TBAC Suppressor Cleaning

kurtispalu

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In episode 30 Frank touched on suppressor cleaning a little. If you have a TBAC can we suggest you do like Frank said and weigh the can when it's new and clean it once you reach 1 oz over the original weight. If you allow to much carbon to build up in the suppressor those first layers become harder over time as they see more heat and pressure cycles. Once you reach 1 oz over fill the internals with CLR from your favorite hardware store and let it soak for a few hours or overnight. I highly suggest having the CLR filled can in something. I use a Lays potato chip can; pvc also works well as the clr can bubble over. CLR can also discolor the Cerakote after a few cleanings so try not to get it on the exterior of the can if possible. CLR is only safe for our titanium suppressors, any 223P, 223P-1, 223P-2, 223A and 22 Take Down have stainless and/or inconel components and cannot be cleaned with CLR.

For reference it takes about 1000 rounds of factory Hornady 6.5 creedmoor ammo to reach 1 oz of carbon in an Ultra 7. How fast the carbon builds up will depend greatly on caliber and powder being used. If anyone has questions on how to clean their suppressor don't hesitate to give us a call.

PS. Loving the podcast Frank and Mike; it's become my go to on my drive to and from the shop.
 

deersniper

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  • Feb 22, 2007
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    CLR is some nasty stuff. Are the finish right off the end of my bolt in about 5 minutes.
     

    DP425

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    Just want to verify, 223CB is GTG with CLR right?

    Also, what do you typically use to plug the end? Foam ear plug? Cork? Rubber plug?
     

    kurtispalu

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    Just want to verify, 223CB is GTG with CLR right?

    Also, what do you typically use to plug the end? Foam ear plug? Cork? Rubber plug?

    223CB is the same stack as the 223P-2; it has some stainless baffles so don't use CLR in it. A foam ear plug works fine for plugging the exit end.
     

    260284

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    I plugged the end of my 30P-1 yesterday and filled it with CLR. Rinsed it out this morning with hot water and there is still carbon coming out of it. Will simple green pro HD in my Chicago ultrasonic cleaner hurt the finish on my suppressor?
     
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    DP425

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    223CB is the same stack as the 223P-2; it has some stainless baffles so don't use CLR in it. A foam ear plug works fine for plugging the exit end.
    Thanks. I'll stick with CLR in the ultra's only then!
     

    kurtispalu

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    I plugged the end of my 30P-1 yesterday and filled it with CLR. Rinsed it out this morning with hot water and there is still carbon coming out of it. Will simple green pro HD in my Chicago ultrasonic cleaner hurt the finish on my suppressor?

    Sometimes it takes multiple cycles to get all of the carbon out. Keep repeating the process until its all clean inside. The issue with solid suppressors (not take apart) is the ultrasonic waves don't transmit threw the material very well. Simple green won't damage the suppressor, but it won't be as effective as CLR on the carbon build up.
     

    260284

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    Sometimes it takes multiple cycles to get all of the carbon out. Keep repeating the process until its all clean inside. The issue with solid suppressors (not take apart) is the ultrasonic waves don't transmit threw the material very well. Simple green won't damage the suppressor, but it won't be as effective as CLR on the carbon build up.

    It got quite a bit out, but it started to take some of the finish off of a spot on the side of the suppressor. I might try the "dip" the next time.
     

    rip308

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    I have a SAS Arbuter Titanium. Have 1000,s of rounds thru it. Once a year I plug the end and fill it with vinegar, let set overnight, clean as a whistle.
    No discoloration, no carbon.
     

    SLG

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    I have a 30 BAS and have never cleaned it. CLR or vinegar or something else? Only about 1000 rds through it now.

    Once you dump the solution out, how do you dry it before shooting? Air dry? Hair dryer? Just shoot it?
     

    mdmp5

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    I have a 223 p-1 that was re cored. Does it still have any stainless parts?
     

    Crazyeddie46

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    Can you fill a tbac ultra with bore tech c4? Or will this hurt the can? I’ve been trying to find someone who’s tried this figured I would ask here.
     

    .50 Cal Cow

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    Suggestion for if anyone wanting to minimize mess to clr foam over.

    Cut the finger tip from a latex/nitrile glove to place the ear plug in the can and help seal. Fold the rest of the finger tip over the top of the can.

    Grab a 3/8” to tubing adapter from plumbing section. Retapped the threads to 5/8x24 and threaded with teflon tape to the can. Route tubing upwards and used an old reloading funnel to fill to the top. Keep elevated to allow foam to rise without getting everywhere.
     

