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View Full Version : how do you clean your precision rifle after a shooting session


cqbdude
03-21-2012, 3:46 PM
Now that I started to reload .308, I am finding myself shooting my bolt action rifle more often.

Could you guys and gals help/show me your process for cleaning your barrel?

At this time, I just run my boresnake a couple of times since I only shoot 25 to 30 rounds per session.

I also have a nylon rod and a boreguide for my rifle.

What solvent do you recommend?

Thanks in advance..

sd joe
03-21-2012, 3:50 PM
Don't over think it, just clean the gun. I have been shooting for 25 years and if I only shot 25-30 rounds the gun would not get cleaned.

rtc111
03-21-2012, 3:58 PM
Here's what i do, i reload for a semi auto so ill leave out the stuff that doesn't pertain to you.

1.) with a cleaning rod and jag, push a patch threw of hoopes #9, let sit for 5 min.
2.) screw on a brass brush and go one way (all the way out of the barrel), go back and for 3 or four times.
3.) Continue to use jag and hoopes going back and forth until the patches start coming out clean.
4.) than put a dry patch threw followed by a wet one, let the #9 sit for 10 to 15 minutes. do this once or twice.
5.) put a few patches threw of shooters choice (for me it cleans better than hoopes but is more expensive thats why i use it at the end.)
6.) For a super good clean i'll use bore tech copper eleminator and the end of all this to remove any tough fauling, dont let this stuff sit to long in your barrel and follow close instructions.
7.) 1 patch of a fine gun oil
I know its a lot, but to get a really good clean thats what you have to do. I clean mine every 17-20 shots.. no use testing your reloads with a dirty barrel.

CSACANNONEER
03-21-2012, 4:04 PM
Huh? I shot a 1000 yard match in June '10 and just pack up and went home. I didn't shoot another match until June '11. I took my rifle out, ran a couple patches of aquios ammonia mix through it followed by a couple patches of water. Then, I shot the match. I didn't do too bad. I shot a 5 1/2" group which was the second smallest of the match. Then, I packed up and went home. I will probably clean it again come June '12.

kmullins
03-21-2012, 4:15 PM
You'll find such a variety of answers concerning this topic that it will make your head spin.

A lot of rifles (rimfire in particular) shoot much better when they don't get rigorously cleaned. Others need to be cleaned after every relay in a competition setting. Trial and error will determine this.

One thing is set in stone as fact: use a well-made bore guide. Without using one your doing more harm than good by cleaning your rifle. I like to use a variety of solvents but some of my favorites are Hoppe's No. 9, Montana Extreme Copper Cream, Eezox and Butch's Bore Shine.

As far as a cleaning rod, I prefer stainless Pro-Shot rods. I've used the Tipton carbon fiber rods and they are ok but not great in my opinion. I use steel jags and nylon bore brushes, no bronze bore brushing for me.

For cleaning my benchrest rifles with custom barrels, I only Butch's Bore Shine exclusively with a stainless rod, Mike Lucas bore guide, stainless jag and flannel patches. I run about four to five wet patches of Butch's through and then a few clean dry patches. After this I follow with a patch of Eezox and that's all.

I do carbon fouling first then attack copper in my varmint rifles with factory barrels. I use Hoppe's No. 9 first on a patch, let it sit for 10 minutes then brush with a nylon brush with Hoppe's No. 9. After this I run a few wet patches of No. 9 through and then use the Monana Extreme Copper Cream. Same protocol basically, but after I use it I'll clean it out with some more wet patches of Hoppe's No. 9. Then a few dry patches and finally a wet patch of Eezox and I'm done.

That's for the bore. I use 6" Q-Tips to clean the chamber with a small amount of Hoppe's No. 9.

BigBamBoo
03-21-2012, 4:17 PM
Garden hose works for me. :)

Ok,ok...I keed,I keed. Everyone has their own regiment on what works for them. I like to clean my rifles after every outing.
Some folks like Connoneer go longer between cleanings.

At a minimum I would suggest keeping some good bolt grease on the bolt lugs and make sure to wipe down the outside before putting up.

rtc111
03-21-2012, 5:59 PM
Thats true bigbamboo, every gun is different. But on my hunting rifle i found that it shoots the best group after the ninth shot.

So ill clean it really good, shoot three-three shot groups and go hunt with it.

RugerNo1
03-21-2012, 6:05 PM
I clean when the accuracy/precision begins to suffer. So far, I am at 350 rounds and still shooting the same groups.

rtc111
03-21-2012, 6:16 PM
350 rounds really! hah

where can i get this gun?

