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Does anyone use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean their handguns, to get to the almost impossible spots to clean? Maybe use it every 1000-1500 rounds? I called S&W customer service and she said S&W does not recommend using it, but are they saying that because of their lawyers? 90% of what I shoot are my reloads and certain powders are just nasty. Thanks
 

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I have an industrial ultrasonic cleaner that I use for carbs and such, but because you are using a water-based cleaner I wouldn't use it on steel firearm parts. It's not safe to use any non-water based cleaners as far as I know.

Compete disassembly and cleaning with Brake Cleaner or Gun Scrubber should do it, followed by some type of light oil.
 

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I agree with you jkv45, was just seeing if someone had found a way to use one and what they used to prevent rust.
 

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used to prevent rust.



Mine gets the water to 50c. The water heater in my shop is set to 200F. The firearm is removed from the tank, rinsed with the hot water, blown out with compressed air. If there is any doubt about any water remaining it gets set out in the Texas summer sun or a spare toaster oven to complete the drying process. Then the firearm is lubricated a quality oil. I have never had rusting issues.



Flash point of mineral spirits, which are often suggested for this activity, is 51c. A little to close for comfort in my book. There are other solvents with higher flash points that can be used in safely ultrasonic cleaners if you don't want to take the chance with a water based product. The Brownell's and the L&R utrasonic firearm cleaning solution both are mixed 10:1 with water and work well but run about $70/gallon.
 

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I've used an ultra sonic cleaner on metal parts for a few years now I just use Simple Green HD and water. It sometimes takes a couple cycles because I use a cheap harbor freight ultrasonic and I don't clean the gun very often.
Rince it off once clean then use an air hose to dry then apply the lube of choice.

There are numerous videos showing this on the net if you feel like watching them.
 

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This is all you need
I like the CRC QD Electronics cleaner. Its plastic safe.
I use BreakFree CLP to oil the gun after cleaning it (because the CRC cleaner will dry out the gun and eliminate oils & lubes)
I spray the recoil spring assembly with dri-lube. And a light spray of dri-lube inside the mags. Dri-lube will enhance mag follower movement.

These 3 products will take up alot less room than an ultrasonic cleaner too.
 

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Simple Green (Yellow) to clean the entire firearm. Break off the loolipop ring off a Glock cleaning rod and clean the bore with toothpaste utilizing your favorite cordless drill. Rinse under hot water, dry thoroughly. Finally, use a quality oil on all metal surfaces and dry again. *** You are Good to go.
 

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Best way to clean the barrel that I have found is Hoppe's Elite. I have it in a quart jar and put the barrel in overnight. Carbon build up usually can be wiped off. Heavy build up in a Open class compensator may need to be soaked and scrubbed several times.
 

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I called S&W customer service and she said S&W does not recommend using it, but are they saying that because of their lawyers?
I doubt their lawyers have as much to do with it as the fact the gun would be unlubricated without you taking it completely apart and lubing everything.

I will soak revolvers and semi-auto slides overnight in M-Pro 7 Cleaner. It makes them much easier to clean, (especially the face of cylinders) but then I fully lube everything. I buy it by the gallon and thought about using it in an Ultrasonic Cleaner. It is non-flammable.
 

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There are commercial agents designed specifically to both clean and lubricate firearms in ultrasonic cleaners. It's not just generally 'a problem'. For every cleaning chore, there's a product.

I don't use ultrasonic for firearms, but it's all I've used for cleaning brass for about 8 years or so. Pure citric acid and TSP available anywhere, used sparingly in a hot tank-and I actually get brilliant clean primer pockets, rather than primer pockets that are dirtier than when they go into the tumbler, etc. Very highly recommended for that application.
 

