Category Archives: Gun Cleaning

Why Use Ultrasonics to Clean Firearms?

Source: Pixabay

Firearms are complex pieces of machinery, which means that cleaning them can be tricky. The traditional method of cleaning a firearm involves disassembling the gun and cleaning each part by hand. While this is inexpensive, it can be laborious and may not give you the thorough cleaning you desire. Ultrasonic gun cleaning on the other hand involves a quick and painless process and provides a deep clean.

When you use an ultrasonic gun cleaner, you can be sure that all parts are pristine and well-lubricated, while remaining undamaged. An ultrasonic cleaner involves an upfront investment, but it will help save you money down the road in terms of repairs and replacement.

In this article, we take a closer look at how an ultrasonic weapons cleaner works and the advantages of using a sonic gun cleaner.

How Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning Works

Before we delve into why an ultrasonic gun cleaner is best for cleaning your firearms, it’s useful to know how the process works.

Ultrasonic cleaners work by producing high-frequency sound waves that disrupt the cleaning liquid. As a result, tiny vapor-filled bubbles form and collapse against the surface of objects submerged in the solution. When the bubbles collapse, they release hot jets of water that have enough force to remove contaminants from the object’s surface. This process will clean any part that is submerged in the cleaning solution.

An ultrasonic cleaner can help with lubrication too. Once the parts are clean, the cleaning solution can be replaced with a lubricant and the ultrasonic cleaner can be used once again to ensure all parts are lubricated. The lubricating fluid also displaces water to further prevent rust.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Weapons Cleaning

Traditional gun cleaning can represent somewhat of a ritual for some gun owners, but that’s really where the benefits of traditional cleaning end. There are a whole host of reasons why ultrasonic gun cleaning is preferred by so many gun collectors, law enforcement agencies, shooting range operators, and other gun owners.

Some of the main benefits of ultrasonic weapons cleaners are:

  1. They clean and lubricate thoroughly
  2. Cleaning time is reduced
  3. Parts dry quickly
  4. Specially formulated solutions are available

Let’s looks at these in more detail:

1. They clean and lubricate thoroughly

When using traditional methods, many gun owners will perform a surface clean and follow it up by spraying some lubricant inside. While this will keep the outside of the gun looking good, the critical internal components won’t be cleaned. Even if you completely disassemble the gun, there will still be crevices that can’t be reached by hand, even with special cleaning tools.

Firearms have intricate internal and external components that are difficult to clean by hand. Image source: Wikimedia

Carbon, dirt, lead, lubricant, and other substances can build up inside the weapon. This will lower its performance and increase the likelihood that you’ll need to repair or replace your firearm sooner rather than later.

When you use an ultrasonic cleaner, the cavitation bubbles will reach all surfaces of the submerged object. This ensures you get a thorough cleaning of all parts of your firearm.

As well as thorough cleaning, lubrication is essential to the maintenance of a firearm. Without proper lubrication, rust will set in and you’ll have to replace your firearm sooner. As with cleaning, lubrication with an ultrasonic cleaner is quicker and more effective.

2. Cleaning time is greatly reduced

To get the best clean using traditional methods, you would need to completely dismantle the firearm and clean and lubricate the components one by one. While this can be enjoyable for some firearm owners, it can be a very time-intensive task.

Ultrasonic cleaning can do a more thorough job in far less time. You only need to submerge the weapon in the ultrasonic cleaning solution for a few minutes and lubrication can take just a minute. Plus you can walk away and do something else while your gun is being cleaned.

Note that you don’t need to completely disassemble the entire weapon for cleaning in a sonic gun cleaner. Basic field stripping is all you need, which saves even more time.

3. Parts dry quickly

Some ultrasonic cleaners such as the GunSonicTM come with a dryer. This helps reduce drying time by a very significant 80 percent. Instead of waiting for your parts to air dry, the hot air blower can dry them in just a couple of minutes.

A GunSonic™ LG 3606 ultrasonic cleaner

With the shorter preparation, cleaning, and lubrication times, along with speedy drying, cleaning your gun no longer has to be a planned activity. A task that would normally take hours becomes a quick job.

