I have, in my collection, an aging Enfield 17, with the most horribly bubbaed stock I have ever seen on a rifle. It’s beyond horrid.

But the iron is all there, the receiver hasn’t been messed with, the original sights etc are intact. And it shoots ok.

But the bore…. the bore looks like it’s been used to shoot nothing but corrosive ammo for two thousand years. And it’s a two groover. So not like it’s worth much, and the bore is hella filthy.

So I decided to try the chemical cleaning deal. I made up a little jig, with a 5/8″ dowel that goes all the way into the receiver and is drilled for a 1/8″ steel rod. The rifle stands on the dowel, a rubber stopper around the steel rod seats in the chamber, and the rod- with heatshrink tubing shrunk onto it at regular intervals to prevent shorting- extends through the center of the barrel. A tight fitting funnel goes onto the top of the barrel to pour in the solvent, and a motorcycle trickle charger acts as the power source.

THe solvent is 2 parts water, 1 part ammonia, one part vinegar.
Here’s the theory: The inside of the barrel is coated with lead and copper and brass deposits from shooting. The positive elecrode connects to the barrel, and the negative to the rod down the center. When power is applied, the barrel becomes the anode, and the electrons flow away from it. THis sudden absence of electrons causes the particles of copper etc. which have been suddenly positively charged to be attracted to the cathode(the rod in the center), which has a negative charge.

So, effectively, you’re electroplating the center rod or wire with crap from the inside of the barrel. It foams and turns the solvent black as the ace of spades in short order. Very cool science experiment with bubbling and smoke and stuff. And a VERY clean barrel at the end.

Painfully, you can’t wax a turd, and this barrel is bad. It’s not nice to look at nor was it (at two grooves) a great barrel to begin with. But now it’s clean. And now I have a tool to use to clean barrels like never before. Schweet.