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  #1  
Old 08-09-2018, 10:18 PM
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Default Anyone Compete With A Dirty Gun?

I was just curious if anyone participates in shooting competitions using a gun that has not been cleaned?

Not filthy, just not freshly cleaned?

I swear, when I shoot my Glock 34 Gen 4 after a cleaning, my groupings are wider than when Ive run a few hundred rounds through it. I compete in the Glock GSSF Indoor League, but I always make sure to keep it a little dirty during the match.

The one time I shot the G34 clean, my score was 30 points lower. Thank goodness they averaged the two best scores out of three. When I go to the range for practice, I get the same results: better scores from a dirty gun.

Is there an explanation for this, or just a coincidence (that has occurred 5-6 times)?
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:29 PM
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A possible/partial explanation:

Excessive cleaning that removes all of the copper from a barrel can degrade accuracy for the first few shots. Copper can "fill in" machining imperfections in a barrel which allows for better accuracy than a perfectly clean barrel.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:36 PM
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Oh heck yah.

Many competitors have confessed to not cleaning their pistols due to concerns of improper reassembly for the next days' Match. Smart troops will function fire their weapons, especially machine guns, prior to anticipated contact.

Sometime during the 3rd grade my Dad explained that to my brother and I while watching 12 O'clock High on a black & white television set. The same man would kick me in the butt for watching Saturday morning cartoons during the same era.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:03 PM
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Just run a bore snake through a couple of times, wipe off grit with a solvent soaked Q-tip, wipe, oil, and your ready to go. Clean but not to clean.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:06 PM
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The instructor of my Basic Pistol Class touched on this; he's the Armorer for several local LEAs and commented that many of the weapons he services are not frequently cleaned.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:31 PM
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Glock, XD, M&P, every 4 to 5 matches clean like colt11 wrote. Have run a lot longer without issues. Before a major match will do total cleaning, but will run 10 to 30 rounds to function test and just make sure sights are dialed in.
1911 style pistol, every 2 to 3 matches, depending on age. New pistol more cleaning since it is tight. Older guns, looser, can run dirty. I was told years ago that more barrels are wore out from too much cleaning than shooting them. Wish I had enough time and ammo to find out is that is true! LOL!
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:36 PM
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I ran 1000 rnds through my glock 17 without cleaning to see how far it would go, even shooting it at matches.
I eventually broke down and cleaned it.
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Old 08-10-2018, 2:14 AM
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I try to clean before a match. I shoot horrible so I never noticed any positive or negative accuracy results from clean or dirty.

I will say though that a dirty mag will misfeed so I always make sure to clean them
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Old 08-10-2018, 3:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeexposure View Post
I was just curious if anyone participates in shooting competitions using a gun that has not been cleaned?

Not filthy, just not freshly cleaned?
Yes, many times, no effect one way or the other.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2018, 7:05 AM
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Clean every other or every third match unless its a major match - then I go in clean. But I do take a Qtip to the feed-ramp if i can.
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Old 08-10-2018, 7:24 AM
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I always run at least a 100 rounds through mine before a competition. I call it a pre-match function check
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Old 08-10-2018, 7:35 AM
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I remember the superstition or whatever you want to call it about cleaning your rifle when on the rifle range for qualification. Basically the theory was that if you did more that just wipe down your rifle after every day of shooting the POI would be different. Now I dont know how scientiffically accurate it is but some guys would clean their rifles religiously at the end of the day, and some would just take the bolt out and wipe it down with clp. I guess what ever they felt was working for them.

You figure over the course of 3 or 4 days at the rifle range you're only shooting maybe 400ish rounds. I cant remember the exact round count.

