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Old October 11, 2008, 09:50 PM   #1
p5200
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how often to clean a 30-06

I will be shooting mostly Remington Core-lokts and Winchester Super-X. I mostly target practice with .22's which don't require cleaning as often so I have read. This is the first Centerfire I have had in quite awhile and wanted to get some advice from someone who shoots centerfires more often. Thanks!
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Old October 11, 2008, 11:35 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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I clean my high power rifle bores EVERY TIME I fire them, whether I shoot one round or several hundred.

The only difference is, if I shoot few rounds, the cleaning is not as involved.
In that case, a couple of patches soaked with solvent and 30 minutes or so soak time to allow the solvent to dissolve the copper fouling, followed by drying and a patch with a little rust preventing lube.
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Old October 11, 2008, 11:51 PM   #3
p5200
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Thanks for the info! I didn't know for sure how many rounds it would take before accuracy began to fall off of course, I realize this is going to vary from gun to gun.
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Old October 11, 2008, 11:58 PM   #4
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I live in the salt air and they have to be cleaned every 3-4 mos. fired or not.

Cleaning time = a trip to the range, I hate cleaning for nothing.
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:06 AM   #5
King Ghidora
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A gun that burns as much powder as a 30.06 should be cleaned every time you shoot it. Residue can build up quickly because you are burning a lot of powder.

Smaller guns like the .22 especially can go longer but they should be cleaned often too.

Many of us don't clean as often as we should. I generally clean any gun I shoot every time but not always. Sometimes I'll just run a brush or a pad down the barrel to make sure no obstructions have accumulated. With a high power rifle or a shotgun even small amounts of residue can be a problem so cleaning the barrel is very important. Cleaning the breech isn't as important. The main problem it might cause is a failure to cycle correctly especially in an automatic. The ammo I use sometimes determines if I clean the breech after only firing a few rounds. If it's a particularly dirty type of ammo I'll clean it every time. If not I might let some things go especially my .22's. I get tempted to shoot a bunch of different guns every time I start to shoot but I try to resist the urge because I could be cleaning guns all night if I do.

But with a 30.06 it's best to clean your gun every time. I know it can be time consuming but taking care of a good weapon can become a joy in itself.
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:18 AM   #6
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IMHO .22's are the dirtiest rounds going especially in blow back semi-auto's. One manufacturer adds little, yellow spacers to the powder and they can gunk up a semi pretty good.

I clean all of my guns equally.
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Old October 12, 2008, 01:19 AM   #7
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I clean all my guns after every time out shooting.

It's easier to keep them clean if you clean them every time. Just like doing the dishes, if you let them pile up in the sink until there are a ton of them, and they have been sitting there for a long time, it will be much more involved and take longer.

I've been using regular cleaners, solvents, and oils for years... and I finally came across this stuff called "Slip2000". It's a CLP "cleans lubes protects" and it's not petroleum based. I found it when I was searching for the best stuff to use for my AR-10. I've started using it to clean and lube all of my guns, no matter which one. It's the best, I swear by it. the actions on all my guns are much smoother, and it's much faster to clean, because you use the same product to clean as you do to lube (as strange as that sounds, I still swear by it) There are about 100 great things I could say about this stuff, but I'd suggest you just google it and read for your self... Just remember, that everything they say about it is true. It's a little more expensive than regular Walmart cleaners and lubes... But if you just buy a really big bottle, you'll be set for years! And the time you'll save is priceless. You'll no longer have an excuse to not clean your guns every time you shoot them.
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Old October 12, 2008, 07:03 AM   #8
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You can do more damage to a gun by excessive or improper cleaning than by shooting it. Unless you are shooting black powder or some other corrosive ammo there is no need to clean that often. I would never think of hunting with a clean barrel because the first few shots from a clean barrel will usually hit to a different point until a few fouling shots have been fired.

I give all of my guns a good cleaning after hunting season ends. During the off season I clean them when I see the groups begin to open up. How many rounds this takes will vary with different rifles. After a summer of shooting I give them a good cleaning a few weeks before I plan to hunt then fire 2-3 groups of 3 shots to foul the barrel and make sure everything is still zeroed. I do not clean them the rest of the hunting season unless they get wet from hunting in the rain.
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Old October 12, 2008, 07:33 AM   #9
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I'll be the odd duck. I've quit cleaning every time my centerfire is shot. I'm tired of the first shot fliers as the oil blows out and I just can't quite dry the barrel enough with dry patches to keep my POI the same as subsequent shots. I don't want to have to plan a trip to the range for an impromptu hunting trip just to foul the barrel. I've noticed no ill effects yet. I still oil the surface of the gun every time I handle it, but clean about 1/3 as often.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:26 AM   #10
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I clean mine after every range trip.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:58 AM   #11
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Cleaning your firearm everytime that you shoot it is important. Powder leaves a residue that will draw moisture from the air and holds it. That promotes rust! Rust inside the bore promotes pitting.

