Breakthrough Gun Cleaning Solvent

No one likes to clean guns.

Maybe that was a bit strong, but I know one thing for sure: When I am cleaning my guns, there are a bunch of things I would rather be doing. Shooting my guns for one, which simply leads to another dirty gun. Although Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent doesn’t do the work for you it does remove much of the unpleasantness from cleaning your firearms.

Gun cleaner

Recently I took some time to meet with Erick Navarro, the President and CEO of Breakthrough, about his company, where Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent came from and the product itself.

What Are Gun Cleaning Solvents?

Firearm cleaning solvents are typically liquids that are specifically designed to break down metal and carbon based deposits so that they can be more easily removed from a parts. Most often, these solvents are designed for other uses and are simply applied to use if firearms. In general guns aren’t all that different from other metal mechanical devices. To work properly, the metal to metal moving parts need to be cleaned and free of debris and they need to be lubricated.

It is the solvents that clean away the gunk and they typically are formulated in one of two ways. Either an aqueous (water based) solution or a petroleum based solution. Both types of cleaners have their typical advantages and disadvantages.

Water Based Firearm Cleaning Solvents

Many water based solvents have the advantage of being non-toxic which is a major selling point for those that spend a lot of time around guns. Lets face it, shooting isn’t the most nontoxic endeavor we could chose to spend our time at. the lead and copper are issues that we need to deal with and pay attention to. So having another set of toxins added on top can be an issue. From that standpoint, non toxic is a good thing.

The down side of the non toxic, water based solvents is the fact that they are not pH neutral. These solvents arent acidic. In fact, they are on the opposite end of the pH spectrum and are alkaline. On the pH scale many of them rank around a 10.5 which is the same area as typical rain water. that comparison isn’t a terrifying fact. ‘m not really afraid of rain, but at the same time there aren’t many of us that would use or leave our defensive firearms in the rain without taking some action after the fact to counter the effects of the rain.

What are those effects? Primarily rust. Definitely rust is not a good thing when it comes to the value of your firearm. If we are talking about a defensive firearm, corrosion can keep your gun from working well or even at all if it gets bad enough.

You may have been using a corrosive water based solvent and avoided the ill effects by simply rinsing away the solvent. This is a workable solution to keep your gun clean and corrosion free but it adds an extra step to a process that is already cumbersome.

Petroleum Based Gun Cleaning Solvents

These solvents are a different animal. Instead of being water based, they are a petroleum product and as a result they are pH neutral. This is great if you want to avoid corrosion on the metal parts of your firearm, but the hitch comes when you look at the toxicity of the petroleum based solvents. They are unhealthy for your skin and can actually be absorbed into your system through contact.

Even worse is the toxicity of the fumes. Every breath you take brings those toxins into your body. If you spend as much time maintaining your firearms as I do you know that these fumes can be an issue. It isn’t a big jump to realize that these fumes can effect anyone that is in the area.

When your kids smell your solvents, you, they are breathing in those toxins as well.

What makes Breakthrough Military Grade Weapon Solvent different?

In simple terms Breakthrough firearm cleaning solvent touts all the advantages of the non-toxic aqueous solvents without the alkalinity that could cause corrosion. Add that Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent has the cleaning power of the petroleum based solvents without the toxicity and it would seem like Breakthrough is a stand out in its field.

My limited experience with Breakthrough.

Firearm cleanerI have only had a short period of time to tinker with Breakthrough while at the NASGW show. Erick was kind enough to supply me with a 2 ounce sample of Breakthrough Military Grade Weapon Solvent and a microfiber cloth. I took those back to my hotel room and cleaned my carry gun, a GLOCK 17. In theory, the gun was already clean as it had been used by a student to complete a course after their handgun failed. After 750 rounds my gun needed to be cleaned before I continued to carry the gun.

So I cleaned it.


I didn’t really expect to learn much by cleaning a clean gun. What really surprised me was how much crap I was able to pull out of the pistol with a one wipe down of an already clean gun in a dark hotel room.