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I’ve heard the horror stories about rust but I use an ultrasonic myself for the last year and I feel it’s not the issue everyone thinks it is. After my cleaning with simple green aircraft I do a quick rinse dip in a bucket of water then blow it out with air or hot box it with a dryer. Finally a little lube or silikroil in the hard to reach places for a rust preventative and I haven’t had an issue. I’ve been told revolvers are bad due to moisture behind cover plates but don’t clean them in there. I have a hot oil bath lube if I want to dip them in but then you gotta wipe and let them sit to dry. I’ve seen more rust issues with improper storage, sweaty leather and cordura holsters than I’ve seen with guns cleaned with the ultrasonic. And the gunk that comes out from the inside after cleaning makes your best cleaning seem inadequate. But cleaning is just like oil and lube, it’s a religion that everyone thinks is right and we will only find out in the afterlife who wins.
 

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I've worn pistol and gotten them wet while kayaking, and wade fishing. Never had a problem with rust. I've sprayed clp - Breakfree all inside my lower frame on occasions when my pistol has been subjected to dirt or sand, then rinsed it off with hot water thoroughly. I shake the water out, hit it with a blow dryer - not heating the pistol up too much, set it on the floor in front of a fan for a few minutes, then put the slide back on and do my normal light lubrication. Never have had even a spot of rust.

I did forget to take an AK out of a damp rifle case once, was drizzling rain and in the bed of the truck on the way home from shooting, and looked at it a couple days later - it was entirely bright red rust all over the rifle. I used WD 40 to remove it, then put a light coat of oil on the outside, and I never had the rust return again. I've hadd rifles and pistols subjected to water so many times I can't count them, and I haven't had a problem. I've never used an ultrasonic cleaner.
 

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I use one for vintage safety razors. Never firearms. As long as it's done correctly and dried out and lubed correctly I would think it's ok. Unnecessary though. My 2 cents.
 

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It’s not about the necessity of it to me. For me a good thorough cleaning is around an hour of labor. With the cleaner I heat it up and set it in for a half hour bath while doing other things and when done rinse,dry and lube. Not a lot of effort on my end and it lets me bring variety to a range day or when my son and nephews wanna shoot 10 different guns of mine over a weekend and I’m not freaking out over all the cleaning time I gotta spend anymore.
 

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I know what it says. I think that’s all part of standard legalese to keep idiots from putting aluminum sensitive solvent in the ultras and putting all the aluminum. On a couple other forums I peruse a couple of the departments that run m&ps have used them.
I know guys with a lot more expensive steel and polymer guns that haven’t had problems.
YMMV
 

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M&P owners manual
Right where your finger is it says: "Ammoniated solvents or other strong alkaline solvents, should not be used on any Smith & Wesson firearm."
Guess what Hoppes 9 is? An Ammoniated solvent. Guess what a guy at S&W who worked there for 40 years said? BS. MAYBE on a nickel plated gun but since it contains less then 1% Ammonium Hydroxide and is mostly Kerosene and Ethanol it isn't going to hurt a thing. He has used since he was a kid and that was about 50 years ago w/o a problem.

OMG my M&P rusted, then melted and then burst into flames because I used Hoppes 9.

An instructor I know who teaches combat hand-gunning and supplies his own guns because he doesn't have time for peoples guns breaking or babying them uses mineral spirits for cleaning and Mobil 1 for oiling. His guns usually run 100% but if they don't he has backups. Mineral spirits is about $10 a gallon. It is a strong solvent but it isn't alkaline.
It works for him but since I don't want to blow up my house in the winter I use Hoppes.
Nothing bad has happened and I have been using it for almost 40 years.

While I personally think that ultrasonic cleaning is a bit overkill, if you did every once in a while I doubt it would be a problem. I was a partner in a pawn shop and cleaned jewelry with an ultrasonic cleaner that was worth far more then any gun. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get jewelers rouge out of every little crevice on a piece with stones? It's a PITA. Throw it in the ultrasonic, dry it, polish it, back in the ultrasonic, make sure all the stones are tight and send it out.

The moral is: If S&W is going to deny you warranty coverage it doesn't matter if it's in the manual or not.
IOW don't believe everything you read, they put that in the manual so they have an out if they need it.

It's sort of like "The bullets come out of this hole going very fast so be careful" warning.
 
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