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Thread: Cleaning the Dead Air Mask HD with the DIP

  1. #1
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    Cleaning the Dead Air Mask HD with the DIP

    Rimfire suppressors get dirty. That is a well known fact of life that everyone that shoots 22 long rifle through a suppressor is familiar with.

    WARNING. This cleaning method may not be used for aluminum parts.

    This particular Dead Air Mask HD has been used for over a year on multiple host weapons. There are probably over 5000 rounds through it. Its been used for demos with my www.Texasguntrust.com clients, racoon hunting, my kids almost exclusively shoot the Dead Air Mask HD, whenever a friend wants to shoot, he generally gets this suppressor.

    The build-up of lead and carbon is stunning if you have not seen it before.

    The fact that the suppressor came apart with a few shakes after this many rounds and this much build-up is a testament to the Dead Air Design team of Mike Pappas, Gary Hughes and Todd Magee.

    Once open, the baffles unsnapped and came apart into their individual pieces without any effort.

    A couple of the baffles had so much build-up, that the build-up lookef like a damaged baffle. It took me a few seconds to realize that this wasn't a baffle strike that I was looking at, but the lead and carbon buildup that had molded itself into a mirror of the baffle ahead of it.

    After a cursory inspection of the build-up on the baffles, It was obvious that the only way to remove the lead build up was with the peracetic acid solution commonly known as the dip. I prepared a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% hydrogen peroxide in a mason jar.


    The Dead Air Mask HD's front cap opened up easily. I was able to push the complete baffle stack out by gently shaking the suppressor and lerting it slide out.

    The fact that the entire baffle stack literally slid out after this many rounds is a testament to the design Genius of Mike Pappas, Gary Hughes and Todd Magee and the Dead Air Mask HD engineering team.



    One interesting fact that I failed to notice until looking at these photographs is the lack of buildup on the outside of the baffle stack. These baffles sealed together very tightly and did not allow leading carbon to build up between the baffle stack and the tube of the silencer.


    All the baffles are laid out for this photograph. If you look you can see the build-up of lead and carbon in almost all of the baffles.

    The outside of the baffle stack is relatively clean and free of buildup. These baffles seal together very tightly.




    I wanted to see how hard the carbon and lead buildup was. A hammer and punch were the appropriate tools. I chipped some of the lead off using a the small hammer and a small punch. Definitely not the way to go about cleaning a suppressor that is fouled in this manner. This causes chips of Lead to go everywhere, it is very labor-intensive, has the potential to damage the baffle itself and does not remove enough of the lead condensate to make it worth the time and effort



    The blast chamber had a ring of material that had formed at the back of the blast baffle.









    10

    This is one of the first baffles that I saw as I disassembled the Mask HD. When I saw it, my first thought was that the baffle was destroyed due to a baffle strike. In fact, when I showed this picture the other people there first responses were how did you break it?

    It is fascinating to me that the lead and carbon would build up in such a way that the lead and carbon are molded into the shape of the cone of the baffle in front of it.



    If you look closely, this buildup follows the shape of the rear of the baffle cone ahead of it in the stack. The amazing thing is the suppressor never got noticeably louder as this build-up occurred.



    I soaked the baffles for 16 hours in the peracetic acid solution aka the dip. You can see the amount of lead and carbon that came off of the baffles during this process.

    In this photo, you can see the baffles soaking in the peracetic acid solution. This solution is known as the dip on the internet. After soaking, the lead and carbon that is built up on the baffle stack is changed from a solid state to a liquid state and the peracetic acid solution becomes a highly toxic solution called lead acetate



    The above photo you can see the amount of lead that has been liberated from it's solid state on the baffles and is now floating in the peracetic acid solution









    Not all of the lead and carbon is liquefied. As it dissolves, chunks of it fall off of the baffles and are gathered in the bottom of the Mason jar


    The baffles look far different than they did 16 hours ago when they were placed in the peracetic acid (tyhe Dip) solution. There is lead and carbon residue left on the baffles.

