What is everyones opinion on cleaning during season? If you know you do not have an chance to fire a fouling shot before your next hunt do you clean at all? If this runs several months and you do not shoot over 5 or six times would you do any cleaning?
Depends. It's one of those Shoot It and See situations. Will it put the first shot out of a cold barrel barrel into the group if it's:
a/ Spotlessly clean and lightly lubed with Hoppes #9.
b/ Untouched since the last time you fired it.
c/ After one wet with #9 patch and one dry patch.
d/ Spotless and oiled.
Some guns won't do it, period. Some will do it under 2 or 3 of the above conditions. If you have one of those, you've got a keeper I like 'c' since it's not a hassle and rust proofs the barrel under my rather easy conditions. Besides, it works with most of my rifles.
I'm pretty much a cleaning nut, so I clean after every shooting session. I start each hunt with a clean bore, and I've shot each of my rifles enough to know that they will print the first shot from a clean bore the same as one from a dirty bore. Maybe that's because I rarely shoot more than twenty rounds without cleaning, but I just have not seen the big shift in impact some people get with the first shot from a clean bore. If I'm on an extended hunt I just clean when I get home unless I get a muzzle full of mud or get real wet.
It'll be interesting to see what others' experiences are! ID
The last time I was shooting the 30-06, I cleaned my barrel just to see how far off it would shoot the first shot from a freshly cleaned barrel. I did it twice and both times the POI was only 3/4" different and the difference was high. Thats not enough change for me to worry about it. I've noticed my magnums can be a little more though. Sometimes 2 or 3 inches different.
I'm with Jack, it's one of those things that really needs to be worked out at the range beforehand, so you KNOW and aren't guessing.
Living in fairly dry country I can usually get through the season without having to clean in the field. If I do.... I have confirmed that my rifles are OK if I end the cleaning with a patch lightly wet with either Hoppe's or PLAIN gun oil (none of the teflon stuff) and then a couple of dry patches to get all the excess out.
That's the key, confirm at the range what your rifle will do!
My 30-06, 257 AIR, 243 Win and 7 x 61 will all put the first shot from a sparkling clean bore about 2" high for first shot, less for second and settle right in about the third or fourth. The one that really takes the cake is my new prod. 1886 ELR in 45-70. Just by pulling a single patch through with a bit of Hoppes 9 on it the impact raises 6 " at 100 yards using 425 gr. cast. Next shot is on the money. Needless to say I can live with the others but I am reluctant to wipe out the 86 unless really necessary due to rain etc. . This barrel has never leaded so it's usually not a problem. If I have to clean it I shoot it once before using it. My 300 Sav. on the other hand doesn't seem to be affected , bless it's little soul. Go figure. besto.
I have always felt, as Mike G and Jack mentioned, that it all depends upon the Rifle in question. I have a pre64 model 94, in .32 special that when fired with a clean bore, always shoots to point of aim at 50 meters. Run a patch with hoppes #9 down the barrel, followed by a dry one produces the same result. Succesive shots "plops" 'em right along side the first shot. Here in the northeast during the November deer season, outside temperatures are fairly cold, causing condensation when guns are brought inside. I always run a patch with #9 down the bore. The next morning before heading out, i run a dry patch through the bore. The only time i had to leave a bore "fouled" was when i had a particuliar post 64 in 30/30. That rifles ist shot was always low-to-the left at 50 meters.Succesive shots resulted in a pretty good group though.
Must be something about the 45-70. My NEF 45-70 puts the first round 4" high and to the left from a clean, dry bore. It stays "dirty" all season unless, like eveyone else states, it gets soaked. My Ruger #1 in 6mm Rem. just doesn't seem to care. It'll put the first bullet maybe a half inch high from a clean bore. Over the years though, I've just developed the habit of fouling the bore before I hunt.
Chief RID - I try to get to the range for a final check just before we leave for camp. I don't clean them until we return unless they get wet. If I can't get to the range before we go, I head to the gravel bank 10 miles from camp and fire a couple of fouling shots then. CEJ..
Absolutely, positively, no way to tell. The most accurate .308 I ever owned shot 3" high and right clean, and dead on 1/4 MOA with 9 different powder/bullet combinations dirty.
I see the same trend in my ballistics lab, with big velocity variations in some rifles clean and dirty. In rifles that HAVE this problem, velocity variations appear to be mitigated by the use of a Bore Snake in place of the traditional patches and solvents. Its no big deal to pull the snake through every 5 shots for a whole season, as long as the bore never gets wet.
