Re: To Clean or not to Clean
There will always be many opinions on the amount of cleaning necessary so you can expect different replies.
I am one of the clean freaks and believe in keeping a barrel clean when possible, all the time.
For load development, I clean every time I change loads (Bullets, powder, cases, primers) to level the playing field. It shows any changes in performance that would otherwise be masked by fouling.
Long ago I did a 50 shot test with different loads of known performance,without cleaning. after the first 8 to 10 shots they all grouped about the same and it was hard to tell any difference.
I do have a few rifles that need a fouling shot to settle down and group like they should and be on
for a cold bore shot. These rifles I clean, shoot a fouling shot , dry patch to remove powder residue
and I am ready to go hunting. They will normally shoot there best up to 7 to 10 rounds before they start fouling and lose accuracy. NOTE: like most rifles/barrel that shoot good they will degrade down to a very decent group size and stay there for many more shots.
Some people are happy with this accuracy level and rightly so If it is around 1/2 MOA, but once I know the best the rifle can do is under 1/10 MOA, it is hard to settle for less.
I recommend that a shooter do a test with his best load. clean the rifle barrel to remove any fouling.
then start shooting 5 shot groups @ 100 yards (This minimizes shooter error) and keep track of each shot and see the point there accuracy degrades and at what level it settles in.
This way you will know if a fouling shot is necessary and at what round count the barrel starts fouling enough to effect accuracy beyond a level of accuracy you can live with.
J E CUSTOM