I own a handgun and have been cleaning it with an old kit I was given by a friend. This has been expedient as I am pretty busy and cannot just run out to buy a new one. I am not entirely thrilled with the idea of a toxic solution however. I see from the label that the ingredients are not safe from an environmental point of view. When it runs down the drain during the cleaning process, I have horrific visions of it seeping into the ocean. God knows the ocean has enough pollutants already and in point of fact, I have been personally fighting for this cause. A clean up is always in order, but why not prevent the damage in the first place.
I need a biodegradable, hazardless solution and am looking actively for such an animal on line. Of course it also has to be an effective cleaner. Household products have been revolutionized by promoters of more green practices, so why not gun cleaning products?Here’s what I have found. I came across on the Brownell’s website a jar of J-B non-embedding bore cleaning compound. The description says it cuts through the toughest bullet jacket and powder fouling. It is actually a paste more than a solution and thus has some abrasive action that won’t “eat” stock finishes. Now this item has been around since the 1960’s and is unlikely to be very green in spite of the testimonials given about its effectiveness. So let’s move on.
Next I see Break-Free CLP all-purpose cleaner in an aerosol can. It is also a lubricant and preservative. Yikes. This one contains specialized chemicals that displace corrosion, dirt, and firing residue. It may be a superior cleaner, but it will do no good to the ocean and its denizens. Is there no hope? I then come across at Cabela’s website Hoppe’s Elite cleaning kit that “removes all fouling down to the molecular level.” It promises superior lubrication for maximum performance. But at what price? It says it is safe to use on any firearm, but is it safe for the sea? I think I am going to prefer the Remington Pop-up Wipes that are pre-moistened and disposable. Maybe these will go to a landfill instead of into the ocean. The solution inherent in the wipes cleans dirt and grime from exposed metal surfaces on guns and protects against rust, corrosion, and fingerprints. Pretty handy!
I am at my wits end, however, and am about to go crazy when I find Slip’s 725 gun cleaner. Now we are talking. This is a super strength degreaser, but the real news is that it is biodegradable and considered a non-solvent. It is a water-based product that I think I am going to like. It has surfactants and emulsifiers in it, but no harsh chemicals. When you rinse your weapon, nothing horrid goes down the drain.
It is hard to believe that a gun cleaning product can do its job well and still be environmentally friendly. You have to give and take here a little. The point is that you can get closer to the mark of protecting the planet of you are careful about what you buy.