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It just won't come clean!!!

5088 Views 85 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  TMW99577
I purchased a 1980 Remington LH 581 back in December. Instead of giving the gun a good cleaning, I ran a bore snake through it a few time, it looked good so tried it out. I was very happy with the way the gun shot for the first 300 or so rounds then accuracy started to deteriorate. So I gathered up 3 brass brushes , a ten pack of nylon brushes and 500 patches. I'm using Boretech rimfire cleaner and Hoppe's #9. I've worn out the three brass brushes and used about 300 patches. The Rimfire cleaner will eat the brass brushes so going forward just nylon with the Boretech and Hoppe's for the brass. UPS dropped off some more cleaning supplies today and I've spent about 2 hours this afternoon cleaning, probably 50 more patches.

It seems just as dirty after all this as it did when I first started.

Now I remember why I bought a Foul out system years ago.

Has anyone ever tried Easyoff Oven Cleaner?
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Has anyone ever tried Easyoff Oven Cleaner?
I would NOT use oven cleaner on any firearm.
Get a good powder/lead solvent, plug the breech end of the barrel & fill the bore with solvent. I start with Hoppes 9:Kroil in a 3:1 mix, then for stubborn baked in fouling like yours, I use Shooters Choice Lead Remover.
Fill the bore with lead remover or powder solvent and stand vertical overnight & then scrub your arse off. Repeat as necessary until bore is clean.
I finish my cleaning with Eezox which is then used to coat the bore before storage. Eezox is great because it’s a great rust preventive, and also reduces the amount of fouling that sticks to everything next time you shoot.
A Teslong borescope helps identify where the fouling is and helps you concentrate your efforts.
Worth every penny @ $56:
Teslong Rifle Borescope, Bore Camera Gun Cleaning Camera - Fits .20 Caliber & Larger-Hunting Shooting Firearms Visual Barrel Inspection Tool w/3 Right-Angle Mirrors and Carrying Case(45inch-Flexible)

Hope this helps-

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Thanks for the reply. I use to be heavy into firearms and had a ton of cleaning supplies. My jar of Shooters Choice has dried up. My Sweet's 7.62 is still fluid but I don't seem to have a copper problem. Somewhere or other I have some JB bore paste but consider that a last resort.

When I go into town tomorrow I think I'm going to pick up some Sea Foam and give that a try.
Sounds like you know what you’re doing, and yep- Sweets is great, but chemically wrong for the fouling you’re likely to encounter, unless the previous owner used a lot of copper wash ammo in your 581. JB is definitely an option, but should always be thought of as a last resort due to its abrasive qualities. The borescope can help identify if you have a heavy build up at the end of the chamber a.k.a. “the dreaded carbon ring”, in that case my “Gunner Chamber Handle” does a great job at short scrubbing the chamber and leade without getting into the rifling.

Here’s a link to the thread I posted on how to make my tools in the shooting accessories forum.

If making one of these chamber handles is beyond your ability and you’re interested in one, send me a PM and I will mail you one for free out of the next batch in a month or two.

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The green you see is probably from your brass jag. .22LR is not copper clad like centerfire rounds.
I thought the OP mentioned that he bought the rifle used.
If the previous owner shot lots of copper washed bulk ammo, could that cause copper fouling that was then later covered over by shooting lubed lead rounds? I’d bet he’s dealing with removing layer upon layer of fouling. I’d also say that while I completely understand his goal of getting the bore 100% clean, he may well find that the rifles accuracy is not the best when it’s sparkling clean. He’ll likely have to shoot a number of rounds of his ammo of choice to season the bore & bring it back to it’s full potential.


do not use lapping compound in your barrel. It can cut steel, doesn’t wipe out of the bore well and is Not recommended.
JB or Remington 40X are the only abrasives other then possibly Flitz one should clean bores with.
Remington uses an organic 12/1400 grit in a oil base while JB is either pumice or diatomaceous earth (I’ve heard)@ 4000 grit in a paste.
I use 40X in my throats on occasion to remove heavy carbon deposits, but rely on chemicals like Bore Tech or Patch Out to remove copper and normal carbon build up.
LISTEN TO TMW99577 & Ol` Joe
PLEASE do NOT use lapping compound. Please.

Bore scope ordered. Thanks for the link DrGunner
JB Bore paste ordered.
Nylon brushes with aluminum ferrules ordered.
Microwave popcorn ordered.
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Yeah, I’ve been using borescopes for over 20 years, I made my first from a repurposed medical endoscope. I tell folks NOT to get too worked up by what they see- tooling marks, bit chatter marks in grooves, etc. If it shoots, that’s all that matters.
ccwilder3- don’t feel bad, I’ve seen some barrels on old 10-22s that the owners never cleaned that were SO BAD that the time+materials >>> $ cost of a new barrel. I know I said no lapping compound before, but JB is one of the mildest & should not do any harm. You have patience, for sure. I know plenty of folks who’d have attached a cleaning rod to a power drill by now. (Please don’t do that)

What I’M interested in is how many rounds it will take to get it shooting again if the deep clean leaves accuracy wanting, which has been my experience many times over. And YES, I too would let my OCD streak drive the brush & get it clean!!!
Nice pics! Some of the leading and carbon fouling might be filling subsurface pits & therefore impossible to remove. You’re definitely getting close, though. I admire your tenacity & patience.

