TO CLEAN, OR NOT TO CLEAN

Forums Reese Bottom Chat Room TO CLEAN, OR NOT TO CLEAN

  • This topic has 11 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Anonymous.
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    • #2263
      Dennis Gray
      Participant

      WELL GUYS THE QUESTION I HAVE TODAY IS WHEN DO YOU REALLY NEED TO CLEAN YOUR RIFLE BARREL. IN THE PAST I HAVE ALWAYS CLEANED AFTER EVERY TIME ON THE RANGE OR MATCH. NORMALLY 35/45 SHOTS. I HAVE SEEN AND HEARD OF LOTS OF YOU GUYS DOING THE SAME. SOME CLEANING RIGHT ON SIGHT AFTER A SHOOT. WELL LAST WEEKEND I SHOT A DIRTY BARREL. I HAD APPROX. 35/40 DOWN THE PIPE WITHOUT CLEANING BEFORE I GOT TO REESE BOTTOM. IT REALLY SEAMED TO TIGHTEN UP AS THE DAY WENT ON. ALL THIS BEING SAID, I DO KNOW THAT ONCE YOU CLEAN YOUR BARREL, I DO RUN COUPLE OF DRY PATCHES THROUGH, THEN IT TAKE SOME FOWLER SHOTS. I GUESS QUESTION HERE IS JUST HOW FAR CAN YOU TAKE IT BEFORE IT STARTS GOING THE OTHER WAY OR HOW FAR IS TOO FAR. I HAVE 100/105 DOWN THE PIPE NOW. STILL HAVE NOT CLEANED. PLEASE GUYS GIVE SOME ADVISE.

    • #2267
      Wynne Echols
      Keymaster

      Dennis, This is my take on the subject and hope that others will join in. First, I do not think that you can hurt a barrel by cleaning it with the proper stuff, no matter how often you choose to clean. I also do not think that there is an exact answer as to how often to clean. I have shot benchrest in Birmingham, Al, Yukon, Mo, and Williamsport, Pa. with very good shooters that cleaned their barrel after each 10 shot relay. I to witnessed a prone shooter this past Saturday at Reese Bottom shoot a clean target on the third relay. Assuming his barrel was clean when he arrived, there would have been approx. 70 rounds down the barrel and it was obviously still shooting very well. I heard a fellow say at one benchrest match that I attended that he tried to keep everything constant meaning that he did clean before each relay, he shot the same number of foulers so that when he got to his record fire, all things would be equal. I would also suggest that the shooter keep up with the rounds down the barrel since the last cleaning. The last thing that you would want to happen is to travel to an important match and have a real dirty barrel throw the last bullet and cost you the match.

      I try to clean my rifle barrels before I shoot in a competitive match and do not clean again until the next match. In between matches, I just shoot both of them. I have found out with both of my rifles, after cleaning the barrel it takes at least five foulers for the group to settle in. I am fortunate to get to shoot some between most matches and I feel like the rifle will shoot okay right out of the case being dirty. That saves me from having to shoot at least 5 foulers every time I shoot. Surely someone has a better response, WWE

    • #2269
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Shot with a guy last month in Tennessee that was on the U.S. world open team last year and was shooting a .284 Winchester (not .284 Shehane). He said that he normally don’t clean until around 200 rounds. He said that after cleaning that he always fired a minimum of 10 rounds before going for score. They have unlimited sighters as long as you get 20 on paper for score before time ran out!

    • #2272
      Dave Gardner
      Participant

      Cleaning a barrel is a good question, the answer is not easy but I can tell you that there is two schools of thought on it. First cleaning a barrel you know where you are starting from, velocity and accuracy run hand in hand. When working a load for your rifle you usually start with a clean barrel and go from there. Some clean after each I string of ten or twenty but they do it the same each time working a load. So it would seem that you should clean you barrel and often. But not cleaning might have an advantage too. A friend of mine and myself were at the range (1000 yd). Testing a new load he said I forgot to clean my gun after shooting yesterday so I said let’s try it, so we did, it shot great and he went on to win the world open with it. But did it shoot better dirty or did we actually change the velocity by shooting a dirty barrel remember the velocity changes as the barrels get dirty. The first shot out of a clean rifle is always low and as we shot more fowlers the shots move higher. There is going to be alot of answers to your question. But I know you will find which is better for you. I can tell you that I clean my match 22 every couple hundred rounds. And my 1000 yd rifle every 20 to 25 rounds. I hope I helped a little. Dave Gardner 1000 benchrest shooter

    • #2273
      Al Barr
      Participant

      I’m old school and opinionated; also I came to target shooting from a different discipline which called for clean barrels and cold bore shot zero.