RugerNo1
03-21-2012, 6:36 PM
350 rounds really! hah

where can i get this gun?

Most rifles with quality lapped barrels should show the same, or similar, results. The particular rifle that I mentioned is a 6.5x47mm Lapua with a Bartlein barrel and was only cleaned when I first got it. That rifle still holds sub-MOA at 1000 yards. I have another rifle in .308 Win. that has 537 rounds since its last cleaning (2337 rounds total) and still holds MOA at 1000 yards; however, that rifle is due for a cleaning because I have begun to notice uncalled flyers.

glockman19
03-21-2012, 6:43 PM
I run a bore snake through it a couple of times, sometimes with a little Hopps #9, then a patch with oil for storage and rust protection.

rtc111
03-21-2012, 6:50 PM
Most rifles with quality lapped barrels should show the same, or similar, results. The particular rifle that I mentioned is a 6.5x47mm Lapua with a Bartlein barrel and was only cleaned when I first got it. That rifle still holds sub-MOA at 1000 yards. I have another rifle in .308 Win. that has 537 rounds since its last cleaning (2337 rounds total) and still holds MOA at 1000 yards; however, that rifle is due for a cleaning because I have begun to notice uncalled flyers.

hmm thats interesting, ive always been told that accuracy degrades noticeably after 50 plus rounds. Maybe thats for hunting rifles, ive never owned a serious competition rifle like that. I just clean after every shooting session, i like it and its easy. So you didn't break your barrel in?

RugerNo1
03-21-2012, 7:05 PM
hmm thats interesting, ive always been told that accuracy degrades noticeably after 50 plus rounds. Maybe thats for hunting rifles, ive never owned a serious competition rifle like that. I just clean after every shooting session, i like it and its easy. So you didn't break your barrel in?

Your basic rifle that uses a mass produced factory barrel is not lapped and often has rough tool marks in the bore from manufacture. Those rough spots in the bore get filled with fouling as you shoot and that is why you see your rifles shooting better after they have 5, 10, or 20 rounds down the barrel. Eventually, there will be too much fouling and you will begin to see flyers or your precision will disappear.

Look to see the difference inside the bore of a factory versus custom barrel.

hf9zZqn00CA

I do not subscibe to the barrel break in myth/theory. I have shot new rifles with typical break in and without. I cannot see a difference between the two methods.

rtc111
03-21-2012, 7:09 PM
So your saying that I should see better groups as I fire around 15 shots? I do occasionally see fliers, usually on the third shot. Why do you think that is, it's always on the third shot... Hot barrel?

RugerNo1
03-21-2012, 7:18 PM
So your saying that I should see better groups as I fire around 15 shots? I do occasionally see fliers, usually on the third shot. Why do you think that is, it's always on the third shot... Hot barrel?

Every gun is different, but most begin to "settle down" as they get a little fouled which fills in those tiny imperfections in the bore. There is a margin of diminishing returns and cleaning will eventually need to be performed. I think that people focus on cleaning too much and do not shoot enough to really justify the amount of patches they put down the bore.


If you have a sporter barrel (i.e. "hunting" profile), then you may see heat problems, you could be flinching on the last shot, the ammunition you have may be inconsistent, you may be experiencing parallax error with your optic, your supports may have became disturbed, and I can go on and on.

rtc111
03-21-2012, 7:27 PM
Makes sense. I can limit out the ammo, I hold my reloads to very tight standards. I'm not saying it isn't me, maybe I was having and off day but I'm usually able to stick the last shot very well. I heard it could be that it moved to a different position from the rest causing inconsistent pressure on the forend. When you say parallax error what do you mean? I have a leupold it's a decent scope but it doesn't have a parallax adjustment on it. The third shot is always high right, which leads me to believe that it's the swallow barrel from heat, and right because the left side of my stock is tighter than the right. What do you think? Ima run some test Friday but anything else I should test for besides hot barrel, rest position and scope alignment?

Ahhnother8
03-21-2012, 7:58 PM
In .308 every 300-500 rounds. I noticed an increase in group size after 600+ rounds, so don't go that far anymore. Mop with Butch's Bore Shine then scrub the crap out of it with a bronze brush. Push all the crap out and dry the bore. Lightly oil the bolt, then grease the lugs and trigger sear.

In .223 when the bolt begins to cycle slower it is time to clean. Typically, around 250-300 rounds. Same cleaning process.

rero360
03-21-2012, 8:13 PM
I'm at close to 700 rounds since the last cleaning on my .308 (Hart barrel) still shoots as good as I can manage on any particular day (varying sub MOA) that is unless Randy cleaned it after threading the muzzle last year for the RAD brake install.

