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  #1  
Old 06-02-2020, 7:55 AM
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Default Cleaning an 1895 Winchester from 1898

I bought a Winchester 1895 chambered in 30-40 Krag a few years ago and am finally getting around to cleaning the barrel. Oh boy, the rifle was made in 1898 and I think some of the original powder is still in it and it is proving to be very difficult to clean.

I'm using Hoppes 9 with a 9MM brass brush instead of .30 as that seems to be working best, but its still not working very well. So far I have put ~150 patches down it using the following routine.

Saturate a patch and run it down the bore let it soak for >5 minutes. Take 10 full scrub passes with the 9MM and then run saturated patches down the bore until they come out clean. The first 2 patches are coming out black and by the 5th patch there is no more residue. I then repeat the process. While the grooves are much more visible there is still a lot of residue to remove.

Does anyone have any ideas to speed the cleaning process along? The accuracy before I started on this was OK (4" groups at 100 yds and shooter limited) but it was time for a deep cleaning.

TIA
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Old 06-02-2020, 8:01 AM
PaperTarget PaperTarget is offline
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Don't overly clean it. You need a museum restoration expert.
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Old 06-02-2020, 8:22 AM
elk hunter elk hunter is offline
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I have cleaned some rifles similar to yours. I take the rifle to the range or any place to shoot and shoot a couple of rounds and while it's still warm run a wet patch down the barrel and let it soak. Dry it out and repeat, sometimes it helps to break the old stuff up. You could also try running a wet patch of Kroil through it and let it soak then more Kroil and a wipe out and look.HTH
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Old 06-02-2020, 8:38 AM
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Originally Posted by PaperTarget View Post
Don't overly clean it. You need a museum restoration expert.
It was re-blued a long time ago and they buffed out most of the writing on it so collector value is low.

Elk Hunter,
Thanks for the Kroil idea. I have some and should have thought of it. I'll try that next. Unfortunately, all the usual places for shooting around here are closed for ~1 month so shooting it will have to wait.
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Old 06-02-2020, 9:07 AM
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If it needs a deep cleaning then soaking and scrubbing is the only way.

If however it's barrel is on the cusp of being shot out it really helps to take a peek at the rifling all the way through the barrel. I borrow a friends bore scope. Plugs into my cell and bazinga! Eyes on.

Really helps when evaluating a new to me firearm.

Example--> https://www.amazon.com/Inspection-En...4ZDZ0DASQRSJJ4
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Old 06-02-2020, 9:59 AM
sofbak sofbak is offline
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If you want a thorough soak, make a chamber plug with an empty case wrapped with enough layers of teflon pipe-thread tape to create a snug seal. Put the wrapped case in the chamber to plug it. Put a rag behind it in case of small leaks. Prop gun muzzle up, fill with hoppe's or kroil and let it soak-overnight maybe.

If that doesn't loosen the crud/lead/carbon build up, you can try electrolysis.

Google it to see. Lot's of videos and info available.

For about $10-$20 you can make an electrolysis unit with AA batteries and other hardware from home depot.

I did the electrolysis thing on a really crusty garand barrel, and it does work.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeuerFrei View Post
If it needs a deep cleaning then soaking and scrubbing is the only way.

If however it's barrel is on the cusp of being shot out it really helps to take a peek at the rifling all the way through the barrel. I borrow a friends bore scope. Plugs into my cell and bazinga! Eyes on.

Really helps when evaluating a new to me firearm.

Example--> https://www.amazon.com/Inspection-En...4ZDZ0DASQRSJJ4
Do these focus close enough to see the rifling using the mirror/right angle attachment?
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Old 06-02-2020, 3:04 PM
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Try the Teslong borescope. Yes, they do work and you will see much more than you want to more often than not. On Amazon as well, about $50. Love mine.
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Old 06-02-2020, 3:15 PM
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Try a plug at the chamber and fill the bore with ATF
let it sit for a week. Then drain and brush.
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Old 06-02-2020, 8:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheellock View Post
Do these focus close enough to see the rifling using the mirror/right angle attachment?
The model he has was an inspection front view only IIRC and it was enough of a good image to make out if there were pits or grudded up rifling. Way better than eye balling down the bore with a flash light IMO.