      That said, I Tested my Krieger barreled .308 up to 160 rounds fired, with no noticeable drop in accuracy. I worry about something that I’ve never seen– the carbon ring. Supposedly, the carbon ring causes all sorts of bad ailments to one’s scores/groups, and possibly social diseases. Since they can only be seen by fellows with bore scopes, I may never seeone. However since I have exhausted most alibis for my poor shooting, I’m not giving up on carbon rings.

    • #2277
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well I have heard stories of the carbon ring too. Haven’t ever noticed it in the guns Ad and I shoot, and I look every time. I too clean after every match, just the routine I’ve gotten in. Britt told me just the other day that he has probably fired 300 rounds down his tube gun since his last cleaning. If you remember, his last relay last Saturday, he shot a clean target. I was breaking in a new barrel the other day. One shot then clean, I repeated the one shot and clean 3 times then 2 shots and clean twice. I was using H 4350, whereas we normally shoot Varget. The H 4350 left, what I considered to be, a huge amount of carbon as compared to the Varget. I would venture to say that it took as long to clean 1 shot of H4350 as it does to clean 72 shots of Varget. Time will tell on this one, but my guess, and that’s all it is A GUESS, is that cleaning may also be related to the type powder you use. I know this probably won’t get you an answer, but just an observation I made. Good Luck..

    • #2283
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      +1 on dirty barrel seeming to shoot better. I cant shoot with all the rest of you, but even my AR grouping opened up considerably last week after I cleaned my barrel for over an hour. Seems to me that completely removing ALL fouling may remove the copper burnishing that embeds itself in the tool scratches or imperfections in the rifling. My groups seemed to improve the more I shot, indicating that each shot was depositing less & less jacket material in the lands/grooves – therefore bullet engraving became less & more consistent as the barrel burnished back to “nominal dirtiness”
      Sounds good to me anyway! LOL

      • #2287
        Wynne Echols
        Keymaster

        Jason, good to hear from you. You state above “cant shoot with the rest of you” well, you do shoot with the rest of us. Although we do participate in a competition where we determine winners or ??’s, the goal at Reese Bottom is to promote accurate shooting. I would challenge you, or anyone else, to take their stuff and try to better their last effort. As we all improve, the other will take care of itself. Read once where the perfect group has yet to be shot so we will all keep trying together. Thanks for your interest in the forums. WWE

    • #2306
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thank you Wynne. I should have stated that I’m not on par to shoot as well as the BR class nor the f-t-r guys. My equipment isn’t in the same league…LOL. but I’m under no illusion that I could be competitive at my limited experience level anyway. That comment was more of a compliment to the many excellent shooters I’ve met down there. I’m learning more each time I come down & spreading the word to get more shooters. One friend is very interested for Oct 18 & shooting his 22-250 hunting rifle.

    • #2308
      Al Barr
      Participant

      Y’all come! We have shooters at all levels of development. The main thing is to shoot and enjoy the comraderie of fellow shooters.

    • #2345
      Dennis Gray
      Participant

      THANKS TO ALL OF YOU GUYS FOR YOUR RESPONSE.

    • #2353
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      My theory on this is that if you shoot benchrest, you want to maintain the pristine condition of your bore for the 25 or so rounds in the match. Consistency maintained by cleaning. This is not possible in F-Class. For this reason a lot of F shooters allow their barrels to “load” which means copper laid over a hopefully match grade bore. I never shoot a match with less than 25 rounds on the barrel when I start. On a two day match, I never clean between. So maybe there are two acceptable conditions clean and fully loaded. I don’t think this works with a factory barrel as well. I shot a box stock Savage F/TR gun in my second F/TR attempt at the Louisiana Championship this past weekend. At the end of the first day I was one point in the lead with 591 – 27. Went down hill the second day. Of course it didn’t help that I cross fired on the 2nd string either. LOL

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