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Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

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  #1  
Unread 10-30-2008, 09:34 PM
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Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

My Remington seems to shoot better and better w/ a dirty barrel. I've gone occasions of not cleaning it for 100 rounds or so, and it will group around .50 c2c at 300 yards. My Ruger will throw shots at around 10 shots; it's a 300wsm frontier rifle.
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  •   #2  
    Unread 10-30-2008, 09:52 PM
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    Re: Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

    That may be true most of the time. I have read some very good shooters proclaim that most people over clean their barrel. With my .223 through .308 no cleaning is necessary for at least 100 rounds. I have shot close to 40,000 rounds of these over the last 15 years and I have a bore scope, so I am not inexperienced. I have had one .338 RUM that required cleaning after only 20 rounds, and it was a smooth Hart barrel. I think the reason for this one was the large amount and type of powder. My theory is to routinely remove the carbon, but only periodically go back to bare metal (remove all copper).

    Then those benchrest guys clean every 10 shots and shoot little bitty bug holes! Go figure?

    Clean at whatever interval gives you confidence.
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      #3  
    Unread 10-30-2008, 10:42 PM
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    Re: Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by long450 View Post
    That may be true most of the time. I have read some very good shooters proclaim that most people over clean their barrel. With my .223 through .308 no cleaning is necessary for at least 100 rounds. I have shot close to 40,000 rounds of these over the last 15 years and I have a bore scope, so I am not inexperienced. I have had one .338 RUM that required cleaning after only 20 rounds, and it was a smooth Hart barrel. I think the reason for this one was the large amount and type of powder. My theory is to routinely remove the carbon, but only periodically go back to bare metal (remove all copper).

    Then those benchrest guys clean every 10 shots and shoot little bitty bug holes! Go figure?

    Clean at whatever interval gives you confidence.
    does cleaning have anything to do w? barrel life?
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      #4  
    Unread 10-31-2008, 02:21 AM
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    Re: Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

    I can't answer that question with any certainty, since I have not done any study to support that. I will say that improper cleaning will affect a barrels accurate life. Ding the crown and the accuracy will be impacted on a new barrel!

    All of the barrels I have had die did so because of throat wear, which is not caused from cleaning, but from shooting. Using the bore scope you can see the throat begin to crack (much like what you see as a puddle dries up and leaves mud cracked in the bottom). As the cracks get worse, they chip off and alter the pathway of the bullet or the bullet itself and impact accuracy. This condition can be overcome by setting the barrel back to get rid of the throat errosion.
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      #5  
    Unread 10-31-2008, 07:04 PM
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    Re: Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

    heck I hade a 308 that was still shooting great at 250 rounds. I told my self I would clean it when accuracy dropped off. I could not stand it at the 250 mark and broke down and cleaned.

    Another side not..I had a 7rm that shot .75moa most days, some better some worse. I then got into f-class shooting and reading about this terrible thing called copper fouling. I scrubbed that barrel tell there was no copper left. It took many days of soaking with Wipeout. I was so excited to go to the range and shoot the best groups ever! Wrong!! went to a 2 moa gun. I fought it with loads again tell one day I was so pissed I sent down roughly 20 rounds in about 30 min. Talk about hot. At about 15 the thing started grouping up. at 20-25 it was right back to a .75 moa with a smoking hot barrel. Never cleaned again and still shoots .75

    I will say from my experence, factory tubes shoot better dirty and custom shoot better clean.

    Sorry for the rambling.

    Willys46
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      #6  
    Unread 10-31-2008, 07:11 PM
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    Re: Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

    My 6.5-.284 loves to shoot dirty and hates being cleaned. I normally can go between 100-150 rounds before a cleaning, but when it needs cleaned it throws shots all over. Then once it's cleaned it takes about 10-12 rounds to get it back to shooting consitent. I've got (2) 6.5-.284's and the one I've re-barreled twice and they all act the same way. My .338-.378 will only shoot good for about 30 rounds before it goes south and needs a good cleaning. I imagine it's the difference of 53g for the 6.5 and 106g for the .338. The amount of burnt powder residue left in the barrel and the barrels interior surface finish I believe has alot to do with how long it will perform before cleaning. But then again each barrel is an individual and you must care for each individuals needs. I know my own personal guns well enough that I can tell when they need cleaned and when I can keep plugging away.
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      #7  
    Unread 11-01-2008, 11:13 AM
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    Re: Why do some rifles shoot better dirty?

    To clean or not to clean has always been a hot debate so this is just my
    opinion based on my experance.

    A fouled or seasoned barrel is normaly more consistant from group to group
    but not the size of the groups.

    A clean barrel is normaly more accurate.

    If you clean a barrel every round it will be very accurate if your loads are worked
    up for this type of cleaning.

    If you want to shoot a fouled barrel then work up your loads with the barrel
    fouled with at least 10 rounds fired through the barrel for best results.

    If you have noticed after a good cleaning the first shot hardly ever goes the same
    place as the next 3 or 4 shots.The reason is the oil / solvent is not completly
    removed and velocity is often slightly higher.

    Under most conditions a barrel will be fouled to some degree because multiple shots
    are required like in a match or just working up loads and grouping.Also when hunting
    you cant allways clean between shots.

    When I work up loads I allways clean, shoot 1 fouling shot and then shoot 3 to 5
    shots for group,velocity,sd and es. This way I have a good consistant load for the
    intended use.

    I agree with Willis 46 that most factory barrels shoot better fouled and custom barrels
    shoot better clean but there are allways exceptions.

    The quality of the barrel,the type of powder and the velocity of the bullet all contribute
    to the amount and speed that a barrel fouls so cleaning cycles can vary.

    Which ever way you you elect to clean( Frequent or not ) be consistant .

    The best groups I have ever shot have been with the ,clean and shoot one shot and clean
    before the next shot. But this is impractical so I use the method above so I have 4 or 5
    accurate shots without cleaning.

    This works for me and my type of shooting.
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