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Posted: 6/27/2008 9:48:08 PM EDT
I recently had a talk with a couple advanced long range shooters and they told me they dont clean thier barrels. They claimed by not cleaning with solvents or CLP you will hold tighter groups.

So is that correct? My last cleaning I did not run anything but a several patch passes.
Link Posted: 6/28/2008 8:27:39 AM EDT
That is 100% total Bull........
Link Posted: 6/28/2008 2:16:42 PM EDT
They were jerking your chain
Link Posted: 6/28/2008 2:17:40 PM EDT
OCD
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 7:34:34 AM EDT
I had a buddy from Wisconsin who was a gun smith and big time deer hunter. I picked his brain one day on the topic of bore cleaning.

He said many hunters would refrain from regularly cleaning their barrels season after season until they noticed their groups opening up during their pre-season zero verification. One thing to note though is, how many rounds does the average deer hunter shoot in one season? One range session with my target AR probably equals years of hunting use.

I guess you could get away without cleaning up to a certain point, but then I could see accuracy dropping down from there.

I personally clean my barrels after each range session.
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 7:51:09 AM EDT
It may not be BS or "chain pulling".

I have met, and know, many people that do not believe in having to clean their bores until inspection, or their groupings, tell them it is time to do it.

In the OK/TX area, there are bullseye shooters for ar's, high power rifles, and .22lr pistols that only clean their bores 1 time each season.

When I go to the local range, I see other folks doing the extreme opposite. They are swabbing their bores after EACH AND EVERY shot. They look at me like I'm nuts when I show up and shoot 50 without cleaning.

Funny thing is I land between the two groups on bore cleaning (bore snake after every trip, full detail rod-brush-jag cleaning every 500 rounds) and I have groups just as good as any of them.....

Do what works for you, just be safe. Don't shoot anything ("cleaned" or not) without inspection prior to pressing that trigger!
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 7:53:25 AM EDT
I don't clean my barrels. Then again, I don't shoot MOA to begin with.
Link Posted: 6/30/2008 7:58:59 AM EDT
Some guns / ammo change point of impact for the first few rounds with a clean barrel, even if you run a dry patch through the bore.

Thus one of the two reasons for hunting with a gun that you have already test fired and checked the point of aim. The second reason is if something is going to get put back together wrong, it would be nice to know at the range and not the hunt (less of an issue with ARs and this group due to the fire arm and experience level).

Myself have found that for sub-MOA (in particular half MOA) that the log book indicates regular cleaning helps (think that much of this is copper as the .264 Win needs cleaning every box or two of ammo to work the very best). Lots of the trends get lost in the noise with out keeping a good log book of every round fired and running the statistics on the data (maybe this is part of the reason like shooting NFA for grins, no log book per round, just per range outing and upper).
Link Posted: 6/30/2008 9:52:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/30/2008 9:54:23 PM EDT by I-M-A-WMD]

Anyone NOT clean their barrel?


I religously clean my ARs every 7-12(hundred) rounds. Whether in needs it or not.


Sly
Link Posted: 7/1/2008 4:47:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/1/2008 5:13:34 AM EDT by FIGJAM]
This is absolutely true, however, they are talking hand lapped barrels from the high end barrel makers. The barrels are so smooth once broken in they need very little cleaning. The theory is that these barrels will reach a state of equilibrium in which about the same amount of material is removed during each shot as deposited. This trend is occurring more and more with high power and tactical shooters not to clean until a noticeable degrading of accuracy. Some who shoot moly never clean (it seems some have solved the dreaded moly/carbon ring problem) The bench rest folks still clean but most only run patches.

I'm seeing more and more posts like this one across different forums. Not cleaning as much seems to definitely be gaining some ground. The first I ever read was from Speedy Gonzalez. His take was not so much not to clean but that cleaning the wrong way is worse than not cleaning. I think with the use of moly and boron nitride and with barrels becoming better and better, the trend to clean less will continue.
Link Posted: 7/1/2008 8:10:38 AM EDT
As far as consistancy in shooting, it is true in regards to the barrel's state of equilibrium. If you cleaned your barrel after sighting in with an uncleaned barrel, your point of impact will be slightly off through the now clean barrel untill the state of equilibrium has returned. A clean, oil slicked barrel wll have different resistance than a barrel with a little fowling.

