Clean Guns With Just Water?

Will water clean your guns?

…the answer just might surprise you.

OK…here’s a mess. I burned 2 powder charges of 40 grains of H4831 and tried to clean it with Froglube CLP. As you can see it did not clean up very well. This is part of a “seasoning” test for Froglube CLP and so I have to clean this without using anything that will remove the Froglube treatment. Hence the water clean. Let’s see what happened…

I sprayed the area with water and let it sit for 10 minutes. I then took a few clean gun cleaning patches and wiped the area. I then sprayed a little more water and rubbed some more with the patches.

Here’s the result after just 2 minutes of cleaning with water. Water penetrates or soaks into carbon fouling and will lift it off of metal surfaces, of course for this procedure the gun needs to have a gun safe, visit to read about how to choose the best gun safe for your needs.. This is why water-based gun cleaners work the best without toxic chemicals. Some of the best water-based gun cleaners are M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner, Slip2000 725 Gun Cleaner and Mil Comm MC25.

Bronze or Brass Bore Brush vs Nylon Bore Brush

There is simply no question as to which type of bore brush is more effective at loosening/removing barrel fouling. I will show you.

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On the left is the nylon bore brush. I brushed my G31 barrel with the nylon brush 50 strokes with gun cleaner in the bore and on the brush. I then pushed a tight fitting wet patch through the bore. The top patch on the left is the result. I did this one more time just to be sure. I brushed 50 strokes with the nylon brush and then wet patched. The second patch is below the first patch. They both are clean. So is the barrel clean?

Now I proceed to do the exact same process but with a bronze/brass bore brush. I wet the bore with the same cleaner and wet the bronze brush. I push the bronze brush through the bore 50 strokes and then push a wet patch through the bore. The patch on the right is the result from the bronze brush. The black stuff on the patch is carbon.

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It took 6 cycles of brushing and patching to get it clean. There was quite a bit of carbon still in the barrel.

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Here is the G31 barrel before this test. You can see carbon on the lands inside the barrel.

Here is the same G31 barrel after cleaning with a bonze brush and Gun Werkz Gun Cleaner.

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This is the chamber end. No carbon in sight.

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Another shot of the chamber end of the G31 barrel.

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Here is shot of the muzzle end and down the barrel. No signs of carbon fouling at all. It looks pretty clean.

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Clean Barrel or Not?

How do you really know if your gun barrel is clean?

When the patches come out white?


…inspecting the inside of the barrel is the only way to be sure. Not that it’s critical though.

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Here is my Lone Wolf stainless steel G31 barrel after what I thought was a thorough cleaning. You can see some dark areas on the rifling on the right side and the bottom.

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I zoomed in so you can see the dark/black areas on the lands. That’s carbon fouling on the rifling lands. On a defensive weapon, this is not critical because it will not effect accuracy nor reliability so it’s a non-issue. I do like having a spotless bore though. I will clean it with various CLP’s and/or cleaners and see if it will come out. Stainless steel barrels make it easier to see carbon fouling because of the color contrast.

Gun CLP/Oil Corrosion Test – 3 days

This is day 3 of my gun CLP/Oil test where I use a 18″ piece of tool steel flat bar to test how well gun CLP’s/Oil’s protect against corrosion. The steel bar is left outside exposed to the elements plus it is sprayed with water everyday.

The CLP’s/Oils used during this test are:

  • FrogLube
  • Archoil AR4200
  • XF-7
  • CorrosionX for Firearms
  • M-Pro 7 LPx

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Here is the control segment of the steel bar. It has no protection and you can see lots of rust forming.

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Here is the segment treated with the gun oil XF-7. It’s doing well with a very small spot in the center section.

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This is the segment treated with Archoil AR4200 CLP. It’s doing very well and no real signs of rust or corrosion. Some very tiny spots at the top.

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This is the CorrosionX for Firearms CLP. No signs of rust or corrosion at all.

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M-Pro 7 LPx is doing very well. No signs of rust or corrosion.

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FrogLube is also doing extremely well. No rust or corrosion.

Glock Barrel After Gun Werkz Cleaning

Here some pictures of my Glock 22 barrel after cleaning it with Gun Werkz Cleaning Fluid.

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The Glock barrel is mounted in a small desk vise to hold it while I patch and brush it.

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If I had a borescope I could really see if it’s totally clean of all fouling. Patches did come out light gray, so it should be pretty clean.

Southern Bloomer Gun Cleaning Patches Are Different

Patches are patches right? Think again.

Southern Bloomer patches are different. I just tried a few on my Glock 22 barrel and I could feel the difference. They grab the barrel. I can feel much more tension with the Southern Bloomer patches than the Pro Shot patches I had been using. Bloomer patches feel flimsy when you pull one out of the bag but when you push one down the barrel, you will see and feel the difference.

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Here is the bag of Southern Bloomer patches.

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You can see the cotton cloth in this close up. It really holds a lot of cleaner or oil and scrubs the bore.

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I did not have a dirty gun to clean so I’ll have to wait to do the real test…barrel cleaning.