4. Specially formulated solutions are available

Want to avoid damaging your firearm with incompatible commercial cleaning solutions? When you purchase an ultrasonic gun cleaner, it will often come with a supply of solutions tailored to your needs. You have the peace of mind that when you use the cleaning detergent and lubricant that comes with your sonic gun cleaner, they are specially formulated for this purpose.

Concerns about ultrasonic gun cleaning

There are a couple of common concerns when it comes to using an ultrasonic method for cleaning firearms, which we’ll address here:

Is ultrasonic cleaning too harsh for my gun?

Are you worried that the process of ultrasonic cleaning might damage your firearm? In fact, ultrasonic cleaning can be adjusted such that it is less likely to cause damage than traditional cleaning, for example, by using a cloth that is too abrasive.

In some ultrasonic cleaners, the vigor of ultrasonic cleaning can be finetuned by adjusting the frequency. Lower frequencies result in larger bubbles and more force when the bubbles collapse. While this is ideal for removing contaminants that are adhered particularly well to the surface of an object, it increases the risk of causing damage. Using a higher frequency will give you gentler cleaning. Single-frequency cleaners designed for use with firearms will have a high enough frequency to ensure a gentle enough clean for most firearm components.

You can also tweak the temperature, use a different detergent, and adjust the time the object spends in the machine. With the right settings, ultrasonic cleaning is even gentle enough to use on gold, anodized aluminum, and titanium parts. That said, depending on the cleaner you’re using, some parts such as lasers and scopes need to be removed prior to ultrasonic cleaning.

Will my weapon fit in an ultrasonic cleaner?

A common misconception is that you can’t clean a rifle with an ultrasonic weapons cleaner because it won’t fit, even when stripped down. However, there are models available specifically for rifles. For example, the GunSonicTM mentioned above comes in two different sizes, both of which are designed for rifles and handguns.

Do you have more questions about using ultrasonics to clean firearms? Ultrasonic Power experts are ready to help. Contact us today to find out about the best solution for your ultrasonic cleaning needs.

Keep Your Children Safe and your Firearms Secure

Gun safety is a top concern for anyone who owns a firearm. Even if you know everything there is to know about gun safety, what about your family? Are you taking all the proper steps to make sure that your firearms are secure and out of harm’s way, so no child or otherwise can access them? To help you make your household a safer place, here are a few tips to get you started.

Keep them Unloaded

It may seem like a more convenient (and safer) option to keep your firearms loaded, in the event of a home intrusion, but truthfully you are inviting more bad to happen than good. In any situation where a firearm accidentally falls into the wrong hands, whether those of a stranger or your children, a loaded gun would cause danger to you or those around you. To keep your household safe, it is a better idea to keep your gun unloaded when not in use. If you are truly worried about not being able to use your firearm fast enough, in any sort of emergency, practice unloading and reloading yourself to get faster and comfortable with the process.

Keep them Separate

Again, firearms cannot do harm to anyone if they are not loaded. And why even tempt someone with the idea of loading it themselves? For a more secure firearm, keep them separate and apart from your ammunition. Keep the ammunition close at hand if you like, but keep it in a different locked box than your guns. A gun with no ammo is no harm to your family.

Keep them Locked

If you want to be the most safe, you’ll be wise to purchase a safe; for your firearms, that is. There are a variety of different ways you can lock your guns up to ensure they stay secure. You can try strongboxes, security cases, or gun safes to store your firearms. Are are viable options, and you can determine which is right for you based on the amount of guns you may have, and the size of them. As well, you can take the extra step to even lock the triggers on your guns. Trigger locks are affordable, and easy to use. Often times they even come with the guns you are purchasing.

Stay Informed

Perhaps one of the most logical, and overlooked measure to keep your family safe with your firearms is to make sure they are aware of how your guns work. Being knowledgeable and knowing how a gun works can be one of the safest options, and it costs nothing at all; just some time explaining firearm safety with your loved ones.

