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What's In My Barrel?

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Phantom 778
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What's In My Barrel?

#1 Post by Phantom 778 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:48 am

This is the inside of a 1940's Italian Carcano M91/38 TS. The barrel was filled with old cosmoline. Some of the cosmaline was still good but most of it was dried out and powdery. Once I cleaned the cosmoline out, I uncovered a black substance underneath. I believed this to be gunpowder and cleaned it out as well. I am now pulling out white patches without any form of fouling whatsoever. I then inspected the barrel using an endoscope and observed brown-like spots throughout. I originally thought this could have been rust from old corrosive ammunition. Several patches of WD-40 came out brown but eventually came out pure white once again. I then checked the barrel once again with the endoscope and I could still see these brown-like spots throughout the barrel. Could it be copper? What do you guys think? Please see pictures. Thanks!
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Last edited by Phantom 778 on Fri May 15, 2020 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#2 Post by ammolab » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:35 pm

Maybe Nickel from bullet jackets. Whatever it is WD40 isn’t an effective bore cleaner. You need to try something better at this specific task and brushes not patches.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#3 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:53 pm

It looks like jacket metal fouling.
Get a bottle of the M-Pro-7 COPPER REMOVER.
http://m-pro7.com/products/copper-remover/
App liberally with patches, you're trying to coat the bore with liquid that fairly thick, not scrub it.
DO NOT REMOVE IT, by all means run a correct bronze brush through a couple of times as well just to get it started, then wash the brush with hot water.
Now let it stand, soaking, overnight.
patch out with dry patches the next day & run your usual cleaner through a couple of times.
If the patches come out black or grey repeat as often as needed.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#4 Post by Phantom 778 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:54 pm

ammolab wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:35 pm
Maybe Nickel from bullet jackets. Whatever it is WD40 isn’t an effective bore cleaner. You need to try something better at this specific task and brushes not patches.
I guess I should have included this on my original posting but these images were taken after the application of Hoppes Bore Cleaner, Remington Gun Oil, Gunzilla, and WD-40. A combination of patches, brushes, jags and even foam Swab-Its were used with all of the above.
I am currently running Hoppes Copper Remover through it now.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#5 Post by Phantom 778 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:00 pm

Tommy Atkins wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:53 pm
It looks like jacket metal fouling.
Get a bottle of the M-Pro-7 COPPER REMOVER.
http://m-pro7.com/products/copper-remover/
App liberally with patches, you're trying to coat the bore with liquid that fairly thick, not scrub it.
DO NOT REMOVE IT, by all means run a correct bronze brush through a couple of times as well just to get it started, then wash the brush with hot water.
Now let it stand, soaking, overnight.
patch out with dry patches the next day & run your usual cleaner through a couple of times.
If the patches come out black or grey repeat as often as needed.
In your opinion, is M-Pro-7 more effective than Hoppes Copper Remover? Also, thank you for the run down on the copper removing process. This is my first time.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#6 Post by ammolab » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:23 pm

Phantom 778 wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:54 pm
ammolab wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:35 pm
Maybe Nickel from bullet jackets. Whatever it is WD40 isn’t an effective bore cleaner. You need to try something better at this specific task and brushes not patches.
I guess I should have included this on my original posting but these images were taken after the application of Hoppes Bore Cleaner, Remington Gun Oil, Gunzilla, and WD-40. A combination of patches, brushes, jags and even foam Swab-Its were used with all of the above.
I am currently running Hoppes Copper Remover through it now.
Roger that: One of the ammonia containing cleaners may help. Sweets etc... careful not to get some cleaners on blued surfaces or let them remain in your bore beyond recommended times.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#7 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:56 pm

They are essentially the same product, M-Pro Makes a "reformulated" version of their copper remover which Hoppes markets as its own under a different name.
I've used both & the original seems a hair better IMO. Is it a massive difference, No.
If you have the Hoppes use it. Do remember though the bore cleaner & the copper remover are very different.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#8 Post by TNGhost » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:01 pm

+1 on Sweet's. I have used it for years to remove copper fouling, always with good results.

Dish soap, , a quart of Mobile 1, a bottle of Hoppes #9 and a bottle of Sweet's make up the total inventory of my gun cleaning oil and solvent supplies and I never want for anything more.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#9 Post by Tommy Atkins » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:24 am

The only problem with sweets, which is great product, is the high ammonia content. You can't safely use it for long term soaking because of that & nickelling needs the long soak because you have to break the chemical bond which is what makes it so tough to remove.
I have sweets & use it at the range on heavy days but thats a different application.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#10 Post by DaleH » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:11 pm

FWIW on old mil-surps my twin brother has had great success using one of those homemade electrodeposit dissolving thingy machines. But he has also noticed, that the various deposits, whether it be powder or jacket material can build up in layers, so he too needs to alternate between various methods.

