Making your own homemade gun solvent is easier than you think.
Gun solvent is one of those items that every gun owner or hunter must keep in constant supply. A clean gun is an accurate gun. Unfortunately, solvent can start getting pricey fairly quickly. That is where homemade gun solvent comes in. It is cheap, easy to make, and effective.
I have been making this homemade gun solvent for years and it never fails to impress with the way it cleans guns. It is just as effective as any commercial solvent that I have used.
Before we get to the actual recipe for the solvent, let’s briefly talk about safety. Use caution when mixing this homemade gun solvent. Choose a well-ventilated area and wear rubber gloves that are rated for chemical use, as well as safety glasses. While the process isn’t inherently dangerous, it simply isn’t worth the risk. Keep it away from fire or heat and store it in a chemically-safe container. I use a rated gas can from the hardware store to store mine.
Some of you may recognize this recipe as Ed’s Red Homemade Bore Cleaner which has been around on the Internet for years. However, it seems to have been partially lost to time and I want to bring it back to people’s attention. Shooting is an expensive hobby and the more money we save on things like solvent, the more we can spend on new guns and ammo.
What You Will Need:
1 Part Dexron II, IIe, or III Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) GM Spec D20265 or later (get the cheapest one the auto parts store carries)
1 Part K1 Kerosene (get the low odor version if you see it)
1 Part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits
Those are the main ingredients for the homemade gun solvent. There are many variations on the recipe that you can find online. For example, adding one part acetone will help get rid of plastic fouling and would be useful for shotgun shooters. You can search online for other variations, but for our purposes, the base recipe will work just fine.
Note: If you do use acetone when you make yours, do not use a HDPE gas container. The acetone will permeate it and eventually eat right through it.
What to Do:
CAUTION: FLAMMABLE MIXTURE — HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED — KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
Using a clean, chemical-resistant metal bucket as your mixing container, add the ATF first. You will then use the empty ATF container to measure out the rest of your ingredients to add to the mixture. Stir it until it is completely combined. That is really all there is to it. After mixing, pour the mixture into the container that you have chosen and clearly label it. I recommend storing your homemade gun solvent in the garage or other building outside.
How to Use:
The process of using this homemade gun solvent is basically the same as your normal cleaning process. One thing to note is that allowing the solvent to soak into the metal for a minute or so will increase its effectiveness. Make sure to keep the solvent away from wooden surfaces as it will damage if not removed following cleaning.
Once your bore is clean, do your usual oiling routine. There are ingredients you can add to this recipe to take the place of oil, but it makes the process more complicated. I choose to leave it out. Before shooting the gun you cleaned with your homemade solvent, run a couple of dry patches down the barrel. This is just a good practice for shooting a freshly cleaned firearm anyways.
Make sure to follow all the safety tips mentioned in this article and enjoy your new, cheap batch of effective homemade gun solvent!
For more information on Ed’s Red Homemade Bore Cleaner (and substitution ideas) go here.