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I found the necessity in firing 3-5 shots of a different brand or type of outside-lubricated .22 rimfire ammo was necessary to give the most accurate results using 5 shot groups at 50 yards. However, read the "full story" (below).

Since I rarely ever clean the bore on my .22 rimfire rifles because each shot literally "cleans" the bore when fired, this post is ONLY about rimfire ammo and outside lubricated bullets as is the vast majority of rimfire ammo.

I purchased a new CZ453 (basically a 452 with a factory-installed single set trigger) "Varmint" model .22 rimfire rifle some years ago and decided I wanted to find "THE" most accurate .22 rimfire ammo to "feed" it.

I had my gunsmith pilar-bed the 2 receiver screws, glass-bed the action and re-float the heavy barrel in hopes I would achieve maximum accuracy with the rifle.

With that goal in mind, I proceeded to buy 32 different brands/types of .22 rimfire ammo and went to my club's rifle 50 yard rifle range and began the task of carefully testing each box of .22 rimfire ammo... using a solid bench-rest with sandbag support, a 4-12x40mm A/O (Adjustable Objective turret) good quality scope set on 12x and adjusted with the A/O adjusted for 50 yards which eliminated any parallax.

To get to the point... I found that after firing brand "A" ammo, I had to fire at least 3 to 5 "clearing" shots of brand "B" .22 rimfire ammo I was about to shoot in order to achieve THE most accurate shots from the new box of ammo and different brand of ammo before the shots "settled down" and gave me the most accuracy the ammo was capable of giving.

After some pondering, I believe I've finally figured out what caused this phenomenon... it was the kind/type of outside lubrication on the bullet itself that coated the rifle's bore and had to be "replaced" by the new bullet's lub before maximum accuracy could be attained. While some brands or types of rounds didn't require as many "cleaning shots" as others, some rounds did.

As an example, the heavy, greasy lubrication I found on the CCI standard velocity .22 rimfire long-rifle rounds was the most difficult to remove from the rifle's bore... and took all of the 5 "cleaning" shots of the next brand of cartridges before the accuracy came completely back using the new box of cartridges.

While this procedure was necessary on the outside lubricated .22 rimfire ammo in my tests to get THE most accurate 5-shot groups, I don't really know if it would be necessary for non-lubricated, center-fire bullets.

Jus' my 2¢... :)


Strength & Honor...

Ron T.
 

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If the barrel is clean-- really, really clean-- then you may need to shoot 4-6 rounds before the bore becomes consistent enough to shoot groups. Experiment and record the data for reference.
I have to shoot about six rounds in slow-fire mode to get my big rifle to tighten up. Then I let it cool. The fouling load is just some oddball thing I pulled out of the air-- usually around sixty grains of powder appropriate for the case volume and bullet mass. I'm after a fouled barrel, not a quarter-inch group from hunting bullets and loads that may vary by a grain or two...
 

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I shot IHMSA with all manner of single shots and revolvers. Lived in the city and had moisture problems that led me to clean guns. Never could shoot a fouling shot before a match so I would miss the first chicken with a clean gun, any gun.
I found it only took one shot.
Now I hardly clean and some of my revolvers have not had the bores touched in 3 years, just the cylinders and pin are cleaned, pin and ratchet lubed with STP.
I have gone so long that I was having trouble loading the rounds from muck and lube in the chambers so had to clean the cylinder.
I never hunt with a clean gun.
I bed actions and float all rifle barrels.
 

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Back in the mid 80's I bought a used Rem. Sportsman 78. I shot it several years just cleaning with a patch and solvent. It may have had a brush run through 1-2 times a year. Then everybody started talking about copper build up and I had been shooting the early Barnes bullets, so I de-coppered my barrel good. My groups went from less than 1 inch to what looked like a shotgun pattern. I had to put 30+ rounds through before it came back; not as good as it was. Apparently the barrel is held together with lead and copper. It's now the one I usually loan out. It still shoots b etter than some. I went back to my original cleaning regiment on that one. Paul
 

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Last year I tried something I read about on the internet. I took my two favorite rifles to the range at 8:00 a.m. I had planned to shoot the same targets five days in a row, but it rained after the third day. One of the rifles is a free-floated Savage Mark II .22LR. The other is a non-floated''Rossi brand Win '92 replica in .357 Magnum.
Here's what I did. I put out one target out for the .22 and another for the .357. I believe they were at the 50 yard berm. I fired one fouling shot from each rifle and waited a few minutes, maybe 5 minutes. Then I took one shot from each rifle at its respective target. Then I took the targets in, labeled them, and took them home. The next day I went to the range again at 8:00 a.m. and did it all over again, just like the day before. The weather conditions were the same as the day before. I again took a fouling shot from each rife, then took a "real" shot at the same targets I had used the day before. The third day I did the same thing.
The results were good. I ended up with the best three-shot groups I had ever shot from those rifles. In addition to the same weather conditions and the same barrel temperature, Other factors may have been the fact that I was fresh, and the pressure of focussing on one single shot.
This year I tried something different. I fired one fouling shot and the "real" shot at the same target (from each rifle). My Savage .22 fired the fouling shot about 1/4" up and left. I don't remember where the fouling shot went on the .357, but the two shots did not go through the same hole. I fired more shots for groups from each gun, and they were pretty good, but not as good as the one-a-day groups.
Does that prove anything? I'm not sure, but it builds my confidence in my "zero" for hunting, when I do the one-a-day thing.
 

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I have a browning short trac .308 that has the same issue. I haven't tried to float the barrel yet, but I'm ready to try it. Has anyone done this to a bar?
 

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A lot of interesting stories. :)

From my own shooting experience and watching very many excellent and skilled shooters the 1 st shot after cleaning is always off a little bit, but hardly enough to warrant shooting a fouling round, how ever I do like almost everyone else.

My old Remington 700/.243 about 20 years ago Its a heavy varmint barrel and stock. I think it weighs over maybe 12 #s, w/scope.. It always shot a little bit off on the first shot.
 

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Always shoot a 5 shot group just prior to the hunt to assure zero, then don't clean the bore until after the hunt.

In between target sessions during the year, will scrub the bores bright clean with no trace of carbon/copper fouling left. Very lightly oil the bore and wipe the outside down with silicone cloth. Prior to range time, will run a dry patch and then shoot to see where first shot lands. Usually, right in the middle of the remaining 4 shots for that group.
+1 Clean after every range session, fire 1 fouling shot day before hunting season. Thorough clean,ing after season. Only exception is if hunting in rain then thorough cleaning followed by fouling shot.
 
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