Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    Saw this post in a thread over on AR15.com and was intrigued, since I fully plan to join the NFA/Supressor crowd once we get to PA this summer.Im dying to get a threaded barrel for my 10/22 and to pick up a Walther P22.

    Thought I'd share and get opinions


    "One of the big problems with .22 cans that can't be disassembled is that they are VERY difficult to thoroughly clean. The lead and powder fouling can build up to an irreversible point very quickly, particularly if you use the can on a rifle.

    A friend who shoots a lot of black powder cartridge rifles overheard me bitch about ineffective ways of cleaning lead out of .22 cans the other day, and he told me that he uses a 1:1 mix of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to remove lead from cases and barrels.

    I mixed up a batch, filled up a Nalgene bottle, and tossed in a very cruddy AWC suppressor.

    Three days later, checked the bottle, and there's all kinds of blue/gray granular fouling in the bottom of the bottle. Took the can out, blew it out with a compressor, and holy shit. Clean as new.

    Worked on an AAC Pilot too, which has Al guts and tube.

    Apparently the solution dissolves the lead, converting it to lead acetate or some shit like that. Try it, you'll be amazed."


    I couldnt figure out how to copy a link to the guys original post over there, but trust me you'll find the above at AR15.com , under Supressors, 1st Page of the thread.
    Last edited by son of the revolution; January 14th, 2010 at 11:11 AM.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. -- Sigmund Freud

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    Yep. That stuff WOULD work wonders on lead.

    Lead + Hydrogen Peroxide gives you Lead Oxide + Water
    Pb + H2O2 --> PbO + H2O

    Lead Oxide + Acetic Acid + Water gives you Lead II Acetate Trihydrate
    PbO + 2(CH3COOH) + H2O --> Pb(CH3COO)23H2O

    Probably one of the cheapest and most effective cleaners you can make/buy.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    Quote Originally Posted by NevynPA View Post
    Yep. That stuff WOULD work wonders on lead.

    Lead + Hydrogen Peroxide gives you Lead Oxide + Water
    Pb + H2O2 --> PbO + H2O

    Lead Oxide + Acetic Acid + Water gives you Lead II Acetate Trihydrate
    PbO + 2(CH3COOH) + H2O --> Pb(CH3COO)23H2O

    Probably one of the cheapest and most effective cleaners you can make/buy.
    Would that solution or the lead acetate end product have any detrimental effect on the exterior finish of the can itself ? I saw someone else post that you could only use this "homebrew cleaner " with a full stainless can.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. -- Sigmund Freud

    Proud to be an Enemy of The State

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    Depends on the chemical structure of the finish, I guess. I doubt any of them have published the chemical formulae of their finishes; they're probably well-kept secrets. Tenifer finishes SHOULD take it without issue; beyond that I'd need more info about the finish.

    Bear in mind that I don't have a degree in reactionary chemistry; I'm just highly versed in general reaction and chemical process. As with any "I tried this and it's great," SPOT TEST FIRST if it is something you are worried about. If you are highly worried, then don't do it.

    I'd say to take what I say with a grain of salt, but if you add NaCl to it you'll end up with PbCl2 which would be bad, as well as with C2H3NaO2 (Sodium Acetate), which is used as a "fake flavoring" in Salt & Vinegar potato chips. No joke.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    My chemistry classes are long past, but in discussing this recently with a chemistry teacher friend of mine, plus some folks here on the board, I have a couple of comments.

    First, lead acetate is extremely poisonous, even in very small amounts. Be very careful with it!

    Second, if you are using this on an aluminum can, it is detrimental to the can as well. I do not know how long it takes, but it is not an issue for me, as my can is stainless. If your can is stainless, you are good to go as far as that is concerned, but be careful with that lead acetate!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    Quote Originally Posted by PennsyPlinker View Post
    My chemistry classes are long past, but in discussing this recently with a chemistry teacher friend of mine, plus some folks here on the board, I have a couple of comments.

    First, lead acetate is extremely poisonous, even in very small amounts. Be very careful with it!

    Second, if you are using this on an aluminum can, it is detrimental to the can as well. I do not know how long it takes, but it is not an issue for me, as my can is stainless. If your can is stainless, you are good to go as far as that is concerned, but be careful with that lead acetate!


    Sure is, I remember hearing it called " sugar of lead " on one of the History Channel shows ( I think the topic was about the origins of Candy or maybe it was Sugar ). I remember thinking about how the Romans used it as a sweetener for beverages made in lead pots or pitchers and thinking to myself " how could someone be that stupid ?"
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. -- Sigmund Freud

    Proud to be an Enemy of The State

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    Quote Originally Posted by son of the revolution View Post
    Sure is, I remember hearing it called " sugar of lead " on one of the History Channel shows ( I think the topic was about the origins of Candy or maybe it was Sugar ). I remember thinking about how the Romans used it as a sweetener for beverages made in lead pots or pitchers and thinking to myself " how could someone be that stupid ?"
    Yep, that's what they did. Lead II Acetate is "Lead Sugar." Lead IV Acetate is a different critter altogether.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cleaning cans that cant be disassembled

    I'd drop it in a beaker of gun cleaner and drop that in an ultrasonic cleaner.

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