Copper Remover Thrash: Modern Spartan Systems vs. Sweet’s 7.62 vs. Wipe-Out

The motivation here was to test Modern Spartan Systems line of gun cleaning kit against established known quantities with proven performance. Their promise of no foul smell, lack of toxicity and some of the other claims they made caused me to get curious enough to do a Pepsi challenge for their whole cleaning system. This includes Accuracy Oil; which claims to increase velocity & cut group size & extend barrel life. It also includes their Carbon Destroyer and Copper/Lead Destroyer and their Carbon Destroyer.

I’ve already started long term testing of their Accuracy Oil’s claims at longer barrel life and improvements in velocity, group size and consistency. Those experiments are continuing and I’ve built an impressive data set so far with more coming in every week. In the meantime, the fundamental ability of the fouling removal products to perform like they say it will had not yet been established by any kind of usefully conducted experiment I could find. So, I’m doing it. I’ve already put the Carbon Destroyer up to the Pepsi challenge and it flat works. It’s pleasant enough to use and worked like a charm on everything from revolvers to pistols to high power modern rifles to black powder cartridge rifles. The way it worked on our set of Trapdoor Springfields was terrific. What about the big one though…COPPER!?! Let’s git’er done.

I’ve got enough barrels around with sufficient fouling, including some I’m entirely willing to destroy, to give a good test of effectiveness and side-effects. In the spirit of experimentation I set up the first round of testing with 3 barrels:

  • Stock Glock 21 barrel. 1000’s of rounds since being cleaned.
  • Savage 10 .308 24″ heavy barrel, >500 rounds since cleaning.
  • Black Hole Weapons 26″ .223 barrel > 200 rounds since cleaning.

Cliff’s Notes: In short, MSS’s Copper/Lead Destroyer is very effective. Zero question about that.

More detailed findings and experimental procedure:
C/L-D not as strong as Sweet’s by a mile nor is it as strong as Wipe-Out as a copper remover but it’s a lot more pleasant to use than Sweet’s and less messy than Wipe-Out. This is about removing copper and copper fouling is hard to remove well without damaging the barrel steel. You either get mechanical action which is by definition damaging to the bore or you get chemical action which may be damaging to the bore. Bore damage can be dependent on the length of time of exposure to chemical agents and some of them are really nasty for everyone involved.

To start I took a G21 barrel that had been belled just in front of the chamber by a squib. It had previously had Carbon Destroyer run through it and then was soaked overnight (26 hours) in Copper/Lead Destroyer, hosed out and stored. I ran some Wipe-Out into it and gave it 15 minutes to soak and pushed a patch through. Zero color change on the patch. Then I ran some Sweet’s in it and let that soak for 5 minutes and pushed a patch through. Zero color change on the patch.

Ok, that’s the null result I was expecting. The barrel was clearly clean of copper to begin with but you don’t know the state of fouling before the 26 hour soak. Could have been a lot, could have been a little, could have been none for all you know, right?

Now to find the more interesting results. I took a factory Savage .308 Win barrel that I’d abused and not cleaned in literally years. It had at least a couple hundred rounds put through it before it got yanked and set aside. I started by running patch of Sweet’s through the barrel without running a brush through it, hoping that the carbon that stayed behind would protect some of the copper from the Sweet’s to serve as an indicator later. It came out with gooey gobs of blue on the patch with no soak at all, just applied and patched out. I immediately took the barrel outside and hosed it out for a solid couple minutes to keep the Sweet’s from finishing the job. I plugged the breech with a .45acp case and filled the bore with Copper/Lead Destroyer and gave it 2 hours to soak. After the soak I ran a patch through it a couple times (remember, no color change on the patches, C/L-D doesn’t do that) and then went and hosed it out. Now I needed to see if there was any copper still in there so I took the Wipe-Out and ran that in the barrel and gave it a 20 minute soak. After pushing a patch through what I found were traces of blue streaking on the patch and plenty of black and brown. Not much blue but enough to tell me that the carbon was in fact protecting the copper. There wasn’t enough copper coming out to make a good finish up to the experiment on that barrel so I reset the experiment by virtue of moving on to the .223 barrel.

The .223 barrel started with at least 200 rounds since the last even partial cleaning so it got a thorough carbon removal with Carbon Destroyer. When patches wrapped around a bore brush came out without any black or brown on them, I called that done. I put a fired case in the breech, closed the bolt and then filled the bore with Copper/Lead Destroyer and let it soak for 2 hours. Then I pushed a pair of patches through which came out not much different than they went in. Now to see if the C/L-D worked I ran a patch of sweet’s down the bore, gave it a solid 3 minutes to soak and pushed another patch though looking for color change and got NONE AT ALL. That was a null result I did not honestly expect. I expected to find some copper remaining, I mean Sweet’s is as aggressive as it gets. But no.

