soap and water?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by m-man, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. m-man

    m-man New Member

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    Hey everyone, i am new to firearms, and i have been researching how to clean them, most of the information is about the same, but today i came across a video, showing a guy taking apart his pistol (think it was a sig) and putting everything into a tub of soapy water,

    is this safe to do, it seems like it would work well

    also i have been trying to figure out how to break-in a new gun, i'll be picking my first handgun next week, and the information i have found so far is all over the place.
     
  2. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Really, the best things to use on guns is nitro solvent and a good gun oil. Soap will strip the oils out of the steel and won't do anything to loosen the lead and/or copper deposits from the chamber and barrel.
     

  3. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    I've also read that soap and water was used to clean guns. I don't know if it's true or just legend, but I've read - on the internet of course - that some soldiers would urinate down the barrel of their rifle if they shot corrosive ammo. Apparently the urine would counteract the effects of the powder. Probably like windex is used. Of course, you have to pay to get windex.....

    The manufacturer is the best bet for info about "breaking in" a gun. Read the handbook and if it doesn't tell you, contact the maker.
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Believe it or not - I have a cleaning unit that you fill with hot water, solvent and soak all the weapon parts while on ultra-sonic motion. Once you take them out of the solution, they recommend you run them under extremely hot water, then you put them in a separate tub filled with oil and run them for another 10 minutes on ultra-sonic. Wipe the parts down & reassemble. Good for storage, carry or immediate use.

    I run all my handguns through it, I run all my internal AR parts and my rifle bolts through there after every trip to the range. Had the unit for two years now and have had NO problems with anything I ever ran through it.

    They are in use all over the country in gun shops and police armories.

    I wouldn't recommend doing the same thing with just a tub of hot bath water, but if you have all the tools to do correctly, there is nothing wrong with it. However, it's the care after you take them out of the water that is the most important part...

    JD
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    M-Man, I DO use dish detergent and very hot water to clean the bores of some of my rifles- after shooting milsurp ammo with corrosive primers. Those leave a residue similar to table salt. It IS water soluble, but regular (Hoppe's #9 type) bore cleaner does not touch it. However, for regular ammo, there are better products available. And the soap-and-water routine does not really touch metal fouling. Stick around long enuff, and you will find someone, somewhere advocating ANYTHING. When stainless steel revolvers were first getting popular, had one gent suggesting that you remove grips, and run it thru the dishwasher!:eek:
     
  6. Righteous

    Righteous New Member

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    he might have been using corrosive ammo, you need to clean the barrel, bayo or anything else after shooting that stuff with water with or without soap as well as windex to neteralize the acid in it untill you can get it home to really clean it good
     
  7. coltm4

    coltm4 New Member

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    Dillinger,
    my dept. just bought one of those ultra-sonic thing-a-majigs. it kicks ***. our armorer dropped a beat up ruger sp101 that we use for training purposes into the vat. this thing hadn't been cleaned in years. it looked brand new when the process was done and the cylinder spun freely.
     
  8. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Colt - I tell you, from early on, my old man DRILLED into me the importance of doing good maintenance on our firearms. I would spend hours, literally, with him at the work bench after a weekend shooting event cleaning our gear.

    After I started going to SHOT, which my first visit was in 2004, I started collecting literature. I got interested in the Ultra-Soncis stuff from Crest after seeing a demo that, literally, dropped my jaw in 2005.

    After getting together with my current fiancee', she took a great interest in firearms in general, and learning to shoot specifically. She went to her first SHOT in 2006 and was hooked.

    For Christmas in 2006 I received the Crest Ultrasonics 575, and since then I have NEVER had to hand clean one of my weapons after a day at the range again. :D

    Obviously, this has led to more shooting, since we don't have to spend an hour plus, stripping and cleaning each part.

    My fiancee' now has her own Nighthawk Custom 9mm 1911, and she is flat deadly with it.

    I can honestly say that the addition of the Crest Ultra Sonic tank has not only made us better shooters, due to more practice, but it has given us the ability to provide a level of maintenence and protection that we previously have had to attempt by hand...

    I am a lucky, LUCKY man...

    JD
     
  9. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    I have AGI's basic video for 1911's and a quick soaking in a small tub is just what they recomend .

    Been awhile since I watched it and I think the guy even used dish soap in the water .

