Monday, January 03, 2011

Cleaning Compensators

Everyone who owns an Open pistol knows that the most difficult part of cleaning it is to clean out the caked gunpowder residue in the Compensator ports. This stuff achieves the consistency of concrete within seconds, and it builds up with every shot taken. By the time one has completed a match, there is at least an hour's worth of effort to clean it out with knife, screwdriver, dental pick, and/or whatever your favorite tool may be.

Over the years SWMBO and I have attempted to make the effort more ... well, effortless ... by soaking the compensator in various solvents. Hoppes #9 seems to be the best solvent found so far, but that is only by virtue of imbuing the room with the wonderfully manly aroma of the solution; we havent' found that it aids significantly in actually softening the residue, or making it easier to remove.

The best solvent seems to be old-fashioned "elbow grease". Cursing may help, but that depends on the individual character .. or lack of it.

I noticed several years ago that there are various electrolytic systems on the market which promise to make it much easier to remove metal fouling (lead, copper) from the grooves in a barrel. They usually involve submersing the barrel in a special liquid and inserting an electrode or two into it, and then running electricity through the whole arrangement. I haven't tried that, since my primary concern is to remove gunpowder residue, which I suspect has no chemical properties which will lend itself to electrolysis.

But I may be wrong.

So my question to you is: does anyone know of any process other than the extravagant (and time-consuming) application of elbow grease to clean the powder residue from compensators?

I don't mind admitting my ignorance, so please don't spare my feelings when you reply: "Hey, Geek, where have you been? The XYZ Company has been marketing the MacDonald's Magical Powder Residue machine for years; it's inexpensive, it works overnight, and every body else is already using it!"

Oh dear, I DO hope such a wonderful solution (excuse the pun) is available.

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