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Thread: How often do you clean barrel, target and hunting

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    How often do you clean barrel, target and hunting

    Now that were using the teslong bore scope we can really see how clean or not the barrel is. We have been testing our benchrest rifles and found that they shoot better squeeky clean. After removing all powder, carbon and copper the velocity drops about 20-25 fps, it takes around 5 shots for the velocity to return to normal and stabilize.
    Has anyone else seen this.
    Our test so far has been with 3 different 6br and a 30br.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I clean my .308 hunting rifles at the end of the season. A few week before hunting season, I will shoot a 5 shot group to confirm zero and, if necessary, adjust and fire another to confirm. So less than 20 shots between cleanings. I do not "plink" with them. When load testing, I have never had to clean the .308's as I got sub MOA groups in less than 100 rounds.

    The 5.56 bolt guns might go 50-100 rounds. The AR's about 300.

    Most of my "plinking" is with .38/.357 lever actions. They go 1000+
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just about every serious benchrest shooter cleans after each target, 7-12 shots.This is shooting naked bullets. You want the barrel in the same condition each time you shoot a target. One "flier" could turn a teen agg into a .200 something.

    Then on the other hand, I know people who shoot danzac coated bullets, and never clean. And do well!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    We noticed much the same thing with our M-1 rifles that we shot in Service Rifle matches; most everyone didn't clean until the season was over.
    We were shooting arsenal loaded match ammunition and the primers were noncorrosive.
    Gun control is not about guns.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    I should have included my hunting rifles in the original post.
    They get 20-30 rounds each year so generally they get cleaned once a year.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I should add, this is an individual thing. Some people have different needs and expectations as others. A hunting gun is not a bench gun. I service rifle is not a hunting gun or bench gun.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Depends. The AR in .223 gets a bore snake pull every trip to the range (back yard) and a full tear down every 500 rounds or so. The 350 LGD isn't getting any cleaning until I see a FTF or FTE. 149 rounds so far.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Between My Dad & the Navy, I cleaned guns every time I shot them. After I got out of the service I moved to a place that had a Pistol Range between school and home. Some times 2-3 times a week, wasn't practical to clean a gun and dirty it the next day. So I would shoot a gun until I ran out of ammo for it, then clean it.

    When I started Cowboy Shooting, you could shoot every weekend in SoCal. And again it wasn't practical to clean a Lever Rifle, SxS and 2 Revolvers. And have time to load ammo for all of them. So once a month it became. Then the Kids started shooting, and it became easy.
    They cleaned the guns and loaded most of the ammo.

    But Now they're gone now, and I don't shoot as much as I used to. With Dehumidifier's in the safes, there's no hurry to clean guns.

    So I clean when I get around to it. Or accuracy goes out the window.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    It's usage, barrel and cartridge specific. 22 rimfire competitors never or almost never clean. The NRA highpower, Palma and long range shooters clean at the end of the day believing that peak accuracy drops off starting at 80 or 100 rounds. Not sure what the f-class and PRS competitors are doing. Some barrels copper foul more than others. It's normal for the barrel to take a few fouling shots to settle down.

    For my Cowboy Action guns they get cleaned when I feel like it since accuracy requirements for this game ave very low. My long range coyote rifle get cleaned before the start of the fur season and not until I get about a hundred rounds though it. Once cleaned it get a couple of fouling shots before I use it for long range applications.

    Using Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN) for Bullet Coating and Birchwood Casey Sheath I expect the third shot through a clean barrel to be on call. Different cleaning techniques and products may require more fouling shots to settle down.

    A buddy of mine that started shooting prairie dogs with me has also been and avid rifle shooter. He had good equipment but was have a hard time shooting much better than 1 MOA. He had been using the same cleaning techniques since the 50's. He was adamant that his barrels were clean. I talked him into used trying for different products. After three days and 7 or 8 layers off carbon and copper he was shooting sub 1/2" MOA.

    My primary prairie dog .223 rifle it is 3/8" MOA rifle. I have tested it several times after not cleaning for 800 to a 1,000 rounds. It's opens up to 7/8" to 1" MOA. I have a 6.5 x 284 that does not like being shot dirty. At 100 rounds group size triples.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 04-08-2020 at 06:57 PM.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Bub stevenjay1's Avatar
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    I give my guns a simple cleaning after each use. I run a Hoppe's patch through the bore first to get all the crud out. I then let the soaked barrel sit there for half an hour or so for the Hoppe's work. Run a dry patch through the bore to remove the Hoppe's with dissolved copper and fouling. Followed by an oiled patch and I’m finished. Steve
    Last edited by stevenjay1; 04-08-2020 at 09:52 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Minerat's Avatar
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    They get cleaned before going in safe. 1 shot or 100 makes no difference.
    Steve,

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    Member: Clear Creek County Sportsman Association


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  12. #12
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Now that I don't shoot in matches and only hunt and kill paper casually I clean the barrel in my deer rifle after the seasons over , handguns when I get home 22lr every year or so. When I shot service rifle I'd clean after every match
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    Bore snake after each range trip (generally 50 rounds)-- unless accuracy seems to be decreasing-- then a full cleaning. Full teardown cleaning and lube every winter.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Hunting: zero rifle pre season, go hunting, clean rifle post season.
    NRA Endowment Life Member

  15. #15
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure I cleaned the bore of my Tikka 30-06 for the first time in 2-3 yrs just last week....mostly out of boredom. It's dead zeroed and hasn't drifted (as far as the deer can tell), so I haven't messed with it. 200-300yd beanfield shots, pretty much on the money, and it only sees 4-5 rds downrange a year. Now that I've cleaned it...we'll go to the range and 'season' it again before the fall.

    My .22s....nearly never, unless performance gives me a reason to. Mostly shoot squirrels, not much target work, so could be years between a good bore scrubbing.

    My BPCR stuff....they get the bejeezus scrubbed out of them every day they're shot. I shoot BP in all my authentic old stuff, so it gets treated accordingly.

    BP revolvers... Generally cleaned after each use (unless it's carpenter bee season) but still thoroughly cleaned after no more than 2-3 days of having been fired with BP.

    I guess it's firearm specific and purpose driven for me....
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    Rifles get cleaned every 100-300 shots, whenever I think precision is suffering. My 45-70 CVA Hunter will corrode unless I clean it the same day I shoot it. I also clean the black powder firearms the same day I shoot them. My handguns get cleaned every 100 shots or so.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    Every time I shoot.

    Hunting sight in check then hunt the season. then clean

    22.lr plinker's, pull through a patch every time shot, end of summer full clean.

    Handguns every time shot, my carry gun gets cleaned before leaving the range. I was taught do not carry a fired weapon for self defense. Even if my partner fired his for duty in the aftermath mine would be clean/unfired. This was stressed by the training officers.

    But I am an old guy 68 years old what do I know what the new kids need or do I even care.

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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