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  #1  
Old 12-12-2010, 03:22 PM
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how often do you clean a barrel?


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i was recently discussing this with my brother in law who has a .22-250 that he has put over a thousand rounds through and never touched the barrel. he claims that it shoots just as good with never touching it, and he doesn't notice any accuracy problems due to not cleaning it. I usually run a bore snake through mine whenever they start to look dirty. do you have to clean a barrel after firing every session? I would never let my rifle go as long as he did before cleaning. Everybody i ask gives me a different story about how often you should perform barrel maintenance. just figured i would ask the experts. thanks for any info in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2010, 03:56 PM
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It depends what you prefer

I clean my guns after every use or hunting trip where they were fired. If they get wet, then I take them apart for a thorough cleaning. So it depends. All the best...
Gil
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2010, 04:07 PM
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I clean mine at the end of each hunting season, or after they have been fired. While doing load development, I clean more frequently and never store a gun long-term w/o making sure it has been cleaned and oiled.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2010, 03:11 AM
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I clean after a trip to the range, but unless the gun gets wet i usually dont untill after hunting season is over
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2010, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil Martin View Post
I clean my guns after every use or hunting trip where they were fired. If they get wet, then I take them apart for a thorough cleaning. So it depends. All the best...
Gil
I do the same!
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2010, 03:55 AM
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I clean after an extended range session; but I don't clean with the main intention of preserving the barrel. Instead, I am trying to maintain a constant level of bore cleanliness, hence a constant level of accuracy. Going 1000 rounds without a cleaning will not harm the bore under normal conditions -- non-corrosive primers, smokeless powder, and jacketed bullets don't really have much in them that will do permanent harm, and unless the bore gets wet nothing much negative happens -- but it will get slowly but steadily dirtier, and this will eventually begin to affect accuracy. Some rifles begin to show the effect after 10 rounds; some may take hundreds of rounds.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2010, 04:48 AM
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I would say it all depends on the level of performance one wants out of the rifle. A dirty barrel will not shoot as good as a clean one, group sizes will be larger.

I have seen a RF benchrest shooter at practice clean after every five shots (fitted bore guide, stainless rod and only patch's), he was shooting at fifty yards all of his groups were one hole in the target.

Some people call hitting a pie plate at 100 yds minute of angle shooting.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2010, 05:45 AM
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Some guns will not shoot their best groups until they have been fouled by one or two shots, but the idea of not cleaning for 1,000 rounds, and expecting accuracy to remain excellent, is foreign to me. Also, I hate to see how long it takes to get the copper fouling cleaned out when he finally decides it's time to clean his barrel!
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2010, 06:41 AM
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A benchrest cleaner is not cleaning so he will have a clean bore, per se; he is cleaning so he will maintain a cinsistent bore condition. Some bores do shoot better when fouled to a degree -- it may take ten shots to get it to peak accuracy, or it may only take one. And after 100 rounds you would certainly expect a bore to have heavy copper fouling -- but maybe not. Some barrle will accumulate copper fouling to a certain degree and then maintain that level. Other never really accumulate copper fouling, while still other will have heavy fouling after only a few shots.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2010, 06:17 PM
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Most short range benchrest bugholers clean very often. Most long range shooters don't clean until they see their accuracy going away or have a flyer. Some may go several hundred rounds but I can almost assure you, none of them go 1,000 rounds.

If someone tells me they've shot a 22 caliber like the 22-250 1,000 rounds and it's still shooting accurate, I would just have to assume he can't shoot accurate enough to notice the difference in the first place.

If I'm shooting a particular rifle pretty much weekly, I may go a few hundred rounds before giving it a good cleaning. Hunting rifles and or guns that are going to sit for a while, get cleaned before being put away. New barrels get cleaned a lot more frequently than a seasoned one.

Now with all that said, for what a lot of hunters and random shooters know about cleaning a rifle, and use those $9.95 Outers, Winchesters etc kits you buy at Wal-Mart, they are probably better off not cleaning it.

To "Properly Clean" a rifle requires a little know how and work. It also requires a somewhat expensive collection of cleaners and equipment

$35 cleaning rod coated or Carbon Fiber, at least one
$50 Lucas bore guide
$40 - $50 worth of solvents, patches, jags, brushes etc.
A $16 bore snake also comes in handy.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:55 AM
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I used to be pretty lazy about cleaning hunting rifles, till I read member Humpy's excellent post on carbon fouling (see sticky at the top of this forum).

All the centerfire rifles get cleaned when they come home now, regardless of whether it's been one shot or any other number.

I don't buy into the "it won't shoot unless it's dirty" theory for big game hunting rifles. All of my guns will shoot into the group out of a clean, dry barrel. If I ever find one that won't, I will work to find a condition where they will (different gun oils, bore prep, whatever). After all sometimes you have to clean in the field then what do you do?

