What makes one gun dirtier than another?

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Eris
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What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#1 Post by Eris » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:41 pm

I have two pistols now: a Ruger American Pistol and an Walther PK380. Previously I only had the Ruger and I got into the habit of only cleaning it after about every fourth trip the range, and even then I have to look closely to see the power residue, but I've noticed that the Walther gets dirty very quickly and I have to clean it after every trip - the power even covers up the Walther logo on the front of the barrel!

What's the difference? Is it the tolerances in the gun - i.e. some guns have tighter fittings that direct more of the power residue out the barrel? Is it about the powder used in the ammunition? I've been shooting the same brands of ammo in each gun, so I didn't really expect this big of a difference in how dirty they get.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#2 Post by senorgrand » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:00 pm

What makes one gun dirtier than another?

Was one raised Catholic?





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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#3 Post by zzrguy » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:08 pm

Ammo dirty ammo. As well as the guns timing.
My 380 gets dirty quick compared to my 45s.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#4 Post by Inquisitor » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:10 pm

Ammo. Or shooting 38s in a 357. Which I guess is still ammo.


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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#5 Post by p0lyhuman » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:58 pm

I bet the finish has some influence on how much residue sticks to it.

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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#6 Post by zzrguy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:03 am

p0lyhuman wrote:I bet the finish has some influence on how much residue sticks to it.
I would say not as much as what you put on the finish. (Wax, oil, dry lube or nothing)

If you look in my AR that only runs wet it's a freaking slughey mess when I clean it. I have a treated upper and a treated BCG on another gun it runs with only a shot or two of dry lube. You can clean it out with some brake clean and your done. And that's with both using the same surplus ammo.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#7 Post by Marlene » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:13 pm

9mm is loaded to higher pressure than 380. Powders burn more completely and cleanly at higher pressure, leaving less soot behind. Also higher pressure seals the case more completely in the chamber. Also the 9's locking breech design allows more complete exit of combustion gasses from the muzzle before unlocking. Lots of variables beyond these, but these are my top list of likely culprits.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#8 Post by atxgunguy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:53 pm

Could you provide us a list of the brands you've been using? Steel cased ammo doesn't expand like brass and will tend cause more fouling over time.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#9 Post by Eris » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:50 pm

atxgunguy wrote:Could you provide us a list of the brands you've been using? Steel cased ammo doesn't expand like brass and will tend cause more fouling over time.

Well, I've been experimenting with different ammo brands lately, so I've run all sorts of stuff through the 380, though the first time I noticed this I was shooting exclusively Winchester ammo. All brass, though, no steel.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#10 Post by lurker » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:52 pm

my guess is that (ammo aside) when talking about "dirt" in the internals of a firearm, it's about tolerances in the machining, and the timing of the mechanism. the slide or bolt opens while there are still pressurized gasses looking for a place to deposit soot, or some part isn't sealing as well as it ought (chamber to casing, for example) to.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#11 Post by JamesH » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:53 pm

I've been loading Titegroup for both .45acp and .380. The Bersa Thunder .380 that I have gets so dirty with this. There's probably a better powder I could use for it. My 1911 is fine with this powder.

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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#12 Post by Eris » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:09 pm

Marlene wrote:9mm is loaded to higher pressure than 380. Powders burn more completely and cleanly at higher pressure, leaving less soot behind. Also higher pressure seals the case more completely in the chamber. Also the 9's locking breech design allows more complete exit of combustion gasses from the muzzle before unlocking. Lots of variables beyond these, but these are my top list of likely culprits.
An interesting explanation. It makes sense.

In any event, though, I've now seen that the ammo does make a difference, although not a huge one. Yesterday I tried out five different brands of ammo to see which one worked best for me, and the gun got really dirty. Today, though, I ran through just as many shots using only a single brand (Remington UMC) and although the gun still needed cleaning it was noticeably less dirty than yesterday.
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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#13 Post by Leeps » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:07 am

Marlene wrote:9mm is loaded to higher pressure than 380. Powders burn more completely and cleanly at higher pressure, leaving less soot behind. Also higher pressure seals the case more completely in the chamber. Also the 9's locking breech design allows more complete exit of combustion gasses from the muzzle before unlocking. Lots of variables beyond these, but these are my top list of likely culprits.
+1. Pretty spot on with all of it
JamesH wrote:I've been loading Titegroup for both .45acp and .380. The Bersa Thunder .380 that I have gets so dirty with this. There's probably a better powder I could use for it. My 1911 is fine with this powder.
I use a lot of titegroup in 9mm and found it to be pretty pressure sensitive with regards to how cleanly it burns. I've found it to be pretty clean when run close to max and downright nasty when loaded lite. YMMV

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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#14 Post by Hasaf » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:01 am

Marlene wrote:Also the 9's locking breech design allows more complete exit of combustion gasses from the muzzle before unlocking. Lots of variables beyond these, but these are my top list of likely culprits.

I do want to point out that, like many modern 380 ACP pistols, the PK380 does use a locking breech mechanism.

Source
Paragraph three
Paragraph two
there are plenty of other places I could cite the, these where just the first two hits when I searched. . .

Here is an odd bit from that first article:
Surprisingly, even though the PK380 has a longer barrel than the PPK we used for the BBTI tests (3.66 inches versus 3.35), across the board it produced slower velocities with the seven different types of ammunition tested. Now, it wasn’t much – average of about 20 fps – but still, this isn’t what you would expect.
It does seem odd that with a longer barrel and a locking breech (which one would assume, would allow more complete combustion) that the muzzle velocity was lower. I am thinking that the PK380 might benefit from a bit stronger recoil spring. That might also result in it running a bit cleaner.

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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#15 Post by CDFingers » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:04 am

Marlene is my go-to gal in matters like this. :D

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Re: What makes one gun dirtier than another?

#16 Post by Marlene » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:39 am

Hasaf wrote:
Marlene wrote:Also the 9's locking breech design allows more complete exit of combustion gasses from the muzzle before unlocking. Lots of variables beyond these, but these are my top list of likely culprits.

I do want to point out that, like many modern 380 ACP pistols, the PK380 does use a locking breech mechanism.

Source
Paragraph three
Paragraph two
there are plenty of other places I could cite the, these where just the first two hits when I searched. . .

Here is an odd bit from that first article:
Surprisingly, even though the PK380 has a longer barrel than the PPK we used for the BBTI tests (3.66 inches versus 3.35), across the board it produced slower velocities with the seven different types of ammunition tested. Now, it wasn’t much – average of about 20 fps – but still, this isn’t what you would expect.
It does seem odd that with a longer barrel and a locking breech (which one would assume, would allow more complete combustion) that the muzzle velocity was lower. I am thinking that the PK380 might benefit from a bit stronger recoil spring. That might also result in it running a bit cleaner.
Neat! I think 380 doesn’t get enough respect. Nice to see interesting new designs. I live in a place where new pistol designs don’t get to.

Regardless of locking mechanism, the bullet leaves the muzzle before the brass leaves the chamber, so we are probably looking at tiny influence on the nature of powder combustion compared to the other relevant factors. I definitely would be surprised to see a heavier spring make a gun burn cleaner.
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