How clean is clean?

SFMongo

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Jun 21, 2021
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san antonio
People clean their bore way too much. When we had the M21 Sniper system (Read M1A accurized for all you civvies) we were only allowed to run a patch through the barrel in one direction with an aluminum rifle rod and if we separated the lower and upper receiver we had to send it off to get rebedded. We fired up to 5,000 rounds before we sent it off for refit. We consistenly shot sub 1/4 MOA BTW.
 

Charlielee

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Nov 11, 2013
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What about dipping just the bullet of a loaded cartridge in a moly coating to treat the rifling. See, I have just learned about moly but have loaded all the cartridges That I need and have powder for since covid and the shortage? Can it hurt?
 

Taylorbok

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Apr 19, 2021
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Sask
Barrel looks clean enough, there is still some carbon and a tiny bit of copper but you kind of need that IMO. I've found after a really deep clean like that POI shifts, velocity wanders and potentially loss of accuracy, for at least the first 5 shots. Before you head out for the hunt I'd take it to the range and send at least 5 fouling shots down the bore and then confirm POI, if it's moved I'd send 5 more and then re zero.

I've been having really good luck following advice from "Mark and Sam after work" Every range session. 20-50 rounds I run a wet patch let soak for a bout a minute and then patch it out with about 5 dry patches. I use G96. It doesn't get the barrel overly clean but seems to hold POI and maintain accuracy.
 

nksmfamjp

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Jan 5, 2004
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1,354
Clean is when I quit pulling blue patches. Dirty is whe my shot groups go to poop.

No reason to clean all the time….I do clean before each outing for load development consistently..

I also don’t break in barrels
 

StanleyActual8541

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Jul 9, 2021
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N. Idaho
People clean their bore way too much. When we had the M21 Sniper system (Read M1A accurized for all you civvies) we were only allowed to run a patch through the barrel in one direction with an aluminum rifle rod and if we separated the lower and upper receiver we had to send it off to get rebedded. We fired up to 5,000 rounds before we sent it off for refit. We consistenly shot sub 1/4 MOA BTW.
This^^^^

my break in process consists of shooting. Not cleaning. I’ll then shoot until accuracy begins to deteriorate, making sure I keep track of the number of rounds it took to get there. Then I’ll clean (ie couple pulls with a bore crush and a few patches) that’s it. Next time I clean will be just shy of the round count it took before accuracy started to fall off. So if it took 300 rds for the accuracy to fall off, then ill clean at 250-ish.

Also. Stay away from brass bore brushes , steel uncoated rods and harsh cleaners that you can’t hold up to your nose without passing out. Lol people do more damage to their barrels from using harsh cleaneing agents and bore brushes than they do from shooting
 

blinks711

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Jul 28, 2021
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Ohio
This^^^^

my break in process consists of shooting. Not cleaning. I’ll then shoot until accuracy begins to deteriorate, making sure I keep track of the number of rounds it took to get there. Then I’ll clean (ie couple pulls with a bore crush and a few patches) that’s it. Next time I clean will be just shy of the round count it took before accuracy started to fall off. So if it took 300 rds for the accuracy to fall off, then ill clean at 250-ish.

Also. Stay away from brass bore brushes , steel uncoated rods and harsh cleaners that you can’t hold up to your nose without passing out. Lol people do more damage to their barrels from using harsh cleaneing agents and bore brushes than they do from shooting
This! I used to religiously clean my rifles and in turn watched my groups open up until I got it a little dirty again and they settled back down. I think I took more life off of my barrels overcleaning than shooting.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2021
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Broken Arrow, OK
This! I used to religiously clean my rifles and in turn watched my groups open up until I got it a little dirty again and they settled back down. I think I took more life off of my barrels overcleaning than shooting.
Thank you gentlemen for the great information! Just curious do you do anything after shooting before putting your rifles up in the safe for long periods of time? I have always cleaned them before putting back in the safe afraid they would corrode if I didn't. I know some of that is from black powder and the corrosive powders which is no longer the case.
 

