What is the best "penetrating oil"

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  • Last Post 26 July 2023
John Alexander posted this 18 July 2023

I can sometimes go hundreds of shots with no indication of leading and good accuracy then with the same load, alloy, lube and air temperature -- Bam, accuracy drops off and leading can be felt on a bore brush or a tight patch as well as clearly seen with a bore scope.

Bronze bore brushes, steel wool, lead out cloth, bronze cleaning pad strands are all useful in scraping it off. With at least some kinds of lead deposited in a bore a penetrating oil can soak in under the lead and weaken the bond -- or so I have been told and believe I have seen.

 If leading can be removed with penetrating oil it would be less work and easier on the bore.  I have tried this many times. Sometimes it seems to work sometimes not. Several of them work well on rusted threads.  Not so sure about removing lead.

I am a sucker for elixirs and have a collection. Kroil, Ballistol, Fabulous PB blaster, Marvel Mystery Oil all claim to be "penetrating".  I also must have most of the "bore cleaners know to civilization. Still I am not sure which work best , or at all on leading.

Does anybody know of a serious comparison study to see which are best?  If not, what is your experience?

John

 

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linoww posted this 18 July 2023

I have the same issue with My #1 30-06 plainbase loads.I'll go multiple range sessions no issues. Then I'll have my own lead mine! And like you said, as much as I can tell everything Is the same. i usually use steel wool over a tight brush.Its sometimes tinsel strips of lead! I've not played around with penetrating oils but I sure hope someone has some advice on this.im not comfortable using my steel wool method long-term. a friend claims a GC bullet or two run slow smothered in lube strips it out.

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 18 July 2023

fwiw, I think steel wool on modern gun barrel steel has a wear result of nearly zero ...   guessing  50,000 strokes will only improve the finish ... ..

the closest magic thing i have seen to remove lead fouling are those " lead remover cloths " ...   but even then when needed i use them after steel wool on a copper brush ... for a while I kept a bunch pre-cut in a bottle of " lead remover " liquid, to keep them from drying out.

I seldom have leading, even though i use mystery alloys to cast ...  steel wool is my standard  cleaning method, whether shooting lead or mj.. 3 or 4 strokes of oily steel wool, then a patch or two of Ballistol or mild EdsRed ... ; as a plinker, I believe " 90 per cent clean " is good enough.  when I was seriously shooting lead 22rf, ... each gun had it's required routine.  

just some trivia, ken

 

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Bud Hyett posted this 19 July 2023

There are many theories and few established facts on this subject. The use of penetrating oil requires patience, one must allow time for the penetrating oil to work underneath. And the lead laying in the land is a challenge for the oil to work underneath.

I find the lead removal patches work best for a quick fix in a match, although it may take several patches. The compound works quickly and lifts the edges of the lead allowing a stiff brush to scrub the bore. After the lead removal patch, I scrub the bore with Ed's Red just to get back to a common bore condition. 

I've never found the gas-checked bullet or a jacketed bullet to work. Seems to iron the lead down further and tighter. 

The best I've come up with is a Lewis Lead Remover. Seem as though once I bought the tool, I've not had nearly the problems. This is sold for pistols and rifles, the rifle tool using a cleaning rod. I only wish they made it for .22 and 6mm. 

Brownell's has the video showing how to use this tool.

 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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John Carlson posted this 19 July 2023

I've not used it for this purpose but the most effective penetrating oil I have found is 1/2 ATF and 1/2 acetone.  Need to keep it sealed up as the acetone evaporates quickly.

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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RicinYakima posted this 19 July 2023

That formula was tested at the Iowa State University for a group of missionaries going to Nigeria more than 25 years ago. They were living in areas of high humidity and rain fall so all the farm equipment rusted over night. At that time you could make it for less than $10 a gallon and worked as well as anything else. FWIW

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Aaron posted this 19 July 2023

While the Lewis Lead Removal tool is the champion, Chore-Boy wrapped around a bronze brush is a sure second. One has to cut the pad to get a usable patch to wrap but this product works well.

