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New Thoughts On Compensator Fouling?


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#1 Gunner

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:50 PM

I know this topic has been covered before, I'm at wits end. I've had my WH 28 for a year now, and we're still in the honeymoon phase. She's a sweetie, but I haven't been able to figure out what to do to keep her compensator clean. I've tryed spraying with anti-spatter spray, which helps, but I'm still getting a lot of lead build up. The lead's almost as hard as the steel compensator, and I end up spending days putting on lead solvent, letting it sit for a long time, and then still resorting to chiseling it off with a small file, knife, etc. I never can get it all off.

Last night, as an experiment, I took another fouled compensator, from my S&W Model 41 (.22 target pistol), and soaked it in a jar of "Shooter's Choice" lead remover. After 24 hours, it was still solidly caked; the solvent didn't seem to affect it at all.

I'm wondering, what if I took a soldering iron to a compensator & melted the lead off? I've hesitated for fear of ruining the finish on the steel, and possible concern over igniting any powder residue. What do you guys think?

Signed,
"Desperate in Dallas"
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#2 John Jr

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:53 PM

What kind of bullets are you shooting?

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#3 Gunner

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:20 PM

Standard stuff -- FMJ Winchester White Box and S&B.
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#4 John Jr

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:24 PM

How are you getting lead deposits in the comp?

I dont have any and have shot over 6000 rounds out of mine. I spray on Carters comp spray, but thats it.

Are you sure its not carbon buildup instead of lead deposits??

Jr

(dont shoot white box, its powers dont burn up all the way, which could be part of the problem)


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#5 PK.

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:50 PM

The “gunk” is a combination of carbon and lead that has vaporized from exposure to the propellant gasses impinging on the exposed lead base of the bullet. Tough stuff. Plated bullets (“total metal jacket”, etc.) are better.

I too have been using Carters (available from Dillon precision) and found it to be pretty good- if you start clean and remember to use it. I also shoot TMJ bullets.

I had a comp come into the shop that was horridly fouled (like 1/8” thick), so I decided to do some experimentation, seeing as I would end up bluing it anyway (by the way, hot salts doesn’t even cut this stuff). Soaking for several days in Slick 2000 carbon cutter didn’t touch it. I had just finished reading “The Guns of Dagenham” and Peter Laidler was telling how they used to use vinegar to clean the suppressors on the Mk5 Sterling’s. Into a jar of vinegar went the fouled comp.

After about a week it was clean. I noticed along the way that very tiny flecks of lead would be sprinkled about as they separated from the carbon.

There is only one caveat- after 24 hours the bluing was gone. Nuts. I have not found anything before or since that would actually dissolve this junk- to bad it’s tough on bluing, but I wasn’t really surprised.

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#6 OldFalGuy

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:28 PM

Since I don't know any better I will ask-

Does the Cutts Compensator work well-

I mean as in a bunch better than the original 1921A barrel- was it just hard to control?

Could the comp be plated with anything to make it less likely to getting clogged up?

The welding/anti spatter spray works well on teh mg 42 booster parts and I intend to use it on my Vickers-

Mark
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#7 leid

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:49 PM

Gunner,
My old chemistry prof. used mercury to remove extreme lead fouling from his guns but I don't know what this will do to your finish. And protect yourself from the mercury and its vapors.
Good luck,
Carey
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#8 Grey Crow

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:58 PM

I've used mercury in HEAVILY leaded barrels. The mercury loosens the lead and the lead / mercury can be squeezed apart with dentist patches. BTW I bought my mercury from the dentist at $12 per pound. It's enough to fill an 06 barrel.

If you do get crazy enough to try it keep a pan under things, or the mercury will be everywhere.