Still, there is no substitute for assessing each individual rifle, for particular types of ammo. The most important thing is to isolate the effect of cold/hot bbl from the clean/dirty factors. For this, you need a chronograph - velocity variations outside of the norm are not cold/hot variations.
The only exception to all of this involves the use of XMP5744 powder for reduced loads in large cases. In my 300 RUM, 338 RUM and 338 Win Mag, the rifles just don't care if they are hot or cold, clean or dirty as long as I'm using XMP 5744 and dropping 300 to 400 fps off of max velocities. 10 shot strings have 12 to 18 fps standard deviations and hit excactly where aimed, first shot to last.
The Accurate Arms lab says that XMP5744 has no coating, and that burn rate is controlled by composition. As such, burn rate is quite independent of pressure, and it is "self-sustaining". Pressure variations due to clean/dirty just don't matter. The burn rate is between AA9 and 1680, so its too fast to use in high load densities in these cases, but stays within pressure limits in the 50 to 60% load density range. Since it was designed for low load densities, it all works out.
Very interesting. Did you ever test pressures on a gun that has electrical tape across the muzzle? I've seen this recommended countless times in the shooting magazines to keep water out of the muzzle, everyone 'says' that it doesn't affect pressures, but no one has ever published data. Just curious - might make an interesting experiment, if you have the right equipment.
Loader, have you tested the H- Varget in 30.06 and .308. I use it and it's claim to fame is suppose to be the temp. insensitivity. I can see I have some work to do outside of load development next off-season. It should be a blast.
I have to thank all of you for your input on this subject. It really helped me develope a plan for range work.
I've got another one to post right now so I think I will get to it.
.22-250 (40gr. bullets)
.257 Rob. (75 & 100gr. bullets)
.30-06 (165 gr bullets, soon to try 125s as well)
.338 Win Mag (200 & 210gr. bullets)
.35 Rem (185gr. cast).
.458 Win Mag - ouch - (405 gr. bullets).
Seems to work as advertised. I get pretty close to book velocities, but have not tested in all weather conditions. Generally 1 MOA or better. 1.5 MOA in the .458 but didn't do much load development, just picked a load and went with it. That was good enough for me! Haven't done any long-range testing with the .35 Rem but seems to do at least as well as factory ammo. Need to work on that one some more.
Hope Loader can comment further. As you might guess I'm pretty fond of the stuff.
I have worked extensively with Varget in the 308, and actually used that rifle as a test bed for some temperature experiments. The bottom line is that it works!!
From 10 to 90 degrees F, I observed NO statistically significant change in velocity as a function of temperature for 200 rounds. Whole test was with REM 9.5 primers. Make certain that you are getting good striking energy out of your firing pin below freezing, as the primers can get sensitive when it gets really cold. This will effect even varget.
Varget really shines in the 308 with 150 gr Nosler partitions and ballistic tips, and the 3000 fps mark can be achieved at or near full case capacity. Start at 45 grs and work up slowly. Carefully prepared cases that were neck sized with a collet die and seated to the lands shot 0.325 MOA with the BTs.
I get similar results in the 7-08, and it does well in the short bbls associated with this chambering.
The tape will not affect pressure unless it is really on there - the air in FRONT of the bullet compresses a bit if it is too tight. A better solution is the application of a finger condom over the end of the bbl. These are used by folks that flip through a lot of paper and count money, etc. Get them at Staples. You can also insult your friends by using them as gifts with warnings about VD...
No joke, though, they are a MUST when hunting with a muzzle brake in cold weather. If you get moisture or condensation in the brake and it freezes you will have a poor man's hand grenade!!
I'm using Varget for my 308 and 06. The 308 load is a R&P case with the 125 gr Nosler BT over 47 gr. I get best results with the CCI primer. I usually use Winchester primers but the CCIs make a difference in this little H&R Ultra single shot. I am going to use this gun for deer when I have a good rest and a long shot if I get a few in the freezer with the 06 and the 1894. The little 125 gr bullet does a number on head and neck shots. Drops em where they stand without having to destroy both shoulders. I don't enjoy long evenings tracking deer in the dark when I am ready for a meal and some shut eye. The gun shoots tight groups from the bench and should be good for this with a steady rest from a perminant stand.
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