The GnZ office got hold of the M-pro7 universal cleaning kit about 4 months ago. I had up to that point been a user of various brands until I ran into a problem – interactions between brands. I had cleaned with one Brand and lubed with another. When I got to the range I found the .22 upper was suffering from jams. Every second shot a case would become trapped as the action dropped forward. Although the upper had been ammo fussy before this was a new level of fussy! On closer examination it seemed the trusty Froglube CLP had become quite thick and was slowing the action on firing leading to failure to fully eject and failure to load the next round.
I decided at that point to start over and buy a set of products from one brand that would encompass my firearms cleaning and lubing requirements..
After much contemplative internet browsing and asking a variety of friends about their preferred products I decided to opt for a kit from M-pro7. M-pro7 are a brand produced by Pantheon chemicals in the U.S. Despite rumors to the contrary they are not owned by Hoppes but have teamed up with them for a variety of product lines. Pantheon produce lubricants and cleaners for commercial applications including Aeronautics and metal fabrication. It is safe to say they know their way around clean slippery metallic objects!
Cleaning Regimen and Requirements
The environment wants to ruin your rifle!
I have written a little bit before regarding my thoughts on firearms and cleaning but I will add some detail here and the opinions of others I regard as experts in the field.
Why do we need to clean firearms at all? Well there are two excellent reasons. The first is that deposits of carbon and particles of propellant and copper or lead can build up over time and cause physical obstruction to moving parts and/or the bullet. The second reason is that firearms are used in environmental conditions which cause corrosion as do some of the gases produced by modern propellants. This last point has been a highly debated topic so I provide as reference a link to a study: Corrosion- and Erosion-Based Materials Selection for the M242 Autocannon Barrel in a Marine Operating Environment
The study details corrosion in the barrels of the Bushmaster M242 Autocannon. It provides full details of the way in which said corrosion forms however the issue is not just black and white. Propellant gases heat the barrel up to over 1000c on the inner surface for a few milliseconds. During this time the gases are driven into the minute pores in the metal. No matter what you use to clean or lubricate with, this cannot be avoided.
One possible solution is to leave some fouling in the barrel to form a layer. Copper fouling is the common type in modern firearms due to the copper jacketed bullets. The thin copper coating would provide some protection from propellant gases. So we have a dichotomy.. Some materials left in the barrel can cause corrosion – water, salt (coastal areas), carbon and propellant gases. Some materials left in the barrel can provide a protective layer such as copper.
The Positives of Fouling
The other positive effect that copper fouling has is an increase in accuracy up to a point. Anecdotal evidence submitted by numerous shooters (including myself) suggest they see a decrease in accuracy when the barrel has been thoroughly cleaned. This lasts for around 15-20 rounds at which point they see an increase in accuracy for approximately 400 rounds at which point accuracy begins to drop off again. This effect has been hypothesized as being due to copper fouling. The idea is that the fouling covers any tiny imperfections in the lining of the barrel creating a perfectly sized bore for the bullet to travel through. This is also the reason that we see muzzle velocity and accuracy increase when using a new barrel typically around the 20+ round mark.
It should be clear that none of this is a simple issue which can be answered with a single perfect solution. Instead lets look at what some expert shooters have to say and break down the reasons for their choice.
Mik from Dolphin Gun UK cleans his barrel thoroughly after every shoot. Mik is a world class shot and competes for the U.K. F class team. He is also one of the most celebrated gunsmiths in Europe regards F class rifles. For Mik this works very well. He has the facilities available to take some fouling shots before shooting a big comp. F class comps also generally allow a fouling shot session into the sand before they start. The experienced guys rattle a fair few off if allowed. This all contributes to a decent level of copper fouling before the comp starts.
Sam is an Ex world champion benchrest shooter having shot one of the smallest 100yd groups ever in the UK. Sam cleans after every shot! Now Sam gets no fouling at all but what he is getting is total consistency in the barrel everytime. Benchrest guys tend to reload at the range and tweak the load based upon current variables. Keeping the barrel consistent allows Sam to reduce any fouling variable and suit the load to the barrel and conditions. His system works great for Benchrest.
