It wasn't that the barrel sat for a few days with a coating of Break-Free CLP that loosened anything up, I already tried that when using the normal wire brush. That is - after the initial few cleanings that got out most of the crud but still left it looking pretty bad - I cleaned it again, oiled it with Break-Free, left it sit a few days, then cleaned it again for about the 6th time only to have it look almost the same as before I had cleaned it that last time. So what was the difference in my cleaning method today. Today I used a Tornado Brush. I stopped by Gander Mountain in Middletown, NY yesterday on my return home from a deer scouting trip to upstate NY to look for a steel cleaning brush. I figured steel would get off rust and fouling that the regular bronze brush was not removing. They didn't have any - well at least not the regular type brush with bristles. What they had was a brush that more closely resembled a brush made out of a coil spring wound around the stem of the brush than it did one with bristles. Its design is called a looped wire design. I decided to pick one up in .38 caliber. Yes I realize the bore is closer to .30 cailber than it is to .38 caliber but I wanted to make sure the brush would be a tight fit in the bore of the M44.
Tonight I gave the barrel a swabbing down with Hoppes #9 again. Then I put in a coating of Break Free CLP. I let it sit about 2 hours. Then I ran the Tornado Brush through the bore a few times and gave it another swabbing with a patch soaked in Hoppes. When I then took a look down the muzzle with a bore light at the breech what I saw amazed me. Virtually all of the fouling/rust was gone, and there was almost no pitting apparent; and I am none too sure what I still see is pitting it could be freckling and it indeed looks more like that. What I was sure had been pitting must have been surface rust or some sort of really difficult to remove fouling, because while it did not come off before, there virtually is no evidence of it now. The Tornado Brush effectively wiped it off right down to the sparkling bore surface except in a couple or few minute areas and as I said that could be freckling.
When I checked online tonight I saw that these brushes are touted to remove all fouling without harming the bore. A close up inspection of them shows them to look smooth and indeed they are smooth to the touch, no prickly bristle ends to scratch you or the bore. The brush itself is made from stainless steel, which I imagine could take off some steel in a bore, but my guess is that it took off just enough in my case, rusted steel at that. I have used these when cleaning rimfire rifles that shoot .22LR ammo. I don't think I ever realized how good such a brush probably is at removing lead from a .22's bore. I will check next time I clean the .22s. That ammo is notorious for lead fouling and I imagine this brush must get the lead out considering how it got the rust out of the M44 bore.
Above, I have posted two pics of the brushes side by side (click on them for a bigger view of each). Why two pics? Because in one the Tornado Brush is in focus, and in the other the Bronze Brush is in focus. I could not get them both in focus in the same shot. Note the design differences that I already described, the coils of the Tornado brush and the bristles of the bronze Brush. Note also that both of these brushes were used approximately the same amount of strokes through a bore. The Bronze Brush is obviously showing wear and deterioration after only one gun cleaning. Many of the bristles are bent backwards. The Tornado Brush, on the other hand shows no such bending of bristles because it has no bristles. Granted it is a bit compressed as compared to its original state, putting it down the bore once was enough to do that - but then the same thing happens with a bristle brush too. According to Hoppes the design will not damage a bore despite the brush being made from steel.
Sorry there are no pics of the bore but I'll be darned if I can get my Canon Power Shot A590 to focus down the length of the bore. So let me just tell you, you had to see it before, then see it now as both Brendan and I have done. The result is I and he were both impressed (I just showed it to him when he came home for dinner break from his job). That Tornado Brush was worth every penny of the $2.99 I paid for it; heck I saw it today for $4.99 at another store. Now mind you these things have been around for awhile, I have just not used them before except a few times on my 22s. I did not notice any remarkable results then, but I was not really looking for any as those guns had normal bores to begin with. The job this brush did in cleaning the bore of my M44 was definitely remarkable considering how many times I had already tried to clean it with regular bristle brushes. The results received by using the Tornado brush simply were amazing. I plan on keeping the bore coated with a fine layer of Break-Free CLP, and to use only current production non-corrosive ammunition in it from now on.
Hopefully the bore will remain in as good a shape as it is in now. If that holds true then this rifle will last for years to come. If not, oh well - I am out $75 plus gun show entry fees for the rifle, along with about $50 to $75 I spent on the so called 'non-corrosive' ammo that I now know to be corrosive. I would not have worried about this all that much except for the fact that I truly like my
All the best,