The world's largest selection of LBT Design, hand cast, heat treated, wide meplat bullets available. Selections from .22-.600 Nitro calibers.The web's most comprehensive user-interactive handloading database!  Find the loading data created by handloaders, for handloaders, post your pet loads, or access and develop your own online loading database with our LoadNotes personal handloading database software.  This feature, unique in its concept and intuitive in it's data presentation is fast to access, superbly organized and comprehensive in scope.Part of the Beartooth family of web resources, providing exploded view firearms drawings and parts lists for a comprehensive array of the world's firearms makes and models. An interactive, intuitive platform that is easy to navigate, and provides users to post drawings directy into the online database for the benefit of other users as well.
Home > Tips & Comments > Bore Cleaner Recipe (Ed's Red)
  » Advanced
The world's largest selection of LBT Design, hand cast, heat treated, wide meplat bullets available. Selections from .22-.600 Nitro calibers.
Who is Beartooth?  Read our mission statement, our production and quality committments and our way of conducting business.  A word or two concerning our pricing structure, and how we view our customer's role in our daily buisness activities.
It's EASY to contact Beartooth Bullets!  This page gives all our contact information, phone, email, and postal address.  Too it has an online form for contacting us with the click of your mouse to inquire or comment, request a price sheet, or to submit an idea, tip or other material.
Shop and browse through the world's largest selection of hand-cast, heat-treated LBT design bullets.  View photos of the bullets, their individual technical specifications and suggested applications.  Shop at the click of your mouse with confidence on our secure shopping cart system.  Find bullets from .22-.600  Nitro calibers, Fire-lapping supplies, books and other shooting related products.
Ordering our products is FAST and simple!  This information answers your questions regarding ordering, shipping charges and methods, freight calculations and answers most questions pertaining to ordering issues.
Frequently Asked Questions!  Compiled here is a list of those most frequently asked questions, the answers found here will answer most technical questions with authoritative completeness.  Recommendations of bullets for specific applications, bullet harness, bullet obturation, and many other pertinent answers in a concise format.
A free web-based mail server for your convenience!  Sign-up for your free e-mail account here, or log-on to check your mail.
Gateway to Beartooth online resources.  A listing of our resources, detailed descriptions of each and links to those sections of this site.
Our online forums for questions and answers on many shooting and outdoor related topics.  A dynamic, active, and well-informed resource for your enjoyment and interaction.  Our most used resource on this website!  Come share the experience with us!
A compilation of tips applicable across a wide range of outdoor, handloading and shooting related topics.  Timely, timeless and continually updated!  Practical solutions from experience!
In-depth articles on various shooting and handloading topics, technical data, photos, charts loading data and topical information found nowhere else on the web.  Required reading for serious handloaders and shooters.
Product reviews and commentaries.  Finally, a no-nonsense look at products for shooters, handloaders and outdoorsmen with honest evaluations, and commentaries on timely topics of interest.
An online anthology of hunting and outdoor experiences and stories, a continually changing and updated resource for fun, uplifting, entertaining reading.
Reports from Beartooth Bullets customers.  Field reports and photos from real shooters in real field situations.
A real-time online chat room for shooters and handloaders, a friendly, warm environment to share ideas, problems and suggestions, or to get to know those who frequent the Beartooth Bullets Shooter's Forum come and enjoy!
A library of PDF files, printer ready, with Beartooth Price Sheets, Bullet Specifications, Printable Targets (mutiple versions), Powder Burning Rate Charts, Load Notes, and more!  Printable reference materials for your convenience.
A comprehensive collection of interactive, online ballistics calculators!  Exterior Ballistics, Recoil Calculator, Wound Channel Calculator, Stopping Power Calculators (mutiple), Round Ball Weight Calculator, Powder Calculators, and more!  A one-stop resource for your technical ballistic data needs.
A collection of preferred links to selected shooting, handloading and outdoor related websites.
Translate Beartooth Bullets into your language!
Contact Beartooth Bullets
Tips & Comments Archives
::Viewing Archives of Tips & Comments ::
Return To Tips & Comments | Submit an Article

>> Bore Cleaner Recipe (Ed's Red) :: By Hippie on 2001-02-19
Print This Tips & Comments | Share This Tips & Comments

Does anybody use Ed`s Red Bore Cleaner? You know:

  • 1 Part Dexron ATF
  • 1 Part Kerosene-K1
  • 1 Part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits
  • 1 Part Acetone

I have good luck removing lead from revolver barrels and cylinders with this stuff.


From reading the web,it seems that lots of guys use this with good results. I use a slightly modified version, which I feel is closer to the original Frankford Arsenal formula, and it, too, works well.

Be aware that deodorized kerosene, aliphatic mineral spirits, naphtha etc. are all pretty much the same thing. They are all petroleum distillate with a flash point (where the vapors will catch fire) in the 100-150 F range, and with in most cases the 'unsaturated' and 'aromatic' parts refined out (they are the parts that have more noticeable odor, also they are often better solvents - toluene and xylene are examples).

Anyway, I mix the stuff with 1 part each of Dexron and acetone and 2 parts of Goo Gone. Goo Gone is a blend of odorless mineral spirits and limonene, which is basically orange peel oil.

The original Frankford Arsenal formula had one part of gum turpentine in it, and Ed Harris decided to leave it out because of cost and availability. Both turpentine and limonene are chemically similar and have similar solvent properties. Notably, they are much more powerful solvents for gummy, tarry and sticky messes than aliphatic spirits alone.

This mix is expensive unless you can find Goo Gone in larger containers. The typical 8 oz. home sized ones cost about $3 to 4. If you can find it in half gallons or gallons, the unit price is much less. Goo Gone is normally sold at hardware and variety stores. The last time I bought some I found it in quarts at a True Value hardware store for $8. As I said, it is much cheaper in gallons.

Bill Dickerson

This amended recipe came from John Taffin's Campfire discussion board 13 April 2001 as submitted by Glen, a self proclaimed chemical guru on that board.

Let me pass along a simpler (and better) recipe for this cleaning solvent. The mineral spirits that Ed used actually contribute relatively little to the solvent properties of Ed's Red, and in fact just dilute the desireable properties of some of the other components, so I left them out. He talks about avoiding certain solvents because of their flammability, but then uses acetone as a primary ingredient (which has a high vapor pressure, evaporates very quickly and has a Class 1A flammability rating). This makes no sense to me, so (being an organic chemist by trade) I added a carbon, and replaced the acetone with methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). MEK has a much lower vapor pressure and doesn't evaporate as quickly and, while still flammable, it is nearly not as "bad" as acetone. The carbon deposits are handled nicely by the xylene component, and the key to Ed's Red is the Dexron III automatic transmission fluid (ATF), which is an excellent lubricant/preservative (and it was very clever of Ed to recognize this and build his cleaning solvent around this cheap, easy to find component).

So, without further ado, my simplified version of Ed's Red cleaning solvent is (mixed in a 1 gallon glass jug with a tight fitting cap):

  • 1 quart Dexron III ATF
  • 1 quart MEK
  • 1 quart xylene

Remember, this stuff is flammable. Store and handle properly.

The MEK and xylene are available through the larger hardware stores, and the ATF can be bought at pretty much any grocery or automotive store. This recipe ends up costing about $8-9 a gallon. I mix it in a gallon jug and dispense it as needed into a small bottle and apply it with an old toothbrush and/or flannel patch. A gallon goes a LONG ways applied in this manner.

I also use Ed's Red to clean/preserve my bullet moulds.

::Comment On This Article/View Replies


HomeAbout | Contact | Shopping | Order Info | FAQ | Resource Center | Shooter's Forum