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Copper fouling in pistols

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  • Copper fouling in pistols

    Do standard solvents and oils likec CLP and Hoppes remove the copper sufficiently from pistols, or do I need to buy a seperate copper remover product?

    I would think that copper fouling would come out of a pistol bore with the rest of the fouling during standard cleaning.

    What is the real story?

    Bruce
    Death is whimsical today. - Gary Oldman

    Zombies man...they creep me out. - Dennis Hopper

  • #2
    Re: Copper fouling in pistols

    Originally posted by BruceNRALife View Post
    Do standard solvents and oils likec CLP and Hoppes remove the copper sufficiently from pistols, or do I need to buy a seperate copper remover product?

    I would think that copper fouling would come out of a pistol bore with the rest of the fouling during standard cleaning.

    What is the real story?

    Bruce
    Hoppes #9 has always done a good job for me in that regard. I got some dedicated "Copper Solvent bore cleaner" once, and it didn't remove anything more than the Hoppes had. I still have 9/10 of the bottle of copper solvent, because I don't feel any need to use it regularly.

    CLP? I'm not sure of the solvent properties of that one, since I've never used it much. I'm old school.
    Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.

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    • #3
      Re: Copper fouling in pistols

      Hoppes makes, or used to make, a copper solvent/bore cleaner with a black label. I probably still have some. It does do a better job than their #9.
      [I]Peace Through Strength, Victory Through Devastation...Strategic Air Command[/I]

      American by birth, made from German parts from Emmingen, Baden-Württemberg

      An unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!

      Das Leben ist zu kurz, um billiges Bier zu trinken!

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      • #4
        Re: Copper fouling in pistols

        CLP has little effect on copper fouling.

        Copper fouling is not normally as big an issue in pistols as it is in rifles, and often is not much more than a extremely thin coating that causes no problems.

        However, once in a while you can get some ammo in some barrels that can build up and become a problem.
        As example, I once fired 50 rounds of some left over really crappy 1950's Egyptian 9mm through my Kahr K9.
        It actually left big lumps of copper just in front of the chamber that was very difficult to get out.

        Best option is to normally clean the bore with a standard bore solvent then closely inspect it for any signs of real build up.
        If so, then you should either let a solvent like Hoppe's soak longer or use a more aggressive solvent.

        CLP is a good all around general product, but it's more for field use where you can only carry one product.
        If you're cleaning at home you should use a bore solvent because it simply does a faster, much better job of cleaning then CLP, and will keep copper fouling down, unless you choose to take more time and get it all out.
        CLP won't do either.

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        • #5
          Re: Copper fouling in pistols

          The groups from my Kimber started to open up. It didn't seem like a gradual thing - almost went from nice & tight to noticeably worse all at once. At first I figured it was just me having a bad day, but the problem continued.

          Has a high round count, but not enough where it should be performing poorly. I thought it was some sort of fouling issue so I used some different solvents. Fixed it right up. I used a foaming type copper solvent & it worked well, but took a lot of time & effort to get it. The product changed colors - you just keep soaking, scrubbing, & patching until the foamy solvent/patches quit turning blue.

          This happened not too long after I switched to Berry's plated bullets. Not blaming them, but those could be the culprit. Or it could have been coincidental & that's just when the fouling became bad enough & same thing would have happened with the Hornady bullets I was using before. But I primarily use CLP also. Stuff I used to get the fouling gone was Gunslick foaming bore cleaner in a blue & silver can. Worked well, but it's harsh stuff. I used some on an AR & it chewed up an anodized aluminum barrel nut. Don't let it touch anything other than steel parts.
          They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.<br /><br />-- Benjamin Franklin

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          • #6
            Re: Copper fouling in pistols

            When I've had the heavier buildup of copper, I've managed to get it out with Hoppes #9, as I noted. The trick is to swab a fairly heavy coat into the barrel and leave it in there for 10 minutes or so. If the first pass doesn't do it, the second one typically does.

            When it quits coming out green on the patches, you've got it all.

            Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.

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            • #7
              Re: Copper fouling in pistols

              I have ordered some of the M-Pro7 products, including copper solvent. All their products are billed as being safe on stee, and non-hazardous, non toxic. How often should I use copper cleaner on a 9mm pistol? Every 200 rounds, 500 rounds?
              Bruce
              Death is whimsical today. - Gary Oldman

              Zombies man...they creep me out. - Dennis Hopper

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              • #8
                Re: Copper fouling in pistols

                A lot of that would depend on what kind of rounds you are shooting through it. With commercial range loads (WWB, ect.) that are a decent quality bullet at a lower velocity, it probably won't "need" it every 500 rounds. The cheaper plated bullets do tend to leave a little bit more copper in the barrel, but that's going to vary with how hot you have loaded them.

                Just as an aside here, I'll note that if you are loading the Berry or Rainer plated stuff very hot, you are asking for it, because you are quite possibly stripping the copper jacket off of them when you fire them. That does tend to add to the copper deposition.

                I use the Hoppes #9 every time I clean mine. It's all about the smell, but it doesn't hurt anything anyway. That usually suffices quite nicely. OTOH, you are not going to hurt anything by running some through it just whenever you feel the urge to do so. The worst that can happen is that you are wasting a few cents worth of solvent because there was nothing there for it to dissolve.

                Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.

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                • #9
                  Re: Copper fouling in pistols

                  Thanks for the input, Jefferson. I don't reload. I shoot only standard velocity commercial grade FMJ for range practice. Occasionally, I will fire five or ten rounds of factory standard velocity JHP.

                  Could I go 500 to 1000 rds without using copper solvent?

                  Bruce
                  Death is whimsical today. - Gary Oldman

                  Zombies man...they creep me out. - Dennis Hopper

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Copper fouling in pistols

                    Originally posted by BruceNRALife View Post
                    Thanks for the input, Jefferson. I don't reload. I shoot only standard velocity commercial grade FMJ for range practice. Occasionally, I will fire five or ten rounds of factory standard velocity JHP.

                    Could I go 500 to 1000 rds without using copper solvent?

                    Bruce
                    I've known folks to go 1000 rounds without cleaning the pistol at all. I'm not saying that it's going to do the accuracy of the handgun in question any good, but as noted, with the kind of ammo you are shooting, the omission of solvent for that long probably won't hurt it by any notable amount either.

                    You can trust your eyeballs, normally. If you clean with CLP and the bore looks good and shiny, it's in good shape. If it's hazy and has dull spots, it probably could use some solvent. If it looks hazy and has dull spots after that, it's one of my old C&R handguns, and that's the way it will always look, but you could have figured that part out without my input, I'm sure.

                    Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.

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