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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is a good powder solvent?

The solvent I'm using works ok, but I am looking for something a little better.

I have learned that cleaning the carbon from around the barrel gap on a .38 revolver after a few hundred rounds is a huge PITA. Autos are so much easier to clean!

Any tips? I like my guns spotless, as far as dirt/carbon is concerned, and I'm tired of scrubbing this revolver.
 

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If it's stainless, get a lewis lead remover. It'll clean it off like magic. If it's blued, I'm not too sure because it'll take something abrasive to clean off that build-up and it may harm the finish.

So is it stainless or blued?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
S&W 642, stainless and alloy. I assume the alloy part has some kind of anodizing on it? Maybe not, the finish on the stainless cylinder and alloy frame match very well. I'm wondering if the entire revolver isn't coated with the same type of finish. It kinda looks bead blasted and clear coated, but idk.

I don't want to use anything that could harm the finish, that much is for sure! I would never get out of the doghouse! This is wifies gun. She's the one that ran 300 rounds through today, well yesterday now. The front half of the cylinder and frame was black and her hand is crazy sore. She is so hard core, lol. I'm gonna have to start reloading at this rate.

 

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A couple of days ago I replenished my supply of Ed's Red All Purpose Bore Solvent and Mosquito Repellent. :)

Seriously, a guy came up with this a few decades ago to use on match rifles for a military team.

Get a one-gallon jug and add

1 quart of kerosene
1 quart of acetone
1 quart of Dexron III automatic transmission fluid
1 quart of turpentine or mineral spirits

Use it with a brush or patches to remove carbon crud.

You now have a gallon of solvent for less than $10, as opposed to $4 for 4 ounces of "store bought."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the recipe, FS. I have all of that stuff lying around the shop already, lol. I may mix some up just for the skeeters, lol.

I don't think I'll be using any acetone until I know what this finish is, exactly. A Google search tells me it is some kind of clear coat. I may call S&W and ask. The other problem is I clean my guns at my desk in the living room. Acetone and kerosene fumes wouldn't go over too well with the wife. I probably wouldn't like it either.
 

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Take my word for it, your wife's little Smith & Wesson will start losing its finish soon enough. That's if she carries it.

The new anodized finish on S&W lightweight frames isn't very durable, but my formula won't hurt it. Might mess up varnish, though.
 

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What I've found to work is to clean it while is still hot. With whatetver solvent you normally use.
 

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I'd stay away from anything like mineral spirits or I've heard some people suggest some crazy mixtures with peroxide or vinegar.

On the alloy guns, S&W uses a coating (like clear coat you mentioned) that will wear away pretty quick. Since it's the alloy gun, I'd say wipe off what you can off the cylinder face and leave what's burned on there alone. You risk stripping that coating and accelerating rust, ESPECIALLY if she's carrying it.
 

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Aluminum doesn't rust. It corrodes somewhat, but unless it's in a particularly volatile environment it won't be damaged. Mineral spirits won't hurt the gun's finish and will actually help clean off carbon buildup. The formula I posted has been in use for half a century and is used by many competitive shooters. I use it on blued steel, stainless, and aluminum without any problems.

Windex mixed half and half with vinegar is also a good solvent.
 

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Free_Stater said:
Windex mixed half and half with vinegar is also a good solvent.
Never have tried it mixed that way. I use the store bought Windex with vinegar and generic glass cleaner with vinegar for my blackpowder cartridge rifles and blackpowder revolvers...good stuff. ;)
 

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I tried dumping freshly fired BP cases in a 6:1 mix of Simple Green and water to keep the powder fouling from corroding the brass. Worked like a champ. I also use Simple Green as a bore solvent and all around cleaner for my BP revolvers and for the block and bore of my M1863 Sharps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I use simple green on my rimfires when they need a good spring cleaning. Works great!

Vinegar? It would be ok to use on this gun, but vinegar can strip blue. I don't want that stuff around my cleaning area just in case.

I'm going to mix up some ER. It looks like a good solution. Thanks for the replies.
 

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What is wrong with Hoppe's #9. I have rifles that are 75 years old that have been served well with it. Not only is it a powder solvent, it removes lead and copper from the bore.

Doug
 

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Try some gunzilla...its all I buy now...I have lots of half used jars of #9, Sweets, Break Free etc etc.

Gunzilla has no pungent odor...meaning I'm not "banned" to the garage to clean guns
 
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