To clean your gun or not to clean your gun-thats my question

JimmyCP

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Joined
Jun 12, 2018
Messages
164
Location
Winslow Az
When younger I was always told one should clean their rifle. When I was in the Marines there was no question about it what-so-ever. Not so long ago I read an article by a prominent rifle shooting competitor that explained why it's important to keep one's rifle barrel cleaned on a reguler basis. But most recently I'm hearing just the opposite. Some serious shooters say they don't clean their barrel for 600 rounds or more unless of course they get water or dirt ect in the barrel. How often do you clean your barrels? Thanks in advance.
In my opinion it depends on the rifle and the loads.
Some loads I run so hot that after 30 rounds I start getting carbon blowby on the primers. Others around 100 rounds on the big cal like 338 lapua.

I don't like to spend hours flushing copper out like I do on the semi autos.
On the hk 91, FN FAL, AK, and AR about 500-600 rounds.

As always before a hunt cleaned and 5-10 rounds through the chrono to make sure it's on, foul it and get ballistic data.
 

Don A Parsons

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Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
1,061
Location
Some Where in America
Yuppers,,, Target dudes are always cleaning thier guns since their after 0.001 or as close to precision...

Most,,, most shooters clean the pipe,,, fowl shot the barrel and go hinting...

There are folks that never clean their pipes since life is to short...

Buy gun,,, sight in and go kill $4!+... Ha

Or spend your life time cleaning,,, its up to the shooter on who does what you know...
 

keithcandler

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Jan 30, 2005
Messages
650
Once you get set up to clean, things seem a lot easier. Good chemicals, brushes, rods, and something to hold your rifle with makes for an easy job.
 

Savage 22-243 AI

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Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
80
Location
Missouri
The Lyman bore scope can be had for $200 if you watch for promotions from Brownells'.
This is a wonderful tool for the cost. Buy the Lyman and become your own expert, as there are many ways to skin a cat, but good bronze bristle brushes is where the serious cleaning starts.

Kenneth, your neighbor is an idiot, please do not listen to him. I have the Hawkeye bore scope and this scope is high dollar where the Lyman bore scope is affordable to most to purchase. Both bore scopes will show scratches in the bore, minor pits, and imperfect edges on the rifling, chamber edge, crooked chambers, etc.

The best bronze bristle brushes are good for 100 strokes, max, throw them away frequently. The bristle has to flex back and forth in a scrubbing motion, and when the curve in the bristle is worn to the point to where the bristle is straight, the brush has quit doing a lot of it's job getting the carbon out of the grooves.

The best plastic brushes are made by ISSO and Montana Extreme, and these do not do the job that the bronze bristle brushes do.

The Hawkeye bore scope magnifies 25x, clear as a crystal optical image. You could see clearly if there were scratches in the bores. A lot of this nonsense of brushes scratching bores started back when Stainless steel bristle brushes were being used in bores, and they will ruin a bore in one usage, I have seen a friend ruin a new barrel.

I have several Max Heavy Varmint contours that have been rechambered 3x, cleaned frequently brushing with JB on P. dog towns. There are no scratches in the bores of these barrels that have 10K rounds on them with multiple chambers. Of course they started off at 30" finished lengths.

If you love accuracy and keeping your barrel running it's best, then get a Lyman bore scope....you will NEVER regret the investment.
We have Hawkeye and a video custom built bore scope. The best barrel we have ever seen is a Green Mountain barrel. And I still own barrel with scratches on the bottom side. I have shown 3 people on they're own barrels how to scratch the outside with a brush. And JB's will make a beautiful Silver/chrome like polished finish on inside of barrel. Most paste the carbon area and the rest of barrel is grey. No that JB took most or all of the harsh abrasive out it may be ok to use. I just use Moly bullets and don't worry about the extensive cleaning. I shoot 200-700 rounds a day when we PD hunt and don't clean until the gun tells me to.
 

hunterdan

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Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
126
Location
Arizona
The Lyman bore scope can be had for $200 if you watch for promotions from Brownells'.
This is a wonderful tool for the cost. Buy the Lyman and become your own expert, as there are many ways to skin a cat, but good bronze bristle brushes is where the serious cleaning starts.

Yea but the Lyman Bore scope should come with a warning on the box (looking down a Factory Savage Barrel could be a hazard to your health) :)o_O I have a couple of savages that shoot lights out but when I bought the Lyman and look down those barrels I wanted to cry:eek:
The Lyman is one of the best Rifle investments I have made. Takes all the guesswork out of Rifle cleaning. You could read a thousand different ideas on the internet about cleaning but My borescope always tells me the truth!
 

coop2564

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Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
821
Location
Texas
My hunting guns I only scrub clean maybe every 3 yrs due to only having maybe 10rds a year thru them, but I always run a dry bore snake thru them after I have shot just to get the soot carbon out so it doesn't soak up any moisture. I only have one target gun that gets shot a lot and I scrub clean it about every 60-70 rds.
 

MWood

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Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
45
Location
Conroe, TX, US
I wait until accuracy starts to degrade to clean myself.

