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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 11-08-2010, 9:20 PM
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Default Damage From Barrel Cleaning?

Just curious. I've read conflicting opinion on the harm that may come from cleaning rifle barrels. I see some people run a cleaning rod down the barrel with a spear type point, the patch drops off at the muzzle, and they then drag the rod back through the barrel, popping it over the barrel/muzzle edge. Krieger recommends never letting the rod emerge from the barrel. Some say unscrew the cleaning tip and then withdraw the rod. Given the rod itself is softer than the barrel, how much damage can be done by pulling the rod through? Or is this more a function of how much hard grit is on the rod? Is it a catastrophe if the patch came off for instance, and the rod passed through the barrel, the cleaning tip dragging along the rifling?

- Phil
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2010, 9:24 PM
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its kinda like wiping down your porsche with a shop rag!

in all seriousness though, i too have wondered about this. i find it hard to believe that soft copper bristles being hand pushed or pulled is going to cause measurable damage to something as hard as stainless steel or chromoly, or even mild steel, for that matter.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2010, 9:31 PM
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i think only the cleaning rods are the ones that damage the barrel if you use them wrong . The rope/rag kits and boresnakes should be fine . Remember the barrel is harder than the bullet/brass going through it but i believe the cleaning rod when used improperly hits the grooves

IMO
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2010, 9:31 PM
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Get a bore snake.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2010, 9:37 PM
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Quote:
its kinda like wiping down your porsche with a shop rag!
If you saw some of my shop rags, might consider wiping down the Porsche under carriage or inside of the wheels (NOT). I need to get more shop towels, for the guns mostly.

Quote:
in all seriousness though, i too have wondered about this. i find it hard to believe that soft copper bristles being hand pushed or pulled is going to cause measurable damage to something as hard as stainless steel or chromoly, or even mild steel, for that matter.
I am not so sure how hard stainless steel is. It scratches easily. I do not really understand how it can be soft enough to scratch, but hard enough to endure a few thousand bullets flying down the barrel.

- Phil
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2010, 9:48 PM
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bore guides are nice for using rods. The rod stays perfectly in place.
I run patches (and brushes) one way, breach to muzzle. Remove patch, then pull rod back out (I have a guide). Then repeat. No problems.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2010, 10:01 PM
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Default There are thousands of types of stainless steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
If you saw some of my shop rags, might consider wiping down the Porsche under carriage or inside of the wheels (NOT). I need to get more shop towels, for the guns mostly.



I am not so sure how hard stainless steel is. It scratches easily. I do not really understand how it can be soft enough to scratch, but hard enough to endure a few thousand bullets flying down the barrel.

- Phil
There are many many types of stainless steel and each one can be hardened or annealed to a wide range of hardness. Some are fairly soft, some are extremely hard. The types of stainless used in barrels were chosen for their combination of wear resistance, resistance to bending (modulus of elasticity), but not specifically for scratch resistance. Although I would imagine that a material that can "endure thousands of bullets..." and some extremely high temperature gases at tens of thousands of PSI, is probably going to be somewhat scratch resistant. It may be that it only appears that stainless steel scratches easily due to the typical finishes on stainless steel parts showing scratches particularly well, I don't know for sure.

I also wonder if the whole thing about barrel cleaning is a myth or for real. I know target shooters and snipers can be truly fanatical about barrel cleaning. They use guides to keep the cleaning rod from touching anything until it passes through the chamber (so the rod doesn't contact the throat). And I have also heard that there is great concern about the rod damaging the crown (muzzle end of the barrel), because any irregularity at the crown can destabilize the bullet (a bit). The common notion in engineering is that if one material is harder than another only the harder material can scratch the softer one, not the other way around. In reality even water can erode granite, so presumably even a cleaning brush or rod can erode the crown. Maybe the bigger issue is that the common soft aluminum rod can leave pieces of aluminum embedded in the crown (although most serious shooters do not use aluminum rods, they use either steel or carbon fiber, due to the superior stiffness, so the rod doesn't bend and contact the rifling.)
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:22 PM
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the debate is on par with AR vs. AK, 9mm vs .45...

http://www.6mmbr.com/borebrushing.html

I have noticed a trend of uncoated stainless steel rods being pushed in the catalogs, notably Sinclair (Brownells). The uncoated rods can be made thicker, thus being more resistant flexing, but an overly tight patch wrapped around a jag can still bend a rod. There's been some speculation that the coated rods can become embedded with firing residue like primer grit, so the rod can eventually act like a lap.

I've seen shooters literally whack the butt of a cleaning rod down the bore since the patch was too tight, and without the use of a rod guide.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2010, 10:24 PM
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brass is NOT hurting your barrels
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2010, 8:43 AM
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My Mosin's crown is square-ish shaped because some Russian dude just stuck in its cleaning rod in there.

/thread
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2010, 9:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seesm View Post
brass is NOT hurting your barrels
Nope, but the fouling embedded in the brass can. Diamonds are cut with copper wheels, it's not the copper that does it but the compound embedded in the soft copper.

ANY dust or dirt can cause abrasive scouring regardless of rod type if a muzzle guide isn't used.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2010, 9:46 AM
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I remember an article about this in the GCA Journal. The guys set out to try to damage a Garand barrel with a GI cleaning rod. They used the old issue, segmented steel cleaning rods. They deliberately rode the rods all around the edge of the muzzle, making sure that the lips where the segments joined ran right into the edge of the muzzle. They made thousands of passes, and broke several cleaning rod segments, before they finally managed to increase the muzzle wear number by one thousandth of an inch. And when they took the rifle to the range, they discovered that it shot the same groups that it did before they abused it.

