Cleaning rifle

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by rzw0wr, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. rzw0wr

    rzw0wr Member

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    I have 2 rifles.
    A 10-22 Ruger and a Henry .357.
    When we shoot them usually more than 100 rounds each

    It sometimes takes me 2 days to clean these rifles.

    I never get the patch to come completely clean and when I run a oil patch down the barrel
    It looks like I have never clean it.

    Do you ever get a firearm really clean?

    Thank you,
    Dale
     
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  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I clean every gun I shoot before it gets returned to the safe, even if it was only a few shots.

    Over the last 30+ years I have cleaned MANY!!!! guns. The patches almost never come out completely clean even after many patches. Some gun cleaning solutions are very good getting the carbon fouling out (MPro-7) and others are pretty good getting the copper fouling out of the bore (Sweets). The MPro-7 is water based and removes ALL of the protective oil. So a coating of Breakfree or gun oil are REQUIRED afterwards. The Sweets is ammonia based and if left in the bore too long will eventually etch the bore and must be followed by something like Breakfree or gun oil.

    But here is something for thought: We clean the bore and insist on a "fouling shot" before seriously shooting the gun. (????). Removing all the copper from the bore down to the last speck seems counter productive if you have to "foul" the barrel before getting serious about shooting the gun?? My approach is to get all the carbon out of the bore and most of the copper without getting obsessive. Patches that are slightly stained in copper are good enough for me. That precludes having to worry about a "fouling shot". The copper returns to the bore quickly with the shooting session and rarely if ever do I find that the accuracy degrades as the shooting session proceeds for maybe a hundred rounds or so (good and smooth barrels take longer to build up copper fouling).

    The short answer is unless you are a bench rest shooter with a custom gun, don't obsess about getting patches that are perfectly clean. That's my opinion and yours may vary.

    LDBennett
     

  3. ms6852

    ms6852 GUNZILLA Supporting Member

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    I run a couple of patches wet with solvent let it soak in the barrel about 10 minutes longer depending on how much shooting than use a dry patch followed by a couple of oil patches. Total time for me is less than 30 minutes if I'm soaking the barrel with the solvent.
     
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    YES..... Cleaning every spec of copper out of a barrel is highly over rated, in my opinion. The method ms6852 uses is adequate.

    There is a plating tool sold by Lyman (??) that is suppose to remove all copper using electricity in a plating operation. You put a steel rod in the center of the barrel and the copper moves from the bore to the rod. But the rod has to be have the copper removed from it often (read many times) after removing the liquid. Then you find there are alternate layers of carbon and copper requiring bore cleaning with powder solvent every time you clean the plating rod. It can take MAnY hours and a lot of work to get ALL the copper out. Then you have to shoot a fouling shot?

    Indeed, removing all the copper is way overrated.

    LDBennett
     
  5. PRR1957

    PRR1957 Well-Known Member

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    Go hang out in the forums were the competition folks yack about cleaning their guns barrel bores. I referring to serious Benchrest, F-Class, and PRS folks. There is a politheria of opinions regarding cleaning barrel bores.

    What I have gleaned is unless the barrel is from one of the custom barrel makers who hand lap the barrel bore as part of their final production process, your always going to have a difficult time thoroughly cleaning out all the carbon and copper from a mass production barrel. Even some hand lapped barrel bores can be pesky. I have owned custom barrels from Kriger, Lilja, and Douglas. Some clean up with little effort, and some I could never get a clean patch out the barrel, but they still shoot bug holes on paper. Then I have had a few mass production barrels that cleaned up with little effort. One was a Remington PSS chambered in 223 Rem. that would clean out in less then ten minuets, and that gun shot bug holes on paper.

    The biggest factor IMO with mass production barrels is how the bore is drilled, and reamed prior to rifling. When reamed, is it a smooth finish or was the reamer used to many time and leave a finish with tool marks. This will effect the final finish after the rifling is performed, of which there are three methods, draw single point cut, which cut each groove one at a time, draw button which swages the finished rifling at once, and hammer forged which again creates the finished rifling in one process. Each has it pro and cons. Draw single point cut can create a more consistent bore groove and land diameter but can leave longitudinal tooling marks, which that is dependent on the particular barrel maker, like Henry Arms mass production draw single point cuts their barrels, were Pacnor will hand lap their barrel bores, but Pacnor is a custom barrel maker. Draw button rifling can leave a smooth finished rifled bore, but can leave an inconsistent bore diameter. Finally hammer forged were a mandrill with a negative rifling pattern is inserted into the barrel blank and then the barrel is fead through a type of press that compresses the barrel around its circumference forming the rifling, then when finished the mandrill is pulled out the barrel. Hammer forged has become the de facto rifling process for mass production method for the firearms industry because of its ability to produce a relatively smooth bore finish, and a high volume production rate. Although it does require a two step heat treat and quenching to remove any stress in the barrel.