Only problem with not cleaning or oiling the barrel after using Moly is that it is hygroscopic. Moly will tend to absorb moisture from the air. Moisture in the barrel, well you know. A light oil patch after shooting moly is all that is needed, only problem is it screws up the equilibrium - that's why everyones an expert and has there own tricks.

If your sighing in your hunting rifle prior to the hunt, don't clean afterward - your first shot will be off. Clean after the hunt, just fire some spoilers before the next hunt to return your barrel to equilibrium.

In regards to the AR - I clean it every time I use it, but it's normally exposed to the elements and I ride it hard - it's for duty use.
Link Posted: 7/1/2008 8:17:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/1/2008 10:26:20 AM EDT
The basic idea was oil in the barrel will affect accuracy because the bullet "slips". In fact before testing new loads they will shoot 20 rounds to make sure there is no residual lube left in the barrel... or simply don't use cleaning agents but dry patches only for the same effect.
Link Posted: 7/5/2008 4:05:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:
I had a buddy from Wisconsin who was a gun smith and big time deer hunter. I picked his brain one day on the topic of bore cleaning.

He said many hunters would refrain from regularly cleaning their barrels season after season until they noticed their groups opening up during their pre-season zero verification. One thing to note though is, how many rounds does the average deer hunter shoot in one season? One range session with my target AR probably equals years of hunting use.

I guess you could get away without cleaning up to a certain point, but then I could see accuracy dropping down from there.

I personally clean my barrels after each range session.



Bingo

Alot of hunters I know dont shoot at a range all that much

maybe to sight in a scope or zero irons etc. Other than that They only shoot at what they kill
Link Posted: 7/6/2008 8:09:09 PM EDT
Most folks over-clean there bores and cannot out shoot there barrels.

Unless your running an accuracy rig.. a standard Chrome lined barrel can be shot for well over 2000 rds before an accuracy drop of can even be noticed by an average shooter.

The star chamber and the bolt are far more important to keep clean then the barrel.
Link Posted: 7/6/2008 8:21:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/6/2008 8:22:12 PM EDT by Zack3g]
i clean my guns when they tell me they need it.

otherwise, shaking out the big chunks of stuff, and wiping and re oiling the bolts and carriers will do the trick just fine, at least, for me.

Link Posted: 7/7/2008 8:00:50 AM EDT
I clean the barrels of my target rifles/prairie dog rifles every 50-80 rounds.

My AR15 gets it every couple hundred if it isnt being used for minute accuracy. If I have a 20x scope on it, see above.

Take care of the barrel, and it will take care of you. Dont let it go without cleaning at least some point in time or two.
Link Posted: 7/7/2008 6:43:10 PM EDT
I field-strip and clean the bore every time I come back from the range. I don't try to get every last spec of carbon out of the bore. Once the patches start coming out mostly white, I call it quits and give it a final coat of Hoppes lubricating oil. I also wipe down the moving parts, inspect for damage and unusual wear, and re-lube.
Link Posted: 7/9/2008 4:15:13 AM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By FMJ:
height=8
Originally Posted By QUIB:
I had a buddy from Wisconsin who was a gun smith and big time deer hunter. I picked his brain one day on the topic of bore cleaning.

He said many hunters would refrain from regularly cleaning their barrels season after season until they noticed their groups opening up during their pre-season zero verification. One thing to note though is, how many rounds does the average deer hunter shoot in one season? One range session with my target AR probably equals years of hunting use.

I guess you could get away without cleaning up to a certain point, but then I could see accuracy dropping down from there.

I personally clean my barrels after each range session.



Bingo

Alot of hunters I know dont shoot at a range all that much

maybe to sight in a scope or zero irons etc. Other than that They only shoot at what they kill


+1 I clean after each range session. I have noticed in my .338 Win. Mag that a clean bore is about 1.5 moa, and after the first 5 shots or so my handloads will get down to a point where I can cover 5 shots with a quarter. I'll shoot a few fouling shots at the beginning of hunting season and clean the rifle after I've filled my tag or while I'm cooking tag soup which-ever it is that year.
Link Posted: 7/10/2008 3:15:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Elkaholic:

Originally Posted By FMJ:

Originally Posted By QUIB:
I had a buddy from Wisconsin who was a gun smith and big time deer hunter. I picked his brain one day on the topic of bore cleaning.

