Is there anything to know about cleaning guns in an ultrasonic cleaner? I was told that simple green in the machine and take slide off and put both pieces in and all gets perfectly clean. Seems like there has to be more to it. Exceptions, etc
Edit: OK I won't get one. thanks guysThis message has been edited. Last edited by: cckw,
229, 220, 320 Xcompact, 365, 365XL
I've used ultrasonic cleaners for other cleaning duties, but so far, not for gun cleaning.
There have been success stories, as well as horror stories as to ultrasonic cleaners used for cleaning guns. One member shared a story years ago in which he dropped his HK P7 in one and when he took it out the gun's finish was completely removed and quickly started rusting. In that particular example he was lucky in that HK stripped and refinished the gun for him.
Keep in mind that an UC will completely remove all lube from the gun, so you should be prepared to do a complete detail strip and relube every time you use one...which, in many cases may result in premature wear on some parts.
I think UC may make some sense for some specific parts, or specific applications, but they aren't a 'fire and forget' dishwasher for guns.
There have been several threads on the forum regarding UC for guns and I would suggest you use the forum search feature and read through them before deciding on their use.
Here is one previous thread to get you started:
I remember some horror stories from years ago about their effects on finishes and sometimes even the base metal. I would be especially careful with Simple Green as I was told by Brownells that it would remove one of their bake on finishes. I believe it is pretty aggressive stuff.
I purchased an ultrasonic cleaner some years ago and after deciding it was too much for some applications and unnecessary for others, it now sits empty on a work bench.
“I am prudent, you are fearful, he is panicking.”
OK, I'm convinced. Not going to get one
229, 220, 320 Xcompact, 365, 365XL
sigfreund, I was hoping you would post in this thread and offer your input.
In reading your posts and emergency maintenance manuscript I know you are a proponent of using Isopropyl alcohol (Iso) for many gun cleaning jobs, and as I had professional experience in using Iso for other cleaning duties it made sense for me to adopt your practice, which has worked well for me in most gun cleaning duties for probably ten years or so now.
At one company I worked for there was a new short term practice implemented in which we were required to clean certain small parts in an ultrasonic cleaner. It was years ago, and only for a short time, but I think either Iso (industrial grade %100) or acetone was used in the UC.
Do you have any thoughts on how well Iso in a UC would work for cleaning guns?
What about a gunpowder solvent like Hoppes No. 9 in the cleaner?
My experience with a UC has been limited to my one purchase and using it a few times. I therefore hesitate to guess about different solvents. One thing I can say is that Hoppe's is pretty mild and I have left barrels immersed in it for literally weeks without its causing any damage.
“I am prudent, you are fearful, he is panicking.”
Depending on the gun and use, I typically start with ISO, and after inspection if I see the need, I move to Hoppes and I've soaked various parts, mostly barrels for days at a time, with good results, so it sounds like we're seeing similar results.
I'm just toying with the idea of trying a UC with ISO or Hoppes.
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I have one and only use it for pistol barrels. I place the barrel in a plastic jar full of hoppes and sit it in the UC which is filled with water. Works well enough for me.
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SG changed their formula a few years back. It does not go well with aluminum if left in an extended period. A friend services scuba gear using a top quality Crest US cleaner and simple Green. Removes everything leaving the stages like new.
We had a Crest unit for the PD. Works ok but as stated, ALL lube is removed. It also screwed up the first striker fired Glocks in service if the slide isn't totally disassembled. Caused the striker to jam forward. The striker channel needs a way for the gunk to flow out.
Personally it's as much trouble as the more standard methods. Sig has a rifle length Crest in the R&D building that is great for lowers and uppers. They use Simple Green.
Hey now...a double bath set-up! That sounds like a nifty idea! Thank you.
Good info! thanks.
Like anything, UCs have their purpose. I use mine with great success to clean AR bolts and bolt carriers as well as shotgun pistons and Bolts; and other parts that may build up with carbon. The other thing I use mine for is when I do a detail strip, I will often put parts in it that don't get cleaned regularly. SO far, no problems with the finish, but I use factory cleaner solution in mine.
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …"
Will an ultrasonic remove paint from pistol sights? Or loosen tritium vials in night sights?
|Hoping for better pharmaceuticals|
I had a UC and used Lyman's Cleaner solution for most small parts. It took off the finish of a new Dan Wesson 1911 pistol. I never tried Simple Green but should work OK. I found the warm up time of the machine to take much longer than the time to simply use a cleaning rag.
Getting shot is no achievement. Hitting your enemy is. FFL(01) NRA Endowment Member
I've had an Ultrasonic cleaner ( Harbor Freight ) for ~ 10 years. Never had any negative effects. I've always followed a couple rules:
1. Bought specific U/S cleaner solution ( from Brownells)
2. My U/S has a heater , so I warm the solution.
3. When I put parts in my cleaner, I stand right there and take them out every minute or so and scrub lightly with a tooth brush. When they're clean you're done.
4 Once they are clean , I spray them a light penentrating oil ( Hornady One Shot cleaner and lube) . Be thorough because the U/S will remove absolutely every molecule of oil from the gun. You don't want rust !!
What I don't do is to put the parts in the cleaner and let it run for 45 min.. I usually only need to leave the parts in the U/S for a couple minutes and they are clean. I think the special U/S cleaning solution has a lot to do with the rapid and easy cleaning. Used this way , I usually don't have to even replace the Talon grip tape or non-skid step tape.
I don't use my ultrasound for every cleaning but when I have a filthy gun. That's my first step !
A friend of mine has (well, had, because ya can't take it with you) a Hornady hot tub sonic cleaner.
Before Mike passed away, the two of us cleaned 18 - 20 guns in about 3 hours. AR's, Shotguns, pistols and revolvers. We had a little assembly line going, and were able to clean about 5 pistols at once, one AR at a time... These guns were FILTHY!
Dissemble, put in the sonic cleaner, rinse in the sink, use a compressor to blow the water off, lube, then reassemble.
The cleaner makes quick work of the job, and will get your gun CLEAN! Like brand spanking new clean! Like Modern Day Savage emphasized, IT WILL STRIP EVERY BIT OF OIL, LUBE, GREASE OFF OF YOUR GUN! So, re-lubricating the weapon is important.
I'm almost positive that Mike used the "ONE SHOT" cleaner and distilled water. I can't remember which gun, but there was one issue, it took off the enamel on one of the guns (possibly the Beretta or a Walther- the red & white for the fire & safe), but that was it.
Good thing about the solvent, it had this lemon scent to it. The AR I cleaned was my work one, and it went right back into my locker after it was cleaned... Couldn't figure out why my locker had this "lemon fresh" scent to it for a few days.
They are a great asset if you're cleaning multiple guns, or one or two that are filthy (like 1K rounds of Winchester white box worth of carbon and gunk). If you're cleaning one or two every once and a while that are kinda dirty, it's not worth the price of the machine. And yes, there is a chance that enamel, paint and even bluing/finish ***may*** come off, but I think it's depending on the type and concentration of the solvent in the cleaner.
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I use a UC with Simple Green. But, it is a 50/50 solution with distilled water.
Then afterwords I dip the parts in alcohol. Then let them air dry.
Re-lube and re-assemble the rifle.
I use this method on all of my HK bolt carrier groups.
Never had one issue.
I use M pro 7 in my US cleaner on really dirty parts like AR bolts and my suppressor baffles (stainless steel)
No problems there But they warn to fully relube after use. It’s probably just a more expensive Simple Green, but it works well.
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