Choke Cleaning And WD-40

Dear Technoid,

Hello, I am a first time writer, and I really enjoy your helpful hints/tricks/advice on guns and shooting. Thank you

I own a 20 year old Gamba Daytona O/U trap gun with very little use, this gun was handed down to me with about 3000 rounds shots threw it. The gun came with only 2 choke tubes because the others were lost somehow. I had Briley superbly duplicate 3 more chokes for me, the new chokes are absolutely brilliant in quality/finish/performance.

I have noticed something with the old and new chokes. There is a step from the interior of the bore to the beginning of the choke (normal). After a days shooting (100-200 rounds) I remove my chokes for a cleaning, and there is approx a 3/16″ ring of carbon at the interior base of the choke. I understand why there is a step and I understand how carbon builds up in this location. My problem is I a have difficulty cleaning my chokes. I have tried oil/solvent/thinner with very little help, the only thing that seems to work is to chip away at the carbon with my fingernails. I would like to use a brass brush but I am worried about damaging the interior bore were it steps into the choke tube (am I being foolish). I am also worried about using a brass brush with the chokes removed. I do not want to deform the chokes being thin in that area (not thin wall chokes). What do you suggest?

On a second note, I am curious why you advise people to stay away from WD-40. What is the reason? I have been using it for years and would like to know the reasoning before I switch to something else.

Than you kindly

Cesare Ottawa/CANADA

Dear Cesare,

Your chokes are stainless steel. A brass brush won’t hurt them in the slightest. For really dirty chokes, remove the choke from the barrel, chuck a brass bore brush into an electric drill, slobber everything with your favorite solvent (“Shooter’s Choice” is very good. “Break Free CLP” is almost as good a solvent) and use it on that choke. It will absolutely, positively come clean. I hold the choke inside the cardboard core of a paper towel roll to keep things from splattering all over. Brass will not scratch stainless steel.

As to WD-40, I’ve not personally run any extensive tests on it, but many others have. The general opinion seems to be that it is adequate as an external rust preventative, but marginal as an internal lubricant. It is also said to have the unfortunate property of turning to a gum or sludge when used on the inside of the action of a gun.

I can vouch for the fact that WD-40 sprayed on a dirty Remington 1100 magazine tube and gas piston will free everything up nicely for a few more rounds before it locks things down tighter than glue. I think it’s because it dissolves the carbon, but then evaporates quickly and redeposits it worse than ever. There are so many other better products for guns, such as Break Free CLP, that there is really no need to use WD-40. I guess it would be OK for barrel cleaning, but I don’t even use it for that.

Read some comments about WD-40 here:

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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1 Response to Choke Cleaning And WD-40

  1. Tom S. says:

    Dear Technoid,
    Your earlier recommendation of Slip 2000 Gas Piston Parts / Choke Tube Cleaner was also a winner. Soaking the chokes for at least 15 minutes made it easy enough to clean the chokes I never could get clean, just with a bore brush by hand. The magic ingredient in WD 40 is supposedly fish oil and yes it does attract fish. When the aerosol liquid carrier evaporates you’re probably left with coagulated fish fat.


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