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Merchant of Death (Admin)
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Okay, not you specifically; I've got daughters for that <g>. My gun cleaning routine for all of my HK's has remained relatively since the dawn of time. Hoppe's, brushes, patches, toothbrushes, CLP... I got all 90's when I started using some Powder Blast and then a Bore Snake (greatest invention since frozen cheesecake). So I picked up one of those ultrasonic gizmos with the timer and the heater with the thought that this might be a lazier way to clean the hoard of USP's, etc.

What solvent is recommended for the tub for USP's? Is it okay on stainless? What about the polymer parts? Can I store the solvent in the tub? Is this worth the effort or should I just go back to treating my children as chattle and doing this USP cleaning stuff by hand?
 

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I use the L&R cleaner and lube(Midway, Brownells) in my US, works great, seems fine on poly but might take off the paint someday

fine on stainless or anything really, just not good for YOUR body parts

I have sepertate trays for the cleaner and lube, $10 or less at Costco Business or a resturant supply house(vrs about $100 from the US dealers), get the lids also keep the bugs out

and US will not really clean faster, but you can do other stuff when in the US, also no stink, but you still need to clean the barrel like before, US will not get the lead out. the US is not really something you use after each time to the range its more(for me) for those heavy cleanings every so often.

it does a KILLER job on HK bolt/carriers for long guns, when torn down my SP89 will fit completly in my US.....nice! :)

even after done, you still need to oil the gun like before.

all set and done I would not be without my US cleaner
 

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Merchant of Death (Admin)
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So I take it that you would recommend this process over using your children to do the work?

Seriously, I don't think that I would ever trust an automated process to do the barrel work to the finished state. We'll give it a go. Any other handy tips out there? I don't really see how this could hurt my USP's or P7's, but I gotta ask first!
 

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why would you want to go and ruin something as special as cleaning your guns with your children? ahh, i remember the good old days when i was a kid... playing with the grenade launcher and fully auto's with my dad. can't wait till i have kids! :D
 

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I've always wanted an ultrasonic, but nearly all my pistols have night sights and I'm concerned it may loosen those tubes.
 

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I vote for the kids. I try to get my wife to clean her own guns, but I do not like the way she does it so I do it myself.

This is some info I previously post on ultrasonic cleaning:

I have used ultrasonic cleaners for many years, but not for cleaning guns.
What I would do - would be to put water in the ultrasonic tank, and then put the cleaning solution in a smaller container that would hold the part to be cleaned. I actually used a glass beaker, but anything that will transfer the ultrasonic energy will work - you can see the bubbles in the inner container. This is beneficial for 2 reasons, one it is easy to dump the cleaning liquid, and secondly the dirty cleaning solution is not in the ultrasonic tank.

Keep in mind that extended ultrasonics can cause premature failure of materials, due to the propagation of stress cracks.

As a caution - I would be very very careful what I put in an ultrasonic tank, and how long I would leave it there. If used properly the ultrasonic tank or vapor degreasor is an excellent tool. BUT an ultrasonic cleaner can cause microcracks or cause existing microcracks to worsen. Putting a barrel in there (suspended, not on the bottom) for a short time should probably not cause any problems. I would be very very careful about using it on any polymers or parts under stress. Microcracks are not visible to the naked eye but only under high magnification. I have seen many things damaged by improper use of ultrasonics.

Just for clarification on the ultrasonic tank cleaning: I have never put any gun components in an ultrasonic tank, but I have used ultrasonic tank cleaners, and vapor degreasers with ultrasonic tanks. After looking at different types of failures under high magnification 400x-10,000x I can tell you that ultrasonics can cause microcracks in materials and can also worsen existing microcracks. Ultrasonics can also cause loosing of fasteners such as screws, nuts, bolts, and pins.

These microcracks will probably not be evident to the naked eye, especially after only a couple of cleanings. These microcracks could over time lead to failure of components. Firearm components are subject to a lot of stress, and I would be concerned over time if I consistently used an ultrasonic cleaner. The barrel is probably thick enough not to be functionally damaged by the ultrasonics.

That said, if you wanted to put the polymer parts in an ultrasonic tank for a couple of minutes to loosen up any gunk on there, I would not worry too much about that, but I would not leave it in there for more than that.

Also if you do ultrasonic any items that have any fasteners, I would recheck them.
 

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What solvent is recommended for the tub for USP's? Is it okay on stainless? What about the polymer parts? Can I store the solvent in the tub? Is this worth the effort or should I just go back to treating my children as chattle and doing this USP cleaning stuff by hand?
There are two parts to the US process. First the "solvent" then a second trip through a lubricating solution which also displaces water from all of the areas you can't reach with a rag or your compressor. The two part process will necessitate emptying the tank between solutions. There is a hose and clamp assembly on the machine that speeds emptying it. I line the bottom of the parts basket with a couple of layers of cheese cloth to reduce the chance of abrasion. I use a 50/50 water & simple green solution as the solvent. It cleans well and has no ill effects on finish/painted parts. Of course L&R makes a "special" solvent for use in their machine. I still use L&R Lubricating Solution though. It is a little on the pricey side but a gallon of the stuff will last quite a while. The white oil in the solution is not sufficient in my mind as a thorough lubricant. The nice thing is, when it comes out of the US unit, it will be quite warm and very receptive to a good coat of Militec-1. As stated previously you will still need to hand clean your barrel and in some case a nylon brush has to used on the frame and slide to knock off the carbon and grime that has been softened by the machine. You will get a routine figured out. Enjoy...
 
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