This will basically be a “part 1″ of a more longer lasting test period. Cleaning solvent is one of those things it takes a long time and a lot of different things to really evaluate to my satisfaction. I wanted to talk about it and my first thoughts on it as sort of a kick off. As the weeks go buy I will post updates on the stuff and my opinion of it.
I got this cleaner a few weeks ago from a gentleman looking for writers and bloggers to send free samples to for testing. It was being pretty heavily talked about on said page, and obviously was meant to be the new better mouse trap for cleaning. I gave me address and a few days later got the sample. I had read plenty of stuff about how safe it was for mother earth and you can even drink it and not get sick, but I did not see anything about what it may or may not work best at, or what it was intended to be. I fired off an email and asked what exactly was it supposed to be used for . the response was ..”it will remove all fouling & residue (Brass, Carbon, Copper, Dirt, Grease, Lead, etc.), it’s also PH Neutral which means it’s safe on your firearm’s wood and / or polymers.” The ad on Amazon had this to says.”Removes ALL Fouling, PH Neutral, Non-Corrosive, Safe on all Plastics and Polymers, Does not Freeze, Non-Flammable, Non-Water Based, Virtually Odorless, Low Toxicity, Low Vapor Pressure, Non-Carcinogenic, No Components or Characteristics of Hazardous Waste as per EPA, Not Regulated by the OSHA Z-list.“
I have some pretty high standard for gun cleaning products and if you read my earlier posts on how to clean precision and match barrels, you know I am hard to please. I have never seen a cleaner that did more than one or two things and did it well. Actually I never seen a 2in 1 or 3 in 1 cleaner good at any of the 2 or 3 things it is supposed to do. But I do keep an open mind because I have faith in technology and I have seen better and better solvents come along over the past twenty years.
So, after looking around on the details of the cleaner and what I could find so far, because it is so new, I went and got my carbine. This gun never gets cleaned, just oiled. the gun is FDE anodized inside and out and the upper was coated black on the inside from carbon. The bolt and carrier had also only been oiled. I got them out and got my cleaning tools ready not knowing how much elbow grease it would take to work with this stuff. when you brush your teeth you use the tooth paste and a brush. and no matter how good gun solvents are, they almost always need a little extra help.
I sprayed the cleaner inside the upper and let it set for a few minutes,. Upon the stuff hitting the inside I notice immediately black sludge start to run out. Very few things have done this that was not under a high pressure or brake parts cleaner. After 5 minutes of so I wiped it out with a rag. and above is what it looked like. No brass brushes. Not pip cleaner or any of that. I did use a tooth brush but only to help flick some goop out of the crevices, not because I had to really work at it. Very nice so far, but, I have found that FDE anodized ARs seem to clean up easier for some reason, It may be in my mind. but it does seem so. So, I went to the BCG.
I sprayed it with the odorless stuff and again, the black water ran off.
I let it set, then just used a red shop rag to wipe it off. No brush.
It did not get all of it out of the inside, but it went a long way toward getting it all.
Cleaned up the bolt as well. But here is the first sign of weakness. It will not remove the hardened carbon on the boats tail and better than the mediocre stuff like Hoppes. Even with the addition of a brush it did not really do much better. In fact Slip2000 carbon cleaner works faster when trying to remove the hardened stuff.
It is really good at removing the loose sludge that does not need as much work. But it is held up on the hard stuff. I have not cleaned a bore yet to see if it remove copper and lead as claimed, but I wanted to see how it did on carbon first.
A few things to think about first. Good weapon lube will keep carbon and grit and sand etc,. sort of suspended in the lube. It will not let it stick so to speak. The lube will keep the gun wet and lubricated while keeping the grit and fouling from causing problems. Obviously this helps a great deal with cleaning, Since it is a lot easier to wipe away lube with fouling in it than it is to scrape it off the metal. Dirty lube might look and seem bad., but it is still doing an important job. A good lube will suspend the fouling and particles and let you wipe it off and re lube so you can get buy a long time until you do a real serious cleaning. That is one of the reasons I rarely clean a fighting gun like I would a match bolt gun. A good lube lets you do that. I use Slip2000EWL and it excels at this. It does not burn off fast, it stays in place and it is not harmful to your body. It is really super stuff and it is the ONLY lube I use if I have a choice. So in the case with this cleaner. I think the Slip2000 made the job a lot easier. That is not a rag on the Breathrough at all. It needs to be thought of as a system. If the Slip suspends the crud and the Breakthrough just sprays on and the fouling runs off with no work, I call that pretty good.
But, that is probably not what the makers want to hear or have in mind. For sure the idea is Breakthrough military grade cleaner is suppose to be super easy to use regardless of the oil used on the weapon. Alas, that is not how the world works. So I will be be trying it out with cleaning guns with different lubricants and no lube to see if it makes a difference good or bad. So far, when used to clean guns oiled with Slip2000 it shows some real promise. I would not stop using the SLIP line of cleaners and replace them with this stuff yet, but we will see.
Above is another picture of the carrier simply sprayed and wiped off. As you can tell, the cleaner leaves no film behind. It is not CLP and does not leave behind any protective film.
I will continue testing it out to see if it is snake oil or worth its price. I can not recommend it yet. I am not sold on it as of yet but I am curious. The military grade claims is not something I pay any attention to and I advise you to ignore it as well since it really does not matter much in my opinion. I use a lot of cleaners that do not boat military grade properties and nothing else out there beats them. I am sure that is hype made to cash in on the same people who buy stuff because maybe a NAVY SEAL uses it. A few more weeks and I will give my final verdict.
If you want to try it out, or read marketing claims yourself,you can get it here and if you enter promo code Looserounds, you can get 10% off.
Given all the claims made, I’d be very curious to see the MSDS.
Based on your initial testing, it sounds like ultrasonic cleaning might be an ideal use case. Is it miscible with water?
Good start for your evaluation. I am anxious to see your next installment.
IM sorry to say that is a very old article from the old site and I used all that up long ago. Its good stuff though.
Shawn, does this solvent clean carbon better than Ballistol? If it’s better, I want to pick some up, since Ballistol stinks up the whole room.
In my opinion it does. I would recommend Slip2000 cleaning products for no smell and completely nontoxic