How often do you clean your rifle?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by RangerBrad, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. RangerBrad

    RangerBrad Well-Known Member

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    In the past I would clean my rifle once a year (immediatly after hunting season) which normaly consisited of 30 -50 rounds. Then come the next hunting season simply take it hunting and clean agin at the end wich is normaly in March for me. I have done this for years and to my knowledge there were no adverse side effects of leaving the barrel dirty for 6 months or so at a time.

    Well I now have a gun that was rebuilt for long range shooting and it is a tack driver and I want to ensure it stay's this way and was wondering if my cleaning prctices are sufficient or maybe I need to kick it up a notch? What say yal? Thank's, Brad
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, you can do more damage to a bore/crown by cleaning it than by shooting it.

    I don't clean my rifles very often, I wipe them down any time they've been out in the weather/rain/dust etc. I clean them at the end of a hunt.

    In my experience, it takes a few rounds to get them fouled correctly to REALLY settle down, I don't want to waste the barrel on fouling shots :D

    When I do clean one of my barrels, I REALLY clean it.

    AJ
     

  3. RangerBrad

    RangerBrad Well-Known Member

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    When I was breaking this new barrel in I used a brush with k12 solvent and patch at the range then after my last shots of the day brought it home and used wipe out(really like this stuff) since then I have gone to the rage a few times shooting 20-30 rounds to sight in my new Nightforce scope and practice and just used wipe out overnight when I got home. Now I'm in hunting mode and have probaly shot 15 bullets with no cleaning thus far and still hitting what I'm aiming at. What do yal think? Brad
     
  4. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what AJ said.
     
  5. uzi 4 u

    uzi 4 u Member

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    I dont clean mine after every time i go shooting. I always wipe the barrel down and pull the bolt out and clean it. Unless Im sighting it in or trying a new round I loaded than I swab the barrel every shot.
     
  6. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    I recently had this discussion with one of this forums Highly respected gun builder and shooter. He told me to spend all my time shooting and don't worry about cleaning until I notice my accuracy going to hell. When my accuracy goes south, then clean my barrel. This is for good custom barrels not factory barrels as they are a whole different animal and often require something different.
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    With the advent of stainless barrels cleaning is not so much of a must like the chrome Molly
    barrels, But I clean more often than some because i like the consistency of a clean cold bore.

    I normally clean good just before hunting season and oil the bore, just before a hunt I will fire
    one shot,pull a bore snake through the bore to remove most of the powder residue and I am
    ready to hunt.

    After a few weeks and good weather I will clean before going hunting again.

    I feel that the carbon left in the bore is more abrasive durring firing than the brushing so I keep
    a clean barrel all of the time with no more than 3 or 4 shots through it at the worst.

    I have yet to shoot out a barrel using this process.

    PS: Just because the barrel is stainless does not mean it will not corrode left dirty.

    Just my way of maintaining the consistant accuracy.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    I agree with JE.. I never understood how cleaning a barrel can be more abrasive or more damaging than a bullet whistling down the barrel at over 3000fps...You hear all these guys say that cleaning is more damaging than actual shooting?!

    I like the idea of that wipe out stuff because its easy, not because i think its less damaging. That's like the whole "barrel break in" crap... I probably just kicked over a bee's nest..but I just don't believe in it because there is no evidence or facts that proves that barrel break in is effective...

    Barrels will corrode if left dirty and I do believe cleaning religiously (not everyday, dont clean it if it isnt dirty) but I am also not a target shooter. As a hunter, I clean after every hunt.. and when I clean.. I CLEAN!
     
  9. Azprc

    Azprc Well-Known Member

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    Awe crap, they are cleanable?
     
  10. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you ...for a fact that breaking in a bbl is effective. Now...what does it do? Well, good question.

    Does it increase accuracy? I have no idea, because that there is no way to test. You can't UN- break in a tube to re test. And all bbls are different, even tubes from the same mfgr..in the same caliber...from the same lot of steal, chambered by the same smith and reamer, shooting the same lot of brass, bullets, and primers....ect.


    Does it increase tube life? I have no Idea...you can't shoot out a tube and retest....see above.

    But, what it has done for me...with every factory and custom tube I have had for the last twelveteen years....is make the bbl clean up faster and easier, with less copper fowling. Will it extend the number of accurate shots between cleaning? Well, I am the wrong guy to ask, as I am a CLEAN FREAK and clean WAY to often. But when I clean a tube that I have broken in, the cleanup is fairly strait forward, quick and simple. Before I got into SERIOUS LR benchrest, and before I started breaking in bbls the cleaning process sometimes took DAYS.

    But the phrase "the whole barrel break in crap" is...well CRAP.:D And you have no evedence that there is no evedence.
     
  11. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    More often than some do...less often than others.
     
  12. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is not very often.

    My every day carry rifles get shot four or five days a week, sometimes more. If I were to clean them after every time I shoot them I wouldn't have time to do anything else.

    If I'm going to put a rifle up though for an extended period of time I will give it a good cleaning, fire a couple of fouling shots, blow the carbon out, and put a light coat of either lithium or moly grease on the bolt and inside of the tube.
     
  13. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    BUT BUT... YOU have not evidence that I do not have any evidence that there is no evidence..SO BLEH! :D

    I feel this is definitely turning into a mature conversation..
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    It is very simple. The reason you break in a barrel is to reduce the rate it fowles.

    Most barrels shoot their best clean, and then at some point if you keep shooting without cleaning
    accuracy will fall off. It may not be much but it will fall off to a point.

    Some barrels will shoot 3 or 4 almost in the same hole and then throw a fly-er. others will shoot
    more (Like 7 to 9 more before accuracy is affected.

    If you think about it fouling is not consistant so the each shot has to deal with different conditions.

    A barrel that has not been broken in will foul faster and be harder to clean. I know this for a fact
    because I tested a rifle buy firing 50 rounds through it and keep tract of the groups.
    after about 4 hours of cleaning I then proceeded to break it in using the shoot and clean method.

    Groups dropped dramatically and if I cleaned after every 5 shot group accuracy was better by 50%
    or more. If I stopped cleaning the groups worked there way back up in size. Also this rifle would
    shoot good tight groups until it reach 6 or 7 shots without cleaning.

    So In my opinion, breaking in a barrel improves overall accuracy and slows the rate of fouling
    so I break all of my rifles in and clean as often as possible and try never to reach the point of
    accuracy loss.

    When I first started working on other peoples rifles I found that most of them just needed a
    good cleaning to restore there original accuracy.

    This will not change some peoples minds and so be it, I will keep doing what I am doing until
    something changes my mind.

    J E CUSTOM