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Thread: Maintenance: Cleaning an Autoloader Shotgun

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    Senior Moderator 12GAUGE's Avatar
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    Maintenance: Cleaning an Autoloader Shotgun

    AoA Everybody

    One of the many evils facing an autoloader shotgun is the carbon fouling that occurs due to the employment of propellant gases in cycling the action. This type of a scattergun uses the force of the gas, created by the accelerated burning of the propellant, not just to propel the wadding which pushes the shot down the barrel, but also to cycle the action, eject the empty shell and load another from the magazine. This though efficient, is far more complex than traditional break-open shotguns thus mandating a through cleaning and maintenance regime to keep everything working.

    Timing is everything in the smooth functioning of an autoloader. All autoloading shotguns depend on a precisely timed sequence of events. If one step is slow, it can upset the sequence. A dirty chamber, filthy action, crud in your trigger group or magazine or a weak spring can alter the timing just enough to turn your soft shooting automatic in to a jamomatic.

    How often you should give your shotgun a through cleaning will depend on the shotgun, your loads and the environment in which you shoot. Keep track of the numbers of shells that you have put through the gun since the last cleaning and make note of when the gun first starts to cycle slowly. A pattern will emerge that will tell you how often the gun should be taken apart and cleaned. It could be as few as 100 rounds or as high as 1,000.

    Normally, I advise four different type of cleaning routines depending upon usage:

    1. Up to 100 rounds: Just run a solvent soaked patch down the bore a couple of times.

    2. Up to 200 rounds: run a solvent soaked patch down the bore a couple of times, take the barrel off, no need for any further disassembly and wipe everything with a solvent soaked path.

    3. Up to 500 rounds: run a solvent soaked patch down the bore a couple of times, take the barrel off, remove the chokes and clean them with a solvent, take the trigger assembly out, no need for any further disassembly and wipe/clean everything with a solvent soaked path.

    4. Up to 1000 round: disassemble the gun down to bits and clean/scrub everything with a quality solvent. Preferably, fix the barrel in a jig and using a cleaning rod attached to a hand held drill, polish the bore. It can also be done manually (the old fashion way) but with lots and lots of elbow grease (the old fashion way).

    Some Safety Instructions Before We Continue:

    “Be sure you always handle your firearm safely. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, treat the firearm as if it were loaded, and keep your finger off the trigger. Pull the bolt-grip back, and release it. Repeat until no shells are visible in the magazine tube or in the chamber. After visually inspecting that the firearm is empty, manually insert your finger in the chamber and cartridge elevator to feel if there is any cartridge in there. Be double-sure your firearm is unloaded. You do not want an unexpected boom while cleaning your firearm. Keep your ammunition separate from your shotgun while cleaning.

    A Disclaimer (as always ):

    The following content is for informational purposes only. The author assumes no responsibility and/or any liability in case of an injury, accident, loss of life and/or property that may and/or may not occur as a direct and/or indirect result of exercising the information provided below. The reader assumes full responsibility and liability of the foreseen and/or unforeseen consequences that may or may not occur therefore he/she is advised to proceed with full caution. In other words, if you screw this up, don't blame it on me

    Let's begin shall we?:



    Disassemble the gun, take the magazine nut off, remove the forend, take the barrel off, remove the trigger guard, keep track of all the things, where they came off and where they'll go.



    This is what an autoloader shotgun generally looks like once disassembled. no need for further disassembly unless the round count is hitting 1000 mark.



    Look at all that grime/carbon fouling/dirt/debris. This is the true cost of the pleasure that you get after shooting an autoloader shotgun.



    A closer looks reveals the burnt/scorching marks left by hot gases. no worries. nothing a quality solvent soaked scotch brite/steel wool cannot handle.



    Scrub all your worries away. over time I have developed a special liking for steel wool as it not only removes gunk/carbon fouling/burnt marks but also polishes the metal to a mirror shine. however I cannot insist enough to use the softest steel wool available or if you want to play it safe, use a scotch brite pad. our objective is to clean and shine, not to remove the finish. many high end shotguns offer hard chrome plated internals for the very same reason. to withstand serious scrubbing and to aid in cleaning. with scotch brite pad due to its relative softness to a steel wool, you'll require more effort (in other words, more elbow grease). one more thing, do not use steel wool on anything that has been colored, painted, blued, browned, blackened and parkerized. steel wool is for stainless steel and hard chrome plated parts only.