What’s that all mean? Leave the Copper/Lead Destroyer to soak a while and it works as thoroughly as Sweet’s or Wipe-Out. I really like using C/L-D way more than Sweet’s. I can’t even stand opening the bottle on that cat piss smelling Sweet’s. I actually really like Wipe-Out too and will continue to use it at the range because it’s super easy to deal with there. At home though, I think I’ve found my new cleaning product suite. All the chemicals I need are now finally not unpleasant.

Modern Spartan Systems – Copper/Lead Destroyer: No bad smell. A detergent-y smell similar to cold bluing solution is what it reminds me of most. The directions say you can leave in barrel safely for many hours, even overnight. I left it in a G21 barrel for 26 hours with no adverse affect noted. MUST use a carbon solvent prior to applying for it to be properly effective. Modern Spartan’s carbon remover works great. Getting C/L-D to stay wet in the barrel was another story. It dried quickly in my low humidity area. I eventually stuffed a fired case in the breech, stood the barrel up and filled the bore on rifles. On pistols it was easier to soak a narrow strip of paper towel in it and thread that down the bore and let it sit that way overnight. Directions say 3-5 minutes of soak. I got best results on heavy fouling after 2 hours. No color change on the patch so it’s a little hard to “know” when you’re done.

Wipe-Out: It’s got a smell but nothing like Sweet’s. Can leave in barrel overnight, no ammonia. It’s a foam that expands so some will end up in your action and it’ll probably drip out of the muzzle so, a little messy to use. Patch’s change color to blue if copper is present. Works on carbon and copper. Usually 15 minutes is more than sufficient as a soak time.

Sweet’s 7.62: Super strong ammonia smell. Do not leave in barrel longer than necessary, clean residue off skin and gun thoroughly immediately after use. Known to be hard on steel. Must use carbon remover prior for full effectiveness.

I have video and all that jazz but it’s not very interesting TV. It’s just me slowly, methodically and painfully boringly working out the surprisingly obvious. On the upside, MSS’s stuff works like a dream so far. I can officially endorse the Copper and Lead Destroyer and the Carbon Destroyer because I have proven beyond any doubt that they work as advertised.

Now about that Accuracy Oil….


The USA Should Be the New Head of OPEC

We’ve taken over the lead in petroleum product exports from Saudi Arabia. We should now Join OPEC and seek to have our representative take over as Secretary General of OPEC. Despite the fact that they have an egalitarian one-country one-vote thing going, the fact of the matter is that the biggest producer ends up with a lot of influence and sway.

OPEC is an international cartel that routinely has used anti-competitive practices of production manipulation and price fixing in order to prevent any competition in the world of petroleum extraction and distribution. Worse, because of the economic realities, the current members of OPEC routinely run over their quotas which destroys the supply and demand reality of the price. They will often overburdern the market with oil supplies but because the price is determined by the market based on how much each country commits to producing (and no more than that) and not on how much it actually produces day to day there’a lack of parity to how any other market works which is supply vs. demand. That there is pure market manipulation. Consumers therefore are not able to get a fair shake and that has dangerous knock-on effects to the global economy.

If the USA were to join OPEC we would then be able to act as both a stabilizing force by forcing sanctions upon production cap cheats, implement enforcement and monitoring technologies that add transparency regarding production to the market to restore the supply vs. demand relationship that has been tossed aside and as a force to ultimately destroy OPEC the cartel from the inside whilst leaving OPEC the industry regulator to mature into a real thing.

As soon as they have to actually play by the rules instead of just saying they do, the member nations’ loyalty to OPEC will fracture and their own individual national interests come to dominate. They will soon find that they no longer have any benefit from membership and OPEC will collapse as a cartel and come to be what it should have been from the start, more of an industry regulating body similar to AMA and the bar associations of the states.

What do you think? Should the USA join OPEC?

The M17 Pistols Carried by the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

See below for highlights. Click the link below if you’re in for the full read. You’re not missing anything either way.


Original Article:

                Pistols for day use are high polished. Pistols for night and inclement weather are matte black.


The sight plate have the Greek figures (I think they mean the Greek gods of) Peace, Victory and Valor.


Wood for the grip panels came from the deck of the USS Olympia which was the ship that transported an unknown WWI soldier from France in 1937. It’s reportedly the oldest floating steel-hulled warship in the world. The extended magazine holds 21 rounds of 9mm NATO. And yes. The gun is loaded while on duty. They Honor Guard are not purely ceremonial and they really will shoot someone if they need to.


