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When to Clean

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Unread 08-14-2013, 11:26 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: utah
Posts: 12
When to Clean

At what point or shot count do u clean bore.

Also do u clean to bare metal with a brush or just soak with a copper remover and run patches.

I have been stripping to Bare metal about every 30 to 50 shots with Montana Extreme copper killer, nylon brush, dewey rods, and bore guides. Then running patch of Bore Conditioner. I read an article on 6.5 x 284 where the guy was shooting matches and winning with almost 200 rounds without cleaning, and got thinking I may be over cleaning!
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Unread 08-15-2013, 05:54 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 3,664
Re: When to Clean

I think it depends on the particular rifle. I'll always try to find out how many shots I get before accuracy falls off. For my hunting rifles, I use just about the same solvents, cleaning procedure, and shot count that you use. Unless the rifle is subjected to rain or moisture ect., this gets me through a particular hunt, or sometimes the season. I confirm that my hunting rifle can go at least 50 rounds without cleaning and hold it's accuracy. I suspect that could go higher, particularly with my R5 barrels. This is more a function of factors other than worrying about overcleaning, which I have not found to be a problem if done properly. My competition rifles are tested for much higher shot counts and I generally go 150-200 rounds between cleanings. This is done more for convenience, cost, and time saving. I have found that it generally takes 4-10 shots to stabilize my velocity and accuracy with a clean barrel. IMHO.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
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Unread 08-15-2013, 06:57 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 519
Re: When to Clean

Noob question here. When you refer to cleaning are you talking about copper cleaning powder cleaning or just using a CLP? How often for each?
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Unread 08-15-2013, 07:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,222
Re: When to Clean

My bullets are tungsten coated and I can go many rounds between cleaning.
But I was taught to put away a gun cleaner than pulled, so I clean after every use(range/hunting trip).
I doubt there is any issue with this provided you clean in a manner that does not damage anything. And I just don't think it's a good idea to store fouled weapons. Especially HUNTING weapons.

To eliminate the 'settling in' from clean, I dry prefoul the bore before putting the gun back. When I pull the gun again, 1st cold bore shot for me is as good as any to follow.
I count on this as it might be the only shot I take/need, before cleaning, prefouling, and returned ready in the safe.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:02 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: When to Clean

For me the answer is situational. I generally believe in not cleaning until accuracy drops off. That said, if my barrel has about a 50 shot accuracy string before falling off and I come back from shooting with a 40 round count since last shooting, I will probably give it a cleaning before going out again.

For load development, I have found it's a good idea to clean between using different bullets and I've read that different powders can affect results as well.

For hunting, I clean, then foul and check for zero and leave it alone.

I've used Montana Xtreme 50 BMG and I found Bore Tech Eliminator to be a better copper remover. when the Montana Extreme was showing clean patches the Bore Tech got more copper out. I've also used Montana Xtreme Copper Cream and it will get powder out a little better than BTE but I seldom use it because it's a mild abrasive. I typically use it in conjunction with break-in.

For load development, I clean to bare metal. Once I have a pet load I might leave a tad bit of copper and powder in the bore.
- Mark

You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it.
~ John Quincy Adams
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