How clean is clean?

Pinoniper

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Sep 19, 2014
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Been cleaning some rifles and trying to get all of the carbon traces removed. I have always thought that the barrels where clean when the last patch came out spotless, until the purchased a bore scope! Now I have become obsessed about getting every trace of carbon out of the groves, am I going to far?
“obsessed”, “every trace.”

Why? Unless you have an articulable reason, then IMHO, yes, you are going too far, wasting your time and supplies, and exposing your rig to potential unnecessary wear/damage.
 

Bill Cauley Jr

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I have mixed rubbing and polishing compound with Free All and Ballistol oil ( not all mix together) used bronze and nylon brushes, patches even pellets. There are still some traces of carbon in the groves from the start of the groves and runs about five inches then dissipates. The barrel is a BA 20" SS.
JB bore paste
 

rsbhunter

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I was in the same place...bought a Teslong bore scope, and hated life. But a little hint....CLR. i only have used it on stainless bbl's so i dont know how it reacts with carbon steel. I use Bore Tec and it is great, but after im done, i run a patch with CLR, and it comes out black ! I have tested it on the outside of the bbl and it does NOT change the patch at all....then run a patch with 99 per cent iso alcohol , treat with hbn, and call it good...heres a pic of a bbl after that regiment.....rsbhunter
 

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Bill Cauley Jr

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I was in the same place...bought a Teslong bore scope, and hated life. But a little hint....CLR. i only have used it on stainless bbl's so i dont know how it reacts with carbon steel. I use Bore Tec and it is great, but after im done, i run a patch with CLR, and it comes out black ! I have tested it on the outside of the bbl and it does NOT change the patch at all....then run a patch with 99 per cent iso alcohol , treat with hbn, and call it good...heres a pic of a bbl after that regiment.....rsbhunter
Wow that looks like brand new I’m gonna have to try that
 

rsbhunter

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This a 3 groove polygonal barrel that only had maybe 80 rounds through it..... i was real skeptical about the CLR....but it works....i would run a patch with alchohol or brake clean after using it, and oil IF you use oil... here in S.E, New Mexico rust (moisture) is a rare commodity....I went back and used it on other rifles that had been cleaned and put away...found the same thing, more carbon. rsbhunter
 

rsbhunter

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It looks like in your pics that there is some trace copper and carbon. Might try alternating between clr and a good copper cleaner. I have used bore paste with good results after shooting Varget, but i prefer to use it only when i HAVE to...rsbhunter
 

Jud96

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I haven’t bought a borescope yet simply for the reason that I’m afraid it would give me more things to worry about haha. Seriously though, I use to use Shooter’s Choice with PH jags and bronze brushes. I never knew if the blue was from the copper in the barrel or from the jag/brush. I just would clean it until it looked less dirty than when I started, there was no real science or anything behind it haha. Then I got nylon brushes, Proof Positive jags, and BoreTech Eliminator. This eliminated the possibility of getting false copper signs. The problem with this stuff in my experience is it cleans so well that it gets rid of 99% of the copper and carbon. That meant it took more than a few fouling shots in my barrels to get back up to speed and back into the node. So now instead of cleaning until the patches are clean, I just clean until the carbon is gone and the patches just have a hint of blue on them. This leaves a little fouling in the barrel but cleans out the excess. Everyone has their own techniques and beliefs, but this is what I have been doing and it’s a lot faster and less hassle than my past methods. Just my opinion and experience.
 

rsbhunter

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I agree, the bore scope is a double edge sword....it is a great tool to check on the condition of the throat, chamber, carbon ring ,etc. I once in a while use it after cleaning to check on the barrel, but less on the cleaning....but i have stopped using bronze brushes all together, unless i need to break up a carbon ring, but i watch what powders i use if possible. The pic i posted on my bbl will never see a bronze brush....i use Iosso blue brushes very little, and patches....does what i need....One day, there will be a one and done cleaner i hope....rsbhunter
 

RODSTRADLEY

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For those who have bore scopes, am I taking this to extreme or is this amount of carbon residue acceptable?
 

J E Custom

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Been cleaning some rifles and trying to get all of the carbon traces removed. I have always thought that the barrels where clean when the last patch came out spotless, until the purchased a bore scope! Now I have become obsessed about getting every trace of carbon out of the groves, am I going to far?

I am one of the people that believes in a clean barrel for best accuracy. Every sub 0.099 group I have fired has been in an absolutely clean barrel. (Nothing but bright metal in the bore scope).

I start out with a dry patch to see what the bore looks like. (To make the mirrors last on the bore scope, all solvents must be removed from the bore). After seeing what needs to be done I normally start with copper removal. Often this takes care of the small traces of carbon but once the copper is gone and the patches come out clean, following a dry patch I look for traces of carbon in the common places and then carefully scan the entire barrel for anything left.

If a bore is not kept in this condition, it can become difficult to clean this well the first time, but once it is really clean, Maintaining this level of cleanliness is easy. copper is easy to remove compared to carbon, But carbon can fill parts of the chamber that need to remain dimensionaly
as reamed and become stubborn to remove if you don't stay on top of it.

I also don't believe in the use of any witches brew for any of this type/level of cleaning and use only solvents designed for removal on these by products to prevent damage or excessive wear to the bore, and never get in a hurry to remove what I placed in the barrel having fun.

Some claim that cleaning causes early loss of accuracy. I have not found this to be true with many barrels lasting way longer than I was told they would. I feel just the opposite happens if left dirty,the abrasive powder and carbon can accelerate barrel wear because it is harder than the barrel material And the bullet can carry this debris down the bore at high velocity and scratch or wear the barrel prematurely.

So there are different levels of clean that is acceptable to each person and to me Clean Means "CLEAN" .And to be honest, Before I bought a bore scope I didn't know what clean looked like.
Patches will only tell you that you are no longer removing anything, A bore scope will tell you what you left behind. 👍

Just My opinion and method for cleaning.

J E CUSTOM
 

ntsqd

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Nov 16, 2015
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Upper SoKA
I have brushes, I almost never use them and haven't for almost two decades. It has to be a bore "cleaned" with WD-40 or not cleaned at all (no difference there!) in a used recent acquisition that brings out a brush. I've recently changed to the Dewey aluminum jags to see if cleaning until no more black and very little blue on the patches means fewer patches used.
 

milo-2

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Gillette, Wy
For those who have bore scopes, am I taking this to extreme or is this amount of carbon residue acceptable?
Depends, by your pics, I say strip it clean, get a fresh start. It is clearly visible that area is and will continue to be a problem area for you. Leaving crap in that area is inviting more to join the party.
One thing about that area of a barrel fouling, a chrono will answer questions for you, shoot 100 rds with it like that, then strip it clean and shoot 100 more, all over a chrono.
 

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