I myself prefer a generous application of J&B Bore Compound combined with judicious use of ‘elbow grease’! Get some ... as last week I turned a very dark, early black powder-fed Italian Vetterli-Vitaly bore into a shiny mirror!

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#11 Post by Phantom 778 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:24 pm

DaleH wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:11 pm
FWIW on old mil-surps my twin brother has had great success using one of those homemade electrodeposit dissolving thingy machines. But he has also noticed, that the various deposits, whether it be powder or jacket material can build up in layers, so he too needs to alternate between various methods.

I myself prefer a generous application of J&B Bore Compound combined with judicious use of ‘elbow grease’! Get some ... as last week I turned a very dark, early black powder-fed Italian Vetterli-Vitaly bore into a shiny mirror!
Great tip! I will be looking into this! Thanks!

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#12 Post by TNGhost » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:37 pm

Tommy Atkins wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:24 am
The only problem with sweets, which is great product, is the high ammonia content. You can't safely use it for long term soaking because of that & nickelling needs the long soak because you have to break the chemical bond which is what makes it so tough to remove.
I have sweets & use it at the range on heavy days but thats a different application.
Your are right, you cannot leave Sweet's soaking for long periods, as the ammonia will attack the steel and harm the barrel, but it doesn't take long to cut through copper (gilding metal) fouling.

I may be wrong but I seem to remember Hatcher writing that the preferred method of removing cupronickel from barrels, back in the day when it was in common use as jacket material, was an ammonia based cleaner. It is only rarely seen these days these days as it was replaced by gilding metal, although I have quite a few rounds of WW2 era .303 and a few rounds of GP11 that have cupronickel projectiles. It can leave a nasty, hard to remove fouling that degrades accuracy much more quickly than modern bullet jacket alloys.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#13 Post by ammolab » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:19 pm

TNGhost wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:37 pm
Tommy Atkins wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:24 am
The only problem with sweets, which is great product, is the high ammonia content. You can't safely use it for long term soaking because of that & nickelling needs the long soak because you have to break the chemical bond which is what makes it so tough to remove.
I have sweets & use it at the range on heavy days but thats a different application.
Your are right, you cannot leave Sweet's soaking for long periods, as the ammonia will attack the steel and harm the barrel, but it doesn't take long to cut through copper (gilding metal) fouling.

I may be wrong but I seem to remember Hatcher writing that the preferred method of removing cupronickel from barrels, back in the day when it was in common use as jacket material, was an ammonia based cleaner. It is only rarely seen these days these days as it was replaced by gilding metal, although I have quite a few rounds of WW2 era .303 and a few rounds of GP11 that have cupronickel projectiles. It can leave a nasty, hard to remove fouling that degrades accuracy much more quickly than modern bullet jacket alloys.
Hatcher was talking about thick pure cupronickel jackets and they had a real fouling problem. The nickel plated steel jackets found on GP11 and other relatively modern bullets don’t really foul bores.

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Re: What's In My Barrel?

#14 Post by TNGhost » Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:52 pm

ammolab wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:19 pm
TNGhost wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:37 pm
Tommy Atkins wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:24 am
The only problem with sweets, which is great product, is the high ammonia content. You can't safely use it for long term soaking because of that & nickelling needs the long soak because you have to break the chemical bond which is what makes it so tough to remove.
I have sweets & use it at the range on heavy days but thats a different application.
Your are right, you cannot leave Sweet's soaking for long periods, as the ammonia will attack the steel and harm the barrel, but it doesn't take long to cut through copper (gilding metal) fouling.

I may be wrong but I seem to remember Hatcher writing that the preferred method of removing cupronickel from barrels, back in the day when it was in common use as jacket material, was an ammonia based cleaner. It is only rarely seen these days these days as it was replaced by gilding metal, although I have quite a few rounds of WW2 era .303 and a few rounds of GP11 that have cupronickel projectiles. It can leave a nasty, hard to remove fouling that degrades accuracy much more quickly than modern bullet jacket alloys.
Hatcher was talking about thick pure cupronickel jackets and they had a real fouling problem. The nickel plated steel jackets found on GP11 and other relatively modern bullets don’t really foul bores.
True. I've never had a problem with fouling from GP11 in my K-31s, although I heard rumors the Swiss had issues with a similarly constructed issue bullet in their 5.56 rifles.

The WW2 era .303 is a horse of a different color though. ;)

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