Law enforcement agencies, military and security personnel, hunting and recreational shooting clubs, firearm collectors, and operators of gun shop service departments rely on ultrasonic gun cleaner systems for fast, thorough firearm cleaning and lubricating. This post describes why regularly scheduled use of an ultrasonic gun cleaner system is your best way to keep your firearm investments in top condition.
We'll start with the basics, move into the dos and don'ts of ultrasonic gun cleaning then offer suggestions on gun cleaning equipment.
How an Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner Works
First of all, we recognize that firearm owners are well aware of the importance of using brushes, sprays, pads and lubricants to clean their equipment after each use. But these manual methods are unlikely to access contaminants in cracks, crevices, blind holes and other restricted surfaces that if allowed to remain may interfere with the reliable operation or lower the value of firearms.
Regularly scheduled sessions in an ultrasonic gun cleaner will remove these potentially harmful contaminants and residues missed by manual maintenance methods.
The secret of superior firearm cleaning is what is called ultrasonic cavitation.
This is caused by the implosion of billions of minute bubbles in a biodegradable ultrasonic cleaning solution as they contact all components of the firearm immersed in the solution.
The bubbles are created by ultrasonic transducers bonded to the bottom of an ultrasonic gun cleaning tank and typically operate at frequencies such as 37 or 45 kHz (37,000 or 45,000 cycles per second).
The imploding bubbles quickly and safely loosen and remove grease, powder residues, shavings and other contaminants that could interfere with reliable firearm operation.
So tiny are the bubbles that they penetrate minute cracks, crevices and blind holes impossible to reach with conventional rifle and pistol cleaning tools, solvents and aerosols.
The ultrasonic weapons cleaner will complete the job in approximately 10-15 minutes. If a number of firearms are being cleaned at the same time the cycle could be longer.
Now, a few dos and don'ts.
DO Field-Strip the Weapon
Most people with experience in handling weapons understand that field-stripping and disassembling are part of the task of cleaning by hand.
The same holds true for ultrasonic gun cleaners. The ultrasonic cleaner works at its best on these smaller parts, where the microscopic bubbles penetrate into the hard-to-reach holes, cracks and crevices that hand-cleaning methods miss.
As suggested above, the ultrasonic cleaner can remove much of the contaminants from these areas in a fraction of the time and the process does not damage metal surfaces.
DON'T Clean Wood or Ivory Parts in an Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner
Intense cavitation action is highly effective at cleaning metal surfaces, but it can be too much for some non-metal parts. Components made of wood or ivory can warp, crack or be otherwise damaged by temperatures and agitation found within an ultrasonic cleaning bath.
Other methods should be used to clean these parts separately from the weapon's core components.
DO Maintain the Weapon After Cleaning
After ultrasonic cleaning, users will need to rinse, dry, and lubricate the weapon components. The maintenance tasks must be done within a few minutes of the end of the cleaning process, as humidity and pollutants in the air can undo much of the efforts to keep the weapon clean and rust-free.
To accomplish this we strongly recommend an ultrasonic lubricating bath described below.
DON'T Use Flammable Solvents
Flammable solvents spell danger both from a use and disposal standpoint. Ultrasonic cleaning formulas designed for cleaning firearms are water based and biodegradable. If “water based” causes you to pause, properly administered ultrasonic cleaning and lubricating cycles eliminate rusting concerns.
DO Follow Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning and Lubricating Procedures
Cleaning solution and lubricating formulations designed for an ultrasonic gun cleaner help speed the process and protect your firearm.
An excellent cleaning solution formulation is biodegradable GunClean L6 concentrate available from iUltrasonic. Designed to quickly clean rifles, pistols and other firearms it quickly removes powder residues, bullet shavings, hardened lubricants and other contaminants. Offered in 1 gallon containers, GunClean C7 dilutes 1:10 with water making it a very cost-effective cleaning solution.
At the conclusion of the cleaning cycle rinse the parts in fresh water and drain.
Transfer parts to a tray containing the blended ready-to-use GunLube L5 lubricating solution for a 10-12 minute cycle that removes all traces of water and leaves the firearm looking and feeling like brand new.
Wipe excess lubricant from weapon parts before reassembly. Lubricant available here.
Examples of Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning Systems
Ultrasonic gun cleaners are available in several sizes and features. Here are two examples available from iUltrasonic.
Cleaning Hand Guns
For cleaning pistol components, we suggest the HCS-200 ultrasonic gun cleaning kit sized for two full size semi-automatic handguns or a 6-inch revolver.
Designed and manufactured in the USA for law enforcement personnel, the recreational shooter, hobbyist, collector or sportsman, it cleans up to 16 times better than hand cleaning and eliminates the need for multiple cleaning products.
This kit contains your ultrasonic gun cleaner, basket and cover along with a separate lubricating pan. Also shipped are two 8 oz. containers of weapon cleaner concentrate and a gallon of ready-to-use lubricating solution.
Cleaning Rifles and Other Long Guns
For rifles, long guns or cleaning multiple pistols in the same cycle a good choice is the 36-inch LE-36 ultrasonic weapon cleaning system, also made in the USA.
Featuring a sweep mode to provide uniform cleaning action throughout the bath, this system includes a timer, heater, drain, cover, full and half sized weapon baskets with adjustable compartments, full and half sized lubricating pans, 4 gallons of cleaning solution concentrate and 8 gallons of ready-to-use lubricating solution.
Need More Info on Ultrasonic Gun Cleaning?
For more information on finding an ultrasonic gun cleaner that meets your needs, contact us.