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Effective Rifle Cleaning

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Unread 10-15-2010, 08:22 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewiston, Idaho
Posts: 99
Effective Rifle Cleaning

Alright I have been reading up a lot on barrel cleaning lately trying to pick up on what a good cleaning regiment would be. I have a fairly good knowledge of barrel cleaning now, and am just wanting to learn some alternative routines that people are having good luck with. So lets hear what procedure you go through when cleaning your rifle.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 09:05 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Federal Way, WA
Posts: 204
Re: Effective Rifle Cleaning

I'll kick off I guess.

I've had great luck with stripping the rifle down and then hitting the bore with foaming bore cleaner. I let that sit for about 20 min while I clean the bolt and trigger.

Most of the time I just scrub the bolt with a toothbrush and Hoppe's. Once or twice a year I take the bolt all the way apart and scrub and oil the whole thing. Trigger just gets brushed really well with a dry brush and then just a drop of RemOil on the pins (none on any of the bearing surfaces though!)

By then the foam has dissipated and I scrub a couple times with a bronze brush then use patches. If it's still dirty in there I repeat with the foam. If it's good, I run a patch soaked with RemOil down, let it sit for about a minute and then run a dry patch down.

I finish by putting some Gunslick graphite lube on the caming surfaces of the bolt and then slap it all back together.

That's my Sunday
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Unread 10-17-2010, 10:41 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 478
Re: Effective Rifle Cleaning

Since I've had access to a Hawkeye borescope about any time I want it I've found that most cleaning routines aren't nearly as good as some folks think. My buddy was over here a few days ago to break in the new Shilen barrel he had installed on his Kimber 84M. He proudly pointed to white patches after a five minute soak with BoreTech carbon remover followed by dry patching then a 5 minute soak with BoreTech copper remover, patching it dry, and pronounced it clean. He was convinced that the white patch was proof that it was clean.


So I stuck the bore scope in the throat and just beyond. He was shocked at how much carbon and copper was clearly visible in the throat and the next couple of inches. The bore near the muzzle was pristinely clean, but the throat, the most important place to get clean during breakin, wasn't. And this was after exactly one (1) round.

The bottom line is that if you are serious about what it takes to clean your rifles, and it will vary from rifle to rifle and bullet to bullet, the way to learn it involves inspecting it with a borescope to find out what actually works because that's the only way to know when it is clean. Everything else is just guessing.

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." R. Feynman. (Last sentence of the Feynman appendix to the Space Shuttle Challenger Report.)
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Unread 10-17-2010, 11:54 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Salmon, Idaho
Posts: 392
Re: Effective Rifle Cleaning

I start with a foaming bore cleaner and a good long soak of 30 minutes. Then I dry patch that out followed by 6 or so patches soaked in a homemade concoction of aqueous ammonia and lanolin. I can hear some of you cringing but I don't leave it in the bore long term, after a short soak of 5 minutes I do 25-50 strokes with a bronze brush and more dry patches. At this point the bore is pretty well clean but I run a patch wet with my super secret sauce through the bore, if it comes out clean I'll run some dry patches followed by Kroil soaked patches down the bore to finish it, but if it comes out with traces of blue I'll repeat my 6 soaked patches and a 5 minute soak followed by dry patches and another test patch until everything comes out clean. I always finish by making sure to run dry patches through until they come out dry with no traces of secret sauce and then finish with a light coat of Kroil.
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