Gun Scrubber or Brake Cleaner?
I heard that gun scrubber is the same as brake cleaner but more expensive (probably 10 vs 3 dollars) however I dont think they are the same. I got some brakeleen from Kragen (the nonchorinated one) and used it on my gun. It seemed a bit aggressive and didnt smell or feel the same on my skin (got some on my hands) then gun scrubber. Anyone have any thoughts on this and specifically what brand do you used and where to get it (target,wallmart etc)? Also I heard that carborator cleaner is too aggressive and leaves a film, is this correct?
I use "automotive" products all the time to clean my guns; BUT (notice this is a BIG but), none of my firearms contain plastic or nylon parts -- we're talking steel, wood, and (on occasion) aluminum.
Originally Posted by Dragonfire
Now with all that in mind, I prefer the CRC brand ("Brakeleen" as you purchased); however, I buy the chlorinated version -- compare the odor to Gun Scrubber(tm). Failing that, I often purchase the "house brand" at the local CarQuest store. It works almost as well.
I would keep it strictly away from any plastic parts you might have (grips, bushings, et cetera); the chemistry is slightly different than Gun Scrubber -- enough that I wouldn't trust it to not cause problems with such over time...
Also, it does an excellent job of removing ALL the grease and oil. For firearms that require lubrication to operate, this means you have to replace the lube after cleaning. Even for ones that work best with minimal lubrication (my bride has a semi-auto 12 gauge that likes minimal oil), you still need something to prevent rust or corrosion... Regardless it does an excellent job of removing oil, dirt, and fouling -- on firearms that use modern, smokeless powders...
For Black Powder arms, it is a BIG mistake. Black Powder fouling responds best to old fashioned soap and water and/or some of the special-purpose "black powder" cleaning agents.
Oh, and for oil, I have several products I use depending upon the specific firearm; however, my all-around favorite is Kroil...
I hope this helps you -- just keep in mind that my advice is worth every penny you are paying for it
So what you are saying is that the Kroil you use and just spray it on the parts and wipe excess away?? Very interesting....Never thought about the automotive stuff for cleaning the gun...I work with that automotive stuff everyday at work (mechanic)....I currently use hops stuff to clean and oil the gun...I am a fanatic and usually clean and re-oil after about every 200 rounds...
Because we live a litigious society, please be aware of the following:
Originally Posted by Willy D
1) Use of these products is voluntary.
2) Your mileage may vary.
3) The use of non-firearm approved products is discussed for theoretical purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation.
4) This represents the opinion of a highly experienced idiot; do not try this at home.
5) You should discontinue use and consult your gunsmith at the first sign of pain, swelling, or discomfort.
6) The views represented herein are solely those of the author and his drinking buddies and do not necessarily represent the thoughts or opinions of the Handgun Forum, its moderators, owners, creditors, or casual hangers on.
In my short sojourn on this forum, I've tried to cultivate a particular image; so I need to whisper here… (Pssst: We actually have several semi-auto firearms in the family -- I even like some of the ones I don't own… yet)
Okay, there I've said it and it is important to this discussion for several reasons…
For starters, all but one or two of the family firearms were obtained second-hand. This is not necessarily by choice; but, being subject to the DW tax, the cost of guns in my house is 2X what most other people pay. Thus, I am always looking for something I like that is "broken but salvageable." I particularly like stock damage because a lot of people will sell firearms with stock or grip damage dirt cheap and the wood (I don't "do" synthetic) is extremely easy to replace or repair. I also like firearms with basic mechanical problems. I have a forge, a machine shop, and good selection of tools, steels, et cetera, so I am pretty good at scrounging parts; repairing parts; or, on occasion, making parts.
What all this boils down to is that most of my firearms are "experienced"; they don't have plastic parts; they don't have synthetic stocks or grips (unless you count the "hard rubber" on some older revolvers); and, with a couple of exceptions, they are not "high precision." Also, though it costs me twice as much as it does most people to purchase any given firearm, on an individual basis you would probably consider my guns "cheap." Thus, if I do totally screw something up, except for a few "collector" guns, I am not really risking all that much. If I had paid $3500 (or even $350) for a highly customized, finely tuned 1911, I would NEVER stray from manufacturer / gunsmith recommendations just to save a couple of bucks. My most expensive firearms purchase ever was $300 ($600 out of pocket), so that gives you an idea of my risk-tollerance for cleaning & lubing products. (Note: this is not to say that our arms don't shoot well -- the old '94 will still put five-in-a-row inside of a 1X1 inch square at 100 yards; we just put more "sweat equity" than cash into our acquisitions.)
