Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A Dirty Problem Requiring a New Solution

Put your hand up if you have ever opened up a new 5oz bottle of Hoppes #9 or your favourite cleaning solvent, only to knock it over and have it spill all over your gun vice and work bench?  I've done it more times than I'd like to admit.  It costs me a small fortune, especially when the local gun shop charges $20 per bottle.  This lead me to a search for a more affordable and equally effective firearm cleaning solution.

After doing some research, I have discovered a lot of our gun owning brothers and sisters in the United States are using "Ed's Red".  Its a home mixed concoction of chemicals and oils that are easily found at your local hardware and automotive stores.  The original recipe contains lanolin, but I have decided to substitute the lanolin with some ULX110, a specialty motor oil that I have left over from my motorcycle racing days. I'm never going to race again so I figured it may as well be put to good use.

The mix that I decided on is:
  • 1 litre of Castrol Dex III automatic transmission fluid - $12.99 @ Super Cheap Auto
  • 1 litre of Diggers acetone cleaning solvent - $10.95 @ Bunnings Warehouse
  • 1 litre of Diggers low odour kerosene - $9.85 @ Bunnings Warehouse
  • 1 litre of Diggers mineral turpentine - $2.97 @ Bunnings Warehouse
  • 100ml of ULX110 motor oil.
Standard kerosene is cheap and blue in colour. I purchased the more expensive and clear low odour kerosene because I will be using it indoors.  I don't really need to be stinking out the reloading room.

All ingredients are available at your hardware and automotive store

Mixing is simple, Start with the transmission fluid, then add the rest of the ingredients in any order you wish. I mixed mine in a 5 litre HDPE container that was once used for an all purpose cleaner. Give it a good shake to mix it well.

Its not hard to see why its called Ed's Red!

Use Ed's Red in the same manner that you would any other cleaner. I cleaned my M69 revolver and found it to be excellent.  I am going to reserve my full judgement on its effectiveness after I have used it to clean a few rifles and some more handguns.

Lets take a look at the economic benefits for those of us that are tighter than a fish's arsehole when it comes to parting with our hard earned cash.  These four ingredients came to a total of $36.76.  I didn't include the motor oil as it was some left overs I had in the garage. 

Price per 5oz (147ml)
Price per 5 litres
Hoppes #9
Ed’s Red
As you can see, it's definitely more economical to make your own solvent than purchasing brand name cleaners. I'm not knocking the effectiveness of the commercial products, but I shoot so much that it's no longer affordable for me to use them.

Now when I spill my cleaning solution, I know that it's not going to hit my bank balance as hard. 

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