I just cleaned my 300 WSM long range rifle after doing some shooting for data in preparing for an up coming F class match. I had fired 47 rounds today on a clean barrel. When I cleaned the rifle I got a cosiderable amount of copper fouling out of the throat of the rifle. I had never encountered this before with. The barrel is a stainless steel Lilja 1 in 11 twist and the log book tells that including the rounds fired today I have 981 rounds through the tube. Could this fouling be signs of the throat being etched and nearing replacement of the barrel? The accuracy was there and the fouling was not sever enough for the accuacy to leave but it had never did that before. And ideas or thoughts on this? Would polishing the throat area with something like Flitz or J.B. Brite Bore help any? Sure would hate to think this barrel is nearing the end after so few amount of rounds!
was this a lot of bullets you have used before? it almost sounds like the jackert were softer than normal and may have been stripping more going into the rifling.
just a thought. probably off base though
It is the same box of 500 that I have been shooting out of, along with the same lot of powder. Appreciate the response though. I am using N550 and have for 90% of the rounds fired through this barrel. Since I found this load that works so well for me, I have heard that double base powders reduce barrel life by about 25% according to several of the major barrel makers. I have to wonder if it isn't showing up in my barrel.
I wouldn't worry too much about it, you said accuracy was still plenty fine right? 4mesh has been telling me lately about his take on "so called" worn out barrels, think "fine wine", that's been his findings. With all the talk about short throat life and such on overbore cases, I've been all ears for a while now too. The 6.5 WSM, 30/338 Lapua Imp and so on...
I'd use some JB on it and keep shooting it, according to 4mesh, it should just be starting to shoot good about now and only gets better. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I use JB frequently, almost every cleaning, the throat on my 300 Ultra is a little rough, but it still shoots great. I can't see where the copper is accumulating the most, no bore scope. How can you tell yours is coppering worse in the throat area than the rest of the bore?
The 30/338 LI that's getting done right now is using a 11 twist 3 groove Lilja too. When it stops shooting great, assuming it will [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img], *then* I'll start worrying about rebarreling, if in fact that's even the problem.
Brent, thanks for the reply. Accuracy is not an issue right now. It seems to be shooting as well as it ever did. How did I determine the copper was coming from the throat area, well not with a bore scope. Can't afford one of those right now, maybe some day. When I had ran several wet patches and dry patches through the bore, it seemed like it felt a little rough in the throat, so I took the rifle out the cleaning rack and looked down the muzzle with a flash light and saw no copper anywhere. But since from the muzzle end you really can't see very much of the barrel, and with my old eyes I really can't see much from the breach end. I know I saw no copper in last 6" of the muzzle end so I soaked a patch in CR-10 and wetted the throat area and the first 6 to 10" of the barrel. Let it set for 15 minutes and wiped it out with a dry patch, and got a lot color on the patch. Did that three times before it came out clean. Then I did the same thing to the remainder of the barrel and got no copper so that is how I came to the conclusion it was in the throat area. I don't know if that makes sense or not but that is what I did. Again thanks for the reply.
sounds like a buildup of both carbon and copper in first 1-4" of barrel which is not uncommon. I normally use a JB on wrap around patch whenever I feel it stating to build up and that takes care of the problem.
Makes sense. I do like BH does with the wrap around patch with JB, spending a little more time in the throat area while cleaning. Mine's a lttle rough there starting out and when it smoothes up and doesn't drag anymore, that's about when the copper disappears where I can see it at the muzzle end.
I usually go a little beyond what it takes to get rid of ALL the copper at the muzzle end, I found that's about what it would take to get out the slightly heavier build up at the breach end where I can't see it.
JB seems to work better for the main cleaning of carbon and copper than anything else I've ever used, so it's kind of replaced Sweets after I get the powder fouling cleaned up with solvent.