Suppressor Cleaning: Three Options for your Rimfire Suppressor
July 12, 2019
Our Form 1 suppressor spent some time on the range helping to generate velocity data. A rough count brought the total number of rounds through the can to about 300 and that seemed to be a pretty good place to stop and do some cleaning.
In total, this little can has had about 2,000 rounds fired through it, all of them solid lead .22 Long Rifle bullets, which seem to be among the worst offenders for making a mess in baffles. The first cleaning, at about 500 rounds had left hard carbon deposits on the K baffles that proved too stubborn to remove with just a rimfire solvent and a brush. So we took an opportunity to see what the lab had up its sleeve to clean suppressors. The results were pretty interesting.
The suppressor body and baffle stack. The dusty grey fouling is dry and hard. It is typical of the fouling seen with a .22 rimfire suppressor.
The interior of the suppressor body was relatively clean because of the interlocking K-baffle design.
With the muzzle cap removed, the fouling on the bell of the K baffle is apparent.
The side view of a single K baffle.
The bottom of a carbon and lead fouled K baffle.
In a .22 Rimfire suppressor, the main causes of fouling are lead and carbon.
This powdery residue was shaken from the baffles while they were being removed from the suppressor body.
There are three common materials that are used to make baffles, aluminum, steel and titanium. It is important to note which material you are working with. Aluminum baffles can be ruined by cleaning processes that work well on steel and titanium. In this instance a dental pick is applied to the baffle. It would have bitten into aluminum, but these titanium baffles are too hard to marred by the pick. Don’t my nails look great?
The pick easily etched aluminum. Cleaning aluminum baffles is a different process and will not be covered here.
We first tried to clean the baffles with abrasive cloth and rimfire solvent. It was a lot of work for very little gain.
Next we soaked the baffles in a handful of different cleaning solutions to see if any worked especially well.
After 30 minutes of soaking, this solution had done the most work breaking up the lead and hard carbon buildup.
Cowboy Blend changed colors, going from yellow to green and in the process did the best job of the solvents we tested.
After an hour of soaking, most of the fouling could be brushed away.
Other baffles were placed in a laboratory-grade sonic cleaner using an experimental solution the lab is developing. In fifteen minutes the baffle looked newly manufactured. Don’t ask. They wouldn’t tell me about it either.
Two baffles cleaned in the sonic cleaner compared to one of the baffles that had yet to be cleaned.
Back into service.