First time cleaning with compressed air

Joe13

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Well it doesn't suck that's for sure:).

Recently moved my cleaning gear back into my shop and now have access to my compressor.

I've never used it to clean guns and now I'm wondering why I waited so long!

I'm OCD about gun cleaning so I'm not sure if it's any cleaner then before but it sure seems faster and I used less solvent.

Just thought I'd share for anyone out there not using a compressor.

If you don't own one, your missing out on more then clean guns;); go buy a cheap one on CL.
 
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Joe13

Joe13

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I am a huge fan of .22lr guns. I have larger calibers in rifles and pistols but there is just something nostalgic for me; when I pull that trigger it's like being a kid again and shooting with my grandfather.

Shooting a lot of .22's tends to leave me with some very dirty guns on a regular basis and I've been going thru cleaning chemicals like they are going out of style.

The Pros for me were:

Less solvent - I was using the air to (gently or else it gets messy:D) push the solvent into and thru cracks in things like extractors/ejectors on
bolts. I'm a fanatic about clean guns and I have used copious amounts of solvent trying to get that "grit" out from behind those little buggers. I don't regularly break the bolts down unless there is a need but this makes it so I doubt I'll ever have to open a bolt unless there is a failure at some point.


Less oil - for the same reason as above. A drop of oil and then some air will push it into those cracks between moving parts that I operate numerous times to try and lubricate. And then generally end up over lubricating and having to dry them a bit before it go shooting.


Blowing off any lint or dust in places that may not need a complete tear down.



I am sure there will be more things I think to use it for, but those were my first major impressions.

If someone else that uses it has some other uses, I too would be interested in hearing them as well.
 

JSJPDX

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I am getting ready to move my cleaning and reloading into a newly constructed shop space and am keen on the idea of compressed air. Do you filter your air to remove moisture or blast away and count on the oil to take care of any residual water?
 
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Joe13

Joe13

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I am getting ready to move my cleaning and reloading into a newly constructed shop space and am keen on the idea of compressed air. Do you filter your air to remove moisture or blast away and count on the oil to take care of any residual water?
I always use a filter right at the compressor outlet, just before the hose. I figure it's better for any tool I hook up, so it works out well for me to use it one my firearms:)
 
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I rarely use compressed air on my guns but several years ago I built my wife a plug to fit a 2" vacuum hose and added a common plastic soda straw with a 60deg angle cut on the outer end. It worked great to vacuum the delicate gear trains and controls on her sewing machine. Turned out it was perfect for vacuuming out pistols too! On any regular vacuum it is VERY powerful so I added the toe of a nylon stocking behind the plug to prevent tiny parts being sucked into the vacuum bag.
 
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Joe13

Joe13

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Interesting. I have an excessive over oiling issue, so blowing it thru the trigger assembly (and such) and wiping the excess off afterwards.

Do you have any issues sucking up things like unburnt powder out of a .22?

I have an extra shop vac so I may give this a shot.:cool:
 
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Well Joe, the more crud the more I scrape with a polymer probe befor vac. I'm not an over oiler, especially with .22's. Thunderbolt's plus oil eventually equal cement! Good luck!
 
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Joe13

Joe13

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Any concern about blowing lead particles all over your shop and in the air?
I have ventilation in my shop. I wouldn't personally recommend cleaning guns with out some kind of clean air flow; windows and fans or a dedicated exhaust of some kind are a must have for me.

As for the particles kicking around in my shop, I try and get as much of the gun as clean as I can before I break out the air (I also use it with low pressure, 25psi or so with the tip I use is plenty).

It's much easier to contain the solvent on a mat (I use indoor doggy pads, they are about $.10 each and I only need 2-3 to clean about 5-6 guns and they have a backing to prevent your table from getting greasy) then to just blow it all over the floor.:)
 
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All sources I have seen agree that the most toxic way to ingest lead is through the lungs.

Comparing the two methods I'd lean strongly to the filtered vacuum method over the dispersal by compressed air method. Frankly that sounds like a really dangerous technique unless ingesting lead is the objective, then it sounds pretty effective.
 
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Joe13

Joe13

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All sources I have seen agree that the most toxic way to ingest lead is through the lungs.

Comparing the two methods I'd lean strongly to the filtered vacuum method over the dispersal by compressed air method. Frankly that sounds like a really dangerous technique unless ingesting lead is the objective, then it sounds pretty effective.
I agree.

If one can not do something safely, then it should not be done.
 

ZigZagZeke

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Around 1980 (in the days before wide spread use of respirators in industry) I worked as an instrument tech in the heat treating section of a wire mill for US Steel. This 3 acre building housed dozens of vats of molten lead the size of dump truck beds. The lead was held at temperatures around 900 degrees, and wire strands were dragged through the lead at regulated speeds to produce the correct hardness in the wire for a given purpose. The natural result of this was that there was lead dust and vapor everywhere, and a fleet of fork lifts moving coils of wire around kept it all stirred up. The company was required to monitor the blood levels of lead in all employees. Even with this massive, daily exposure those tests rarely came back with any elevated numbers for lead content in employee's blood streams. I wouldn't worry too much about exposure to a very small amount of lead in your garage or shop once a month.
 
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Bought a 1911 from a mechanic and to look at it I am sure he cleaned it with air. Gun was spotless but I still tore it all apart to check the parts and lubricate all the wearing surfaces. When I got into the slide the extractor was full and packed tight with gooey carbon and powder. I doubt the gun worked right. Took four q tips and a pipe cleaner plus a dental pick to get the crud out.
 

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