Just a comment for those that are interested in trying something.
When at the range, shoot one round and then push a clean patch through the bore. Look at the amount of powder fouling on the patch from just one firing. Most of this fouling is carbon and it is harder than the barrel material. When a bullet is fired on top of it, It acts like an abrasive and can scratch or wear the bore reducing the barrel life. the soft jacket of the bullet gets imbedded with this fouling and pushes it down the barrel.
This is the main reason that a shoot and clean brake in procedure is used because the fouling is behind the bullet and if removed before the next shot, controlled/normal wear is the results. Longer barrel life is the results of frequent cleaning if done correctly.
Any fouling reduces barrel life and accuracy. The more frequent the cleaning regiment, the longer the barrel will perform. For hunters That may shoot less than a box of ammo a season it will probably never effect there barrel enough to matter.
Barrels that have copper fouling tend to wear in the unprotected areas where the copper does not exist, but the copper fouling does protect the areas covered from wear. this condition causes un even wear in the bore also reducing barrel life and accuracy. Many may disagree but the bore scope doesn't lie and all of my best groups were shot with new barrels with Less than (100 rounds)that had been properly broken in and cleaned.
I'm not pushing an agenda just stating what I have learned over 50+ years of shooting and working on guns. Proof of this is one of my match rifles that has over 23,000 rounds through it and is still capable of 1/2 MOA accuracy with Iron sites. It has always had a strict cleaning regiment and the only wear I can see it is the lead surfaces. (They show signs of minimum wear but not enough to set the chamber back).
Cleaning a barrel, is like a babies diaper it doesn't take long for it to get bad if left unattended.
J E CUSTOM
I'm certainly no expert, but just wanted to share my personal experience. After polling three bench-rest hall of fame shooters, every one of them told me to buy a bore scope and learn how to use it. So I did! They're not such a big investment anymore, $200-$250 for the Lyman, after a few quick classes on how and what to look for, what causes various things, and what those things meant, I was horrified at the condition of most of my barrels. Many shooters simply ruin a new barrels accuracy potential in the first 100-150 rounds by not cleaning effectively. The only way to tell if you are cleaning effectively is with a borescope! Baked on carbon is hard, harder than steel, and each time another bullet comes roaring down that barrel under pressure, and hits that carbon deposit, it's like hitting the lands and grooves with a hammer and chisel leaving a tiny dent in the steel underneath. Do this a hundred times or more, and the interior of your barrel looks like a lunar landscape, all that high-end machining and hand lapping is gone. Sure the rifle will still shoot, and send the bullet in a general direction, but the true accuracy potential 1/4 minute or better of that new custom barrel is gone forever! They all told me they clean after ever 10-20 rounds, and will never shoot more than 40 without cleaning. They have a different regimen at then end of each range session, to remove copper deposits. A tutorial on how to clean properly can be found here: http://bulletcentral.com/how-to-clean-a-rifle-tutorial/ After starting with a new barrel, and following this advice, years of frustration and not being able to shoot any better then 3/4 to 1.0 MOA ended, I'm now getting group sizes in the 0.2's to 0.3's and sometimes better! I was frustrated for decades, wasted thousands of dollars and countless hours trying different loads, hold techniques, etc.... with rifles that fowled quickly and just wouldn't shoot, because the barrels where ruined! Hope this helps somebody!
Clean when accuracy goes down or you get junk in there.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?
I would like to know what most people mean by "cleaning". Are they talking about removing just carbon, carbon and some copper, or carbon and all copper?
I was having very good results with my Tikka rifle cleaning after every 20 rounds. My rifle picks up a considerable amount of copper after just a few rounds. By cleaning, I mean just soaking the barrel with hoppes #9, using a bronze brush about 30 strokes, then wet patching with hoppes #9 until there was almost no more carbon on the patches. Then dry patch, then light coat of hoppes oil, which was drypatched out before shooting again.
So, it seems my rifle would shoot best with a coat of copper in the bore, but cleaning out the carbon every 20 rounds. I think the only thing everyone wants is consistent accuracy, which may be obtained in different ways depending on whether you have a smooth custom barrel or a rough factory barrel. It makes sense to me that a rough factory barrel would shoot more consistently with the copper layer to provide a smooth and consistent surface over the rough bits of the steel.
J E, what's are you thoughts on that?
I have since changed a few things and can't get my rifle to shoot consistently anymore, not knowing if it's cleaning, barrel wear, me, etc etc etc. So everyone should take my experience with a grain of salt.
Your thoughts and experiences mirror mine. Why would you make a range trip, a comp. a hunting trip etc.. to have your rifle come apart on you? I've read too many, my rifle is a 1/4 moa gun, I wait till it opens up to half moa before I clean. I imagine all testing is done at 100 yards so if your groups opened up to 1/2" at 100, I bet they look sweet downrange.The other point that you should wait to clean until accuracy falls off before cleaning is something that I don't want to happen to me. I want/need my rifles to shoot their best ALL THE TIME because I need all the help I can get, so I don't make a poor shot. Once I find the point that accuracy is effected, I avoid letting my rifles reach that point before something happens.
Everyone should shoot and clean the way that works best for them or best suits there needs and philosophies. But as everyone has stated, at some point fouling effects all firearms. I chose to control it rather than to live with it or adjust to it.
Just my opinion for what it's worth.
J E CUSTOM