He said many hunters would refrain from regularly cleaning their barrels season after season until they noticed their groups opening up during their pre-season zero verification. One thing to note though is, how many rounds does the average deer hunter shoot in one season? One range session with my target AR probably equals years of hunting use.

I guess you could get away without cleaning up to a certain point, but then I could see accuracy dropping down from there.

I personally clean my barrels after each range session.



Bingo

Alot of hunters I know dont shoot at a range all that much

maybe to sight in a scope or zero irons etc. Other than that They only shoot at what they kill


+1 I clean after each range session. I have noticed in my .338 Win. Mag that a clean bore is about 1.5 moa, and after the first 5 shots or so my handloads will get down to a point where I can cover 5 shots with a quarter. I'll shoot a few fouling shots at the beginning of hunting season and clean the rifle after I've filled my tag or while I'm cooking tag soup which-ever it is that year.




My Favorite bolt action rifle is the 222rem

I used mine for shooting Pest & Targets

I ran a 3-9x scope

It was the most accurate rifle I ever had!

Shoot Dimes at 100yards sand bag off the bench

Link Posted: 7/10/2008 2:32:59 PM EDT
Practice a LOT and you will be able to discover your 'clean barrel' point of impact and your 'fouled barrel' point of impact, and so with a clean barrel you will know where the 1st shot will hit and where the rest will gravitate to when you have some fouling in the bore. I know on my .300 winchester with a clean bore the 1st impact will be about an inch to the left and maybe 2/5ths an inch high at 100 yards, and the successive shots will be point of aim-point of impact. I clean that barrel after every other 5 shot group and this allows the barrel some cool down time as well. I've been shooting sub moa so far so I don't see a reason to start doing anything differently. If I was going on a hunt, or wanted to shoot a group for accuracy, I would fire a 'fouling shot', confirm my zero with a 3 shot group, and then I would be ready to go.

If the rifle is going to be stored or not used for any period of time, its gets thoroughly cleaned, oil patches run through, wiped down with silicon and put away.
Link Posted: 7/11/2008 8:03:24 PM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
That is 100% total Bull........


+1
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 5:58:18 AM EDT
I think that its more of a ritual than accuracy. They probably shot really well one day and thought to themselves, I didn't clean my barrel yesterday, that must be the key to accuracy!
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 10:28:32 AM EDT
Do you guys change the oil in your cars after 3000 miles?
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 5:14:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 5:22:18 PM EDT by Raptor22]
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 5:40:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 5:45:04 PM EDT
The barrel of my AR15 never gets that dirty - I still think obsessive cleaning is a left over from the days of black powder/corrosive ammo.
I'm pretty strict about keeping the chamber extension clean, and the BCG clean/lubed.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 6:16:53 PM EDT
In the end, it comes down to what you are comfortable with. Me, I completely strip everything down and clean to near new. I'm not hard scrubbing, but I am removing the junk that I put on the rifle when I shot it. Its an investment and as an investment one tends to take care of things.

This argument can also be used with change motor oil. New engine don't require a break in and most don't recommend oil changes for 6000 miles. A new car to me still requires its first oil change at 500 miles, driving below 55 for the first 100 miles and no cruise control for the first 1000 miles. Again, its what you're comfortable with.
Link Posted: 7/26/2008 6:33:33 PM EDT
A lot of precision shooters do it. When I was on various rifle teams from match grade .22s, M-16's and M1A1's, we never cleaned the weapon at all except for the bolt face if it go excessively fouled, until after the shooting season and several thousand rounds later. The theory is you change the zero when you clean it.

For my personal AR's, I lube before every shoot, but only clean with patches, every 2000 rounds or so. My reason is not to use brushes than can add excessive barrel wear, especially if you are an anal cleaner.
Link Posted: 7/30/2008 5:44:41 PM EDT
Just fire a tracer round and it will clean it right out.
Link Posted: 7/31/2008 5:04:14 PM EDT
i just slide a patch with slip2000 down the bore and a dry one afterwards....done....i never clean any differently. I do this every 100-200rnds or so
Link Posted: 8/3/2008 1:55:46 AM EDT
I used to be fairly aggressive about cleaning any and all rifle barrels - no matter what. After 40 years at this stuff I've modified this somewhat.

