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Best Bore Solvent Ever (?)

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17 March 2006, 00:29
John in SC
Best Bore Solvent Ever (?)
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have tried many of the products available and settled on Shooters Choice & Sweets as my favorite.

I have not tried:

1. WipeOut
2. Butches
3. Montana

After reading about all the home brews I bought a quart of Ace Hardware 10% ammonia ($1.99) to see if it worked any better or worse than Sweets. It works much faster and seemingly better for copper. Then I tried a 50/50 mixture of the ammonia with Joy dishwashing liquid and best as I can tell this gets all carbon and copper very quickly and easily. Much, much quicker than the old way.

A CZ .30-'06 and .375 are the rifles experimented with, both of them are being shot frequently and both of them foul fairly heavily. The .375 copper fouled worse than any rifle I have ever seen but the bore started cleaning easier after about 500 rounds. I shoot 100 rounds through each, then strip the bores.

The best method I have found is to dip a patch in the Joy/ammonia (J/a) and wrap it around a Sinclair nylon brush. It has not taken more than five patches or five minutes to clean either of these rifles. Following up with SC and Sweets gets nothing else out out of the bore. After cleaning with J/a I dry patch the bore and chamber, flush out w/ carb cleaner then spray oil, wipe out the excess oil and put the rifle away. So far no rust or other ill effects that I can tell.

Unless something changes I won't be buying any more gun specific solvents because nothing I have tried works anywhere near as well as J/a.

For the experienced and knowledgeable out there, is there any reason I should stop cleaning this way? When I acquire a high quality barrel from one of the top makers is there any reason not to clean it this way? Only change I may make is to use those German VFG felts, available from Brownells.

NOTE: If anyone were to try J/a, the greatest of care must be taken to make sure all of it is cleaned out of the bore & chamber, then flush the bore & chamber to remove any residue, then oil the bore & chamber well. I don't know from experience but I'm absolutely certain that a barrel would be ruined in short order from rust after using J/a unless all of it is removed and the bore oiled well. Wipe out the excess oil before shooting the rifle again.
17 March 2006, 01:03
Black powder shooters used to use Agent 409 to remove powder residue.anyone tried409/ammonia?
17 March 2006, 06:10
Of all I have tried (including the ones you mentioned) I remain with Sweet's. That said your J/A concoction sounds interesting. I will wait and see what comments follow. Good on ya for thinking that one up. thumb

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all."
Theodore Roosevelt
17 March 2006, 07:17
I'm going to add one safety note:

When mixing solutions be very careful not to mix anything with ammonia in it and anything with bleach (chlorine) together. The fumes will be deadly. Sort of like a low grade mustard gas.
17 March 2006, 18:28

Good hunting,


Thomas Jefferson: “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

17 March 2006, 22:06
nothing but nothing beats the smell of good old hoppes #9 animal
18 March 2006, 02:32
b beyer
There is a real good article in I think Januarys P.S. Mag. on this very subject, very informative.

18 March 2006, 06:11
have settled on wipe out. for long periods of storage, I still oil the barrel, old habits die hard. Keep the sun to your back.
18 March 2006, 06:29
I haven't found a solvent that does it all better than sweets.Hoppes #9 is perhaps the best smelling,but it is virtually useless for removing copper.
18 March 2006, 19:20
Zero Drift
Caution - Home brews can etch or frost a bore very quickly and the damage cannot be reversed. Ammonia is hygroscopic and reactive with many chemicals. Be very careful with home brews.

For my rifles I have two cleaning routines. For my premium bores (hand lapped) all that is necessary is Butch’s Bore Shine to remove copper fouling. A quick 20 minute soak and fouling is gone. For my more stubborn factory tubes, Montana X-Treme is the answer. You can leave it in the bore much longer than Sweets (hours if necessary) so there is less scrubbing involved. Remember to always oil bores after using high ammonia based cleaners.

More bores meet an untimely death through poor cleaning techniques than by shooting.
18 March 2006, 20:58
Originally posted by butchloc:
nothing but nothing beats the smell of good old hoppes #9 animal

I'd almost wear Hoppes #9 as aftershave! thumb

Good hunting,


Thomas Jefferson: “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

18 March 2006, 23:59
Dr. strangelove
when I have to clean, I use Sweet's 7,62... and after the cleaning is done, I use plenty of oil...

