Picking Gun Cleaning Chemicals
Dr. John Woods 08.04.15
Well that sounds easy enough. Walk up to the gun cleaning supply shelf at your favorite shooting supply store and pick one. How many times have you done that and not been completely satisfied with your choice? Or do you really know or care just how effective that gun cleaning solvent and oil is?
If powder fouling, grime and goo, frozen oil, or a lack of proper lubrication suddenly ceases up your personal protection concealed pistol, a favorite survival hunting rifle, or a property protection AR rifle, then you’ll wish you had picked and used the appropriate gun cleaning chemicals. I know because I’ve been there and done that.
Under most general circumstances, virtually any well-known and respected gun cleaning solvent and a good gun oil will suffice for overall universal gun cleaning use. However, be sure you know exactly what you are using for what, where, and that you are following the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle or tube.
For example, some guns run better “wet,” while others function better either completely dry or with a dry lube like graphite powder or other slick dust-on lube. Always consult the gun makers owner’s manual for specific cleaning recommendations for gun cleaning chemical solvents and the type of lubrications recommended to put where. Many times over-lubrication creates more problems.
Read the labels on gun cleaning solvents to see what they say they will do. Are they designed to remove hardened, caked on powder residue? Is the solvent best for removing copper bullet fouling from the rifling in the barrel? Does it remove gunk from the chamber and bolt cycling mechanisms? What are the exact directions for its use? Does the maker suggest where not to use it, like on walnut gun stock finishes for example?
Likewise for lubrications. Again, read the labels. Is this chemical a natural petroleum based oil material or some chemistry lab synthetic substance? Does it matter? Is the lube for high temperature, high friction use? Is it meant or approved for cold operating temperatures or hot climates? Will it turn to jelly at 30 degrees and jam everything up? Know this before you buy it.
Shop those shelves a bit more carefully before you pick any solvent or oil for your firearms. First buy a small quantity to test it out to see how well it works. Follow directions and do it right.