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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/4/2002 7:39:57 PM EST
I have recently noticed that my deer rifle,(a Weatherby 7mm Mag)has copper coloring on the rifling when looking down the bore withn a flashlight. This rifle only sees about 5 to 10 rounds a year, and I clean right after that. My other rifles,PSS/HK91/M1A/AR see 20 to 50 rounds a week and do not show this coloring. I tried removing this coloring with Sweets 7.62 and Shooters Choice copper solvent and running patch after patch through about 100 and they still keep coming out green. Still copper coloring on the rifling, WHY??? Is it neccessary to remove all this or is it better to have a "Seasoned Bore" The rifle shoots consistent 1 to 1-1/4 " groups with factory ammo. Why do the other rifles not show this copper color buildup? I usually leave Hoppes 9 solvent lightly in bore when done then dry patch.
Thanks for any help or advice
Link Posted: 8/4/2002 8:33:51 PM EST
The first thing is to make sure you aren't seeing copper from the jag - they usually color the patch if not wiped off. The same goes for bronze brushes.

You should not be surprised to see copper in a barrel that only sees a few rounds per year, especially in factory barrels. Custom barrels (Lilja, Shilen) will barely copper after broken in.

A heavily fouled barrel will require many patches and several hours to straighten out. You will remove alternating layers of copper and powder fouling in some bad cases.

If you are using a bronze brush, be sure it is clean - not just visually, clean it with solvent or get a new brush.

Apply Sweet's with one or two wet patches, let sit for 5 to 15 minutes, and swab out wtih a clean patch. Sometimes brushing with Sweet's is necessary - soak, brush, wipe out, and repeat if you need to.

Most guns will benefit from a cleaning with JB Bore Shine every two to three hundred rounds. This will get the fouling out that the solvents
leave. They also have a new product that is a finer Bore Polish to finish up with.

Put JB on a clean patch and push into the barrel. Short stroke just in front of the chamber to get the heavier fouling that is usually present at this location. Stroke the patch full length of the barrel several times, then push it out, run a solvent soaked patch to wash out the JB, and inspect for copper. Repeat if necessary. You can get aggressive with this abrasive, it won't hurt a factory barrel, and will probably improve it. Note that if you run a patch of JB through a clean barrel it will still come out black from the steel and the original gray color of the JB paste, so this is not an indication that powder fouling is still present - don't sweat the color.

If you get the barrel really clean it will shoot to a different point of impact, especially for the first shot from a clean, cold bore, so you probably want to shoot sighters before a hunt and clean little or not at all until the hunt is over.

I will bet your other rifles have copper build up also, it is just very hard to see in smaller calibers. Flashlights with an incadescent bulb will tend toward yellow color that reflects up the bore, either hiding the copper or making you think there is copper where none is present.

You might try one of the polishing kits with bullets coated in graded abrasives; this might accomplish two things - reduce the fouling since the barrel is smoother, and perhaps improve the rifle's accuracy assuming the ammunition, bedding, scope and so on are in good shape.

Good luck - you can get all the copper out, but it is difficult sometimes.
Link Posted: 8/4/2002 8:33:58 PM EST
Use a "tornado" brush to clean the bore rather than just patches. "Pro-Shot", among others, make them. They resemble a swirl rather than a bristle brush & do a much better job of cleaning.

And yes, I'd have a clean bore from the get-go rather than "seasoned" for accuracy.
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 7:55:13 AM EST
Thanks for the input.If I remove all this copper, will accuracy diminish or increase? Also I was told not to use brushes like Tornado because you should never use something as hard as the barrel steel. Also over cleaning can damage a good barrel, Is this correct? I always use a bore guide as well.
Thanks Foldemfast
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 9:59:24 AM EST
Have you tried one of those electronic bore cleaners from RCBS? I have one, and they seem to clean the copper plate off the barrel land & grooves quite effectively, without any elbow grease, and it doesn't affect the rifling etc.
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 10:38:41 AM EST
The Sweet's should do the job all by itself. The key is proper usage. You really need to scrub the bore (back and forth) with a soaked patch for about 1 minute. Then let the solvent sit in the bore for about 15 minutes. Remove residue with fresh soaked patch, and repeat process from beginning if necessary.