RugerNo1
03-21-2012, 8:15 PM
...

The resident guru of the long line has spoken! :D

If there if someone who you should listen to, it would be Ahhnother8.

russ69
03-21-2012, 8:30 PM
Most barrels shoot their best after they are cleaned and have a couple of fouling shots down the bore. For bench shooters, they will clean often. For us highpower shooters, we will clean after a match, that will be 52, 80 or 120 shots.

Short Action Precision
03-21-2012, 9:10 PM
Last time was 500 or so rounds through before I saw accuracy drop in my rifle.

killshot44
03-21-2012, 9:17 PM
The resident guru of the long line has spoken! :D
I was thinking the same thing....posting on a cleaning thread?

ERdept
03-22-2012, 5:33 AM
I run a bore snake through it a couple of times, sometimes with a little Hopps #9, then a patch with oil for storage and rust protection.

Yeah, this is about it.

RuggedJay
03-22-2012, 9:25 AM
Piss through the barrel, then blow it out with compressed air.

cqbdude
03-22-2012, 10:04 AM
Thank You for all the replies..

As you can see from my name cqbdude that I'm a spray and pray type of shooter.

But after starting to reload and reading countless threads on reloading match ammo, I have started to shoot my FN bolt action more often.

I have to say that I'm hooked. With my limited budget, I'm tying to do my best to load and shoot as best as I can.

I apologize for starting too many threads...LOL

I can really use all the help that I can get from all of the experts here on Calguns..

Thank You again and keep the suggestions coming...

chicoredneck
03-22-2012, 10:15 AM
Now that I started to reload .308, I am finding myself shooting my bolt action rifle more often.

Could you guys and gals help/show me your process for cleaning your barrel?

At this time, I just run my boresnake a couple of times since I only shoot 25 to 30 rounds per session.

I also have a nylon rod and a boreguide for my rifle.

What solvent do you recommend?

Thanks in advance..

I am not a fan of boresankes. If you don't wash them you just drag crud back through your bore. If you do wash them it's hard to get all the grease and solvents out of it and it's easy to damage the brass section. On top of that they just don't clean that well. I prefer cotton patches in conjuction with a good rod or the otis system.

I use a simple carbon remover. I have found mro7 to work very well and fast and it is nice indoors because it does not give off noxious fumes. Classic hoppes #9 works well also, but is much more pungent for indoor cleaning. There are a number of other solvents on the market that work quite well also, but mpro7 has been my favorite. I clean my bore of carbon every 50-300 rounds on my precision rifles. I clean my plinkers after a long shooting session which may be as many as 1500 rounds.

I do not remove copper fouling untill I notice accuracy levels starting to fall off. My precision rifles wearing high quality barrels really don't need the copper removed at all, if ever. I use mpro copper remover as it is fast acting, but not super harsh. I also use bore scrubber copper foam on my bolt guns and leave it in for the directed amount of time then simply wipe clean. It's very handy.

TreeHugger
03-22-2012, 10:19 AM
how do you clean your precision rifle after a shooting session

Religiously like with my underwear, which is about once a month.

Tanner68
03-22-2012, 10:30 AM
A lot of my rifles shoot tighter after fouling.

It is important to remember that is is easy to get most barrel fouling out. It is the balance, say the remaining 10% or 20% that is tough to clean. You can clean practically forever if you want to get it all out.

I clean quickly and call it good. Maybe you can do more harm than good by trying to get it all out.

I use Ed's Red and Butches mostly. I plan on trying Kroil, Shooter's Choice, and a 50/50 mix of the two.

ubet
03-22-2012, 3:56 PM
I would have to look at my log book, but I THINK I have 850+ rounds down the barrel of a 700 5r in 308 without being cleaned, shoots better than the first day I shot it. I oil the bolt lugs, and the bolt itself then wipe it clean every now and then and thats it.

Like said above, fouling will fill in the impurities of your barrel making your barrel more consistent and smoother. I will only clean a gun when I can look down the barrel and see a build up, or I am losing accuracy. Why clean before that? The gun will tell you when it needs it.

Oh, and you would HATE to know how many rounds I put down my p220 before the barrel gets cleaned.

Juice5610
03-22-2012, 5:16 PM
My barrel has 485 rounds through it since its last cleaning. I wont clean it until I see accuracy start to drop(500/600 rounds). Cleaning it consists of foaming up the bore and letting it sit for about 3 hours then running a boresnake through it about 8 times. I do however clean the action and lube the bolt every 250 rounds or so. Don't over think it.

