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  1. #1
    mccoy's Avatar
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    Frequency of revolver cleaning

    Now that I have a revolver, I'll have to take care of that baby.

    I'm just thru cleaning it for the first time, and realized it's not a 5-minutes matter. It took half an hour, maybe because I wasn't totally familiar with the operations.

    Is it necessary or just advisable to clean it every time you went to the range?

    How often do you clean it?

    By cleaning I mean solvent in barrel bore and cylinder bores plus other surfaces, scrubbing and gun oil, eventual de-leader compound.

    Also, some spots of powder remained at the external front end of the cylinder.

    Scrubbed with a toothbrush to no avail.

    Any way to remove them without scratching the satin gun finish?

    Must have been that crappy hungarian 'Rex' powder in those factory ammos I had to buy to build my legal stash. Somewhere I heard it's dang dirty .

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  3. #2
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    If you are using your lead reloads there will be lead vapor deposits in several locations adding to the difficulty.

    My revolvers are all blue so may be a bit different in needs.

    I clean after almost all uses. If not many shots were fired such as testing 10 or 15 rounds of a new load, I may wait till the next outing if it will be soon. Lead can build up so after a normal 100 to 200 round outing I will scrub down pretty thoroughly.

    Copper plated or jacketed bullets will leave your toy a bit easier to clean.

    Coat the gun with a cleaning fluid and let it set a while. Then brush heavy deposits with a toothbrush or metal bristle brush sold for gun cleaning.

    Don't load lead to very high velocities to minimize barrel leading.

    Breakfree CLP works reasonably well. You might try it or Hoppes #9 if available in Italy.

    Have fun

  4. #3
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    TOF knows about cleaning a gun, believe me. Especially the tip about letting the CLP set for a while on the gun before brushing/wiping off. That can make all the difference on the stubborn fouling. A half hour will probably do it but if you have the time let it set for several hours, or perhaps overnight. CLP like Break-Free works good for this. Since it's a lube too, it can set for quite a while without drying on the gun.

  5. #4
    mccoy's Avatar
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    thanks guys for the tips. Sure being a gunslinger takes its share of time!!

    I couldn't find any weapons solvent but a gunshop owner told me they use kerosene (dehydrated and desulphurated) so it was my only choice left, it works pretty well as far as I saw, except for the stubborn foulings.

    I found that I should have used teh solvent before firing teh gun for teh first time. Taht was written on teh owner's booklet. Nobody told me though. So it may have contributed to the fouling problems.
    I blamed the Rex powder but I also found that Vihtavuori powder can be dirty as well. I'm following your suggestion to let the solvent work a while before wiping it.

    I lucked out and found a deleading product (shooter's choice).
    I'm applying it tonite, today I shot 200 rounds with lead bullets.

    I was not at all happy with the gun's accuracy, but I'm going to open a new thread on that.

  6. #5
    TOF's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that Kerosene is a major element of several prepared gun cleaning solutions such as Hoppes #9. I have a 2 gallon can of kerosene that I occasionaly soak my revolver in.


    Tell us about accuracy of lead vs. the factory loads you were using.

    If the reloads group well but just don't hit the same area of your target as factory loads nothing is wrong. You need to match weight and velocity pretty close to get equal recoil which is a significant factor in point of impact. Your hand moves due to recoil while the bullet moves through the barrel causing impact to be at a different point than where the barrel actualy pointed prior to ignition. Adjusting the sights to the loads you are using will correct that type problem.


  7. #6
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    Smile

    Cleaning the revolver is a little different than cleaning a pistol. Make double dang sure you clean under the ejector star. A little piece of powder there will cause the cylinder to lock. The forcing cone area and the front of the cylinders need to be clean of any build up of lead or burnt powder. Yep cylinder lock up again if you neglect it. For lead in the barrel take a bore mop and dunk it in Shooters Choice Lead remover run it up and down the barrel and then leave it soak at the forcing cone for about 1/2 hour. Take some Chor-boy or any solid copper pad and cut a strand off and wrap around a bore brush. Run up and down barrel 1/2 dozen times. Then patch till clean. Finally run a light oil patch through and your done. Wipe down and your ready to go again. Good luck.

