By MarvWhite, as originally posted on SKSboards.
This is the Electrolysis Method of cleaning a rifle bore. Often surplus rifles will have a lot of built up fouling that can be quite hard to clean via straight solvent and patches. It's possible to break up this fouling by using an electrolysis rig.
The electrolysis rig:
This was an old AC power supply that was rated at 6 volts. It has two alligator clips on it, one large clip for positive and a small clip for negative. The electrode is just a piece of steel rod that has electrical tape on it to insulate it from touching the bbl and shorting the system.
Prepping the gun:
Too simple for words... Plug the chamber with whatever you have handy. You can purchase a number of various sized rubber stoppers. One of them will fit perfectly into the 7.62 mm breach. Then you tape a funnel to the bbl to ease pouring the solution into the bbl and to accomodate the foam and detritus that will come up.
You then insert the rod into the bbl, making sure that you have tape at the muzzle to keep a short from occurring. Pour in your solution (thoughts on this later) and attach the positive lead to the bbl and the negative lead to the electrode.
Time for fun
Plug in the AC adapter and watch the surface of the solution. Very soon, assuming no shorts in the system, you will see bubbles start to rise. In a few minutes the bubbles will bring up some specs of the material being removed from the bore. We let it sit for about ten minutes before unplugging the power source and cleaning off the electrode with cloth and then steel wool. Pour out the solution and then rinse and repeat.
Finishing off the cleaning process
After a few cycles of cleaning, remove the plug, pour boiling water into the bore to remove the solution, and then run some Ed's Red through the bore to bring out the funk. Once your patches are clean oil the bore and you are good to go.
Final thoughts and theories
Concerning the solution. I used diluted household cleaner. I think there may be better choices however. I think that if you used salt water you would get a better result. Any liquid that is neutral PH should work fairly well for this.
The electrolysis did not remove all of the material, but it does seem to loosen it to the point that it is removed easily with patches and solvent. The Yugo in particular had an almost tar substance that was coming out of the bore. It's amazing how much crap came out once we loosened the baked on glaze that was in that bore.
The electrode may work better if you have high grade steel. It also may work better if the solution was as close to neutral pH as possible. Some conductivity is required in the solution so salt water will work better than plain water and distilled water may not work at all.
-- MarvWhite - 13 Mar 2008