I would like to ask, why is it that a fouled barrel tends to shoot a cold bore shot more accurately whereas a clean barrel apparently throws the first one? I have always assumed that first one was just me not settling down properly before applying a good squeeze to break the shot. With this in mind, I’ve lately concentrated on taking plenty of time and executing a few dry fires before actually shooting. Briefly, here’s what took place over the last few days to get me thinking about the impact of a fouled barrel on first shot accuracy. Last Thursday I had the opportunity to shoot a few rounds in the afternoon at exactly 300y on steel. A chip shot for my 7RM. The first round is almost always 2o’clock from POA by about 1/4 minute out of a clean, cold barrel. Several more were dead on the POA; inside 1/4MOA. Satisfied and out of time, I packed up and headed home where other calamities awaited and the gun was put away without cleaning. This is something that is highly unusual for me; Benchrest mentality perhaps. On Saturday afternoon I was able to shoot again with the dirty barrel. This time the steel ranged at 480y; same rifle and batch of ammo. Calculated the dope and this time the first round on steel was dead on as were several more rounds. We went on to reduce the woodchuck population in the farmer’s fields until the original 20 rounds were expended. Several shots were over 700y and all were dead on accurate. Saturday’s performance was exceptional considering that I’ve had little time to practice or shoot anything this summer. Nothing has changed with my equipment, same rifle, scope, bipod and blocks, reload recipe, ECT. The only thing “mechanical” that was different was the fouled bore that I still haven’t cleaned. While I consider myself a good shot, I’m not that good. Why does the fouled bore apparently make a difference for the better? Logically one would think the clean bore would be the most accurate and accuracy would diminish as more rounds are fired. Of those of you who may leave your rifle ‘fouled,’ how often do you clean the bore? Is there something more to this or should I just leave it alone and fire a fouler before shooting a clean barrel? Anyone’s thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.