Certainly the worst part of "shooting" these modelguns! The cleaning needs to be done as soon as possible as rust starts almost immediately! So it is best to clean the model gun and the cartridges immediately after you are done "shooting" it.
The best way to clean these modelguns is to first disassemble the modelgun( if possible) Then, use hot soapy water and using a q-tip, thoroughly "scrub" the chamber and the "detonator" (the firing pin in the chamber) see how black the q-tip gets? that is the phosphorus residue, and it is quite corrosive, especially when steel is exposed to the vapors from it.
The "phosphorus smoke" practically goes everywhere and settles on the springs, magazines and any place where it's not wanted! causing feeding/firing problems.
Often, while rinsing the model gun barrel or chamber, I get this black looking water coming from the part.
So, be sure to clean the gun thoroughly, (I use up to 10-or more q-tips per cleaning.)
Then, after rinsing off the soapy water, I use a hairdryer to dry all of the components being careful to avoid melting any of the plastic.
Now, it is best to use a good brand of silicone (always test a small amount of the silicone on the plated or painted modelgun to test for finish compatibility this is important as some silicone brands will attack the abs, paint or plating ) to protect and lubricate the modelgun.
Cleaning the cartridges:
This is truly the worst part; Cleaning the cartridges! first of all, just to find the cartridges after firing, is a big enough chore as it is, but to need to clean them after every shot! even though that sounds like over kill, in reality the phosphorus residue builds up in the cartridge case and that causes the "piston" to move sluggishly which causes miss feeds, jams, and misfires.
Again, hot soapy water does the best job at cleaning . Also, if a cartridge was left un cleaned for long periods of time, it might defy any attempt to disassemble it, short of using a vise and "vise-grips!" soak the cartridge in vinegar for a few hours, it will help loosen up the corrosion.
Although, there might be some products out that might work better, like kitchen or bathroom cleaning products, I haven't as of yet, experimented with these products.
After disassembling the cartridges, place the components in a bowl of hot soapy water, and then stirring them up to insure that all of the air is out of the cartridge cases, I pick each of the components out and using a tooth-brush and q-tips, Then I scrub each part with the brush, especially the threads, then I use the q-tip to swab out the insides until the q-tip comes out clean.
An amazing amount of black residue will come out of a "clean" cartridge case! after this cleaning step, I pour the components into a fine mesh kitchen strainer and then rinse the components off with hot tap water.
After this, I use an hair dryer to dry the cartridges thoroughly. Actually, what a person needs is an ultra-sonic cleaner! for the modelguns and cartridges, and a cartridge case tumbler to polish the cartridges!
A few weeks ago I was looking at an advertisement for Harbor freight Tools www.harborfreighttools.com ( at the time it was item # 03305 they seem to change the # number from time to time) in the advertisement they had an Ultra Sonic Cleaner for $39.00! so I bought one, it works great! it is large enough to put 30 (or more) M16 cartridges into.
Today, I was cleaning cartridges in the sonic cleaner and as an experiment, I put a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into the hot water, it foamed up (of course) but after wards I noticed that the solution attacked the phosphorus residue! Now, I also find that I no longer have to use the q-tips as often to clean out the cartridge cases! So, as it is now, I put the cartridges in for only 5 minutes and then thoroughly rinse the cartridges. They come out really clean! so, now I can enjoy shooting the modelguns more often than before! Actually, the mixture even works great with out the sonic cleaner!
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