I have not personally used a liquid solvent or penetrating oil product that has worked to remove leading. It just has to be scrubbed out. I have not seen any type of comparative study either. I think everybody has come to the conclusion that elbow grease combined with an abrasive scouring pad is the ultimate answer.

 

 

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Carl Pegg posted this 19 July 2023

I used to use the 50/50 ATF/acetone mix but found that acetone won't mix with some fully synthetic ATF, so I replaced the acetone with mineral spirits and it worked great. This works as well as anything on the market for a so called penetrating oil, but for lead removal, the chore boy on a tight patch or 0000 steel wool is the ticket. I'm with Ken on using steel wool on modern barrel steel, it might polish it, but it would take a LONG time!

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RicinYakima posted this 19 July 2023

There are no liquids (except metallic mercury) that will remove lead, only abrasion. What the liquids do is penetrate the powder/primer fouling lifting up the loosened lead on top of fouling so it can be pushed out with a tight patch. 

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Eutectic posted this 19 July 2023

Looking down the barrel of my 308 when it is shooting well reveals it is clean. When groups start to enlarge or it throws a shot, I can see a light haze, which is leading. To remove the leading  I fire one or two rounds, same bullet but ~800 fps. Looking after the low velocity rounds shows a clean bore.

The leading is caused by: shooting too fast, barrel too hot, load too hot, summer in Georgia. The cure is to cut the powder charge 2 grains.

For really serious leading the Lewis Lead Remover works, but Chore Boy on a old brass brush is just as fast and less expensive.

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linoww posted this 19 July 2023

Eutectic-

In my response Above it seems to mirror my friend's experience shooting well lubed bullets but at low velocity. So maybe it's the low speed not so much the extra lube?

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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Mike H posted this 19 July 2023

A tight patch on a Parker Hale jag with some J B compound will grab the lead.

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axman posted this 20 July 2023

Turpentine on a tight patch is supposed to grab lead good. I haven’t tried it. Mostly bronze wool and oil on a brush.

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OU812 posted this 20 July 2023

I use Hopps #9 and bronze brush wrapped wrapped with fine metal wool (steel or bronze). I am sure all the lead is out afterwards...I think. Bore scope says it is all out?

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 21 July 2023

Turpentine on a tight patch is supposed to grab lead good. I haven’t tried it. Mostly bronze wool and oil on a brush.
I was wondering when someone would mention the old classic!

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Aaron posted this 21 July 2023

Years ago, OK, decades ago, I recall an electrolysis process to remove lead. Seal the bore with some solution, apply the electrodes to the bore and inserted shaft, and let er rip for 24 hours or so. Anyone else remember that thing?

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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linoww posted this 21 July 2023

yup the outers " foul out" I had one, and it worked great for taking out copper and lead but if there was a lot of oil in there, you had to get it removed first. I didn't find it to be worth the time. I may still have it in a box somewhere.

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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RicinYakima posted this 21 July 2023

They were very effective on surplus military rifle barrels. When they showed "cleaned" you then had to patch out all the new powder fouling under the top layer of metal. I never let it run more than a couple of hours because it there was a lot of copper coming out, it would short out the system. 

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Bill*B posted this 22 July 2023

Can't say what is best, but ...I've been pleased with 50% ATF, 50% kerosene.  Let it soak. Best regards, Bill.

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sluggo posted this 23 July 2023

For me Eds red and chore boy wrapped on a cleaning brush work the fastest with the least effort. The lewis lead remover works but costs more. The pics show a S&W .357 after firing just 3 rounds of older hi velocity lead ammo. I was surprised at how easily it cleaned up with the combo listed above. Maybe because the lead was so soft? This method also worked quite well on a 30-40 Krag that had bad copper and cupro nickle fouling. I picked up a newer product called "big 45 frontier metal cleaner" It looks like a silver scrubber pad. It is supposed to work well on lead fouled bores.  I have not used it enough to recommend it yet. It did remove light rust without removing the bluing on a pellet rifle. 

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Shuz posted this 26 July 2023

Since I converted to powder coated bullets, I have not used any solvent thru the bore of my Savage 16 in .250 Savage.

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