I say do what you feel works best for you.
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2018, 7:42 AM
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I tend to get my tightest groups with one of my 50BMGs when I don't clean it for several hundred rounds.
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  #14  
Old 08-10-2018, 1:02 PM
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On a whim, my buddy ran his G34 for >3500 rounds just lubing it with olive when it needed it. Guys a master in Production and Limited...
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Old 08-10-2018, 1:12 PM
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Do you worry about how your clean gun will shoot after ten or twenty rounds? How much dirtier does it get after another hundred? I think some of my rifles shoot better dirty. And they are all dirty after a few rounds.
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Old 08-10-2018, 1:31 PM
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Have I shot a match with a dirty gun? Sure. I never noticed any difference in performance or accuracy.
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Old 08-10-2018, 1:45 PM
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I'd be inclined to say the majority of (serious) competitors do not clean their gun every match. At least in my circles
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Old 08-10-2018, 2:14 PM
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I have known some to clean the competition weapon and then fire a round prior to storage.
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Old 08-10-2018, 2:48 PM
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While not shooting at matches, when I do run and gun I typically run with guns that haven't been cleaned for a few thousand rounds. I finally cleaned a few of my guns earlier this week, it was the first time in 8 months probably.
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Old 08-10-2018, 3:13 PM
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Is there a pistol competition out there where the accuracy differences between clean and dirty would make a difference?
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Old 08-10-2018, 4:31 PM
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The higher the accuracy requirement is for the competition you shoot the cleaner the gun barrel needs to be. Pistol shooting at big targets at short range? Not so much.
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Old 08-10-2018, 4:54 PM
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I usually fire my guns a day or two before a match. Not only for a function and zero check, but because I want a fouled barrel.

You should always know what your gun does with a cold bore, a clean bore, a hot bore, and a fouled bore.

A fouled warm bore usually seems to be the most accurate and precise IMHO. Cold and clean always seems to be the least desirable.
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Old 08-10-2018, 4:56 PM
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I disassemble my mags and clean them thoroughly. My local matches have hard pan and crushed rock so they get full of dust and crud. By the end of a match they are gritty

My gun I clean every few matches but it gets oiled before each one. it's a 1911 and it likes to run a little wet. Not AR wet, but wet.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2018, 6:20 PM
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All the time. Even won a high power match with a dirty Enfield.
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Old 08-10-2018, 7:48 PM
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Glocks. I clean mine precisely by the calendar .
The Mayan calendar.
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Old 08-10-2018, 8:02 PM
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Field strip and clean before every match. Complete disassembly down to the frame, cleaning every part by hand 3 to 4 times a year.

Al
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Old 08-10-2018, 8:32 PM
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I shoot USPSA and always shoot dirty guns. I clean every 1k rounds or so. Now I do lube the thing before a match, but no cleaning. Once or twice a year I use a friends sonic cleaner for a full cleaning.
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Old 08-10-2018, 9:37 PM
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I do better with two to three fouling shots on my rem700 in our fun 600 yard matches
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Old 08-10-2018, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
I tend to get my tightest groups with one of my 50BMGs when I don't clean it for several hundred rounds.
Stop that.....
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:22 PM
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Just one thing to keep in mind...

Most of us are shooting in ideal weather conditions.
If you take your Silicon Valley 1911 South to Vegas or Phoenix, as an example, the lubrication on your gun(s) may not be enough or maybe even too much.

I have seen it happen at Richmond using ARs.
The rifles work great in the winter months and then an April heat wave hits, the ARs are dry as a bone on the 2nd day of shooting or at the end of the 1st day of practice.
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Old 08-11-2018, 6:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
Many competitors have confessed to not cleaning their pistols due to concerns of improper reassembly for the next days' Match. Smart troops will function fire their weapons, especially machine guns, prior to anticipated contact.



Quote:
Originally Posted by trackcage View Post
I'd be inclined to say the majority of (serious) competitors do not clean their gun every match. At least in my circles
Same here!

Just a light lube... At a rate of 1-match/month, I usually go 2- to 3-matches without a clean. This is around 500-rounds before cleaning.


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Old 08-11-2018, 7:27 AM
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Only time I will clean my comp guns is when they start having problems. If they have ejection probs or going into battery probs I will break them down and clean them.
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Old 08-11-2018, 8:29 AM
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Better question would be "anyone compete with a clean gun?"
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:24 PM
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Darn straight I do.

When you least expect it, one of your pals or a pal's friend just has to see what you are shooting either right before a match or at a barbeque between matchs. And your gun is dirty. Sheet. Yeah, I keep the guns clean while not in use.
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Old 08-11-2018, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert1234 View Post
Better question would be "anyone compete with a clean gun?"
All benchrest shooters. I shoot highpower with a clean bore, you get two fouling shots, then off to the races.
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