User beware this stuff is very dangerous to your health!
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#9 Ron A

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 11:44 PM

There is a product named "Blue Oniment" its used for crabs. It is a paste and it contains mercury. I have filled a Bbl with and after around 2 days just ran a wire cleaning brush down the Bbl and had the lead loosen in short order. The only problem is the pharmacy thinks you have crabs!
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#10 Sgt

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 12:03 AM

Ron A--
What a strange discovery! How did you happen to rub it on your barrel? Doesn't seem to be a natural act.
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#11 21 smoker

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 07:42 AM

I also had the same problem with build up in the comps on thompsons,reisings,34 boosters,BAR flash hiders,etc...so I bit the bullet and bought a used ultrasonic cleaner and use L&R cleaning solutions....the components have never been cleaner...no scrubbing or very little...cut my cleaning time way down and the guns are in much better shape...no unnecessary wear do to excessive srubbing,the blueing is not harmed at all...just don`t put any painted guns or plastic grips, with the heat on, cause you will be repainting or replacing it...but all in all this is the best thing since canned beer!! just my .02, wink.gif
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#12 Hurridale

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 08:41 AM

Interesting thread!

The comp on my '21 was really bad, so I ended up having to scrape with a dental pick. The pick was small enough to fit thru the larger slots. Still, was NOT easy going. TOUGH stuff.

I'll have to pick up some of that crab paste -- next time I'm shopping out of town...

Regards,
DC
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#13 SecondAmend

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:15 AM

pediculi

Pediculus \Pe*dic"u*lus\, n.; pl. Pediculi. [L., a louse.] (Zo["o]l.) A genus of wingless parasitic Hemiptera, including the common lice of man.


When applying "blue ointment" to one's nether regions to combat an infestation of pediculi, one often ends up getting some of the ointment on one's barrel.




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#14 OldFalGuy

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:32 AM

Is it still considered a barrel on a "dead" vs. a deadly weapon? hahahahahaha
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#15 Gunner

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 03:02 PM

Thanks for all the ideas, guys.

Ron, do you have an ancient stash of "Blue Ointment?" I journeyed many miles from home, donned a trench coat and fake beard, and asked for Blue Ointment. The first pharmacist, at a grocery store pharmacy, was an older gentleman who remembered it from days gone by, but hadn't seen it in years. He sent me to a compounding pharmacy, and they said it hadn't been sold in years. Didn't even have a formula for it.

What do you guys think about a soldering iron? Is that idea so dumb that it didn't merit a response?

"Desperate"
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#16 OldFalGuy

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 03:43 PM

I thought there once was a contraption , a rod that went inthe barrel to aid in removing lead, can't recall it right now and didn't see a reference to it on a short search. I guess you have tried all the Hoppes, Blue Wonder et al solutions to no avail. The only other remedy seems to be the brass patch used on pistols for cleaning the forcing cone on revolvers. I bought a case or two of 45 and I will have to pull a bullet to check the base and see if its a real FMJ or has a exposed lead base before I put them in a Thompson.

Mark
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#17 Hurridale

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 04:01 PM

Gunner,

About the soldering iron, I wouldn't try it. Solder is weird stuff: it's melting point is lower than either of it's major components (lead and tin). Lead melts at 621 F, tin at 450 F, but solder can melt as low as 361 F (for a high-tin alloy).

Typical 60% tin/40% lead solder melts at 375 F.

Working around all that steel is going to suck the heat right out of your iron, most likely much faster than it can be added back in.

You're also left with molten lead which will want to cool off again when it hits cooler parts of the comp on its way out.

If this were just some old piece of farm equipment and you were bent on melting it out, I'd suggest taking off the comp and using a propane torch. But this being a Thompson, you're risking damaging the finish. Heat just ain't the answer, IMHO.

Regards,
DC
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#18 Gunner

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 08:05 PM

Thanks, Huridale.

I had a feeling the soldering iron idea was too good to be true.


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#19 PK.

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 08:23 PM

I can tell you from experience that you can’t melt it out, even with a propane torch. It isn’t just lead, but a matrix of mostly carbon and then lead.

The Lewis Lead Remover was a tool utilizing brass screen patches to clean revolver barrels. Is that what you are thinking of? It wouldn’t do a thing for a Cutts.

I have got to believe (although I have no experience) that the ultrasonic is the best bet.

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#20 Gunner

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 09:13 PM

Ultra sonic makes sense to me, but when I priced them on Brownells, the kits start at about $850.
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