Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    I don't have one, but somebody mentioned one in the gun cleaning thread. I watched a few videos and it looked pretty great.

    Then i start reading the reviews and at Midway and it seemed kind of mixed.

    I was looking at it for cleaning barrels, BCGs, and small parts. Not entire frames or slides.

    A lot of the reviews said they didn't work well for stubborn carbon build up or required additional cleaning afterward.

    Could some people with first hand experience please comment?

    It'd be great if you mentioned the machine you are using, the cleaning solution, distilled water or tap, water temperature, length of time, etc.

    -Zach

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    I have been using one for years and no they are not hype. I have taken complete surplus rifles apart that were slathered in 50 year old cosmoline wiped the excess from the outside then thrown them right into the ultrasonic.

    I purchased one from Harbor Freight about 8 years ago for about $50 or $60.00 and it's been 100%.

    What I use is as a solution which I am sure others will disagree is a mixture of simple green concentrate and water. It's worked 100% for me and has NEVER damaged any finish on any parts that I have put in there.

    Pistol frames and slides I clean by hand all removable internals like springs, op rod's and barrels go right in.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hodgie View Post
    I purchased one from Harbor Freight about 8 years ago for about $50 or $60.00 and it's been 100%.
    Is it this one...or a similar model?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lit...ner-63256.html

    I've been thinking about getting one and didn't realize they could be had for this inexpensive. After 20% coupon it's only $64.

    I would mainly use it to clean a suppressor. All of those baffles are a PITA!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_010 View Post
    Is it this one...or a similar model?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lit...ner-63256.html

    I've been thinking about getting one and didn't realize they could be had for this inexpensive. After 20% coupon it's only $64.

    I would mainly use it to clean a suppressor. All of those baffles are a PITA!

    Yes that is pretty much it just a little bit more updated looking then mine.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_010 View Post
    Is it this one...or a similar model?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lit...ner-63256.html

    I've been thinking about getting one and didn't realize they could be had for this inexpensive. After 20% coupon it's only $64.

    I would mainly use it to clean a suppressor. All of those baffles are a PITA!
    I have one like that, I dont think it cleans baffles all that great.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2013
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    West Alexander, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    I really don't think we could maintain our machine guns without our 2 large sonic cleaners. We use one for sonic cleaner and one for sonic lubing. No matter how well you think you cleaned a firearm, sonic cleaners get into the little crevices that you could never reach.

    https://www.opticsplanet.com/hornady...eaner-tub.html

    Once we wear these out, we will go with a more industrial model, but we been using these to maintain 50 MG's for the past 3 years and never had a problem with them. The key is to purchase one that is HEATED. Room-temperature sonic cleaning just doesn't do the job.

    Washington County Machine Guns & Tactical Range -- CMP Affliated Club -- FFL 07 / FFL 10 / FEL 20 / SOT 2
    Specializing in Bachelor parties with 50+ machine guns including M2HB, M249 SAW, M1919, RPD, M60, Bowling Ball Mortar.
    Now offering High-Explosive Familiarization Classes (Open to the Public)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by WCMG View Post
    I really don't think we could maintain our machine guns without our 2 large sonic cleaners. We use one for sonic cleaner and one for sonic lubing. No matter how well you think you cleaned a firearm, sonic cleaners get into the little crevices that you could never reach.

    https://www.opticsplanet.com/hornady...eaner-tub.html

    Once we wear these out, we will go with a more industrial model, but we been using these to maintain 50 MG's for the past 3 years and never had a problem with them. The key is to purchase one that is HEATED. Room-temperature sonic cleaning just doesn't do the job.

    I agree with the heated cycling it make a big difference. The little harbor freight unit I have has a heated setting. I typically run 3 cycles of that in a row which I think is 9 minutes total.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    I bought an Israeli Police High Power that came with a bit of the Holy Land in it. I scraped some out and knew it would take a deeper cleaning. I phoned a friend with an ultrasonic cleaner, he agreed to help me out. Yes, I do believe they can be worth it.


    Rick

  9. #9
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    Apolacon Township, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_010 View Post
    Is it this one...or a similar model?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lit...ner-63256.html

    I've been thinking about getting one and didn't realize they could be had for this inexpensive. After 20% coupon it's only $64.

    I would mainly use it to clean a suppressor. All of those baffles are a PITA!
    Curious. Harbor Freight mentions a cleaning powder and water. Is that what is used on guns or gun parts? Is the thing big enough to take a 6" barreled revolver?

  10. #10
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    Dec 2016
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    Default Re: Are ultrasonic gun cleaners just hype?

    I have one(RCBS) and to be honest I'm not thrilled with it. That being said, I bought it mostly for brass cleaning which it sucks at. Maybe if you're ok with brass being tarnished and still somewhat dirty it's ok, but I prefer mine to be spotless and shiny. It is good for cleaning parts with hard to reach areas. My biggest complaint with it is that it takes multiple cleaning cycles to work well, the cycles only last 20mins so you're kind of stuck babysitting it for an hour or more and restarting the cycles. With most stuff I could have scrubbed it and cleaned it by hand in way less than an hour. Then of course you have to dry it thoroughly, I use a food dehydrator on low setting...so that's another hour or two waiting for it to dry. Add in the time for rinsing the parts with fresh water, and draining/cleaning the machine...it's just more time than I'm willing to spend most times. It also takes a really long time to heat up, I recommend starting with hot water. I guess if you had a bunch of dirty parts to clean at one time it might be worth it, but for a single bolt or barrel it's just not worth it to me.

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