Date:February 20, 2012

Rigel Continues to Use Carbon Steel for Brush Cores

Los Angeles, CA — Rigel Products continues to use carbon steel for the core wires
that are twisted to form the stems of bore brushes.  The judgement is made as a
tradeoff between hardness and failure.  While carbon steel is harder than brass, it is
less likely to fail.  Carbon steel wire is less likely to loosen its grip on bristles leaving
an exposed core and to bend out of shape leaving a crooked brush.

When a core begins to fail, it should not be used in a bore, no matter what kind of
metal is used for it.  For example, in the rare instance that bristles begin falling out, a
user should discard the brush.  When bristles begin to fall out, there is a cascade as
more bristles adjacent fall out, and the cascade is due to the fact that bristles
depend on neighboring bristles for support.  After cascading, a section of a core no
longer has bristles between core and bore, it means a core may contact the bore

The fact that carbon steel wire is harder than brass wire means that twisted carbon
steel wire is less likely to slightly separate due to stress forces when being pushed
down a bore.  The upshot is that carbon steel wire is less likely to loosen its grip on

As another example, if a core begins to bend, consider throwing the brush away
since it may bend worse when inside the bore.  A bending core can smash the
bristles, allowing the core to contact the bore.  Brass wire being not as hard means a
brass core is more likely to bend than a carbon steel core, and that is a
disadvantage to brass

Brass has the advantage of being softer than carbon steel, and it makes some
users feel more comfortable to use brass just in case the core contacts rifling by

Customer choice varies, and it seems that an overwhelming number of customers
still prefer carbon steel wire cores.  While one custom gun maker may insist on
using brass wire cores since they are softer than carbon steel ones, a barrel
manufacture or a military buyer may not prefer brass wire cores since they bend out
of shape too easily.  What is worse: a brass wire core that is softer and more likely to
bend and contact the bore and leave the user in the field without a brush or with
damaged rifling, or a steel wire core that is harder but less likely to bend out of
shape in the first place ?

Customers should use caution with bore brushes.  We recommend users pay
attention to the state of the brush to make certain that the wire core is not beginning
to bend.  Also, users should make certain bristles remain strong enough to prevent
the core from contacting the rifling.  Because core wires are large diameter,
averaging about 0.16 cm for rifle/pistol brushes, it would be risky to push not only
carbon steel but also brass against rifling.

PRESS CONTACTS                                                                                 

Shane Smith
+1  310-463-7811 (mobile)

Go back to
News Page.
Press Release