3 Reasons Why You Should Clean Your Guns

Gun cleaning practices vary from person to person, and there are differing ideas as to how often people should clean their firearms. Some gun owners choose to clean their weapons at the beginning of a hunting season and then again at the end of the season. Other times people opt to clean their gun after every use, maybe after activities like range shooting. One fact is clear, however. Eventually, your gun must be cleaned.

There are benefits to having a clean firearm, and reasons why you should clean your gun regularly.

BEING FAMILIAR WITH YOUR GUN

Maybe you aren’t the most mechanically savvy, but you should at least be familiar with how to disassemble and reassemble your gun, and the functionality of each part of the gun. The easiest way to get familiar with your firearm is by cleaning it. The more you know about how your gun works, the better you will be able to repair it when something goes wrong.

PREVENTING MALFUNCTIONS

Firearms are built to last a long time, and many safety features are put in place to prevent accidents. But if you use your firearm consistently, the chances of something happening will always be present. In most cases, any malfunctions that take place with a gun aren’t due to manufacturer error, but due to negligence and user error. In order to minimize these problems, and ensure gun safety, cleaning your gun on a regular basis is the smart thing to do. In fact, some gun malfunctions are caused by a dirty gun, as best described by the firearm experts on the site Gun Vault:

Incomplete Discharge – This is when a round is fired but gets stuck inside the gun barrel. This can be caused by damage to the inside of the barrel or by residue buildup from previous rounds. If you tried to fire another round in this scenario, it can cause the gun to explode.

Failure to Eject – When a cartridge is fired, it must then be extracted by the gun’s mechanism and ejected. The problem here is if the gun is dirty, rusted, or corroded, it could fail to extract the used cartridge. A live round would then be forced into the base of the jammed cartridge, potentially causing the gun to explode.

MISINFORMATION

Don’t believe everything you read online. The internet can be the source of misinformation. One such rumor that often surfaces, related to gun cleaning, is that you don’t need to clean your gun for it to function properly. While it’s true you do not need to clean your gun every time you use it, it does not mean that you never need to clean your firearms. Just by searching on the web, it is very easy to find different forums listing people’s experiences with better accuracy or more efficient firing after multiple uses of a gun without cleaning. You may take what these posts say to be truthful, but do not interpret it as “not cleaning your gun ever.” You have consistency with firing a gun that has been used versus one that has been freshly cleaned, but if going too long without a thorough cleaning, your gun will get too dry, or fouled up, and begin to have trouble firing. So in this case, you may not need to clean your gun after every use, but still make sure to clean it after a few uses, otherwise you will risk ruining your gun, or endangering yourself and others with the chance of a malfunction. In an article on American Rifleman, an NRA sponsored site, it further supports the idea of cleaning your firearms to keep them in their best condition, but your guns may be cleaned less or more often depending on how often you use them.

3 Ways Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning is the “Greenest” Solution

There is an increased concern for reducing the negative impact on Mother Earth  than there was just a few years ago. That means that only the greenest, cleanest, and most environmentally safe solutions are being used to prolong the life of our planet. You can find an increasing amount of people using solar energy, recycling, eliminating the use of fossil fuels, and more just to be “greener.”

But what about the way you clean? If you own a shop with multiple guns, or just are in charge of cleaning an array of firearms, you need to find a method of cleaning that is both efficient and environmentally friendly. With Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning, you can accomplish both these tasks. Ultrasonic technology and the cleaning detergents used in our tanks are both proven to be eco-friendly options for your cleaning needs.

ECO-FRIENDLY DETERGENTS

When experimenting with chemical cleaners for any reason, it is a concern as to whether or not what you are using could be harmful to the environment. After all, you want to be able to recycle back any water and cleaner you use, and be assured it is safe to do so. Fortunately, you do not need to have such fear with the detergents used in ultrasonic cleaning. The chemicals that are used in the ultrasonic cleaning systems are mostly nontoxic and biodegradable. Check with local municipalities on disposal. The making of some chemical cleaners can often times be harmful to the environment, releasing toxic fumes into the air, and sometimes generating greenhouse gasses. Ultrasonic cleaners use no such chemicals, and are as safe as any cleaning chemicals you may find at home.

REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY

You will find that even the technology behind ultrasonic cleaners has made great strides in eco-friendly cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaners have been recognized by organizations and government agencies alike for the superior method of cleaning through immense, non-abrasive scrubbing action, instead of relying on toxic chemicals alone. In most cases, ultrasonic cleaners are a smart investment for any business, as they provide some of the most delicate cleaning of any product out there. Not only for gun cleaning, ultrasonic cleaners have been used to clean manufactured parts, automotive and aircraft materials, and medical and musical instruments alike.

POWER-SAVING EQUIPMENT

Such powerful cleaning must come at a cost, right? Certainly the energy to support such a machine is where the real problem is. Well, actually, ultrasonic cleaners are fairly efficient when it comes to use of electricity. Overall, the whole machine runs entirely on electricity but uses much less compared to other cleaning systems. As well, with the production of electricity becoming greener all the time through such methods as solar or wind energy, ultrasonic cleaners are ahead of the game. Through the speed of an ultrasonic cleaner cleaning equipment, as well as the lack of big “power-sucking” pumps (like other cleaning machines), electricity is being saved through the efficiency of ultrasonic technology.

Make Sure to do These Things When Giving Your Firearm an Ultrasonic Cleaning

Of course, using an ultrasonic cleaner is the easiest way to make sure your firearm gets the best cleaning it has ever had, but you want to be careful as well. Following the guidelines below, you will want use your ultrasonic cleaner in the correct manner, otherwise you risk damaging the cleaner or the firearm you are trying to clean. With over 40 years of  knowledge and experience in the industrial ultrasonic cleaning industry at Ultrasonic Power Corporation, the following are highly recommended..

Don’t Run the System Empty

When running your ultrasonic cleaner, make sure the tank is filled to its recommended capacity. Reason being is when you turn on your ultrasonic cleaner, it immediately begins to create ultrasonic waves via the transducers on the tank bottom. However, if there is nowhere for this energy to go, you risk damaging the transducers themselves.

Don’t Let Parts Rest on Tank Bottom

Because the transducers are bonded to the tank bottom it acts like a high frequency speaker. Placing parts directly on the bottom will impede the ultrasonic energy much like placing your finger on a speaker cone. The baskets designed for your system prevent the parts from contacting the bottom. It is also acceptable to suspend a part in the tank using string or wire.

Take Apart Your Gun (If You Can)

Wherever the liquid makes contact with the firearm, the cavitation bubbles will remove the contaminant. Breaking the firearm down to the main components not only allows the loosened contaminant to flush free from the area preventing redistribution, it also allow easier and more thorough rinsing and drying.  Make sure, however, to remove attachments like laser sights and scopes from the firearm that may be damaged in the ultrasonic tank. The basic rule of thumb is that if an item may be damaged by immersing it in soapy water do not attempt to clean it in an ultrasonic tank. The ultrasonics simply provides the scrubbing action.

Lubricate

Once done with cleaning your firearm, don’t stop there! The ultrasonic cleaner is so thorough that not only does it get all dirt and grime off of your firearm, but it also removes lubricant as well. Thankfully, there are other lubricating solutions you can use in your ultrasonic tank to re-apply the lubrication to your gun. And if done ultrasonically, it will be the best lube job it ever had.

The Illinois Gun Regulations You Should Know and What to Expect

Gun ownership is a huge responsibility for those interested in selling, maintaining, or collecting firearms. Whether you’re a gun enthusiast, a gunsmith, salesman, or an agent of the law, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations set aside by our government, and most importantly your local state government. Without speaking to the specific rules of each individual state or referring to the official documentation of the federal firearm regulations, here are some of the general laws you may see:

  • Must have a license or permit in order to purchase and/or possess firearms.
  • Individual firearms must be registered with the police, or other law enforcement agencies.
  • Some weapons are restricted in specific states, or there are restrictions on the number of rounds a magazine is allowed to hold. NFA weapons are those that are heavily restricted by the Federal Government. Such firearms included are automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns, and short-barreled rifles.
  • All states allow some form of concealed carry, but there are other restrictions when it comes to open carry.
  • Some states require background checks before you can purchase a firearm.

