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I had purchased a commercial-grade ultrasonic cleaner a while back. Since I had some pistols to clean, I thought I'd try it out.

I field stripped my Ruger SR1911 .45 and Argy FM Hi-Power to clean. I poured two gallons of water, and 3.5 cups of Dawn dishwashing liquid (without the Oxy) into the tank. I then placed the parts into a perforated plastic basket (NEVER place blued parts directly on the steel wire basket) into the steel basket. The machine heated the water to about 135 - 140° F, I set the runtime for 30 minutes, and let it rip.

Neither of these pistols have been shot much, so they're like new. I didn't expect there to be much crud because of that - only the little bit of grease and oil I used to lube the guns before shooting them.

Man! Was I wrong! Initially the water in the tank was a clear dark blue. But after a 30 minute run, you couldn't see the bottom. There was a goodly amount of dissolved carbon in the bottom when I drained the tank. And any carbon still clinging to the steel was so soft it was easily brushed away with a bronze brush.

The cleaning was so deep, that I had to apply oil to the carbon steel parts because they quickly started rusting.


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I have four Ultrasonic Cleaners in various sizes I use for cleaning handguns, rifles and machine parts. Only way to go.
 

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We have one at work for cleaning our issued duty pistols.

I wasn’t impressed with it. I still had to scrub parts to get off.

It is good for getting excess oil and loose grit out of hard to reach places, but it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth sometimes.

It takes a long time to work and then you have to let the parts drip and air dry afterward. I saw some guys drop their entire assembled Sig P226 frames one there and it took a long time for all that stuff to drip out and dry. Not good after a long day on the range and you’re ready to do a quick cleaning and get home. It is faster if you use an air compressor to blow them out. I’m not sure what the solution they keep in it is, it’s whatever it came with.

I like it for AR bolt carriers though. I’ll occasionally drop one in and it will help loosen up the gunk inside. But you will still have to scrub it out afterwards.
 

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We have one at work for cleaning our issued duty pistols.

I wasn’t impressed with it. I still had to scrub parts to get off.

It is good for getting excess oil and loose grit out of hard to reach places, but it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth sometimes.

It takes a long time to work and then you have to let the parts drip and air dry afterward. I saw some guys drop their entire assembled Sig P226 frames one there and it took a long time for all that stuff to drip out and dry. Not good after a long day on the range and you’re ready to do a quick cleaning and get home. It is faster if you use an air compressor to blow them out. I’m not sure what the solution they keep in it is, it’s whatever it came with.

I like it for AR bolt carriers though. I’ll occasionally drop one in and it will help loosen up the gunk inside. But you will still have to scrub it out afterwards.
What kind of solvent are you using ? Is it a heated tank ? If no aluminum parts, use Purple Degreaser from Sam's Club. If any aluminum parts use a Dawn solution. If you tank is not heated you're kind of pissing into the wind.
 

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What kind of solvent are you using ? Is it a heated tank ? If no aluminum parts, use Purple Degreaser from Sam's Club. If any aluminum parts use a Dawn solution. If you tank is not heated you're kind of pissing into the wind.
 

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I've used an industrial one for years for my firearms, jewelry and other small parts. i have always used a mixture of denatured alcohol with Murphy's Oil Soap added. Works great, dissolves grease well and dries really quickly. I use compressed air in certain areas to make sure it's dry. Then I oil up! Can rust quickly if you don't oil soon afterwards.

Never had any issues. Don't use on grips at all. Can lead to major damage.
 

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Expensive crap. JMHO. But in fairness i have to add that I strip the firearm to the bare bones. After Ultrasonic cleaning I rinse in scalding hot water, blow dry and wipe down with BoShield.
 

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Expensive crap. JMHO. But in fairness i have to add that I strip the firearm to the bare bones. After Ultrasonic cleaning I rinse in scalding hot water, blow dry and wipe down with BoShield.
I have never tried that but before but have too now.
 

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when I worked at a gun shop we used to clean all the range guns this way including the machineguns. It was a similar looking model to yours, but big enough to tdo an M249 para barrel assembly. When I got some MGs of my own, I used it to clean them. It's not bad. It is faster for sure, but was sort of a hassle. Some fouling still needed manual removal (usually just wiping) and then it was either poor at cleaning copper, or if you got the copper off then it would do a number on anodizing.

Rinses were mandatory if you wanted parkerizing to come out without splotches. We used dawn with a mix of an industrial degreaser. After 3-4 years of that I went back to manual cleaning using oils. The ultrasonic was great, but I missed the slow detailed conditional analysis I got from cleaning a firearm manually.

That said, what I still use an ultrasonic for to this day is cleaning brass. No dust at all from cleaning media, no powdered lead and copper residue to inhale. Got enough of that from operating and cleaning an indoor range. Just deprime, dump in the ultrasonic, run, rinse, and hit with a heat gun. Also amazing for detailed motorcycle carburetor cleaning (just remove all the rubber!). It was the only way I could thoroughly clean the slow fuel circuits on some Hitachi CV carbs from the 80s for a Yamaha XJ, but did have to take them down to individual pieces.
 

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Love my ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning black powder brass. Best way I’ve found yet!
I decap the brass before I drop them in. My tumble media cleaner sits unused now.
 
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