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  #1  
Old 10-17-2010, 07:06 AM
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barrel care


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Ive just recieved my first ever rifle, a Browning X-Bolt Medallion in 30-06 and I was wondering if I were to go to the range with (for example) hundreds of rounds, after how many rounds would the barrel need a really good cleaning? Or after a certain amount can I give it a quick wipe down with a couple patches and continue shooting? Ive already broken in the barrel and would be shooting 180 grain federal (for information sake). Last question is how hot do you let the barrel get and how cool do you let it cool down? Im not looking for exact temperatures just something to wrap my mind around.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:31 AM
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If your gun is shooting well there is no need to clean your barrel until your groups open up, it gets wet or you are going to store it for an extended time. The rule of thought is more barrels are damaged by excessive cleaning than any other cause. If the barrel gets too warm to comfortably hold it is getting to hot. I like to let my barrel cool completly and don't like to let it get to the point of getting hot.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:44 AM
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bsn is right about not letting the barrel get to hot but excessive cleaning wont hurt your barrel, as long as you do it correctly. Barrels are ruined by cleaning rods shoved down the muzzle and dinging the lands, I suggest getting a bore snake to take to the range with you. In my experience with .30cal rifles my groups start to open up after about 30 rounds, but you may find that number more or less in your rifle.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:54 AM
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BSN has been shooting these rifles longer then I have, so I won;t argue the "cleaning/barrel damage" point except to my belief here: You're pushing a lead-filled copper jacket down the barrel at 2700 to 3100 feet per second, then doing it again within a minute or so....and again...and again. In my opinion, you will NOT damage the bore by cleaning it with a brush, some patches, and some solvent. Unless you're ramming a stainless steel brush (never use them) down the bore that's already two or three calibers oversize, or scraping an ill-fitted end of a stainless steel rod against the bore, then don;t worry. That's improper cleaning and is a whole nother topic.

If you're at the range and shooting 5-shot groups (I reload in sets of five), you'll be loading them one at a time and taking your time. By the 5th round, your barrel will be getting warm, so leave the bolt open and take plenty of time studying your target, jotting down your notes, etc., before beginning your next set. Every so often, I reach over with my left hand and lay it on the barrel. If it's too warm to leave my hand there for a couple of three seconds, I find something to do for awhile. Usually I have another caliber rifle set up on the adjacent bench, so I'll spend some time there.

I clean my rifles after every range session, whether I fired 10 rounds or 40. And I use copper killer each time when starting the cleaning. Usually with my 30-06, I've loaded 20 to 40 rounds, in groups of five different load configurations, so I almost always fire at least 20. If I'm going to fire the remaining twenty, I clean the bore usually, and using all the steps too.

Take your time and the barrel will almost never get too hot. Clean it every time - you won;t hurt it any I don't believe. In fact, you'll do less damage cleaning (make that: no damage) than leaving it dirty for the next session's bullets to scrub on. Clean it well.
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Last edited by StretchNM; 10-17-2010 at 08:57 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2010, 08:57 AM
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Good advice above. Proper cleaning from the breech end will never hurt a firearm. Only .22 LR bores seem to suffer with over cleaning/improper cleaning. Each firearm is different in cleaning requirements. That is dependent on barrel conditions, the metallurgical content of the metal and just what you're pushing downbore with the loads. Hot loads and pure copper jackets are going to be tough on fouling.

You don't have to let a barrel cool to ambient conditions before shooting again, but ALWAYS be sure it doesn't overheat to the point you can't comfortably hold your hand on it.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:09 AM
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Awesome! Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:30 AM
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>Proper cleaning from the breech end will never hurt a firearm.

True. Also true, it won't necessarily help it, either. Best advice is to leave it alone until groups begin to open, it gets wet, or it's going to be stored a long, long time. There is potential for damage in cleaning if you are not careful; it is also ture that many, if not most, rifle bores will deliver better accuracy when somewhat fouled than when squeaky-clean. The month before deer season I always spend checking the zeros of my rifles, fouling them in the process, and then leaving them alone until the season ends.
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:11 PM
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Yep - didn't mean to sound contradictory, pisgah. Agree with you entirely. My point was meant to steer folks away from cleaning from the muzzle, unless absolutely necessary, such as with a Winchester M94. Agree also that most rifles don't group until adequately fouled and will continue to group until the buildup begins to deteriorate that accuracy.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2010, 02:13 PM
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I think all above is sound advice. I'll add something else for you to wrap mind around though.

If I'm going to clean a barrel that needs it, a warm barrel is what I want. Solvents seem to "wick" under the fouling better for me. I believe it to be because of the different metals (copper and steel) contracting at different rates in reaction to the "reletively cold" solvent. The "cooling effect" of the solvent is from the inside and proceeds out over time.

Copper(fouling) cools first and shrinks away from the steel(bore). Allows the solvent to get between the two metals "easyier", if you understand what I'm trying to type?

Is my take based on personal observation only.

Cheezywan
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheschire View Post
Awesome! Thanks for the help.
Use one of these, in the appropriate size... http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=613121

Clean to your heart's content, using only brass brushes or jags. I do not store a gun that is fouled. I do not leave one fouled all season long, unless it's 2 weeks or less and the bore stays dry the entire time.

The bore snake is an excellent tool to clean a bore, but if you need to remove copper build-up, a traditional brush and good solvent works better.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:52 PM
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Gee, this is almost as good reading as a discussion on best calibers, or best rifles, or best scopes....
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2010, 05:45 PM
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I was watching a commercial today on a foaming bore cleaner. They said to just squirt this stuff in the bore, wait 15 minutes and then clean as normal. Then, the camera shows a bolt-action rifle, from the breech end, with a pristine, lily-white patch sliding out of the bore and into the action. Now, if you were to actually use their product, and clean from the muzzle you would have just dumped a slurry of cleaner and copper into your action.

Yeah, a thread on cleaning your barrel properly might not interest you Tn, but when you've got TV adds showing you how to do it incorrectly, it's not a bad idea for us to help a new guy learn the correct process, don't ya think?
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2010, 06:30 PM
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I try not to run the rod far enough out so that it sags and rubs the end of the rifling. Always make sure to wipe out the chamber, not a good idea to touch off a round with excess cleaning fluid in it.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2010, 04:19 PM
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I wonder sometimes if a shooter would be farther ahead in the cleaning arena if we just bought custom firearms with custom bores that were all hand-lapped by skilled hands?

I’m thinking mostly of the money and time that I have spent to get my personal firearms to shoot to my satisfaction.
Ammunition (and/or components and tools to make it), cleaning tools and solvents, targets, speed clocks, etc.

I can only add that the time spent has been fun and educational. Most likely NOT COST EFFECTIVE though.

Just musing is all.

Cheezywan
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