Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Chamber cleaner Updated

Some firearms, even if you break them down for cleaning, have one problem: you cannot clean from the breech end, and that makes it hard to clean the chamber(M1 Garand and M1 Carbine for instance; lever-action rifles too).  Yeah, the Garand came with a chamber-cleaning brush on the multi-tool; that brush wears out like any other, and replacements aren't common*.

I've seen chamber-cleaning tools for shotguns and rifles that are basically a section of cable with a handle on one end and a ferrule- appropriately threaded- on the other.  Other day the idea occurred "Hey, why spend fifteen bucks when I can spend five or six AND a couple of hours time making my own?"  So:

Materials bought:
That's two feet of 3/16" cable, vinyl-coated, from Lowe's, and a 12" piece of 1/4"-.049 aluminum tubing from Ace Hardware(which cost the most).  I'd prefer brass, but they had  no heavy-wall brass in that size, so aluminum it is.  The .049 refers to the hole in the center, which is why I bought this: I balanced out "I can center-mark and drill a piece of stock, or buy this ready-to-go piece; for once I'll just buy it."

End of the cable as-bought
Cut through the vinyl about 5/8" back from the end, and strip the vinyl off
Cut off a piece of tubing about 1" long, file the cut end square, then clamp it in the vise and use the drill press to hold the tap and thread one end 8x32

The press and all is not necessary; you can easily thread this by hand as long as you have some way to hold the tubing.  Just make sure you thread deeply enough that a brush or jag can screw all the way in.

Update: for something with a large chamber, brushes for black powder rifles can be just the thing; say, a .50 or .54-caliber size.  I think most of those are threaded 10-24 10-32, so choose the thread you need.  Or make one of each.

The stripped end of the cable fits loosely into the hole
Now fix the things together.

Ideally you'd be able to crimp the tubing onto the cable, but I don't have and couldn't figure out a good way to do that, so I went the easy way: JB Weld.  Clean the inside of the tube and the bare cable with brake cleaner, let dry, then mix the JB up.  Put some in the tube, more on the cable, insert cable.  Wipe the excess off and make sure you didn't put so much in that it gets into the threaded end.  Also, do not glue the threaded end to the cable(no, I did not.  For once.)  I clamped the cable in a vise so this end was vertical, made sure the tubing was centered, and left it to cure.

Here it is today with a brush threaded on

Just to try, I chucked the other end in a cordless drill and tried spinning it that way as well as working it by hand, and it works nicely.

The two feet of cable was less than a buck, the tubing about four.  If you don't have one, you'll need a 8x32 tap, or whatever size you need(shotgun brushes have 5/16x27 thread; of course, you can get an adapter to fit them to 8x32 threaded rods), and the JB Weld was about four dollars(and has many uses).  If you use 6" of cable that's enough stuff to make four of these and have tubing and JB left over, and if you're careful with it the tap will last a long time.

You could drill a piece of dowel for a handle and glue the cable in, or- if you get really deluxe- get a piece of hex stock and drill it so you've got a end that'll fit right into a cordless driver.

Thus ends the presentation; go thou, and make a mess.

By the way, it being cleaning-related, Evyl has some Otis cleaning stuff to try out.

*Unless I've overlooked somewhere, of course; could happen.


Evyl Robot Michael said...

What a fantastic idea!

Windy Wilson said...

After years of thinking that my Dad's JC Higgins (Marlin) lever gun could only be cleaned from the breach I found that removing a suspiciously large screw in the off side of the receiver caused the bolt to come out completely, allowing proper cleaning.

It pays to write the company asking for the owner's manual!!!