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Cleaning

 
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  #1  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:05 PM
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Posts: 131
Cleaning

All,
Not new to long range shooting or this thread but wanted to get people latest and greatest opinions. What are your guys take on cleaning a weapon, I've heard multiple opinions and was curious, seems like more and more people clean their rifles less and I'm curious if I should be cleaning after every outing with the rifle?

Any opinions on leaving carbon fowling inside the barrel and causing moister or rust from not cleaning?

How about any barrel coating like Dyna Bore Coat. Does the stuff work and should I still coat the barrel even though it already has 230 rounds though it already?

Please, experienced people only, guys who have proven their theories through shooting data as to whether cleaning helps or not.

Thanks,
Joden
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2014, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 3,265
Re: Cleaning

I was raised to put guns away cleaner than I pulled them.
I do this, but with an adjustment. I clean bores to white metal, dry with alcohol, and dry pre-foul with tungsten(WS2) before putting them away. This resets me to a standard that has worked well in every gun, including pistols.

My barrels are lapped, or fire-lapped to reduce copper fouling.
My bullets are coated to reduce copper fouling.
My barrels are cleaned with every single use to prevent any carbon build-up (the ultimate killer of barrel performance).
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2014, 08:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 238
Re: Cleaning

I used to think cleaning should be done every 20 rounds or so no matter how long the gun sits between shots wether it be an hour or a year. I have since come to believe that I can take a gun and shoot it one time or a 30 times in a sitting and it doesn't matter but I had better clean it before it goes in the gun safe. I have a custom 338 Norma that shoots one hole with a nightforce scope on it and I started noticing using the old cleaning method of wait till I put 20 rounds through it that my gun would slowing creep off zero. So a couple scopes and a 100 questions later I was told that I need to clean my barrel every time I'm done shooting that rifle and plan on putting up no matter how many shots I put through it. So I tried it and no more loosing zero issues. I do want to add that there are several rifles that I own that I've had for years that are hunting rifles and before I got into shooting long range were lucky to be cleaned once a year and those have never lost zero. So no I don't think it affects all rifles but I've got one that it did. So now I clean any time I'm done shooting even if I only shot once
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2014, 12:56 AM
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Location: Carrollton, Ohio
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Re: Cleaning

Quote:
Please, experienced people only, guys who have proven their theories through shooting data as to whether cleaning helps or not.
I used to clean my rifle after every time out. I shoot at least one shot a day, usually just one shot. Those loads shot wonderfully with a cold clean bore... of course I developed the loads with a clean bore; cleaning after every shot of load development.

Now, I still shoot as often, and usually take one shot; but now I clean every 200 or so shots. The precision is just as precise as with the clean bore shots... of course I developed these loads on a heavily fouled bore.

I found the everyday cleaning to be too much like work, I get the same precision with a lot less work now.

Quote:
Any opinions on leaving carbon fowling inside the barrel and causing moister or rust from not cleaning?
If I see a problem with rust or more commonly corrosion, I'll clean it before I shoot it. I've found corrosion in clean bores as well as dirty ones.

To each his own.
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Last edited by justgoto; 07-27-2014 at 12:59 AM. Reason: grammar/typos/clarity
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2014, 01:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Southern Idaho
Posts: 209
Re: Cleaning

It seems that there are 2 major camps with respect to cleaning guns, both fairly effective when it comes to accuracy. The first are the type A gun owners, who clean their weapons religiously, and thoroughly attempt to remove vile copper from the barrel and any form of carbon fouling. The other camp believes in only clearing out the copper once accuracy becomes degraded, which entails far less cleaning and far less use of solvent... These are your type B gun owners. I used to be in camp A but have since moved over to camp B. (the trees are nicer at camp B and I have more time to enjoy them because I'm not spending all my time cleaning guns).

I haven't noticed any discernible degradation with respect to accuracy either way. I think that you just have to be consistent with whatever approach you choose. If you keep moving back and forth between camp A and B, you will probably find that your bullets end up moving around more too. Just saying.

I now prefer the copper equilibrium approach... But choose the method that works best for your personality type.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2014, 02:48 AM
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Posts: 131
Re: Cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by jboscobuys View Post
It seems that there are 2 major camps with respect to cleaning guns, both fairly effective when it comes to accuracy. The first are the type A gun owners, who clean their weapons religiously, and thoroughly attempt to remove vile copper from the barrel and any form of carbon fouling. The other camp believes in only clearing out the copper once accuracy becomes degraded, which entails far less cleaning and far less use of solvent... These are your type B gun owners. I used to be in camp A but have since moved over to camp B. (the trees are nicer at camp B and I have more time to enjoy them because I'm not spending all my time cleaning guns).

I haven't noticed any discernible degradation with respect to accuracy either way. I think that you just have to be consistent with whatever approach you choose. If you keep moving back and forth between camp A and B, you will probably find that your bullets end up moving around more too. Just saying.

I now prefer the copper equilibrium approach... But choose the method that works best for your personality type.

Beginning to figure out the method that you prefer is the method that works. Best advice yet!

Thanks,
Joden
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2014, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 3,265
Re: Cleaning

You can shoot good as long as possible between cleanings(camp B).
Or, you can shoot good as long as possible between barrels(camp A).

When carbon remains for many shots it gets hammered in. This is referred to as 'hard carbon'.
It's fine for a while, fitting in nicely with all the other fouling present, and the gun still shoots good -until it doesn't. An abstract constriction eventually affects results like a switch, reaching a point of too much copper at least. Camp B goes after it then, cleaning away the loose fouling, but the hard carbon has taken hold. It isn't going anywhere so easy.
This is ok for a while, as camp B can re-foul with ~10-15 shots and with that performance comes back for another stretch. This manifests inconsistently between guns due to bullet to bore fit, which varies lots to lots with components. So camp B really needs camp B bullet/bore combinations to be successful in the long run of it.
But eventually, and this happens with every barrel if nothing else takes it out first, a hard carbon constriction switch flips. This is the point where the hard carbon has to be removed before the barrel will shoot well again, and often, by that point, removing it is too damaging to recover.
It even happens with better cleaned bores, as the carbon impinges into the lake bed cracking, lifting the surface to constriction, and then you can have panels of the lake bed braking away with shots,, or not(bad either way). Those who really like their barrels enough to get them setback, only recover ~1/2 the life again, and then ~1/2 of this on another setback, and then it's done. That's when a barrel is declared dead. It's carbon cancer.

Much of this is synonymous with the lecturing we get from our dentists..
You can go through all the efforts to keep your teeth clean, or less efforts while accepting that repairs will have to be made before long, and eventually loss of bone in the gums will run away with it. Some would argue that constant cleaning would expose teeth to the elements killing them anyway. But when the day comes that dentures are the only viable solution, we'll wonder more about it.. Camp A, or Camp B?

I'm Camp A. I know that my barrels will eventually die no matter what I do. But I'm doing my best to ensure it doesn't happen before it should. I don't allow hard carbon to build on the bore surface. That much I can control.
Someday we'll all melonite our barrels, hopefully eliminating carbon impinging. Maybe, with constant management of surface carbon, these barrels will last beyond further concern.
Camp A will benefit here, not so much for camp B.
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