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Getting 90+ Years Of Lead Out?

Discussion in 'Rimfire Forum' started by Michigun, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    Okay guys, I have an old pump-action Winchester that my grandfather left me a long time ago when he passed away... it’s been in a friends gun safe room for YEARS now until a few weeks ago when I picked it up along with several other of my grandfather’s old guns.

    I did some digging on this old Winchester & found that in its condition it isn’t worth much... not that I’d ever sell it, but if it was worth a lot I wasn’t going to shoot it either. Now that I know it isn’t really worth anything I’d like to start shooting it myself.

    Last week I detail stripped the gun down to inspect/give it a REAL good cleaning. Everything went well & the pump-action now is real smooth since getting out all of the MANY years of crud... correction, everything went real well except when it came to cleaning all of the lead build-up in the barrel...

    Guys, this gun has seen 90+ years of various 22 ammo & I have NEVER personally seen this much build-up of lead in a barrel!

    So far NONE of the cleaners/solvents that I’ve tried have helped it much (Although I can at least see SOME rifling grooves mid barrel on down.)... & I made sure all of the ones I used had ‘lead removal’ listed on them. I tried Shooters Choice ‘foam’ Bore Cleaner, regular ammonia-smelling Shooters Choice & JB Bore Cleaner paste... I’ve tried each of these for hours a piece! I even put a brush in a drill & tried that to clean the chamber area... no luck.

    I’d like to get ALL of the lead out of this barrel so it can be inspected... I’m a bit worried about chamber erosion as I’m told (by my dad) that it had a LOT of 22 shorts fired though it over the years... the barrel on this gun lists 22 long & 22 short.

    So what am I looking for to get this lead out fairly easily? There has to be something out there... right now I’m thinking of just taking it to a local gunsmith & pay them to clean the barrel out, which I may do if what I need to buy to do this myself is pricy, ya know?

    FYI, surprisingly this old Winchester still loads & shoots pretty well as it sits!

  2. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    A friend had a rifle that was very bad. He used a device that
    used an electrically chared rod to pull the fouling from the barrel.
    Not sure of the name, but it worked for him
  3. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    Thanks guys & it looks like with the $$$ I'm looking at I might as well just give it to my gunsmith seeing how I don't have any other barrel in need of this nor will I ever, ya know?
  4. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    BTW, here’s the 22 in question (not my picture as my DC is at work)... it’s a Winchester Model 1906:


    Due to when my uncle was young the sights were removed & lost as he used to shoot rats with it, at night, at a local junkyard... currently it wears a plastic fiber-optic front sight & a metal rear sight that I had to modify to get to work. (And it does!) I did this because original remakes are $100+!
  5. mboylan


    May 11, 2007
    It's probably also seen quite a bit of corrosive ammo. After you do get the lead out, see how much the rifling has been pitted/damaged. A good gunsmith and drill out the bore and re-line the barrel with an insert.
  6. Did he use the shot loads in it? That might explain the heavy leading.
  7. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    They shot whatever was on hand! (Yeah, they did fire a lot of those out of it.)

    UPDATE: After a bunch more cleaning with some other lead removing technics... it looks like this bore is toast... gonna have my smith reline the barrel.
  8. 98_1LE


    Oct 17, 2005
    I have been following this and was afraid of that. IMO what happened to the bore is 90 years of not having the corrosive residues corroded the fine rifling away. .22 rifling is delicate by nature.

    Good luck.
  9. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    Yeah, read a few things on all of this & found a company that deals pretty much only with the restoration of these old 22 guns... they say that RARELY do they find guns like the 1906 with good bores.

    I actually took it out today & fired a few tube fulls of ammo... you know, for as bad as the bore looks it seems to shoot pretty darn well. Don't make much sense really.

    I plan to sit down sometime with it, at the bench, & a few different ammo types to see how bad/good it is really... judging by the puffs of snow at 50 yards today I really doubt that it's key-holing.

    On a side note: I just picked up a S&W M&P12-22 & MAN is this thing cool as heck... I didn't even clean it up before taking it out back & it's been 100% thus far with Federal bulk ammo... have only put 200-rounds through it but I'm impressed! (Gonna set it up just like my current AR-15...)
  10. Clem Eastwood

    Clem Eastwood

    Mar 7, 2004
    DFW, TX
    i like shooters choice lead remover
  11. Bullseye300


    Feb 6, 2010
    I am new to the forum and don't know if I can link to another web page from here. Do a google search for RB-17. I have found it to do a GREAT job on lead build up.
  12. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    I've used Blue Wonder Gun Cleaner on some old rifles with good luck.
  13. CSNeoM4A1


    Feb 23, 2006
    Is the barrel 100% steel?

    If so you could remove it, and soak it in "the dip" which is 50% hydrogen peroxide 50% vinegar. Don't use it on aluminum however, only steel.

    People use the the dip to clean lead out of .22 suppressors where it builds up pretty heavy. The dip, after use, is a toxic material though (lead acetate). You do not want to touch this at all, ie wear gloves and glasses and dispose of the lead acetate correctly and not just throw it in the trash.

    Despite all the precautions, I use it every other month and it will return a horribly filthy .22 suppressor to looking brand new. I just soak it in the dip for a few hours and rinse it off and scrub it slightly with a old toothbrush.