August 17, 2015: Improvised Tool

Improvised Brass Scraping Tool

Improvised Tool

After swabbing the sides of the cut-out of a .357 Magnum ported barrel, I had another one of those “It was so simple, like the Jitter bug, it plum eluded me” moments.

The ridges above the ports were lead fouling and it was taking a lot of Hoppe’s and rubbing to look like it was starting to come off. I didn’t want to use steel picks to get the lead off because I didn’t want to scratch the stainless finish.
It was then that it dawned on me that I needed something harder than the lead and softer than stainless steel. Duh brass. A .357 Magnum or .38 Special casing could be fashioned into a scraper with a few whacks of a ball peen hammer. The resulting flattened end of the formerly open end of the casing could be shaped to be flat, curved, straight or angled.
With a little bit of an angle, the edge could get into the recess of the barrel cut-out above the ports. Like a Dental Hygienist scraping calculus off your teeth, the lead came off in chunks. A stainless steel hole file opened the ports and regular barrel cleaning got the loose particles out of the barrel.
Another casing with the flattened end folded over along the axis of the casing is my punch for drifting sights in dovetails. Not quite the same calibration consistency as the $200 tool, but for $200 I can shoot a few extra rounds to get the sight alignment I want.
It also worked on cleaning off the accumulated paint gunk on a stainless steel bowl that I use when painting trim with a brush. It mysteriously reappeared in the cabinet it had mysteriously disappeared from, no worse for the wear.


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