Each of the 4 total pistols has a name: Silence, Respect, Dignity, Perseverance. Silence and Respect are the high polish pistols. Dignity and Perseverance are for night and inclement weather duty.


21 plays a recurring theme. Honoring the 21-gun salute and the 21 steps it takes to walk past the tomb.









Terrorist Spotted In NYC Making Mac-n-Cheese/Mayo/Corn Pizza

I’m certain that every second of this video shows crimes against humanity. The most enlightening comment on the video is also the scariest. Watch first then scroll down for that gem of a quote.































“if you check the restaurants twitter, the ingredients are macaroni and cheese, mayonnaise, canned corn, and a pinch of olives. They also have a dessert pizza that has chocolate sauce, gum drops, and twizzlers. I honestly think Seal Team 6 killed the wrong dude… they need to come back and wack this pizza chef for his crimes against humanity.”


Humanity indeed. Custom Sizing Die – Experiment #1 Results

So we have initial results. I’d like to thank you all for the views on my video.

We will be testing this die set more over the next year. This is out of my pocket and out of my own curiosity. I have the credit card bills and had the arguments with my wife to show for it. I must caution, because of some things people seem to have in their heads, that this isn’t ever going to make a 1″ gun into a .5″ gun. Anyone suggesting such a thing is either a fool or a liar. What you should be expecting is to reduce variability in your ammo which reduces things like flyers & SD’s. Effects on group size, maybe small ones should be expected as a normal effect of better consistency but because barrel harmonics are involved there so heavily it’s best to keep your hopes in check and out of the land of silliness.

I set up a partially blinded experiment with unfired, 2x fired and >5x fired cases. We (Coach and I) sized up 50rds of each from my Exact die and 50 of each from Coach’s Redding die and tested that in Coach’s rifle. Coach’s rifle has somewhere over 1900rds down the pipe now which is a concern as you’ll see soon. We set the ammo up identically in everything from components to neck tension. We ran 10 shot groups which were composed of 2 non-consecutive 5-shot groups fired at the same aim point. Coach loaded, packed and labelled the ammo boxes (labels are “1” and “2”) and didn’t tell me till after the shooting was done which was which. I pulled the rounds from the boxes, logged data and called the target to engage while coach did the shooting. That way neither of us knew during shooting which ammo was being fired at any given time. That was the best way I could think of for me to pull out experimenter induced bias with a research team of 2.

The result of the first accuracy test was null. That is to say that the numbers difference in average group size was not outside the level of statistical noise. The exception was with brand new brass. It always shot more consistently than reloaded brass and so I removed those results from the full data set due to the noise they introduced. We also weren’t meant to be testing new brass as that would not apply anyway but I wanted that data for another experiment I’ve been running. This is all precisely what was expected. I expected no big result (but certainly hoped for one) in accuracy simply by going to full length resizing and having extremely consistent neck tension and headspace.

Because the result is null though, we’ll re-run the experiment on that rifle just before we replace the barrel, just to verify the results reproduce reliably. We also did some velocity testing as part of that and there was no statistical change in average velocities or SD’s except that in the new brass loads but it was more consistent set to set. Why pull the barrel? The rifle used for that run of the experiment now has ~1900 rounds through it in 6XC with a single load spec (38.5gr H4350, F210M, Norma brass, 115gr HBN coated DTAC). The load is mild; generating only 2800fps, but we know that that barrel is within a few hundred of being pulled on principle; if not actual need, as far as match work goes and it may not be capable of the repeatable accuracy that might show up with the Exact die. So, we’ll try another barrel. A new one. Actually, a new two! So stay tuned, there’s more to come.

In September I purchased 2x new barrels which I got as blanks from the same production run (from Black Hole Weapons). I purchased a new custom reamer in 6XC that produces a chamber that is very tight to the dimensions of the Exact die. Thankfully you can order a reamer with any number of customizations and it’s still the same price as a custom reamer with just 1 custom dimension. Unfortunately it takes weeks for such a reamer to be made. Over the winter I handed the whole works over to a gunsmith friend of mine that also makes ultra-precise gauges as a business. So, he has the equipment and skills to set up barrels that are truly as identical as we could make them and identical enough for a useful experiment to come out of it despite a sample size that’s extremely small.

Anyway, I got both barrels cut, profiled and chambered identically. It was at great cost too. The cost to set each one up was double what I normally pay him to set up a barrel for me for each barrel with over 15 hours of work on each one. These are our new match barrels for the next 2 seasons too. Coach and I will be shooting from the same ammo box so we can share data. Maybe we’ll pick up a few points on same-day wind calls.