Mute
03-22-2012, 8:31 PM
I'll clean the chamber if the grit and grime bothers me, but I don't clean the barrel until I start noticing a change in the accuracy.

Josh Smith
03-22-2012, 8:48 PM
Hello,

I just run a bore snake down it. This is all I ever do to rimfire barrels.

If precision begins to fall off in the centerfire rifles, I have a nice Dewey rod that I use in conjunction with foaming cleaner to take out the copper.

I'm more concerned about keeping a thin layer of oil in the barrels between shooting sessions than I am in getting them to sparkle. I find that leaving a bit of (non-corrosive!) fouling in them helps precision and accuracy the next time around.

Regards,

Josh

HonkingAntelope
03-23-2012, 8:00 PM
I would have to look at my log book, but I THINK I have 850+ rounds down the barrel of a 700 5r in 308 without being cleaned, shoots better than the first day I shot it. I oil the bolt lugs, and the bolt itself then wipe it clean every now and then and thats it.

Besides the barrel, there are a lot of other pieces in a new gun that need a few hundred rounds to fully settle in. Plus, 5R is designed to resist fouling, as well.

Oh, and you would HATE to know how many rounds I put down my p220 before the barrel gets cleaned.

Amen to that. Honestly, it's kind of pathetic that my AR-15 needs more cleaning than four of my other guns combined.

m98
03-24-2012, 1:02 AM
I soak the bore first with that bore foam. Then the next day go at it with the tipton rod and patches and do the norm swabbing using a bore guide. I use nylon brush only.

yellowfin
03-24-2012, 6:58 AM
These days it's all about the FrogLube.

Orkan
03-24-2012, 7:22 AM
I did a video to sum up my thoughts on this process. It's as exciting as watching paint dry, but I talk quite a bit throughout the video. :)

Ul0feTScsrY

speedsterp
03-24-2012, 4:02 PM
I just picked up my new Model 70 and I read on CG somewhere that a number of people clean there gun after every shot for the first 5 - 20 shots. Looking at this thread a number of people only clean occasionally. Any input would be appreciated. If others do clean often first few shots do you let gun cool completely and is a bore snake adequate, #9?

Thanks

17+1
03-24-2012, 9:16 PM
In .308 every 300-500 rounds. I noticed an increase in group size after 600+ rounds, so don't go that far anymore. Mop with Butch's Bore Shine then scrub the crap out of it with a bronze brush. Push all the crap out and dry the bore. Lightly oil the bolt, then grease the lugs and trigger sear.

In .223 when the bolt begins to cycle slower it is time to clean. Typically, around 250-300 rounds. Same cleaning process.

:notworthy:

:p

Fherot
03-24-2012, 11:03 PM
I'm lazy, If I fire under 100 rounds or it's a rimfire I'll CLP everything overnight then next day use pipe cleaners/q-tips for hard to reach places, a rag, and a boresnake.



If the gun is a real mess I'll .. CLP everything again.. but replace boresnake with Otis cleaning kit. jags/swabs/bronze brush and Hoppes #9

almaster666
03-24-2012, 11:20 PM
I clean my AR-15 every other time I go out. I don't notice any differences between when it's clean or when it's dirty. I do lubricate every time I go out. I generally use M-PRO 7, Hopps and Rem Oil.
Don't overthink it.
Heck, I clean my Mosin Nagant with Windex and WD-40 and after thousands of rounds of corrosive surplus ammo and many trips to the desert where it's gotten absolutely filthy and wet, it still shoots like a dream.

If you enjoy cleaning you gun, cool - clean it as often as you want. If, like me, you hate cleaning guns and you're not trying to shoot a dime at 600 yards, then just do the bare minimum, you'll be fine.

Mail Clerk
03-25-2012, 9:19 AM
Now that I started to reload .308, I am finding myself shooting my bolt action rifle more often.

Could you guys and gals help/show me your process for cleaning your barrel?

At this time, I just run my boresnake a couple of times since I only shoot 25 to 30 rounds per session.

I also have a nylon rod and a boreguide for my rifle.

What solvent do you recommend?

Thanks in advance..

cqbdude,

I never use any boresnakes on my bores unless it's rinfires. For solvents I use either Shooters Choice or Birchwood Casey's "Bore Scrubber" along with a copper brush. Allot of people I've seen in reality don't allow the solvents to di it's job but instead rather over scrub the bores until it's clean.

Mail Clerk:oji:

thegrayham
03-25-2012, 2:32 PM
While this may not directly answer your question about cleaning, I have seen this posted a few times and I think has some interesting points about maintenance of a precision rifle.


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