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Old 04-26-2010, 05:07 AM
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Proper barrel cleaning

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I didn't want to hijack the barrel life thread.

So what is the proper technique for cleaning your rifle barrel to extend its life and maintain accuracy?

Do you run those wire brush attachments through? Those seem to be pretty harsh. After how many shots at the range should you clean?
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Airdale View Post
I didn't want to hijack the barrel life thread.

So what is the proper technique for cleaning your rifle barrel to extend its life and maintain accuracy?
This one is open season as opinions go.

I have a friend who shoots competitively with his AR's that feels every 500 shots or so is about right, and another that feels gritty until all lead or copper fouling is removed, even if he only shoots 4-5 times.

The answer may be somewhere in between.

Some rifles shoot best lightly fouled, and a couple patches of something like Hoppe's Benchrest between sessions works best. Lead accumulation is usually not so good, and that may need to be brushed out. With very new barrels, I use Remington 10X. After a few sessions, most barrels tend to slick up, and resist "leading". I tend to clean "to the metal" once or twice a year, depending on how many rounds go through the barrel, and only clean lightly for sessions in between. I always remove all lead buildup, and I never "blow the lead out" with a jacketed load.

It really depends on the barrel and ammo, how much you shoot, and how long between shooting sessions. The "aggressive brush" with cleaning solvent on it is way less abraisive than a bullet racing down the bore. I have shot a few barrels out over the years, but I don't think I ever brushed one to ruin.

Like most things, it depends.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:07 AM
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Just keep in mind that most .22 rimfire barrels don't need the
same amount of cleaning as centerfire guns,
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:31 AM
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Centerfire rifle, right? You might want to look in this forum:

The "sticky" at the top was interesting, at least to me. I've gotten a little more religious about keeping my rifles cleaned after reading it. Mostly I favor solvents and letting them do the work.

Originally Posted by faucettb
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:37 PM
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WD-40 and a bore snake every now and then.
I don't think(my opinion) that ANY decent barrel maker has real copper issues(stay away from Barnes) that require special cleaning for.
As was brought up with the 22's. Both of my Butler Creek barrels specifically tell you NOT to clean them during their life.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:00 PM
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Hmmmm, wish I could remember the site that had a good read on opinions given by about 8 different guys about cleaning of rifle bores. All contributors were either competition match shooters or even owners of barrel making companies. Some only cleaned their bores when they noticed accuracy falling off, some cleaned after a certain number of rounds had been fired. One, maybe 2, preferred to only use a nylon brush and commented they really weren't effective as cleaning with a bronze brush, but felt nylon brushes did no harm to a bore. Rest used bronze brushes, but each generally commented about care/method to avoid harming crown on barrel while cleaning with a brush.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:00 PM
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First off, ALWAYS clean from the breech whenever it is possible. If you must clean from the muzzle, as with a lever action....then, make sure to use a bore guide.

If you don't already have a rifle cleaning rest, get one. Nothing worse than trying to prop a rifle up while trying to jam a tight fitting patch down the barrel.

ALWAYS use a ONE PIECE coated fiberglass rod. DO NOT use segmented metal rods, as these can damage the bore.

Use bore jags, instead of the "needle eye" type patch holders, as the bore jag puts the patch in contact with the entire barrel, for its full length.

If you are using bore brushes....remember to clean them out once in a while, by soaking them in some good solvent, and using some compressed air to blast them clean (wear glasses)

DO NOT use does not have lubricating properties. And once it is subjected to heat, or aging, it tends to "varnish"

Instead, use something like "Rem Oil" CLP, or FP-10.

As far as bore solvents, Hoppe's #9 is better than nothing, but not much.

Try Butch's Bore Shine. It eats copper, lead, and other fouling like you wouldn't believe. I even use it on rags as a solvent for cleaning powder residue out of the actions of guns.

As far as how often to depends. Some guns are more accurate with a certain degree of fouling in the barrel. A clean, oiled barrel will always have a different zero than one that was left uncleaned.

Still, my mentality is that I clean every gun I shoot, whether it's 5 rounds, or 100 rounds. The only exception to this is my 22 rifles, when I shoot CB ammo. But, if I shoot some full power 22 LR ammo in them, they get cleaned.

One more piece of cautionary advice about using oil. Too little is better than too much. Too much oil acts as a dirt and powder fouling magnet. Also, excess oil in the barrel can cause hydraulic pressure upon firing. This can result in bulging or other damage, depending on the conditions.

For oiling moving parts, a bottle of FP-10, with the little straw applicator is perfect for applying tiny amounts of oil, instead of giant globs.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:07 PM
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i always clean my rifles when i shoot them' useing rem oil, and i always wipe down the gun because finger prints (oil from your hands) causes rust seen it with my dads old 22 and on some of my knifes so becarful when you store your guns (and knifes) and wipe them down when you put them away
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:34 PM
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Good point about wiping down the rifle with an oily cloth. Any time you handle a firearm, you should do this.

Another thing worth mentioning, do NOT use "Gun Scrubber" or anything similar, unless you intend to oil the gun afterwards. Solvents such as this strip the oil, dry everything out and can accelerate wear or rust on the parts.

One other thing that I forgot to point out....of particular interest to those who have break barrel shotguns with wood stocks. Do not use too much oil in the action, and if it is at all possible, store the shotgun with the muzzle down, instead of stored upright.

The reason being, oil from the action will run into the wood stock, and weaken it. Upon firing, or opening the action, the stock can break. I had this happen to an LC Smith Field Grade 16 ga (I got an inletted replacement stock, and the gunsmith is working on that gun now)

And on a final note, from a safety not eat drink or smoke while cleaning guns...and wash your hands before doing any of the above.
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