Bore cleaning

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by timmymic, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. timmymic

    timmymic Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2012
    I know there are already a couple threads up on this already but I'm still confused! I have not shot a single round from my new rifle and want to get this figured out before I do. For barrel break in I plan to shoot one clean one for 5 then shoot 5 clean 1 for 3 groups! This is for a factory savage barrel! Then day to day cleaning when I am done shooting if I understand right I want to completely clean the bore of powder but not copper! Am I on the right track? Thanks guys
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Opinions on proper barrel cleaning and brake in are like............ well you know. I like to do the cleaning the first few shots like you described to get the transition where the chamber reamer stopped cleaned up and smooth over the tooling marks so a copper jam does not get started. When I clean a rifle I remove all copper and carbon to a clean smooth bore. But most my rifles wear custom stainless barrels that can differ from factory chrome moly barrels. So My advice for you is to do what you have posted and clean each shot for 5 to 8 shots. Then after each group for 3 to 5 groups. After that let the rifle tell you what it likes. Get 50 to 75 rounds down it so it is settled in and then simply shoot a few groups, clean it and shoot a few foulers and shoot a few more groups to see what it likes. It will tell you.

    For a good cleaner, ( and you will probably have to order this) but there are few even close to as good as BoreTech Eliminator. I can not stress enough how important a good safe cleaner is especially with a factory chrome moly barrel. This cleaner eliminates the need to oil the barrel after cleaning also, this will result in the rifle shooting better the first shot after a cleaning. Plus it will not harm your chrome moly barrel like some cleaners can.

    The amount of copper you remove or leave in the barrel is dependent on the barrel itself as well as the bullets you use. Some copper foul more than others.

    So, let the rifle tell you how you need to clean after break in.


    MMERSS Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2013
    Read this,

    It will likely take more than 5 single rounds with a new Savage barrel. Around 5 seem to work well with a match barrel. I determined 9 single rounds for the gun above by the amount of copper removed on the 9th round and resistance to the bore while cleaning. It's amazing how much more "smoothly" you will be able to push the rod thru from round to round. A good bore cleaner such as Butch's will show limited light blue coloring indicating there is little copper left, as with the 9th round indicated above. The first rounds showed significantly more blue and resistance was greater when pushing the rod.

    If you don't have a bore guide. GET ON.

    As far as cleaning your Savage rifle between shootings,I don't do it with my factory Savage rifles, no way. I have found it takes 3 shots minimum to create consistent resistance for the follow on shots to have any consistency with velocity. I also live in a fairly dry region. Those factory barrels have a ton of tool marks. It's amazing how well they shoot though. I only clean when necessary usually around 50+ rounds then shoot three fouling shoots after cleaning. The guns are only stored clean in the cabinet after hunting season.

    A friend last week dropped off a Savage M14. He said he couldn't get it to shoot well. The barrel had so much copper buildup it took me close to four hours of cleaning and well over 100 patches to include polishing. Afterward I was able to shoot groups in the .6XX" range. Not quite 1/2 MOA but reasonable. The point is don't let that copper build up too much and break in your barrel removing ALL copper during this process. Otherwise you may not polish all those tool marks making copper build up quicker and losing accuracy potential.
  4. LDHunter

    LDHunter Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    I quit buying Savage rifles due to the extreme amount of time that barrel break-in and cleaning was causing me not to mention the expense. When I finally bought my first bore scope I quickly learned why they fouled so badly... LOL

    These days my rifles come almost exclusively from the Remington and fouling is minimal and easily dealt with.

    I'm just about done buying rifles though and think I'll either have rifles built or rebarrel my current ones with high quality custom barrels to further shorten barrel break-in and load development and increase accuracy.

    I think it's false economy to buy cheap rifles and/or barrels if your time is worth anything at all...

    Don't get me wrong... I love tinkering with my rifles, handloading, and shooting but don't like all the extra time it takes to keep cheap barrels clean and shooting well.

  5. Alan Griffith

    Alan Griffith Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    I've read some great advice from the good folks who've posted thus far. Many of the custom barrel makers will post instructions to break in their barrels. All good advice on how to do it. Just broke in a Krieger (used their break-in instructions posted on their web site) barrel for a friend. LOTS of blue on the patches at first, but less and less with each shot fired.

    I'm with MMERSS on NOT cleaning your barrel until the barrel indicates doing so. Barrel break-in; yes! Barrel cleaning between range trips or a certain # of shots fired down the tube; NO! I too, live in a dry state, Utah, with low humidity. I don't worry about corrosion unless I've been out in a rainy climate. I've got 1/2 dozen custom barrels that haven't seen a cleaning rod since barrel break-in. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Meaning, if the barrel is still shooting, don't clean it. Also, I DBC (Dyna Bore Coat) my barrels. Whether their brand new or have several hundred rounds down the tube first. I recently broke my own rule and cleaned my 9.3x62's PacNor barrel with the intent of shooting cast lead boolits. This barrel was DBC'd before a single bullet went down the tube. Probably has 500 rounds through it. I used Hoppes #9 and Barnes CR10, my usual. Barely a trace of copper came out on the patches and this is a rifle that will put 3 250 gr AB's into .2's and .3's.

    My heavy 6.5x47 Lapua has some 1500 rounds through it. I DBC'd it around round 300, when I first discovered DBC. It hasn't seen a cleaning patch since that 300th round and I just developed a 140 gr Hybrid load that will put 5 into .26 to .3 moa over and over. As long as it keeps doing that, I'm not cleaning it.