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Trying to clean a 1944 barrel. I'm not having any luck and need some help

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    Trying to clean a 1944 barrel. I'm not having any luck and need some help

    Need help!
    I am trying to clean up a friends 1942 Garand, with a May 1944 barrel, so she can sell it. After spending a great deal of time trying to clean it, it's most obvious it hasn't been well cared for, probably for decades.
    For the life of me I can't get the inside of the barrel clean. It looks like there a grains of gunpowder in the grooves, and there appears to have some rusting in the barrel as well. The bottom end near the chamber is in decent shape, but the last 10" toward the muzzle are nasty! In 35 years of gun cleaning, I've never had one like this. I've used Hoppe's No 9, Remington Bore-X, CLp and Copperzilla. I've considered trying Flitz down the bore, but not so sure that's a smart Idea.
    Any help I can get will be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    It's probably corroded, which may not be the end of the world.
    When I have a stubbornly dirty barrel, I wrap a bore brush with fine steel wool. Secure the bore brush in one section of a cleaning rod then tighten the rod in a hand-held drill. Secure the barrel and slowly "drill" the bore with the steel-wool-wrapped-bore-brush. Make sure the bore brush is coated with either bore solvent or oil of some type.
    Do this for about a minute and clean. Repeat as necessary until you get at least some desired results.
    If the bore is too corroded you should consider replacing the barrel if that's even an option.
    If the barrel is still serviceable, then shoot it and enjoy it. Just don't expect tack-driving accuracy.
    Welcome to the Addiction!

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      #3
      I was working tonight on a 2.5 million Winchester that I'm going to sell. The barrel is pre-Korean War SA, I don't remember the date. Many, maybe most, of service rifles from that era are corroded. The service ammunition was all corrosive until the mid 50s if I remember correctly. I worked on that barrel for quite a while. It is clean. But it is also black from corrosion. It can't be undone. If the rifle will be a collector, it doesn't really matter much. It is a representation of a weapon from the end of WWII, and perhaps used in Korea. It is what it is. If the rifle needs to be a shooter, get a Criterion barrel from CMP and have a gunsmith swap it out and finish chamber it.

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        #4
        If barrel is pitted or frosted you never will gt it completely clean as the pits holds the carbon, etc

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          #5
          I had some nasty barrels that I worked on forever,and they always threw black patches.I began firing the rifle with several shots,and then I'd clean.The heated barrel cleaned much better and actually became a good shooter(bore was still "frosted"though.BTW,If I have bad bores I leave the copper in from firing and only remove fouling,I've had good luck tightening up groups this way,possibly from the copper filling in pits?

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            #6
            Originally posted by Prince Humperdink View Post
            I had some nasty barrels that I worked on forever,and they always threw black patches.I began firing the rifle with several shots,and then I'd clean.The heated barrel cleaned much better and actually became a good shooter(bore was still "frosted"though.BTW,If I have bad bores I leave the copper in from firing and only remove fouling,I've had good luck tightening up groups this way,possibly from the copper filling in pits?
            I have found all of the above to be true, especially hot barrels easier to clean.

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              #7
              Here's an old trick that actually works but it's (supposedly) toxic and the material is unobtanium. Plug the breech. Tape over the gas hole. Fill the barrel with Mercury (the unobtanium part). Let it sit for a week. Pour out the Mercury into a container for later reuse. Clean barrel as normal. You'll think the barrel is brand new.
              Jon

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                #8
                What mercury does is to dissolve non-ferrous metals such as lead and copper. It will not help a barrel that is pitted from rust due to corrosive primers, followed by dampness and lack of cleaning. I think that all of the service ammo until the mid-50s was corrosive. In wartime it is hard to keep a bore clean and rust free. That is why so many WWII barrels look like sewer pipes.

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                  #9
                  I wasn't trying to insinuate that the pitting would be gone--that's permanent, period. All I was getting at was that the patches would come out clean in short order.
                  ​Jon

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by GBA View Post
                    What mercury does is to dissolve non-ferrous metals such as lead and copper.
                    Really no BS or are you pulling our collective leg.... I wouldn't do it because of the possible health hazard but this is the first time I heard this.

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                      #11
                      Here are a couple of quotes from the Mercury article in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercur...#Historic_uses

                      "Mercury was once used as a gun barrel bore cleaner."

                      "Gold and silver mining. Historically, mercury was used extensively in hydraulic gold mining in order to help the gold to sink through the flowing water-gravel mixture. Thin gold particles may form mercury-gold amalgam and therefore increase the gold recovery rates.[4] Large-scale use of mercury stopped in the 1960s. However, mercury is still used in small scale, often clandestine, gold prospecting. It is estimated that 45,000 metric tons of mercury used in California for placer mining have not been recovered.[87] Mercury was also used in silver mining."

                      Give liquid mercury some time and it will amalgamate a lot of softer metals: silver, gold, lead, tin, etc.

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                        #12
                        No BS Phil. Like I said, it's an OLD trick.
                        ​Jon
                        Last edited by TJT; 12-29-2015, 09:57 PM.

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                          #13
                          I had no idea, thanks for the info I learned something new.

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                            #14
                            Thing is even if you get a pitted barrel sqeaky clean once you fire it all the pitts will hold the filth into the pores and you will be back where you started

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                              #15
                              Another perspective to consider is that the "black" coming out of the barrel is active corrosion. On the WWII barrels, I clean them with Hoppe's no.9 and patches until there's minimal copper residue. Then I give the barrel a cleaning with Kroil, both patches and bore brush. After it's clean as it gets, I soak it with Kroil for a day or two. This usually stops the active stuff, but as Orlando said, it'll be dirtier than usual after shooting. Hopefully, this makes sense...

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