Copper fouling

ZeeRo7

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Jun 10, 2014
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Is it just that some rifle barrels soak up copper more that others? I mean my barrel REALLY holds on to copper. I do my best and do it carefully to remove it but it stays in there. Remington 700 cdl .300 Win. With my last range trip not going well it is pretty frustrating. I might have around 200-250 rounds through it. I couldnt say if its still not broken in or not. Just strange. The rifle has always shot well up until my last range trip. Any ideas/suggestions?
 

elkaholic

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Factory barrels (not hand lapped) are often much more rough than custom barrels which are lapped. The more rough they are, the more fouling will build up. Try some KG 12 and give it a good soak and scrub to get the fouling out. If it continues and accuracy is not good, you might try some fire lapping with Tubbs bore polishing bullets......Rich
 

davkrat

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Tubbs Final Finish really helped mine. Shooting lead free has taught me more than I ever wanted to know about copper fouling. Was never an issue with cup and core bullets. Even in my copper mine of a .308 barrel the Nosler Custom Competitions are no problem. 5 ETips and its shinier than a new penny.
 

lynxpilot

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Lately I've been coating bullets with HBN and periodically run a swab of HBN in alcohol down the tube as well and I'm getting absolutely nothing on a patch with a strong copper remover (Wipeout Patch). I suppose the bullet part would be hard if you don't handload though.
 

Dosh

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Factory barrels (not hand lapped) are often much more rough than custom barrels which are lapped. The more rough they are, the more fouling will build up. Try some KG 12 and give it a good soak and scrub to get the fouling out. If it continues and accuracy is not good, you might try some fire lapping with Tubbs bore polishing bullets......Rich

Zee, as stated you can continue to remove the copper or remove the cause. Try the Tubbs or find a smith to lap it. I've not used the Tubbs, but many here have posted positively on it. Good luck
 

ZeeRo7

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I use shooters choice bore cleaner. It does a pretty good job. Just wanted to know why mine is such a magnet to that stuff. I guess shooting lead free has contributed a bunch. I will be puttng some matchkings through it next month and hope to see good results. Thanks for the replies guys.
 

ATH

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I've got a Remington Sendero factory 300WM barrel which is very accurate, but requires a thorough de-coppering every 20 rounds. Frustrating to say the least.

I don't shoot it enough to run the Tubbs treatment. But some day I may just decide I have enough pocket change to Rem/Age it to something decent.
 

davkrat

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I keep reading about people letting guns go hundreds of rounds without cleaning because they get to a point that the fouled barrel settles down and is more accurate.

In my guns I like to keep them cleaned regularly. I figure it is easier to consistanly maintain a fouled rate. If I clean my barrel then shoot 3-5 foulers to check zero before a hunt I have a known level of fouling. I've tried letting it go and the copper got so bad I started getting poor accuracy, inconsistent velocities and pressure signs.
 

Mateo

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I keep reading about people letting guns go hundreds of rounds without cleaning because they get to a point that the fouled barrel settles down and is more accurate.

In my guns I like to keep them cleaned regularly. I figure it is easier to consistanly maintain a fouled rate. If I clean my barrel then shoot 3-5 foulers to check zero before a hunt I have a known level of fouling. I've tried letting it go and the copper got so bad I started getting poor accuracy, inconsistent velocities and pressure signs.

I've read about letting your gun reach an equilibrium in copper fouling too. I don't have more than a few rifles so it's easy to stay on top of keeping them clean. And with wipe-out , it's easy on the barrel to clean that often. Not to mention its super easy. Just need to be patient.
 

ZeeRo7

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I too understand the copper equilibrium but theres a clear difference in the copper filling in minute pores in the barrel and outright copper fouling lol. I honestly cant stand the sight of copper in my barrel.
 

phorwath

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I've been shooting some HBN coated bullets in a few rifle barrels also. It is notably reducing copper fouling in the barrels I've been shooting. In barrels that copper fouled very little, I'm not seeing any copper streaks at the muzzle after 20rds down the bore. Even a factory barreled AR-15 that used to copper foul a fair amount, after 16rnds fired it's difficult to see copper at the muzzle. What I do see is evidence of the HBN coating the bore surface. This reduced fouling is nice in my hunting rifles, as I'll be able to leave the bore fouled over a greater number of shots fired, and won't have to clean and re-foul the bore as often prior to heading out on a hunting trip. I don't worry much about leaving a bore fouled when its stored in my climate controlled house.

Your bore's surface is probably pretty rough. I haven't shot HBN bullets down bad copper fouling bores, so I'm not sure what improvement would be gained. I'm confident it would help, but to what extent I have no personal experience with those bores/barrels.

If you have someone examine your bore with a bore scope, you may be inclined to replace the barrel, if copper fouling irritates you.
 

stonehands1

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Feb 25, 2015
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So how do you know when your barrel is clean? By that I mean all copper fouling has been removed. I use Bore tech or Sweets to remove copper on my stainless barrels and on my 6mmAI I have ran 50 or more patches (with brushing in between) down the barrel several times and still get blue patches. It's a custom barrel gun that I bought used. Talked to a barrel maker and he said that if patches are blue then it still has copper in it. I clean barrel every 5-10 shots and it still is blue. I bet I've ran 300 patches down the barrel and still haven't been able to get it cleaned.
Am I missing something? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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