View Full Version : Ed's red

dale clawson
05-15-2006, 02:13 AM
Finally got both time and materials at the same time to make a batch of Ed's red last week end. I have been busily cleaning guns since. Best gun cleaner I ever used period, bar none, and I've used a bunch of them in 55 years of gun cleaning. I used the old formula with turpentine and acetone, figuring that the fire hazard would be mimimal if I used the little 4 oz bottle my old bore cleaner was in, and the odor will not be a problem in my new gun room in an out building I moved in. More room, wife not messing about or fussing about my stuff. Heaven!! Finally enough room for an area for casting with a ventilator, shot gun reloading area, rifle and pistol area, separate area for gun cleaning, plenty of cabinet space for brass, ammo, boolits, cleaning and reloading supplies, casting equipment and molds, wait I'd better move that new wall over 3 or 4 more feet! Make that 5 or 6! OOPS I got way off subject there. Really, wish I had found this, Ed's red, a long time ago.Since I'm in the Building business, I had a lot of the stuff needed on hand except turpentine and lanolin, so I can't give a cost, but would be under 25.00 gal.Compare that to your favorite otc bore cleaner. Doesn't remove copper, but makes removal easier by getting everything else out of the way. Easiest cleaning I ever did.

05-16-2006, 06:07 PM
and if you think it cleans a gun good just dip your mould in it after you use them and just put in a zip lock pag and the next time you go to use it it will look like new just clean with carb cleaner and you are good as gold I have been doing that for a few years now [smilie=w: 44Woody

dale clawson
05-22-2006, 03:30 AM
I used my 243 on prarie dogstoday. When it started heating up, I could smell the turpentine each time I opened the bolt. It wasn't offensive to me, but noticeable. Wonder if I would get that with the Varsol formula? The lingering smell, I mean , of course it wouldn't smell like trupentine.

06-08-2006, 02:47 PM
I wonder if yu could please post the recipe for Ed's red ?Please Dale as I've not heard of it before. Thanks


dale clawson
06-08-2006, 10:30 PM
1 part turpentine or Varsol(mineral spirits), 1 part acetone, 1partK1 kerosene, 1 part Mercon I,II, or III transmission fluid. 2% liquid lanolin may be added to prevent rust ( I used mink oil for leather). I saturate a patch, push it through, and let soak a while before using a bore brush. Then push through patches until they come clean. The transmission fluid gives the red color, this is flammable, so use in a ventilated area, wife hates the smell, but I think it's better than her scented candles.

06-09-2006, 01:33 AM
Sounds good ! Thanks for that Dale . Much appreciated


Bad Flynch
06-13-2006, 06:15 PM
Actually, Ed's Red is a modern adaptation of the old Frankford Arsenal formula. The formula is contained in Hatcher's Notebook. Ed Harris was kind enough to update the old formula so that one could use modern ingredients, as you will see. Ed did us a big favor.

Acetone 1 Part
Turpentine (or Mineral Spirits, or Deodorized Mineral Spirits) 1 Part
Sperm Whale Oil (use ATF, I use Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF) 1 Part
Pratt's Astral Oil (now K-1 Kerosene) 1 Part
An optional ingredient was Anhydrous Lanolin, USP, up to 200 grams per Liter. This is a thick and sticky semi-solid and in practice the Mineral Spirits should be slowly (a little bit at a time) incorporated into the Lanolin until a well-mixed Lanolin soup is formed. Then the rest of the stuff can be added by shaking.

Pratt's Astral Oil was essentially deodorized, acid-free Kerosene.
Sperm Whale Oil is no longer available and no longer legal to own.

As previously noted, there is no provision for a copper remover. However, it is said that the remaining copper is easy to remove with copper removers and regular use of Ed's Red seems to reduce copper fouling to an acceptable level.

Many people are tempted to make the brew without the Lanolin. After all, it is a messy process at best. However, using the liquid lanolin can be a help if one is squeamish. Moreover, the legend surrounding the use of lanolin in bore cleaners goes back at least to WWII, where soldiers in the Pacific Theater favored captured Japanese bore cleaner to our own-- supposedly, it is said, because of the lanolin content. (Taken from Gen. Julian S. Hatcher).

Mineral Spirits has found favor because it is supposedly less flammable than Turpentine. It may be, but turpentine brings added solubility to the party. Mineral spirits and Kerosene are very much like one another and really only differ siginificantly in molecular weight. Therefore, their solubility properties are more similar than different. Turpentine is refined from tree resin and the tree makes it from terpene units. That would bring additional solubility properties.

The acetone is problematic. Acetone is good because it is a different character of solvent, and it is of a lower level of toxicity than some replacement chemicals. Acetone occurs naturally in the body from the metabolism of fats and alcohol--it is, however, toxic in any event. I recently took a patch and soaked it in Ed's Red and took note of how long the acetone stuck around. It was about 20 seconds in the open air of my shop. It may not be of much use. Maybe there is another ketone that could be used somewhere.

Hope that helps.

Stan in SC
07-09-2006, 11:50 AM
In making a batch of Ed's Red you can substitute plain white lamp oil (without citronella or other bug repellers) for the kerosene.
You still need to use Hoppe's to remove copper.
Additionally an excellent gun oil can be made from two of the ingredients of Ed's Red.The ATF and kerosene in equal parts are excellent for lubrication.

07-11-2006, 02:01 AM
Here is one that I picked up somewhere...wish I could give credit where credit is due!

When I had my shop in Hondo,TX, I used this stuff almost daily. The formula is for 5 gallons and works well.

2 gallons of kerosene
2 gallons of mineral spirits
3 quarts of Marvel Mystery Oil
1 quart of Rislone

Its called C-L-P (Cleaner-Lubricant-Protectorant)

When my new shop is up and running, time to make another 5 gallons...I have 1 quart left.

Ol' John

(Doesn't do anything for the copper fouling but does clean powder/primer residue)

07-14-2006, 11:20 PM
O. K., here goes,what is Rislone?

07-15-2006, 03:47 AM
O. K., here goes,what is Rislone?


Sorry about that..........Rislone is an auto engine cleaner you use just before changing oil/filter.........you add it to the oil when the engine is cold, start the engine and let it run for about 5 minutes, turn off the motor and then drain the oil and change the filter. You can find it at any auto parts store and usually at Wal-Mart. Great stuff IMO, used it it my Ford Courier at every oil change and when I sold the great little truck it had 246,000 miles and still going strong.

Ol' John:coffee:

07-15-2006, 07:57 PM
Hello John, is there a specific brand name that you prefer? I have been working on car's since we had to polarize the generater.The only thing I have used to clean out engines was Coal Oil.I guess I am not familar with rislone,sorry.

07-16-2006, 03:36 AM
Hello John, is there a specific brand name that you prefer? I have been working on car's since we had to polarize the generater.The only thing I have used to clean out engines was Coal Oil.I guess I am not familar with rislone,sorry.


RISLONE is the brand name....check it out! Happy cleaning when you are done!

Ol' John:coffee: