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  • cleaning lead fouling

    So I fouled up a lever barrel pretty good trying different bullets. Anyone have a tried and true method for cleaning the leading out?

  • #2
    Used a sloution of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Mix those two 50/50. Use a bore brush and scrub. Swab and do it again. Do not soak the barrel or bore. Just put it on a brush, get the bore good and wet and scrub. Only used on stainless guns. Don't know what it might do to blued guns so be careful. Hope it helps.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by shayno View Post
      So I fouled up a lever barrel pretty good trying different bullets. Anyone have a tried and true method for cleaning the leading out?
      Same as for lead fouling in wheelguns: pull a few strands out of a pad of bronze wool and wrap around your bronze bore brush. Removes lead clean as a whistle.
      ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
      I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
      The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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      • #4
        +1 on the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, but I use one of those green scratch pads cut down on a jag to scrub the barrel instead of brush. Leading will create a lot of work.
        This maybe a long shot, but the best and fastest method I have ever seen is Mercury! If you have any mining buddies that have some, plug the end of the barrel and have a way to plug the other end, fingers in rubber gloves worked fine, but proceed at your own risk, pour about a teaspoon full down the barrel and let the Mercury run to the end, lift the other end so it runs back and forth and repeat a few times and all the lead will stick to the Mercury- then just unplug barrel and pour out into approved container, and clean as normal after shooting.
        One thing to help is, if you ever shot jacketed bullets through that barrel and then lead bullets, even the slightest copper fouling will cause bad leading.
        Hope this helps.
        Mike

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HCL View Post
          +1 on the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, but I use one of those green scratch pads cut down on a jag to scrub the barrel instead of brush. Leading will create a lot of work.
          This maybe a long shot, but the best and fastest method I have ever seen is Mercury! If you have any mining buddies that have some, plug the end of the barrel and have a way to plug the other end, fingers in rubber gloves worked fine, but proceed at your own risk, pour about a teaspoon full down the barrel and let the Mercury run to the end, lift the other end so it runs back and forth and repeat a few times and all the lead will stick to the Mercury- then just unplug barrel and pour out into approved container, and clean as normal after shooting.
          One thing to help is, if you ever shot jacketed bullets through that barrel and then lead bullets, even the slightest copper fouling will cause bad leading.
          Hope this helps.
          Mike


          so do you know someone with some mercury? I had 20lbs of it last summer. Sold it..i will try the mix suggested. And yes, there was copper still left even though I THOUGHT it was clean enough.. Nope..
          I really want to shoot cast only, but I have so MANY jacketed bullets left its going to be a PIA to switch back and forth.

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          • #6
            As a kid after the range or hunting or shooting I was the one that did most of the cleaning and have seen a fair share of mercury poured in barrels. But by no means do I claim to be expert! I just know it works.
            It is a real PIA to switch back and forth, but once you get the copper or lead fouling out you should be able to switch back and forth (unless you get more fouling) without too much trouble. The trouble begins when you don't notice that little bit of copper fouling.
            I switch back and forth with my 45acp occasionally, but try I to stick to lead.
            Bullet sizing and lube are the key to prevent leading, with the right size (determined by slugging barrel) and the right lube you can drive bullets well past 2300fps without leading.
            Is your lever gun Ballard rifling or Microgroove? With the Microgroove they tend to like a really hard bullet and gas checks but the Ballard rifling you can get away with a little softer one with or without gas check- though I prefer gas checks with most all rifle bullets.
            Hope this helps.
            Mike

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HCL View Post
              As a kid after the range or hunting or shooting I was the one that did most of the cleaning and have seen a fair share of mercury poured in barrels. But by no means do I claim to be expert! I just know it works.
              It is a real PIA to switch back and forth, but once you get the copper or lead fouling out you should be able to switch back and forth (unless you get more fouling) without too much trouble. The trouble begins when you don't notice that little bit of copper fouling.
              I switch back and forth with my 45acp occasionally, but try I to stick to lead.
              Bullet sizing and lube are the key to prevent leading, with the right size (determined by slugging barrel) and the right lube you can drive bullets well past 2300fps without leading.
              Is your lever gun Ballard rifling or Microgroove? With the Microgroove they tend to like a really hard bullet and gas checks but the Ballard rifling you can get away with a little softer one with or without gas check- though I prefer gas checks with most all rifle bullets.
              Hope this helps.
              Mike
              Im not sure what barrel it is. It is a marlin 1894 ss from around 2001. Is there a way to tell if its one or the other on the style of rifleing? I did not slug the barrel.... I should do that.

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              • #8
                Ballard rifling will look deep and defined lands and grooves and the Microgroove is very shallow with a lot of groves, don't remember but want to say around 10-12 groves versus I think 6 for the Ballard rifling. They both shoot really good, they are just alloy hardness dependent! My 1894ss really likes those Lee 430-310 gc and I water drop just plain old WW. It is scary accurate and with a good load of H110 would not hesitate to chase moose around with it or use it for a camp or boat gun.
                Slugging the barrel will tell you exactly what size bullet you need for your rifle, lots of methods but I just use PURE lead fishing weights a hair bigger than the bore. Lube the entire barrel with oil and start the weight with a wooden dowel then use the dowel and hammer to drive the weight through the barrel-- don't be afraid to whack that dowel with a good hammer, the less whacks, the less pain and aguish you will experience of driving something through the barrel. Very important that the dowel is just almost the diameter of the inside of the barrel or you can splinter it around the weight and that is really scary and becomes a chore to get out.
                Once you have driven that weight through, measure it with calipers and a thousands bigger is the size of the sizing die you should be using. My sizing die ended up being .430 as the bore was .429.
                Not using the right size bullet will/may cause bad leading as it is either over compressed through the bore or undersized does not seal off the hot gasses properly. Yes you really need to slug the bore to get the best results.
                Will shoot you a PM with my contact info, sometimes it helps just to yack on phone if you are interested.
                Thanks
                Mike

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                • #9
                  I Will have to slug it after I clean it. Right now its a smooth bore....