My most fouled barrels never needed more than five repetitions of the above before all traces of copper were removed.
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 11:21:40 AM EST
For barrels with heavy copper fouling I use Hoppes copper solvent. I run a wet patch through the bore and let it sit 24 hours. I then run dry patches through it until there is no more green residue. I repeat the process for about a week or until there is no green residue.
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 1:38:47 PM EST
The Sweets and or Hoppes copper solvent both work very well, as others have pointed out. One thing I've found out is that they will also eat up brushes and jags.
I keep a small can of lacquer thinner (actually an old winchester 296 can) with the thinner in it, and dip the brush/jag in it to kill the action of the solvent. Makes your brushes last a lot longer. FWIW
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 7:02:02 PM EST
If you get all the copper out, accuracy will improve - if the rest of the gun, shooter, and ammunition combination is good enough to allow the difference to be discriminated. Unless you are shooting just pitiful ammunition through a worn out barrel on an action that is falling out of the stock, you should see an improvement. You will likely begin to notice when the accuracy starts to deteriorate with copper build-up; some guns are very sensitive to just a little copper.

Over cleaning is not so much the problem as abusive cleaning is, but you can't ignore the fact that a brush is most likely going to be required at some point, and a copper solvent is required (however this won't ruin a barrel by itself). Carefully push patches just out of the muzzle to avoid running a jag or the cleaning rod over the crown any more than necesary. Use a bore guide. Carefully clean the chamber with a bore mop plus large patch using care to avoid damage to the chamber throat. Wipe the cleaning rod with a rag or paper towel often to remove the powder residue which is relatively hard and can scratch the bore. Use a one piece cleaning rod. If you must use a segmented rod, work over the joints with wet-or-dry paper and Scotchbrite to remove any mismtch between the segments so the sharp edges can't shave metal from the bore. Don't reuse patches with powder residue.

I am having good luck with Butch's Bore Shine as my pricipal bore solvent. It has enough ammonia to remove most of the copper during the initial cleaning of a barrel. There may be other solvents that work as well, and I am inclined to think that Hoppe's #9 might be a better powder solvent than Butch's.
Link Posted: 8/5/2002 8:36:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By foldemfast:
Thanks for the input.If I remove all this copper, will accuracy diminish or increase? Also I was told not to use brushes like Tornado because you should never use something as hard as the barrel steel. Also over cleaning can damage a good barrel, Is this correct? I always use a bore guide as well.
Thanks Foldemfast

As long as you don't use a stainless steel brush you'll never have any problems. Yes, overcleaning CAN cause problems, however it is only the one guy in a million who can have the time to do this. Always clean your guns every time they're shot (except for .22s), IMO.
Link Posted: 8/6/2002 2:27:54 PM EST
Thanks guys, I took your advice and let the Sweets sit longer than 2 minutes, which is what the clown at the range told me. About 10 minutes and after 8 to 10 really blue gooey patches and a quick Tornado brush, Wallah no more shiny penny in my barrel!!!
Thanks Foldemfast
Link Posted: 8/7/2002 10:36:10 AM EST
It's good to hear that Sweet's did the job. When I first used it I never put 2+2 together and was getting copper residue from the brushes. For hardcore cleaning, I switched to plastic bristle brushes for breaking up the crud when using Sweet's. Otherwise, I use a copper brush and Hoppes, then finish off whatever is left with Sweet's. I don't know if it is just perception, but it seems that if you do a real good job cleaning the barrel, successive cleanings are much easier.
Link Posted: 8/7/2002 11:05:12 AM EST

I don't know if it is just perception, but it seems that if you do a real good job cleaning the barrel, successive cleanings are much easier.

I've noticed this phenomenon myself. My .308's now only need one or two passes with the Sweet's before all traces of copper disappear.

Another thing I've been doing is that after I get the bore squeaky clean, I will squirt some brake cleaner down the bore, dry it out with a fresh patch, and run a patch soaked with Tetra oil down the bore before storing the gun. This is supposed to reduce fouling and increase accuracy.
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