Frustrated with copper fouling.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by upacreek, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I am overthinking this, but how much copper in the barrel acceptable? I have one gun that I purchased used. Last summer it took a lot of work to clean the copper, but grouped .75" by hunting season. I have maybe 40 rounds since cleaning the copper. Today I added another 15 rounds just goofing off with milk jugs. I noticed it doesn't shoot as good as just before elk season. When I cleaned the gun this afternoon I noticed copper between every rifling at the muzzle.
    Here are my questions:
    1 Is this barrel going to always copper up?
    2 Did I not clean the copper out enough previously?
    3 Is this normal?
    4 What would cause this gun to do this so quickly compared to my other rifles?

    Suggestions?
     
  2. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    1 Is this barrel going to always copper up?

    Yes

    2 Did I not clean the copper out enough previously?

    Maybe, maybe not. If you have to ask the question, probably not. That said, getting ALL the copper out is not always needed. Some barrels need to be fouled after cleaning and leaving a trace of copper and carbon isn't always a bad thing.

    3 Is this normal?

    Is what normal? Loosing accuracy after 40 rounds or so? It depends on the rifle and barrel and condition of the barrel. 40 rounds of accuracy is not bad for a factory barrel ( I assume it's factory). I have heard of rifles needing cleaning after 20 rounds or less. Most of my factory rilfes started going South after maybe 30-60 rounds after cleaning.

    4 What would cause this gun to do this so quickly compared to my other rifles?

    Compared to what other rifles? All rifles and barrels have different personalities. When you buy a used rifle, you have no idea of what you're buying unless you bore scope and shoot it.

    If you want to know you are getting the copper out, use Bore Tech Eliminator and follow the directions. If you want to know the conditon of your bore have it bore scoped by someone who knows what their doing. That will answer most, if not all your questions.
     
  3. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    By comparison my .243, .270, 30-30, 7RM, ect, ect do not show heavy streaks of copper at the muzzle like this one. All my guns are Winchester except I have 1 ruger. Normally in the winter I clean all my rifles out of boredom with bore Tec till evidence of copper is gone. This 7WSM M70 exceeds what I perceive as normal. So are you saying 40 rounds between bore tec cleanings is normal for factory barrels?
    Like I said, maybe I am overthinking this and just need to accept that this rifle is just this way. My other rifles don't seem to be so finicky.
    Is it safe to assume a custom barrel has less issues with this? Is SS any different than chromoly in regards to this?
    Sorry to ask such novice questions. I was taught by old timers and recently learned there are things they never understood or cared about.
    What cleaning solvent does best? I have been using hopps forever.
     
  4. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    There are many variables as Mt Rifleman stated.

    I am curious as to what is the rifle's chambering? This can be a major factor in how often you need to clean to maintain good accuracy. My 300 RUM, 257 Weatherby and 6mm-284 require more frequent cleanings compared to my 30-06 or 308.

    It looks like you have found that your rifle works best with less than 35-40 rounds. What products are you using to clean the rifle?
     
  5. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    On a barrel that I do not know it's past history, I have at times had luck with treating it just like a new barrel - do a complete break in procedure.

    If you have access to a smith you might have him bore scope it and get his opinion - but then I have taken a used rifle to 2 different smiths and got 2 different opinions also.

    What bullets are you shooting out of that 7 WSM?

    There are many better rifle barrel products out there that are more effective than Hoppee's. The only thing I keep Hoppee's around for is the smell and maybe wipe off finger prints on a rifle/shotgun.
     
  6. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    What cleaning solvents do you recommend? I assume the break in procedure would be shoot 1, clean 1? Trying to break out of the rut I've been in for years leaves me in uncharted territory, so forgive my ignorance.
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    If you were cleaning with Bore Tech and following directions until you saw no evidence of copper, then you probably got all or almost all the copper out. It is the best solvent that I have tried and I have used a lot of them. IMO, Hoppes is next to worthless. Wipeout is as good as Bore Tech, but slower, but a lot less patches needed.

    I would say yes, that 40 rounds is in the "range" of what you might expect to be "normal" for good accuracy between cleanings in a factory barrel. I don't have a lot of experience with custom barrels and the 3 I have, i just got and also had them nitirded. So far they look like they don't foul much at all. I got a factory Vanguard in 223 a few months ago and saw almost no copper fouling in it until after 60 or so rounds through it. Then it started fouling more, but not bad. I had a couple of Senderos that were bad foulers but good shooters - they were in that 30-60 round range for good accuracy.

    I don't think there's much of a difference between SS and CM. It's more the quality of the tooling and process in boring and rifling the barrel and how well it's taken care of.
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    What bullet?

    Jeff
     
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I tried breaking in the Senderos which I bought used and it helped a little but they were still bad foulers. I took one to a smith for a bore scope and he said it was fire cracked bad. The other only had 20 rounds through it when I bought it. Doing a break-in might help but I wouldn't expect much.
     
  10. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    I have 40 rounds of factory accubonds that group over 2" @100yrds. Today I was shooting those and they wouldn't hit a milk jug at 150yrds. Just bouncing everywhere. Typically I have been shooting hand loads. 162 SST's around 3050fps. Powder is R22.
    I just want the brass off the factory stuff, so being accurate was not a concern today. It was after I cleaned the gun it alarmed me. These accubonds have a black coating as well.
     
  11. Gunpoor

    Gunpoor Well-Known Member

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    I have had two Rugers that would copper foul quickly and when that happened they would lose accuracy very fast. I ignored the nay sayers and hand lapped the bore and this fixed them, in that they would copper very little and the accuracy improved. I believe the same result could be reached with Tubbs fire lapping bullets.
     
  12. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    So is bore tec the only thing I should clean the barrel with? I was under the impression that was hard on the barrel. Just used for copper removal. Correct me if I am wrong. Any other suggestions?
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Bore Tech is not at all harmful to barrels. Ammonia based products can be if not used properly. I use only Bore Tech and Wipeout anymore. BT has 3 cleaning products. Eliminator, CU+2 and C4 Copper Remover. Eliminator removes copper and carbon. I use Eliminator until I see no evidence of carbon then I switch to CU+2 to finish if there is still copper.

    http://www.boretech.com/category/solvents.shtml
     
  14. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    If you are not confident with using various cleaning solvents I would suggest getting some wipeout and maybe a bottle of their accelerator that speeds up the process. I don't think you could harm a barrel with wipeout if you tried. It is slowly acting but very effective.

    You may also be dealing with some carbon fouling in this rifle depending on it's past.