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                  • #10
                    True value in Anchorage has copper wool. Some 00 wrapped around a bore brush works good. Once you get the bbl clean, run a tight fitting oiled patch down the bore feeling for increased resistance anywhere there is a dovetail cutout in the barrel I.e. forearm hanger, sights etc. I have frequently noted Marlins with this condition (all have been microgrove bbl's so far) and it can contribute to leading and poor accuracy. Fire lapping is the cure for such a defect...

                    Once you hace a clean barrel that is the same internal diameter its entire length you wont have any leading issues provided you use bullets sized correctly and of proper hardness. For my 30/30, 375w, and 45/70 I use WW + 2% tin, gas checked, lubed with 50/50% soft NRA formula lube, sized .001 - .002 over grove diameter. These are good for velocity pushing up on 2, 000 fps

                    Good luck
                    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alangaq View Post
                      True value in Anchorage has copper wool. Some 00 wrapped around a bore brush works good. Once you get the bbl clean, run a tight fitting oiled patch down the bore feeling for increased resistance anywhere there is a dovetail cutout in the barrel I.e. forearm hanger, sights etc. I have frequently noted Marlins with this condition (all have been microgrove bbl's so far) and it can contribute to leading and poor accuracy. Fire lapping is the cure for such a defect...

                      Once you hace a clean barrel that is the same internal diameter its entire length you wont have any leading issues provided you use bullets sized correctly and of proper hardness. For my 30/30, 375w, and 45/70 I use WW + 2% tin, gas checked, lubed with 50/50% soft NRA formula lube, sized .001 - .002 over grove diameter. These are good for velocity pushing up on 2, 000 fps

                      Good luck
                      thanks for advice. I'm gonna clean it tomorrow. As far as tight spots in the barrel, maybe where the barrel band/dovetail is.

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                      • #12
                        Ys, the barrel band dovetail is often a tight area. Brownells and Midway USA sell the fire lapping kit. Use your lead bullets (properly sized of course) with the abrasives in the kit and reduced loads. Keep velocity around 1, 000 fps if you can. Start with 5 shots of each grit, cleaning the barrel after each string, then 10 shots with the final and finest grit. Make sure you lube the bullets prior to impregnating with the abrasive grit. If you find that the bullets you have are a bit undersized, you can squash them up a bit in a vice and then run them thru a lube size die...

                        The process is a PIA but it's worth it, and as a bonus, accuracy will also improve with cast bullet loads.
                        “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          hydrogen peroxides and vinegar eats lead like no other... That being said it Is very toxic And should be handles and disposed of properly.

                          Personally I would rather rebarel the rifle then screw around with Mercury.

                          I reccomend iofthetiaga's suggestion. But for me....playing around with toxic waste or Mercury neither one is an option I'm willing to consider...

                          good od luck with the rifle.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AlaskanTides View Post
                            hydrogen peroxides and vinegar eats lead like no other... That being said it Is very toxic And should be handles and disposed of properly.
                            Personally I would rather rebarel the rifle then screw around with Mercury.
                            I reccomend iofthetiaga's suggestion. But for me....playing around with toxic waste or Mercury neither one is an option I'm willing to consider...
                            good od luck with the rifle.
                            Don't break a high efficiency light bulb in your house, you dang sure don't want to know what is in that!
                            And the gasses that your carpet put off, not to mention the paint, insulation and glue used on the water line, etc.
                            I will leave it at that.
                            Mike

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HCL View Post
                              Don't break a high efficiency light bulb in your house, you dang sure don't want to know what is in that!
                              And the gasses that your carpet put off, not to mention the paint, insulation and glue used on the water line, etc.
                              I will leave it at that.
                              Mike
                              Your right in the fact that there seem to be harmful ingredients in just about everything these days... However I can not control the carpet nor flooring in my neibors house nor the cell phone waves in the air... I can't control the asbestos in a pre model 70's popcorn style ceiling nor the asbestos in the tile in the floor.

                              I can can choose however to limit my exposure to any known sources of asbestos , mercury and Lead.. Thus I choose to do so. For example I am exposed to a certain amount of lead every time I fire a gun... But the waste , that the reaction that vinegar and peroxide create when removing lead .... Is known to be more lethal.... it creates lead acetate crystals. The vapor and any residue of which is considered to be toxic waste. It can get transferd into your body much more easily then in other forms.

                              i can't control your choices nor the choices of those made by others over 30 years ago. I Will say , that there's alot we didn't know 30 years ago when folks were smoking a pack a day and draining radiator fluid in the bushes.....but please be a good neighbor and don't poor that crap down your sink that way the rest of us have to deal with residuals it in our well water....

                              good luck.

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