

    A mismatch of powder burn rate, pressure, velocity and bullet hardness will also create barrel leading. The lead projectile must have it's base flattened (obturation) in order to seal the barrel. If the barrel is not sealed, the hot gasses will escape past the sides (gas cutting) and, as with an undersized bullet, atomize the lead and deposit it on the barrel. Typically, a hard cast bullet will not obturate with a slow burn rate powder, and a soft cast bullet with a fast burn rate powder will not be able to hold the developing pressure. Both will end up contributing to leading.

    Then there is the lack of adequate lubrication. If your bullet is not properly lubed.....you get the picture.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. fredj338

    fredj338
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    JB bore paste is will also work. I don't like shooting moly coated bullets. Tried the Prec Black & won't order them again once they're gone.:dunno:
     
  19. jpdavis423

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    There are actually 2 methods you can use to dissolve lead. One is hazardous, toxic and probably illegal. The second is none of the above.
    The first is mercury. It will dissolve lead but is very poisonous and probably illegal.

    The second is Wipe Out No-Lead. I've used it for a long time and it works well. It's slow, but it chemically removes lead. If you take a de-greased bullet and drop it in No-Lead you will see it break down.

    Jeff
     
  20. Jason D

    Jason D
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    Mechanical is the only way to go.
    Do yourself a favor, and dispense with the harsh chemicals to dissolve lead.
    Bownells+Lewis lead remover=WIN
     
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