Fouling

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Geno22, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Geno22

    Geno22 Well-Known Member

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    I guess im a cleanning nut, cause my dad taught me to always clean my gunn after every hunt. I have always done this and barrel is always shiny. Does this mean I have no copper fouling? The patches show black and I wipe till patch is clean. Have used Hoppes with brass brush every time then the patches. Have 3 guns an all have stainless barrels. Been tinking about tring the foam.
    Geno
     
  2. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I completely clean guns after every use as well. Same deal.

    Copper and carbon are very tenacious. You can 'clean' a barrel for clean patches dropping, without even getting to copper, or the tough carbon(as this fouling is technically -clean).
    Don't be surprised to find some with the stronger chemicals available.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    A lot of factors to consider in deciding when to clean a rifle.

    How much powder has been burned
    What was the pressure
    What kind of powder was it
    What kind of bullet are you shooting
    What is the velocity of the bullet
    What RPM are you operating at

    Most importantly what is the history of the rifle and accuracy versus rounds fired.

    Even when a patch comes out clean it does not mean that the first part of the throat is clean. For a 308 that may see up to 180 rounds during a single F-class match, I will let it soak in foam for an hour or so and then patch that out and then soak it another hour or so and then patch that out. Then I use Butches mostly, alternating with a little copper cleaner every once in a while. At about the 300 round or 400 round mark I will use a plastic brush with a patch and coat it with JB paste and work right on the throat to remove carbon right there.

    For a cartridge that burns more than 100 grains of powder at a time, then I clean much more frequently. There is no such luxury of getting anywhere close to 100 rounds before cleaning.

    I shoot a lot of RL22 and it really does like to be cleaned up more frequently than Varget or something like IMR 4064.

    If your rifle does not like a clean barrel then cleaning is highly unproductive if you wish to kill an animal. If you simply wish to have a clean barrel and do not care about killing a deer then by all means go indulge your self.

    I typically try not to hunt with a clean barrel. I check my zero before each season and/or after any significant event which could have affected the zero and then hunt with the barrel with maybe two to six rounds down it. When the season is over then I do a final cleaning before putting it away.
     
  4. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Do your normal cleaning routine, then leave wipeout in overnight, then brush and patch. You'll be surprised how much crap comes out. I did exactly what you do, and then tried wipeout.

    Now I use Montana Extreme and wipeout.
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    This stuff seriously works.

    As far as when to clean a gun..
    My father assured me that a dirty gun is offensive, and disrespectful.
    So for 35yrs, I've respected my guns.
    I could reach in the safe right now and pull out a gun that is cleaner than new, and easily drop a dear at 500yds with a single -cold -clean bore shot.
    This is what HUNTING guns used to be about.

    A clean bore, or 'pre-fouled' clean bore is as much a pre-condition for accuracy as a filthy bore. It's just that my precondition sets me up for exactly one shot, right where I need it.
    I have always, after every trip to the range, cleaned the bore to the metal(as verified by borescoping). Then I wash it out with alcohol, let it dry, and then dry burnish the bore with graphite, or tungsten(for the past 15yrs).
    I clean out the action, bolt, regrease, and wipe the whole gun down with Shooter's choice 'Rust Prevent'(great stuff). Then it goes back in the safe.

    By then it's brass is ultrasonically cleaned, and it's ammo will be far better than any sold before it goes into the safe with that gun.
    Ready for HUNTING.

    Competitors take sighters, prefoulers, barrel warmers, or even spotters along, to precondition before 'counting' their shots. Yet even with this, most cannot relate to hunting as being completely different.
    And there is the flipside, with hunters group shooting like they're ever gonna hit a dear with 5shots in the heart. IMO, they should focus instead on hitting once -first,, as this is the challenge at hand for them.
     
