Cleaning Centerfire Suppressors



  • So I know that my .22 cans have to be cleaned at regular intervals or they will quickly cause problems with the cold bore and then shortly thereafter with accuracy.

    My 30 cal can is a Thunderbeast 30-P1. From the factory it is 14oz...as it sits right now it weighs in at just over 19oz meaning that it has picked up about 5oz of weight. I have about 2,500 rounds through it some of which (about 300-400) are subsonic. I think it could benefit from a cleaning.

    Is this just as simple as the .22 can? dip it in CLR, rinse it out, dry it and go?

    Does it need to be put in an ultrasonic cleaner?

    Am I to the point that it needs to be done yet? Thunderbeast claims that they never need to be cleaned...but I have trouble believing that as it continues to pick up weight.



  • said:

    Is this just as simple as the .22 can? dip it in CLR, rinse it out, dry it and go?

    Pretty much. Might take a few cycles depending on how much crud is in there.

    Dirty centerfire cans seem to affect precision and accuracy just like 22lr. Just takes more rounds.



  • I had about 2500 rounds on my centerfire when I cleaned it.

    The initial dip it foamed up in a hurry, so have things available to catch what "boils" up. It looks similar to firework "snakes".

    I never did get it down to a factory "spec" as far as weight goes... and didn't weigh it when I first got it so I had no baseline. I stuck a bore scope in it and saw it was down to the metal in nearly every area but still had a couple of small chunks in it.

    To clean it I used a chunk of PVC, glued a cap on one end and a threaded fitting to the other end. I slid the can in (was a tight fit, but slid in easily as to not have to use so much CLR at one time)... and screwed the cap in and shook the heck out of it. Over and over, new CLR, let it sit for a few hours, cap, shake, empty, run water through, shake, dump water out, more clr... it was a couple day process to remove about 2-3 ounces of crud. I didn't notice a vast improvement in accuracy or noise reduction... but I didn't want it to be a pain some day with 10... 20,000 rounds through it.



  • @brittel

    I have a piece of 2" pvc and likely will do that. Thanks for the idea.

    I will probably try putting it in the oven too. I bet it works better at 200 deg. I might eventually invest in a good ultra sonic...but not now. I think a heated ultrasonic with clr would work wonders on suppressors.



  • @dddoo7 tell me more about the oven process and how you will do this please.



  • I haven't tried it yet but intend to.

    My theory is that if CLR works as good as it does at room temperature...then it will work even better at 200 degrees. Seems like things are always easier to clean at higher temperatures (within reason).

    I am looking into an ultrasonic cleaner, but don't want to spend the money on one now. My promethius should be ready in a few months and I want to make sure I have enough money saved for that. Good quality ultrasonic cleaners heat the solution as well so I guess this is feeding my theory as well. Next time I clean my suppressor I will try it and let you know how it works.



  • @dddoo7 Also can you use CLR in a heated ultrasonic cleaner?



  • According to thunderbeast they will alternate the suppressor between CLR and 50/50 peroxide/vinegar every few days. Supposedly my .22 suppressor was in their ultrasonic cleaners for a couple of months. I can't imagine that they wouldn't have heated ultrasonics. I have asked them what ultrasonic cleaner they use but they haven't responded yet.

    I plan to try it when I get a good ultrasonic. I don't know why it wouldn't work.



  • @dddoo7 http://www.ultrasonicsdirect.com/shulhaclpa.html#undefined1
    I was looking at this unit. It only gives 2 inches of liquid for the item to sit in with the basket. Will 2 inches be enough for a center fire suppressor? At work and cannot measure. Please let me know your thoughts on this machine. Thanks



  • the thunderbeast 30-P1 that I have is 1.5" in diameter. I would think 2" would work as long as the basket doesn't take up too much space. That looks like a pretty well built unit. It is so difficult to find reviews on higher end equipment like this and it seems when you do find a review the only high end piece they have experience with is the one they bought.

