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Cleaning a carbon fibre moderator.


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Hiya guys.

I could do with a bit of advice on cleaning a carbon fibre moderator on my .22lr . I bought it from swift precision rifles about 15 years ago , and I've put thousands of rounds through it , but never felt the need to clean it until now( gun seems to be less accurate ,and , mod looks dirty ). The mod doesn't come apart , and I'm a bit worried that just dropping it into a tub of diesel might damage it .  Any ideas gents ?.

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Never delt with carbon fibre gun parts but deal with carbon fibre in bikes all the time. It’s advise you don’t use anything more aggressive that soapy water as the carbon fibre is lacquered and you never know how good thst lacquer is.but  tbh I doubt that will shift 15 years of dirty 22lr residue. You sure it doesn’t strip apart? It’s probably a carbon shell with steel baffles. A monolithic moderator  would be incredibly hard to make from carbon and would end up being very expensive to produce not to mention a really stupid design for Rimfire ammo for the reason you’re having right now.  

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I bought it as a non strippable airgun mod , and had it put onto my ticket by my feo.   I can't really complain if it can't be cleaned , I only paid twenty quid for it , when the local gunshop was selling them for eighty quid , so I've certainly had good value for money over the years.

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21 minutes ago, Sweet11-87 said:

Ah I see. Sounds daft but ultra sonic cleaners are good. Can get them for about £30 of Amazon and they come in handy for all sorts of gun stuff 

That's a good call . I don't own one , but a few shooting mates have them for cleaning brass.

Thankyou very much for the advice buddy , it's very much appreciated 👍

Ps , it's just taken me half an hour to remove the dried rabbit blood that's been on there for years 😅.

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Hello, I would not waste time trying to clean that mel, ask you FEO on a change of silencer and buy a SAK, £40, that's what I have on my 22 L/R CZ 455, it's whisper quite, 

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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2 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, I would not waste time trying to clean that mel, ask you FEO on a change of silencer and buy a SAK, £40, that's what I have on my 22 L/R CZ 455, it's whisper quite, 

hiya gordon. its a shame to get rid of it , as its still by far the quietest , and lightest ,  moderator that ive ever known , and sits very nicely on the 12.5" barrel  . i only had cause to look at it yesterday because my groups were awful when i zeroed a new scope . the best i could manage was 2" groups at 50 yards , resting on my car bonnet . the crown was covered in crud , and ive polished that up now , but i just wanted to clean the mod if possible.

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9 minutes ago, mel b3 said:

hiya gordon. its a shame to get rid of it , as its still by far the quietest , and lightest ,  moderator that ive ever known , and sits very nicely on the 12.5" barrel  . i only had cause to look at it yesterday because my groups were awful when i zeroed a new scope . the best i could manage was 2" groups at 50 yards , resting on my car bonnet . the crown was covered in crud , and ive polished that up now , but i just wanted to clean the mod if possible.

I work with carbon fibre in work all the time doing aero engine nacelles and we use some pretty aggressive solvents on it. 

For a quick scrub you could try warm water and dish soap and a plastic bore brush, might not be spotless but should be enough to get accuracy back. Diesel shouldn't harm it, could give it a dip or seal the ends and fill it with diesel and give it a good shake for a couple of minutes and then a rinse and see how it goes

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6 minutes ago, Rob85 said:

I work with carbon fibre in work all the time doing aero engine nacelles and we use some pretty aggressive solvents on it. 

For a quick scrub you could try warm water and dish soap and a plastic bore brush, might not be spotless but should be enough to get accuracy back. Diesel shouldn't harm it, could give it a dip or seal the ends and fill it with diesel and give it a good shake for a couple of minutes and then a rinse and see how it goes

thank you very much rob. thats just what i was looking for mate . ill try the warm soapy water , and nylon brush.:good:

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10 hours ago, Rob85 said:

I work with carbon fibre in work all the time doing aero engine nacelles and we use some pretty aggressive solvents on it. 

For a quick scrub you could try warm water and dish soap and a plastic bore brush, might not be spotless but should be enough to get accuracy back. Diesel shouldn't harm it, could give it a dip or seal the ends and fill it with diesel and give it a good shake for a couple of minutes and then a rinse and see how it goes

Hello, it is interesting how carbon fibre came about ?? That is exactly how it was invented in fibre form like strands in baling twine, 

10 hours ago, mel b3 said:

thank you very much rob. thats just what i was looking for mate . ill try the warm soapy water , and nylon brush.:good:

Hello, let us know how you get on mel doing the above as many types of silencers are made of carbon fibre, 

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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6 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, it is interesting how carbon fibre came about ?? That is exactly how it was invented in fibre form like strands in baling twine, 

Hello, let us know how you get on mel doing the above as many types of silencers are made of carbon fibre, 

To be honest it's hateful stuff to have to work with, we are drilling and grinding at it and the dust is terrible, I've a feeling in the not too distant future it's going to be the new asbestos, the dust gets into my pores and I break out in rashes so any time im working with it i am fully suited and booted in a hazmat style coverall.

One of the other aircraft parts I've worked on is wings, the wings were a carbon fibre wing with integral fuel tanks so at times the fuel is only a thin paint layer away from the carbon and they didn't have any worries about the fuel eating the carbon away... aviation fuel for jet airliners is quite similar to diesel in that it's not as volatile as you would think 

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27 minutes ago, Rob85 said:

To be honest it's hateful stuff to have to work with, we are drilling and grinding at it and the dust is terrible, I've a feeling in the not too distant future it's going to be the new asbestos, the dust gets into my pores and I break out in rashes so any time im working with it i am fully suited and booted in a hazmat style coverall.

One of the other aircraft parts I've worked on is wings, the wings were a carbon fibre wing with integral fuel tanks so at times the fuel is only a thin paint layer away from the carbon and they didn't have any worries about the fuel eating the carbon away... aviation fuel for jet airliners is quite similar to diesel in that it's not as volatile as you would think 

I used to make RC helicopter blades - though mostly with fibreglass: The dust from making moulds and finishing the blades is really bad, not to mention the solvent issue when leaning over them laying up wet resin - both poly and epoxy has put paid to my lungs - but I smoked too. I'm full of emphysema now with the lung capacity of a ten years old kid apparently.

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1 hour ago, Rob85 said:

To be honest it's hateful stuff to have to work with, we are drilling and grinding at it and the dust is terrible, I've a feeling in the not too distant future it's going to be the new asbestos, the dust gets into my pores and I break out in rashes so any time im working with it i am fully suited and booted in a hazmat style coverall.

One of the other aircraft parts I've worked on is wings, the wings were a carbon fibre wing with integral fuel tanks so at times the fuel is only a thin paint layer away from the carbon and they didn't have any worries about the fuel eating the carbon away... aviation fuel for jet airliners is quite similar to diesel in that it's not as volatile as you would think 

Hello, that's not good, my uncle worked on the concord project as a engineer and use to mend his fishing rods with carbon fibre, fibres, 

36 minutes ago, mel b3 said:

Some very interesting stuff gents . Ill be sure to report back when I've cleaned it 👍.

Well done mel, 

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2 hours ago, London Best said:

As an apprentice toolmaker in the mid sixties I remember being given one job which involved flycutting asbestos. No mask, nothing.

I done some of my aero apprenticeship in the toolroom, learned more in there than anywhere else but I remember the guys saying about asbestos and how they used to just blow it all off benches with airlines as they knew no better even as recently as the late 80s and early 90s. Luckily none of them have had any I'll effects but it could be a ticking time bomb for them.

As for carbon fibre the statement they gave us in work was that it was a "nuisance dust" and not to worry as you can cough it out. Hmmm well you can smoke and enhale cigarette smoke and cough it out, doesn't mean it's not doing you any harm!

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I work in F1. Been working with composites (mostly carbon fibre) for years. As to the original question, there are many expensive cleaning agents you can use, but we often use isopropynol or methylated spirits to remove heavy soiling. If it is lacquered, this might not be appropriate, but carbon will stand up to vigorous scrubbing, so as also suggested, warm soapy water will do a job. 

The dust (not just from the carbon but also the resin) is highly toxic. When I first started in the industry, trimmers would often work all day with flimsy paper masks on, no gloves and wearing housecoats. Constant pressure has lead to us now having airfed full head masks, tyvek boilersuits, kevlar gloves etc. Too little too late. 90% of the products we use are extremely toxic, from contact adhesive to mould sealer. If it didn't pay so well, I would have got out years ago. 

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