How clean is clean?

General RE LEE

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Aug 21, 2020
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Middle Tennessee
I let my group size dictate when to deep clean bore. Both of my Tikkas (308 and 6.5) shoot best with fouling and copper in the bore. When group size opens up I get all the fouling and copper out with JB Bore paste on a patch wrapped around a brush and Kano Labs Kroil and then foul the bores up again.
 

rsbhunter

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Apr 3, 2006
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New Mexico
bore cleaning is like picking a woman, everybody has their happiness levels....as said, what works for you is what you need to do. A little over simplification, but it's true. level of accuracy , round count, will dictate the need for alot of cleaning schedule's. I will restate what most br guy's live by, NEVER pull a brush back thru the muzzle...for utmost accuracy, the crown is king,,, but do what works for you...if you are happy , that what matters...
 

General RE LEE

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Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
126
Location
Middle Tennessee
bore cleaning is like picking a woman, everybody has their happiness levels....as said, what works for you is what you need to do. A little over simplification, but it's true. level of accuracy , round count, will dictate the need for alot of cleaning schedule's. I will restate what most br guy's live by, NEVER pull a brush back thru the muzzle...for utmost accuracy, the crown is king,,, but do what works for you...if you are happy , that what matters...
Interesting about the bronze bore brush. I've always pushed it all the way out and then pulled it back through and did a brushing motion. I've never noticed a degradation in accuracy but I also don't over clean my guns.
 

J E Custom

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Texas
As stated each has there own cleaning regiment and believe it is best for them. I have always used bronze bore brushes to remove stubborn fouling and have rifle barrels with thousands of rounds down the tube with no loss in accuracy. Care should be taken to use as large as possible cleaning rod and the proper size bore brush to prevent slamming the crown with the back of the brush shaft or the back of the Jag. Also brushes should never be reversed in the bore. The bronze is softer but can get stuck.

I also believe in test loads with a clean bore each test so I don't develop a load that matches/needs a fouled bore condition to shoot its best. If you work up a load with a fouled barrel, it will only shoot its best in that fouled condition, and as we know fouling is never the same or consistent.

All of my match rifles and hunting rifles are used clean and loads are worked up in this condition so the first or second shot will be it's best. In matches that require 80 to 100 +rounds cleaning is not always possible so I have loads the need some fouling to be competitive. But in the precision shooting 600 yards+ I always clean back to bright metal for best accuracy with loads worked up for clean bore conditions.

Ultimately, it is up to the shooter what he thinks is best for him.

In my world, Clean is Clean. Not sorta, almost or slightly fouled.

J E CUSTOM
 

RODSTRADLEY

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Jul 15, 2013
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OHIO
On this particular barrel, it was brand-new and it was before I bought the bore scope. On break in shot once then cleaned the carbon and copper out of it. Then 3 rounds and cleaned then 5, and so on until no copper and carbon after cleaning but just a very light tinge of gray on occasion . My thoughts on the gray tinge that's the SS barrel? Now I was cleaning it after load testing which would be anywhere from 10 to 30 rounds including sighting in different glass plus varmint hunting. The round count is 492 on this thing, so after working on this for about 5 hrs here are some photos of it. If I hadn't bought that scope I wouldn't have been the wiser. I went as far too using fine lapping compound with VFG felt pellets and that finally got it to where I could accept it, Now I will find out in a day or so how the **** thing shoots after all that work and a couple of late nights.
 

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milanuk

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Wenatchee, WA
Now I will find out in a day or so how the **** thing shoots after all that work and a couple of late nights.
Rod,

I feel your pain. A while back I had a barrel that shot okay, then I borescoped it... it had what looked like burnt and broken asphalt going down the tops of the lands, on a barrel that couldn't possibly be burnt out. A lot of work with various abrasive solutions (including VFG pellets), and I finally got that crap out of there.

The good news was that that barrel really did shoot better being cleaned down to bare metal like that, every day (~70rds) (this was a match barrel on one of my F-class guns). Going two days... it wasn't happy. Three days... *I* wasn't happy.

The bad news was that it got *real* squirrelly that first couple shots out of the barrel after being cleaned down to bare metal. Like several MOA away from the expected POA/POI. The velocities of those first few shots were extremely erratic, usually quite low - presumably due to the extra friction.

The 'solution' turned out to be something I'd picked up from some BR guys I used to shoot with, a product called 'Smooth-Kote'. If I recall correctly, it's supposed to be "deactivated moly", and essentially what you do is you squirt some on patch or two, and swab the bore with it. The moly should off-gas after a few rounds, but in the interim, it gives you just enough lubrication to normalize things in the barrel... until those first couple shots burn it off, and deposit a little carbon of their own. So no more weird first few shots, and the velocities were right on target with subsequent shots.

