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Copper Fouling in old barrel

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Unread 09-27-2013, 07:51 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 63
Copper Fouling in old barrel

Hi Guys.

I have an old barrel on my P17 25-06. The barrel looks shiny with plenty of rifling to my untrained eye. When I clean it I tend to get a lot of blue (copper fouling) on the patch. After reading that an old barrel that has not been cleaned properly for some time may have layer after layer of copper fouling I decided to see if I can clean it out. I have used Hoppes no9 to remove carbon with patches. Then a few patches of Boretech eliminator solvent and then a wire brush with more boretech solvent on it, scrubbed through the barrel a dozen times Then more clean patches until dry. Then a day later I repeat the process as a patch with solvent pushed through comes out with blue on it again. I have done this about three times now and I just finished a clean a few minutes ago. The patch after the clean with the wire brush and solvent came out really blue again. Do you think this is from the barrel fouling or the copper brush I am using. Do I carry on with this method or am I totally on the wrong track. If I put another patch through now with solvent once, it would be clean with a very light blue tinge to it. If I wire brushed it again I am sure it would come out dark blue. What do you guys reckon?
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Unread 09-27-2013, 08:25 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Dillwyn,VA
Posts: 68
Re: Copper Fouling in old barrel

The method of cleaning I use is, first I soak my wire brush in solvent then run it through the barrel 10 to 12 times. After that I use patches soaked in solvent until they come out clean. Once my solvent patches come out clean then I start dry patching until they come out the barrel dry. After that I run 1 or 2 oily patches down the barrel for storing my rifle. Just remember if you leave oil in your barrel to dry it out before you shoot or go hunting because it will throw your first shot off.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 09:57 PM
RTK RTK is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Left coast, kalifornia
Posts: 329
Re: Copper Fouling in old barrel

Land rover, if you are using a brass brush the blue will keep showing up because it is coming from the brush. Some solvents will even turn a patch color just from the brass composition of the jag. If you can't see any copper at the muzzle end I bet you are clean. Take a tooth pick and put it a little ways down the muzzle at an angle in the sun, it acts like a mirror and allows you to see much better.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 10:14 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 228
Re: Copper Fouling in old barrel

I recently used CR-10 on a barrel I was having a hard time cleaning out. Talk about making life easy.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 10:38 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 9,612
Re: Copper Fouling in old barrel

I use ProShot copper solvent and use a brass brush and jags. I swab a really soaked patch down the bore (soaked in Pro Shot) and let it sit for about 5 mins. Then I dip the brush in solvent, and run it ONCE. Then I run 1 wet patch soaked in solvent down the bore. You will see little shiny copper flakes on your patch it the barrel is fauled. Then I repeat (alternating 1 wet brush stroke, then 1 wet patch) till I see no more flakes. Then I run with the wet brush and some more solvent coated patches down it till it shows a light blueish color. Then I dry patch the barrel till it is dry, and I see only blue stripes on the patch where the ribs on the jags rubbed the rifling. Then I run a patch covered in RemOil down the bore, if I plan on letting it sit for a while. When I go to the range always fire a fauling 3 or 5 shots to see when it tightens back up. Sometimes 1 or 2 shots, sometimes 3-4. Depends on what kind of mood my rifle is in that day. LOL

Also remember with a bolt-action the bullet only travels 1 direction...Don't back-stroke the brush through the bore. That is not good for the crown. And the crown is VERY important for accuracy. If your crown even has the slightest little nick in it, have your smith re-crown it. Your accuracy should improve, provided everything else is up to snuff.
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Unread 09-28-2013, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 1,015
Re: Copper Fouling in old barrel

+1 on using a bronze brush w/copper solvent being a no no. I use Bore Tech Eliminator on a nickel jag (copper solvent doesn't degrade this type of jag). Cut patches to a size that they pass snug but not tight. 2 wet patches and wait 10 minutes and repeat as much as necessary. No benefit to leaving Eliminator soak overnight other than protecting from rust so just keep at it about every 10 minutes till the patches are clean.
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Unread 09-29-2013, 12:30 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,863
Re: Copper Fouling in old barrel

+2 on no brass/bronz brush or nylon brush with copper winding.

I just finished running 50 - 60 patches thru with copper showing on all of them. Highly unusual for a good custom bbl.

I use a plastic jag and stainless rod. The rub is the short brass collar holding the jag.

I didn't think it would have much effect.

I've been bullet testing with funky things happening. For quite a few patches it was clear that the copper was coming from the corners of the rifling in a couple of spots.

After indications of no more copper in the corners the patches were still coming out with a blue haze.

I trashed the brass collar and after about 5 more passes with Eliminator they began coming out white.

I then dry patch until dry followed by a shot of Amsoil P1. Dry patch again. Then shoot two foulers while checking zero before the hunt.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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