How often do you clean?

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by RMitch223, May 15, 2019.

  1. RMitch223

    RMitch223

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    I just got my first custom barrel installed and I want to make sure I'm taking of this barrel properly.

    How often do you clean out carbon?
    a. What cleaner do you use?
    How often do you clean out copper?
    a. What solvent do you use?

    I'm not talking about break in at all. Talking routine cleaning.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    I clean after every match. Usually "fouling rounds" + 3 x 20 + sighters. I normally do a 100 count for a match. I like to "foul" the barrel out prior to going to the match.. I get ALL the carbon out>>>>that means the "loose" carbon AND the "hard" carbon, along with the copper. Approximately every 300-400 rounds I also "scrub it to the bone" with JB Bore Paste. Now after the firecracking sets in pretty good, say 1000+ rounds or so, I will "JB" the bore EVERY time. The reason for this is that the firecracking "holds" the copper and the hard carbon in those tiny crevasses made by the firecracking. Excessive carbon / copper build-up in those crevasses will eventually destroy any accuracy left in the barrel..
    As far as "cleaners" go, I use Bore-Tech Eliminator..
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  3. K22

    K22

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    I clean every 30 to 40 rounds - normally only shoot a 12 to 15 round string per range session per rifle. I keep a precise record for each rifle of the number of rounds fired (including those expended hunting varmints and predators) and when cleaned (round count). I season the bore with Barricade after cleaning then dry patch before shooting out a clean bore.

    I use Bore Tech products - carbon remover first with a bronze brush then after drying patching I use their copper remover every cleaning. I found these products to be superior for carbon and copper removal and they do not have an offensive odor. I follow their instructions except that I use a bronze brush instead of nylon for carbon removal because I believe that the mechanical action of the bronze brush is more effective in removing carbon fouling.

    PS: The bronze brush is NOT use with their copper remover.

    I agree with ShootDots on using JB or ISSO for barrels with fire cracking or high round counts except I use it every 3 third cleaning.
     
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  4. Nightraider

    Nightraider

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    600rds
    Wipe out until it's clean.
     
  5. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

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    On my quality barrels (Krieger, Lilja, etc), I normally shoot about 25-30 rounds during a range visit on each rifle. I clean with Butches Bore Shine which removes most of the carbon and some of the copper (but not all). About every 200 rounds I remove all the copper using Bore Tech Eliminator. I "used" to use Bore Tech copper remover and carbon remover, but found that Eliminator does the job the 2 did, just as well.

    For my high use barrels (prairie dog), I clean every 50 rounds in the field with Butches, and every night I remove the copper using Eliminator. I can shoot 200-350 rounds a day easy, so it is just what I feel I need to do. On 1 trip, I was up around 1700 rounds through a Sako Vixen 223 and started getting occasional flier. Once I started removing the copper at night, the issue went away.

    You will find a hand lapped barrel will collect very little copper until you get a lot of use on it. Surprisingly little compared to a factory barrel.
     
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  6. BartsBullets

    BartsBullets Gold $$ Contributor

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    Got to be careful with your question! How guys clean often depends on what type of competition they are shooting. F-Class guys May run 80 plus rounds before cleaning a barrel. Benchrest guys normally less.

    I personally don’t like running more than 15 to 20 rounds down a barrel before cleaning. I shoot short range group as well 600 and 1000 Yard Benchrest. With a 6ppc you can see accuracy drop off when you get much past 20 rounds.

    I clean with Butches bore shine and use Iosso and JB for carbon and copper. Carbon build up is just as big of an accuracy killer as copper fowling, if not more.

    Good luck with your new barrel!

    Bart
     
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  7. Jalen

    Jalen

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    Best advice I got was let the barrel tell you when to clean it. The one I use the most goes about 4-500 rounds before the groups open and I have to scrub it. Then again I’m not a BR competition shooter so there’s that.
     
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  8. Dave Way

    Dave Way Gold $$ Contributor

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    Bart,

    I'm curious if you use a brush? I like to clean after no more than 20 or so rounds as well. Probably a habit from my short range bench-rest days even though I shoot long range bench-rest now. I use a bronze brush even though some on this site avoid them like the plague.

    I feel a bronze brush is the best way to keep carbon in check regardless of the cleaning solvent you choose unless you plan on using IOSSO or something similar. Anyone reading this, try this test if you're so inclined and see what you find. After your barrel is "clean" using whatever method you normally use whether its patches only or a nylon brush, run a brand new bronze brush 8-10 strokes with about any carbon remover you like. See what the first patch looks like after you do.

    As far a solvents I like several. Butch's bore shine or KG carbon remover followed by KG12 Copper remover or Boretech carbon remover followed by Boretech copper remover.

    Dave.
     
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  9. BartsBullets

    BartsBullets Gold $$ Contributor

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    Dave,

    Absolutely a bronze brush!

    Bart
     
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  10. shoobe01

    shoobe01

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    I used to be a scrupulous cleaner, but some folks shared a survey of really top shooters in several competition types, and almost all of them did one version or another of this. They know how well they shoot, check each shot, each group, keep track of all data. Changes warrant attention, so they do it.