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    Wyatt's Avatar
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    On a related topic, I recently noticed one charge hole in my revolver that the cartridge doesn't seem to seat all the way with the primer end sticking out just a tad. I can still close the cylinder and the gun functions fine, but I was wondering if this is a cleaning issue. And if so, what is the solution. I've used CLP and let it set for an hour, and brushed pretty good over the area, and under the ejector star, but the problem still exists.

    Anyone have this happen to them? Do you think I'm missing something in my cleaning method or does the gun perhaps need to go for servicing. It is a S&W 686 plus and this happens with both 38's as well as 357 loads, factory ammo, in one charge hole only. This is a recent occurence.

    Thanks guys!

  9. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I quit revolvers is because I am lazy, and the carbon buildup kept making the cylinder stop rotating. I bet velocities were higher, though.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    One of the reasons I quit revolvers is because I am lazy, and the carbon buildup kept making the cylinder stop rotating. I bet velocities were higher, though.
    Jeez, what ammo were you shooting? I've only had that happen with black powder revolvers. I can shoot my .357 all day long and it gets ugly and dirty but doesn't function any differently.

  11. #10
    TOF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    On a related topic, I recently noticed one charge hole in my revolver that the cartridge doesn't seem to seat all the way with the primer end sticking out just a tad. I can still close the cylinder and the gun functions fine, but I was wondering if this is a cleaning issue. And if so, what is the solution. I've used CLP and let it set for an hour, and brushed pretty good over the area, and under the ejector star, but the problem still exists.

    Anyone have this happen to them? Do you think I'm missing something in my cleaning method or does the gun perhaps need to go for servicing. It is a S&W 686 plus and this happens with both 38's as well as 357 loads, factory ammo, in one charge hole only. This is a recent occurence.

    Thanks guys!
    Check the ejector star for burrs and remove any you find with a small fine file. There has to be a reason for the cartridge not going in and you need to find and remove it. Clean thoroughly under the ejector also. Look closely inside the chamber in question and remove any debri built up where the case ends. Inspect all chambers and clean as needed.

    Good luck.


  12. #11
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Thanks TOF. Perhaps I need to spend more time with the wire brush in the charge holes. I will report back as soon as I get the chance to try a more thorough cleaning.

  13. #12
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Well TOF, I won't have a chance to clean my revolver for a few days, but I did inspect it, especially looking into the charge holes. Thankfully the ejector star is not an issue so I don't have to take a file to my precious S&W

    However, upon inspecting the charge holes I did see fouling build-up rings right about where you suspected - where the cartridge ends and meets the bullet. I can actually see it in every charge hole, but apparently it is just enough in the one problem hole to cause the bullet to not want to slide in all the way.

    So I guess my first instinct is correct, spend some time with some CLP or Hoppes #9 and a wire barrel brush and scrub out the charge holes real good. I'm pretty sure that indeed is the problem and a good scrubbing will fix it.

    I will report back on the results. Again, many thanks for the tip! Do you do windows?

  14. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanaDP View Post
    Jeez, what ammo were you shooting? I've only had that happen with black powder revolvers. I can shoot my .357 all day long and it gets ugly and dirty but doesn't function any differently.
    I was mainly joking. But I only clean my Glocks twice a year at most, and easily shoot 6000 rounds a year through them, so I am a poor candidate for more delicate/fussy gun designs.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  15. #14
    TOF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    Well TOF, I won't have a chance to clean my revolver for a few days, but I did inspect it, especially looking into the charge holes. Thankfully the ejector star is not an issue so I don't have to take a file to my precious S&W

    However, upon inspecting the charge holes I did see fouling build-up rings right about where you suspected - where the cartridge ends and meets the bullet. I can actually see it in every charge hole, but apparently it is just enough in the one problem hole to cause the bullet to not want to slide in all the way.

    So I guess my first instinct is correct, spend some time with some CLP or Hoppes #9 and a wire barrel brush and scrub out the charge holes real good. I'm pretty sure that indeed is the problem and a good scrubbing will fix it.