Both lead and copper will oxidize from moisture, but they do not promote rusting because they dont hold moisture, but the powder will.

Firing through a barrel that has not been cleaned for days is not a good thing because copper and lead oxide are extremely hard and abrasive.

It is also a good thing to remove the lead or copper from the barrel to prevent "fouling" which is build of from the bullet which will fill in the lands of the rifleing. It is not necessary to get ALL the copper or lead out or else cleaning will start wearing the barrel too.

After cleaning it is important to give it a good coat of oil to help keep the metal from rusting. This should be done every so often to keep the pores of the metal from rusting. The more humid the climate, the more often they shoud be oiled.

Before taking the firearm out to shoot, run several dry clothes through it to pull the oil residue out. If this is done, you wont get that first "stray"shot.

When hunting, I oil it when I put it up for the evening and "dry" it out in the morning before the hunt.

Just a note on the 22 rim fire....The powder that they use is very "dirty" and will absorb moisture. It is important to clean these after every shooting session too.

Case in point: I have my great grandfathers sharps that has been handed down to me and was kept up in this manner. It still looks and shoots a good as the day he got it.
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:01 AM   #12
Art Eatman
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If I shoot just a few rounds to check out a scope, or check the group size on a new load, about all I do is spray a little WD 40 on a patch and run it through. Then a patch with some oil on it.

Extensive session of more than maybe 20 rounds? I'll commonly use a copper brush and patches.

Nowadays, after maybe a hundred rounds or more I'll make a point of using some copper-remover type of solvent.

I dunno. I had some degradation of group size in my pet '06 after maybe 3,000 rounds, and found out about the then-new copper removing stuff. I did a cleaning session with it, and got groups back down into the 3/4-MOA area. So, "every now and then" with it...
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:24 AM   #13
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Lots of folks always clean and oil after every range session. But then lots of folks clean the way Fish and Art do; as long as you make sure carbon isn't building up in certain areas, gun oil and patches can maintain it after you've only been shootin' a little. Either way will work.
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:29 AM   #14
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Overcleaning guns is overrated.
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Old October 12, 2008, 11:35 AM   #15
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I keep my centerfires clean and at least run a few patches through after every range trip much like Art but I substitute M-Pro7 Bore Gel for WD40 and Weapon Shield or Break Free for generic gun oil. If I've fired more than few rounds or it's going to be more than a few weeks before I go back to the range then it gets a good cleaning.

More important than how often is using the right tools. If you use a cheap $10 kit you'll eventually destroy the accuracy of the barrel. I use and highly recommend Lucas bore guides to protect the chamber during cleaning. Mike makes them to order so expect a two to three week wait. I also use and highly recommend Tipton carbon fiber cleaning rods. These come from MidwayUSA in various lengths, be sure to order long enough for the barrel and bore-guide.

My technique is to run a patch or two through that's been soaked with M-Pro7 Bore Gel, remove the rod and then let the bore gel do the work for 15 or 20 minutes. Then I run a quality brush through a couple of times followed by dry patches until they come out reasonably clean. Finally I run a patch through soaked with Break Free or Weapon Shield CLP followed by a dry patch or two to remove the excess. There are many other equally valid methods so pick one that you like.
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Old October 12, 2008, 11:43 AM   #16
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whether its my .22 .308 or 12ga i clean it after everytime i shoot it.
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Old October 12, 2008, 01:05 PM   #17
King Ghidora
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I had my Model 60 for about 12 years before I ever took it apart to give it a good cleaning. I did clean the barrel once in a while. It never lost accuracy and only after that 12 years did it start to have feeding problems. Then I cleaned it and it worked like brand new again.

.22 power might be dirty but there just isn't nearly as much of it in a cartridge. Yes if you fire enough rounds you'll get just as dirty but in my experience if you keep the barrel clean and the feed ramp clean you can go a long time without having to clean your gun really well.