  6. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Bore Tech Eliminator is the best barrel cleaner I've found. Clean your barrel with your favorite cleaner and then use some Bore Tech and you will likely get some more copper out! I have also found that MANY barrels, even hand lapped custom ones, need a few fouling shots to come back to zero and shoot their best......Rich
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    There is no 'coming back to zero' in hunting. Your first shot IS your zero.
    If that's inconsistent, then you're not leaving your barrel in a ready state.

    I can't find a link, but there was a good article recently published that resolved leaving oil in a bore after cleaning as a very wrong thing to do(for a hunting gun).
    This is because it took atleast 10shots just to burn that oil out of the bore full length. And until it was burned out, fouling was not true to that your zero may have been based on.
    Oil is very tenacious by design.
    So however you leave the bore, it isn't 'ready' until the bore is dry.
     
  8. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    A deer at 500 yards is a 2+MOA target. That is not a satisfactory degree of accuracy for me. Perhaps you should try my method. I expect 0.5MOA first round cold bore placement.

    You might also check the exact composition of alcohol. It is very enlightening what is actually in it. I have quit using it except for a few specific purposes where the contaminants do not interfere with what I wish to accomplish.

    This deer was killed at 707 yards with a dirty barrel by a person who had never hunted deer before and had only been shooting centerfire rifles for nine months. The entrance hole can be seen. Given that the shot was downhill and a slight body angle the bullet placement is within 0.5 MOA of the aiming point.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    The point I was trying to make was, almost all of the barrels I've had need X number of fouling shots BEFORE you go hunting. I never go with a perfectly clean barrel because the POI will change until it is fouled somewhat. I've talked to a few top benchresters that say the same.......Rich
     
  10. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    This is reasonable BB. But it's not the only option. I'm suggesting a gun can instead be put away in a ready state, with clean/dry prefouling. Or, that it's atleast a worthwhile endeavor(maybe for thread starter).
    Squeaky clean, or wet, won't get it though.

    My reference to taking deer represents what I figure most could do with a gun in the ready state. But you started with pics darnit, so I have one I'm most proud of:

    My son took this with his Cooper in 223 at 512yds. Not bad for a 50gr flat base, off a bipod, with the first shot on that gun in months. He had just graduated HS, and this was his first time hunting woodchucks with his favorite gun. So I took a picture;
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Bob---hate to tell you this but I have a safe full of sporter rifles that will all shoot .35 or better including the fouling shot off of a cold rifle. Also, when I say a rifle is clean I have verified it with my bore scope. Maybe you should try custom rifles built by a good smith if you want to get really sick about the accuracy. To be fair I load all ammo like it is competition so that means bearing surface comparisons, 100% concentricity checks, dies are all made from the reamers used to chamber etc. Yes it is a pain but it can be done.

    As for the comment made by another poster about the “BR guys” that is a true statement however, the differences that we are talking about are something that a non BR shooter would not even notice for the most part(many reasons including rest/bag settlement on the first shot makes it go high!). Reason I say that is that my BR tubes (everyone has its own nuances albeit slight) settle down after 1 to 3 shots BUT that is from a pristine clean barrel which 99.5 % of the shooters do not start from.
     
  12. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    If you can hold .35 MOA on a deer at 700 yards while laying on a rocky ridge with your head down hill then post up the picture of the dead animals. I'll be expecting to see more than one with your long standing experience.

    I always find it humorous how many people can shoot better than me but somehow I manage to get an animal on the ground. :D The funniest part is that even the person in the picture can out shoot me and that has been witnessed several times at Quantico F-class.


    That is a very nice picture. AND that is a very good shot.
     
  13. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Bob--The season starts in a couple of months and I will be shooting in Missouri and New Mexico IBS 600yd and 1K. Would love to see you and we could bring sporters as well and see how much steel we can ring!

    Attached is a link that shows one of my accurate sporters and the Ram that was at the other end.

    Mine is the 3rd one down on the page-----can't keep the exotics out they keep getting under washouts. I am going to be picking him up in about a month.

    Sierra Bullets - The Bulletsmiths