We did have a non-null result and from a different direction, which I also predicted. That was that with loads that were sized with my die we never had trouble closing the bolt. It was, in fact, always exactly the same effort. On the cases that we sized on the Redding neck die that Coach uses bolt close effort was either not much or a TON. Some post-facto testing later on with coach’s FL die showed the same random bolt close effort. This is obviously due to random headspacing which means that Coach’s FL die probably needs a thou or two buzzed off the bottom. Irrelevant though because we’re testing what’s available out of the box and his FL die out of the box didn’t cut it so I suspect that a lot of FL dies out there may be a little long or short and aren’t sizing things like people think they are.

That is only the results from a well used barrel. We will be running this exact same test using the 2 newly set up barrels. One will be on the same gun (Coach’s match rifle) while its twin which now has just under 400 rounds on it is on a different my “Hot Dog Gun” match rifle. I don’t expect any difference but I could wind up being surprised. The new barrel on Hot Dog Gun is extremely accurate so far, better than Coach’s rifle on its first day. We’ve already developed a load for the new barrel that runs things a bit faster (2980fps) so hopefully with more pressure more differences might start to manifest.

One of the cool things about the ES die is you can pull the body/shoulder portion out and still use the neck sizing portion which itself is easily adjustable for neck tension and neck sizing depth. When you start getting hard bolt close you can dial in .0005″ or .001″ or .0015″ or whatever amount of push-back on the shoulder with an easy click adjustment and know it’ll give that to you exactly. We’ll be running a neck tension accuracy test here real soon. We’ll see if .0005″ increments makes real differences on paper. First though, I’m ordering some brand new brass for that test.

Cost is fairly high for these dies but not unprecedented. That’s true but, beside the point. If you have the money then that’s not an issue anyway. Functionality is THE issue. It’s perfectly functional and makes it super easy to dial in neck tension at .0005″ increments for those really finicky loads, to dial neck sizing depth at .020″ increments and to dial how far back you actually push your shoulders in .0005″ increments. They’ll make one to a reamer print too. How precise are the dies? Well I had my machinist do some gauging to see if they were that precise and he was pretty darned impressed.

For benchrest guys and F-class guys, I think this is really packing the potential to up their game a bit but only because those guys tend toward having done everything else already. BR and F-class are the only places I can think of of offhand where neck tension and headspacing are tightly controlled by the shooters both routinely and with an obsession rarely seen.

Is it going to help joe sixpack? Well no, to be honest. Joe doesn’t know enough to get the potential benefit to begin with. Owners of this die will 100% want to keep their brass sorted by number of firings. They’ll know about what spring back is and why it’s important to them and a lot more. They will be the type that can’t deal with unexpected 5’s instead of 0’s or 1’s in the 4th decimal place of a measurement. The right owner for this die is someone very much like me in the respect that they are prone to setting up narrowly defined experiments and to analyze the statistical data that results before forming opinions. They’re nerds.

For Coach and I the benefit is being able to share ammo and ballistics data in a match, not running out of time anymore on match stages due to bolt cycling problems, not overworking or insufficiently sizing the brass and being able to make subtle adjustments with truly minimal effort as precisely as adjusting a tactical rifle scope.

Bore Scopes – Have or Not Have

Here’s some advice: DO NOT OWN ONE unless you’re a metallurgist. What you see will not make you feel any better. It will confuse and scare you and will ruin the fun you could have shooting. Just because you’re curious is not a good reason to start examining things you simply will not understand. When you need a bore scope, you’ll be taking the gun to a gunsmith who will already have one and he’ll know what he’s looking at.

I answer this question easily once a day and it’s always the same answer, “Don’t bother. Just shoot.” The times when I might have answered differently were answered with, “Dude, your shit is busted. Take it to a gunsmith.”

There. I either saved you $25 or quite a hell of a lot more. You’re welcome.

Outdoor Life Screws the Pooch & Federal Makes Reloader’s Hands Wring

Outdoor Life isn’t known for their shockingly high levels of expertise or their incisive writing. Writing takes time to do right and even more time to do wrong. It’s like carpentry that way. They do have access to industry sources though so if we can wade through all the stuff they got wrong we can find out some cool stuff.

Lead Styphnate

In the article linked below you’ll find TONS of factual errors but, if you look past those you’ll find a few sentences of new information. It appears that no less than the US government and police agencies were responsible for the new lead free primer offering from Federal. Lead styphnate is a pretty dangerous compound to work with but it’s much better as a primer than lead azide or mercury fulminate. Better? Yes. Actually better because it’s a bit less reactive to shock and and friction which means fewer accidents. It’s no worse as all 3 contain extremely toxic heavy metals.