I am certainly looking forward to testing Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent more.  And when I say “Testing, ” I mean it.  I have some dirty, neglected guns and that is where we will be trying this gun cleaner next.  I wont be the first.

Here is a review from LooseRounds who has had a bit more time to tinker with the Breakthrough solvent.

This video will also give you some more in-depth feedback on Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent.

What makes Breakthrough Gun Cleaning Solvent different from other gun cleaners?

As is usually the case, the devil is in the details. Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent is simply more refined. I don’t mean that in a hoity toity, pinky in the air kind of way. Instead I’m talking about the physical process by which petroleum products are made more pure.  At a refinery.

Breakthrough is more refined than its competitors.

You can read more about petroleum refining here.

The simple run down is that the petroleum is heated until it evaporates and then, under careful control, the vapors are cooled. Different parts of the petroleum condense back into a liquid at different temperatures. This allows the petroleum to be separated into parts. Breakthrough simply makes sure it takes out the toxic parts of the petroleum and keeps all the good stuff. The end result is a pure, non toxic, efficient solvent. It is so pure that it looks like vodka. Funny thing is that good high proof vodkas can be made in much the same way.

Breakthrough Gun Cleaning Solvent works without damage.

While cleaning my gun there was a bit of heavy buildup on the feed ramp of the barrel of my GLOCK. It required an extra douse of Breakthrough. I had forgotten that I had applied some extra until my gun was already reassembled. With other cleaners this could have been a problem. When many cleaners dry on the metal parts of the firearm they can either leave a residue or cause corrosion. Because Breakthrough Gun Cleaning Solvent is so pure there is nothing to be left behind and because it is pH neutral there is no corrosion. This means there is no chance of leaving fouling or damaging my firearm if I apply Breakthrough to an area and neglect to wipe it or rinse it.

Breakthrough will leave your gun dry as a bone.

Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent is a degreaser and it is a good one at that. As a result it draws the oil and grease out of your firearm and pulls all the gunk with it. This may leave you thinking that the color of the finish of your firearm has changed.

Not so.

This is simply the color of the finish when there is no oil present. All you need to do is properly lubricate your firearm and you will have a clean gun that is ready to run.

Keep in mind, Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent won’t harm any parts on your firearm. It is safe to apply to metals, plastics, polymers, wood and the finishes that you find on those materials. Just remember that if you apply Breakthrough to an oiled wood stock it will do its job and draw the oil from the wood. It isn’t causing damage it is simply drying out the wood. You will need to recondition it appropriately.

Breakthrough BattleBorn High Purity Oil

Gun cleanerWhen that firearm is clean and degreased it will need to be lubricated. Breakthrough makes more than gun cleaning solvents. Breakthrough provides a gun maintenance system.  It’s high purity oil seems like a commonsense solution for lubrication following the use of Breakthrough solvent. Just like Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent, BalttleBorn High Purity Oil is clear, non toxic and odorless. It applied uniformly to my GLOCK which has a Cerakote finish and the gun really looked good. I can’t wait to get the gun out on the range to make sure it runs. I don’t see any reason it won’t.

Breakthrough Military Grade Weapon Solvent

The Official name of Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent contains the words Military Grade. It isn’t just a marketing tool.

You can read the letter from the Department of the Army here.

I had another conversation with Erick to discuss whether Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent is in actual use by the military and Erick assured me that it was. I didn’t make an attempt to confirm its use at this time, but I will. This isn’t a deal breaker for me either way as far as the product goes. I’m not actually in the army and the reason I carry a gun is completely different that why those that serve carry. I need a clean gun and it looks like Breakthrough can provide that for me without some of the problems that other gun cleaning solvents bring to the table.

If you are wondering what you should use to clean your gun I encourage you to give Breakthrough gun cleaning solvent a try. I wouldn’t expect you to be disappointed.

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