View Full Version : cleaning a rifle. help anyone!

06-26-2011, 5:22 PM
hey gun lovers!

i was hoping i could get some advice on cleaning a rifle barrel. sorry im a newbie at this.

i have a k98 mauser and from the naked eye, the rifling looks strong and the crown is in great shape! but from what i read all over on the net, i get so much conflicting advice on how to PROPERLY clean a barrel. im concerned about ruining the accuracy of the rifle from just cleaning. yes, i know the rifle is old and may not be accurate because of the neglect/abuse over the years, however i am going to soon inherit many other bolt action rifles from my father which i would like to properly maintain until i pass them down to my child.

a lot of people claim that copper or lead residue will build up on the rod over time and can leave some traces of it when cleaning, thus ruining the barrel. the rod hiting against the barrel wall caused by quick strokes can scratch up the rifling. at the same time, a lot of people claim they never had problems using a rod w/ a brass brush because the metal used to clean is weaker than steel. good groups have been achieved using this old method, and at the same time a lot others would say that it ruined their barrels. so what the heck?? so much conflicting opinions and each side are so convinced their methods are best!

oh yeah, let's not forget about the bore snake, which some claim is the best and simple way. their was also couple of guys on other forums that dont use brushes at all and just run patches in thier rifles all day until clean.....there also seems to be many who just use nylon brushes on their rods. so, what am i to conclude?...... i am very very very confused....

i spoke to my dad about this, he's been hunting bears and deers all his life, and he's been cleaning his barrels using a rod without a bore guide. he claims that he still hits tight groups on the range and he's never come home from a hunting trip without some food(bear jerky tastes good btw). initially i thought, if my dad hasnt had any problems all his life, then why not just stick to the old way? however after reading sooo much info about the science of bores loosing accuracy because they used a rod, i am now officially scared and dont know what to do...

thanks in advance, any advice from fellow california shooters wil be very very helpful.


06-26-2011, 5:26 PM
I personally love boresnakes, but you are going to get a very wide spectrum of answers.

c good
06-26-2011, 5:28 PM
Remove bollt. Wet patch soak. Brass brush, clean from the breach end. Make sure brush goes all the out the front before pulling back into barrel. Pull all the way out the breach end. Repeat 'till clean with a combo of brushing, wet, and then finally dry patches. Final patch with light oil. HTH c good

06-26-2011, 5:31 PM
could you use simple green to remove build up?

06-26-2011, 7:47 PM
What exactly are you trying to accomplish? If it is just to keep it free from dirt or rust then I see no reason a boresnake and any cleaner won't accomplish that, water will be needed in case your shooting corrosive ammo.

IMO people over think cleaning and end up overcleaning and as you said, causing wear to their barrels. A little carbon isn't going to wear your barrel more than shoving harsh cleaners, rods, brushes and crap down it. In other words, don't go mad scientist on it. Some people treat cleaning like a surgery, if the point is only to get the carbon off, avoid rust and corrosion, and inspect wear on parts.

If your goal, like your dad's, is to squeeze out as much accuracy as possible it seems to me most benchrest shooters keep their barrel spotless.

06-26-2011, 7:53 PM
boresnake mppro7 and oil ,and lube and your gtg

06-26-2011, 8:00 PM
boresnake mppro7 and oil ,and lube and your gtg

Same here.

I will spray some Mpro7 in the chamber and down the barrel. Go have a beer, then return. Spray some Mpro7 on the boresnake itself, run it down the barrel, spray some more Mpro7 on the boresnake, run it again.

I do this about 10 times, then run an oiled patch down the bore and call it a day.

Scrub all other parts down with a toothbrush and Mpro7. Apply oil to all areas being exposed to friction.... job is done.

06-26-2011, 8:27 PM
Don't use a steel cleaning rod and you will be ok. You would have to clean a rifle a LOT to cause any appreciable wear that would effect groups.

Go to a bench rest match. Some of them clean after every string of fire, others only clean after the whole match is over. Both shoot little tiny groups.

For the vast majority of people shooting anything less than high end competition, they would be hard pressed to tell, between the shooter's capability and the rifle's capability, if any amount of cleaning is affecting accuracy (or precision if you prefer).

23 Blast
06-26-2011, 8:29 PM
Your father is a wise man. Listen to him.

That said, my two cents is that basic cleaning and lube is good enough for 99% of shooters. Everyone has their own pet solvents and lubes, but for a long time, I was using the solvent and oil that came in my Outers kit, and had no problems with rust or anything relating to improper cleaning or oiling.

If you're interested in a "how to," then Youtube is your friend. Seriously, after watching a few videos of it, you'll understand the basics, and then once you've done it yourself a few times, it's like any other chore.

