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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I have been shooting various Nosler bullets in three of my rifles since this spring. The three rifles are:

.243 with SS Hart Barrel shooting Nosler 95 gr BT @ about 2950 fps using IMR 4831
7mm Mag, Douglas premium CM barrel W/ 160 gr Nosler Accubonds @ about 2850 fps IMR 4350
.220 Swift Adams & Bennet CM barrel, Nosler 40 gr BT, about 3750 fps with IMR 4895

Now, The Stainless .243 shooting the 95 gr BT's doesn't seem to be fouling at all, but the other two are fouling like crazy. I was thinking maybe it was the barrel, but the Douglas is almost as nice as the Hart barrel other than the material, and the A&B barrel..... well it is what it is....

So I was wondering, ya think it is my barrels or the bullets? I have not tried any other bullets in the two fouling barrels, but was going to try some 55 gr Sierra Blitzkings in the .220.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Would suspect the barrels, not the bullets.

Your Hart barrel was most probably hand lapped prior to shipping. More likely than not, the other two were not. It usually takes burning some bullets through the standard bores (not lapped) to smooth all the burrs and mill markings. If you want to try it, order a couple of lapping kits from Beartooth Bullets, follow instructions and you'll clean up those bores with little effort.
 

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That's the problem. Your two less expensive CM barrels have lots more toolmarks and bore roughness.

The firelapping kits will make them as good as the Hart. Short of that, you can try a break-in. There are lots of recipe's for that, but I've narrowed it down to firing 20 shots and cleaning with JB Bore compound or Iosso Bore Cleaner for 20 strokes followed by a dry patch between each shot.

Those bore cleaners remove the soft jacket fouling with a mild abrasive kind of like Soft Scrub (which could be used, I suppose, but then you have soap and lemon scent added into the mix, so water rinse follow-up would be required). The abrasive polishes the bore as well as cleaning the copper off. That seems to do about as much as can be done short of either hand lapping or firelapping with one of Marshall's kits.

I recommend you try Boretech Eliminator as your bore cleaner. It removes copper aggressively.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After spending the past couple hours looking this up and reading up on copper fouling I'll have to agree with you guys. I have been using Butches Bore Shine and have been getting quite a bit of the copper out, but still have some stubborn copper in there. I might have to get some JB and try that break in. If that does not work, I'll go to the lapping.

I have thought about fire lapping but have never done it. I was thinking with the A&B barrel I might try hand lapping it. The reason I used this barrel in the first place was to try it out and see how a cheap barrel could shoot. I figure if I get success with lapping this barrel, I could go to my Douglas and lap it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe I am just spoiled from my Hart barrel. Both of them are fouled more than I would like them to be, and I would say more than they should be in general. Enough to where it's a pain to clean. I have read that quite a few guys are having good luck using Wipe-out for copper removal, but I would like to skip the removal step all together. My Hart barrel only takes a quick brushing a wet patch and a couple drying patches and it's clean. I spent about an hour working on the .220 barrel tonight and it's still got copper in it.

The 7mm my best group to date is a 5 shot 0.378" group. My .220 is brand new with 35 rounds down the tube and a quick 5 shot test group with this was 0.6" something.

I'm not so concerned with the accuracy aspect of this right now, but more so the cleaning and I don't want a bunch of copper sitting in my barrels.

On a side note, My current custom project, that will be a .308 Norma, is being done with a new Hart Barrel. :)
 

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An hour? That's good compared to some barrels. My old DCM Garand took four or five hours to clean using Sweets 7.62 (stronger ammonia cleaner than Butches), plus and overnight soak. Accuracy would begin to deteriorate seriously at 40 rounds. I consider that deterioration a good indicator of serious fouling build-up. Some barrels can foul that badly in just 20 rounds.