Although these rules are more general (with the exception of NFA weapons), you will see some form of these restrictions set in place with each state you visit, varying in strictness. For residents of Illinois (where Ultrasonic Power Corporation is headquartered), here is a more specific set of laws which you must abide by:

  • Illinois gun owners are required to have a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) Card in order to purchase/own a firearm.
  • There are no standing laws in Illinois requiring you to register your firearm(s) with local authorities.
  • You may acquire a license to conceal carry handguns, but only if your license is through the Illinois State Police.
  • Open Carry is not allowed in Illinois.
  • NFA Weapons are still restricted.
  • While passing through Illinois, if you have concealed carry through your own state’s laws, you may continue uninhibited, as long as your firearm(s) remain in your vehicle.
  • Background checks are required for private gun sales in Illinois. Sellers must verify the buyer’s FOID card with the Illinois State Police, and must keep record of the sale for at least 10 years.

Is Illinois not your state? If you are interested in the gun laws of other states, you may check out the NRA’s (National Rifle Association) webpage to find out more.

What NOT to do When Cleaning Your Guns – Ultrasonic Cleaning

There are many ways to properly and safely clean your gun, but has anyone told you about the ways you shouldn’t be cleaning it? We are sure it isn’t something you think about on a daily basis, but it is smart to be aware of what isn’t correct when cleaning your firearms. With some help from the gun folks at Survivopedia, here are some of the “do-not’s” when gun cleaning.

DON’T Use Gasoline or Kerosene (And Other Unapproved Cleaning Substances)

It may come as no surprise to anyone, but using gasoline or kerosene to clean your gun can be very dangerous. Both these liquids are incredibly flammable, and if there is any chance of accidently lighting these chemicals up, you are going to be in for a bad time. Although effective for getting dirt and grime off of your guns, gasoline and kerosene can strip off the finish and protective coating on your gun too. It is just better to use any approved substance for your gun when cleaning it.

Along those same lines, dish soap and water can be just as detrimental to your gun. If you’re not careful, you can cause corrosion and rust can begin appearing on your gun. The exception to this rule is the use of water and Brulin 815GD concentrated cleaning solution. Brulin 815GD is approved for use with an ultrasonic cleaner that contains rust inhibitors.

DON’T Forget About Cosmoline

When you are purchasing new or surplus guns, it is important that you clean them before beginning to use them.  This is because they are often coated in a substance called Cosmoline. Cosmoline is a common brand of a substance used to protect the weapon from moisture and rust. In most cases, it is just an oily substance that is easy to clean off of a gun, but if the weapon has been stored for a long time before purchase, the Cosmoline may turn into a waxy substance, making it harder to remove. There are a few methods you can use in order to clean Cosmoline off in this state:

WD-40

If you spray WD-40 over the metal and any wooden parts, it will begin to dissolve the Cosmoline. Just make sure you have plenty of rags and paper towels to continue wipe the Cosmoline off. And make sure to get it out of the inside of the barrel as well! Keep in mind, however, that WD-40 is not meant to clean your gun. Only use it to help remove the Cosmoline. Any other cleaning done to your firearm once the Cosmoline has been removed should not include WD-40.

Heat Gun

If you are able to find a heat gun, you may use it set to 125 degrees Fahrenheit in order to melt away the waxy Cosmoline. Again, be prepared with plenty of rags and paper towels.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Again, if you have access to an ultrasonic bath, all you would need to do is disassemble your firearm and place the separate pieces in stainless steel baskets and then into an ultrasonic bath. The ultrasonic cavitation in the water would quickly wear away at the waxy cosmoline, and have your gun cleaned in a relatively short time. Don’t forget to properly dry and lubricate your gun afterwards!

DON’T Forget Safety

It is important to not forget gun safety, even when cleaning your gun. That’s right, gun safety is important at all time! Check out our article “How To Be Safe With Your Gun: 7 Simple Tips” for some great gun safety advice.

