Cleaning barrel throat & scratches
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning barrel throat & scratches

Hey everyone,

I shoot anywhere between 110 and 150 rounds through one of my 1911s every weekend and the throat area always takes forever to clean even after letting it marinate in Hoppe's 9 for a few hours. The barrel has had close to 3000 rounds through it.

Having run a bronze brush through the barrel (in one direction only, never pulled the bore brush back the other way) so many times, it looks like I have scratches all over the place along the rifling. The rifling itself looks smooth.

Yesterday I got a little tired of running the brush through the entire barrel just to get the throat clean so I used a small bronze bristle toothbrush and gently went back and forth where I could see lead deposits and it worked really well. Any adverse effects doing that? The bristles are short enough that the brush doesn't "lock up" on the way back.

Here's the best picture I could take of my barrel right now, looks alright?

Also in terms of accuracy am I right to believe that since the bullet only touches the rifling, all that matters is the smoothness of the rifling?

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Last edited by 2ndAmendmentFreedom; 09-30-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:39 AM   #2
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If a bronze brush scratches your barrel, there is something horribly, HORRIBLY wrong with the barrel material ! (bronze is way softer than any steel)

And under magnification, the rifling ALWAYS has some marks in it. The guys down at the crime lab sort of depend on those marks to make bullet A look different from bullet B.

Yours looks great, by the way. At some future time, you may want to try a swabbing with KROIL, and let set overnight. If you are not familiar with KROIL, really good penetrating oil- will get under metal fouling and break it loose from the base metal.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:00 AM   #3
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sounds like you shoot a lot of non-jacketed lead bullets. try something like this http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/306929/hoppes-lead-remover-brass-patches-package-of-10 i use a similar product to de-lead the bores of my shotguns

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:15 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, I understand the whole thing about softer metals not being able to harm harder metals but reading online I always second guess myself since people say all kinds of things. I actually just ordered some JB Non Embedding from Brownells.
JonM you're right, I only shoot lead bullets. I also ordered the Lewis Lead Remover tool, we'll see how that compares to my slightly oversized .45 brush.

I was just wondering because I have a newer 1911 (also a Colt) that has just over 300 rounds through it and it doesn't have those kinds of scratches/grooves along the rifling.

Also what are your thoughts on gently scrubbing the throat with a bronze toothbrush where needed? Some people would swear that it's harmful.

And finally what makes the Lewis Lead Remover and Hoppe's Lead Remover so much better than a good bore brush? I fail to understand how something so small can be so much more effective than hundreds of pretty hard bristles?

Thanks

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Old 10-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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The bronze toothbrush should not hurt anything.

Re: Lewis De-leader- there is a leather washer holding the brass screen against the walls of the bore- VERY tight fit. Have actually pulled flakes of lead out with it after shooting a LOT of wadcutter. The bore brush has some give- the de-leader has very little give to it.

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Old 10-01-2012, 11:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndAmendmentFreedom View Post
Thanks guys, I understand the whole thing about softer metals not being able to harm harder metals but reading online I always second guess myself since people say all kinds of things. I actually just ordered some JB Non Embedding from Brownells.
JonM you're right, I only shoot lead bullets. I also ordered the Lewis Lead Remover tool, we'll see how that compares to my slightly oversized .45 brush.

I was just wondering because I have a newer 1911 (also a Colt) that has just over 300 rounds through it and it doesn't have those kinds of scratches/grooves along the rifling.

Also what are your thoughts on gently scrubbing the throat with a bronze toothbrush where needed? Some people would swear that it's harmful.

And finally what makes the Lewis Lead Remover and Hoppe's Lead Remover so much better than a good bore brush? I fail to understand how something so small can be so much more effective than hundreds of pretty hard bristles?

Thanks
softer metals can wear out and damage harder ones it just takes a lot of effort and time. one of my first jobs was working in a machine shop drilling holes in aluminum parts. after a day of drilling using a hardened carbide steel drill bit drilling into soft aluminum the bit had to be sharpened.

using a brush on a barrel wont hurt it in the lifetime of the barrel. you will wear the barrel out from heat/pressure erosion long before the bore sees any noticable wear from any brush.

hoppes and all other bore cleaners are neutral on lead and do nothing for remiving it. to chemically remove lead you have to delve into very very toxic stuff like mercury based dips which combine with lead eat it away and turns into lead acetate. DO NOT use that method lead acetate will absorb through the skin on contact and kill you pretty snappy quick. its often used to clean supressors by proffessionals who have training gear and methods to deal with the highly toxic acetate and mercury dip.

so that leaves the rest of us with things like deleading patches which scrape lead off metal surfaces. so unless you just sit there for a year all day every day using such patches on a bore you wont hurt it under normal cleaning use.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
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Right I knew mercury was the only real solvent for lead, quite amazing how you need a toxic metal to clean another toxic metal lol.

You guys were very helpful at clearing up myths from facts.

You guys ever used JB for slightly polishing the barrel? I'm hoping that by polishing it a tiny bit it'll make cleaning a little easier. I was kinda looking at getting my barrel lapped (I don't reload so I can't just buy those grit bullets) but I'm not sure it's worth it and I'm worried that it'll degrade accuracy overtime.

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Old 10-02-2012, 02:34 AM   #8
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i wouldnt lap it all unless your experiencincing accuracy issues or getting severe leading in those areas dont mess with it. its possible that lapping will remove just enough metal to actually cause issues. if its just cosmetic and its otherwise functoning there is little to improve and lots to lose

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:15 AM   #9
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Ya that's exactly what I feared about lapping. Should I be worried about using JB to give it a quick polish?

I'm not doing this for cosmetic purposes, I spend a lot of time cleaning my barrel every weekend and it'd be great if it took a little less time. Then maybe the Lewis Lead Remover will make a huge difference, crossing fingers

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:46 AM   #10
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I just use a 20 ga shotgun brush to clean the chambers of my rifles. Usually the bore brush keeps my pistol brushes clean. I get very good results from Remmington 40x bore cleaner. Bore cleaners are all about equal anymore. Federal law prevents the use of acids that gave hoppes an edge over Walmart type bore cleaners. I have also used 40x to get gummed up pistols running when I was out of WD40. I bought a Colt 1911 for $100 as a "parts gun." Cleaned it up with 40x and took it shooting that day. I sold it a few weeks later at top dollar.

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