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    Darkside-Six

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    There was a good thread about this somewhere else too where Zac from TBAC had been commenting. After reading that I desired to clean my 30-P1 as I had ever done so and was always under the impression that they clean themselves. Well I weighed mine and it was close to 6oz over factory weight. Holly shit!! It took about a week to get it cleaned. At first I tried calling 1 end with a plug and filling the internals with CLR and let soaking for about 18 hours at a time. I would then run it in an ultrasonic cleaner for multiple rounds with simple green. After all this I was averaging about .5 oz a day of reduction. I finally just filled a bread pan with CLR and completely submerged the Suppressor in it overnight and finally the shit broke up good and started puking carbon out at a high rate. Long story short, the CLR will not really fuck up your finish, so my advise it to just drill a small pan, jar, or something like that with CLR where you can completely submerge the suppressor in and leave it for a good 24 hours.
     

    opeagle

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    I have a few stainless steel cans, one in particular started puking hot chunks out of it. I tried the ultrasonic, and did get chunks out of it especially when I rinsed the can with warm water.

    I did not weight any of them before I used them, as I always believed they didn’t need to be cleaned.

    I Krylon’d the one can and much of that was removed in the ultrasonic, but it’s just Krylon.

    I’d like to soak them in something safe.
     

    Kienvu14

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    Ultra 7 was just over 1oz heavier than 9.7oz on TBAC website. This is only 10 minutes after plugging and filling with CLR. Can see the chunks building up!
     

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    Krob95

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    I’ve had really good luck with the ear plugs when using CLR in my barrel on my 6BR to knock out carbon rings and haven’t noticed and degradation of the plug. When filling it, I would use a funnel if possible. I don’t know that a small drop or a quickly cleaned exposure is going to ruin your cerakote finish.
     

    Goes-Bang

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    Won't TBAC clean it for you for free, if you send it to them? I thought I read Zak say that somewhere.
     

    jackinfl

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    They will. You pay the shipping. I am trying to avoid the down time. Plus, learn and do things for myself. I have 3 of their cans and plan on at least 2 more.
     
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    Ccochrane338

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    Jumping in, nothing to add, just put an Ultra-9 on a 300 PRC, didn’t weigh it before but it’s got less than 100 rounds through it as of yesterday afternoon. I’ll weigh that bitch now and already learned a ton.
     

    santee116

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    Also great luck with CLR with an earplug here. My ultra 7 had about 1300 rounds through it (mix of 6.5 CM and .280 AI). Weighed in at 10.22 oz. 48 hour soak, changing the liquid once after the first day. Back down to 9.7 oz and looks great inside.

    No problem with the earplug degrading either, just swelled up and made a great seal.
     
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    8pointer

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    There was a good thread about this somewhere else too where Zac from TBAC had been commenting. After reading that I desired to clean my 30-P1 as I had ever done so and was always under the impression that they clean themselves. Well I weighed mine and it was close to 6oz over factory weight. Holly shit!! It took about a week to get it cleaned. At first I tried calling 1 end with a plug and filling the internals with CLR and let soaking for about 18 hours at a time. I would then run it in an ultrasonic cleaner for multiple rounds with simple green. After all this I was averaging about .5 oz a day of reduction. I finally just filled a bread pan with CLR and completely submerged the Suppressor in it overnight and finally the shit broke up good and started puking carbon out at a high rate. Long story short, the CLR will not really fuck up your finish, so my advise it to just drill a small pan, jar, or something like that with CLR where you can completely submerge the suppressor in and leave it for a good 24 hours.
    I've been using an old insulated bike bottle fits perfectly easy to contain mess. ONce you went ot the 'CLR puking' submersion did you keep doing intervals of ultrasonic/SimpleGreen? Also are you doing undiluted CLR or a mix? Thanks
     

    Darkside-Six

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    I've been using an old insulated bike bottle fits perfectly easy to contain mess. ONce you went ot the 'CLR puking' submersion did you keep doing intervals of ultrasonic/SimpleGreen? Also are you doing undiluted CLR or a mix? Thanks
    I think I may have done maybe 1-2 more rounds in the sonic cleaner after that just to make sure, but that was pretty much the tipping point. I’ve since cleaned another suppressor and just soaked it in a pan with CLR overnight and it did the trick.

    I’m not diluting the CLR. You can get a big jug at Home Depot for pretty cheap.
     

    8pointer

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    I think I may have done maybe 1-2 more rounds in the sonic cleaner after that just to make sure, but that was pretty much the tipping point. I’ve since cleaned another suppressor and just soaked it in a pan with CLR overnight and it did the trick.

    I’m not diluting the CLR. You can get a big jug at Home Depot for pretty cheap.
    Great thank you. I'm just starting a 24 hour soak in CLR/bike bottle. Will blast with hose, hit a few cycles of ultrasonic and see how that does. Thanks
     
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    Lone star Shooter

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    What are other products purposely manufactured to remove carbon from firearms, suppressors, muzzle brakes, etc.?
     

    Solid7

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    If this wasn't such a great can, it really wouldn't be worth the hassle. But that being said, somebody really needs to come up with a purpose built ultrasonic for these. I can respect that CLR works - but it's a hack. (like using coca cola to clean battery terminals)

    I'm actually trying to design an ultrasonic core, to aid in cleaning mine. I have one of the Ultra 7 for 6.5.
     

