Complete Guide to Solvent Trap Cups: How Do They Work and How to Choose Them?
Solvent traps have grown in popularity in the firearm community more recently, despite being around for a while. Shooters keen on cleaning their firearms find them particularly useful, as they make the maintenance process more efficient.
Solvent traps featuring storage cups are designed to collect the cleaning solvent for efficient disposal and used for storage and transport for select models such as our adaptive solvent trap kits. A solvent trap attaches to the firearm’s muzzle to trap cleaning fluids or solvents, and can be used for storage and transport purposes.
Ways Solvent Trap Cups Make Firearm Cleaning Easier
Firearms require special care and maintenance, and solvent trap cups make cleaning easy, safe, and comfortable.
Saves you Money
While buying solvent traps is expensive, it saves money in the long run. The cleaning fluids captured can be reused, saving the user from purchasing expensive cleaning solvents regularly. It also prevents unpleasant messes and solvent waste.
Saves you Time
Thanks to their threaded ends, adaptive or modular storage cups are easy to install, and no extra effort is needed to make an attachment. Of course, standard storage cups that are used in most tubular solvent trap cleaning kits and are not threaded, but the time saved over traditional cleaning methods is night and day! Solvent trap storage cups save time by allowing uninterrupted firearm cleaning as the baffles (something that restrains or regulates the flow of fluid) collect debris while at the same time allowing the fluid to pass through the filters.
A Tidy and Safe Cleaning Process
The firing process results in debris and grime, which creates a messy buildup. Solvent trap cups make the cleaning process tidier by minimizing and preventing messes. They also make the process safer as they prevent corrosive fluids from leaking, as the cups capture fluids draining from the muzzle.
How Do Solvent Trap Cups Work?
The cups are straightforward to use. The user can insert several cups to provide adequate space at the muzzle to collect trapped solvent and debris efficiently. Once you are through with cleaning, remove the trap cup from the muzzle and properly dispose of the cleaning fluid, or transfer it into a different container for reuse.
The amount of solvent you want to use will depend on when the firearm was last cleaned. You can also use several cups to collect the cleaning fluid. If multiple cups are used, they will seep through the cups and be blocked by a sealed end cup.
If the cleaning fluid contains debris, it will be filtered as it passes through the cups, leaving a clear solvent that can be recycled.
Variations Of Solvent Trap Cups
Firearm solvent cups come with different looks. The designs available in the market are customized to provide flexibility in use and meet the aesthetic needs of the users. Here are some popular options.
You can find solvent trap cups with a spacer machined into the cup or with a skirt. The spacer is built-in and creates more room in the chamber.
Getting a skirted cup with an already machined spacer saves you from buying them. When choosing skirted solvent trap cups, confirm compatibility with tube thread.
Straight Cone Cups
Straight cone cups are the most common due to their ease of use. The user sets the compound rest on their most preferred, turns the knob, and the cup sets in place. Most straight cone cups come in 50 and 60 degrees.
The cone cups are ideal for firearms that shoot high-speed ammunition, such as medium-fire firearms. This makes them a common option for .308 Winchester, 5.56 NATO, and .300 Win Mag, among other supersonic .30 and .22 caliber cartridges.
A 60-degree cone is recommended for high-speed shooting, whereas a 50-degree cone is best for moderate speeds.
Stepped Cone Solvent Trap Cups
The cups are also referred to as “Aztec” and feature a rough surface which results in more turbulence. While the solvent trap cups increase turbulence on airflow, high-speed cartridges often don’t benefit from the unique stepped design.
The length of the stepped cone solvent trap cups is similar to that of a straight cone, providing a 50 to 60 degree slope.
Radial Cone Solvent Trap Cups
The radial cone cups are hybrid as they are ideal for carbine bullets and center-fire firearm bullets. The solvent trap cups are popular with shooters with firearms that can fire subsonic and supersonic ammunition.
If you have 9mm Parabellum and 300 Blackout cartridges, the radial cone solvent trap cup option would be ideal.
Modular Solvent Trap Cups
The modular design makes this cup the most versatile on the market. The cup features a 60- degrees slope which aids in unprecedented performance. A solvent trap kit also features a tube, end cap, and thread protector with a straight cone that attenuates a narrow end.
The cups were designed with adaptability and performance optimization in consideration.
Freeze Plug-Style Solvent Trap Cups
They are flexible, the simplest, and the most affordable in the solvent traps market. They support a wide range of subsonic and supersonic loads and can work for any caliber, up to .308 Winchester. Their performance is often determined by the design of the cups.
How To Choose Solvent Trap Cups
Here is a checklist to help you buy the right solvent trap cups.
There is a variety of solvent trap cup materials to choose from. Stainless steel and 7000- series aluminum works well. The aluminum gives the cups anti-corrosive properties, making them durable.
Some people will go for 4000-series carbon steel, an affordable alternative to the stainless steel and aluminum options. Many also go for the carbon-steel alloy as steel tends to be heavier.
If you are looking for the best choice, titanium would be it; it is much stronger, lighter, and durable.
Your choice of solvent trap cups will also be determined by design. In this case, you are looking at traditional, modern, and customizable designs.
Traditional traps came in the form of a nut with an oil filter attached at the lower end of a firearm to collect solvents. The design is quite straightforward, making the product more affordable.
Modern solvent trap cups feature a more complex design than their traditional counterparts and, for this reason, offer more options in terms of usability. Most modern cups are made of alloys to leverage various material properties for optimal performance.
If you are looking for a customized solvent trap cup with a specific design or color, some companies can provide that. However, there is a need to be careful with the customizations to ensure they don’t compromise the quality or have features that would be of legal concern.
Compatibility and Budget
Solvent trap cups need to be compatible with your firearms alongside your firearm accessories. Ignoring the compatibility element means you have to purchase more accessories for the traps to work.
Solvent trap cups vary in design and materials. Often, the variations will create a difference in the pricing. Identify the features you want the cups to have, then establish how much you are willing to spend on them. You may pay less for a traditional design and more for titanium trap cups. It all boils down to what you are willing to trade in to fit your budget.
Cleaning and maintenance are necessary to prevent malfunctions and increase the life of your firearm. Solvent trap cups and kits will make maintenance efficient and minimize mess.
Solvent trap cups come in different designs but serve the same purpose of cleaning, safety, and storage.
To make an informed purchase, evaluate the features, and weigh the pros and cons of the various cup types.