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Dirty little .22

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Dirty little .22 Empty Dirty little .22

Post by ding-a-ling 5/1/2024, 2:58 pm

It's no secret that .22LR might be the dirtiest cartridge since the advent of smokeless powder. My son has a remarkably accurate 17-3 and I use a S&W 22A for target work. Both pistols accumulate heavy residue pretty quick, esp the 17-3 due to the inherent design. Of course, the 17-3 will keep plugging along regardless of build-up, but it is a bear to get back to a showcase gleam. My 22A is a different animal. When enough residue builds up in, on, and around the chamber mouth, extractor, and bolt it will start to mis-feed. The first thing to go is reliable extraction quickly followed by light strikes. I keep a brass toothbrush in its kit just for these occasions.

Has a product been fielded that when applied to external surfaces really sheds rimfire residue build-up?

I'm sure that something like a DLC would provide something, but I'm looking for a topical solution.

Thoughts? TIA
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Post by -TT- 5/1/2024, 3:18 pm

I've had great results with BoreTech Rimfire Blend. It cleans .22 chambers beautifully.

https://www.boretech.com/products/rimfire-blend

You don't mention what brand/type of ammo you use, but if it's a hot recoil, the 22A slide might be opening early, spraying still-burning powder in the wrong direction. A less-energetic powder can make a big difference, if so - in addition to giving you more consistent velocity.
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Post by ding-a-ling 5/1/2024, 3:29 pm

-TT- wrote:I've had great results with BoreTech Rimfire Blend. It cleans .22 chambers beautifully.

https://www.boretech.com/products/rimfire-blend

You don't mention what brand/type of ammo you use, but if it's a hot recoil, the 22A slide might be opening early, spraying still-burning powder in the wrong direction. A less-energetic powder can make a big difference, if so - in addition to giving you more consistent velocity.

I shoot a variety. I'm always looking for another ammo that checks all of the boxes. We shoot a lot of Federal AutoMatch during practice. CCI SV fits the bill for touch work. The creme de le creme (Eley Match) is in the "I need a sponsorship to be able to shoot this" category.

Good insight toward the action opening up sooner with hotter loads. I have been contemplating a new recoil spring, as the round count says it's due.
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Post by Larry2520 5/2/2024, 7:18 pm

I generally use brake or carb cleaner followed by something like Hoppes.

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Post by gwhite 5/2/2024, 8:48 pm

There's not a lot you can do about carbon fouling.   There are extremes, but most standard velocity ammo burns about as cleanly as any other.

The big issue is the bullet lube.  CCI uses a moderately hard wax, and the amount on the bullets can vary wildly from box to box.  You can get boxes where the wax is so thick that the bullets are stuck to each other, and it's hard to pull them out of the plastic frame.  Here's the breech of a Benelli .22 after less than 50 rounds of REALLY waxy CCI:

Dirty little .22 4-19-211

Federal tends to be fairly clean, but the last several times I tried it, ignition was unreliable, and the recoil wouldn't cycle my pistols.

A lot of European ammo is lubricated with grease.  RWS Target Pistol/Rifle is very greasy, and Norma TAC-22 (which is loaded by RWS) is greasy as well, although the newer red box version is cleaner than the older black box stuff.  Eley uses a fairly clean lube, but I can't afford to buy the expensive stuff, and I've had issues with their cheaper ammo (which is still not cheap).

My go to ammo for the last decade or more has been Aguila standard velocity.  It's relatively inexpensive, and after firing close to 100K rounds, ignition has been 100% reliable .  The lube is a thin wax, that doesn't make a mess of your fingers or your pistol.  I've fired over 800 rounds through a couple different pistols before I started getting malfunctions and had to  clean them.  The pistol were really filthy, but they kept shooting just fine up to that point..

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Post by ding-a-ling 5/2/2024, 10:50 pm

gwhite wrote:There's not a lot you can do about carbon fouling.   There are extremes, but most standard velocity ammo burns about as cleanly as any other.

The big issue is the bullet lube.  CCI uses a moderately hard wax, and the amount on the bullets can vary wildly from box to box.  You can get boxes where the wax is so thick that the bullets are stuck to each other, and it's hard to pull them out of the plastic frame.  Here's the breech of a Benelli .22 after less than 50 rounds of REALLY waxy CCI:

Dirty little .22 4-19-211

Federal tends to be fairly clean, but the last several times I tried it, ignition was unreliable, and the recoil wouldn't cycle my pistols.

A lot of European ammo is lubricated with grease.  RWS Target Pistol/Rifle is very greasy, and Norma TAC-22 (which is loaded by RWS) is greasy as well, although the newer red box version is cleaner than the older black box stuff.  Eley uses a fairly clean lube, but I can't afford to buy the expensive stuff, and I've had issues with their cheaper ammo (which is still not cheap).

My go to ammo for the last decade or more has been Aguila standard velocity.  It's relatively inexpensive, and after firing close to 100K rounds, ignition has been 100% reliable .  The lube is a thin wax, that doesn't make a mess of your fingers or your pistol.  I've fired over 800 rounds through a couple different pistols before I started getting malfunctions and had to  clean them.  The pistol were really filthy, but they kept shooting just fine up to that point..