You can buy different bore sizes/types for the intended use. These things are stupid cheap for what they do.
I'm not talking micro inspection stuff. That's more $$ last I looked.
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Old 06-02-2020, 8:16 PM
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I tried soaking and scrubbing with Kroil but it didn't seem to work as well as the Hoppes so I am following sofbak's suggestion. I plugged the bore and filled it with Hoppes. I'll scrub in the morning and if that doesn't work I'll soak for longer and try again.

FeuerFrei, I don't think the barrel is close to being shot out, I just decided to give it a good cleaning and it needed more than I was expecting.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:03 PM
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I had an Springfield 03 that I soaked with Hoppes three times, each time for 2 days. It finally got clean. Be careful with the stock. I removed mine to make sure that I did not soak it in solvent.
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Old 06-03-2020, 9:09 AM
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If you got the means.....plug the barrel at the breach and fill it with mercury and let it sit for a few weeks.....the mercury will pull the lead from the barrel.
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elk hunter View Post
I have cleaned some rifles similar to yours. I take the rifle to the range or any place to shoot and shoot a couple of rounds and while it's still warm run a wet patch down the barrel and let it soak. Dry it out and repeat, sometimes it helps to break the old stuff up. You could also try running a wet patch of Kroil through it and let it soak then more Kroil and a wipe out and look.HTH
Time tested, seems to be the easiest and fastest.
Stumbled onto something when I cleaned up those two M1917 honor guard rifles that W55 brought over here. Someone had used BBQ paint over the chrome that was already on them. The bores were almost completely plugged from firing blanks and not getting cleaned.
We laid the barreled actions and other painted parts in my driveway, and hosed them down with spray on paint remover that we dubbed 'Satan Snot" cause it would remove skin faster than the paint!
I figured it wasn't going to hurt the bore, so I sprayed both into the chamber until it ran out the muzzle. 20 mins later I hit them the with the pressure washer. Stuck the nozzle into the chamber and blew a pile of junk out of each bore.
Looked down the bores expecting to see pitted sewer pipes. Instead, I saw the cleanest milsurp bores I've ever seen. Will and I had a good laugh about adding paint stripper and a pressure washer to my cleaning bench supplies.
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:18 PM
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Mercury?!? I hope readers with "the means" also have sufficient knowledge of the associated hazards, and the wisdom to not try it.

That old saying goes: "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is understanding you don't put one in a fruit salad."
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Old 06-03-2020, 3:46 PM
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The bore is probably fouled with the cupro- nickel jacket material of the day. I doubt it is lead fouling.
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Old 06-03-2020, 4:00 PM
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You may also wish to try a foamimg bore cleaner. Plug the barrel, shoot it with foam and wait.
If it hasn't been cleaned since 30-40 Krag was a common round, might as well try anything you can get your hands on, don't go light pour it in and let it soak.
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Old 06-03-2020, 7:57 PM
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Thanks everyone and after soaking it over night with Hoppes its still a slow clean. The soaking didn't seem to do anything as far as loosening the crud up and the scrubbing seems to loosen up the same amount now as before. I'll keep scrubbing with different things but may put it on hold until I can go shoot it and then try to clean it while warm.
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Old 06-04-2020, 7:17 AM
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I use a gun cleaning product called "Montana Extreme Copper Killer". If you use it as directed, you may find that your bore is really a copper mine.

I just cleaned a Colt New Service made in 1913 with it and got about 20 bright green patches out of it, and I can now see the bottoms of the grooves clearly. They've been copper plated since about 1949!