2ndson

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May 14, 2020
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123
Location
OK
Until I started buying Cooper Arms rifles, I thought that a perfectly clean bore was not possible. They must be lapped very well. In fact, my .223 and .22-250 ones clean up with the greatest of ease. After about a dozen patches, combined with a few bronze brush strokes, using Shooter's Choice as the cleaner, I am able to get snow-white patches.
 

Jeffrey Van Zandt

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Feb 26, 2013
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515
Location
tok
Thank you gentlemen for the great information! Just curious do you do anything after shooting before putting your rifles up in the safe for long periods of time? I have always cleaned them before putting back in the safe afraid they would corrode if I didn't. I know some of that is from black powder and the corrosive powders which is no longer the case.
I use Kroil oil 3 wet patches, leave barrel wet with the kroil and I store rifles muzzel down
 

huskerhunter

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Mar 8, 2010
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71
Just last week a friend bought a used Savage heavy barreled 223 varmint rig. First thing we did was run the scope down it--while it wasn't too dirty, some streaks of copper and a few spots that were darker brown smudges, what was alarming was the tooling chatter marks the entire length of the barrel. I mean the lands looked liked serrated knives. It looked horrific to me compared to almost every other rifle bore I own.

We put a scope on it and went off to the range. His first five shot group at 100 yards off the bench was .34 MOA with Hornady 55gr Vmax (see below) factory loads. Further groups right around a half inch. Fed gold match 69 gr BTHP factory rounds around .6 MOA. Even some rot gut AR plinker loads with 55gr cheap FMJ bullets were right at an inch.

Now, maybe this thing will foul like crazy and accuracy will not last once it starts to get dirty, but my point, as noted many times above is to let the targets be your guide, not what you see inspecting the bore! I can tell you from experience, the pics in your original post are of a VERY clean and quite smooth bore. If it's not shooting decent groups the problem very likely lies elsewhere.

A little off the OP but:

Also, when you check your zero a week before your hunt, DO NOT clean your rifle until after the hunt. For hunting you are mostly concerned with first shot cold bore accuracy. When I have a big hunt coming up I go to the range about a week or two before the hunt. I put up a target and shoot ONE round. Put the target back in the truck. Go out a day later, put up the same target, do it again. Then once more. I feel that at that point I have a three shot group that represents realistic accuracy for hunting. you can make this as elaborate as you want. You could fire two shots each time to see change in POI from first cold to follow up shot. You could do it from practical shooting positions, longer distances, whatever. Of course if your hunt is at a significantly different climate/elevation then you should check/adjust zero when you get there, especially if your rifle has been bounced around in an airplane cargo hold.

OH, and at the risk of starting a keyboard war, soft bronze brushes in no way damage your steel bore. Although I've not found bronze brushes necessary to get my smoother (custom vs factory) bores clean. Just use a good bore guide and a stiff rod so that it all stays concentric to the bore.

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Shane Lindsey

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Jul 13, 2010
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1,540
Be careful steering the wrong direction with references to rifles that were custom built, using hand lapped barrels throated to the 173/175gr bullets is different from factory guns. Your barrels were broke in, because they test fired them to ensure accuracy, cleaned and sent them out. There is a reason why the 308 is a service round. Cheap and easy to maintain for longevity during those "lean" years...

Factory barrels shooting small caliber bullets with high powder capacity down factory barrels are much different and carbon up significantly faster.

OP, you need to learn your rifle and how it shoots best. I doubt you will be able to get the same quantity down the tube as accurately for as long with a 270 WSM. ONLY way to know is range time. I have found in my experience a relatively clean rifle has shot predictably. Not cold/clean bore, but fouled. This is because it is controlled by me. If I cannot positively determine at what point the barrel goes to pot because of round count, then I eliminate that issue by keeping it clean. It would suck during that once in a lifetime shot if your rifle went to pot at 387 rounds and your bull was 388.
 
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