All of this is important for several reasons. In discussing "Gun Scrubber™" versus "Brakeleen™" for example, the presence or absence of plastic is important. I am sure (okay, I think) the folks who make Gun Scrubber™ have spent time and effort making sure that it doesn't "attack" ballistic plastic. Plastic can turn up in surprising (to me) places. I've seen (don't own) shotguns, for example, with plastic magazine followers. I cannot vouch for what a few errant drops of Brakeleen™ might do to such; I haven't tried it; at present, I do not care because all my magazine followers are steel -- well, except for a couple of home-turned aluminum ones.
There are other issues too. As I mentioned above, we do have certain (shhh…) semi-auto firearms. My son, for example, has a little High Standard .22 that "fouls out" (slide jams) after about two clips worth of firing. The smoke particles from the discharges get between the slide and the rails and the tolerances are so tight that w/in 20 to 30 rounds the slide no longer moves.
DW has a semi-auto Savage which I took from a three round to a five round (we do not hunt with shotguns) capacity. This was more difficult than expected because, first, the gun had seen some abuse and in addition to the stock, I had to make structural repairs on the trigger group. Second, being a recoil (John Browning) design, everything, including the magazine spring has, to "balance" properly to function. Finally, in this gun a little powder smoke can cause failures to feed and other problems.
In fact, when I got the gun, the action would NOT cycle manually because of all the fouling-impregnated oil that had been left in the gun to dry. I actually pulled the trigger group and the bolt, then used the (automotive) parts washer to do the initial cleaning. (Note: I've also use the dishwasher -- when DW wasn't home -- to clean certain parts; its true, Cascade doesn't leave "drops that spot"!)
When that was done, the Brakeleen™ did the second round. Once it all moved again, I disassembled the mechanism and individually inspected, cleaned, repaired, et cetera each part. Then, I tried just about everything for lubrication -- I even tried several honest-to-goodness "gun oils" (Hey, I was desperate to get it working in time for the 'ole 25th wedding anniversary -- it was that or new hand towels for the kitchen & I know what DW likes!) What actually made it go and keep going for several hundred rounds in a string, instead of "fouling out" after the first ½ box, was Kroil™!
In some applications (pardon the pun), I do "spray it on and wipe off the excess"; most times, I try to keep the amount used to a minimum. On some parts, I spray a cloth and wipe the surface.
For most of my "less precise" firearms, I use "3-In-One™" oil; though, I've had even better results with Singer™ Sewing Machine Oil (it is quite similar to 3-In-One™ oil, except it doesn't seem to attract lint and dust to the same extent).
I have a couple of old revolvers that just "love" synthetic graphite for the moving parts (you have to watch out for staining); Slick 50 remains a fantastic choice for several low-use/long-storage firearms.
We have a couple of high power (.380 Auto equivalent) air rifles. These MUST use non-combustible lubricants (silicone based), particularly in the bore and on the ammo. In some air guns, as much as 50 percent of the propulsion can come from the "dieseling effect" that highly compressed air has on combustible hydrocarbon lubes. (Ever see your pellet rifle "smoke" when you were a kid?) In these high-performance air guns, the over-pressure resulting from burning oil can cause undesirable problems.
The bottom line is that when I think about getting "creative" in my cleaning or lube choices, I start by doing a bit of research (sort of like what is happening in this thread) to determine what I can about the essential and/or special characteristics of the products under consideration. I follow this with some tests on the materials found in the particular firearm. In my case, these materials are primarily steel, wood, aluminum, stock finishes (its not "good for the gun" if it is safe for wood but bubbles the lacquer, shellac, or urethane finish), polyester resin (remember, many of my firearms have repaired stocks), leather (if it is on the outside of the gun, it will be on the inside of the holster), et cetera. (It would "suck" -- so to speak -- to have a product that attacked plastic used on a firearm that lived in a hard plastic holster or "soft" nylon holster -- you could find your piece "glued" in place! WD-40, for example, attacks nylon -- lubricate one of the "unpickable" locks that uses nylon pins with WD-40 & about an hour later ANY key will open it because the pins have turned to goo…) Finally, I watch and inspect everything over time and use when trying a particular product -- and I don't integrate something new into multiple firearms until it has "proven itself" in one "test bed" to start with.
In a way, it is kind of like "working up" a new hand load. Start conservative, stay conservative, go slowly…
Be careful with the non-chlorinated brake cleaner, that stuff is bad for some kinds of plastics. You don't know how many drop-light lenses I've ruined at work by getting overspray on them. In my experience, the chlorinated stuff is less aggressive, but still be careful.
Okay, so I am busy trying to track down some roll crimpers and I wander by the Precisionreloading.com website and what should I see, but their (Precision's) definative opinion on what to use for cleaning gunparts...
Check this out...
I.ve always been a CRC fan too...
I just throw mine in the dishwasher. lol. I use hoppes cleaner and it works fine. not that expensive and pick it up at the nearest academy when I'm up that way.
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