It works great... have used it since 94, but too much of anything...

An apple a day
keeps the doctor away...

If you can strike me!
19 March 2006, 00:59
CR-10 or Sweets

Tried Butch's Bore shine and was unimpressed. Still keep Hoppes around but now use #9 Benchrest.


It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it
19 March 2006, 18:25
brass thief
i used for Butch"s bore shine, with some success, before i tried Forrest bore foam after it was reccomonded for running in by a gunsmith.
the bore foam seems to be much more effective than Butch"s, so now for a "big clean" i start off with a patch soaked in Butch"s, wipe out with a dry patch, then fill up with foam. after 20/30 mins i wipe out. have tried doing over with either Butch"s or foam afterwards, but don"t ususally get any more colour on patches.
if i"m on the range, i"ll just do a quick wipe through with Butch"s, and dry patch after 10 mins.
as already mentioned, some barrels are harder to clean than others.
good shooting
19 March 2006, 20:39
Zero Drift
If I had to rate copper solvents from my experience from low to high it would be as follows:

Hoppe’s #9
Shooter’s Choice
Hoppe’s Bench Rest
Shooter’s Choice Copper Out
Butch’s Bore Shine
Montana X-Treme

Admittedly, I have not used any of the foaming cleaners, however, I have bore scoped a few rifles cleaned with Wipe Out. I was able to remove some copper with Montana X-Treme after the bore had been cleaned with Wipe Out. It could have been because the owner did not soak the bore long enough. In any case, Wipe Out may be a good product. I am not real keen on the mess it reportedly makes. And under no circumstances will I get the product near my stocks from what I have read.

My recommendations for cleaning are - limit the amount of scrubbing, use the most aggressive solvent for the job, use a bore guide with a coated one-piece cleaning rod, and never mix solvents.
20 March 2006, 05:24
I have noticed that none of you guys use bore scrubber spray. Maybe I need to try some other product to see what I am missing!
20 March 2006, 17:27
I have used wipe out on a number of barrels after "cleaning" them with a number of products previously mentioned.

No matter how well I cleaned, wipe out still came out with traces of blue on the patch.

I am very impressed with wipe out.

Double Rifle Shooters Society
Francotte .470 Nitro Express

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming...

20 March 2006, 18:31
As far as Hoppes#9 goes, it will leave a gumming residue when it evaporates. On most loose fitting rifles, pistols and revolvers it is of little consequence. On any that is built w/ CNC tight fitting tolerances, this can cause major malfunctions. The residue from Hoppes#9 siezed firing pins on two of our Sigs taking them out of service. We now use Shooter's Choice (that evaporates clean) as a standard solvent. Hoppe's themselves knows this and has since come out w/ a new silver label solvent.

After many years of shooting competitively on a National level, I settled on the stronger ammonia based solvents to remove copper fouling. This has changed now that the new breed of foaming bore cleaners are available. These are w/out any caustic ingredients to pit or score an expensive bore and require no aggressive patching or scrubbing that wears the edges off rifling. Even the cheapest foaming bore cleaner from Wal-Mart will remove all copper from a fouled barrel within a couple applications if left overnight.

The only quirk I've noticed w/ some of the foaming cleaners is that they do not go through carbon fouling as easily as they go through copper fouling. I'll generally wet the bore w/ Shooters Choice and wipe out the carbon fouling/powder residue prior to application of the foam. After I wipe-out the foam and all the copper fouling (if any), I'll wet patch again w/ Shooters Choice to remove any residue. I generally like to leave some carbon fouling on a well broken-in barrel vs. stripping it down to the bare steel when cleaning. I find that this reduces the amount of copper fouling on subsequent shots and the groups settle in quicker. Which oil you choose is a different subject not addressed in this thread.
20 March 2006, 20:27
Ol` Joe
Wipe out.

The trouble with the Internet is that it's replacing masturbation as a leisure activity. ~Patrick Murray

"Why shouldn`t truth be stranger then fiction?
Fiction after all has to make sense." (Samual Clemens)

"Saepe errans, numquam dubitans --Frequently in error, never in doubt".

21 March 2006, 23:38
b beyer
Zero, I use Butches in all my B.R. barrels and have yet to see one come really copper free without some brushing. Great if you can do it but I find that it just does not work that way.

