When I first started reloading I was using VIHT N 135 and IMR 4064 in my 30-30. Using those powders I would be able to clean my barrel perfectly clean well under an hour.
I started trying some of Hodgdon extreme powders, first it was H 322 and now Varget. I first noticed the H322 was very hard to clean, and I mean hard to push my brush through the build-up of powder residue. I would be able to get the barrel completely clean in about an hour, but the powder would have an extreme extreme spread so I started using Varget.
Varget works wonderfully except that the barrel will not come perfectly clean now. I get patch after patch after patch of powder residue. Maybe I thought the H322 was coming clean and it wasn't.
I am using Hoppe's 9, Liquid Wrench penetrating oil, and isopropyl rubbing alcohol as powder residue solvents. I only shoot copper jacketed bullets and even with velocities above 2500fps it doesn't copper foul so I don't use any copper solvent.
Liquid wrench takes out about the same amount of dirt as the Hoppe's and the patches look about the same. The alcohol seems to get about the same but the patches look different. Here are the last ones I used of each solvent.
The first one is alcohol, the second is Hoppe's, and the third is Liquid Wrench... I am using a cotton t-shirt for patch material.
I apply with a bronze brush for all, but only let the Liquid Wrench and Hoppe's sit in the barrel for 5 to 10 minutes.
I've used only Hoppe's for quit a few of the last applications and that patch is the last one, it sat for about 5 minutes.
Could the alcohol be doing something to my barrel that I am not aware of? I just started using it as a solvent maybe 2 months before I started using Varget. I started using it for the H 322 to loosen-up the caked-on residue. I always remove it right away then apply oil when done cleaning.
I usually clean until I get a few patches that look about like that, then use Hoppe's or Liquid Wrench, then apply oil to store.
I'll clean it thoroughly about every month or 2.
Is Varget a lot dirtier than I first thought? Do I need to clean the barrel thoroughly every time?