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Posted: 9/26/2006 8:41:49 AM EST
Since cleaning can take such a long time sometimes and I'm not a fan of chemicals I was wondering if it's damaging to clean an AR with high-pressure water. Of course, I'll dry everything thoroughly afterwards. Dry each part and fan it. Run dry patches through the barrel, run air down the barrel for some time, and then run a CLP patch.

Would the high-pressure water strip the blueing of the parts or damage the barrel? I have a Bushmaster, and I think their barrels are chrome-moly, right?

Would it be okay for other barrel types?
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 10:36:45 AM EST
I clean 1911 frames and slides the same way. I then use compressed air to dry and re oil.

Just wear thick gloves as water cuts.
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 10:55:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2006 11:03:05 AM EST by QUIB]
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 11:27:27 AM EST
I wouldn't use it to clean the exterior of the rifle or the lower receiver at all.

When I take the bolt assembly apart I usually wash that in the sink, but that's not high pressure.

What I was mainly thinking about was the barrel, chamber, and receiver area where the bolt assembly is. I understand what you're saying and it made me think about the forward assist trapping moisture, so I guess the receiver area would be a no.

But how about just the barrel, since that's the main cleaning area. The receiver I can get easily. The bolt assembly isn't a problem. But what I'd like to do is run a small pipe down the barrel, wrapped so as not to damage the sides, but flared at the end so as to spray the sides of the barrel. It'd be high pressure but since it's within the barrel it wouldn't get under handguards or anything like that.

Assuming I block water from spraying out into the receiver, would the high pressure affect the barrel?
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 12:36:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2006 4:49:06 PM EST by QUIB]
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 12:38:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2006 12:39:29 PM EST by texas1138]
One of the approved methods of cleaning in the Marine Corps is cold water wash........so it couldn't be that bad for it.......

edit...and we did it too, never had any problems, just used plenty of CLP to lube 'er up
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 12:44:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 12:48:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2006 12:50:13 PM EST by texas1138]

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By texas1138:
One of the approved methods of cleaning in the Marine Corps is cold water wash........so it couldn't be that bad for it.......

edit...and we did it too, never had any problems, just used plenty of CLP to lube 'er up



Do you have some Marine Corp documentation that recommends using water to clean weapons?


No.....and I think it was more of a last resort way of cleaning. The only times we ever did it, were when the guns were covered in mud or dirt and competely filthy to the point where it was pointless to waste the CLP. So we would wash all the grime and grit off with cold water and then after letting the weapon dry we would CLP it all up to stop rust from occuring.

edit: I'm going to glance through my stuff and see if I can find some kind of documentation to back this up.....but no guarantees.
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 1:05:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/26/2006 2:33:38 PM EST
I guess water could work, but I am not willing to chance it. I will stick with CLP and elbow grease. But if I had a pos that I didn't care about I might test it out and see what happens.
Link Posted: 9/28/2006 5:57:14 PM EST
Washing with water or pressure has not been a problem for me. Hot or Cold.

If you go swimming with your rifle or it takes a dunk, ride on top of vehicle in sever rain storms the water will find all the same spots as washing with pressure.

As mentioned its very useful for removing caked on mud, sand etc.

However if you use this method of washing I would suggest you total disasemble to dry,within a short period of time. Then clean and lube as environment requirers
Link Posted: 9/29/2006 2:41:58 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2006 2:43:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2006 2:44:37 AM EST by QUIB]
Link Posted: 9/29/2006 7:05:52 AM EST
I only clean the bolt assembly with water maybe every 4 cleanings to do a thorough job with complete disassembly, complete drying, and then oiling.

As for the high pressure barrel washing: I've built the device I intended to after asking this question. Because of the answers I'll be sure not to use it on the receiver or anything else, it was intended for the barrel anyway. Since the barrel is chrome moly it won't rust, the pressure isn't really that high, it's not like a power washer or anything. Then I can dry with another device I'll create(if the cleaning works that is) using a fan and cone to force air down the barrel. Then oil.

I bought a thin hollow pipe, smaller diameter than a cleaning rod. Some 1/4 OD piping and a fitting to attach it to an outdoor spicket. Throw them all together and nearly done. I still need to cap the end and cut/drill openings on the side of the pipe to make for the high pressure openings. I'll also put some kind of padding on it to guide it down the barrel with out dinging the sides, in addition to using the bore guide. The high pressure openings will be near the tip, but on all sides so I don't have to twist it.

Then I'll go shooting, bring it home, run some hoppes, let it soak, then try out the device to see how well it works.
Link Posted: 9/29/2006 7:13:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2006 2:28:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2006 2:31:52 PM EST by axarob44]
That is the most ridiculous,unnecessary thing I have heard of in a long time! The only time it MIGHT be necessary to introduce water into a firearm would be cleaning for corrosive primers or scrubbing Muzzle loading black powder rifles. Or as was already mentioned cleaning heavy mud from the EXTERIOR of the rifle. I would imagine if there was a need to use water to clean the barrel the military would have adopted it some time ago. Give your poor rifle a break and use a cleaning rod like the rest of the world..........axarob44
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 4:49:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2006 4:51:21 AM EST by DakotaFAL]

Originally Posted By QUIB:
Do you have some Marine Corp documentation that recommends using water to clean weapons?


After coming in from the field with weapons filled with sand, grit, mud etc, we used to rinse out the lower receviers in the shower. It saved at least an hour picking stuff out of the lower and did a much better job than a brush. We also used water as hot as we could stand to heat up the lower and speed drying time. The aluminum warms up nicely and a good shaking, an air dry and a thorough lube was all that was needed.

My understanding is that it was one of those unofficial things everyone in line units did that would have caused problems if that information were known much higher than the company level.