22 March 2006, 00:53
Zero Drift
b beyer - Here is my routine with Butch’s - For my target rifles at the range, I run a few wet patches of Butch’s between stings and before packing up. By the time I get home, I run a patch or two to remove powder fouling. I then run a nylon brush with Butch’s and leave in the bore for 20 minutes or more. Then patch out. If there is still a lot of fouling, then I will hit the bore with a bronze brush, then patch dry, then oil and store muzzle down for a few days.

In my Kreiger bores, I generally do not get to the point that I use a bronze brush. With other barrels, I do use a bronze brush or switch to Montana X-Treme to avoid scrubbing too much. As a backup, I use a Hawkeye bore scope a few times a year to monitor wear and fouling.
22 March 2006, 01:53
b beyer
Zero, I find that the best barrels to clean up are Liljas, I have 4 or 5 Kreiger and they are about like the Harts that I use as far as cleaning goes. The majority of my barrels are Hart, but lately I have chambered a few Liljas that are great barrels. I just chambered a 30 B.R. Lilja that is a 3 groove 17 twist that is shooting the Bib 118 10 ogive really great. The Hawkeye is the main reason that I brush as much as I do, I do not believe what is said about an extreamly clean barrel not being a shooter. I shoot score B.R. and clean every second relay, I want me barrel to be as clean as I can get it in the time that I have. I have had my hawkeye for 6 or 7 years now and am just getting into using it more, it is really invaluable in keeping a gun clean. I may just try not brushing at home soon, when I have time to let the butches work and see what happens. Take care.
If you can find a copy of the Jan. issue of P.S. there is a great article on cleaning and the pros and cons [aat least in the authors view] of some of the products that I imagine we have all tried at one time or another.

25 March 2006, 21:25
When it was available, I tried some Coppermelt and it worked great! Our local Sportsman's Warehouse and Brownells even started to carry it and then it disappeared. Anybody know what happened or if it will ever be available again?

I have used most of the products mentioned here, and Coppermelt worked the best in the least time and with little effort.

Jon Larsson - Hunter - Shooter - Reloader - Mostly in that order...Wink
26 March 2006, 02:01
Originally posted by trekker111:
I'm going to add one safety note:

When mixing solutions be very careful not to mix anything with ammonia in it and anything with bleach (chlorine) together. The fumes will be deadly. Sort of like a low grade mustard gas.

If I remember my chemistry correctly, the gas produced is phosgene gas, and one the Germans used on the Allies in WWI.

I have another use for it--killing armadillos. They are like tiny armored pigs and root up my yard. So, I find their hole, stick a length of hose down the hole, put a funnel in the hose and pour a cup each of bleach and ammonia down the hole. Don't mix before you pour!!! Then, carefully blow through the hose to clear it (wrap a paper towel or rag around the hose), and pull it out. You may see some white fumes coming out of the hose or hole so be on the upwind side. Plug the hole with dirt, and presto, no more armadillo problems.

An old pilot, not a bold pilot, aka "the pig murdering fool"
26 March 2006, 03:01
Russ Brumbelow
I use wipe out, sweets, shooters choice, and hoppes. I use wipe out at home after a day at the range to let it soak over night and all fouling is gone. Its a toss up between sweets and shooters choice copper remover. I used them at the range and clean between every few rounds. I only have factory barrels and cleaning is a chore with patches and sovents. I like the wipe out because it gets em totally clean but it still takes a while. The only draw back is that wipe out tend to "stick" in the chamber and magazine and tends to turn the bullets and cases black if you dont get it all out. I use gun scrubber to remove it from the chamber. I even put a dab of wipe out on the bolt face to get the brass fouling off of it.
26 March 2006, 10:52
Herb D
That might just be the solution (pun intended) to my gopher problem. What strength ammonia? Trade name? Bleach as in Colorox?

Third rebirth of member #117.
26 March 2006, 16:08
Well said GaryVA. I shoot long range matches competitively, national level as well and only thing I could add is that for the past 5 years switched from Shooter's Choice to Genral Motors Top Engine Cleaner. Yes, available at your local Chevy dealer. Same thing as Shooter's Choice and a whole lot cheaper to purchase. Some mix Kroil, 1/1 ratio, and I have done that and it seems to work. I use Sweet's sparingly and if the barrel is "coppering up..." then there are other problems to keep having copper build up. Shooter's Choice, just a suggestion.
27 March 2006, 03:52
Originally posted by Herb D:
That might just be the solution (pun intended) to my gopher problem. What strength ammonia? Trade name? Bleach as in Colorox?

