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This has always been a bone of contention with shooters. While we all should suspect a barrel's sudden falloff of accuracy to quite possibly point to it's needing to get a thorough cleaning.
Unless that's the case I'm not at all convinced a barrel needs to be cleaned after every range session or after "X" amount of rounds.

I can recall a post on this forum by a long time member here who thought he saw some evidence of copper fouling in one of his rifles. So, he proceeded to do a very thorough cleaning on that barrel.

His next trip to the range, the rifle shot much worse that it had prior to the thorough cleaning. He fired over a box of shells (best I recall) through it before accuracy even approached what it was prior to the cleaning.

A second small point that I'd like to put forward is that I'd think it downright foolish to spend an afternoon at the range precisely sighting in a rifle to hunt with and follow that sight-in with a thorough cleaning at home that night prior to their hunt.

Looking through a barrel can typically tell you if that bore is fouled. I've purchased rifles with badly fouled barrels that actually scared me once I saw it. I'll also say that a few pulls thru of the proper sized bore snake left them bright and shiny. And yes, this includes greenish copper fouling. To me, this is a very non intrusive method to clear such fouling.

Again this discussion ranks up there with Keith V O'Connor, .270 V 06, and scope V irons. I doubt any long-time shooter reading this thread will have an epiphany. But I do know of a couple of very expert gun folks who believe, as I do; when it comes to hard core cleaning of a rifle's barrel less is better.
 
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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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It is easy enough to determine if one's cleaning regimen will alter the zero on the first shot from a cold barrel. Test it! If your cleaning method does not impact first shot zero from a cold barrel, then it doesn't hurt to clean a hunting rifle. If it does - then that is something to be aware of (because there is always the possibility of having to clean a rifle on a hunt, due to rain, etc.). And the shooter will not know, till they test it.

If someone is shooting in competition, then there is value in knowing whether there is any specific number of 'fouling' shots to reach peak accuracy, and how long that accuracy can be maintained, before it degrades to the point the cycle must be repeated. Again.... test it! Take notes and you'll have the answer for YOUR rifle, for YOUR purposes.

Greenish-copper is an oxide, and much more easily removed than copper that is not oxidized. If there's copper that is not oxidized, then the bore snake will likely not touch it... absent a copper solvent. But whether or not copper in the barrel is a problem..... won't be known till the rifle is tested, both before using a quality copper solvent and getting down to bare metal, vs. after.

Picking up on a theme? ;) There is no universal answer, as far as I can tell.
 

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Anyone familiar with Pro Shot Copper solvent? I have some Sweets and another brand that I promptly broke the bottle on. I've switched to nylon brushes, but was curious about the Pro Shot.

Thanks in advance.
 
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