    With all that said, as for a mass produced gun barrels bore finish and ease of carbon and copper following clean out, the hammer forging will usually produce the smoothes bore finish, followed by draw button, then single point.

    Another factor to how much a guns bore follows up is the volume and rate of fire through a particular guns barrel. Do a couple of mag dumps in an AR and more copper will accumulate do to the rapid and high heating of the barrel. How many rounds have been fired through the barrel is another factor. With high pressure, high velocity rifle cartridges temperatures can exceed 5000* F, but the heating only lasting milliseconds. This burns out the carbon and chromium alloy from the steel of the barrel which in turn creates a textured surface similar in appearance to that of a dried mud lake bed. This is were carbon from the burnt gun powder and copper following can accumulate. If say a deer rifle is only fired with twenty rounds a year, discounting rust, the barrels bore could last for decades or generations. The competition benchrest shooters firing the the diminutive 6mm PPC, will replace their $300-$400 custom barrels after 3000-3500 rounds. When I competed in IHMSA in the unlimited class, a course of fire was 40 rounds of 7mmT/CU in about one hour, and if I shot a 40x40 score I would fire another 40, 80, 120 160 rounds in eliminations with another 10+ rounds for the final shoot off. It would take three days sometimes to clean the barrel, and the barrel would be burn out 750-900 rounds fired. To compete in a season I would burn out three or four barrels. I did this for four year's. It got expensive replacing barrels. In that time, I tried every conceivable method, and brand of bore cleaner/solvents. Best results was with Hoppies Benchrest for copper removal with Kroil for carbon removal with patch/jag, and nylon bore brush, of which I still use to this day. For cleaning 22LR carbon and lead from the barrels, just Kroil with patch/jag, and nylon bore brush.

    Well that was long winded just to suggest Hoppies Benchrest and Kroil.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
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  6. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle TFF Chaplain Supporting Member

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    I never fire a fouling shot with my clean smokeless powder rifles.

    But for a clean black powder rifle I do fire a fouling shot to "season" the barrel before a competition. That seems to be SOP for muzzle loading and black powder cartridge rifles.
     
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  7. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Had the grandson down for a week for driving practice (He's almost 16) as well as target shooting. He fired his .22s along with my P08 Luger and 92FS Beretta. He really liked shooting my old Russian SKS and a 1916 No1 Mk III .303. I taught him how to clean all of these afterwards.

    One thing I told him - and I pass along to you - is that the steel in barrels is porous. You will find that after a good scrubbing with solvent/bristle brushes and lots of dry and oil patches afterwards - no matter how clean you get the bore - go back a couple days later and run a clean, dry patch and see what happens. You WILL get more black (carbon) and blue/green (copper). On firing this stuff gets into the pores of the steel and leeches out.

    Not to worry! Just clean as best as you can. Don't forget to leave a thin film of preservative oil to prevent rust (and don't forget to swab it out before shooting the next time!) Last chirp: clean your barrel from the breech end if you can, and use a bore guide on the cleaning rod. Cleaning a barrel from the muzzle end without a bore guide can do serious damage to your barrel over time. A bore guide will help you from slapping/wearing the interior of your barrel and keeps the rod centered.
     
  8. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    If you are shooting black powder or a black powder substitute, yes.
    If you are shooting smokeless powder and a copper jacketed bullet, probably not needed but most hunters don't do a deep cleaning of the bore after they have sighted the rifle in at the start of the season. Superstition? Maybe, after all it is bad luck to some football fans to wash their "lucky shirt".
    A holdover from the old black powder days? Who knows. Me? I haven't hunted with a modern rifle using jacketed bullets in forty years and that was a model 94 in 30-30 and iron sights. Freshly cleaned or not I could hit minute of Pepsi can with it at a hundred yards shooting offhand. A deer is a lot bigger than a Pepsi can. :)
     
  9. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Griz - I don't think superstition has anything to do with it. Two rifles I used over the years was a finely sporterized 1903 and the other a Post '64 Winchester Model 70 - both in '30-06. Both shot under 1" at 100 yards with my hunting loads - but only after a couple of 'fouling shots' to clear any trace of preservative oil from the bore. I learned to do this from shooting the M14/M1A in High Power Matches as well as the Remington 513-Ts in Small Bore events.

    Bet that if you had that '94 back and worked up a good load for it - that Pepsi can would be well ventilated. Might have to shoot off a bench (off-hand at 100 yards at a tin can with open sights is pretty iffy for ALL hits).
     
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  10. Smoke

    Smoke Well-Known Member

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    Getting every bit of dirt or copper from the inside of the barrel is not necessary. You clean to remove unwanted build up. Some deposits on the inside of the barrel help accuracy. I had an old Mosin Nagant that wouldn't hit anything until I got a few rounds through it. Then the bore would smooth out & it would go back to being accurate again. I learned to not scrub out everything when I clean & it would take less shots to get it hitting the target. If you have a clean piece of steel & rub a patch on it hard like pushing through the bore of a rifle it will come up dirty.
     