Couple of thoughts here.
Now that the cleaning process, so far, has revealed that there is indeed rifling still there, would it be worthwhile plugging the barrel (at chamber end?) and filling it with Kroil and leaving it sit for a day or two, or more? I know from experience that Kroil will free up just about any seized up thread by migrating its way through the fissures in the crud. Maybe it will get underneath the leading and allow for easier removal? I have heard of folk eventually being able to push long shards of leading out of a barrel when it is sufficiently freed up.

Other thing.
Going back to this amazing thread [ HOW TO make GUNNER TOOLS ], which I only found from the link in this one, there is reference ( post #73 ) to quenching the brass rods as part of the softening process. I'm not convinced that this is correct. Brass work-hardens, and we know that annealing of centrefire cartridge cases only requires appropriate heating. No quenching is required for that process - it achieves nothing, other than preventing burns from inadvertent contact.
I found that the chamber handles became brittle after heating & bending to shape; if I tried to reshape them after initial forming, many would snap. I found that by slow heating and quenching them, they became much more pliable. That was early on in the process when I was using Hoppes rods, and I now believe that the problem was in the purity of their brass. Since I have switched to using .25 inch solid brass rods ordered from different suppliers, that problem seems to have solved itself.
What you are quoting is a thread going back almost 10 years documenting the evolution of their design and creation.
I am not a metallurgist or machinist, just a garage hobbyist doing my thing to the best of my ability. Everything that I post here is from direct experimentation and trial and error, so please forgive me and do not sick the grammar police on me if I use the wrong terminology. Please educate me, if you know, What the proper nomenclature is for what I am describing...

EDIT: Sincere apologies to the OP for the thread divert,
No1_49er- Let’s take this discussion into my “How to make Gunner Tools” thread, it is open and all advice and input is sincerely welcome.


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Bummer. Somebody must have worked hard at that. With modern ammo, bore corrosion usually isn't an issue. I've seen 10/22's that have gone decades without a cleaning and the bore shines right up. Perhaps a liner might be the answer?
Shoot it first, and run at least 100 rounds of lubed lead ammo through it to see how it shoots- then clean it as normal, not OCD clean, and shoot at least 100 through it again to see what you have; it might do surprisingly well & not need a liner.

As I said in a prior post, I've been using borescopes going back 20 years, rather consistently over the last 10 years. The images that I achieve through my medical grade borescopes would blow your mind, unfortunately they are not amenable to digital photographs because you have to use a surgical eyepiece, but the magnification and image quality are outstanding. I have scopes at different angulation's for seeing and magnifying the directly adjacent bore wall, viewing partially down the bore, and wide angle long view. The only way that I could produce postable images with them would be to bring home the Uber expensive OR video imaging equipment that belongs nowhere near my garage, LOL.
I can tell you with 100% confidence that what you see in a borescope does NOT always correlate with stellar accuracy on the line.
I would not worry overmuch about getting all of the fouling out of the pits after this cleaning marathon. They are going to fill back up every time you shoot it, and if you are to OCD about cleaning the pits out every time, especially if you use JB repeatedly, your problem will not be fouling, it will be wear & tear from over cleaning. I get that you want it 100% clean this time, and I say go for it, this has been very instructive for us all to watch. Once you've seasoned it again, I would only clean to see shiny lands and grooves, and leave the pits filled moving forward. In the early part of this thread, I was against using JB for a reason - as JDWinCO astutely stated, JB is an abrasive on par with Jewelers rougeand while shiny looks good in a borescope, you are removing metal. Get it clean, then shoot it with the knowledge that they have filled with lube and carbon, possibly a little bit of lead, but none of the corrosive stuff that created the damage in the first place. If you go back at it to clean the pits every time with JB, sooner or later I would bet you a new barrel that accuracy will fall off. Obviously, if you get it clean and shoot it and you have a 12 gauge pattern, a liner makes all the sense in the world.

Just my little old 2¢, FWIW

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I've got one of those SK Magazine packs with 500 rounds just itching to slide down this barrel.

All I'm asking of this barrel is to keep all shots in 1" at 50 yards. It was doing better than this when I started but 1" would be okay. This is squirrel hunting rifle and I don't take shots over 25 yards. I am anal about one shot per squirrel to the point that if I miss, I let the squirrel go. Because of this I work in as close as I can.

If I do trash the barrel, 581 barrels are fairly common. I've got a spare setting here on my computer desk. 580 barrels will also work.
Thats a 100% reasonable and likely attainable goal, and if you were seeing better than that before, it's likely just a matter of seasoning it back in & enjoying it. I sincerely appreciate the time, material & effort you've put into this thread; you even bought a borescope and are sharing all your observations. Contributions like yours, here, are what I believe have always made RFC a great place to share & learn.

Good show, brother!

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