    Everything all clean and shiny. as far as the internals of the receiver is concerned, all it needs is a blast of solvent followed brushing with a tooth brush to losen all the grime/carbon/gunk then another blast to flush away all the nasties followed by wiping everything down with clean cotton cloth.



    pull the bolt back to make more space inside visible and also to make space for the brush to go in and do its thing. make sure to brush the bolt face and its surroundings. special attention need to be given to the cuts and crevices inside the receiver. they collect the most nasties during operation.



    A good bast of your favorite solvent/clp along with brushing everything with tooth brush should clean the trigger assembly. This should also improve the overall trigger feel of the gun.



    now moving on to the barrel. using any quality bore solvent (caution: bore solvents are strong chemicals, use in open well ventilated area only) applied on a cotton patch, run it through the barrel bore a couple of time. let it sit for a couple of minutes. in the meantime you can remove the choke and clean it with the same bore solvent. then go back to the barrel bore and using clean (dry) cotton patches (one by one) clean as much as you can. remove as much of the carbon and plastic fouling as you can. your objective here is to make sure that the final patch comes out clean. I normally suggest that you use multiple clean cotton patches one by one till the time the the final patch comes out reasonably clean.

    since we are dealing with an autoloader shotgun that depends on hot gases bleeding through gas ports in the barrel, we must vigorously clean this area as well because this area usually accumulates the most of grime/carbon/gunk. one may use a scotch brite pad or steel wool just remember to scrub the inside of the gas cylinder and not the outside as it will remove the finish (bluing or whatever).



    every patch has two sides so you can use the same patch twice by simply inverting it and having another go at it. as you can see that the final patch still shows some carbon/gunk on it. but since its only a shotgun and i'm not going to use the barrel as a drinking straw I do not need to go any further.



    With everything clean as it should, lubricate everything as per your lubrication preferences and put the humpty dumpty back together again.

    Regards.

    p.s. More Text will be added later.
    Last edited by 12GAUGE; 06-03-2011 at 03:17 PM.
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    Senior Member zainulabdeen's Avatar
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    waiting for text bro . would u plz tell as to why most of the senior pak gunners dont recommend w.d 4o , even when one is thinking to store the for couple of months

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    Supreme Member Topak's Avatar
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    excellent thread.. was looking for it.
    great work Ustad G.
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    Senior Moderator Denovo87's Avatar
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    Another great tutorial 12g bro, thanks for detailed & colourful pictorial.
    I never used steel wool for any firearm except the .357 magnum's cylinder face, in case of auto loader shotgun I use oil generously on main spring, piston (outside n inside as well), mag tube etc after each cleaning session, this makes cleaning the carbon a breeze with just simple cleaning cloth + tooth brush & cleaner (NASA or Brunox) even after use of 150+ cartridges in a session. So +100 to your slogan " there is no such thing as over lubrication exists"
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    Senior Member "King Of Kings"'s Avatar
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    beautiful work sir 12 guage,your threads are always very informative and helpfull,

    thanks and regards,
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    Lord of War hsnmz's Avatar
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    @12guage, thank you for the guide. would apprieciate if you pls name the solvent you used for cleaning the gun and its price? In the bowl, i can see the solvent has some bluish tint. I hope it did not take the finish off the gun?
    | (*| Pakistan Zindabad | *) |

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    Senior Moderator 12GAUGE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hsnmz View Post
    @12guage, thank you for the guide. would apprieciate if you pls name the solvent you used for cleaning the gun and its price? In the bowl, i can see the solvent has some bluish tint. I hope it did not take the finish off the gun?
    the bluish tint in the bowl could be the fouling removed by the solvent or it could be the reflection of the sky. let me assure you that it definitely isn't the finish.

