To clean or not to clean?

Elkeater

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
1,048
Looking for input on barrel cleaning. I typically been a traditional clean it after shooting pretty much everytime. Is there any advantage to leaving it dirty or is cleaning after each range session the way to go?
 

MudRunner2005

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
14,708
Location
Alabama
Everyone will have their own opinions and regimen. Some guys are very old school, and clean and wipe-down their guns after EVERY outing, whether they shot it, or not. Some clean it only if they shot it. Some don't clean them but before and after season. Some don't clean them at all if they've been sitting in the safe, and haven't had enough rounds through them until it throws a shot. And some folks are lazy and just never clean a gun at all, and don't know why one season it works, and then in the off-season they shoot it a bunch, and then come next season it's not hitting in the same place... :rolleyes: Used to deal with this at the gun store alot. "My gun won't shoot, but it did last year, what's wrong with it?" Well sir, have you cleaned it? "No...How's that gonna help?" o_O

I clean my barrel right before hunting season, then I go to the range, and make sure it doesn't need any fouling shots to get it back on zero. Once I determine all is well, nothing goes down that bore except a hot piece of copper-covered lead until after the season is over with...Unless something happens, that warrants cleaning, like tripping, or dropping the gun and, the barrel getting dropping into the dirt, or mud, or something to that effect. Usually in my truck and/or hunting pack I carry a bore snake coated in RemOil (sealed in two ziplock bags) for field emergencies such as that. Then when you get back home, a thorough cleaning is in order.

As far as typical cleaning regimen for my target/fun rifles that I don't particularly hunt with, when they need cleaning, I scrub them down to the white, and then when it's clean, I run a couple of wet patches coated in RemOil down the barrel to soak into the metal while it sits in the safe. Then I shoot, and shoot, and shoot it some more, and when it finally starts throwing shots, I know it needs cleaning. Then I take it home, and I start over, and scrub it completely again.

The reason I treat my hunting rifles differently, is because they are precision instruments that I use to dispatch living things. The animals I shoot feel pain, and the steel targets and paper I shoot at the range, don't. And if I'm dispatching an animal, the least I can do is be as precise as I can, and give it as quick and painless and humane a death as possible.
 

B23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2008
Messages
1,471
Location
Spokane, Wa.
You'll likely get every answer, from A to Z, when comes to cleaning.

For me, I let the accuracy of the gun tell me when it needs to be cleaned. I don't know if my way is right or wrong but I shoot them till accuracy starts to fall off. Once that happens, I clean.
 

trumperman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
135
What Will Happen if I Don't Clean My Gun? Every time you fire your gun, carbon, lead, copper and plastic—if shooting shotgun—residue are left in the barrel, chamber and action. ... Fouling built up over time can impact a gun's reliability. You will find that a dirty gun causes many malfunctions.
Some insist that firearms should be cleaned every time they are fired as well as every few months whether they've been used or not. ... If you are shooting corrosive ammunition, or if the firearm is exposed to water, moisture, or other damaging elements you should always clean your gun as soon as possible.
 

HARPERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,869
Location
Spokane, WA
I guess evolving is how I would describe my cleaning process.

I think we have to look at cleaning in the context of components, and what we are trying to achieve, how they are stored, how they are used, if spotters, and fouling shots are OK, or if the cold bore is it.

I was started on cheap, military surplus, corrosive, .30-06 ammo, and cleaned with what would be considered medieval today. Not only the days we shot, but a couple of times during the week following.

I'm slowly moving to the school of not cleaning until it tells you it needs it. Moving away from abrasives, and having some success with foams.

I am a believer in cleaning between bullet types/brands.

For the badly fouled I like the Outers Foul Out.

Components have changed, as well as cleaning products, we should also.
 

Hatrick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
808
Location
Cape May NJ/ Stuart, Fl
As Harperc said metals have changed and so has cleaning fluids. Same ase automotive. I use to change oil in my car every 3000 miles. My wifes car recommends every 7500 miles. Auto rifles need cleaning more.
 

Shane Lindsey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
1,877
Let the rifle tell you what it needs. I have rifles that have the cold/clean shot in the group. Others not so much.

Depending on where you live may also tell you how to store it. I tried the "don't clean" and store thing and went to look at the rifle and it was not pretty. I am in Virginia and my bore was orange. Not good, powder fouling attracts moisture so if you need to foul for hunting season to have first round accuracy, think through how to maintain as you get to the end of the season.
 

trumperman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
135
Before I start my car every morning, I check the fuel guage, steering fluid etc. my car doesn’t have to act strange before I do that. It’s my responsibility to do what’s right so I can get the best performance. The same goes for all my guns.
 

lancetkenyon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
4,063
Location
Arizona
I am in the "clean when accuracy falls off" tribe.

