Bore Tech Cleaning Solvents
Bore Tech, Inc. has a complete line
of solvents, oils, greases, degreasers and rust preventatives as well as a number of other
cleaning aids. I began my review of the Bore Tech line with a conversation with Richard
Spruill, Bore Techs director of sales and marketing. It didnt take long to
conclude he really understood the subject of bore cleaning, and we decided I would first
try the companys solvents. Shortly thereafter I received a container of bore
solvent, copper remover and Benchrest Blend, three of the companys most popular
My approach to cleaning firearms is
to clean them thoroughly and, to the extent possible, let the chemicals in the cleaners do
all the heavy lifting. I use one-piece cleaning rods where possible but dont worry
whether they are coated or not. I use bore guides when- ever I can and try hard to
remember to clean the chamber. I use both slotted and pointed jags to hold the patches. My
revolver cleaning is almost always done with jointed rods and from the muzzle to boot - I
just try to be careful. All others are cleaned from the breech, if possible.
My patches are usually home made. I
cut them from outing flannel purchased at stores that carry cloth goods. Some readers have
let me know they have been unable to purchase outing flannel because the clerks didnt
know what it was. Ive had the same problem. Now, I just ask to be pointed to the
flannel section. I want white, no prints and no sizing (starch). Flannel is cotton, fairly
tightly woven. Its pretty much what store-bought patches are made from. I buy it
because I can control the size of the finished product. Its also usually cheaper. I
have the clerk cut off a yard or two and then I go home and make what I want. But maybe
outing flannel is too old fashioned a name and time has robbed it of its descriptiveness.
Just ask for flannel - white, no prints, no sizing. Youll know it when you find it.
As Spruill and I discussed, gun
cleaning involves the removal of several types of fouling. Both primer and powder leave a
residue that must be removed; we call it powder fouling. The projectile also fouls the
bore, whether its copper, gilding metal or lead; its called metal fouling.
Shotgunners have to contend with all this plus other metals these days and also the
residue left by modern one-piece plastic wads. This latter is almost invisible, but once
you see it being removed, you wont forget it. The problem one generally encounters
is that for any chemical to remove the metal fouling, it must first get to it, and to do
that, it must remove the powder fouling. Almost all solvents on the market claim to remove
just about anything. In some cases they will, but in all cases they work better on guns
that have been fired 10 times, say, than those that have been fired 50 times. In these
latter cases, using separate solvents to remove powder and metal fouling can often produce
In working with the Bore Tech
solvents, I cleaned several rifles, handguns and shotguns, pretty much covering all the
bases. Bore Techs recommended procedure for cleaning is slightly different from that
which I usually employ. Their approach is to wet the bore with the solvent, always pushing
the patches through in one direction and discarding them. All scrubbing is done with a
clean, wet bronze brush, moved back and forth through the barrel, followed by more wet
patches and finally dry ones. Actually there is merit to this approach, and I used it in
my tests. While it is easy to follow the patch procedure, the part about using clean
bronze brushes should not be overlooked. Most shooters are familiar with the many cleaner/
degreasers available today. Sold in pressurized cans they are ideal for cleaning
hard-to-reach areas and such parts as removable trigger assemblies in repeating shotguns.
To tell the truth, though, I probably use more of the stuff to clean my bronze brushes
than guns. They need to be cleaned to protect them from some of todays solvents and,
even if they didnt, clean brushes dont carry dirt into the barrels theyre
supposed to be cleaning.
Beginning with Bore Techs bore
solvent, I used saturated patches to push loose fouling out the bore and a brush to break
up imbedded fouling. In some instances, that was all that was necessary. This was true of
all types of firearms. In shotguns, the bore solvent removed the powder fouling, the
occasional streaks of lead and the residue from the plastic wads. In handguns that had
been fired extensively with cast bullets, I sometimes gave the brush a helping hand by
wrapping it with a rectangular piece cut from a copper scouring pad, such as Chore Boy,
found in your local grocery store. This is standard procedure for me when extra effort is
called for, and it works very well. But, anyway you look at it, Bore Techs Bore
Solvent did its job.
In other guns that had been fired
quite a few times, I followed the bore solvent with copper remover, designed to remove
metal fouling after cleaning with bore solvent. Copper remover is not formulated to remove
powder fouling. One of the things I noticed after the bore solvent cleaning was that the
gilding metal fouling remaining in the barrels was brighter than I believe Ive ever
seen it, indicating that the bore solvent had done its job in removing the powder fouling.
An application of copper remover took out the remaining metal fouling quickly. For heavily
fouled barrels, this combination, repeated as necessary, worked as well as anything Ive
During our conversations I told
Spruill I understood the roles of the bore solvent and copper remover and when to apply
them but had to ask just what was the role of Benchrest Blend. Actually the name is a dead
giveaway. Benchrest Blend is a mixture of bore solvent and copper remover and is intended
for use in those situations, such as benchrest shooting, where guns are cleaned with great
frequency. I replicated this by firing guns no more than 10 shots with jacketed bullets
between cleanings. In these cases Benchrest Blend did indeed get barrels clean.
One of the things I consider
important in evaluating gun cleaning solvents is that they be able to be left in the
barrel for extended periods. No product I know of can be left indefinitely, but if you
sometimes leave a barrel to soak overnight or while you are at work, its
safe to do so with Bore Techs Bore Solvent, Copper Remover and Benchrest Blend. All
in all, I have to give the Bore Tech solvents high marks. Using their technique and the
appropriate solvent, or solvents, I suspect you will too.
For more information, contact Bore Tech, Inc.,
2950-N Advance Lane, Colmar PA 18915-9727; e-mail: email@example.com.
- R.H. VanDenburg, Jr.