Wednesday, December 30, 2009

“Ed’s Red” bore cleaner

Update 5/5/2010: Now available for purchase HERE, and some of the proceeds go to a very good cause. Hat tip to Grant Cunningham for the info.

This stuff is good but you can’t buy it; this is home brewing at its finest. It is the circa 1993 creation of gun writer / gun guru Ed Harris.  By nature, bore cleaners have strong odors and Ed's Red is no exception.  It seems to be no less than equal to the commercial cleaners and can be whipped together for a fraction of the cost.  It is especially worthy of consideration if you shoot wholesale amounts of corrosive primers or black powder (or black powder substitutes).  Black powder ot smokeless, I never let my guns stay dirty; I clean them after every outing. Ed’s Red is good for routine cleaning as well as the hopelessly tough jobs. I mixed a batch once to remove caked on crust from a sewage pump; nothing else worked, but Ed’s Red cleaned it right up.  Ed’s Red transformed the antique 16-gauge double muzzle-loader in the photo from a being a sad, rusty, carbon-fouled piece of junk into a decent  fireplace mantel gun.


The following was obtained from this site.
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CONTENTS: Ed's Red Bore Cleaner

• 1 part Dexron ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
• 1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
• 1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits  CAS #64741-49-9,
(or substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent. )
• 1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
• (Optional 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, or OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)
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MIXING INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal, chemical-resistant, heavy gage PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are OK. Do NOT use HDPE, which is permeable, because the acetone will slowly evaporate. Acetone in ER will attack HDPE over time, causing the container to collapse, making a heck of a mess!

Add the ATF first. Use the empty container to measure the otherainer to measure the other components, so that it is thoroughly rinsed. If you incorporate the lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and stirring until it is all dissolved. I recommend diverting up to 4 ozs. per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix to use as "ER-compatible" gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix.
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LABEL AND SAFETY WARNINGS:

FIREARM BORE CLEANER

CAUTION: FLAMMABLE MIXTURE -- HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED -- KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

Contents: petroleum distillates, surfactants, organometallic antioxidants and acetone.

1. Flammable mixture, keep away from heat, sparks or flame.

2. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.

3. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid breathing vapors or spray mist. It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with itsonsistent with its labeling. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. If using in closed armory vaults lacking forced air ventilation wear respiratory protection meeting NIOSH TC23C or equivalent. Keep container tightly closed when not in use.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:

1. Open the firearm action and ensure the bore is clear. Cleaning is most effective when done while the barrel is still warm from firing. Saturate a cotton patch with bore cleaner, wrap or impale on jag and push it through the bore from breech to muzzle. The patch should be a snug fit. Let the first patch fall off and do not pull it back into the bore.

2. Wet a second patch, and similarly start it into the bore from the breech, this time scrubbing from the throat area forward in 4-5" strokes and gradually advancing until the patch emerges out the muzzle. Waiting approximately 1 minute to let the bore cleaner soak will improve its action.

3. For pitted, heavily carbon-fouled service rifles, leaded revolvers or neglected bores a bronze brush wet with bore cleaner may be used to remove stubborn deposits. This is unnecessary for smooth, target-grade barrels in routine use.

4. Use a final wet patch pushed straight through the bore to flush out loosened residue dissolved by Ed's Red. Let the patch fall off the jag without pulling it back into the bore. If you are finished firing, leaving the bore wet will protect it from rust for 1 year under average atmospheric conditions.

5. If lanolin is incorporated into the mixture, it will protect the firearm from rust for up to two years, even in a humid environment. (For longer storage use Lee Liquid Alox or Cosmolene). "ER" will readily remove hardened Alox or Cosmolene.

6. Wipe spilled Ed's Red from exterior surfaces before storing the gun. While Ed's Red is harmless to blue and nickel finishes, the acetone it contains is harmful to most wood finishes.

7. Before firing again, push two dry patches through the bore and dry the chamber, using a patch wrapped around a suitably sized brush or jag. First shot point of impact usually will not be disturbed by Ed's Red if the bore is cleaned as described.

8. I have determined to my satisfaction that when Ed's Red is used exclusively and thoroughly, that hot water cleaning is unnecessary after use of Pyrodex or military chlorate primers. However, if bores are not wiped between shots and are heavily caked from black powder fouling, hot water cleaning is recommended first to break up heavy fouling deposits. Water cleaning should be followed by a flush with Ed's Red to prevent after-rusting which could result from residual moisture. It is ALWAYS good practice to clean TWICE, TWO DAYS APART whenever using chlorate primed ammunition, just to make sure you get all the corrosive residue out.

This "Recipe" has been placed in the public domain, and may be freely distributed provided that it is done so in its entirely with all current revisions, instructions and safety warnings included herein, and that proper attribution is given to the author.
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4 comments:

Dan said...

It appears, Sir, that you have become my hero of the day. ;) Thanks a bunch James. I have recently come into the ownership of a rather abused arm and was beginning to cast about for possible solutions... Maybe I will have some time over the weekend to fool with it... Again, appreciate it and if I have no other chance before... Happy New Year to you and yours. ;)

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

I saw that! Old guns are great. That's probably what got my subconscious to digging around for "the recipe." Looking forward to reading and seeing how it turns out.

Happy New Years, Dan!

Borepatch said...

That is such a beautiful gun I don't know what to say.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Thanks, Ted. Dunno how old it is... barrels are from Brescia, Italy. From what I have read, the wood, furniture, and locks could be from anywhere.

Happy New Year!