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Why no solvent when cleaning air rifle barrel/bore?

November 6 2008 at 8:36 AM
  (Login mr.72)

I have been in information-overload mode trying to ramp up on my knowledge of air rifles, and was surprised to see all the warnings against cleaning the barrel.

I have a 1077. It has a steel barrel as far as I can tell. Is there really any reason that a bore cleaner like Hoppes #9, my Outers Foaming Bore Cleaner, or even CLP cannot be used as a solvent to clean the bore?

I get it about soft steel and not using the same type of bore cleaning brush that I'd use on one of my 9mms. But can I use a pipe cleaner?

What's the real scoop folks? I bought this rifle used and I'd like to make sure it's nice and clean at least once. I will have the barrel out today doing re-crowning and that's an ideal time to clean it. After this time I'll just shoot a cleaning pellet through it every once in a while.


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(Login WeeDoggies)

The concern is mostly with seals and O-rings

November 6 2008, 10:33 AM 

With the barrel out you'll have no worries. Firearms cleaners have to deal with problems that are simply not present in airguns, though, primarily powder residue. The strong solvents in Hoppes and such are just not necessary - there's just not anything that needs disolving!
Have fun,

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(Login RBest)

True.. many solvents will affect breech seals, etc, over time.

November 6 2008, 10:13 PM 

Each time you clean a bore, some residue of solvent creeps around the breech seal, getting underneath the seal. Over time this degrades the seal. Solvent can also run into areas that are specifically lubricated and this will cut or dilute the lubes. (Barrel pivot bolts on break barrels is one such place). Neither situation is desirable. RB

"The Universe is comprised mainly of two things.. hydrogen and ignorance."
John Dobson
Inventor, astronomer and metaphysical thinker.

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(Login arbiter17)

Solvents designed for firearms

November 6 2008, 10:37 AM 

can and will damage airgun seals.When I clean my airgun bores,every 250-500 rounds,I use a cotton patch lightly moistened with Beeman MP-5,followed by a dry patch,etc.,until they come out clean.Some folks have advocated using "goo-gone",I suggest that not be used because it can cause deterioration to neoprene O rings which are frequently used in any number of makes and models of air powered arms.You could also try Simple green,RWS or Beeman cleaner/degreaser.Bottom line,better safe than having to send your gun in for service.

"Service "springs" from gratitude".

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(Login MDriskill)

Chemical reactions...

November 6 2008, 10:41 AM 

Such strong solvents are very unfriendly to the plastic, rubber, and leather bits found in airguns. Plus, they just aren't needed in barrels that are not exposed to fouling from primers and powder. I personally never get Hoppe's within 10 feet of an airgun.

There will be many opinions on this one, but FWIW my personal favorite bore cleaner is Ballistol.

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(Login boscoebrea)

Go ahead and clean it,airguns do not have powder residue

November 6 2008, 10:42 AM 

    and barrels can be damaged with excess cleaning,so clean it,be happy and know you will not have to clean it again for a long,long time.Oh yes be careful of the seals and also make sure gun is dry afterwards.

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