Clean Barrel

Discussion in 'Rifle & Shotgun Discussion' started by Edmon, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Edmon

    Edmon Member

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    I have heard different opinions about cleaning your barrel after each shooting session or leaving it "dirty" for better accuracy. What is the general feeling about this?

    Thanks.
  2. spengo

    spengo Active Member

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    Leaving it dirty is more accurate? Wat? Says who?

    Now, some old surplus guns you have to be careful not to clean too much or risk eroding the bore but modern stuff like an AR-15 with a chrome-lined bore, excessive cleaning probably isn't going to hurt it.
  3. M.Link

    M.Link Guest

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    I've never heard of it improving anything either. I buy my guns as working guns, not for collecting or value. I clean them if they get super dirty or if I'm bored and feel like playing with my guns. If I go shoot and don't have time to clean them, they will be fine.
  4. spengo

    spengo Active Member

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    Yeah, I mean, I don't bother to clean after every range trip, but all my guns are pretty modern and don't require a whole lot of maintenance to keep nice. I usually clean about once a month or once every 500rds, whichever happens first.

    My friend has a moist nugget (mosin nagant) that he shoots corrosive ammo through though and that thing has to be cleaned immediately after he gets home from shooting. Windex that bore!
  5. andy*

    andy* Member

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    Clean! Clean! Clean!
    Really through, you spend a couple hundred dollars or more on a gun, then you go and shoot it, but not clean it afterwards? How does that make sense?
    I used to work in a pawn shop and I saw more guns ruined by lack of care than I wish to remember. Andy
  6. orygun

    orygun Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Many guns shoot to a slightly different point when the gun is squeaky clean. When it comes to my hunting rifles, I always put a couple or three shots down the barrel after a thorough cleaning and leave it that way until after the season's over. I've seen this to be less of a problem after the barrel is broken in, but I don't chance it.

    That said, I usually clean my guns after a shooting venture, but not always.
  7. RallySoob

    RallySoob Active Member

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    depends how many rounds I've shot and how dirty it is. I usually clean my guns every trip but have went a few trips w/o cleaning before. all is well
  8. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Orygun's on the money. Here's my regimen (this theory is generally accepted by many, variations are many.)

    New barrels should be cleaned after every shot from the bench, until about 20 rounds have gone out.

    Then clean after every five rounds till another 20 have gone out.

    Then clean after every 20-30 rounds off the bench for the life of the gun.

    BUT: The first couple rounds out of a clean barrel will almost never print where the rest go (from a fouled barrel). Also velocities will not settle to consistent readings till 3-5 rounds have gone out. Velocities from a clean barrel are almost always significantly less than from a fouled barrel.

    SO: For best accuracy, start looking for a good group after you've shot at least 3 rounds out of a clean barrel. If accuracy deteriorates a bit after 20 rounds or so, scrub that puppy, shoot 3 rounds to foul, then look for good groups again.

    AND FOR HUNTING: Prior to the trip, clean the barrel thoroughly, then shoot at least 3 rounds before carrying the gun to the field. You'll get best/consistent velocities and best accuracy when it comes time for business.

    For the man with one gun (beware: he likely knows how to use it), Orygun's strategy of leaving the barrel fouled for the season is an excellent practice (as long as coastal drizzle never gets in). For scatterbrained idiots like me who are attracted to the other bright shiny object in the gun safe, and take a different gun almost every time, I can't take the chance that I'd forget to clean one until next year.
  9. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Well-Known Member

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    Not many here have heard of shooting a "fouling" or "fouler" round apparently.
    It's bad enough that many/most guns are affected by a cold bore. Do everything you can to make sure you get consistent POI before a hunt/shoot/target/load workup session. Starting off with a clean, cold bore may work for some guns, but none that I have owned. All have needed a couple foulers before they settled down.

    Way to go Orygun and Spitpatch!
  10. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    And an anecdote to bolster the premise:

    A friend brought a fancy guy to our antelope camp in Montana one year.

    He carried a .270 Weatherby. We were regaled with all the attributes of the .270 Weatherby for the entire trip. In comparison, my lowly .270 Winchester was regarded by him as a weak rubber band launching spitwads.

    Then a discussion came up about cleaning barrels. He insisted that one should never go afield without a clean, well-oiled barrel.

    After his lengthy diatribe, I quietly asked if he had a chronograph and/or had spent much bench time with the Weatherby. His reply included the uselessness of such trouble. One sighter shot each year, a thorough cleaning/oiling and off to the field was all this expert needed!

    I elected not to point out to him that I knew for certain his Weatherby (a fine cartridge in the hands of someone who knows how to employ it properly) would probably not launch the first bullet out of his clean, well-oiled barrel quite as fast as my .270 Winchester that had been "neglected" by carrying it into the field with a fouled bore.

    He went home with a doe he'd ham-shot at 250 yards. Can't argue with that success.