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Reloading complications

 
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2001, 12:19 AM
 
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Re: Reloading complications

Gents,
A friend and I worked up a bunch of absolutely perfect loads of various OALs over the weekend and headed for the range with them Monday. We found that the ole' Longbow really likes having the bullet right on the lands and charged for maximum velocity and really hates about everything else! We shot three, 3-round groups at 104 yards with the load resting right on the lands. They measured 0.277", 0.873", and 0.375", respectively. All other loads wouldn't even shoot under 1.5"!

If any of you are interested, the recipe for the winning load used a 250-grain Scenar HPBT, 89.5 grains of Vitha Vouri N560, and a Federal Gold Match primer. I forget what the average velocities were, but the damn thing was really smokin'! We saw them running from 3048 up to 3080 fps! of course, the barrel is 28".

Despite all this wonderful news, there are new problems looming on the horizon. We put a bore scope down the barrel and found an unbelievable amount of copper buildup in the bore. Everyone was incredulous that it shot so well looking like it did. And obviously, I was upset because my cleaning methods aren't working (i.e. Shooter's Choice followed by Sweets followed by JB Paste every 20 rounds). I guess it's that damn patented Lothar Walther stainless steel.

Nobody 'round here thinks it'll be shooting well for too much longer if this copper buildup continues. What am I gonna do, guys, short of getting the thing re-barreled? Or should I even worry about it until the accuracy does go south?

Regards,
David [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]
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  #9  
Old 05-16-2001, 06:49 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Arco, ID 83213
Posts: 80
Re: Reloading complications

David,

I hope you don't take this in the wrong way, but you've made a couple of huge jumps in logic and I need to back you up a little.

First, there is no one way to correctly clean a rifle. Different types of fouling, with different bullets and barrels, will require adjusting your cleaning methods. Make sure that when you clean your barrel it ends up clean. Check it after each sequence. Adjust for what seems to be working. I could, and many others reading this could, write at great lengths about cleaning a barrel, but some of this will have to be learned through experience.

Second, assuming that you have the perfect handloads, before you have shot them is fairly presumptive. From the results that you have listed your rifle may have a definite preference for a controlled start pressure, but there is more than one way to do this. Seating the bullets at the lands is just one way. By the way, where those three groups that you listed occurred in the sequence relative to when you last cleaned your rifle is fairly important.

Lastly, do not assume that heavy fouling and a high pressure/high velocity load are unrelated.
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2001, 09:33 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Reloading complications

David,
Warren hit it on the head - there is no single, standard method to clean barrels. Some clean up much easier than others, some are a bitch. Bottom line is if you take the time to let the chemicals do their job the copper will be removed. I would be very interested to hear any tips or barrel cleaning suggestions from the guys re: cleaning barrels that foul or are fouled. Anybody use the Outers Foul-Out electric gizzmo? What are your opinions of JB?

We frequently find that the higher velocity bullets tend to copper foul more - seems to be a price one pays. Also it seems that some barrels just don't foul like others, from the same maker, same ammo - perhaps a function of smoothness? Any comments re: some brands of bullets fouling barrels more than other brands of bullets.

Oops, this is off the bullet performance at 400 yards topic...
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  #11  
Old 05-16-2001, 09:33 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Reloading complications

David,
Warren hit it on the head - there is no single, standard method to clean barrels. Some clean up much easier than others, some are a bitch. Bottom line is if you take the time to let the chemicals do their job the copper will be removed. I would be very interested to hear any tips or barrel cleaning suggestions from the guys re: cleaning barrels that foul or are fouled. Anybody use the Outers Foul-Out electric gizzmo? What are your opinions of JB?

We frequently find that the higher velocity bullets tend to copper foul more - seems to be a price one pays. Also it seems that some barrels just don't foul like others, from the same maker, same ammo - perhaps a function of smoothness? Any comments re: some brands of bullets fouling barrels more than other brands of bullets.

Oops, this is off the bullet performance at 400 yards topic...
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2001, 09:37 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Reloading complications

Sorry about the double entry, and this is off the reloading topic not the 400 yd....
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2001, 02:32 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Reloading complications

Warren & Ian,
Those 3/3 series we shot all followed the same heavy cleaning. In other words, we cleaned the **** out of the barrel before firing the first 3/3 series, cleaned it again and shot the next 3/3 with another load, cleaned it again and went again, and so on . . .

Here's one big mistake I think I'm making with cleaning. Often, I take nothing to the range but the rifle, twenty rounds of ammo, a spotter scope and a shooting mat. I like to simply drive down range, post the target, drive back to the firing line, get out, throw everything on the grass and start shooting. When I'm done and while the barrel is still warm, I fail to clean it. I just gather everything up, throw it back in the car and head for the house. The rifle then gets cleaned hours later or often not even until the next day! This, I understand, is a big mistake.

Come back,
David
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2001, 04:37 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Reloading complications

David,
We always take a complete cleaning kit, with a rifle holder, rods, bore guides, spare brushes, jags, grease for lugs, cleaning brushes, chamber mop, lug recess cleaning tool, solvents and oils, Q-tips, screw-driver set, patches etc. each time we shoot - doesn't matter if it is to the range, varminting or whatever.

Once you get into the habit it is much better than cleaning at home. Since we usually shoot more than one rifle we give a hot barrel a break by cleaning and letting it sit with solvent in it for a while. If there is no time at the end of shooting we just push some solvent soaked patches through to start getting at the carbon and then finish the job at home.

Worst thing you can do is put it off. My shooting partner is a cleaning fanatic and it rubbed off on me - never used to clean barrels like I do now. How often - we don't like to go more than two boxes - 40 rounds without a cleaning. Sometimes less if the barrel needs it. Sometimes a lot more if the shooting is really good.
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