I was curious. I have a couple guns that I'm sure have not been cleaned properly their whole life. Never abused, or cleaned from the muzzle. However, I have a couple rifles from my father I received as a kid, and I know all they've probably ever seen is an aluminum sectioned rod. Not to mention, I had a mishap with one of the .22's in which a brush/rod got stuck and I had to switch directions of the brush INSIDE the bore (which I've heard can do bad things).
Also, I have a Ruger Super Redhawk (read: have to clean from the muzzle) and I've had to use a sectioned aluminum rod from the muzzle at least a couple times. I have a plastic muzzle guard I try to always use, but it has slipped off a couple times, but I'm always cautious to keep the rod centered.
Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but how much improper cleaning can a firearm take before accuracy is degraded? I guess I'm just hoping I haven't done measurable damage before I knew how to properly clean guns/had the proper equipment.
It takes more then you would think but it can happen. Check your crowns to make sure the rifeling look sharp right at the end and put your guns on a bench rest to make sure they still give you good groups. If they group fine then you are ok.
Get yourself some Tipton Carbonfiber rods or Dewy rods and you won't have to worry about harming your guns. As long as you clean with safe equipment and be careful you can never over clean your gun. The cleaner the gun the longer it will last and the more accurate it will be!
ETA: Switching direction with a bronz brush in the middle of a barrel is not bad for the barrel but bad for the brush. The steel in the barrel is much harder then the brush. The brush brisles will bent and the brush will not fit just right any more.
Rods are ok but flexi rods are great too and despite the rumours they don't bugger up the crown...Or so i'm told.
My understanding is that changing directions with the brush doesn't hurt the bore but damages the brush quickly so it won't do what it's supposed to do: put pressure on the bore and loosen whatever's there.
Cleaning from the bore end is another story. You can damage the crown pretty quickly. The idea is that a dinged crown allows for non uniform gas pressure just at the point the bullet leaves the barrel, causing uneven stabilization and therefore less accuracy. Just how much of a difference depends on what you're doing with the rifle. Like the man said, see if the rifle shools OK, but start cleaning from the chamber end, or use a muzzle protector (Sinclair International) if your rifle won't allow you to clean from the chamber end.
If you have a new rifle start out the right way, clean from the chamber, use a bore guide, and a coated, solid rod like the dewey.
Lots of guys, myself included, have done it all wrong for years and never could tell the difference. You probably wouldn't tell a difference over years of doing it wrong with a minute of pieplate rifle, but with a good barrel, trigger, etc on the bench you probably would see deterioration over time.
I've never cleaned from the muzzle on anything I didn't HAVE to. But as I said, revolvers and such i have no choice.
I have a plastic muzzle guard I use, but even then, sometimes it slips off, or something, I was just curious how much bumping is necessary before measureable effects.
I think I'm fine, just curious.
Any thoughts on the boresnakes?
Thast all I use is a boresnake on my ar
At the extreme level of Benchrest competition and a barrel/chamber of known dimension and accuracy(Thanks to knowing both the 'Smith and the shooter) it takes but a little of ham fisted penny wise dollar stooopid cleaning, to affect the accuracy of a cutting edge and religiously prepared rifle.
At the practical level we all share, and using RESPONSIBLE and realistic practices, and keeping practical accuracy and acceptable degradation of dimensional tolerances in mind....
Segmented aluminum rods are for idiots.
Bore snakes get the big chunks, and not much else.
Otis Kits are better, but can be a pain in the rump.
G.I. segmented steel rods work in a chrome bore, but will trash a non chrome bore measureably in short order.
Match the mission with the method and mentality.
Joe Dude with his homeslice AR will be more than good to go with a G.I. rod and method if he even halfway adhere's to G.I. cleaning regimen.
Step up a notch to anything "Match" and non chrome lined, and ya gotta fuss a bit.
"Practical"has it's own elegance.
Human silhouette or "Running jihad Jhonny" target at 300m, and a chrome bore served by a disciplined grunt will serve for many thousands of rounds using nothing more than the G.I. steel segmented rod.
Mind the hype.
If you run a G.I. type mentality, accept G.I. type Maint. discipline.
If you are lazy, ya get what you ask for.
Push the rifle beyond G.I. expectations, accept increased effort to maintain the thing.
Then again there is nothing wrong with spoiling the thing with Bench rest maint. discipline when it is neither used for high end competition, nor keeping a buddy covered when under fire.
Worshiping the rifle is an AMERICAN disease we all share.
(And it scares the CRAP out of the rest of the world!)
Glad to know it's common!
Spoil the thing best ya can in peace time.
Count on it understanding, and forgiving, in the field.
I suspect the Redhawk is fine.
Simply because you are concerned.
If not, find a local 'Smith that is worth his salt and have it inspected, and corrected.
A crown job should cost less than a C note.
Yes I have vented a little.......
Thanks, and sorry.