Fouling and Accuracy

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by tentman, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. tentman

    tentman Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Gidday Guys

    I have a new Douglas Premium barrel (chambered in 6.5-06 on an Argie Mauser) that shoots 2 - 4 inch groups at 100. I have done a lot of work with this rifle to identify and eliminate possible causes of poor accuracy including scope/mounts, bedding, load development and crown etc.

    At a loss of what next to do I cleaned it and 2 other rifles that have had roughly the same number of rounds through them, all less than 200 with Sweets. The patches from the other two (a Lothar Walther and a Kreiger) were a completely different colour to the very dark patches from the Douglas – this barrel produces a lot of copper. The Douglas also took several “dry” patches to clean up, the others only one.

    Is there a way of establishing if the fouling and accuracy problems are linked ?

    What, if anything, to do about the fouling ??

    Thanks

    Foster
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,637
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    She sounds like she is full of copper to me. Have you been using solid copper bullets?

    I will be the first to recommend you do a thorough cleaning with either BoreTech Eliminator or BoreTech CU+2.

    And, no, a substitute cleaner will not be as good.

    Jeff

    Ps: after you finally get all the copper off the rough spots, the next bullets can then start to smooth things out. It will take time but it will improve with good cleanings and round count. Cleaning will become much easier as well.
     

  3. tentman

    tentman Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    I've been using mainly Swift Gii's with a few Hornady SST's. If I reclean with Sweets (a specific ammonia based copper remover) it doesn't colour up the patches, I figured this meant I had all the copper out -am I missing something here ??

    Thanks

    PS - If I go on to use Autosol paste (we don't get JB's down here) it results in black coloured patches, and they never seem to get any lighter . . . .
     
  4. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Some barrels, especially rough factory sporter ones, usually shoot more accurate after they're fouled. Others shoot best without fouling. Some Douglas barrels ae rough and need to be fouled with copper before they shoot good..

    If your barrel fouls, and won't shoot accurate, it may not be able to shoot any better.

    Couple of things to check.....

    Barrel should not touch the fore end any place; totally free floating's best.

    Receiver stock screws tight.

    How is the receiver bedded?
     
  5. tentman

    tentman Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Rifle is glass beddd into a plastic stock, barrel is fully free floated, all screws have been checked several times and I have been careful to ensure my hold isn't causing issues through the flexible stock.
     
  6. bigBolin51

    bigBolin51 Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    I'm certainly not arguing with anything anybody says, for what I'm about to say is contrary to What most people believe. I hardly ever take a brush to my barrels anymore because I have found that if I let then build up with fouling that at some point ,50-60 shots, the accuracy starts to be more consistent. By that I mean I might can shoot a .75 inch group with a squeaky clean barrel but my next group might measure 1.25 and the next .9 and so on. After many shots the bore seems to become seasoned and I can consistently shoot under .75 at 100. Like I say this is not gonna work with every rifle but does work with mine. I still clean with oil and patches to remove carbon and suit but I leave the copper fouling be. I'm relatively new to the rifle shooting game so the more experienced shooter's opinions will be the ones to go with, just food for thought.
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,637
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    BigBolin, you are shooting factory chrome moly barrels correct? Or are they custom stainless?

    Tentman,
    Try, going in with the BTE after the Sweets 7.62 says your barrel is clean. I did this while testing cleaners and the BTE started getting more copper. This was after the patches with sweets came out clean after a 10 minute soak. All done with nickel plated proof positive jags too.

    Jeff
     
  8. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,550
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    With Broz on this. Clean it with a better cleaner. I have had copper fouling issues and accuracy fall off and thought my barrel was clean. Got better cleaner, lesson learned.

    Another issue, just because it is possible, are the bullets correctly aligned in the case necks? I had a bad batch once, due to my ignorance, that would not fly at all. Found out my seating die was messed up and the bullets were cockeyed.
     
  9. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Barrels copper foul 'cause they've got a rough surface. That scrapes jacket material off bullets. Doing that unbalances bullets; they don't shoot as accurate as they would otherwise.

    When enough jacket material's been wiped off bullets to fill all those rough spots, no more jacket material gets scraped off, or at least a minimal amount, subsequent bullets shoot more accurate. Such is life.

    Removing all the jacket material from the bore lets one start this cycle all over again.
     
  10. bigBolin51

    bigBolin51 Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Factory chrom moly.
     
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,637
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007

    Yes Sir, I have seen this some of the same.

    However all my stainless custom barrels prefer to be clean. They shoot the same first shot on as long as I clean with BTE and just dry patch with no oil. BTE has a corrosion preventative so the oiling is no longer needed. This was the path to my clean first round accuracy. Just 4 or 5 dry patches and go. I will post a 1st shot clean bore pic from my 338.


    Thanks
    Jeff

    [​IMG]
     
  12. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,550
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Awesome. I thought about this a bit more. I am far from an expert but I did notice that my barrel took a bit to break in and I was really trying to be as OCD about the break in as possible. Last weekend I shot at 942 yards and my first 2 rounds landed within 3" each other. After that I handed the rifle to my bud who was shooting beyond 600 for the first time. All of the 6 shots were good and would have hit a standard steel plate even with a different shooter and a shooter who shoots opposite hand. He was not shooting for groups at that point, just trying to hit a 6x6 inch rock.

    Why I mention is this simply because I cleaned that barrel meticulously and the those first two shots were cold bore, clean barrel. My goal is a clean rifle, first shot accuracy.

    If all other things are solid perhaps working that barrel a bit more is a good idea? Just a thought.

    BTW- I would do what ever Broz suggests as well. It is hard to tell on the internet who is an expert but I believe he has earned the title.
     
  13. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    A good barrel will shoot 200 to 300 shots under 6 inches at 600 yards. At 100 yards, the group would be under 1/3rd inch. They don't foul enough to cause significant accuracy degradation until about 400 rounds.

    Lapping the bore out to smooth it up and lower the high points makes the bore and groove diameters a bit larger. Maybe enough to have less accuracy than before.
     
  14. gamehawker

    gamehawker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Awesome shooting Jeff!

    What kind of a 338 rum do you have?

    I'm thinking about getting a Remington 700 Sendero SF 338 rum because I have been impressed with my Remington 700 Sendero SF 7mm STWs. on accuracy and shooting.

    I also you BoreTech Eliminator and I do a through cleaning with a nylon brush but only use a wet patch just to clean the fouling and carbon out after around 15-20 shots (I do not use a nylon brush) until I find my groupings expand to 1 MOA (I constantly shoot less than 1/2 MOA groupings) then I go back to the thorough cleaning out again with a nylon brush.

    I like this video and I think it has some useful/valuable information for cleaning the barrel and I have found it is true in my experience with my guns and my shooting.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgyvdX0-7VU]Cold Bore Vs Clean Bore - YouTube[/ame]