Mr D (name retained due to job) works in commercial ballistics designing ammunition for military application. Mr D understands that the guys using his ammunition may not have a great opportunity to clean rifles daily after use and then have the luxury of fouling shots. They may require them to be accurate at a moments notice. He prescribes that they should clean the bore thoroughly every 400ish rounds. This gives them reliable accuracy, protection from gaseous pressure corrosion and a relatively low hassle cleaning regimen.
Personally I also opt for the latter concept but with one caveat. I clean my barrels partially with a CLEAN Boresnake and some cleaner then lube them after my shooting sessions. This does not remove copper fouling but it does remove any possibly corrosive byproducts from the surfaces which I hope extends the life of my barrel. I am on a budget so long barrel life and less fouling rounds required are both big plus points for me.
A family of boresnakes which I keep in the M-pro7 box.
In short your cleaning program should be tuned to your specific requirements. There is not a right way for all. Like most things in shooting you are playing the trade off game whatever you do…
M-Pro7 Universal Cleaning Kit
The M-pro7 universal kit contains the primary 3 items my regimen requires plus a bunch of other useful stuff.
1. General cleaner/Solvent – I use this to clean any metal or polymer both externally and internally. I also use it for my basic barrel clean with a Boresnake.
2. Copper remover – I use this in my barrel after approximately 400 rounds have been fired since the last application.
3. Gun Oil. I use this after cleaning to lubricate and protect all metal components.
Those were the necessities. The Universal kit comes with a bunch of useful extras. There is a take down cleaning rod which is very handy. I would say it is very handy for field cleaning in a pinch or as a rod for dislodging obstructions in the barrel. I have lost count of the amount of times someone at the range needs a bullet head or a bit of rag nudged out of the barrel. The design is really clever on the rod which has a folding T handle which allows the rod to rotate.
The universal kit provides a number of attachments to fit the rod – a slotted end for running patches plus 6 copper brushes: 22 caliber, 30 caliber, 9mm/38 caliber, 45 caliber/410 bore, 12/20 gauge, and a utility Brush.
The kit also provides a cloth, a mat and 50 patches which always come in handy. I usually cut my own out of old underwear so it saves me a little time..
In short the Universal kit provides a one stop cleaning shop for a myriad of calibers including shotgun. The kit comes neatly packed in a convenient and fairly rugged plastic case. It is a very handy size and stows away in the range bag without issue.
The first thing I did was to strip and clean all rifles. One rifle was newly barreled by Mik at Dolphin gun. The Trueflite barrel had never been shot or cleaned other than in proof testing (2 rounds through it). I cleaned them all but neglected the copper removal stage in the new barrel. After a thorough clean using patches and a Dewey rod for the bores I must say I was impressed. The general cleaning compound worked very well on all surfaces and the copper remover seemed to work just fine as well. I let it sit for a few minutes before rodding the barrel with a brush and then patches. After 5 or 6 passes each they looked suitably clean.
Some of you may be recoiling in horror over my use of a copper brush. You will be suggesting I use a brush made from plastic material. My thoughts are thus. If you could damage your steel bore with copper imagine what a copper jacketed bullet would do to it at 3000fps and 1000°c! I do not believe you can damage steel with a copper brush – a steel brush maybe.
After removing as much carbon and copper as I could I ran oiled patches up the bores twice each. I then oiled all parts of the rifles which were accessible and made of metal. The key to oiling is not to use too much. It should create a very light sheen not be dripping off of surfaces. I usually apply very small amounts to a cloth (more old underpants) and work it in with that. The supplied brush came in handy for both cleaning hard to reach parts and then after a rinse and dry, oiling them.
I have now been running several rifles which are all functioning very well. The rifles are rust free and shooting nicely. The .22lr upper is finally back to its old self. Now it only eats cases every 20 rounds or so!
Value ans Conclusion
Overall I am incredibly happy with the M-pro7 products I have used. If I am honest I would say we need another 6 months of use before I would give a definite thumbs up but I will update as time goes on to let you all know of any issues I may find. I am pretty confident that M-pro7 will continue to impress.
Price wise the Universal kit comes in at about $50 in the U.S. and around £70 in the U.K. As usual us English suffer financially as the market for gun related items here is very small. Shooting sports are growing rapidly so we still have hope!
M-pro7 website – www.mpro7.com
Trueflite barrels – www.truefliteriflebarrels.co.nz
Dolphin Gun Company – www.dolphinguncompany.co.uk