    It is much softer than it was in it's dry and solid-state 16 hours ago.

    After removing the baffles from the peracetic acid solution aka the dip, i rinsed them in fresh water, donned gloves and used a small screwdriver to scrape most of the remaining deposits off of the baffles.

    I did not take pictures of this part of the process. I did video tape it and you will see this step in the video



    This left a slushy Solution on the baffle stack witch was removed by the Ultrasonic Cleaner. You will see this step in the video that I made of this process



    I wanted to test fit the rear cap of the mask HD on the threads to ensure they were clear after I ran a tap to clean the carbon from the threads.


    After everything was done, the issue of proper disposal of the Paracetic Acid/Lead mix aka Lead acetate solution must be addressed. If you live in Harris County, The Harris County Household Hazardous Waste Facility HCHHWF accepts and disposes of this type of household hazardous waste. It has limited hours for the public.
    Every Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Every 2nd Saturday of the month: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    It is located at 6900 Hahl Road (290 and N Gessner) Houston, TX 77040
    Phone: 281.560.6200



    Another disposal solution from a chemist.


    "Pour some baking soda in the used solution. It'll bind with lead acetate to form lead sulfate, a precipitate, on the bottom of the tub. Keep pouring until it stops forming, then pour away the remaining solvent. Let the Pb-sulfate dry, then collect in a container. It's still toxic, but not as bad as the luquid acetate form, & safer & easier to deal with."


    A very important warning, do not immerse aluminum cans in peracetic acid AKA The Dip. This solution will absolutely destroy a aluminum suppressor. It will also damage finishes.
    Last edited by SC-Texas; 09-26-17 at 23:25.
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  2. #2
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    After a 16-hour bath of the dip, a rinsing wash,, a run through the ultrasonic cleaner, and manual scraping, three baffles still had some deposits that would not come off.

    It was time for another few hours in the dip.

    These three baffles were dropped in the peracetic acid solution for another three hours and run through the ultrasonic cleaner again.

    The dead air mask was reassembled and is almost as new


    3 baffles for 3 hours in the dip solution






    These photos of the baffles show the difference that 24 hours, A long soak in the dip and some physical effort make. The mask is as new.



    The only downside to using the peracetic acid solution AKA The Dip is the fact that I now have a mason jar full of a highly toxic substance called lead acetate. The disposal requires some special precautions. You cannot just put this in the trash or dump it in the sewer.









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  3. #3
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    good write up- thanks. I am waiting for a stamp to come back for that can, and will take your advice when the time comes to clean. if only I could do the same with my element 2...
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    Nice write-up! 'The Dip' is quite effective.

    I have a Sparrow that is due for its first cleaning. I think I'm going to try soda blasting because I don't really feel like dealing with disposing of lead acetate. We'll see how it goes.

    If the blasting is a pain, or ineffective, I might fall back on 'the dip'.

  5. #5
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    I have a Sparrow waiting for approval. Wouldn't blasting make a lot of lead dust?

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    Yeah, I suspect it would. I'm going to use good PPE and do my best to catch as much of the spent power and residue as possible.

    IIRC, metallic lead is quite a bit less dangerous than lead acetate. Not sure what precautions one needs to dispose of lead dust, but I do know it can be difficult to properly dispose of spent 'dip'.

    I guess at the end of the day there really isn't a totally environmentally sound way to accomplish this.

  7. #7
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    Nice! Always wear gloves! All of the ingredients are relatively benign, but lead acetate is nasty.

    Looks good!

  8. #8
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    Thank you for taking the time to create this thread, Counselor. I'm making it a sticky here in the NFA sub-forum.

    I have two Dead Air Mask cans, and love them.

  9. #9
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    Probably a stupid question, but once you use that ‘dip’ solution once, is it ineffective to use again for future cleanings?

  10. #10
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    And it would probably be a good idea to point out to the viewers at home what happens when you put aluminum suppressor parts in the dip.

    Answer: It eats the parts.

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