    Alpine 338

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    @kurtispalu. What does CLR do to Stainless Steel and Inconal? Does it pit, etch, or just stain those metals?

    I thought I read somewhere that CLR doesn't really hurt those metals, but actually weakens the welds on those metals?

    Can you elaborate?
     
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    NineHotel

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    After taking up shotgunning again after a 30 year layoff I did some research on alternative cleaners beyond the gun industry stuff. We are chasing carbon and plastic layered buildup. Cut the carbon and the plastic follows BTW.

    After reading suggestion after suggestion and researching the different products people suggested, I found they had one thing in common - PEA (Polyethylenimine):


    I've found this as the delivery vehicle for it. Easy to use, high percentage PEA, can be bought at any auto parts store that has CRC products:


    I've not gotten my cans dirty to the point of needing a cleaning yet, but when I do, this stuff is gonna get used.
    .
     
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    kurtispalu

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    @kurtispalu. What does CLR do to Stainless Steel and Inconal? Does it pit, etch, or just stain those metals?

    I thought I read somewhere that CLR doesn't really hurt those metals, but actually weakens the welds on those metals?

    Can you elaborate?

    Short exposure (20-30 minutes) shouldn't have much if any affect on SS and Inconel. The reaction will be light pitting/etching and very small amounts of material removal. I forget but i believe its like 0.0001"/8 hour soak in high nickel alloys and SS. So if you keep your soak times short and don't have to do it very often you should be perfectly fine using CLR to clean steel and stainless steel products. That material removal rate looks low but if you do 3-4, 12 hours soaks a few times a year it can add up over the life of the suppressor.

    I use CLR to clean muzzle brakes quite often. I dip a brush in CLR and scrub on the brake. Let it sit for a minute or two and then wash the carbon off.
     

    Solid7

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    Short exposure (20-30 minutes) shouldn't have much if any affect on SS and Inconel. The reaction will be light pitting/etching and very small amounts of material removal. I forget but i believe its like 0.0001"/8 hour soak in high nickel alloys and SS. So if you keep your soak times short and don't have to do it very often you should be perfectly fine using CLR to clean steel and stainless steel products. That material removal rate looks low but if you do 3-4, 12 hours soaks a few times a year it can add up over the life of the suppressor.

    I use CLR to clean muzzle brakes quite often. I dip a brush in CLR and scrub on the brake. Let it sit for a minute or two and then wash the carbon off.

    What I don't like about this, is that if you have micro-fissures in the material, even amounts of material subtraction that small, can lead to larger fissures, which in turn, can lead to fracturing and total material failure under pressure. If you ever want to find out if there are any invisible defects with your suppressor, this would be one way to test it. It might take a while, but you'd still be inviting it.

    In general, one would want to stay completely away from corrosive/erosive processes for this type of application. Unless the manufacturer is willing to offer lifetime replacement. I haven't actually checked my warranty on this...

    The CLR solution really bugs me. There's got to be a better way.
     

    kurtispalu

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    What I don't like about this, is that if you have micro-fissures in the material, even amounts of material subtraction that small, can lead to larger fissures, which in turn, can lead to fracturing and total material failure under pressure. If you ever want to find out if there are any invisible defects with your suppressor, this would be one way to test it. It might take a while, but you'd still be inviting it.

    In general, one would want to stay completely away from corrosive/erosive processes for this type of application. Unless the manufacturer is willing to offer lifetime replacement. I haven't actually checked my warranty on this...

    The CLR solution really bugs me. There's got to be a better way.

    For Ti cans, CLR is perfectly safe. Quick clean on brakes where you can scrub and rinse in a couple minutes is also okay. The slow degradation of soaking Stainless in CLR also worries me, that's why we don't recommend it.

    We've tried everything to clean cans. Soaking in CLR is without a doubt the best method.
     
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    Solid7

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    Thanks for the clarification. I thought that I understood that the Ti was also affected.
     

    Solid7

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    Also, this is a really good topic, so thanks for starting the thread.
     

    shields shtr

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    I weighed my oldest TBAC Ultra 7, it weighed damn near 14 oz's...I have been giving it frequent CLR baths all week long. I noticed it doesn't take the CLR very long to work at all, I just think I have so much shit in there it kind of turns it into a sludge like material that is difficult to get out.

    Anyone trying using an air compressor with a discharge nozzle to knock all the sludge loose? I am making pretty slow headway, about .05 oz a day...
     

    Max

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  • I weighed my oldest TBAC Ultra 7, it weighed damn near 14 oz's...I have been giving it frequent CLR baths all week long. I noticed it doesn't take the CLR very long to work at all, I just think I have so much shit in there it kind of turns it into a sludge like material that is difficult to get out.

    Anyone trying using an air compressor with a discharge nozzle to knock all the sludge loose? I am making pretty slow headway, about .05 oz a day...
    Do you shoot any unclad lead through it?
     
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    opeagle

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    I didn’t use compressed air, but rinsed a bunch of water through them and got more stuff out.