I have used Gumout Carb cleaner as primary bore cleaner for years, being careful to keep away from wood and minimize contact with bluing. There is always a bit of contact at ends of barrels. So far so good. My K80 has not evolved to a Silver Sietz.
I use brake and carb cleaner all the time. However, "wannaz" is correct. Do not get it on the wood finish. Also, once you've used it, you MUST lubricate what you have cleaned because it strips out ALL lubrication. I usually buy whatever is on sale at Wal-Mart.
The labels I have read on break/carb cleaners indicate that they use acetone as the cleaning agent. Acetone is an excellent gun cleaner but it will damage some finished and it evaporates quickly, often before the cleaning job is over.
I've used brake cleaner sporatically. Very successful at removing plastic out of my barrel over the past 15 years. As previously stated by other threads, do NOT allow contact with the wood. As for the bluing, I don't spray it on the outside surfaces. My barrel is cleaned on a rest which tilts down and what little liquid is left, drips down and out. Never notice it coming in contact with the bluing. My guess is to go with those who have experienced an issue with the bluing. Good luck. BT-100dc
Carb cleaner evaporates faster than brake cleaner and leaves less residue. That said,as in the other posts i would not get it on any would and would oil the surfaces cleaned right after cleaning with either solvent.
Jay, you might have figured by some of the comments here that the solvent you are using, at a higher price I might add, is the same as what you can purchase off the shelf of an automotive store for cheaper. Same chemical make up different label.
Hey Calkidd didnt you say and I quote: "I have used carb/brake cleaner too but will it attack the blueing over time"? I figure I'll just play it safe and use the proper stuff. It's not a budget breaker.
You are correct I did and it was a question, but after reading some of the replies I came to my own conclusion that most of the solvents we are talking about, including what you made reference to, can be the same but a different label.
JayZap- I contend that no solvent or oil has ever been made specifically for guns. Many have purchased bulk solvents and oils and packaged them with labels that indicate gun use but the actual components are available for many uses. The can of carb cleaner I have on my shelf, according to the label, uses the same solvent as the fingernail polish remover my wife uses. The same solvents used in several products with labels indicating they are for cleaning barrels is also used in manufacturing paint, glue and floor cleaners. Putting a label on a product does not change the product. One excellent gun barrel cleaners was manufactured to clean the fins on jet engines before they were tested by X-ray for small cracks. One of the popular gun greases was designed for lubricating passenger airplane cables and another one, often mentioned on this site, was intended for use on copy machines. These products were simply repackaged with a different label.
You and I could mix a bit of automatic transmission fluid and acetone and sell it as a gun lubricant and barrel cleaner. If we were good at marketing, we could convince many shooters that we made the best stuff around. Our product would work very well.