Gun Cleaning

@Enzo_T, thank you for a more complete explanation of the process. And yes, older rifles would typically only get Hoppe’s #9 and oil. While it would work well with carbon, it does not get the carbon in layers. The one thing that I would add is I use a copper brush in between carbon and copper cycles. It does a great job of loosening up the carbon.

@CDW15, some of the good cleaners are Sweet’s, as mentioned above. I also like Montana Xtreame copper cleaner. My general cleaner that I use on carbon is Butch’s bore shine. That is a good general purpose cleaner, but the copper solvent is not as aggressive as the other ones mentioned, meaning that it will take a lot more work to get that stubborn copper out. I have also had decent results with the foaming bore cleaner products such as Hoppe’s and Outers Foaming bore cleaner, but they work more like the Butch’s in that they dont go after the copper as aggressively as Sweet’s or Montana.

One last thing, most solvents, especially copper solvents, should not be left in the bore for extended time periods. Read the directions to ensure you are not leaving it in too long. Also, make sure that you run a couple dry patches to ensure all solvent is out of the bore. If the rifle is not going to be shot right away, make sure to run a wet oil patch down the bore to protect the metal and to run a dry patch prior to shooting your rifle to remove the oil before you shoot. Finally, certain oils, such as Kroil Oil, can be useful in that they can creep into the layers and soften the fouling, so if you are not done, but wont get back to it for a few days, let it sit with a good oil such as that to soften up the fouling.

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Lots of good advice there. Sweets has been my go to for years and I use it because I have a bunch f bottles still around. But, it is nasty stuff and you can’t leave it in the barrel for long periods of time. I think Montane Xtream is great stuff and many of my friends prefer it to Sweets. Butch’s Bore Shine is a popular favorite too and gives great results for sure. There are a lot of good cleaners out there and Hoppes and Outers are still decent all around choices but as you mentioned not as aggressive as others but for some folks that are more casual in their use of firearms they will do just fine. The Kroil tip is a good one and I forgot to mention it. I do that too with heavy fouled barrels. I have friends that use half Kroil and half other cleaners mixed together with excellent results.

The most important thing is to follow directions so you don’t end up screwing anything up and be patient and let the chemicals do their job.

Oh one last thing I’ll add, when removing heavy carbon I will pull off a small piece of a pure copper wool scrubbing pad (you can buy them cheap on Amazon, make SURE they are pure copper) and wrap it around an old copper brush meant for a smaller bore so it fits tightly down the barrel. It REALLY speeds things up when you encounter the heavy crusty stuff.

@Enzo_T @Brian139
I really appreciate the advice and help. That is one thing I make sure to do is clean all cleaning solvents out of my guns before I put them away. Then I also run a oiled patch through at the end. So I’m already on top of that. I’ll look into the cleaners you guys have listed and go from there. If you or anyone can think of anything else to add to the conversation please let me know.

Thanks.

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I think we gave you enough to chew on. Keep us posted on your progress and pop any questions you might have along the way and you’ll do fine!

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Weeellllll since you asked :sunglasses:

I’m a precision rifle guy and have been for fun and business for a good many years. In the case of a new to me rifle I will do what you are attempting to get back down to a “nothing but steel” barrel before I start breaking it in again.

This is where I depart from normal gun culture. I DO NOT clean my rifle barrels after they have been shot and zero’d UNTIL the accuracy of the rifle becomes unacceptable which to me is approaching 1 MOA (Minute of Angle) or 1.047" @ 100 yards or 10.47" at 1000 yards (OK I fibbed if my rifles get near 3/4 MOA they get cleaned the math is just easier at 1 MOA). How long does it take to get to that level? Well, my precision 30-06 gets cleaned after about 1000 rounds, my precision 308’s get it at about 1200 rounds. My 300WM’s usually the barrel is gone before it needs cleaned. For the bigger guns like 408’s, 416’s and 375’s it’s north of 750 to 1K rounds.

Here is the reason why and maybe this has happened to you. You scrub up your shooty stick and go to the range.

You get all hunkered down and squeeeeeeze the trigger BANG! 4" high and right. You think to yourself “I must have jerked the trigger.” You squeeeeze the trigger again, BANG. 2" Low but centered. This will continue on for at least a box of ammo and longer if you started playing with the scope knobs. FINALLY the thing begins to settle down and you are getting rounds pretty close to where you had it the last time you were at the range. Long about 50 rounds into it you are making one hole groups right where they are supposed to be. You are thinking “Man I’m out of practice and just needed to warm up.”

Now that you are all pleased with yourself and your rifle again you take it home and clean it. The next day you get lucky and get to go back to the range felling good that your trigger finger is right and you KNOW your rifle is sighted in.

Re read the paragraph before the last one, as this is what you will experience, AGAIN.

Why you ask? Because you scrubbed (incompletely) the copper PLATING that you put into the gun the day before and because somebody told you to, you put OIL in the barrel. Oil is a fluid and even if you wipe it out it is still there (unless you squirted brake cleaner down the bore which is a really bad idea unless you are trying to really clean the gun) you can’t evenly compress a fluid, by most accounts you cant compress a fluid at all. So until you burn off the oil and start laying down NEW copper plating which fills in all the little nooks and crannies in the steel your accuracy will suffer. As the copper lays down the accuracy will tighten up usually around 30 - 50 rounds.

