View Full Version : Carbon fiber cleaning rods + nylon brushes = new cleaning wisdom?

03-16-2009, 6:44 PM
This has always bugged me, but I wonder if the conventional wisdom about cleaning (use a bore guide, never pull a brush back from the muzzle, brush in one direction only, etc.) has been made obsolete with the latest cleaning tools?

It makes sense in the age of M1 Garand cleaning kits with 3 piece steel cleaning rods and steel brushes that you would teach people to clean very carefully, in a certain way. But now that we have carbon fiber rods, polymer jags, nylon brushes, etc. etc., all of which are significantly softer than brass (not to mention barrel steel itself)... shouldn't there be a revision of the cleaning conventional wisdom? In other words, what harm would be done if a carbon fiber rod flexed or came into contact with the bore while brushing? Or if a nylon brush got pulled back from the muzzle to the chamber (aside from the carbon and other fouling being pulled back too)?

03-16-2009, 9:21 PM
Interesting article in the Spring 2009 Garand Collectors Association (GCA) Journal about goin' to town with a 3 piece cleaning rod.

They literally abused the barrel of an M1 with cleaning rods.
The purpose of this test was to be as abusive as we could to the muzzle...During each cleaning stroke, all four joints in the rod could be heard and felt each time the road was inserted and withdrawn...Approximately every 8,000 strokes, a joint on the rod would fail from fatigue.

In the end it took over 66,000 barrel scraping scrubs to create +1 on the muzzle erosion gauge. The barrel still shot well to boot.

Long story short is that cleaning from the muzzle shouldn't be a problem.


03-17-2009, 7:03 AM
Interesting story about the Garand cleaning... but I'm sure the accuracy would degrade way before the muzzle erosion measured +1. (Guess it kinda depends on what "shot well" meant in their report...)

In any case, if it didn't hurt, why would there be a thriving market for bore guides and cleaning advice? ;)

I wonder if you could even wear down a modern barrel muzzle with a carbon fiber rod AT ALL?

03-17-2009, 7:15 AM
to each there own, but you will not catch me cleaning my rifles from the muzzle end, i've got way too much in custom builds and barrels to take the chance on a ruined crown.

03-17-2009, 7:29 AM
the answer is easy, use an aluminum cleaning rod, much softer than any steel

03-17-2009, 7:35 AM
I heard that aluminum cleaning rods can oxidize and get a coat of aluminum oxide on the outside. Aluminum oxide is extremely hard (Mohs hardness scale 9!!) and will scratch steel (Mohs hardness scale 7-8).

Also, softer metal rods or coated steel rods can get particles embedded in them, which also lead to scratching.

Or so I'm told. Which is why I am wondering what about carbon fiber?

03-20-2009, 3:04 PM
I guess I should have said that good for a milsup rifle is 4 MOA (I think). In this case the mean deviation in a 10 shot group at 100 yards was 1.4 inches.

I'm sure 3 inches at 100 yards would make some people cry and would destroy the value of their rifle. I guess my point is that even reasonable care (since the test was the exact opposite) would probably be fine.

I'm sure some would benefit from carbon fiber cleaning rods...most (like me) probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference in method unless I REALLY screwed up.

I dunno, do you think it is a gimmick? Would you buy one?


03-20-2009, 3:19 PM
I dunno, do you think it is a gimmick? Would you buy one?

I have a Tipton carbon fiber rod coming my way next week from MidwayUSA... now I'm not sure I'm going to do that torture test the GCA did on those poor Garands, though!

I suppose in the end, there's as many pet cleaning methods as there are people. I don't even want to get started with the whole bronze vs. nylon brush controversy I've seen on other boards.

For what it's worth, this is my standard bore cleaning method:

1) Spray inside of bore from chamber end with generous amounts of M-Pro 7.
2) Wait 5 minutes.
3) Run a saturated nylon brush through a few times (5-10 passes) -- and yes, I pull the brush right back after it's exited the muzzle.
4) Run a dry patch.
5) Squirt some Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner into the bore.
6) Wait 30 minutes to overnight (depending on amount of fouling, how lazy I feel, and what's on TV that night).
7) Run a patch soaked in Wipe-Out down the bore.
8) Repeat 7 if I feel like it could use an extra cleaning.
9) Run a dry patch.
10) Spray some Breakfree CLP down the bore then run a patch soaked with Breakfree CLP down the bore, and I'm done.

03-20-2009, 6:04 PM
I use one piece stainless steel rods with a bore guide and nylon brushes.

03-20-2009, 6:08 PM
I don't like carbon fiber rods because they flex too much. I stick with Dewey coated and Pro-Shot stainless steel.

03-20-2009, 6:20 PM
Speaking of cleaning kits how are the OTIS kits. They appear to be very nice.

03-20-2009, 6:34 PM
Speaking of cleaning kits how are the OTIS kits. They appear to be very nice.

Next best thing after a cleaning rod, but less hassle.

03-20-2009, 6:36 PM
I don't like carbon fiber rods because they flex too much. I stick with Dewey coated and Pro-Shot stainless steel.

Friend of mine has a carbon rod, after seeing his flex I was glad I bought a Dewey.

03-20-2009, 10:09 PM
I use the otis kit and love it. The coated wires can bang and ding all day long and not damage the bore in anyway.

03-20-2009, 11:21 PM
old brass and it's a gas.... I love me some oldschool...

03-20-2009, 11:28 PM
re: cleaning materials, do a search on teflon here. might find some interesting reading and debate.

03-21-2009, 12:16 PM
I have Pro-Shot SS; Dewey coated SS; and Tipton CF. Since I purchased my first Tipton, I now have almost every one they make (ALL calibers, ALL lengths, AND even their pistol rod) and I haven't wanted (or needed) to go back to the others. The Dewey has a 1/16" layer of dust on the coating from just hanging on the wall for so long.:p