I do, however, clean about a month before hunting season. Then go put 10-20 rounds to foul it. One or 3 final shots the weekend before the opener, and then when I get home after the season ends, as carrying it in a truck, pack, shoulder, etc. seems to collect dust and moisture.

I shoot about 48-50 weekend a year. Last year I ran just over 2600 centerfire rounds through various rifles. Some rifles go 50 rounds before needing cleaning, my AR will go 600+ before it starts to open up. Most are between 100-200 however.
 

300whisper

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
4,430
Location
Macon, Georgia
If you have a good after market barrel, clean every 300 rounds. If it’s a factory rifle every 150 rounds. Do a deep clean and get all the copper and crap out of it. Do about 20 Fouling shots, after a deep clean, to get your rifle back to the sweet spot.

The old school clean every time you shoot was a military thing civilians adopted because of corrosive ammo. If you’re shooting corrosive ammo, clean after every session.
 

300whisper

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
4,430
Location
Macon, Georgia
Everyone will have their own opinions and regimen. Some guys are very old school, and clean and wipe-down their guns after EVERY outing, whether they shot it, or not. Some clean it only if they shot it. Some don't clean them but before and after season. Some don't clean them at all if they've been sitting in the safe, and haven't had enough rounds through them until it throws a shot. And some folks are lazy and just never clean a gun at all, and don't know why one season it works, and then in the off-season they shoot it a bunch, and then come next season it's not hitting in the same place... :rolleyes: Used to deal with this at the gun store alot. "My gun won't shoot, but it did last year, what's wrong with it?" Well sir, have you cleaned it? "No...How's that gonna help?" o_O

I clean my barrel right before hunting season, then I go to the range, and make sure it doesn't need any fouling shots to get it back on zero. Once I determine all is well, nothing goes down that bore except a hot piece of copper-covered lead until after the season is over with...Unless something happens, that warrants cleaning, like tripping, or dropping the gun and, the barrel getting dropping into the dirt, or mud, or something to that effect. Usually in my truck and/or hunting pack I carry a bore snake coated in RemOil (sealed in two ziplock bags) for field emergencies such as that. Then when you get back home, a thorough cleaning is in order.

As far as typical cleaning regimen for my target/fun rifles that I don't particularly hunt with, when they need cleaning, I scrub them down to the white, and then when it's clean, I run a couple of wet patches coated in RemOil down the barrel to soak into the metal while it sits in the safe. Then I shoot, and shoot, and shoot it some more, and when it finally starts throwing shots, I know it needs cleaning. Then I take it home, and I start over, and scrub it completely again.

The reason I treat my hunting rifles differently, is because they are precision instruments that I use to dispatch living things. The animals I shoot feel pain, and the steel targets and paper I shoot at the range, don't. And if I'm dispatching an animal, the least I can do is be as precise as I can, and give it as quick and painless and humane a death as possible.

Mud, you always have good answers on every topic on this forum. I appreciate that. Thanks for being a great contributor here.

Same can be said for Harper, feenix, fiftydriver, etc. Thanks for all you do.
 

Greyfox

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
5,908
Location
Northeast
My philosophy is to clean as little as possible while maintaining maximum performance. I’ll generally establish a specific cleaning routine for each firearm based on its particular characteristics. Intervals are usually based on a determined shot count, or if subjected to poor conditions(moisture, dirt, etc) I will be pre-emptive when figuring out shot count and not wait until accuracy or operation deteriorates.
 

Mickey D

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
119
Location
Marion,Al
My philosophy is to clean as little as possible while maintaining maximum performance. I’ll generally establish a specific cleaning routine for each firearm based on its particular characteristics. Intervals are usually based on a determined shot count, or if subjected to poor conditions(moisture, dirt, etc) I will be pre-emptive when figuring out shot count and not wait until accuracy or operation deteriorates.
I have a SIL who was a SEAL sniper. He shot a 300win mag.I also have a 300wm and a shooting buddy who shoots one too.
I asked my SIL how often they cleaned the Bbl on their work Guns. He said that they (his team) cleaned the bore after two hundred or more shots unless their groups opened up. I clean mine after a trip to the range if I shoot more than 40-50 rounds.
Years ago I had a 270wby that had to be cleaned after 15-18 rounds. When clean it was a one holer. When it started getting dirty it opened up more than I liked.
I say clean it like you feel led to just don't wear the Bbl out with a brush.
 

Recent Posts

Top