Just don't spill the bottle in your lap, especially if you have a weak heart! "Smelling Salts" of this concentration might just take you down, NOT wake you up!
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Old 06-04-2020, 8:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAP55 View Post
Time tested, seems to be the easiest and fastest.
Stumbled onto something when I cleaned up those two M1917 honor guard rifles that W55 brought over here. Someone had used BBQ paint over the chrome that was already on them. The bores were almost completely plugged from firing blanks and not getting cleaned.
We laid the barreled actions and other painted parts in my driveway, and hosed them down with spray on paint remover that we dubbed 'Satan Snot" cause it would remove skin faster than the paint!
I figured it wasn't going to hurt the bore, so I sprayed both into the chamber until it ran out the muzzle. 20 mins later I hit them the with the pressure washer. Stuck the nozzle into the chamber and blew a pile of junk out of each bore.
Looked down the bores expecting to see pitted sewer pipes. Instead, I saw the cleanest milsurp bores I've ever seen. Will and I had a good laugh about adding paint stripper and a pressure washer to my cleaning bench supplies.
Lots of things will work to some degree, I really like boiling hot water with a few drops of dish soap and pour it down the barrel. It dries in seconds and while the steel is still to hot to hold you can run cleaning stuff down the barrel. Shooting vibrates the barrel as well as the heat, as I said lots of things work to some degree what ever suits a person. I can still find some mercury.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smle-man View Post
The bore is probably fouled with the cupro- nickel jacket material of the day. I doubt it is lead fouling.
Something that hadn't crossed my mind, and you're probably right, Tombac fouling. Without going into the history of cupro-nickel bullets, and the fouling problems, the US changed up the alloy in our ammo sometime in the early 1920's. Anything that removes severe copper fouling, will remove it.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAP55 View Post
Something that hadn't crossed my mind, and you're probably right, Tombac fouling. Without going into the history of cupro-nickel bullets, and the fouling problems, the US changed up the alloy in our ammo sometime in the early 1920's. Anything that removes severe copper fouling, will remove it.
Thanks to SMLE-Man and you for this. I just started searching for how to clean cupro-nickel and checked back to the thread. I'm off to find something to clean copper fouling and will try that.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:57 AM
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Just clean with modern solvents and the appropriate bore brushes and patches. If it is leaded they make solvent for that. If it is really gooped up with lead wrap a worn bore brush in steel wool and run it wet. That will pull the lead out.

Mercury works. It is also expensive, hard to find and now considered has-mat. Forget it.

It might be pitted and will never look clean. So be it. IT may shoot fine anyway.

Before somebody suggest it, under no circumstances use any device to spin the bore brush. It will definitively ruin any rifle barrel in a few seconds.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:20 PM
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2 AA batteries taped together in series
6ft of stranded copper wire
A roll of elecricians tape
A bare 1/8" dia steel rod
Vinegar
Water
Chamber plug

1-2 hrs time

Electrolysis FTW
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:26 PM
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Your first step seems prudent. Another vote here for using consumer solvents or reverse plating.

Relevant subjects are wet-etching of metals and reverse electro-plating.

You are trying to remove the fouling without collateral damage to the inside of the barrel (bare steel) or, on the outside, the finish (bluing or park).

The fouling is assumed to be copper, cupro-nickel, lead, and/or carbon/burnt residues.

As Scota mentioned, an aggressive mechanical method such as a brush on a drill will quickly damage the barrel too.

Each assumed contaminant can have a solvents or etchants that works. Not all etchants will be harmless to the steel or to you.

Cleaning products formulated for the consumer may be most predictable.

I would clean by alternating between specialty consumer grade gun cleaners. Perhaps starting with a consumer grade copper solvent gun cleaner. Then clear that out, then clean with a lead-out gun cleaner. Rinse and repeat. Using plastic bristles at first, then graduating to bronze bristles as needed.

https://vector.umd.edu/images/links/...l_Etchants.pdf
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Old 06-04-2020, 1:08 PM
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On a side note, when Hoppes #9 was first developed, it was for Tombac fouling and corrosive primed ammo. Early method of removal was with an ammonia type paste, that probably didn't do much good on the bore with extended use.
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Old 06-06-2020, 9:03 AM
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After trying many different things, it seems Hoppes 9 is most effective. The first couple of patches are always black and so it is working, its just taking a lot more time than I liked. The residue appears to be powder based as the copper cleaner didn't do much, if anything. I'm not ready to go the electrolysis route quite yet so will continue with the Hoppes as time permits.

So far I am around 250 patches, ~5 hrs, ~10ozs Hoppes 9, and on my 4th brush.

Since it shot decent before, I'm hoping my cleaning hasn't ruined it.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:48 AM
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I have some stuff here I use called Butches Bore shine. Pretty good stuff that removes lead and copper. Short of a good cleaning using the more conventional ways. Make a simple Electrolysis unit as said above..

It does work well. You can buy a kit for like 80.00 but can make one for a few bucks.
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