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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a new case tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner and was wondering if any of you clean your colts with a ultrasonic cleaner? My concern with using such a cleaner on a collectible gun is that the water gets everywhere while in the cleaner and Im afraid that no matter how good you wipe it off with oil after it could start rust in tight areas? Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Don't use a water based cleaner.

You can use ordinary cheap paint thinner if you're careful about ignition of the flammable solvent from sparks.
This does a great job of degreasing and removing standard fouling, won't do anything for copper fouling, maybe not much for leading, and may not do a lot for carbon fouling. With most ultrasonic cleaning solvents you still have to clean the bore and chamber.
After cleaning, drain the gun, blow it out with compressed air if you have access to it, and to totally dry just warm the metal with a hair drier. NOTE: Hair drier, NOT heat gun, torch, or oven.

Another good product is Cylinder & Slide Shop's "Dunk-It" gun cleaner.
This is a gallon bucket of a cleaner mixed with a lubricant. It's designed to just drop the gun in the bucket and let soak. When you take it out, the cleaner runs off, leaving a lubricant everywhere.
You can use this in an ultrasonic cleaner and it lasts a long time. I'd still use a dedicated lubricant on key areas.

You do need to remember that ultrasonics will eventually remove painted sight and safety markings, and will do so instantly with some solvents.
Some solvents can also damage or dissolve front sight red inserts. Most solvents won't harm the plastics used in modern guns, but some might.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dfariswheel thank you for the reply I had been wondering about products like "dunk it" as I thought it could be a solution to my concern but wanted to check with an expert like yourself. I would also like to take this chance to thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge on this forum.
 

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Never use a flammable solvent. The units are not UL listed for flammable solvents. People do it, but its not the wisest thing to do. Crest and other ultrasonic cleaner manufactures make a great solvents you add to water....then heat, then clean with.... The KEY is to follow up your ultrasonic cleaning by letting the slide and frame drain a bit, then wipe off and blow off residual cleaning solvent/water mix with compressed air. THEN follow-up with lube solution (it has NO water). Place the lube pan on the cleaner and allow the lube to work in to displace any residual water mix solution. Again, drain, wipe off and blow off. Done. Most decent ultrasonic cleaners come with two pans, one for solvent, one for lube.Revolvers...remove stocks, cock hammer and open cylinder THEN place in the cleaner's basket. btw....don't worry about the sights if you are using a reputable cleaner. Remember, a small amount of brushing may be required and should be expected with all ultrasonic cleaners. This unit, sold by Brownells has three transducers set at 40 Hz....a decent set up...lifetime returns too

http://www.brownells.com/gun-cleani...575-ultrasonic-cleaning-system-prod40380.aspx
 

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Yes, but I wouldn't leave it in too long and I wouldn't use it too often.

Where you can get problems is if there's a crack, chip, or other defect in the nickel the ultrasonics "could" start to lift the nickel off around the defect.
Also, be VERY careful what solvent you use. As example many bore solvents will seriously damage nickel if allowed to soak on the surface, and an ultrasonic cleaner would greatly accelerate the process.

If you have a really dirty nickel gun I'd use it no more than once a year or so depending on how much you use it and how dirty it gets.
 

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Brownell's has a excellent water displacing oil (stock #083-000-032) made specifically for use in ultrasonic cleaners as a follow up to the ultrasonic cleaning process. They also have a excellent ultrasonic cleaning solution that mixes 9:1 with water (stock #083-000-031) The down side is that unless you have a second ultrasonic cleaner it requires draining and refilling the cleaner for each clean/oil cycle. I bought one of the stainless steel Chinese ultrasonic cleaners, off fleabay, so I could keep it filled with the oil, and it turned out to be much higher quality than expected. Just do the clean/drain/compressed air process described earlier by dfariswheel, between the cleaning bath and the oil bath.
 
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