Herb D: I just use regular chlorox and cleaning ammonia-what ever the local dollar store carries. Would recommend not carrying them in the back seat together, though, but one in the trunk.

An old pilot, not a bold pilot, aka "the pig murdering fool"
27 March 2006, 08:21
Herb D
Thanks much.


Third rebirth of member #117.
27 March 2006, 08:49
06 April 2006, 14:04
I can speak from personal experience that these two chemicals are dangerous. I was working KFC back in High school and one of the cooks and myself were cleaning out the walk-in freezer. We had to clear out the place because he somehow managed to mix the two together in a mop bucket and the two of us got some pretty intense head aches, mild stomach cramping and dizziness. We later found out it was the two chemicals. I looked it up on the internet just now and it's Chlorine Gas being released that's the most dangerous. But what chemical reactions occur also depends on what the mixture ratios are. I'm guessing we had a very weak mixture that was diluted with water and hell, maybe other chemicals and such were in that bucket of his. Who knows, all my kids are free of birth defects and I'm still alive.
06 April 2006, 21:50
7mm mashburn
shooters choice is the same thing as GM top engine cleaner and you can buy it at your GM dealer. For just over a dollor Parsons kitchen ammonia cleaner works as well as any
08 April 2006, 00:06
You guys are sissies. Use this:

Mixing bleach (sodium hypochlorite NaClO), with ammonia (NH3), solutions MAY release chlorine gas. Not phosgene, diffferent animal altogether: COCl2
By the way, don't use ammonium hydroxide, it will corrode your barrel and your hands, and you'd need your repirator.

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

08 April 2006, 06:33
Originally posted by Nitroman:
You guys are sissies. Use this:

Mixing bleach (sodium hypochlorite NaClO), with ammonia (NH3), solutions MAY release chlorine gas. Not phosgene, diffferent animal altogether: COCl2
By the way, don't use ammonium hydroxide, it will corrode your barrel and your hands, and you'd need your repirator.

Your forum handle speaks volumes with that pic.
08 April 2006, 07:41
John in SC:

I agree with you and have good results using J/a. After a final cleaning I run a couple of patches with Kroil Oil through the bore before storing.

Success is 99% determination.
08 April 2006, 08:41
More Powder / More Dead
Blue Goop. A fellow by the name of Tony Boyer uses it in his rifles all the time. beer

"Today is the 1st Day, of the Rest of Your Life"
08 April 2006, 14:39
Another wipeout fan.
Works much better than the sweets I used before.Just keep the wipeout off you nice wood stock.JB borepaste and borebright after works great too.RB

Red comyn of Altyre
09 April 2006, 18:56
Sweets 7.62, only bought it once because I win enough to always have some on hand. I do like Butch's Bore Shine to clean my 223 and Ed's Red is my favourite crud remover, still have some Hoppe's somewhere.

Shooting is FUN, winning is MORE fun but shooting IS fun.
12 November 2021, 03:35
I usually just use Hoppes' #9 "the smell of victory" lol I've also used Hoppes Bench Rest. Trying Wipeout as we speak on a very used Weatherby Mark V in 270 Weatherby. Hope to shoot it Sunday.



"There's a saying in prize fighting, everyone's got a plan until they get hit"

Michael Douglas "The Ghost And The Darkness"
14 November 2021, 21:27
Blue Goop, days of bench resters in overalls dipping snuff and does it ever work, but use commnon since using it..

Recipe: quart of 25% commercial amonia, cup of Hydrgine peroxide, and a copper penny to activate is optional..I do it to turn the solution blue and tells me its ready, and like in Mexico, DON'T DRANK THE CLEAR WATER IN THE QUART JAR....

I use Blue goop for a hard to clean bores such as on older double rifles, varmint rifles in some cases whenever I have a difficult bore for whatever reason, otherwise I use WIPE OUT..

Blue Goop:
Good ventilation is recommended, swab barrel and let sit for 20 minutes then dry swab the bore, continue a couple of times until patch is very light blue or gray (this depends on the barrrel) but no need to over clean any barrel with any solvent..Never a critter has been killed with clean barrel!! Now all you have to do is oil the bore goooooood!!

Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328