When Breakthrough Clean Technologies announced its new Suppressor Cleaner, it was met with some skepticism. Especially from rimfire enthusiasts like me. Rimfire is dirty, and rimfire suppressors get filthy quickly. So when a company releases a water-based, ammonia-free cleaner and claims it can remove carbon and lead, there will be doubts. Of course, rather than question them, I reached out for a sample, and quickly put it to the test. Because I myself have a tendency to be a bit of a skeptic, and I’m also perhaps a bit lazy when it comes to cleaning my suppressor.
Product details and features
As mentioned, this new Suppressor Cleaner is both water-based and ammonia-free. It works via proprietary chemical surfactants and detergents. Basically, it breaks the bond between your suppressor’s internal parts, and that messy lead and carbon buildup. And it does this without nasty fumes or harsh/flammable chemicals. It will not dissolve the finish of your suppressor, or damage aluminum parts. If all this sounds too good to be true, keep reading.
My TacSol Axiom takes a swim
Depending on the ammo, rimfire suppressors may require cleaning after as few as 500 rounds. Although mine has seen twice that in a single weekend, it probably doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should. Because it’s a pain. So I was excited to try out the Breakthrough Clean Technologies Suppressor Cleaner. Direction state to spray the suppressor, wait an hour or so, and then shoot some hot ammo through it. Alternatively, give it a soak for 8-24 hours. I chose the latter. Doing this during the week, when I wasn’t planning on using my suppressor, just made sense. Also, I really wanted to try the lazy way. As you can see, the baffles looked pretty crusty with some buildup.
After a bit of searching in the kitchen (sorry honey!), I found the smallest container that they would fit in. Then I poured in some suppressor cleaner, put a lid on it, and agitated it every once in a while over the next day or so. In other words, I put in nearly the minimum amount of effort. After a short time, the cleaner looked pretty dark. And with each agitation, I noticed it created bubbles with rainbows, a sure sign that something magical was happening.
So is it magical?
Nearly. As I took the baffles out of the cleaning solution to inspect them, I dropped one in the sink. And the built-up carbon and/or lead popped right off. A quick tap on the countertop was all it took to remove the big chunks. Back into the soup for some more soaking, and then more agitation. Note that I didn’t soak the split tube that holds the baffles, as it doesn’t get too dirty, and wipes clean easily enough. It was just the baffles that needed cleaning and needed it badly. The following photos show what they looked like after about 24 hours.
For the most part, the baffles were spotless after nothing more than soaking and a little shaking. Exceptions were the blast baffle, which is closest to the muzzle, and then the 2nd baffle. A quick scrape with a knife blade got them clean. All that remains is one spot on the inside of the rear cap. There’s still some stubborn lead, which I’m certain will come out when I shoot a few rounds of .22 WMR through it. Otherwise, everything looks nearly like new, certainly better than my efforts at scrubbing and tumbling.
Would I recommend this product?
Not having a centerfire suppressor, I can’t tell you how well it would work with one. But after just this one cleaning of my rimfire suppressor, I am convinced that the Breakthrough Clean Technologies Suppressor Cleaner is definitely a viable solution. Pun intended. Current pricing is $29.99 for a 16 oz spray bottle, $42.99 for 32 ounces, and $105.99 for a gallon. That’s nearly two dollars a liquid ounce, to under a dollar, depending on which bottle you buy. I estimate that I used about 1/10th or less of the 32-ounce bottle. And very little elbow grease on top of that. In return, I have a clean suppressor, without toxic chemicals and I didn’t have to buy anything extra.
There are plenty of enthusiasts who will tell you that they find cleaning their firearms relaxing. But I’ve never heard anyone state that they enjoy cleaning their suppressors. Because options include the highly toxic “dip process”, ultrasonic cleaners, media tumblers, and/or plenty of scrubbing. Each requires time, money (equipment) or both. And some can wreak havoc on aluminum parts. Breakthrough Clean Technologies offers a biodegradable solution that doesn’t smell, and actually gets the job done, at a very reasonable cost. And it’s safe for you and your suppressor.
As always, I’d like to thank the Allen Company, and Breakthrough Clean for providing their Suppressor Cleaner for this review. You can find this product, as well as their line of solvents, cleaners, and lubricants on the Breakthrough Clean website.