    I will report back on the results. Again, many thanks for the tip! Do you do windows?
    Windows are not my bag.

    I use a .410 bronze bore brush in my drillpress (on low speed). I remove the cylinder from the revolver, then after using a bottle of Hoppes#9 or other penetrating cleaner to wet the brush, work the cylinder up and down on the turning brush. If you haven't been cleaning the cylinder it can be a real chore. The drill press helps a bunch. Let the cylinder soak for a few hours before brushing.

    Revolvers are made to be filed. Yours is easy, it's stainless steel. I have to re-blue mine after cutting on it.

    have fun.


  16. #15
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    I clean mine after every range session. The most corrosive element in my shooting is my own hands.

    But I find WD-40 and Hoppe's #9 do the job usually. To remove carbon fouling I use carburater cleaner. At times I use a stainless steel bore brush, contrary to what most folks tell me. After fifty years of use, I haven't noticed any bad things from its use.

    As a final, I use a mixture of 50/50 automotive motor oil and Three-In-One oil. I coat the gun heavily all over, then wipe it down with a paper shop towel, those blue ones from AutoZone.

    Bob Wright

  17. #16
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    Clean

    I recommend that every time you shoot it, clean it thoroughly. Powder residue attracts moisture, which never does any handgun good. It can be easy to let some fouling and dirt accumulate, but a clean weapon is a functional weapon that will fire when you need it.

    If you carry it concealed, and don't even shoot it, clean it up frequently. Check it and wipe it down. If it is a semi-auto, field strip it and oil it regularly.

  18. #17
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    I wipe down the outside of my XDs so they don't leave powder residue on my pants and shirts from carry, then clean them all on a rainy evening when there's no golf on TV... about every other month now.

    I think my XD45 is MORE accurate dirty...

    I agree with Mike...

    JW

  19. #18
    gmaske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    On a related topic, I recently noticed one charge hole in my revolver that the cartridge doesn't seem to seat all the way with the primer end sticking out just a tad. I can still close the cylinder and the gun functions fine, but I was wondering if this is a cleaning issue. And if so, what is the solution. I've used CLP and let it set for an hour, and brushed pretty good over the area, and under the ejector star, but the problem still exists.

    Anyone have this happen to them? Do you think I'm missing something in my cleaning method or does the gun perhaps need to go for servicing. It is a S&W 686 plus and this happens with both 38's as well as 357 loads, factory ammo, in one charge hole only. This is a recent occurence.

    Thanks guys!
    I have a 586 and while it never got to the point yours is at I noticed the same build up years ago. It's a pain in the A$$ to get ride of once it builds up a bit. Once you get it cleaned out you'll know from now on to spend a bit more time in that area and it won't be quite as bad to clean. If you shoot mostly 38's it can get bad enough to were a 357 won't chamber and yours was getting close to that point. If you can rig it up, soak that end of the cylenders over night. Happy scrubbing!

  20. #19
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Gmaske, thanks as you gave me an idea. I think I'll try stuffing a soaked patch in each charge hole overnight, then clean it the next morning. Hopefully that will do the trick. Please someone let me know if this is not a good idea for some reason.

    I don't actually neglect cleaning my revolver. I have probably been a little lax the last couple of times and maybe, in a hurry or lazy, didn't spend much time with the brush scrubbing out the charge holes. That probably contributed to the build up, but really it has only been a couple of times I've short-cutted the cleaning process. You're right, those 38's will really foul the gun up. I had some unjacketed ammo that I wanted to finish off and that probably didn't help. Not a good time to get lazy with the cleaning. At least I'm done with the naked bullets and it's only FMJ from now on.

    Live and learn.

  21. #20
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Well, I'm happy to report back I cleaned my revolver and with just some special attention to the charge holes with the wire barrel brush and some elbow grease, all is in perfect working order. Cartridges slide smoothly into all seven charge holes with no resistance whatsoever!!

    I didn't realize just how quickly the build up in the charge holes can occur. No more short cuts on the cleaning process-and no more naked ammo through my guns.

    Thanks for all your help!

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