We did not however use water on the upper receivers or bolt carrier - those were easy enough to clean the conventional way. That obviously eliminates concerns with water getting into the bolt carrier, in the gas system, between the upper receiver and barrel extension, etc.

However when you consider that jumping into lakes, streams, etc in full combat gear was a routine training evolution, in addition to the time spent getting rained on, crawling through mud etc, I don't think getting water anywhere in the weapon was something anyone worried about.
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 9:20:48 AM EST
Well, then I guess it's at least good for my Mauser which I have a lot of corrosive ammo for.

The idea is to decrease the use of chemicals and make cleaning easier. If it doesn't work, then it's back to normal. I have problems with dizziness so I'm sensitive to chemicals. I wear gloves, but I don't really feel like wearing a respirator for an hour or more while I clean my guns. Plus I'd have to buy filter refills all the time.

Is cleaning with water easier in your book? Maybe not. You have to run some Hoppes down to break it up, run the water device, drain it, run some dry patches, force air down it, then go back to it later to run another dry patch or two, then run some lube down it. PLUS I have to clean the receiver anyway, right?

So maybe it's not for you. Maybe it's not for me either, but I'm going to try. Maybe I'm too thorough in my cleanings, but I can spend an hour on just the AR, not including the other guns I usually shoot on the same outing. I don't particularily like scrubbing the barrel, running wet, running dry. Still extremely dirty, keep going, still dirty, keep going. And like I said, avoiding the chemicals as much as possible.

Link Posted: 10/2/2006 10:01:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By adfinder23:
Well, then I guess it's at least good for my Mauser which I have a lot of corrosive ammo for.

The idea is to decrease the use of chemicals and make cleaning easier. If it doesn't work, then it's back to normal. I have problems with dizziness so I'm sensitive to chemicals. I wear gloves, but I don't really feel like wearing a respirator for an hour or more while I clean my guns. Plus I'd have to buy filter refills all the time.

Is cleaning with water easier in your book? Maybe not. You have to run some Hoppes down to break it up, run the water device, drain it, run some dry patches, force air down it, then go back to it later to run another dry patch or two, then run some lube down it. PLUS I have to clean the receiver anyway, right?

So maybe it's not for you. Maybe it's not for me either, but I'm going to try. Maybe I'm too thorough in my cleanings, but I can spend an hour on just the AR, not including the other guns I usually shoot on the same outing. I don't particularily like scrubbing the barrel, running wet, running dry. Still extremely dirty, keep going, still dirty, keep going. And like I said, avoiding the chemicals as much as possible.



Mpro-7 is a non tox based cleaner that works great on carbon, will not do jack for copper.

Windex is what guys around here use for corrsive ammo. Usally with a normal cleaning using ballistol after.

You can also buy BP cleaners that are generally non-tox.
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 11:32:00 AM EST
I asked a freind of mine who is a retired military armourer. He states that cleaning M-16's in the shower was an officail non policy. Everybody did it, but it was not the offially approved technique.

His feeling was that given how they were used in the field, water is not an issue. He also stated it's a case where it's not a problem if you are smart about it and use some common snese but is a problem if you are in fact an idiot and/or lack common sense. In line with this he also made comments to the effect that the idiots are the intended audience for the cartoons that have becomes so prevelent in the military.

Specifically, he noted two problem areas. The pin that retains the buffer assembly and the detents for the receiver dissasembly pins. Water can get trapped in these areas and cause corrosion so he indicated you want to be sure to lube these areas well, use water as hot as possible and shake/dry the receiver thoroughly. He also cautioned about using a pressure washer ohas it has the potential to damage the fibers in some stocks.

He did not feel that the barrel, upper recevier, etc, would suffer at all from being washed or pressure washed and stated he often used a pressure washer on both uppers and lowers.
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 4:58:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 5:05:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2006 5:06:37 PM EST by garr]
When a gun gets really dirty or I shoot corrosive ammo I always clean with dish washing soap (Now I have been using simple green) & Very Hot water, Then I dry (With a heat gun) & lube everything well.
In close to 30 years I have never had a problem doing this.
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 5:16:50 PM EST
December 1972, Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.

Final inspection of M16s at the end of basic.

The Sr. Drill Sgt. said that we absolutely could not run scalding hot water over the lower receiver to clean that part.

He then advised us which sink in the latrine we could not use to do it, and that the Drill Instructors would be in meeting and unavailable for about two hours.

No one failed final weapons inspections because of a dirty lower.

I am not sure how hot that water was, but it evaporated bone dry in very little time after it was taken out from under the flow of that water!
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 5:19:29 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/2/2006 5:28:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/3/2006 3:08:44 PM EST
The inention from the get go was to clean only the barrel with water. I asked about everything to make sure that it wouldn't get damaged in the process, such as if the high pressure water stripped the blueing in the receiver. But since I'll be using a bore guide, that won't happen either way.
Link Posted: 10/3/2006 8:10:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By DasRonin:
December 1972, Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.

Final inspection of M16s at the end of basic.

The Sr. Drill Sgt. said that we absolutely could not run scalding hot water over the lower receiver to clean that part.

He then advised us which sink in the latrine we could not use to do it, and that the Drill Instructors would be in meeting and unavailable for about two hours.

No one failed final weapons inspections because of a dirty lower.

I am not sure how hot that water was, but it evaporated bone dry in very little time after it was taken out from under the flow of that water!
That's classic...and pretty much was the way it was in 1985 - after coming back from the field, the DI's dissapeared for a suitable amount of time while we all flushed the sand out of the lower receivers.
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 11:31:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2006 11:32:26 AM EST by Wickwire]
Water and laundry soap sure..High pressure no way
Do not forget to lube..
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