HTH,

Monte
 

RODSTRADLEY

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Jul 15, 2013
Messages
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OHIO
Rod,

I feel your pain. A while back I had a barrel that shot okay, then I borescoped it... it had what looked like burnt and broken asphalt going down the tops of the lands, on a barrel that couldn't possibly be burnt out. A lot of work with various abrasive solutions (including VFG pellets), and I finally got that crap out of there.

The good news was that that barrel really did shoot better being cleaned down to bare metal like that, every day (~70rds) (this was a match barrel on one of my F-class guns). Going two days... it wasn't happy. Three days... *I* wasn't happy.

The bad news was that it got *real* squirrelly that first couple shots out of the barrel after being cleaned down to bare metal. Like several MOA away from the expected POA/POI. The velocities of those first few shots were extremely erratic, usually quite low - presumably due to the extra friction.

The 'solution' turned out to be something I'd picked up from some BR guys I used to shoot with, a product called 'Smooth-Kote'. If I recall correctly, it's supposed to be "deactivated moly", and essentially what you do is you squirt some on patch or two, and swab the bore with it. The moly should off-gas after a few rounds, but in the interim, it gives you just enough lubrication to normalize things in the barrel... until those first couple shots burn it off, and deposit a little carbon of their own. So no more weird first few shots, and the velocities were right on target with subsequent shots.

HTH,

Monte
Monte
I feel a lot nicer since the carbon is finally gone and for the bore scope. Finishing up a 6.5 CM with a Criterion barrel and you can bet that it will never look like my 6.5 Grendel! As for the Moly I have used it many years ago but never in the bore but that could useful. I shoot suppressed with an adjustable gas block, do you think that it would carbon up quicker?
Rod
 

rsbhunter

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Apr 3, 2006
Messages
258
Location
New Mexico
I see more carbon, and copper that i can't explain using my TBAC Ultra 9....with an adjustable gas block...but it's worth it...rsbhunter
 

RODSTRADLEY

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Jul 15, 2013
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69
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OHIO
I shot the newly cleaned rifle today and it surprised me. Had to re-zero it took 4 at 100 because of scope removal but my last 4 rounds were at 1/2 moa, now I have something to work with. Before the long task of getting it clean, it would not hold that kind of group no matter how hard I tried. Happy, happy, happy! Thanks Neighbors
 

RODSTRADLEY

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OHIO
I found out one thing in this arduous cleaning, don't use a carbon fiber rod for final cleaning!
 

25WSM

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New Castle PA
After shooting compatition for so many yrs I can tell you match shooters clean the crap out of their barrels. A few of our top 1000k shooters clean there barrel so much that the black is gone from their dewey rods. I've yet to see one br shooter not pull brushes back through the bore from the crown. One of our top shooters runs his brushes through the bore over 100 times after every match. Another thing they are very anal about is cleaning the carbon ring. They all have special spinning rods to turn brushes in the neck to get the carbon ring out. Clean is a good thing for accuracy. I think you know this now. And if you clean often it won't build up as bad and will clean up much faster.
Shep
 

RODSTRADLEY

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Messages
69
Location
OHIO
After shooting compatition for so many yrs I can tell you match shooters clean the crap out of their barrels. A few of our top 1000k shooters clean there barrel so much that the black is gone from their dewey rods. I've yet to see one br shooter not pull brushes back through the bore from the crown. One of our top shooters runs his brushes through the bore over 100 times after every match. Another thing they are very anal about is cleaning the carbon ring. They all have special spinning rods to turn brushes in the neck to get the carbon ring out. Clean is a good thing for accuracy. I think you know this now. And if you clean often it won't build up as bad and will clean up much faster.
Shep

Shep
After firing the other day it did cleanup a bit easier but the barrel looks nice. Back in my Army career we didn't have or even heard of a bore scope and I was in a Ordnance company. We cleaned until the patch was clean (chrome lined), wow how things change! I was setting my rod stops so the brush would not exit the barrel but thinking it would take so much cleaning to remove any metal from the crown and if you did just re crown it. You can bet all of my long guns will be spotless from now on.
Thanks for you information about the BR shouters.
Rod
 

ntsqd

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Nov 16, 2015
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797
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Upper SoKA
Wait, did I read that right? Common advice is to NOT pull the brush back through from the muzzle or reverse it in the bore, but the BR shooters ARE pulling the brush back from the muzzle?
 

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