The primary reason I clean barrels is to prevent corrosion. It is well established that oxidation develops underneath hygroscopic powder fouling, and this can result in pits. Sorta the same thing happens in your mouth when you don't brush. I have first hand experience (with guns, that is). I didn't need to read about it. Chrome bore you say? Well, the chrome starts to go south in the throat pretty quickly (particularly when shooting FA). One of my friends, who's been at this game longer than me, about never cleans his barrels. Climate control in his house is pretty uniform, though. YMMV.

So I try to remove the fouling and get some CLP into the crannies and grooves. But I no longer scrub and scrub till there's a spankin' white patch coming out.......which brings us to reason #2.

If accuracy goes south I get more aggressive. Some barrels accumulate metal fouling like welfare recipients accumulate dependents. Others are like responsible productive citizens that don't want to infringe on your time and money. Sometimes heavy foulers respond to the alternating Kroil and USP bore paste drill that benchresters use. Usually, removing metal fouling gets easier as the barrel breaks in. Then it gets more difficult, as the barrel gets heavily worn.

Bottom line: think of barrel cleaning as more of a rust prevention exercise. If you've got an accuracy problem, get serious.

Sam
Link Posted: 8/4/2008 6:18:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Powder_Burns:
Do you guys change the oil in your cars after 3000 miles?



Advice left over from the 70's when motor oil technology was in the dark ages. Complete waste of time/money.
Link Posted: 8/6/2008 3:27:56 PM EDT
I strip and clean my guns after each day of shooting. If you don't, the crud gets all over anything your guns touch starting with your hands and clothes. Eventually your reliability will suffer.
Link Posted: 8/6/2008 3:32:21 PM EDT
I certainly agree that for most hunting guns, it's more common to over-clean it, but patient cleaning every so often (based on round count) makes a lot of sense.

Unless you're really trying for accuracy, or are going to fire a lot more than usual, running some cleaning solution, then several patches is more than adequate for that.
Link Posted: 8/10/2008 3:10:21 AM EDT
I would have to say clean every time you use it even if it is only 20 rounds..
Link Posted: 8/16/2008 9:43:00 PM EDT
I run patches with solvent, Run a couple of dry ones then a few with oil then I run a dry patch. I only use a bore brush if the barrel is extremely dirty.
Link Posted: 8/17/2008 11:43:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By Powder_Burns:
Do you guys change the oil in your cars after 3000 miles?



Sure do. 3000 miles + or - 300.


Nope.

State owned rides are 5K and we run them hard. Personal cars get every 4-5K or 5-6 months.

I do clean my rifles but not crazy so.

Joe
Link Posted: 8/17/2008 1:13:08 PM EDT
It's been touched on already but most long range shooters do not clean their barrels until they start to notice a drop in accuracy. I can shoot 500-600rnds out of my Sako TRG-22 before I start to notice any difference in accuracy. You will notice that once you clean a bore out really good (removing all powder and copper fouling) you'll have to fire a few "foulers" to get the bore to stabalize again where groups maintain consistency. Therefore it may be a good idea for a hunter to clean his bore before pre season zero, fire 10-20rnds through the rifle, and then actually recheck his zero. After that, I wouldn't clean the bore again until after the season was over. The most I'd do would be to run a patch of CLP down the barrel followed by two or three dry patches. I would not use copper solvent because you will have a few fliers on your first few shots. That's been my experience anyhow.

On a side note, during the time I've spent in the military so far I've never seen a M16/M4 barrel cleaned with copper solvent, only CLP and a brush. It's possible that armorers clean the bores every now and then with something different but I've never seen it myself. The CLP and brush will remove most powder fouling with somewhat regular cleanings.

