" have had experienced competitors, guys who have won the big matches at Camp Perry tell me that they only clean “when the barrel tells them to”. This is by evidence of poor shots unexplained by wind, hold, or trigger pull."
What happens "when the barrel tells them to" in the middle of a match? Do they have time to stop, clean and season the bore before going back to the target?
I know rimfire benchrest shooters who believe in constant cleaning, but not scrubbing the bores to death. The best shooters appear to know how their guns like to be treated through experience.