Hitting Right On With The First Shot And Barrel Preparation.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Savage99, May 17, 2003.

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  1. Savage99

    Savage99 Active Member

    May 13, 2003
    Other factors aside like bedding, temperature etc. I have done a little testing of various barrel cleaning and non cleaning techinques. On another forum an experiance big game hunter and myself said to just sight it in, tape over the muzzle and go hunting! While this is easy now that it's varmint season the targets are smaller and the accuracy of hitting right on with the first shot is more critical. I realize that long range hunting would also have this as a desireable feature.

    Right now I am cleaning the barrel and lightly oiling it. Nothing unusual at all about this! It does seem to hit right on with more consistancy and of course the first group is better also.

    I won't bore you with my barrel cleaning proceedure but it's very conventional. I just use #9 solvent, brass brush, wipe clean and oil it.

    On yet another forum a smith who prepares rifles for tactical police snipers says that after normal cleaning they wipe out the bore with 99% Iso alcohol. I don't agree with that one.

    I am leaving fouling shots out of this discussion. Of course that's the way to do it but I don't want to fire a shot just before hunting nor can I most of the time.

    What do you do?
  2. jmbn

    jmbn Active Member

    May 1, 2003
    After checking zero just before a hunting trip I always run a dry patch thru the barrel. With some of my rifles this is all that is necessary because they'll then shoot the first round right into the group; with others I have to shoot a fouler.

    The best in this regard is my 270.

  3. RiverRat

    RiverRat Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2002
    I have four custom rifles in four different calibers and of four, two of them put the first shot on call from a clean cold barrel. One a Krieger barreled 260, the other a Douglas barreled 223. The two that don't a Lilja barreled 300 WSM, and a Douglas barreled 308. The 300 WSM puts the first shot from a clean cold barrel 3/4 MOA high every time. The 308 puts the first shot 1 MOA left every time. I have no idea why. I have talked to several shooters and have got no good explaination as to why this occurs. If some body figures it out let me know.
  4. ewallace

    ewallace Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    I clean with bore tech cleaners and copper removers then use Kroil 1 patch then 1 dry patch. I think the Kroil helps with copper fouling. The crow I shot at 870 meters was on a clean cold barrel . This works good for me but when hunting season comes I shoot 2 or 3 fouler shots a few days before season and don't clean the bore tell season is over.
    Crow Mag
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In our training classes we have each student clean their rifle their way in the morning and shoot a cold bore-clean bore shot. At lunch we supervise their cleaning, making them do it our way and then fire two fouling shots, send them to lunch. After lunch we have them fire a cold bore-fouled bore shot at a seperate target from their morning bullseye.

    At the end of the week they have something approaching a shotgun pattern on their morning target, and a nice controlled group about 1/4 to 3/8 MOA low of their hot zero on the afternoon target.

    That third shot out of a fouled bore is hard to beat for predictability.
  6. meathead

    meathead Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2002
    Wow, excellent topic and very very important! I have been busy playing with my stuff and doing well, but this topic has always been in the back of my mind. You gentlemen have now placed it right out in front, where it belongs!! "One shot, one kill" Thats what it is all about,whether it's a 200 yard off-hander, or a well thought out long range shot, a one shot clean kill is what we should strive for. S1, thanks for that information, I plan to try that technique as it seems like the right program [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Meathead... Our tests have been done with either the .308 win, 300 win. mag., .338 Lapua, or the 50 BMG. Your rifle and cartridge combo may vary a shot in either direction, but it is a simple test to run for each rifle, so each shooter can easily determine what works best for his system. I have never seen the rifle that shoots more predictable out of a clean bore than with a fouling shot or two, it may be out there, I have just never seen one that would.
  8. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2001

    I agree with your last statement completely. I've shot "alot" of clean bore shots that went right through the center of the bull... *Rule 4 Violation* straight, but the next one to three went all over the freakin place... then back to the bull! Mine have NEVER stayed consistant until at least two shots were fired FIRST, maybe 3-4, the rifle tells you how many with that powder/bullet combo for sure.

    So you could say, I'm not one that oils her up and heads out huntin. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. *WyoWhisper*

    *WyoWhisper* Guest

    Hmmmm, well.. I have spoken to a very well known smith about this. I assume you all know who.
    When I recieved my first rifle from him I was simply amazed that my cold clean bore shot was right at the heart of my itty bitty group. I thought that it was "just one of those rifles"
    When I recieved my second rifle it did the same thing!!
    I had a conversation with him about this. He said all my rifles I build will do that. I asked how and why? He said "I have a piece of equipment that gets me "true" to levels that most can't". He informed me that it is all about being completly true. If you're not "true" your first shot "fowler shot" will be out of center. Keep in mind this is severely paraphrased!