    I am looking at this unit...but again I have no experience with either of them or any ultrasonic cleaner that cost over $20.

    https://www.balkowitsch.com/ProductID-1616-ProductDetails.aspx

    It is 6L capacity instead of 4L. I just want to make sure I get one that is big enough. It also has sweep frequency meaning that it doesn't just sit on one frequency but rather travels a spectrum of frequencies.



  • So I talked to thunderbeast and they said that they have had really good luck with "Crest" and "L&R" ultrasonic cleaners. I guess as much as they use them they should probably know.



  • I had 2 22lr suppressors both with excess of 500 rounds on them. I soaked in CLR for 4 days while I waited for the ultrasonic cleaner I purchased.
    m6BkIYI.jpg
    eIrYDAJ.jpg

    These are the baffles after soaking in CLR for the 4 days and 20 minutes in the cleaner. If they come out after 30 minutes clean I think I made a good investment. I will post a picture after 30 minutes.



  • O11v9FZ.jpg
    I must say it worked out nicely. All I did was rinse in water and dry. The baffles look brand new. I think I found my routine for cleaning my 22lr suppressors. It has not been this clean ever. I have used top engine cleaner, the peroxide white vinegar dip etc. The CLR soak then to ultrasonic cleaner is by far the best method I have used. The time it takes is minimal. Now I will not mind cleaning more often.



  • @tpk936 said:

    O11v9FZ.jpg
    I must say it worked out nicely. All I did was rinse in water and dry. The baffles look brand new. I think I found my routine for cleaning my 22lr suppressors. It has not been this clean ever. I have used top engine cleaner, the peroxide white vinegar dip etc. The CLR soak then to ultrasonic cleaner is by far the best method I have used. The time it takes is minimal. Now I will not mind cleaning more often.

    What did you use in the ultrasonic?



  • ZAAdCdm.jpg
    8oz of this solution with about a gallon of water.
    0XdjR6w.jpg
    Did not use this solution yet. These came with the ultrasonic kit. The kit also includes a clear plastic tray with lid that you pour this solution into then you put the gun product in and set into the ultrasonic cleaner on a shelf. It will lube all of the parts. Not sure if it will help keep the suppressor parts clean or make them easier to clean. will have to test.



  • I read somewhere about a treatment that could be done to suppressors that drastically reduced the build up inside, and what built up basically could be rinsed out. It was some kind of silicone oil bath treatment. Anybody on here tried that



  • @bull81 I did read that article but you had to repeat the process each time you cleaned. Very time consuming.



  • Anybody ever tried to run CLR in a sonic cleaner? Just curious if it would damage the cleaner



  • @bull81 Cannot do per the instructions on the machine I purchased. Best results was to soak in clr then put into ultrasonic cleaner.



  • I decided it was time to clean the 30P-1. I should have weighed it this time...but didn't. A few months ago it was 19 oz which is 5oz over factory specs.

    This is what it looked like
    Jzi6F7s.jpg

    The first time I poured clr in it did like brittle said. it was a volcano. It wasn't even half done when I took this pic.
    G03iAuO.jpg

    I Let it sit in the CLR for a couple of days the first go round and then dumped a huge amount of trash out of it. I could not believe how much junk there was in it. I put it back in the pipe and filled it with CLR again...and again it boiled over. Not quiet as much this time...but still enough to let me know that there was still junk to clean. It sat for about a 5 days this time and I pulled it out and rinsed it today. Again...a lot of trash came out of it. It is amazing how much junk...and even large chunks came out of it. After thoroughly rinsing it until I could fill it with water, shake it and no black came out I put it back in the pvc one more time. This time it did not react to the CLR. I will probably leave it till tomorrow and rinse it one last time. Once it is dry I will try to weigh it again and see how much weight it lost.



  • Thought I would give an update on ultrasonic cleaning of 22lr suppressor. The suppressor had 750 rounds put through it since last cleaning. I soaked in CLR for 5 days then put in Ultrasonic cleaner for 45 minutes.
    ncf1Ulz.jpg
    I am not sure it needed the full 45 minutes. This method is working quite nicely. I will need to do this to a center fire suppressor very soon to see the results.


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