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Cleaning Barrel: How clean is clean enough for a rimfire?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Dyjital, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    After this weekends shooting around I gathered everything together and decided to clean the .22 and the .17 HMR.

    The .22 I'm not really too concerned with it as I'll be replacing the barrel soon to a bull. (then I'll have my own issues with that being spotless)

    Back to the .17 HMR. I can run my brush down the pipe, patch to clean gunk, solvent patch, another clean patch etc. I repeat the process but everytime I get down to the brush It's like I never did any steps before.

    I only shot 50 rounds this weekend through it but it appears that I can never get it clean. I pull bolt out, and visually look DOWN the barrel. I see a perfect mirror shine, perfect rifling, but there's always crap in there.

    I know it's a rimfire and it's dirtier than a centerfire but am I obsessed with it getting too clean? I have OCD, well actually a little CDO because you have to put them in the right order.

    I remember as a kid cleaning my Marlin .22 and we would use patches, a brush and WD-40 and I could get it clean enough (or so I thought). Now that I have a little bit of dough invested in my own rifles...

    What is clean?
     
  2. doobee8

    doobee8 Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Let the solvent marinate overnight before patching it out. Plug up the barel and close the bolt so it won't evaporate as much. Use Hoppes perhaps.
     
  3. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Using Hoppes right now.
    I'll give the plug N' wait method next time I need to do a good cleaning.
     
  4. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    are there .17 cal bore snakes? How do you feel about cleaning a bbl with them?

    Let me answer the 1st question to myself. I found some at eabco.com
    http://www.eabco.com/BorSnake.html
     
  5. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I use break free, and a bore snake. Just run it through a couple times and call it good. About every third time or so I bull the bolt out and clean the inside and bolt with a brush with more break free. I have a 22lr savage mk II.
     
  6. bikemaniac1

    bikemaniac1 Portland Oregon Member

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    Don't use a brush. Try using a jag with a patch. The reason your barrel looks clean but then after you run the brush through you get a dirty patch is because your brush is dirty. I haven't used a brush in a few years. It's all about a decent jag.
     
  7. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Jag?

    For me the brush is a copper one I don't think it's dirty. Still has that nice copper color. It took me about 20 patches/brush strokes to get it clean enough to where I could eat off of it.
     
  8. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A jag is a part that you put on a rod, and put cleaning patches on the jag. It is slightly smaller then the caliber your cleaning and is very tight and cleans the barrel.
     
  9. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Ok, I follow. I'm sure that with the HMR there's a piece that would be called that. It's brass.

    With one patch on there it's a very tight fit down the tube.
     
  10. Collateral

    Collateral Monmouth Member

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    I cannot believe how dirty the bore of my .17 HMR gets after a few rounds. I usually just stay with it 'till it's clean.

    My routine usually goes like this:
    Wet patch pushed slowly through the bore. Let it sit while I clean the bolt.

    Wet brush from breach to crown a few times. (Some people take it off when it comes out of the barrel and pull the rod out by itself, then reattach the brush for another push. Sounds a little anal to me. Do not, however, reverse the brush while it is in the barrel. Push completely through. You are not cleaning baby bottles).

    Wet patches until they start to look clean. As many as it takes.

    Dry patches until they come out clean. If they don't, go back to wet patches.

    I usually use Hoppes No. 9 but for a really dirty bore, try Butch's Bore Shine. Strong stuff.
     
  11. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    i dunno. i think you are overdoing it. I'd put some Hobbes 9 or break free with a patch, clean with a bore snake, couple of passes. call it good.

    IMHO, rifling just need to be clean enough to engage bullet. beyond that is unnecessary.

    I am more meticulous with non-chromed bbls, but mostly i store with some break free which I clean before use.

    heard much about over cleaning ruining perfectly good barrels.
    how much truth is there? Let's hear it.
     
  12. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    With most rimfire the culprits are lead and powder. With the HMR, you're back to using copper jacketed bullets so you introduce more copper into the equation.

    New method: I use Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner (or patch out) shoot it in, and then come back in an hour and push it out with a patch and jag. They do have .17 jags, you can get them at cabelas or midway or even locally.

