How often do you clean your hunting rifle

Hugnot

Formerly 'HUGNOT'
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
77
Location
Montana
I clean and inspect my rifles every time I shoot them using my own special cleaning method - but, if I need to make the next first shot count, I clean the bore out at the range and shoot one fouling shot. Real important hunting targets don't allow sighter's. Some of my rifles deliver the first shot out of a clean bore real close to following shots. I shoot up to 3,000 rounds per year.
 

hawk45

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
205
Location
Ohio
Rifles that like to run fouled I run a dry patch, an oiled patch and a dry patch. I'm not doing a full clean only to have to burn through 20 rounds to get them back to the right seasoning. Rifles that like to run clean I do the full boat. So it really depends on what state your rifle prefers to be in when you break that first shot. I'll touch them up a few times a year if they aren't getting used after inspection. Always a dry patch before use, inspect and screw check. It's good to get in a shot or two a few times a year and log shot placement to see if things are still on point or if starting to move. Gotta love the minutiae of ballistics, it's such a deep hole.
 

Daves762

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Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
315
Location
In a Free State
i talk to target shooters they say whenever they notice their groups growing
I also hear after every time they go out shooting
And the old timers that tought me to hunt said never go to the woods with a clean barrel. What do you do
I zero my hunting rifle when I bring it out to begin practice and zero'ing for the season. I leave it fouled for the entire season. After my tags are filled I clean it the correct way and oil it for storage. Thats it.
 

Greyfox

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Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
5,611
Location
Northeast
My hunting rifles are thoroughly cleaned of carbon and copper at the end of hunting season. If shot in the off season, I will do the same after each shooting session. Just prior to hunting season I will foul the cleaned barrel with a few shots, and not clean until the close of the season unless barrels interior was subjected to the elements. My hunters will hold accuracy for at least 60 shots, more then enough for hunting season. Barrel cleaning is almost exclusively done with Bore-Tech Eliminator, and stored with a light coat of Montana Blend Bore Conditioner. This system has worked very well for me for over a dozen years.
 

GlennL

Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
5
When I acquired my first hunting rifles decades ago I not only cleaned it after each hunt, but very often cleaned it at the end of every day in the field.

Years later while doing my professional hunter training in Northern Zululand under the late Ian Goss (past President of the Professional Hunters Association of Southern Africa), he said I shouldn't apply my military rifle cleaning discipline to my hunting weapons.

He said he cleans his hunting rifles at the start of each season and again at the end of the season. Whenever he went out on a hunt, he would check zero on the range at the hunting destination, but his barrel would remain fouled. Only if he had to hunt in very dusty and windy conditions or in torrential rain, would he clean and oil the weapon. In South Africa, for most of the hunting season its dry so my weapons go for the full hunting season (May to August / September) without a clean.

Three to five hunts a year - 3 to 5 rounds to check zero on each hunt and perhaps another there rounds on the actual hunt - that's maybe between 20 to 40 rounds per season in total between cleans, and if I'm hunting different calibres, that's between 7 or 8 to maybe 15 rounds per weapon per season. Not a problem for a hunting weapon.

Ian Goss' rationale was that one shouldn't mess with the zero once set by unnecessarily cleaning the weapon too frequently.
 

Dogface369

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
7
Location
SE PA
I have a lot of rifles and I shoot a lot. Every rifle is different. In regard to rifle barrels some need to be cleaned frequently and some need to be shot dirty. I keep notes on the groups shot. I try to be familiar with each rifle and recognize when things start to change and respond accordantly.

Rifles dedicated to hunting get cleaned after the season and then shot and fouled before the next season. I never hunt with a rifle with a wet barrel. Fifty years of notes confirms that the first shot out of a wet barrel went somewhere it was not supposed to go.
 

Spoonbill

Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Strawberry Plains, TN
As I am new to the Long Range gig, can someone advise as to the origin of this Carbon Ring, How to determine if it exists ( Just ahead of the lead ??) , How to prevent, etc.
 

wolffo

Member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
8
if you clean after getting zeroed.....you might be as much as 5” off when you shoot at your animal

yes, of course, it depends on the gun
 

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