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Thread: Cleaning .22 bores? .22 LR specifically

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    I used to pull a bore snake through after each range session, thinking of just bullet lube/carbon buildup. Maybe I'll start doing that again.

    Thorough cleaning and then rebreaking in is not really viable, since I'm currently trying lots of different types of ammo.
    if you are experimenting with ammo, just push a dry patch thru the bore. this will only take a few fouling shots then vs a thorough cleaning. changing ammo's, you definately want to patch the bore when you change as the different lubes can affect your accurcay.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Rimfire primers have ground glass in the primer mix to provide the required friction to set them off, because they do not have a mechanical anvil, as do center-fire primers. When I used to shoot smallbore competition it was common to observe a spot of erosion ahead of the chamber at the 6:00 position after about 10,000 rounds. As as firing progressed the frostly spot would propogate around in a circle until it met at the top at about 100,000 rounds, which then destroyed accuracy until the barrel was set back and rechambered and you started over.

    Most serious smallbore match shooters, both rifle and pistol, would simply wipe the bore and chamber with an oiled wet patch after shooting, to keep the fouling soft, and would run one dry patch through the barrel to dry the bore and chamber before shooting. Using plain non-detergent SAE30 motor oil or mineral oil USP with no additives no fouling shots would be necessary to settle into the 10-ring at 100 yards prone rifle, or into the X-ring for 50 yards pistol.

    You don't want to use any exotic gun oils with Teflon or other additives as accuracy goes out the window. Ordinary Hoppes or Ouers Gun oil works best.
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  3. #23
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    N. AZ
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    For bolt actions...
    A quick boresnake after every session.
    A quick chamber scrub if things feel gummy.
    Only taken apart after rain or dust storm.

    For semis...
    The same for the bore, but the action gets more attention.

    EXCEPT - The Colt Service Ace with the recoiling chamber... Full teardown and thorough cleaning every ~400 rounds.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master


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    Outpost, that sounds like a good plan. Maybe I'll keep a dedicated .22LR boresnake, saturated with 10W30 in a little ziplock baggie. What do you think of that?

  5. #25
    i have a marlin m25(i got it new when i was 13yo) in 22lr that i cleaned after every trip. it was sub par on performance, like 2 -3" at 50 yards. then one day an old timer told me not to clean it. i thought he was a crazy old coot! he says to me you'll know when to clean the bore. it will be sticky to extract the case, then you clean the bore. so i did and 8000+ 22lr cases later, i did clean the bore because it was sticky to extract. the next time it was only 6000+ cases and the next time was 7000+ cases. i've shot thousands of 22lr(marlin m25) and i only clean the bore when the 25 is sticky. and oh by the way, it will go 1/2 - 1" at 50 yards(remmies, winnies, federal...bullets).

    i recently bought a ruger 10/22 in 22lr and i'll do the same thing.

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    Outpost, that sounds like a good plan. Maybe I'll keep a dedicated .22LR boresnake, saturated with 10W30 in a little ziplock baggie. What do you think of that?
    I would not use a bore snake on a good match rifle or pistol, because the ground glass residue from the primer mix will imbed in the fibers, so that you are damaging the crown every time you pull the bore snake out.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I was required to clean any gun I shot when I was young and that has been drilled into me so severely that I cannot break that habit.

    I also agree with those that speak about the accuracy of a .22 rimfire falling off after cleaning and gradually returning to a known point of aim / point of impact after some fouling shots.

    In terms of maintaining accuracy, I agree that either not cleaning the bore or only minimally cleaning the bore is probably your best bet at maintaining an established zero; at least until the fouling degrades the accuracy and it must be cleaned.

    However, not cleaning a rifle after shooting it is just not something I can willingly do. That doesn't mean I have to clean it to perfection but I just cannot put a dirty gun away. With a .22 that means I at least punch the bore with a lightly oiled patch followed by a dry patch and the exterior gets wiped down with a slightly oiled rag. That's about the least amount of cleaning I can do without going into seizures or becoming light-headed That practice generally requires a fouling shot or two to get it back to the point of aim. That's the price I pay for my neurotic cleaning ritual.

    Now, if I KNOW the rifle will be stored for a long time, It will be cleaned more thoroughly.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Apr 2005
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    Here's what I use and they work fantastic.

    https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum...t=gunner+tools

  9. #29
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    I inherited a Winchester 190 from my dad and I don't think it had been cleaned since I moved out on my own over 30 years before. I took it apart and cleaned it really good and probably will not do anything to it again unless I see an accuracy issue with it. (and that is partly because that bolt is a serious pain to get back together after you take it out!) That is not to say I will not wipe down the outside of it with a light coat of oil when I put it up.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check