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Ultra Sonic Cleaners

This is a discussion on Ultra Sonic Cleaners within the Polls forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; There's no doubt that ultrasonic cleaning will get a gun cleaner than a detailed strip and toothbrush/solvent cleaning. My question is this... Aside from the ...


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View Poll Results: Do you use Ultra Sonic Cleaner for your weapon maintanence ?
Yes i use it regularly with no issues 15 17.44%
No i do not trust this type of cleaning 71 82.56%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 15th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #16
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There's no doubt that ultrasonic cleaning will get a gun cleaner than a detailed strip and toothbrush/solvent cleaning.

My question is this... Aside from the aesthetic aspect of a squeaky clean gun which has LOST the multiple-application lubricating aspect of a good modern lube... is there any PROVEN life-cycle or performance benefit?

I doubt that ultrasonic cleaning will extend the service life of a duty/defensive/competitive gun beyond standard thorough cleaning practices, and unless you're dipping 10-15 guns at once, the prep, cleaning and clean-up process of "standard cleaning", seems simpler, cheaper, and no more time consuming than obtaining the components, mixing the cleaning fluid, dipping the gun, drying the gun, disposing of the fluid, remixing the fluid, etc... This also ignores the extra bench space consumed by the cleaner.

With proper standard cleaning/servicing practices I doubt I'll ever wear out an M&P, and having a bit of carbon build-up deep down around the trigger return spring REALLY doesn't bother me one bit...

If I owned a used gun shop and wanted to resell trade-ins that have been abused? Sure, but for my own tools, I'll stick with a toothbrush and some Hoppes.

JW
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
My question is this... Aside from the aesthetic aspect of a squeaky clean gun which has LOST the multiple-application lubricating aspect of a good modern lube... is there any PROVEN life-cycle or performance benefit?

I doubt that ultrasonic cleaning will extend the service life of a duty/defensive/competitive gun beyond standard thorough cleaning practices, and unless you're dipping 10-15 guns at once, the prep, cleaning and clean-up process of "standard cleaning", seems simpler, cheaper, and no more time consuming than obtaining the components, mixing the cleaning fluid, dipping the gun, drying the gun, disposing of the fluid, remixing the fluid, etc... This also ignores the extra bench space consumed by the cleaner.

With proper standard cleaning/servicing practices I doubt I'll ever wear out an M&P, and having a bit of carbon build-up deep down around the trigger return spring REALLY doesn't bother me one bit...

If I owned a used gun shop and wanted to resell trade-ins that have been abused? Sure, but for my own tools, I'll stick with a toothbrush and some Hoppes.
I'm with you on all points--and agree completely with the notion that there's likely no measurable or significant advantage to overall life expectancy. I'm 100% confident there's similarly no measureable reduction to it, either. Now, I seldom clean my guns anyway, but now know I'd need to use a different agent for the gun than I do for brass...meaning mixing, storing and buying yet another product. Don't think that's going to happen.

In fact, my personal preference for cleaning the M&P is to rack back the slide, pull the mag, and fire about a 1/2 pint of aerosol brake cleaner into the gun until black stuff stops pouring out the bottom. Squirt in a gob of Ballistol, swab down with a rag until the gun stops dripping, and toss it in the range bag. Once each quarter. I don't run anything through the bore anymore at all--it just gets dirty again.

As for brass cleaning, it's the only technique I've found that actually cleans the inside of the cases and the primer pockets. But again, one could reasonably ask if that actually makes any difference, and I doubt it does--other than to possibly allow smoother insertion and fuller, more consistent seating of the primers--which would be good if true.

Last edited by Bongo Boy; December 15th, 2012 at 07:35 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 12:18 AM   #18
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The example I witnessed with the foil was an ultrasonic cleaner with plain water in it. I WOULD NOT use one on an aluminum framed gun. It absolutely removes material from aluminum parts. You can do whatever makes you happy.

notnunnya
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Old December 16th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #19
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The example I witnessed with the foil was an ultrasonic cleaner with plain water in it. I WOULD NOT use one on an aluminum framed gun. It absolutely removes material from aluminum parts.
Absolutely TRUE. This is regular household Reynolds Wrap, hot tap water, 8 minutes, regular old Lyman style (Harbor Freight) consumer-grade ultrasonic cleaner. Foil and plastic basket were floating near, but not on, the surface of the bath. Local water is extremely low in dissolved minerals (snow melt reservoir water).



Now, since ultrasonic cleaning IS used commercially for cleaning aluminum carburetors, and I assume they are not destroyed by the process, it suggests to me thin sheets such as aluminum foil are a special case for some reason. This isn't a result of chemical etching--it seems more likely the aluminum foil itself is actually being oscillated and, locally, is work hardening almost instantly and actually fracturing. Pretty impressive.

Last edited by Bongo Boy; December 16th, 2012 at 06:00 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bongo Boy View Post
Now, since ultrasonic cleaning IS used commercially for cleaning aluminum carburetors, and I assume they are not destroyed by the process, it suggests to me thin sheets such as aluminum foil are a special case for some reason. This isn't a result of chemical etching--it seems more likely the aluminum foil itself is actually being oscillated and, locally, is work hardening almost instantly and actually fracturing. Pretty impressive.

DING DING DING

We have a winner.

Last edited by TOF; December 16th, 2012 at 07:17 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #21
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Just as a comparative test, I ran the tank for 30 min under the same conditions, but with a sheet of approx. 0.020" soft aluminum...as expected, there was no evidence of anything happening to the surface of the material at all (other than it was slightly cleaner).

I think my curiosity has been slaked.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 05:36 PM   #22
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...consumer-grade ultrasonic cleaner.
I did some looking around, it looks like most consumer grade cleaners operate at 40-42khz., ours was set at 170khz. but can adjust as low as 20khz., that probably makes a difference since it doesn't destroy Heavy Duty Reynolds Wrap (all we had).
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Old April 16th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #23
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Have to be honest...poll question is not asked very well. The reason I had to answer no was not because I don't trust it, but because I haven't used it before/don't know a ton about it. The polling data will be skewed because it doesn't give enough differentiation in the options.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 06:57 PM   #24
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Ultra Sonic Cleaners

Since my original post i went ahead and bought a sonic cleaner. I use MPRO7 as the bath liquid with no water. The gun is bathed strip field. What i can say is that it really removes everything from the gun. The solution turned black and the gun almost looks sterile. Definitely needs lubrication afterwards. I use froglube with no problems so far. The process is easy but tedious and i would recommend such a bath only every 3-4k.
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