How Clean is Too Clean

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by CopperSkink, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. CopperSkink

    CopperSkink New Member

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    Greetings all,
    I've been reloading for a year or so now and when testing my loads I will usually run a dry patch down the barrel at the end of each test set (about every 4 rounds). I've noticed other people do a proper full clean with wet patches and so forth.
    Now obviously the cleanliness of the barrel makes a big difference to the quality of the shot, but.... I am also after what might be called a normal shot (not a perfect shot), and I figure a normal shot will have a small amount of fowling in the barrel.
    I realize this probably isn't normal practice for testing reloads, so I'm after any ideas on what you (more experienced than me) people might think. Remember I want my results to be based on normal use / not perfect use (so the group results are more realistic) - or am I totally wrong there aswell - if I test a perfectly clean barrel then a slightly fowled barrel will only skew the results slightly.

    Thanks
    CopperSkink
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Shooters that clean a lot are breaking in a new barrel. A dry patch will not do anything worth while. Cleaning may be needed if changing powder types. Bullets, if switching from jackted to all copper, or to/from molly coated bullet, the barrel would need a good cleaning. Shooting 20 or 30 rounds before cleaning is normal for me.
  3. CopperSkink

    CopperSkink New Member

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    Yeah,
    I wasn't too sure about the dry patch thing, but it's good to know that I can wait about 20-30 rounds before a clean - which is uaually a full batch for me anyway.
    I take it that after the clean, the first round or two won't be indicative of the real results or is there so little difference that is doesn't matter
    Thanks for the info
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    The first shot out of a clean barrel may go to a different point of impact then the following shots from a dirty barrel. Not always tho. You need to test this as all firearms are different. I clean with Hoppe"s #9, then dry patch the bore, shoot. Works well for me.
  5. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I have to shoot copper where I am and have had to really go to school on barrel cleaning. Copper fouling will destroy any accuracy in a rifle and it requires special solvents to remove it. My personal favorite barrel solvent is Barnes CR10. It's pretty nasty smelling (ammonia) so use it in a well-ventilated place. Ten strokes with a wet brush, wait five minutes then run a dry patch down the bore. Repeat until the blue color goes away. My rifles usually start to fall off in accuracy after 25-30 rounds. My groups will go from 2" to cloverleafs after cleaning, and I've seen no difference between a clean barrel and the next 3 or 4 rounds expended. That's in four different rifles.

    If you are using Hoppe's you are not removing any copper fouling, just powder. Modern high pressure cartridges shooting gilding metal bullets can also benefit from a thorough cleaning with a copper removing solvent.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  6. CopperSkink

    CopperSkink New Member

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    Thanks for the info - I should of mentioned that I'm only shooting .223 and doesn't seem to fowl up too much - I'm also using Bore Tech - Eliminator, seems to do the job on the copper and I'm pretty sure its not amonia based - so you can leave a bit in the barrel for storing.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    A word of warning with cleaners that contain ammonia as do most of the copper removing solvents:

    Leave those solvents in the barrel too long and they will etch the bore which is not conducive to accuracy and which will lead to excessive buildup of copper that is harder to remove. Follow the direction on the bottle as to the maximum time you leave it in the bore.

    I overheard a bench rest gunsmith tell a friend that he left the ammonia solvent in the bore while he took an extended phone call and returned to a etched bore. Now, some of these bench rest guys are cleaning fanatics and the "solvent" may have been closer to straight ammonia than to anything sold to the public (???).

    LDBennett
  8. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Very good point. I always finish with a patch soaked in Rem-Oil and follow it with a couple of dry patches.
  9. CopperSkink

    CopperSkink New Member

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  10. CopperSkink

    CopperSkink New Member

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    I have to admit - have also heard the same about amonia, thats why I picked Bore Tech (disclosure: I have nothing to do with Bore Tech) :D
  11. NEILT

    NEILT New Member

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    That's interesting cause Ammonia is suppose to be one of the substances used to neutralize corrosive primers. Guess I'll dig a little deeper.
  12. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    Just depends on what I am shooting. In a good barrel, I can shoot 100+ ballistic silvertips without needing to clean.
  13. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    I dont agree. I leave Montana Extreme in my bench rest rifles over night and they have bores I would put up against any rifle any where.
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    reynolds357:

    I think it all depends on the concentration of ammonia in the solvent or whether it even has any in it at all. Unless you have used a bore scope to inspect your bores, you really don't have any idea as to whether your bore was effected by an exposure longer than the directions indicate. It is still safer to follow the directions.

    When the bore is etched it may not be apparent to the unaided eye but the micro holes are there. Each hole tears off a tiny piece of the bullet jacket which probably would increase the rate at which the barrel copper's up. Barrels laden with a copper build up do not necessarily shoot poorly. But when two similar metals slide against each other there is an inconsistent galling action which has to slow the bullet down randomly which might effect the accuracy (???).

    I still think it prudent to follow the solvent's directions. You can bet any company that wants to stay in business has thoroughly tested their solvent to assure it will not hurt the gun and the directions are a result of that testing. But if someone mixes up some concoction in his garage or basement and then sells it to the unknowing then he won't be doing that for long if it hurts the guns. He'll find out what "lawyering up" means.

    But hey, this is my opinion and yours may differ. Its your guns. Do with them whatever you want.

    LDBennett
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