As long as you are shooting modern ammunition with current powder and primers your bore will not rust, copper does not rust but it does oxidize so if you leave it for a year or so it might be a good idea to send a few rounds down range (or into the dirt) before you get serious with it. The most important shot out of a rifle is the FIRST one. The most telling thing about your rifle is the LAST shot. If you don’t screw with the bore, your last and first will be in the same place. Clean it and there is no telling WHERE that next round will go. I know that concept is a big pill to swallow but if you have back to back range days, TRY it, I’m sure you will be pleased with the results.

Cheers,

Craig6

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@Craig6 I’ve been experiencing the inaccuracy issue with my 7mm-08. I had it sighted in real good. I could cover three consecutive shots with a quarter at 100 yards. For a hunting rifle, I was happy with it. Went home, cleaned it. A few weeks later, I went back to the range. I couldn’t get any consistency out of the rifle. I will have to try what you suggested and I will keep it in mind when I go to sight in this new rifle I got.
Thanks.

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@Craig6 have you ever gotten better results reloading/loading your own ammunition (if you do that).

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@CDW15 IMHO handloading is the ONLY way to get all the performance out of your rifle and it’s MUCH cheaper once you get set up and running. I’m at the point where I make money every time I make a round.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Since the thread has drifted to just general cleaning I want to make sure the OP understands that what I described is the cleaning routine I use for heavily fouled barrels of guns I acquire, never on mine.

I have never let one of my rifles, hunting or precision, get that far gone. I’ve also never had to fire more than 2-3 fouling shots on a recently cleaned barrel to get it “back”. The group shown for the .270 was shot after two fouling shots and repeated 3 times after that to confirm. The gun will not be cleaned again until after hunting season ends.

I will never clean a barrel that I intend to shoot for effect next day. I would also never put a gun away for a year without the barrel being clean. I do not put oil down my barrels unless I need to soften someone else’s leftover crud, or it’s going in the safe for a loooong time in which case it gets cleaned again and re-sighted before I use the gun.

But everyone has their own methods and opinions. If you ever want to start a bar fight ask a group of rifle shooters how to break in a new barrel…

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Truer words have never been spoken, that conversation will come to blows faster than Glock vs. 1911.

Cheers,

Craig6

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:clinking_glasses:

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Update on the cleaning…

So I stopped at my local gun shop and talked to them about the copper in my barrel. They recommended me a few different cleaners that they have had good luck with. So here is what I picked up:

  • Pro Shot Products Copper Solvent IV
    -G96 Complete Gun Treatment

I also bought a nylon brush for the copper treatment.

I got home and cleaned my 30-06 as instructed on the back of the bottle and I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have ever seen a cleaner barrel. To look down the bore, the rifling is very clear and you can clearly tell it is clean. I know that what I got probably isn’t as good as what was recommended, however, I am very happy with the results I got. I no longer get blue or green patches coming out the barrel with cleaner.

I appreciate everyone’s input.
Thanks.

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Thanks, that is a decent and a bit overly simplistic explanation of getting the copper out. One thing it fails to mention and I talk about in my second post is that the fouling will be in layers where you will have powder fouling layered in with the copper fouling and that is where the time is spent, the slow process (if done right) of getting those layers out and going back and forth between copper and powder solvents with lots of brushing in between.

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For a hunting gun what you did is most likely good enough. The proof is in how she shoots for you after a few fouling shots. If you are not getting the desired results let me know and I’ll give you a few more tips that work really well on those older 700. You got a very good gun there, a real American classic. Take care of her and your grandkids will be hunting with it.

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I’m asking this naively because I’m new to guns, wouldn’t “target ammo” reduce this problem - https://www.targetsportsusa.com/tul-ammo-9mm-luger-ammo-115-gr-fmj-100-rds-steel-case-ta919100-p-4080.aspx

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Target ammo is no different than regular ammo both of them go down the tube at a fairly good rate of speed pushed by powder. So you will get carbon (powder) fouling as well as copper fouling from the boolit itself. Depending on the boolit type some match rounds will actually lay down MORE copper than standard ball or hunting rounds as they are made for different purposes. On a related but off topic note I have noticed that different boolit manufacturer’s can negatively affect your accuracy if you are switching between the two. In my case I run Berger and Hornady boolits almost exclusively but I did try some Sierra boolits a couple times and it was like I have just cleaned the barrel after about 30 rounds the gun started grouping the Sierra’s “normally”. Switching back to my loads it took 20 or so rounds to get it back in.

You posted a link to pistol ammo and while this topic is about rifles the principle remains the same. When I discovered the magic of not cleaning the bore I built a “Hard Ball” 1911 competition pistol, meaning that it was set up to use full house 45 ACP Match rounds and was fed a constant diet of TZZ Match. Other than cleaning the slide and frame I NEVER cleaned the bore except for prior to shooting it the first time. I traded the gun for something when it had north of 10,000 rounds through it and it would still shoot more accurately than I could hold it and I was a fair good shot back in the day.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Thank you for that information Craig6, I find it valuable to building my personal knowledgebase - Best

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I have ordered a bottle for testing

Best

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