Up till now primers have mostly been focused on simply getting a very hot flame front into a pocket of powder through a small orifice. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It’s a pretty oversimplified take to be brutally honest. The actual thing that does the lighting off is not a literal flame front. It’s tiny particles that are burning white hot. Those particles collide with gunpowder kernels and well, you can guess what happens next. If you look at the fantastic work done by German Salazar and posted on, you’ll see that Remington primers put out HUGE amounts of white hot particles. Federal 210’s develop a very large very hot flame but not quite so showery in white hot bits. RWS and CCI BR primers show similarly large amounts of white hots compared to say, PMC.

Vigor in the pursuit of improved primers has been super low especially after companies poured piles of money into development of lead free non-toxic primers and ended up with something that was too unreliable for general duty use and which has been relegated to practice ammo. Once bitten equals twice shy so, they never really took the opportunity to improve primers as much as we have bullets and powders and even cartridge case brass alloys. Looking at the pictures from the article above, it’s also entirely possible that someone looked and said, “What actually are we improving on?” Looking at the pictures below, I have a hard time thinking it’ll be easy to make them any more functional.

               Federal 210M Primer Flame. Courtesy, German Salazar

             Remington no9.5 Primer Flame. Courtesy, German Salazar
                               Holy cow! That’s a bunch of flame and sparks.

Possible improvements over current lead styphnate primers:

  • Make them less susceptible to shock or friction and static electrical discharge.
  • Increase the quantity of and mass density of hot particles that are generated.
  • Reduce/eliminate powder/primer reactivity issues
  • Reduce generated gas volume to reduce pressures
  • Increase the time glowing particulate stays hot (increase its specific heat)
  • Make them less susceptible to water contamination
  • Eliminate dependence on Mexico/Brazil/China (especially China) for ingredients

The New Catalyst Primers

New primers use nitrocellulose as fuel instead of PETN. Nitrocellulose is a deflagrant (it burns and super fast). PETN is a high explosive. Lead has been removed. Aluminum is added and we go from barium to bismuth. Barium I’m not sure of the toxicity of but bismuth is touted as non-toxic though research concerning nanoparticles of bismuth oxide to have serious negative health effects at the cellular level. The oxide in the bismuth oxide becomes more free oxygen for the combustion. The heavy bismuth is heated partially by the burning aluminum which is started off by the nitrocellulose. What you have there is a chain of initiation reactions.

Aluminum instead of lead would be rhetorically great but it’s actually the bismuth that’s supplanting the lead. It gets rid of the lead and the aluminum will lengthen the burn cycle and make sure the flames are white hot as long as possible.


The Old Lead Styphnate


Lead styphnate has more evil in the legend than in the actual use of it in primers. You could eat quite a number of primers without raising your blood lead levels. The real reason I’m betting this went this way was to eliminate the last legitimate civilian reason to possess PETN. Primers don’t contain a lot of it but they do have it and if someone wanted to take a sufficient number of primers and harvest the boom boom butter.

So, let’s chalk up the score. See how Federal did.

Reduce generated gas volume to reduce pressures    ?
Make them less susceptible to shock or friction and static electrical discharge.    ?
Increase the quantity of and mass density of hot particles that are generated. Yes
Reduce/eliminate powder/primer reactivity issues Yes
Increase the time glowing particulate stays hot (increase its specific heat) Yes
Make them less susceptible to water contamination    ?
Eliminate dependence on Mexico/Brazil/China (especially China) for ingredients Yes

I don’t care who you are, that’s a pretty good result for any engineering exercise which seeks to materially improve an existing product.

What we’re seeing in the real world already is handloaders have gone full retard and decided based only on the information that it’s new that they’re not going to use the new primers. We also have others going full retard and predicting that this is some kind of final panacea to fix the marksmanship ailments of lackluster riflemen. Neither is true. If the military is using them then reliability has to be very high. If police are using them then costs have to be pretty low. If Federal Cartridge Company is behind it, I think we can afford to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Finally, not a one of you has much of a choice. Federal is changing all their lines over to this new primer. There will not be 2 lines longer than is necessary to finish converting the 2nd one. Once they make this change you’ve got the existing stock in the market and then you’re going to have to accept that things change. Sure, I have 10,000 primers in my personal back stock too. But I kind of doubt that if you have that many that you shoot little enough to eventually need more.

Get out and shoot!