My advice would be to shoot until you notice a drop in accuracy before removing any copper fouling, and clean powder fouling out every time you go to the range. You can use something like hoppes or CLP to get any powder fouling out of the barrel between major overhauls because the powder fouling will actually compress and form itself into the bore, but this may be less of a problem in chrome lined barrels. Copper fouling isn't that important because it will not build up over time... it gets to a certain point and then stops compounding. Powder fouling will build up and as I said before, begin to almost hammer forge itself into the barrel with each shot. This may be why the .mil does not really issue copper solvent as it's not as important. CLP and a brush will remove most powder solvent with regular cleanings. It's not going to kill your AR if you don't clean it every trip out, but properly maintaining it will obviously increase it's reliability and service life.

CMS
Link Posted: 8/18/2008 2:49:55 PM EDT
Clean the barrel if nothing else.
Link Posted: 8/19/2008 12:12:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2008 12:13:52 AM EDT by Battl3fr0nt]
what about using the brush? how many times do you run it down your barrel after lets say 150-200 rounds.. I shoot about that when I go to the range. I go maby 2-3 times a month.. I once heard that you should not run the brush unless it is a old rifle? I run some solvent patches about 5 of them then i run the brush 2 - 3 times then about 5 -10 more solvent patches (untill clean) then about 5 lube and 2 or 3 dry. I will also be getting BF Bore Foam, I have never used it but I want to try it out. so what do you think? btw its a 16" Crome lined barrel and I use a TA31F ACOG.. I use Hoppes solvent and lube.. It is not a match grade barrel and I am not a very good shooter but I have got 1" to 1.5", 5 shot groups with it at 100yds . But most of the time on a good day I will get about 100 out of 150 rounds in a 3" target.. like I said I am not that good.. but there is always alot of wind cuz its in a vally and it moves the gun around alot, I do not use a bipod.. I will just use a sandbag or shoot standing off hand.. anyway just wondering what you guys think about that and about my groups, if that is normal..
Link Posted: 8/19/2008 6:58:01 PM EDT
Using a brush will not wear out the barrel. The most damage you will do to a rifle by "overcleaning" would be to wear the crown or throat of a barrel using a cheap cleaning rod. Even then it would take ALOT of cleaning to hurt anything. Buy a coated cleaning rod like a dewey if you're worried about it and stick with brass brushes...not that the cheaper ones will cause any negligable wear either...

CMS
Link Posted: 8/19/2008 9:51:14 PM EDT
Just use a boresnake.
Link Posted: 8/20/2008 5:04:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By majnemesis:
Just use a boresnake.


+1...works great for AR needs.

CMS
Link Posted: 8/25/2008 4:54:47 PM EDT
i wouldn't own a rifle that i didn't have to clean... thats half of the fun
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 9:27:28 AM EDT
Firing a weapons deposits jacket and powder residue on the barrel, cleaning takes it off. The answer is cleaning the barrel with a brush or chemicals changes your zero, patching with CLP does not. What do I have as evidence of this? Almost a decade of military and civilian rifle and pistol competition. I've never cleaned my rifle or pistol during a match, regardless of how long the match lasts. I've run a wet patch down the barrel as corrosion protection, but that's it. I've NEVER cleaned the barrel of ANY .22 LR firearm I've ever owned, and most smallbore shooterd don't either.
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 4:36:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2008 4:39:20 PM EDT by jjc155]

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By Powder_Burns:
Do you guys change the oil in your cars after 3000 miles?



Sure do. 3000 miles + or - 300.


Nope, got 25,000 plus on my oil right now, havent changed it in 2.5 years. But it is a Cummins diesel that has 3 gallons of oil, running synthetic oil with a bypass filter that goes down to 1 micron and oil analysis every 5k miles. I change it when the lab tells me to. I change out the full flow filter every 5k miles and bypass every 10kmiles. When I change both filters there is about 2.5 quarts of make up oil that goes in. Truck does not burn oil between filter changes.

As for dirty barrells shooting better. I can tell you that my rimfire rifles (Browning .22lr and Savage .17hmr) do shoot better dirty. Bolt/action gets cleaned after shooting until my groups start to open up then the barrel gets done. I shoot just over 1moa at 100yards with the 17hmr.

My AR atleast gets an once over after I shoot it.

Just my 2 cents,
J-
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 4:51:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MisterPX:
I don't clean my barrels. Then again, I don't shoot MOA to begin with.

AR only. Target and hunting rifles are a different story, but I'm trying to prove a point by never cleaning my AR.
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