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It's taken 30 yrs to learn that?

The last 22" of a 24" barrel cleans up fairly easily (from the chamber end). The first 2" is a different story. I will bet money, the vast majority that think their barrel is prefectly clean, have a huge carbon ring at the throat. Not sure how many have tried Tubb's maintenance rounds but they do a pretty good job at keeping the throat area clean and in good condition. Some of the abbrasive cleaners will get out it but with those you have to be extremely careful, and not get carried away, thinking you will get it really clean and be taking metal out.

I don't think getting 100% of the carbon out is really a good thing either. A micro amount keeps the pours in the steel filled in and works as a bearing surface, reducing the friction of a bullet down the barrel. Get one too clean and you get in a catch 22 situation. The more you clean, the more copper fouling you get.
 

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It's taken 30 yrs to learn that?

The last 22" of a 24" barrel cleans up fairly easily (from the chamber end). The first 2" is a different story. I will bet money, the vast majority that think their barrel is prefectly clean, have a huge carbon ring at the throat.
This is *especially* easy to see in an inline muzzleloader with a breech plug. Just this past weekend, I was shooting and running a bore snake down the barrel after each shot. Just as you describe, most of the barrel would come out shiny clean except for that carbon ring right down by the breech :) That took some solvent to clean out.
 

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I will say this is my personal opinion and I'm sure there are some that will agree with both of us, and I didn't mean to state it's a lubricant, more of a buffer.

This is a short line from Lilja's barrel breakin procedure: "It is important to get a layer of powder fouling on top of the lands & grooves. This hard deposit will prevent the copper from stripping off the bullets. However, if the internal finish of the barrel is too rough the barrel will never be completely broken-in and fouling will always be a problem. Some barrels can't be broken-in."

Just so it's not taken out of contest here's the link http://www.riflebarrels.com/articles/barrel_making/barrel_fouling.htm

Rather than me list a whole lot of links, just for kicks and grins, do an web search on getting a rifle barrel to clean.
 

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Whew...controversy averted! :)

BearTracker, I'm willing to bet 90% of the hunting rifles out there, that guys have just spent 20 minutes cleaning, still have that ring of carbon buildup, but when it comes to loss of accuracy, how much difference are you proposing that it makes? To be frank, the vast majority of TRULY clean rifles will require a fouling shot, or three, before they can shoot their best groups. Could it be that this is needed to reapply that thin carbon layer at the throat, thus smoothing the bullet's entry into the lands and actually improving the accuracy of subsequent shots? That could just be crazy-talk, but if carbon buildup is a culprit in reducing rifle accuracy, wouldn't groups start to get worse after the first few shots, instead of getting better and better...before finally starting to open up? Surely carbon buildup doesn't increase greatly after the first few shots, as it will only persist where the friction from the next bullet doesn't scrub it away?

The keys to accuracy begin with concentricity where the bullet is introduced to the bore (case neck, throat, etc.), is enhanced by consistent and precise loading techniques, and is finally determined by the opposite end from which your concerns arise; at the crown of the barrel. If I had to allocate percentages to which of these things affect accuracy, during the course of a full range session (say 60 rounds), I don't think carbon buildup at the throat or leade would garner even 1% of my vote.

By the way, carbon, in graphite form, is an exceptional and durable lubricant. A heckuvalot slicker than a grooved steel barrel, anyway. ;)
 

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Whew...controversy averted! :)

BearTracker, I'm willing to bet 90% of the hunting rifles out there, that guys have just spent 20 minutes cleaning, still have that ring of carbon buildup, but when it comes to loss of accuracy, how much difference are you proposing that it makes? To be frank, the vast majority of TRULY clean rifles will require a fouling shot, or three, before they can shoot their best groups. Could it be that this is needed to reapply that thin carbon layer at the throat, thus smoothing the bullet's entry into the lands and actually improving the accuracy of subsequent shots? That could just be crazy-talk, but if carbon buildup is a culprit in reducing rifle accuracy, wouldn't groups start to get worse after the first few shots, instead of getting better and better...before finally starting to open up? Surely carbon buildup doesn't increase greatly after the first few shots, as it will only persist where the friction from the next bullet doesn't scrub it away?

The keys to accuracy begin with concentricity where the bullet is introduced to the bore (case neck, throat, etc.), is enhanced by consistent and precise loading techniques, and is finally determined by the opposite end from which your concerns arise; at the crown of the barrel. If I had to allocate percentages to which of these things affect accuracy, during the course of a full range session (say 60 rounds), I don't think carbon buildup at the throat or leade would garner even 1% of my vote.

By the way, carbon, in graphite form, is an exceptional and durable lubricant. A heckuvalot slicker than a grooved steel barrel, anyway. ;)

I'm in agreement with you. Most of my barrels are custom and I find other things that will effect accuracy beside carbon. As a barrel wears groups will open up. I've always used a carbon cleaner first then worked on the copper so I've elimate that as a concern.

I use alot of Lilja barrels and I've seen his comments on cleaning his barrel and how to clean carbon from the throat "with an abrasive cleaner to the patch" between 500/1000rds. I'm not much into abrasive cleaners but if you clean a barrel like he recommends who knows.
 

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Something to consider. I generally shoot 3-4 fouling shots before trying to shoot a group with any of my rifles. This is because I have found that they shoot more accurate with some fouling in the bore. But what is in that fouling after 3-4 shots that changes the barrel to improve accuracy? Yes, there is a bit of copper and a bit of carbon. Most of the fouling (if you are using modern powders) is graphite which is added to modern powders.
 
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