What is good for getting the lead out?

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by BlueTurf, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I shoot only copper-jacketed bullets in my firearms because I have had some bad experiences with lead fouling. I haven't had any trouble getting the copper fouling out. Recently I shot some of my friend's .45acp loads through my Colt 1911. It has a stainless barrel. The bullets were Laser-Cast 200-grain semi wadcutters. The inside of the bore was okay but there was some bad lead fouling on the top of the chamber, where the bullets made contact when feeding into the chamber. I had a dickens of a time removing this fouling. I tried different solvents without much luck. I was able to remove a lot of it with hot soapy water and Soft Scrub. An old gunsmith suggested I try some 0000 steel wool to remove the rest. I always keep some 0000 steel wool around for woodworking so I gave it a try. I wrapped some of the steel wool around a wooden dowel, sprayed some kroil on it and careful spun it by hand in the chamber. This removed the rest of the lead fouling. When I was finished I had a very clean and shiny barrel and the materials and motions I used did not scratch it. Okay, I know I have said a lot, but here is my question. What would have made this job much easier and safe for the barrel?
     
  2. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    One of the common recommendations put forth here is to use a piece of a copper (copper only, accept no substitutes) Chore Boy scouring pad in much the same manner as you used the steel wool. The Lewis Lead remover is another, more expensive option. I use one for my .357s as needed.
    Steel on steel, no bueno.
     

  3. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Shooter's Choice bore solvent. The 0000 steel wool is good, but use it wet with solvent.

    My 10mm Smith did the same thing with a 200 gr truncated cone bullet. Lead in the "roof" of the chamber. My 175 gr truncated cone bullet does not do that at all
     
  4. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I think I will keep it simple and not use those bullets again. I sold all of the loads I had. From now on it will only be copper jacked bullets through my 1911. The copper seems to come out real easy with the Wipe Out foaming bore cleaner.
     
  5. knfxda

    knfxda New Member

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    Get the Led out!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

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    They make small brass screens that wrap around a hard rubber dowel that attaches to the end of a cleaning road. These are good for getting out hard to remove leading.
     
  7. cotex

    cotex New Member

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    I have a older version of this and it works quite well
     

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  8. lbarz

    lbarz New Member

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    Kroil will take all the lead out, just soak the barrel and let it sit for a couple of hours and scrub with brass brush, then patches...used it for years and shoot lead all the time, no leading problems at all in any of my 30+ handguns
     
  9. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    Consider lead cloth. It removes charcoal as well.

    True, there is no particular need to shoot factory LRN ammo. Except the WC/SWC for serious target work, jacketed ammo is the way to go.

    The Lewis kit is for heavy duty jobs like the forcing cones in revolvers. No need to scrub a 1911 that hard.
     
  10. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    If the gun is not malfunctioning I would not be concerned with the lead. Lead itself is a lubricant. I would just keep shooting the gun with plated/jacketed ammo. The lead will come out on it's own.

    If the gun is malfunctioning I would take the barrel to a gun shop for an ultrasonic cleaning. If there is fouling on the feed ramp/chamber rim, there is more fouling in other areas of the barrel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  11. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Member

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    Old timers trick is to use mercury. Mercury emulsifies lead (turns it into a liquid) and it pours right out of the barrel. I've got a pound of mercury that I've been using since the early 80's that still has plenty of life in it.

    http://www.amazon.com/GalliumSource...merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1393223900&sr=1-14

    EDIT: Should be common knowledge but just in case it isn't; mercury is a hazardous material (just like lead is). Wear gloves when handling it and don't let it come in contact with your skin.

    I normally just put a cork stopper in the chamber end of the barrel; pour in a little of the mercury and cover the muzzle end with my rubber gloved finger. Give the barrel a few shakes and pour off the mercury / lead back into the mercury bottle. Take about 10 seconds to remove even the worst lead fouling.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  12. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    This is very interesting!

    Regarding safety: Mercury can be inhaled as vapor at normal temperatures. It is much more toxic than metallic lead. I respect your experience, but would consider at least an OSHA mask.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  13. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Member

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    Yes it is true that mercury vapor can be inhaled; much like lead vapor can when casting lead bullets. I wouldn't argue the difference in the hazard as to be quite honest I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject. I can say this though; in 30+ years of using this method I have yet to experience any ill effects using common sense and rubber gloves.
     
  14. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    Metallic lead is chemically inert. Its toxicity is overrated for two reasons. One, it is confused with lead dioxide, salts, and other compounds that find their way into the bloodstream much easier. Two, some environmental groups want it to be toxic, hard evidence be damned.

    Lead is of course solid under normal conditions, so its vaporization is negligible. Mercury as a liquid evaporates much quicker. It is also more reactive than metallic lead with the body's own chemicals. What happens next is statistics - some people get sick, others don't, like with tobacco and other exposures.
     
  15. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Member

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    No substitute for using common sense when using any toxic material I'll grant you that. That said I wouldn't dismiss the use (which I realize you haven't done) of any toxic material based on government fear mongering.

    If you shoot cast lead bullets I'd give the mercury a try; you'd be amazed at how easy barrel clean up is with it.
     
  16. RustyShackleford101

    RustyShackleford101 New Member

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    I have very good luck with Kroil and J-B Non Embedding bore compound for getting lead out of my barrel/chamber.
     
  17. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    This is very dangerous and it will not cme out by shooting copper jacketed rounds over it. Lead fouling can easily lead to kabooms from the smaller bore diameter resulting from the fouling. The pressure will spike with very little lead fouling causing the gun to grenade on you if you switch to jacketed rounds. Lead fouling must be removed before switching from lead to jacketed rounds.

    Mercury was used for years by gunsmiths to quickly disoove lead fouling. Mercury vapors at room temperature over the course of 30-40 years often caused hat makers and other clothing makers as well as pewtersmiths to go mad from heavy metals poisoning.

    Mercury is one of the few heavy metals that truly is dangerous and due to over hyping by environazis its dangers are often down played. This is a case of the nut who cried wolf too much.

    There is a much less toxic dip that is used to clean fouling. Its 50-50 white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. It turns into lead acetate when lead is disolved into it. The vapors are harmful and the liquid is toxic but not nearly as badly as mercury.

    Lead acetate is used as a sweetener for foods in china europe south america. Its also known as suger of lead and was widely used by the romans as a food sweetener...

    If you choose a chemical means store the stuff in a marked container and most places have a toxic waste day every so often where you can drop it off. Don't do any of this stuff inside the home or garage or shop. The residue will build up and is costly to remove from living space. Don't dump it outside either especially if you ever plan on selling the property
     
  18. Steel_Talon

    Steel_Talon New Member

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    Try a 50/50 mix of Shooters Choice Bore Solvent and Kano KROIL