    Cleans it out really well. The nice thing is that I use way less patches now as I let it work and then push it all out with a patch or two. I was surprised about how much other cleaners left behind.

    Old Method: Hoppes #9 and lots of patches. I got it to show clean, but then I bought some Wipe-out and found out what Hoppes leaves behind.


    The Bore-snake is great for a quick trip down the tube, but I feel lacks the cleaning power and you keep running the same dirty snake down the bore from the first pass to the last.
     
  13. gnarkill

    gnarkill Richland, WA Member

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    Just a general question on cleaning but are you guys using gloves when you clean your firearms? I have noticed after a long cleaning session my fingers are toast and the smell of the stuff stays on even after repeated washing for atleast a few days.
     
  14. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    "Just a general question on cleaning but are you guys using gloves when you clean your firearms? I have noticed after a long cleaning session my fingers are toast and the smell of the stuff stays on even after repeated washing for atleast a few days."

    Sometimes I do, especially if I tear the gun all the way down. If its just a quick clean with a bore snake then, no.
     
  15. Collateral

    Collateral Monmouth Member

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    The last few years I have been trying to ALWAYS wear latex or nitrile gloves while cleaning my guns. Once you get used to wearing them, you will begin to appreciate that not only to they protect your skin from from some pretty nasty solvents and oils, they make cleaning yourself up much easier. Not everyone's Significant Other is a fan of Au De Hoppes. And most of it is on your hands.
    Soon, you will be reaching for them when you change your oil, or do a little painting, stain or waterproof your deck, etc.
    And when your are done cleaning, that smooth surface works great for smearing a few drops of oil all over the bolt, slide, or barrel.
     
  16. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    With a good tight fitting jag and patch, all my .22lr rifles come squeeky clean. It usualy only takes a few passes with a solvent soaked patch followed by a dry one. I will use a bore snake if I am in a hurry. The wire brush part of the bore snake seems a bit harsh so I removed them by unweaving them from the floss. The only place I have had any issues with lead build is in the chamber of a dedicated .22lr AR upper. A nylon brush soaked in solvent takes care of that real quick.
    For copper fouling I like to use the foaming bore cleaners. They seem to work much quicker then traditional copper solvents. I rarely ever have to scrub a bore. If the fouling is real stubborn I make a few passes with a nylon brush and soak it in the foam a bit longer.
     
  17. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Lots of folks never clean their .22 barrels.. the bullet lube keeps the bore safe
     
  18. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    I would use Nitro solvent on a patch thru a 22LR. Maybe a brass brush twice a year/then solvent patch several times.

    17HMR is a brass bullet I beleive. so I'd use Hoppes BR-9 wet patch then let set 15 min. then dry patch; if dirty then repeat. When clean I'd run a gun oil/preservative on a wet patch and store the gun...
     
  19. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I'm lazy. Unless someone is paying me to clean their guns, I'm pretty bad about doing it. All mine get the good enough treatment. In the case of my rimfire rifles, that's pretty much the boresnake after shooting sessions and a once a year thorough cleaning...
     
  20. phathom

    phathom Vancouver, WA Member

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    I tend to soak the brush in hoppes solvent, run it down a couple times, and repeat this about 3 to 4 times to make sure everything gets broken up and loosened up by the solvent and the brush. I then do a patch with solvent, twisting it clockwise all the way down, then counterclockwise all the way up so the inside of it is now on the outside and your getting 2 cleaning passes with it and repeat with dry patches until it comes clean.

    If you keep running the brush down after this, you will always get some on the patches, it's best to just believe in your work the first time or you will literally be at it all day chasing down specs that turn into runs with the solvent.

    I then take some CLP and put it on a patch and run it down, the same way. I then take 1 more dry patch and run it down to soak up any excess oil so dirt isn't attracted to it.
    That's pretty much it for the barrel. For the bolt, use a toothbrush, solvent, and Q-tips to clean it out, and lightly oil afterwards.

    My .22 sure tends to get dirtiest of everything, and I'm not sure if it's because .22s are dirtier, or if it's because I shoot 10x more rounds down it than my other guns, but it sure is fun to shoot.