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Determine if Barrel is "Shot" . . . ?

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Unread 01-07-2013, 10:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 110
Re: Determine if Barrel is "Shot" . . . ?

Lefty swoops in to save the day again. :-)

Thank you, Sir. I'll start with Hoppe's tomorrow and let 'er soak a bit before I brush (Ne'er dry Again).

Hopefully I'll have better results.

Two more questions.

Hoppe's is pretty dark, the two liquids I have used thus far are very clear, how do you know when you are getting clean patches out of the bore while using Hoppe's?

How many times do I repeat the Hoppe's cleaning . . . and do I follow it with Sweet's or FP-10 afterwards?

Thanks, you have been very helpful. I'm really hoping I can "save" my barrel. I know it's only a factory barrel and it's used, but I don't want to just junk it. As I have said before, I'm just testing the waters with this LR stuff, I'm not ready to break the piggy bank and jump in head first with custom rig and barrel. I'd really like to reach the accuracy limit of a factory barrel to see how far I'm personally capable of shooting before I dump money into a lost cause. As I keep reading on the misleadingnet, usually the weakest link of any shooting platform is the shooter. I need to prove/disprove that before I take the plunge.

Thanks all, I appreciate it. This is going to be a LONG and expensive learning process. Wish I could skip a few steps but it's not the way of DIY. :-)
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Unread 01-07-2013, 10:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Posts: 582
Re: Determine if Barrel is "Shot" . . . ?

Originally Posted by Lefty7mmstw View Post
Now for the really funky part; some calibers like the 7rum can basically "bake in" carbon and copper fouling. Some of the milder solvents( or copper specific) are not able to get all of it out without a serious fight. If I'm not mistaken, sweets is very good at pulling copper, somewhat like barnes is. You also have to go to a carbon specific solvent like hoppes or kroil to take out the baked in carbon. It's a bit like scouring the coating off of a cast iron. Leave her soaked overnight with a creeping oil like kroil and you'll get even more out when you take a bronze brush after it again. You have a fouled barrel, and if the throat is good, it should wake up after you finally get it clean.

I never start with a dry brush(at least a bit of hoppes) as dry brushes can accelerate wear(using fouling to sand the bore) and this cal. already beats the hell out of the barrel; you don't need cleaning to add wear.
I am in agreement with Lefty, Powder solvents are the way to go. Hoppes #9 is probably the best powder solvent out there. Shooters Choice is right there too. these solvents, as long as they are ammonia free, can be left in the bore over night. I leave have to soak my 7 STW over night to get the powder out of it....

Kroil works really well too, but must be left in the bore for at least 24 hrs to creap under the fouling. After that it's easier to knock the carbon out.

this is an extreme case, so I'd also reccomend using non-embedding, J-B bore paste with a tight patch to address the carbon as well. Follow the directions very carefully and don't over use it.

When I saturate my bores for overnight soaking, I run at least 2 patches with the muzzle pointed slightly down so the solvent doesn't creap or drip back into the action and into the trigger housing. This is where gun vises or cradles are awesome.

I will also use a saturated brush for cleaning being careful while letting it exit the barrel as to not mess up the crown.

I use combination of these solvents and methods (not mixing solvents) but going back and forth between methods as necessary to get the barrel clean.

Once you get the barrel clean it will be easier to get it clean the next time if you run a pach saturated with Kroil down the bore and leave it for an hour or so, then run two dry patches to remove the excess. It will go into the "pores" of the steel and help keep the carbon fouling from sticking as much.

Hope this helps, it's what I do and works for me.

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Unread 01-08-2013, 06:41 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tucson Az
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Re: Determine if Barrel is "Shot" . . . ?

It you could get to a borescope you could find out a great deal about your barrel. My friend got one and it was a real eyeopener. After viewing many barrels and learning what each barrel required to clean it, I bought my own. It takes the mystery out of what works and what doesn't. You can spot trouble areas that accumulate more fouling than the rest of the barrel.

Example: I have a beautiful Bartlein 5R 1 in 7.5 twist 6mm-284. It was shooting very tight groups at 200 yds. One session the group size doubled. I cleaned it and it still shot poorly. My friend suggested we study the insides with his borescope. We discovered a dark residue clinging to the "corners" of the rifling 3-5" from the end of the 30" barrel. Some Iosso polishing done to just that area and it was gone. Accuracy returned.

I have a 257 weatherby chambering in a 3 groove Lilja that has 750 rounds through it. The throat and 8 inches past it are horribly cracked like a dried up clay pond. It looks like it should be replaced but with proper cleaning and lots of soaking with Bore Tech Eliminator it cleans up and still shoots under 1/2 MOA. If I didn't have a way to confirm the bore was clean I might have condemned this barrel and replaced it.

In addition to verifying the bore is clean you can inspect to see if there are any anomolies in the rifling, chambering or crown.

Without seeing you can only guess as to the condition of a barrel.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4,242
Re: Determine if Barrel is "Shot" . . . ?

AZshooter has a point on the borescope. I've got good eyes and will look for what I can see in a barrel, but you can't really see as well as you should without a borescope. A local gunsmith may scope it if no one you know has one.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 12:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The cold part of Montana
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Re: Determine if Barrel is "Shot" . . . ?

Originally Posted by barnesuser28 View Post
Boretech Eliminator!!

Boretech Eliminator!!

Boretech Eliminator!!

Boretech Eliminator!!

best i have found for removing carbon and copper.
yup what Riley said CU+2.

Scrub llet set for 1/2hr dry patch, scrub let set for 1/2hr dry patch. repeat a few times till color is gone. You need to use nylon brushes with this stuff as it eats brass/bronze in short order.
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

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