    I have been following this and since I do not shoot like many of you all, am mostly cleaning based on environmental issues. Enough dust or rain and it gets not just the post-shooting action wipe down but the chamber and bore often gets cleaned as well.
     
  11. daleboy

    daleboy Silver $$ Contributor

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    What does this statement reference ?
     
  12. theallcineyes

    theallcineyes

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    In my experience, you can do more damage to a bore/crown by cleaning it than by shooting it.

    I don't clean my rifles very often, I wipe them down any time they've been out in the weather/rain/dust etc. I clean them at the end of a hunt.

    In my experience, it takes a few rounds to get them fouled correctly to REALLY settle down, I don't want to waste the barrel on fouling shots.

    When I do clean one of my barrels, I REALLY clean it.
     
  13. Uthink Uknow

    Uthink Uknow Gold $$ Contributor

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    Bart and I went to the same school. I clean with GM TEC after every target. Why every target? On average and under average or usual conditions that’s about 10 shots. If I don’t clean and an unusual condition occurs on the next target, I may have to run 20 shots on that target for a grand total of 30 shots before I clean and by that time accuracy has fallen off. I clean out the carbon with Iosso every aggregate or about 55-60 shots.
    I don’t agree that a properly fitting bronze brush, one that matches up with the rod, can damage a crown when used properly. Now, an improper brush used improperly may do some damage to a crown. Also the use of a proper bore/rod guide prevents damage in the chamber, throat area. In my experience.
     
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  14. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have a question for the Benchrest shooters. This question has nagged at me for quite some time and it's time to ask. QUESTION: It has been my experience that after a R-E-A-L-L-Y good barrel scrubbing, depending on the "age" of the barrel, it takes at least 4-5 shots on a new barrel and up to 10-12 rounds on an "older" barrel, to get the barrel to "settle down" and start shooting well. How do y'all clean so often and get the barrel to settle in after maybe a shot or two in order to shoot a competitive group? This blows my mind.. Thanks..
     
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  15. Milo 2.0

    Milo 2.0 Gold $$ Contributor

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    What is it going to be used for, BR, F class, PRS, etc..?
    There are many trains of thoughts on cleaning. From 20 shots to 4-600, then the "I never clean", lol
    I swear, when I read "I clean when my grouping opens up", I cringe, that is like running out of gas driving down the hwy. Because, you drove somewhere to accomplish something, and now, either you have cleaning equipment with, or you are driving home to clean a rifle. Good plan!
     
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  16. rardoin

    rardoin Silver $$ Contributor

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    I always cleaned after every 60 shot F class match (like mentioned by Ben....foulers+ 8-18 sighters + 60 record shots). Recently I was caught with my pants down at a 1000yd two day match (I assumed and did not read the match bulletin:rolleyes:) and had just enough rounds for 120 record shots and 4 sighters per 20 shot match. After day 1 I did not want to use any sighters to foul the bore for day 2 so I had little choice but to NOT clean. I was concerned a little. The rifle did not shoot any different by the end of day 2. I finished with 45 on the X-count which was second highest and told me that the rifle was still shooting fine after 143 rounds. It was a 6.5 running a 142gr at 2935fps. Sometimes dogma needs to be investigated.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  17. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Gold $$ Contributor

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    As mentioned several times, cleaning frequency is highly dependent on the type of competions one shoots. In fclass it is normal to shoot 100 shots per day, with no option yo clean until the end. In this case I will only perform a light cleaning prior to the next day, then a thorough cleaning upon completion.

    Many PRS shooters subscribe to the practice of don't clean until the accuracy falls off, but what if this happens during a match? Maybe you will know better next time, now that your current match has sunk. And at that stage, following hundreds of cooked rounds at a high rate, good luck on getting that baked on carbon out. I tried that practice once, as it took several hours over a period of several days to get the barrel clear of carbon.

    It pays to take care of your barrel if you want it to take care of you. A little judicious, frequent cleaning will pay off over the long run vs waiting for a barrel to bomb out before trying to rescue it.
     
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  18. js2013

    js2013

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    How often do I clean?
    I take a shower every Saturday (whether I need it or not )
     
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  19. linebaugh

    linebaugh Silver $$ Contributor

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    Same experience here. Tried it exactly once without cleaning as I read a reputable gun builder claim this was the ticket. Wrong. After a week long battle of removing a serious carbon ring I am back to cleaning every match. So every 100-150 rounds. JB bore paste with kroil every 3-400 rounds and as the bbl ages every cleaning I use JB and kroil in the throat.
    I still use plain old butches for general cleaning and though I have not tried the carbon eliminator yet I will tell you I am skeptical of anything removing hard carbon chemically. I may never try the carbon eliminator as I dont have a problem with my methodology now.
     
  20. Milo 2.0

    Milo 2.0 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Well put, we all have a degree of accuracy we expect. So it is our job to know how long we can go. I'll usually clean a new barrel 4 times in the first 200rds, then try get 200 w/o. Sometimes it works(most of the time), sometimes not, I am not shooting paper for score either though.
    There is never any reason to have to face palm yourself in the middle of a match because you do not clean.
     
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