    After about a 5 minute soak he scrubbed it with bore and tooth brush's then lubed it after drying by hosing it and all the small parts down with Break Free .

    I know for a fact Hoppe's Elite cleaners are water based and they do a great job of cleaning as I have a 32 oz bottle of the stuff and been using it for two years now .
     
  10. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Huh. That is something that I did not know. The theory is sound, as long as you maintain the weapon properly after it comes out of the water.

    JD
     
  11. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    This is the important part of the process.

    How does it do on metal deposits in the barrels?
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    When I first got the machine, I was already pretty well versed in it's use, but I was also concerned about the rifling of the barrel being cleaned.

    I took my USP to the range and ran 200 rounds of the dirtiest range ammo available through it. I came home and stripped the weapon, put it in the tank and ran it for 8 minutes.

    I pulled the barrel out and ran a patch through the barrel and it came out with only the most minimum of traces of fouling on it. I rinsed all the parts with hot water, as instructed, then ran them through the oil bath. When I pulled the barrel from the oil bath, I put the bore scope on it and it looked perfectly clean.

    The lands and grooves were all crisp and clean, with a thin coating of oil, the chamber and feed ramp were basically spotless. I now run all my parts through on a 12 minute clean and an 8 to 10 minute oil bath. I reassemble with a clean, white rag and surgical gloves before returning the weapons to their respective case.

    In almost 2 years I haven't had any issues and the all the weapons are still in pristine condition.

    All in all, I really like the unit and would like to get a larger, carbine sized one for the reloading bench, if I ever get around to getting it all set up - but I still have a yard to get growing, a kitchen floor to replace and about a dozen other things on the home improvement list before I get to set up the weapons/reloading room. :rolleyes:

    JD
     
  13. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    UH JD may I suggest from 25 years of domestic bliss you learn early to work on YOUR projects a little bit at a time inbetween her projects .

    If you don't you'll never get around to yours because she will always find more to be done and add to the list . O and God help you if/when kids come along .
     
  14. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    For years I have been cleaning my black powder guns in soapy water. To dry them simply rinse in boiling water. The hot water evaporates leaving a very DRY gun which then needs to be lubed. I wouldn't do this with an assembly because of the possibility of trapping moisture in small tight places, but for removeable cylinders and barrels it works fine.
     
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Great advice BigO. Sounds like you have the recipe down pat. I hope to get to the point where I can say "after 25 years".

    JD
     
  16. Slickrick214

    Slickrick214 New Member

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    That is the best thing but thats also where Ballistol comes in handy. When water and regular cleaning won't get rid of the junk in the barrel Ballistol will.

    It probably would work. Pee and windex are both ammonia based. If the ammonia in windex breaks down the junk in the barrel then the ammonia in pee would also probably break down the fouling in the barrel.
     
  17. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    This is true for smokeless powder cased-ammo. Black powder arms are best cleaned with soapy water because of it's ability to strip the oils. An oily barrel attracts powder residue which accumulates rapidly making loading difficult. This residue is also hygoscopic and will eventually form rust. Their are products on the market which "condition" the bore of a black powder firearm with continued use, effectively reducing the build up of crud and allowing more shots between cleanings. The soap and water will not fully remove this coating as it does with petroleum-based oils.
     
  18. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    If you can get the components dry very quickly, there shouldn't be any problem removing gunpowder residue with soap and water. I wouldn't do it considering the options, (Dry cleaning solvent is the ticket) but if you can do it without causing corrosion, have at it.
     
  19. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier New Member

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    Octagon soap

    I am a brown boot US Army (1950+) guy and in those days we stored our M1 Garand rifles in a weapons rack on the barracks floor only "guarded" by a unarmed soldier.

    But in those days I would carry my .22 rifle to school and put it in my wall locker if I was going hunting after school. What a change in the last 60 years :>)

    Back to the gun cleaning. After shooting on the range we "cleaned" our M1's in a bucket of hot water and Octagon soap followed by a good oiling. Used that method for years with no apparent problems.

    I also used the M1 Garand in 1965 Viet-Nam because that damn .556 did not go thru jungle growth worth a dam. My M1 NEVER failed to operate even when it spent a lot of time under the water during the rainy season and that's why my SHTF rifle is my M1 :>)

    Jim

    "My M1 does my talking for me"