Do any of you own a AR10 or AR15 manufactured by Anderson Manufacturing with "RF85" coating? Reason I mention this is they offer "RF85"coating for barrels, lowers, uppers and complete rifles. They claim that with this coating that no lubrication is ever needed.

I have used a couple of their no coated lowers and they seem good quality , but find this claim extremely hard to believe.

See https://www.andersonmanufacturing.com/rf-85/
 

Daves762

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Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
382
Location
In a Free State
When younger I was always told one should clean their rifle. When I was in the Marines there was no question about it what-so-ever. Not so long ago I read an article by a prominent rifle shooting competitor that explained why it's important to keep one's rifle barrel cleaned on a reguler basis. But most recently I'm hearing just the opposite. Some serious shooters say they don't clean their barrel for 600 rounds or more unless of course they get water or dirt ect in the barrel. How often do you clean your barrels? Thanks in advance.
I clean after each hunting season. I bring a rifle out, verify zero, and leave alone until tagged out or season ends. I clean before storing. That's with a bolt gun. With a DGI or piston semi auto I clean more often. Just the way I do it.
 

tony d willIiams

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Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
201
Location
San Bernardino Mountains
Before I decided to shoot extra long range I would clean my barrels after every day of shooting, be it 1, 10, fifty or a few hundred.
Now I clean my long guns once a year come January, or if accuracy falls. My pistols every 100 shots unless I cannot be accurate. My 22 mag after every shooting session, black powder is nasty horrible stuff and hates guns.
I reload and use fairly clean burning powders, helps my barrels last and makes me feel better, sort of like using the best oil possible in your engines.
I shot some Yugoslavian ammo a friend brought once. He wanted to know how it would shoot out of my 308. It was okay, it would be deadly at 100 yards. The powder smelled funny burnt and my barrel was crying for a cleaning. Never again. I'll let friends shoot a couple of my cartridges in their long guns, I'll anneal, resize, then all is good.
As they say everybody has a method, this is mine. I am happy to read other views because I find that the more I know, the more I know how little I know.
Thanks to y'all
 

tony d willIiams

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Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
201
Location
San Bernardino Mountains
I think most stray first shots are the shooter is fowled not the barrel. I was made to record my first shot in a book. After many months it was me. Cheek weld was my issue. I didn't find a lot of variation in cold barrel vs warm. I used to oilomy barrel s before storage or if moving to a new project and not going to use the gun for the near term. did an experiment with my 270 and found if I oiled the barrel the first two rounds shoot right an inch or so. You can see the debris on the crown also
I can agree to this at times. I sometimes shoot before settling in, shooter foul.
 

Triple BB

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Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
679
Location
Wyoming
A fiend inherited a Sako from his grandfather who bought it in the 60's. After cleaning it, the thing was spraying bullets everywhere. I checked it over and spent more time trying to get the copper out. After more of the same, I suggested he take it to a local smith. The smith scoped it. He called my buddy and said he'd never seen a barrel so copper fouled and advised it wouldn't be cost effective for him to try and clean it. After doing some research, it looked like grampa didn't own a cleaning kit and never cleaned his guns. So it looks like these rifles need cleaned somewhere between every relay and 50 years...
 

MagnumManiac

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Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
4,185
There's 'clean' and there's clean.
In my 2 switch barrel long actions which run several barrels, I let the barrel tell me when it's time to remove carbon AND copper.
Prior to this, a CARBON clean is done after every third match, or thereabouts.
My short action switch barrel gets the CARBON treatment after every weekend match.
It may get copper removed once a year, as it takes dozens of shots to settle back in to match readiness.
I also only clean barrels squeaky clean when I want to look through the Hawkeye to determine throat erosion and haze cracking and whether a setback and re-chamber is needed.
Funny thing, an acquaintance from the rifle range asked if I could horoscope his Ruger M77MKII in 300WM.........it was so dirty that you couldn't determine if it actually had ANY rifling at all. I declined cleaning it and asked him how well/badly did it shoot and he said next match he would bring it and we could shoot it at 100mtr. I was gobsmacked when it printed 3 shots in a clover leaf, to which he said "I ain't never cleaned this rifle, too scared it will ruin it's accuracy!". He only ever shot factory Winnie 180gr Accubonds in that rifle.........amazing!

Cheers.
 

StillLearnin

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
9
Location
Kremmling, CO
If you don't clean on a regular basis, you are probably not expecting much from your rifle.

Also, carbon gets super heated and gets very difficult to get out. So, your cleaning, may not be cleaning as you may think. By the time a barrel quits shooting well, it may be a world class cleaning effort with the best of chemicals and equipment to get the carbon out. It is best to stay in front a super fouled barrel.

Lyman makes a super bore scope, and without a bore scope, you know nothing about your bore's condition.

Most barrels will shoot their best if cleaned every 20-50 shots, especially a caliber shooting 50g of powder or more.
I shot my 221 Fireball for several years always cleaning it after each trip to the range. Then I learned about WipeOut, Accelerator and Tactical Advantage. They produce different patch colors for carbon, powder and copper. It took me a couple days using these products to get clean patches but what I was most amazed to see was the changing patch colors as the products cut through layers of build up that was not removed with other products.
 

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