By Dan Shea
Cleaning firearms is not my main thing. All too often, coming in from the back range, in the rush and madness of it all, I don’t bother.
It “Takes too much time” etc etc. Excuses abound. I am not alone in this, many machine gunners take this cavalier attitude- too much to do, too little time. We pay for it later, when the results of neglect start telling on the firearms. Many times if it is not corrosive ammunition, cleaning may be skipped entirely by many of us, until a later date. Of course there is the occasional “Scientific test” we perform by getting guns dirty… I had a Jonathan Ciener suppressed Marlin 780 that I got in about 1981, and fired over 20,000 rounds out of it without cleaning it. Still pretty quiet, and we were waiting to see when this would change, but one day in 1988 a friend was in my shop just started cleaning dirty old guns, and he cleaned this one. Truthfully, this is probably the only real “Get the gun dirty for a long time” experiment I ever did, the rest of the dirty guns were just procrastination. Like most busy people, I am always looking for timesavers.
While you still have to do a lot of the work even after buying an ultrasonic cleaner, it does cut the time way down, and many times it does a more thorough job than a cursory cleaning does. Disassemble the firearm, put it in the tank, do something else for the appropriate time, then remove it and finish clean it. Anything that helps me in the cleaning chore makes my day better.
How it works: there are high frequency sound waves that are used to produce alternating high and low pressure waves per second. As the waves pass through the ChemCrest Firearm Cleaning Solution, microscopic bubbles form and implode at 40,000 psi. These bubbles actually “Scrub” the loose surface particles and dislodge them. In a heated cleaning solution, the dirt particles fall off and settle to the bottom of the solution bay.
Yes, you can loosen some painted finishes, so there are certain finishes that should not be put into the tanks, or if they are, they should be monitored carefully to avoid getting too much action on them. The large tanks have adjustable power. We cleaned my old AR10 lower, and it was amazing how good it looked- but we were careful to monitor the time in the tank due to the finish.
The system for cleaning is basically, strip it, put it into the tank for a preset time, rinse it, and oil bath it. We did use an air hose to blow out some of the moisture and oil. Real low intensity workload and an excellent job is done. I was impressed at the improvement in the sound suppressors that we did- some of my sealed units hadn’t ever been cleaned, and all of the years of fouling came out, the suppressors functioned just like they were brand new. My HK trigger packs were immaculate. Personally I hate disassembling those three shot packs, and dropping the pack into the cleaner kept me from having to do that.
Greg Infante showed up at the shop at LMO, and spent an afternoon showing me how the Crest Ultrasonics units worked on various firearms. Oddly enough, there were examples of almost every size of machine gun or suppressor that just happened to be dirty that day. We could quickly do almost any size machine gun, by partially placing the receiver in the tank, then rotating it to clean the other side. Greg tells me that they are working on a tank that can take a full sized MG42 or other large machine gun receiver.
I was impressed with this product, and that not only was there an excellent cleaning job done, but it was fast and efficient, doing a better job than most people can do by hand. They offer many different tank sizes, and the costs run from under $2000 up to the $6000 range for a really large, professional tank. Considering how many gunsmiths, shooters, LE Armorers, Military Armorers and high quantity collectors are reading SAR, we thought this was an appropriate item to bring to you. One of the smaller units will make cleaning the MP5s and handguns in a police department into about half the work, and sitting on a gunsmith’s bench it would save a lot of detailing time as well. Most owners of these tanks have also found they are handy for other chores around the shop or house, Crest Ultrasonic units have a lot of uses. Big Thumbs Up from SAR.
Police Products Corporation
540 Ravine Court
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Toll Free: 877-823-5410
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V5N4 (January 2002)|