My brother used to hook up a drill to his cleaning rods and use a brush to clean the inside of his barrel. He still says that will clean the barrel better than anything and it will shoot better because the grooves will be cleaner and you'll get a more true spin. Personally I always thought this would wear out the barrel really quick but he kept his .22's for years and I have only very rarely seen anyone shoot better than him. My other brother and another guy I know were about the only real competition he had and we have a lot of really good shooters in this area.

Most of the time I still don't take my Model 60 apart to clean the insides real well. It's only when I start getting problems with feeding that I do this. Really dirty ammo (like Remington stuff) will cause problems fast. But I've shot Federal and CCI for long periods without having a problem.

My Savage is another story. It will affect the accuracy quick if I don't clean it. I don't have any problems with the first rounds I fire. In fact those are generally the best shots for me. After only 10 rounds I start to see problems with accuracy creeping in. I'll get a flyer or two out of every 8 or 10 shots after that. It seems to me that there is some fouling causing a problem or it could be a heat issue. Maybe it just shoots better after I clean it because I let it cool down before I can clean it.

I pretty much have to go with what I've seen from my brother on this. He is such a good shooter that it's hard to diagree with what he says.
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Old October 12, 2008, 01:59 PM   #18
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If I shoot a gun that is shot rarely, and it will not be shot again for a long time, it is cleaned before going back in the safe. If it gets shot a lot (like, a few times a month for competitions or practice), then it may be put back in the safe dirty.

I guess I have been lucky - no rust on the guns treated this way. Now, my Russian 22 pistol (Baikal) rusts pretty regularly regardless of how much oil and preservative is applied......but it still shoots good. Russian thing, I guess.

Lee
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Old October 12, 2008, 02:03 PM   #19
fisherman66
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Quote:
My brother used to hook up a drill to his cleaning rods and use a brush to clean the inside of his barrel.
Maybe I baby my rifling and muzzle crown, but this seems excessive. The story reminds me of something my buddy said after getting a VD test.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:05 PM   #20
p5200
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I got a bottle of Remington 40-X Bore Cleaner which I used to clean my 30-06 last night after about 30 rnds. is this a decent effective bore cleaner? I had some Hoppe's #9 and ran out and saw the Remington 40-x and thought I would give it a try. The wife and I both, have lung problems and the strong smell of the Hoppe's seems to bother both of our breathing but, the Remington does not. Thanks!
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:55 PM   #21
King Ghidora
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Yeah I heard a story like that in my sex ed. class back in the stone age. I still have nightmares about that one.

I wondered about that technique myself but my brother swears by it. And the results he got were hard to argue. His guns didn't seem to wear out any faster than any others. He did wear them out but he shot a brick or two a week easy. He often shot a brick in a day in fact. Maybe with shooting that much he did need to really work the barrel to keep the copper and lead buildup to a minimum. All I know for sure is what he said and the way he shoots.
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:24 PM   #22
sholling
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Quote:
The wife and I both, have lung problems and the strong smell of the Hoppe's seems to bother both of our breathing but, the Remington does not
Then you will love M-Pro7. You can actually clean your guns in the house with no smell.

Bore Gell
Solvent

I haven't tried their CLP.
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:34 PM   #23
p5200
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Thanks for the tip, I will check into that!
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:44 PM   #24
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I'm also an odd duck I guess, I only clean my centerfires when the accuracy starts to suffer or the rifle gets wet. I wipe down the exterior surfaces with oil and put it back in the safe. I never hunt with a clean barrel because the first couple shots always seem to be fliers.

My .22 rifles get cleaned when they start to jam otherwise I don't bother, everytime you stick anything in the bore of your rifle you risk damaging it. Why risk damage when you have nothing to gain?
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Old October 13, 2008, 12:20 AM   #25
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Cleaning a 30-06

I normally clean the bore on my 30-06's about every 20-40 shots. I normally shoot my rifle's all year long. But the bore does not need cleaned every time you shoot it. I have close to a dozen 30-06's. I have had some for over 30 years. No signs of rust on my rifles.

If the inside of the bore gets wet during hunting season I will run some dry patches through it. However I am not a believer in oiling a bore every time. There really is no need. But I will admit that I do not live in a salt water area.

I normally shoot a shot or two after a thorough cleaning. IMO a rifle will shoot to a slightly different POI from a completely clean barrel. So my main concern is POI. And not a perfectly clean barrel during hunting season. Tom.
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