Copper Fouling in old barrel

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Land Rover, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Land Rover

    Land Rover Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hi Guys.

    I have an old barrel on my P17 25-06. The barrel looks shiny with plenty of rifling to my untrained eye. When I clean it I tend to get a lot of blue (copper fouling) on the patch. After reading that an old barrel that has not been cleaned properly for some time may have layer after layer of copper fouling I decided to see if I can clean it out. I have used Hoppes no9 to remove carbon with patches. Then a few patches of Boretech eliminator solvent and then a wire brush with more boretech solvent on it, scrubbed through the barrel a dozen times Then more clean patches until dry. Then a day later I repeat the process as a patch with solvent pushed through comes out with blue on it again. I have done this about three times now and I just finished a clean a few minutes ago. The patch after the clean with the wire brush and solvent came out really blue again. Do you think this is from the barrel fouling or the copper brush I am using. Do I carry on with this method or am I totally on the wrong track. If I put another patch through now with solvent once, it would be clean with a very light blue tinge to it. If I wire brushed it again I am sure it would come out dark blue. What do you guys reckon?
  2. DeerHunter101

    DeerHunter101 Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2013
    The method of cleaning I use is, first I soak my wire brush in solvent then run it through the barrel 10 to 12 times. After that I use patches soaked in solvent until they come out clean. Once my solvent patches come out clean then I start dry patching until they come out the barrel dry. After that I run 1 or 2 oily patches down the barrel for storing my rifle. Just remember if you leave oil in your barrel to dry it out before you shoot or go hunting because it will throw your first shot off.
  3. RTK

    RTK Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2012
    Land rover, if you are using a brass brush the blue will keep showing up because it is coming from the brush. Some solvents will even turn a patch color just from the brass composition of the jag. If you can't see any copper at the muzzle end I bet you are clean. Take a tooth pick and put it a little ways down the muzzle at an angle in the sun, it acts like a mirror and allows you to see much better.
  4. lightflight

    lightflight Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2012
    I recently used CR-10 on a barrel I was having a hard time cleaning out. Talk about making life easy.
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    I use ProShot copper solvent and use a brass brush and jags. I swab a really soaked patch down the bore (soaked in Pro Shot) and let it sit for about 5 mins. Then I dip the brush in solvent, and run it ONCE. Then I run 1 wet patch soaked in solvent down the bore. You will see little shiny copper flakes on your patch it the barrel is fauled. Then I repeat (alternating 1 wet brush stroke, then 1 wet patch) till I see no more flakes. Then I run with the wet brush and some more solvent coated patches down it till it shows a light blueish color. Then I dry patch the barrel till it is dry, and I see only blue stripes on the patch where the ribs on the jags rubbed the rifling. Then I run a patch covered in RemOil down the bore, if I plan on letting it sit for a while. When I go to the range always fire a fauling 3 or 5 shots to see when it tightens back up. Sometimes 1 or 2 shots, sometimes 3-4. Depends on what kind of mood my rifle is in that day. LOL

    Also remember with a bolt-action the bullet only travels 1 direction...Don't back-stroke the brush through the bore. That is not good for the crown. And the crown is VERY important for accuracy. If your crown even has the slightest little nick in it, have your smith re-crown it. Your accuracy should improve, provided everything else is up to snuff.
  6. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    +1 on using a bronze brush w/copper solvent being a no no. I use Bore Tech Eliminator on a nickel jag (copper solvent doesn't degrade this type of jag). Cut patches to a size that they pass snug but not tight. 2 wet patches and wait 10 minutes and repeat as much as necessary. No benefit to leaving Eliminator soak overnight other than protecting from rust so just keep at it about every 10 minutes till the patches are clean.
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    +2 on no brass/bronz brush or nylon brush with copper winding.

    I just finished running 50 - 60 patches thru with copper showing on all of them. Highly unusual for a good custom bbl.

    I use a plastic jag and stainless rod. The rub is the short brass collar holding the jag.

    I didn't think it would have much effect.

    I've been bullet testing with funky things happening. For quite a few patches it was clear that the copper was coming from the corners of the rifling in a couple of spots.

    After indications of no more copper in the corners the patches were still coming out with a blue haze.

    I trashed the brass collar and after about 5 more passes with Eliminator they began coming out white.

    I then dry patch until dry followed by a shot of Amsoil P1. Dry patch again. Then shoot two foulers while checking zero before the hunt.
  8. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Using a bronze brush will give you a false copper reading every time.
    Can you get your hands on some Sweets and a proper calibre jag where you are?
    If not get yourself one of those loop type adaptors for your cleaning rod but make it a steel one, if it didn't come with one.

    This is how I do it, with a brush, be it bronze ot stainless, make 1 slow pass to remove loose powder fouling, push brush out the muzzle and remove, dragging carbon back through the barrel is bad, then 1 pass with a wet patch of Hoppes No.9, push it out the muzzle and remove the patch, leave it sit for 5 minutes, then another pass with a wet patch and scrub back and forth half a dozen strokes, if blue, repeat. This may take a few passes. Once the patches stop coming out blue, you need to attack any carbon fouling, if there is any black on the patches, I run a wet patch up and down a few strokes followed by a dry patch until they come out clean. If the carbon fouling is bad, a soak overnight with Hoppes in the bore should work. If New Zealand is like here, Australia, the better foaming type solvents probably aren't available. Hoppes works really well on carbon fouling if left in the bore overnight.
    When I say "strokes", that is one up and back pass, BTW.

    If it doesn't improve with several passes, for really stubborn copper fouling, I use sweets on a nylon brush and scrub back and forth several strokes, up and back at least a dozen times until it foams up, let it sit for 10 minutes to work, it works much better if you can get it to foam. Follow with a dry patch, then run another wet patch and follow the same routine if it comes out blue. Repeat until patches come out clean. It should remove any copper fouling pretty quick, but you must follow it up with metho, because it is water based, metho will remove the water content, and then lightly oil the bore as you normally would.

    Good luck and good shooting.

  9. Land Rover

    Land Rover Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hi Guys, many thanks for all the replies. The only question that may not have been answered is "Do I need to do anything different for an old barrel" "that may not have been cleaned properly ever?" Or once a new patch with solvent comes through clear, does that mean there is no copper fouling left? Is there anything else to do to get it shooting it's best without a new barrel.
    The barrel has been re-crowned by my gunsmith, re-reemed 25-06 remington, bedded and free floating. I am now developing loads and noticed small copper/brass looking files on the cleaning patch. So I thought wrongly/rightly that it may be a fouler. Do newer barrels leave these metal filings on cleaning patches?
    cheers Land Rover