Helmar Gun Cleaning Range

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Helmar Gun Cleaning Range
Helmar Gun Cleaning Range

 

Marcus O'Dean tests a new Australian-made range of cleaning products for your hunting or target rifles.

I don't remember how I happened onto the Helmar gun cleaning products site, but when I did and read the testimonials and the claimed effectiveness of the products, I wondered why they had not taken the Australian gun community by storm. The answer could be that Helmar, headed up by owner Mark Ripper, caters for all sorts of chemical agents for use in areas from arts and crafts to automotive applications and they have not aggressively marketed the gun-specific range as yet.

The range that Mark sent to me to test and evaluate were:

  • Helmar H7500 Firearm Carbon Remover

  • Helmar H8000 Firearm Copper Remover

  • Helmar H9000 Firearm Lubricant

  • Helmar H9500 Firearm Bore Oil

  • Helmar H7000 GP Bore Cleaner (for Rimfire use).

  • Helmar H1000 contact Cleaner

Bore prior to cleaning
Bore prior to cleaning

I took three centrefire rifles to Malabar one Saturday to test the Helmar cleaning products. In brackets are the number of rounds put through each - they were all full-house reloads. I lined them all up on a table, a .17 Hornet (25), a 6.5 Creedmoor (5) and a .303 British sporter (20). I went through each first with Carbon, then with Copper Removers, allowing initial treatments time to work on a round robin system.

The .17 Hornet was loaded with Hodgdon's CFE BLK with 20gn V-Max bullets exiting the muzzle at an average 3750fps – ie motoring. CFE propellents are supposed to reduce or eliminate copper fouling (Copper Fouling Eliminator) and I found after doing the recommended carbon clean that one cycle as recommended removed all carbon. There was really very little, if any copper fouling evident, but funnily it brought out a bit more black stuff, but it was done for with one patch. Then, as with all the rifles I treated it with a Bore Oil patch. Satisfactory result.

Dry patch after Helmar Carbon Remover
Dry patch after Helmar Carbon Remover

The 6.5 Creedmoor, I loaded with a new Alliant propellent, Reloder 26, which I have found leaves heaps of black, dirty residue in my .270 hunting rifle. No change here, the first carbon (patch) came out very black (blacker than a you know whatsit) and I proceeded to brush the bore with a stiff nylon brush, working it back and forth 10 times. Then the soaked patch routine followed by dry patches and it was eliminated. I must have left this bore untreated for copper previously as once the carbon was removed the lands at the muzzle were very obviously coated with copper. I did the recommended copper routine at the range and still had traces, less obvious but still definitely there, so I just ran a soaked patch through the bore and took it home to leave overnight - that did the trick. As good as any other copper cleaner, bar Sweets, but you cannot leave Sweets in the bore. Next day, as I had not run this barrel in, I ran a mild abrasive German bore paste up and down on a patch about 20 times to smooth things out and see how she goes in future. I like the Copper Remover as much as any other product, including WipeOut PatchOut (WOPO), but the Helmar product is cheaper by far and I believe just as effective.

Pre Copper Remover
Pre Copper Remover

I shot 20 handloads through my .303 Sporter to zero in a scope I had installed. I was shooting 174gn Sierras with a near-maximum load of AR 2209 through it and a similar load behind Woodleigh 174gn hunting bullets. It is a near-new Sportco barrel with a very short throat, so bullets experience very little jump, hence moderately higher but by no means dangerous pressures. Using the Carbon and Copper Removers as recommended, the bore was in my opinion, as clean as ever - I have no borescope, mind - and I believe it is a good, effective range of bore cleaning and preserving products on the evidence from this rifle after a typical range shooting session.

Centrefire cleaning and lubrication procedure. (Remember to take normal precautions when handling chemicals.)

In brief, the procedure as recommended is in order:

  1. 10 strokes of a nylon brush soaked with Helmar Carbon Remover, reapply more carbon cleaner to the brush and repeat another 10 strokes.

  2. Soak a bore jag with patch in Carbon Remover and push through bore and remove. Wipe rod and repeat.two or three times to get to a clean patch.

  3. Run two successive clean dry patches through the bore. If still dirty after six patches repeat steps 1 and 2.

  4. 10 strokes of a nylon brush soaked with Helmar Copper Remover, reapply more carbon cleaner to the brush and repeat another 10 strokes.

  5. Soak a bore jag with patch in Copper Remover and push through bore and remove. Wipe rod and repeat.twice. Then leave last aoplication to soak for 12-15 minutes – let the chemical work.

  6. After 15 minutes, run successive dry patches through until clean.

  7. Spray your bolt with Helmar Contact Cleaner to remove carbon etc.

  8. Apply Helmar Firearm Lubricant to the bolt, lubricating well.

  9. Apply a Helmar Bore Oil soaked patch on a rod for short to long term corrosion protection

To finish my sessions on the second day, I sprayed the bolts and actions of all the rifles with Contact Cleaner, then treated the bolts with the Silicone Spray, while knowing the recommended treatment is the Firearm Lubricant. I then greased the bolt locking lugs with Hoppes Gun Grease and worked the bolts in the actions to coat all mating and load bearing surfaces of the actions before storage.

First patch after brushing with Helmar Copper Remover
First patch after brushing with Helmar Copper Remover

By the way, after using the bore oil in the barrels, I took the used patch and ran it along all the outside metal surfaces. I generally do so with oily rags I keep in a jar, but just thought this would work as well or better. Remember to take the precaution of using disposable gloves, but all the chemicals listed are as environmentally innocuous as they can be, bearing in mind their purpose. For example, you can use all of these products in an enclosed space and not get watery eyes or irritated nasal passages.

As of this report, I have not tested the Rimfire-specific Helmar H7000 GP Bore Cleaner, but if it lives up to my experience with the centrefire products, it should be exemplary.

There is limited Helmar presence in gun shops at the moment, but many NRAA shooters have been onto the open secret for a while and they shoot - and clean - a lot. As an Aussie company with great products and very good prices they deserve your support, so ask you local gun shop to stock them if they do not already do so. For a 500ml bottle of Copper Remover, retail online is $17.05 plus postage at the time of writing, but they also come in 125ml Applicator style bottles for $8.50 - open the link below to shop.

You can download the full cleaning procedures from the Helmar website at www.helmar.com.au/shop/firearm-cleaners-lubricants/manufacturer/

Note: images all taken on a subsequent weekend to that mentioned in the editorial, but performance was the same. I also fired 22 rounds through my Bergara .270 in competition and got great results with Helmar afterwards.

 

 

 

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