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  11. PRR1957

    PRR1957 Well-Known Member

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    The usage of molybdenum (Mo) disulfide coating on copper jacketed bullets, and the anti-copper following agents in some of the modern gun powders is on going debate since the introduction as bullet/barrel bore lubricants, and their affects on cleaning a barrels bore.

    This debate stems from some shooters claiming that the buildup of Mo in a barrel’s bore because of the heat from burning gun powder, and compression from the bullet jacket will cause the Mo to accumulate and melt/weld to the barrel bore. Mo melts at 4,753*F (2,623*C). Gunpowder burning in high pressure cartridges can exceed temperatures of 5000*. Contending the melt/weld claim some reports of longer barrel bore life, but cleaning the barrel bore is more difficult. The jury still out about molybdenum disulfide coated bullets.

    The modern gunpowders with the anti-copper following agents some claim that it does reduce copper following, but with more then normal carbon will buildup in the barrels bore making it difficult to clean the barrel bore. None of the gunpowder manufactures will divulge what the anti-copper following agents are. The jury is still out about the anti-copper following gunpowders.

    Interestingly, I have not heard if anyone trying both the molybdenum disulfide coated bullets with the anti-copper following gunpowders. I can only imagine the debate about that.

    My experience with coated bullets was with the Sierra 168 MK with the factory Mo coating in a 308 Win., which I could never get a clean patch out the gun barrel with those bullets, but there was a small improvement in accuracy, but you need to wear disposable gloves when handling these bullets when handloading. Also the Nosler, Ballistic Silvertip, 168 gr. and 180 gr. coated with Lubalox, handloads in a 308 Win., which still left copper in the barrel bore, and a 20 round box of Winchester, Black Talons, 45ACP, 230 gr. of which I fired a couple to check POI, so I have no opinion on those.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  12. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Jim, I've never shot competitively and forty years ago I still had 20-20 vision and had been shooting offhand and hitting what I was aiming at ever since I was old enough to shoulder my Dad's old Remington model 33 .22. Back then I could shatter a beer bottle and then break the big pieces of it. Thirty years ago I won a ten dollar bet by hitting a full beer can offhand, iron sights with a custom made .54 caliber percussion rifle loaded with 75 grains of 2f black and a patched round ball. Range was about 75 yards and the beer can was on it's side on top of a stump with the bottom of the can facing me. We wern't drinking and shooting, we found the can in the ditch walking out after a hunt and I needed to unload the rifle before getting back in our vehicle. I've always liked reactive targets. :)
     
  13. SilasW

    SilasW Well-Known Member

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    My experience in cleaning firearms is as such: I have both in-line and side lock BP rifles. After a range session the barrel gets removed and cleaned with very hot soapy water. Then scrubbed with a non-petroleum bore cleaner. After several passes the patches come out with only a slight hint of tan discoloration. You can continue to clean until the cows come home and it never gets any different. A couple of dry patches and a light coat of Bore Butter follows. Day or two later if you run a clean dry patch down, it comes out a light brown color. I used to fret over this, then realized their accuracy was fine and the bores never pitted. My repro St Louis Hawken has been with me for about 30 year now. shoots better now than the day I got it.
    Except for AR's, smokeless powder rifles seldom get a complete disassemble. Classic Hoppes #9 on a patch until it comes out mostly clean. Again, endless patches for hours or days doesn't improve results Finish with a dry patch and light coat Hoppes Elite oil. These are bolt action and lever hunting rifles.
    AR's get a complete disassemble. That's the way the Army wanted weapons done and I've continued with my personal firearms. I was the company armorer in my unit. The 1st Sgt wouldn't allow any weapons turned back in if they had the smallest spec of anything even suspected of being fowling. Full day sessions of weapons cleaning were the norm. Everything was stored away dry. No oil of any kind. Handguns were treated the same way. Our personal weapon at that time was the 1911A1. each tank had one M16. Crew weapons were (2)M240C's and one M2 .50 cal.
     
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  14. PRR1957

    PRR1957 Well-Known Member

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    SilasW,
    I remember having clean my issued M-16 A1 when was in the Army. I was kind of dating a nurse and swiped two different hemostats for me. One was a straight jaw, and the other had off set jaw, which the later one clamping in the tip of the jaw two bore patches which was perfect for cleaning around and under the gas tube inside, and the track where the charging handle rides inside the upper receiver. That was 1979-1982 when the U.S.Army still had surplus Vietnam area 5.56 ammo loaded with Hodgdon BLC-2, which burns like coal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  15. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Ok PRR...right or wrong I sorta pride myself on having a fairly broad vocabulary. I have looked high and low for "politheria" and if it exists as a word, I can't find a definition....or spelling. Looking at the word I tried tying "poli" with a few choices and came up blank. So, my question is this, is there such a word and if so, what does it mean, or, did you mean "plethora"? Plethora fits by definition.
     
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