Originally Posted by buckbrush
Holy smokes. My 22-250 gets cleaned once a year. Depending on the gopher and p-dog population, that could be well over 500 rounds. My 223 bolt gun probably gets over 1000 before it gets cleaned. I've never noticed a decrease in accuracy in either of them. Even my 243 AI probably gets to 500 before cleanings and again I can't tell that accuracy has ever tailed off. Just wondering what I'm missing...
What you are missing is the best accuracy that your rifle can do.
If you clean your rifle back to bare metal clean and shoot 3 shot groups, you will probably find
that the first shot will go left and the next 3 will group together to the right of the first shot.(The
first shot removes any solvents or oil) ,and the next 3 shots are from a lightly fouled barrel,
Keep shooting 3 shot groups until you see a deterioration in group size (It may be small but it will
tell you how many shots can be fired before accuracy drops off.
Most rifles reach this point at 7 to 9 shots but can vary based on the finish in the bore.
At this point accuracy seems to level out and will not get worse or better. This is the reason
that most people think that there rifle is fine while hunting. a good rest on a bench is realy the
only way to find how often you rifle needs cleaning(The same thing applies to load development)
I have some rifles that shoot the cold bore shot in the same spot as the next 5 or 6 rounds
And some shoot there best with a fouling shot and dry patching then the next half dozen
rounds hit the same place.
I prefer to shoot 5 shot groups to test the rifles accuracy but to check the fouling tolerance I use
3 shot groups.
To show the effect of fouling on a 5 shot group the 5th shot is normally the one to go out.
(Sometimes I think its me trying to hard not to mess up a great group).
When shooting hundreds of rounds without cleaning you are protecting your barrel with copper
fouling from ware but the throat is still eroding, so I figure I might as well get the most
accuracy while the barrel is still in good shape.
The fact that this subject is controversial I have tried both methods (Clean often, or not at all
for forty of fifty rounds) And in my opinion there is no question which method is best for accuracy
As I said all barrels are different and each person can do it however suits him best.
J E CUSTOM