My procedure is to clean, then oil, then push several dry patches through the bore. Try it.... you might be surprised how well that works for hunting rifles.

The target shooters know what they need to do and for them it is no big deal to put a few sighters downrange at the start of a match.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2010, 12:27 PM
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I clean my pistol, BP pistol, and BP rifles after every session. My hunting rifles get fouled at the beginning of the season and usually stay fouled till after the season is over. When I am shooting them on the bench durring summer time, I will usually clean them after every session. They always get cleaned if they were rained on too.

Like mentioned before, I use quite a bit of different 1pc rods, jags, solvents, bore guides to do the job, along with Wipe-Out...... best stuff IMO.

I just started cleaning my rifles yesterday and am finishing up today. None of them got heavy use this year, but they were all shot. I'll have to shoot my coyote guns a couple times to foul them out again too.

Last edited by spitfire_er; 12-14-2010 at 12:29 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2010, 02:37 PM
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thanks for all the great info. it is greatly appreciated.
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2010, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cvc944 View Post
I clean them often and clean them correctly using good cleaning supplies and equipment. Things like bore guides and one-piece coated rods will keep you from damaging the barrel while cleaning it. The new breed of super solvents will cut down on the time spent brushing. Also, I'm curious to know just how good that 22-250 shoots with that copper coated bore, since I've honestly never heard of such a long cleaning interval.
Correct, nice concise post.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2011, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc944 View Post
I clean them often and clean them correctly using good cleaning supplies and equipment. Things like bore guides and one-piece coated rods will keep you from damaging the barrel while cleaning it. The new breed of super solvents will cut down on the time spent brushing. Also, I'm curious to know just how good that 22-250 shoots with that copper coated bore, since I've honestly never heard of such a long cleaning interval.

How do you know the bore is 'copper coated'??

How many guns have you seen with a 'black' looking area, in the stock,just rear of the action. Oil that has been allowed to run out of barrel/action into the stock. Dry patch x2 as last step in cl;eaning is my preferred method.

Last edited by langenc; 01-01-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2011, 07:13 AM
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....too much cleaning?

I have four rifles two 30.06s (TC Icon Stainless) and CZ 550 Lux, a 6.5 x 55 mm Sako 85, and a BLR Stainless in 358 Win. I do a lot of range time with the rifles. All except the 358 give me a minute to subminute results with hand loads....the BLR has been a nightmare. My cleaning routine is Wipe-out soak for one to two hours, followed by patches until dry, then a Hoppe's elite until patches are clean, then oil (Hoppe's) until they come clean. With the BLR, after about 900 rounds of various handload combinations I found by firing a string of 3 shot groups that the accuracy improved (a slow learner I guess) I am paranoid about cleaning rifles after use...my brother says it is because of my military training?

Am I over cleaning any suggestions?

Mike39
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:47 AM
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I shoot paper once a week, usually about 20+ rounds per rifle I take.

After a round of shooting, generally I run a nylon brush down barrel with bore cleaner on it, stroke it 6 or so times and then run patches down bore. Every once in a while I use a bronze brush, but never get aggressive with it.
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2011, 01:12 PM
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If you're rich like me, never clean your guns. It's a waste of time. Shoot them till they get dirty and don't work anymore, and then throw 'em away and replace 'em with new ones!
Seriously, a Shooter can be anal to one extreme, or lazy to another. I've seen plenty of Firearms that have been used and abused that would be of valuable use today if kept properly.
When teaching and asked "how often should you clean your Gun", I replied to the Student "how often do you change the oil in your vehicle, and why"?
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  #19  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:02 PM
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I'm old fashioned, I was taught to clean my guns when I was done with them, and I do. Had one 7X57, FN that did NOT like a clean bbl, had to fire one through it and then it would group like crazy, the first one never went in the same place twice. I did want to mention that I have no problem with the guys who don't clean much, got my Marine stepson a Ruger 77 '06, carried a bunch, bore looked crappy but from the look of the bolt and follower and ramp didn't look like it had been shot much. The bore kept anyone else from buying it, so the price finally came right. Spent an evening with bore guide, brushes, Butch's Bore Shine and patches until it was clean, bore was very good. Redid the stock, touched up the blue and gave it to him for his 18th birthday. It's still his favorite gun, and he cleans it every time he uses it.
So the non cleaners make bargains for the rest of us looks like!!
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2011, 05:26 AM
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i do the same to all my gun's but without a bore scope you don't really know if it's clean. I use a copper remover (Bore-Tech Eliminator) and my bore scope until all the copper is gone and the polish with JB bore paste. All of them get cleaned after each session. I use bore guides, one piece rods, nylon brushes. jag and patch, Never use a brass brush because i'm trying to get the bores slicked up not scratched. they all shoot 1/4" or less, CM and stainless. Always clean from breach end never from muzzle end the crown is the last thing the bullet touches and it needs to be in good shape.
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