    I am not saying I understood all the gunsmith terms and discussion but... I know that the rifles he built for another individual do the same thing. First shot is right in the heart of all the rest!

    S1 I have heard of the technique you guys teach .. I have had the same experience until I purchased the rifles I have now...

    [ 05-22-2003: Message edited by: *WyoWhisper* ]
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Wyo...clean-shoot first shot at target on left, dump second shot in the berm, shoot third shot at target on the right, do this ten times and post a photo of both groups, I will bet you one is significantly larger than the other, and we will all be able to pick out the one on the left. It is not just the rifle involved, not only does a clean bore shoot with less pressure (your chrono will prove this) the barrel harmonics are different causing vertical variation. It is true that alignment helps accuracy, but it does not affect friction, pressure and harmonics, not to mention the heat sink difference of a clean bore. Try this test at 300 yards on a calm morning and let us know if you feel the same way.

    [ 05-22-2003: Message edited by: S1 ]
  11. *WyoWhisper*

    *WyoWhisper* Guest


    Yup, I agree 100% with what you are saying.

    However, given that set of circumstances, eventually you will loose accuracy with an ever increasingly fouled bore as well. My question back at ya is... how many shots do you have until accuracy starts to fall off with a fouled bore? I bet you have data for that, and that would be of great interest here!

    I myself, still foul the bore prior to hunting for the reasons you stated.
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Wyo... I think the answer varies with the caliber, twist rate, bore finish, pressure, bullet construction, and heat.

    You bet I have data on this one. We have analyzed it from a couple of different angles. The first way we looked at it was objective precision on the target. If your objective is to maintain better than .3 MOA with a PPC, you can fire over 30 rounds before accuracy starts to degrade outside your limits, some coated bullets could go over 50 shots. This is a small case with a relatively slow twist.

    The other angle we approached this at, was from the long range shooters perspective. Take a big 30 cal like your RUM (we used a Wolf) Shoot it over your chrono and determine the std. dev. of velocity. Now continue your shot string, allowing the barrel to cool between shots. You will reach a point where the gun will shoot consecutive shots that are HIGHER than your mean velocity. There is some dispute by statisticions as to how many shots need to be consecutively above the mean to be significant. The SPC boys claim that 7 in a row is reliable indication that something has fundamentally changed, I tend to agree with this. With the Wolf, about the 18th to 22cnd shot we start to see a slow climb in velocity as the barrel continues to foul with full pressure loads.

    Two things seem to cause the increase in velocity, the fouling in the throat, and the copper building up on the vertical wall of the lands on the side that takes the load for spinning the bullet up to RPM.


    With the big gun, I would clean every 12 to 15 shots. With the smaller stuff I would let the gun tell me when to clean.
  13. frankg

    frankg Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2001
    S1, Can you tell me what cleaning the gun your way involves? Thanks.
  14. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    I cleaned my gun, went shooting early this morning and it was the sickest thing yet. It took 9 rounds to settle in the *Rule 4 Violation* barrel!! As Sam indicated, pressure is down on the first fouling shot(s), my normal load was about 3200 fps, it started at 3155 and stayed there for 4 rounds, it gradually climbed to 3200 after 8 rounds! The ninth was still loose too. It settled in perfectly on the last three groups, all well under .75 moa. The first three were a 9" spread! the third group was still over 2 moa at 200yds, then ZIP, right down below .75 right were she normally runs. That's what you get for changing the cleaning regime, I think I may have left a trace of JB in the bore still, as I rushed through the mop out with SC to get out the door. The low psi on the M43 definitely indicated the bore was not settled in yet.

    I'm trying some Retumbo next time, the only other guy there had a Sendero in 300 Ultra too, he had some 180 Scirocco loads I let him shoot over the Oehler 43, they were smokin at 3457 fps average! Look out! I knew they were going to be hot loads from the 100.5gr he had wrote on them. I had my 178 A-Max's up to 99gr and they were at 3275, but they don't make quite the pressure the Scirrocos and others do either. He was able to lift the bolt open but, it was harder then hell when I lifted one, ejector marks were clearly prominent. They didn't shoot much better than 1.5 moa either.