Product Review: FireClean Part I

Posted: November 7, 2013 in Product Reviews
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FireClean is an intriguing CLP product that, like Rand, advertises a carbon-repelling formula packaged in an odorless, non-toxic, biodegradable formula.  With my wife’s chemical sensitivity combined with us living in a one-bedroom apartment, odorless and non-toxic is a huge bonus.  The FireClean site advertises this product as particularly well-suited for cleaning baked-on fouling, which is of particular interest to me not just in AR maintenance, but also for my revolvers.  It’s quite common for me to finish a long practice session at say Fusion Tactical Range, then visit parents, take care of errands, and not get around to cleaning the revolver until many hours later or even the next day.

My AR has a piston-driven operating system, so I thought that a good, long revolver session might make a really good stress test for FireClean.  I’ve tried cleaning my revolvers with Rand, but it has just a bit of trouble with really layered, caked on grime.  Instead, I spray the revolver with a more traditional cleaner and leave it on the balcony for a few minutes, then bring it inside for a first cleaning.  Afterwards, I finish off the revolver with Rand.

I periodically like to practice with nothing but carry ammo, so I went through the collection and took out 90 rounds of .44 mag (30 of which were Buffalo Bore hot .44 spc – and those were really hot for specials).  Here is what my Ruger SRH looked like right after the session.  The BB .44 spc really smoked a lot, so the revolver was quite dirty.

cylinder-1

forcing-cone

The lighting makes the fouling look brighter, so the revolver is actually much dirtier than it looks in the photos.

I finished the session about 4PM in the afternoon and let the revolver sit overnight.  I did absolutely nothing to it.  The next morning, I tried wiping it with a cloth and no fouling at all came off.  It was baked on really good and solid.  I coated the cylinder and area around the forcing cone with FireClean and then dropped quite a bit of product down the barrel, turning it to allow the product to coat the inside.  I also rubbed the inside of each chamber with a Q-tip coated in FireClean, then let the SRH sit for an hour.

I then proceeded with the usual process of brushing, wiping, running patches through, blah, blah. I was rather pleased with how well the caked-on grime came off, especially as I did no pretreating of the revolver in any way.

Here is what it looked like after what I might describe as a leisurely cleaning process.

after-1

after-2

Okay, I’m sold.  This is the real deal.  No smell either!

Now, I know what you’re thinking – it’s time for the battle royal – bigger than Rocky vs. Apollo Creed or Alien vs. Predator.  Who wins in the shootout of FireClean vs. Rand CLP?  A strict scientific comparison requires equipment (and time) beyond my capability, so I’ll take this question on a more informal basis.  Both are CLP products, so let’s look at each component.

Protectant – I have every reason to believe that both products serve as an adequate protectant and no reason to favor one over the other.  This one is a draw.

Lube – When I rub each product between my finders and then treat the slide rails and slots on my G20/FNX 45 Tactical with each product, I can’t help but notice that Rand just ‘feels’ smoother and the slide moves just a little more smoothly with Rand.  Slight edge to Rand here.

Clean – Now, both products advertise as working better over time by pretreating and thus repelling the buildup of fouling.  I have pretty extensive experience with Rand and it works quite well on my pistols in that regard.  The revolver test, however, gave the edge to FireClean and it’s ability to handle existing, baked-on fouling.

So, overall it’s kind of a draw.  I’m going to continue using FireClean on my revolvers and start rotating it into the maintenance of my Sig 716.  Rand will be used for my G20/FNX 45 Tactical/Sig P227 (and the XDS-45 if Springfield ever sends it back to me).  I’ll post again on FireClean after several more practice sessions with my AR.

In the mean time, you can check out FireClean at their web site.  As far as FireClean vs. Rand, that one may have to go to Celebrity Deathmatch 🙂

– Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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