 

 

How to be Safe With Your Gun: 7 Simple Tips

Gun ownership is no laughing matter. It takes your attention and responsibility to be able to handle firearms safely. That’s why it is important that you follow a set of rules when using your own gun. These simple checks based on the rules set in place by the National Shooting Sports Foundation will make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe, and you can use your gun with care and efficiency.

Rule 1: Assume Your Gun is Always Loaded

Even if your friend has offered his gun to you to use to fire down range, and he checked it and handed it to you empty, you must check for yourself to see if the gun is clear. Any time a gun was previously out of your control, you should check it again yourself to see if it is loaded.

Rule 2: Always Point Your Gun Out of Harm’s Way

This is pretty self-explanatory, but one of the most important rules. When at ease and handling your gun, never point it at anything that you aren’t willing to shoot. Total awareness of where the end of your gun is at all times must be your goal.

Rule 3: Finger Off The Trigger

If you aren’t about to shoot anything with your gun, your finger should not be anywhere near the trigger. Keep it outside the trigger guard, and only when you are ready to fire a round should you place your finger inside the trigger guard and on the trigger. It is all too easy for your finger to accidently slip and pull on something without your intention.

Rule 4: Know Your Target

When it is time to fire your gun, be aware of your target. Know what is behind your target and be aware if anything gets in front of it. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Rule 5: Check Your Ammo

If your gun isn’t using the right ammunition, it is at risk for misfiring and potentially causing an explosion. Use only the ammo your gun requires.  The manual that came with your gun should state the proper ammunition recommended by the manufacturer.

Rule 6: Don’t Rely on Safety Mechanisms Alone

Gun manufacturers have many different safety mechanisms in place on modern firearms that make it difficult to fire off a round accidentally. But just because these mechanisms are there doesn’t mean you should rely solely on them. Always treat your firearm as if there were no safety mechanisms, and that you must be extremely careful when handling it. It will be in the moment that you don’t do this in which accidents will occur.

Rule 7: Know Your Gun

Take your gun apart, and then put it back together. Clean it inside and out. Get familiar with all the different parts and mechanisms that make up your firearm. The more familiar you are with your gun, the more confident you can be when using it. When something goes wrong with your gun, you will be able to diagnose the problem right away, then seeking professional care or solving the issue yourself.

What is Ultrasonic Cleaning?

As the world changes and advances further into the future, technology is constantly getting upgraded. Often the latest version of your smartphone is released, or there becomes a new way to watch television, cook your dinner, or drive your car. Rarely does a technology exist without being advanced upon is some way. However, there are few fundamental sciences that exist, and methods found years previously to harness these sciences in such a way that they are still as effective today as they were 50 years ago.

Enter ultrasonic technology.

According to an extensive history and description of ultrasonic cleaning done in the January 2014 issue of American Gunsmith, ultrasonics has been around since the early 1900s. Ultrasonics first hit its stride during World War I for use in submarine detection, and continued to be fashioned into different uses after that point. It wasn’t until the 1950s that ultrasonic waves were found to be an effective surface scrubber if they had enough energy and were at the right frequency.

This newfound “ultrasonic cleaning,” is best described as a constant series of waves alternatively expanding and compressing. During expansion, microscopic bubbles are formed. When compressed, the bubbles are exposed to massive amounts of pressure, and then collapse with extreme force. This force created theoretically produces a heat of 20,000 °F. However, because of the microscopic size of these “implosions” of force and the large amount of liquid in which the reactions occur, the energy release is buffered, causing the liquid to become warm. With the constant expansions and implosions both heating and agitating the liquid, this produces the desired “scrubbing” effect of ultrasonic cleaning.

With ultrasonic cleaning, you can clean any number of things. Depending on how much power you put into the ultrasonic waves, and what frequency is utilized, you can clean a variety of equipment. From big commercial parts to the intricate parts of a gun, dirt and grime is no match for the scrubbing power of an ultrasonic cleaner.

If you would like to learn even more about ultrasonic cleaners and the technology behind them, you can visit our page at Ultrasonic Power Corporation. You can even check out a video of an ultrasonic cleaner in action!