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madyarra

How do people run their barrels? Clean or with copper?

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furrybean raises an important point.Different shooters,from the serious competitor,to the hunter/varminter,tothe casual plinker,have different concerns,including cleaning/not and it's impact on their shooting.Implicitly too,different but quite legitimate, ideas as to what is 'accurate'. Depending too,on the size of the target,they might differ in just when they notice any decline in 'accuracy'-perhaps better here described as 'precision'-the intrinsic ability of the rig to put bullets close together (this includes ammo,of course-but we are concerned with barrel cleaning regimes).

 

For some (eg short range Bench Rest ) a group increase of .1moa would be serious-rifle is no longer competitive;hunters might not even notice that in the field,as it has very little effect on sucess,and plinkers likewise....

...I have a 243 that has had many thousands of shots through it-no need for a borescope,barrel is serious crazy paving for itsentire length....but still brings down F11s as far as it ever did,but it's 'hit postage stamp 5/5 at 200y" is long gone...not sure it would hit the postcard most shots...

 

One related observation,is that the more competitive ,precision/accuracy oriented disciplines seem to more rigourous about cleaning/copper/carbon removal-which suggests it matters for best performance.Some field shooters don't seem to have used copper remover ever....but can still hit fields....:-).

 

Is barrel cleanliness next to godliness?...well,I'm an atheist. Go figure,for your needs

 

gbal

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Listen to a George. He knows more than he rest of us combined. Simple.

 

 

I was ready and be prepared to sit through some anal advice, but that is common sense advice grom George,.

He has a similar attitude and demeanour to my gunsmith and shooting friends in the US, and mirrors the approach I take

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I just picked up a new rifle tonight. I'm going to clean the oil out of it, mount a scope, and shoot the hell out of it...~Andrew

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And i did just that. 60 rounds of factory ammo in no particular cadence. My last group of the day was half inch, more or less.~Andrew

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I'm far less concerned by copper fouling than the makers of copper solvent might try to convince about otherwise. I'm more concerned about carbon fouling as left in a barrel, combined with moisture, it's a recipe for disaster as anyone who's stored a CF with a mod fitted (and habitually not removed it) will know. I find that many products, Wipeout included, are far poorer at carbon removal that puported. Without getting rid of the carbon, you'll never properly de-copper a barrel. I learnt this years ago, when I rarely saw any blue appearing on cleaning rags when using copper solvents, until one day, I gave the barrel an extended soak then a good scrubbing with a brass brush. What prompted this was after first reading Bill Fisher's treatise on cleaning barrels contained in the Lyman reloading manual, and thought "why not have a go and see what the results are". He was right. After I'd removed some seriously black rags after an extended soak and scrub, I was amazed at how much copper fouling I was then able to remove.

 

These days, whilst I don't over-clean, the cleaning frequency is different for every rifle that I own, but the regime is the same. My T3 rarely coppers up to any great extent and I can shoot 200 rounds before accuracy starts to drift so know I've left the coppering plateau after that approximate number of rounds. With my .223 (LW) barrel, it's closer to every 100 rounds. However, all rifles get the carbon cleaned out after every use. With the use of a bore guide and taking care when cleaning (one piece rod and never allowing a brush to be pulled back through the muzzle) there is no danger of any barrel damage through "aggressive" cleaning....a much over-hyped urban myth. There's poor cleaning practice, or sloppy cleaning practice, but do it properly and you'll not damage a bore.

 

Allowing carbon to build up is a mistake. It forms a very hard layer and the more it's left, the harder it is to remove. I soak a rag in KG1 and pass through my barrels after shooting (1 round or 100 rounds). If more than a dozen or so shots were fired, then I leave that KG1 for between half an hour or an hour before patching through. If the patches don't come through clean after 4 dry patches, then I soak another rag in it, pass it through then brass brush scrub it after leaving it another 30 minutes. It then usually patches through black as the ace of spades. A rag is often insufficient I've found at properly removing carbon. It needs to be scrubbed out. Only when it's removed do I entertain de-coppering. I'll use Wipeout Patch out or MPro-7 for de-coppering and bore conditioning. Both seem equally as good.

 

Each to their own. There's no wrong and right if you can continue to shoot accurately and don't damage your barrel. Personally, now I've found what works for me, I won't be persuaded to change what I do as it's a case of experience over opinion.

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As above.

 

Carbon is the accuracy killer...copper is a lubricant.

 

KG1 carbon remover is the best i've found. Real stubborn carbon rings get sorted with JB paste.

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Cheers folks, I've been using kg1 on the barrel since I got it, I have it one clean with cr2 but didn't get much out except carbon fouling. I Concur that scrubbing is far better for carbon. I've only used my nylon brush so far as I can bring myself to use the bronze!

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Use the bronze brush but don't draw it back through the crown. Nylon isn't hard enough to disrupt carbon deposits just beneath the depth the KG1 can dissolve out. It takes several goes to clean out the carbon from a heavily fouled barrel, especially if it's been allowed to build up. I use a nylon brush when foaming up Wipeout. To de-carbon you're best mopping in some KG1, leave for half an hour, then soak a brass brush in KG1 and scrub the barrel. I normally push a brass brush through several times, cleaning it off between each stroke, then soak in more KG1 and short stroke back and forth until I reach the end of the barrel where it's pushed through. I'm always amazed by just how much carbon is removed this way from what I thought previously was a clean bore. You'll simply not achieve that with a nylon brush IME. Once properly de-carboned, I always note a significant improvement in accuracy. My barrel used to shoot .25 consistently but left for any length of time for carbon to build, this quickly deteriorates to about moa. Once cleaned back, it's easier to keep clean. I never bother de-coppering until the plateau is reached where accuracy starts to drift again (as above).

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