Another neccessary evil with potential hazards if misused.

Solvents, are usually needed to cut through powder residue, copper fouling, lead fouling and moly build up. I have no personal experience with moly coated bullets but it is my understanding, that bores having moly coated bullets used in them exclusively will build up a layer of moly. That form of fouling is no different in that it too needs to be kept in check with a thorough cleaning from time to time.

The number of cleaning agents, AKA solvents, on the market is tremendous and that does not include the home brews and non-firearms related products capable of doing the job.

What I will attempt here is to list those products that are "designed" for firearms and briefly explain what I use and how.

  • Shooters Choice
  • Shooters Choice Copper Remover
  • Shooter's Choice Quickscrub
  • Shooter's Choice Lead Remover
  • RB-17 Gun Cleaner
  • Sweets 7.62 *
  • JB Bore Cleaner *
  • Outers Nitro Solvent
  • Hoppes #9 *
  • Hoppe's Bench Rest -9 Copper Solvent
  • Rem Clean
  • Pro-Shot Copper Solvent II
  • Pro-Shot Lead and Powder Solvent
  • USP Bore Paste
  • Kroil *
  • IOSSO Bore Cleaner
  • MIDWAY Uni-solv
  • Barnes CR-10 Copper Solvent
  • Insta-Clean
  • Outers Crud Cutter
  • Any Questions ?

    * My favorites

    Now given that huge list to think on, this is what I use. Let me say this first, what I use is based on both what I have read and what seems to work for me. Obviously I have not tried all of the solvents mentioned. What I currently use may very well pail in comparison to what is available, but it works for me.

    Whether I have cleaned my gun at the range while working on groups or not, I treat the gun as if it were totally filthy when I return home.

    1. I start with a copper solvent and run a couple of soaked patches through the bore.
    2. Brush it with a nylon brush.
    3. A couple of dry patches.
    4. A couple more soaked patches, maybe brush again.
    5. Then a couple of dry patches.
    6. Then I run a patch through that has been soaked with Sweets 7.62. Wait a few minutes.
    7. Run another Sweets soaked patch through. If the second patch comes out blue/green, indicating copper fouling, I let it sit a few minutes.
    8. Brush with nylon and then a couple of dry patches. Repeat steps 6 and 7 if needed.
    9. Then I run an oil soaked patch through the bore a couple of times then a single pass through the bore with a dry patch.

      Leaving a bore soaking with oil spooks me a little so I figure the one dry patch removes enough of the oil to be ready to shoot again.

    I clean the action and bolt with a powder solvent soaked Q-Tips and dry with Q-Tips. I then soak a Q-Tip with oil and go over the action one more time. The bolt is wiped down with an oily rag.

    This entire approach may raise an eyebrow or two but it works for me. I have not had to replace any barrels yet and have not blown up any firearms so I will most likely continue on the same path.

    Return to Equipment and Accessories Index