So, for me personally, I clean from the breech, I don't ride the rod on the muzzle, and I don't worry about it too much.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2010, 10:04 AM
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I'm from the school of "good enough" when it comes to cleaning my guns. As long as I'm not deliberately damaging the crown or bending/flexing the rod while it's in the bore, I don't think I'll donenough damage to the gun to significantly affect it's accuracy.

I dont think that the "my cleaning rod and bronze brushes are softer than steel" thing is a red herring, though. Wood is certainly softer than steel, and yet I have a number of very dull saws in my toolshed. Kitchen knives don't typically cut anything harder than well-done steak, but even they get dull over time.
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2010, 2:45 PM
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If you pull the rod rather than pushing it, it won't bend.
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2010, 7:48 PM
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1 Always use a bore guide and never go muzzle-first
2 Use a proper patch jag, not the kind with a hole in the end
3 Use a quality one-piece rod with a handle that spins allowing the patch to follow the grooves

You won't hurt anything when drawing the rod back out of the breech without the patch. Clean the rod every time it's withdrawn.
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  #16  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phish View Post
the debate is on par with AR vs. AK, 9mm vs .45...

http://www.6mmbr.com/borebrushing.html

I have noticed a trend of uncoated stainless steel rods being pushed in the catalogs, notably Sinclair (Brownells). The uncoated rods can be made thicker, thus being more resistant flexing, but an overly tight patch wrapped around a jag can still bend a rod. There's been some speculation that the coated rods can become embedded with firing residue like primer grit, so the rod can eventually act like a lap.

I've seen shooters literally whack the butt of a cleaning rod down the bore since the patch was too tight, and without the use of a rod guide.
Thanks for the link!
- It seems the experts are split about cleaning every 10 rounds or every 100, and there between
Also:
- Brush - Nylon, Brass - or never
- One-way push or two-way push/pull
- Reversing a brush inside the barrel vs outside
- Never exiting the barrel at the crown side (would force the reversing)

I just got myself a coated Dewey rod and guide for my bolt and will do light cleaning after every day of shooting. Always have - It's therapy, nothing wrong in shining shoes and cleaning guns
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2010, 11:34 AM
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I was rather amazed at the barrel accuracy of my issue M-16 when I was in the Army. The rifle had been cleaned almost daily for several years with a steel cleaning rod. I doubt that there was very much damage done to the chrome lined barrel to effect accuracy. That being said, I would not use a steel, or unprotected, cleaning rod on a bench rest rifle.
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  #18  
Old 11-12-2010, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstlaurent View Post
I remember an article about this in the GCA Journal. The guys set out to try to damage a Garand barrel with a GI cleaning rod. They used the old issue, segmented steel cleaning rods. They deliberately rode the rods all around the edge of the muzzle, making sure that the lips where the segments joined ran right into the edge of the muzzle. They made thousands of passes, and broke several cleaning rod segments, before they finally managed to increase the muzzle wear number by one thousandth of an inch. And when they took the rifle to the range, they discovered that it shot the same groups that it did before they abused it.

So, for me personally, I clean from the breech, I don't ride the rod on the muzzle, and I don't worry about it too much.
Best post in this thread.
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  #19  
Old 11-13-2010, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rojocorsa View Post
My Mosin's crown is square-ish shaped because some Russian dude just stuck in its cleaning rod in there.

/thread
Amazing. haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 23 Blast View Post
I'm from the school of "good enough" when it comes to cleaning my guns.
At first I was cleaning my guns for HOURS every time I shot them. Then I started to notice it seemed like I was doing more harm than good.
Now I just use a can of CLP and really clean the chamber/bore/super dirty parts, wipe down everything else, CLP the spots that need lube, and call it a day.

It's been working out much better to my surprise than picking every little speck of dirt out.
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  #20  
Old 11-13-2010, 11:27 AM
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Bore foam, patch it clean, bore mop then a couple more patches is all you need. At least for a precision rifle that is. Everything else gets the bore foam and a bore snake.

Start watching at 4:06
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  #21  
Old 11-13-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barabas View Post
Nope, but the fouling embedded in the brass can. Diamonds are cut with copper wheels, it's not the copper that does it but the compound embedded in the soft copper.

ANY dust or dirt can cause abrasive scouring regardless of rod type if a muzzle guide isn't used.
DING DING DING!!!
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  #22  
Old 11-13-2010, 1:18 PM
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If you are aware of the pressures that go on inside your bbl and the fact that you are forcing an ovesized bullet down the center. . . a brass/plastic brush shouldn't hurt a thing. I'm not saying that over time you may do something to the crown, but steel is extremely hard compared to brass.
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  #23  
Old 11-13-2010, 2:14 PM
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If you spray down your rod and brush until the runoff is clear before cleaning, you're doing everything you can to prevent cleaning wear. Think about a controlled test in a clean environment like your home or shop and what soldiers everywhere have to deal with in the field. You aren't likely to drop your oily cleaning rod in sand and then immediately clean or clear a stuck case from the muzzle under direct fire. It's not the stuff coming out of a dirty barrel that's causing a problem, it's what's going in.
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