Whether you’re a private gun owner or a gun shop owner, cleaning firearms is definitely the most arduous part of dealing with them. Yet a clean gun is necessary for accurate and safe shooting.
Many experts recommend cleaning guns every time they’re shot and definitely after target practice, when many rounds are shot.
Carbon buildup inside the barrel, for example, can affect the bullet’s velocity and, potentially, its accuracy.
Lead build-up in the barrel, smoke fouling in other parts of the gun, plus plastic residue when shooting shotgun shells all can contribute to decreased gun safety and accuracy.
Cleaning a gun the traditional way involves a somewhat tedious, multistep process involving strong chemical solvents and hand scrubbing, which can unintentionally remove gun bluing, exposing the gun to potential rust damage. Ultrasonic gun cleaning offers a high-tech and efficient solution, saving hours of labor.
What is Ultrasonic Cleaning?
Simply put, ultrasonic cleaning involves putting an object in a liquid solution inside a device which then bathes the object in ultrasonic sound waves. The vibration of these waves against the object produces millions of tiny “cavitation” bubbles that explode against the object, safely and thoroughly cleaning any grime from all its surfaces.
When done correctly, ultrasonic cleaning can get even the most stubborn substances off certain object surfaces and can quickly clean even the most hard-to-reach places. This effect makes ultrasonic cleaning perfect for guns.
Where Can I Buy an Ultrasonic Cleaning Device?
Ultrasonic cleaning machines are available from companies like Omegasonics, and offer a great ROI in terms of labor savings, especially for gun stores and law enforcement or military organizations, which have to clean large volumes of guns often.
Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning Steps
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you don’t damage your weapon! Remember, not every material is suitable for ultrasonic cleaning. In particular, if your gun has a wood stock or handle, be advised that ultrasonic cleaning can warp, crack or swell it permanently. However, ultrasonic cleaning will not damage metal or even hard plastic parts.
The ultrasonic cleaning gun process should involve two types of solution in the ultrasonic bath: a cleaning solution and, afterwards, a lubricating solution to protect the gun metal from rusting as well as keeping its moving parts lubricated.
Prepare the ultrasonic cleaning device by putting in the correct amount of cleaning detergent. Remember that you can use the same detergent more than once so be prepared to filter and save it for future uses. Strip down the gun. Remember that since it’s being cleaned ultrasonically you won’t need to strip it down quite as much as if you were hand cleaning it. Just take it apart enough so that the cleaning solution can reach all surfaces.
Place the gun to be cleaned in the solution bath and set the timer for the ultrasonic cleaning device. The amount of time you set will vary based on how dirty the gun is, what type it is, how strong the cleaning solution and ultrasonic cleaning device are, and so on. Once you clean your weapon with this method, you’ll be able to predict this better in the future.
Once the timer goes off and the ultrasonic cleaning is done, remove the gun parts and inspect them. If they look like they need more cleaning, return them to the device for another round. Once they’re clean, use compressed or blown air to dry the firearm..
Remove all fouling and impurities that have settled to the bottom of the tank and then prep the ultrasonic device for round two: the lubricating bath. The ultrasonic waves will make sure the lubricating bath gets into every crevice of your gun–just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Or use a separate drip pan with a lubricating solution and drop this pan into the ultrasonic bath. The ultrasonic waves will pass through the pan and cavitate the firearm housed within.
When you’re done, you should have a thoroughly cleaned and lubricated weapon, ready to use. If you make ultrasonic cleaning part of your gun cleaning routine, you can go off and do other things while it’s cleaning automatically, saving you lots of tedium and labor. Not only that, but ultrasonic cleaning and lubrication are likely to be far more thorough than what you can easily achieve through hand methods.
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