I had the chance to chrono Federal AutoMatch and Eley Match. The Fed varied by about 40fps shot-to-shot. The EM was only 5 or 6 fps between shots. It's great stuff, and the groups don't lie... Stinks like burning peat... Right now, at the LGS up the street, I can get a 50 round box of Magtech 9mm cheaper than 50 rounds of Eley Match!
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Post by gwhite 5/3/2024, 9:54 am

I'm not sure of all the details, but sometime ago, Aguila had a deal with Eley for help making their .22 ammo.  The boxes of Aguila all used to say "Eley Primed".  I wouldn't be surprised if Eley helped them with other steps & processes, like the bullet lube.  For many years, you could get "Eley Sport" ammo, which was actually made by Aguila for Eley to sell in the US.  It was very good ammo, and nicely priced.  They stopped making it, I suspect because Aguila's sales had increased over time to the point where they needed the production capacity for their own branded ammo.

The priming deal also appears to have expired a number of years ago, and the "Eley Primed" has disappeared from the Aquila boxes.  However, Aguila is presumably still using whatever formulas, processing & machinery they licensed from Eley.  There certainly hasn't been a drop in the reliability of ignition. 

There have been reports of people having problems with some lots of Aguila SV in the last year or so.  The complaints sound like uneven powder charges.  They changed the color of the boxes about the time this happened, and lots of people jumped to the conclusion that they had messed with the production.  I asked Aguila, and they swear it's the same stuff in a new wrapper.  The college team I help coach bought 20K rounds last Fall, and the lots we got seem to be fine.  One possible wrinkle is that all the older stuff was made in a factory in Mexico.  Aguila opened up a new factory in Texas a year or two ago, and they make rimfire there as well.   All the Aguila I have examined still says "Made in Mexico", but it's possible some of the issues are start up problems with the new factory.  It may also be that the standard velocity ammo is all still make in Mexico, and the rimfire being made in Texas is a different flavor.

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Post by MkFiji 5/3/2024, 10:24 am

I used to get failure to fire in my .22 when a carbon ring starts to form. I took a page out of rimfire rifle shooters and soak the chamber with Boretech C4. Do a few dry wipes after 10min soak and I haven’t had issues since.

While chasing the cause for my failure to fire I bought a $30 bore scope that connects to a phone, I could really see the black carbon ring. Now it’s faint and always disappears after a soak and dry wipe

No need for other cleaners through the barrel, the MkIV still shoots better than me

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Post by ding-a-ling 5/3/2024, 10:35 am

MkFiji wrote:I used to get failure to fire in my .22 when a carbon ring starts to form.  I took a page out of rimfire rifle shooters and soak the chamber with Boretech C4. Do a few dry wipes after 10min soak and I haven’t had issues since.

While chasing the cause for my failure to fire I bought a $30 bore scope that connects to a phone, I could really see the black carbon ring.  Now it’s faint and always disappears after a soak and dry wipe

No need for other cleaners through the barrel, the MkIV still shoots better than me

I've had similar success with JB bore paste. I just use a long q-tip in the chamber. I did a test with the JB. I slathered a dremel polishing felt disc with it and ran it hard against a couple different metals. It takes A LOT of pressure and time before the paste makes a noticeable mark on steel. It works great on carbon deposits.

I keep hoping to find a surface treatment for outside of the chamber that fouling residue just won't stick to.
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Post by MkFiji 5/3/2024, 10:44 am

ding-a-ling wrote:
MkFiji wrote:I used to get failure to fire in my .22 when a carbon ring starts to form.  I took a page out of rimfire rifle shooters and soak the chamber with Boretech C4. Do a few dry wipes after 10min soak and I haven’t had issues since.

While chasing the cause for my failure to fire I bought a $30 bore scope that connects to a phone, I could really see the black carbon ring.  Now it’s faint and always disappears after a soak and dry wipe

No need for other cleaners through the barrel, the MkIV still shoots better than me

I've had similar success with JB bore paste. I just use a long q-tip in the chamber. I did a test with the JB. I slathered a dremel polishing felt disc with it and ran it hard against a couple different metals. It takes A LOT of pressure and time before the paste makes a noticeable mark on steel. It works great on carbon deposits.

I keep hoping to find a surface treatment for outside of the chamber that fouling residue just won't stick to.

I remember reading a post about someone being told by a gunsmith to apply JB Bore paste to their bullets, they said it shot well!

For actual time used, C4 is very minimal. I usually just plug the chamber with C4 while I clean the rest of the gun(s) and wipe it at the end—saves a lot of time!


Took me a bit to realize you’re looking for a preventative. I’ve never read anything about that besides shooting ammo that’s less dirty

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Post by gwhite 5/3/2024, 10:52 am

I thought I had posted this here about a year ago, but I searched the forums and couldn't find the post.  Here's what I do to get rid of the chamber ring:


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Post by gwhite 5/3/2024, 12:02 pm

"I keep hoping to find a surface treatment for outside of the chamber that fouling residue just won't stick to."

There are products out there ( I think FIREClean and SLiP 2000 are a couple) that claim to do this.  I use SLiP 2000 on my AR-15, and it may help a little, but it's not a miracle cure.  I may also have some FIREClean somewhere, but I don't think I've ever actually tried it.  I have a dim recollection of dumping some unused snake oil that had separated over time, but I don't recall what it was.

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Post by bruce martindale 5/3/2024, 9:23 pm

Use a toothbrush to clean the breechface and slide during your match

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