06-26-2011, 9:14 PM
The only things that go down my barrel are bullets until I start to notice flyers. When that occurs, I push a wet nylon brush with copper/powder solvent through. Then patches ( the first couple wet with solvent) until I do not see any blue (copper) on the patches.

Do not worry so much about cleaning, just go shoot.

06-27-2011, 3:39 PM
Nothing wrong with spraying some solvent down the barrel , running a cooper or nylon brush down it a few times, running a patch to pull the crud off, and then a patch with oil down once or twice. IMHO people get way to crazy with their cleaning methods and use the "accuracy" excuse to back themselves up.

06-27-2011, 3:45 PM
+1 on the use of a Boresnake. Ancient cleaning tools should be left for what they are... accessories with historic value. Their use has long been improved, and rods generally damage the bore more than anything else.

06-27-2011, 5:25 PM
Your father is a wise man. Listen to him.

+1 Just use common sense.

06-27-2011, 5:35 PM
All the hot shots I knew in my competitive days used Hoppe's #9 to get things clean. Then a light coat of oil to preserve the metal. If you clean from the breech end you shouldn't have to worry about messing up the crown.

06-27-2011, 5:38 PM
FrogLube is a 100% biodegradable CLP that dissolves carbon, nothing sticks to it and it stops oxidation. we had a customer send us an e-mail last week that said he pulled out fiftyytears of 'gunk' out of his clean M-1 barrel by using FrogLube.

FrogLube will dissolve the effects of corrosive ammo and Cosmoline, too. Go to www.utvtactical.com to order or youtube to see what others think of it.

06-27-2011, 6:24 PM
Remove bollt. Wet patch soak. Brass brush, clean from the breach end. Make sure brush goes all the out the front before pulling back into barrel. Pull all the way out the breach end. Repeat 'till clean with a combo of brushing, wet, and then finally dry patches. Final patch with light oil. HTH c good

It's a 98 Mauser, .323 bore. That's a big bore compared to many others. If you shoot even a little, I would never use a snake. Unless you throw it out when your done each time. All the snake does after the first use is smear crud back down the barrel.

One thing left out, maybe $12 -$20. Get a bore guide. Good cotton patches. Use a .323 jag and brush. Clean it like you would your Ah$$. Until no more goo is on the patches.

Search here under cleaning: http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/BrowseCategories.aspx?tabid=4&categoryid=20763&categorystring=655***





You don't have a custom lapped aftermarket stainless barrel. NEVER use a stainless brush. Work with it yourself, you will understand it after a few cleanings. 90% of the web info is just wrong.

06-27-2011, 6:28 PM
ill be honest. i started out buying all the "gunsmithing" cleaning equipment, then realized that its way too easy to mess up the gun with standard rods and the like.

totally sold on OTIS kits. far far far harder to damage the gun when you pull a swab through vrs. pushing it. just as effective.
the chemicals are whats working on removing metals and residue. brushing is just an agitator.
people (myself included at first) get way to aggressive with the cleaning rod and brush the piss
out of the bore, then shove way too tight a patch through.
otis FTW.

06-27-2011, 6:40 PM
+1 on the OTIS. The only negative I can say about the kit is that the laminated wire you pull through the barrel can get a little slick sometimes.

Outside of the that, the OTIS kit is all you will ever need. I use mine to clean all my rifles, .223, .22, 7.62x39 from 16" barrel to 20" barrel and all of my handguns, from .22 caliber to 9mm to 7.62x25 tokarev. I already ordered the brass brushes for the OTIS kit for when I get my hands on a Tikka T3 Scout in .308.

06-27-2011, 8:31 PM
wow i just read some stuff about the otis.......im SOLD!!!!!!!! seems the safest way to clean! anyone disagree with this system? many are against rods, but i havent heard anything negative about the otis...

06-28-2011, 11:50 AM
and you wont read anything negative about otis.

06-28-2011, 2:25 PM
thanks a lot guys!

06-28-2011, 2:41 PM
NEVER use a stainless brush.

Please tell me why? I have watched this guy named Lee Rasmussen (http://www.fcsa.org/wwwroot/visitors/worldrecords.php) use a SS brush to clean his barrels every time he cleans them. He even short strokes the brushes just to prove that it doesn't hurt a thing. But, then again, what does he know? I bet if he didn't ruin all his barrels he and his wife wouldn't get all those flyers landing so close together. Really, the things one can read on the internet and hear at ranges or gunshops amazes me. I suggest that everyone should see what actually works best in real life situations than just listening to opinions based on folk lore. Personally, a few years ago, I converted to ONLY using SS brushes on my precision rifles. BTW, I did not shoot the smallest group at my last 1000 yard match. I got beat out by a rookie with a borrowed gun. He shot a 5 1/4" 5 shot group. I shot the second smallest group though. It was a 5.500" 5 shot group. So, again, why shouldn't I use a SS brush?

06-28-2011, 6:22 PM