    Regards.
    "The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave."
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    Enthusiast PrivateEye's Avatar
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    @12GAUGE
    Sir which solvent did you use to clean the internals?
    Some parents say it is toy guns that make boys warlike. But give a boy a rubber duck and he will seize its neck like the butt of a pistol and shout \"Bang!\"

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    Senior Moderator 12GAUGE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrivateEye View Post
    @12GAUGE
    Sir which solvent did you use to clean the internals?
    Bro, solvent is a matter of personal choice. you will find that almost every firearm enthusiast will have in their inventory a solvent of their choice which works for them but may not work for others.

    I on the other hand, simply use diesel fuel for casual cleaning and harsh chemicals only for extensive cleaning sessions. I have found that diesel works as good as any CLP in removing carbon/fouling and gunk and carburettor cleaner works as good as any specialty solvent in removing hard caked carbon/gunk/plastic fouling from barrels.

    Someone might suggest kerosene for the job but I've found that it is a little too dry for my taste. diesel in the place of CLP for blasting away carbon deposits from shotgun's internals and Carburettor cleaner for cleaning a carbon/fouling caked barrel to a mirror shine.

    My approach is simple: use more elbow grease if you have to instead of resorting to harsher chemicals for the job. Now if you still want a better specialty solvent you may search the forum for Pakguns Solvent. it does a alot better job compared to more expensive specialty solvents out there and with a lot less money involved.

    Regards.
    "The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave."
    James Burgh, Political Disquisitions, 1774

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    12GAUGE :

    Brother i love you
    thank you for the wonderful advice was looking for this guide!!!!
    needed to remove the burn marks
    problem solved

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    Lord of War hunter468's Avatar
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    thnx for sharing
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    wonderful way to teach sir 12 Gauge

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    100 and +, means still no need to worry.
    thank you so much for your kind information.
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    Lord of War Tiger Roars's Avatar
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    @12Gauge, ..Excellent work,,always your workshop is providing valuable information and demonstrations, thanks.
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    Info on how, and where to lube a semi-auto would be much appreciated too bro

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    12 Gauge Brother. please let me know how to remove trigger of an auto loader. coz i can disassemble and reassemble everything in my auto load except trigger. please help
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    To all hunters
    A.A

    as now a days i rainy season so oil all of your guns never ever happend some problem with it.

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    12 Gauge bro you have mentioned as what to do in respect of cleaning based on shots fired.. I have just a little querry that if someone is havng a shotgun only for the purpose of SD/HD in that case u may all know that there is not much firing of the cartridges. God saves us all from tht type of situation. the gun is just laying without firing, at home due to the only reason of hd involved in it, no target or sports shooting on it.. what will you suggest in this circumstance that after how much time do we need to clean it both casualy and throughly which could leave us in a mental satisfaction that God forbid whenever the situation arrives the gun will fire flawlessly as intended..

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    Senior Member ay_be_why's Avatar
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    @12Gauge, sir ji I recently came across an online article where the author used ALUMINUM FOIL to remove rust/gunk from steel and to polish chrome. All he used was Foil and metal polish and then scrub-scrubity-scrub. He says you can use ANY liquid like metal polish, oil, diesel even water or the good ol' spit!!! (water or spit sounds too extreme though). Maybe it could be used here as well, thus greatly reducing the chances of scratching the finish/surface of the parts? Any comments?

    Personally I've recently used this Foil/Brasso treatment on steel and aluminum, with amazing results. You wipe the rusty thing twice or thrice and you can see black muck coming off instantly... "Azmaesh Shart Hai"
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    Enthusiast Anaglyphical's Avatar
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    @12guage: Bro sorry but I am very lazy at reading perhaps thats the reason way back in childhood I was diagnosed with an ophthalmic disease known "Lazy Eyes" lols. So kindly bear with my ignorance.
    What I wanted to ask is that you mentioned that we grease the chokes and not oil them as they are slow or not moving parts at all.

    so do we also grease an auto loaders barrel sleeve?

    Do we grease the fore end nut also?

    And what about the Gas Chamber beneath the barrel? (The one that needs adujustment in an MP153 for light and heavy loads?
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