I should add that with break-in, I also usually precede and follow the use of abrasive cleaner with a couple of patches of a copper removing cleaner that turns color, so I can get an indication of whether or not any copper is still there? Currently, I like Boretech Eliminator for that as it turns blue as fast as you can push it through a bore. It has no ammonia in it at all. I have to use a plastic jag with it as a brass jag makes it blue before it can get down the barrel. Another board member recommended the nickel-plated jags sold by Midway for that purpose. In each case the first patch just gets grime out of the way, while the second serves as the clear color indicator. This proves that the abrasive cleaner has done its job. I used to use Butches Bore Shine, and Shooter's Choice before Butches and Sweets when Shooter's Choice didn't seem up to it. KG12 may be the best copper cleaner, but it doesn't turn blue or green. Wipe-out has an optional accelerator that may achieve the same thing, but that's too much trouble to haul two solutions to the range. All the chemical cleaners take time to act. Same with an electrolytic cleaner like the Foul Out. They work well, but at the range you usually want to get it over with in few minutes, so the abrasive polishing cleaners make the most sense for getting the job done there so you can shoot again.

The way I use the abrasive cleaners is to take an undersize bore brush (like a .270 brush for the .308 bores) and wrap two patches around them, then smear the outer patch with the abrasive compound. Ever since Merrill Martin published that he could see even bronze brush marks in bores, I have used Hoppe's Nylon brushes for this. I push the abrasive loaded cleaning patch into the gun and work it back and forth. Anymore, I will usually use a few short strokes near the chamber at the beginning, since the most copper fouling usually builds up in the first couple of inches inf front of the throat. I then expand the strokes into the rest of the bore.

By way of "measurement", when I firelapped the bore of that old Garand (about 16 years ago) I was then using the NECO kit and jacketed bullets pulled from M2 ball. Those bullets have a crimp indentation in their middle so they only contact the bore in a couple of rings fore and aft of the center of the bearing surface. That thin contact area fills the grooves quite well, unlike a long bullet bearing surface which tends to fail to fill the bottom corners of the lands at low pressure. 8 grains of Unique was the charge. The NECO system has you shoot 5 then clean and slug the bore to check progress.

I did the cleaning with the patched brush and Iosso Bore Cleaner, which is a white mild abrasive paste. Since the Garand cannot be cleaned from the breech end, I used a muzzle bore guide, inserted the cleaning rod and until the brush protruded at the breech, then wrapped the patches and smeared the cleaning paste onto it by turning the rod. The first cleaning after the first five firelapping shots consisted of two patches of Shooter's Choice, the first to remove carbon, and the second as a color indicator to see if there was copper there? I ran one patched brush and Iosso paste for 20 strokes and put two more Shooter's Choice patches through, the first to clean the paste out and the second to check the color. Still green. 20 more strokes with new patches and paste on the brush. Two more Shooter's Choice patches. Still green. 20 more strokes with new patches and paste on the brush. Two more Shooter's Choice patches. Finally, no green. All that just for five very low pressure shots.

As the firelapping progressed, the Shooter's Choice revealed less and less green. By the time I got near the end of the process, I was running just one patched brush through and seeing no copper signs on the follow-up Shooter's Choice patches. So, after the final five polishing shots, I ran just one set of patches only 10 strokes and found it had completely removed any sign of the copper. That's why I say firelapping made the bore roughly six times easier to clean. It's not a precise measurement, but provides a feel for the process's effect.

When you do the break-in, you may want to add the color indicating patches? If you don't get all the copper out between shots, you have not laid bare the rough spots for the next shot to help burnish down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. Unless I'm cleaning a sewer pipe Mosin, I don't want to spend and hour or two cleaning a barrel every time i shoot it. Most of my other barrels clean up within ten minutes. The butches for me does a fairly good job of turning blue with the copper. I cleaned my Remington Model 30 barrel the other day and it came out greenish blue..... after I ran some Hoppes Elite through there to get the powder fouling out. :)

I did spend another 1/2 hour or so last night getting the .220 barrel clean. The 7mm barrel cleans up much easier with the Butches.... I was using only Hoppes Elite in the past. It too shows blue with copper, but not as good. I also ran a couple patches of Remington 40X cleaner through there and that seemed to help remove most of the stubborn copper. However I only ran it through there about 10 times total. I figure this gritty cleaner must help a little smooth things out!

Do you think I'll gain anything from hand lapping the .220 barrel over fire lapping?
 
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