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Old September 3, 2012, 07:36 AM   #1
stubbicatt
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Cleaning rimfires

Any of you guys treat your rimfire rifles differently when it comes to cleaning them? Anymore, I take a wet patch to the muzzle to get the flash residue off, and clean the breach. Too, sometimes, a bronze brush I twist in and out of the chamber, but leave the rifled portion alone. Clean the bolt face and lube the bolt, reassemble and store.

Some fellas at the Olympic Training Center suggested that with the rimfire, it takes several rounds after cleaning for them to shoot well again, something about the lube from the bullets building up to a constant level down the barrel.

So this is what I do.

Any of you treat rimfires differently?
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:13 AM   #2
cornbush
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Usually what I do is...... go til it starts having function issues then clean it, I'll wipe them down, but I clean when needed.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:59 AM   #3
big al hunter
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I live between the Pacific ocean and the Cascade mountains. Humidity causes rust in dirty bores, in my experience. So I run a dry bore snake through my guns after use. This removes the powder residue that attracts moisture. Clean with solvent when accuracy falls.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:42 PM   #4
Hammerhead
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In the barrel I brush the chamber only, then cotton patches wet with FP-10, then dry patches.
Action is just brushes, FP-10 and patches to clean up the mess.
I use liquid solvents occasionally but have sworn off the spray solvents like gunscrubber or brake cleaner because of the nasty fumes.
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Old September 3, 2012, 04:59 PM   #5
22-rimfire
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I shoot until I notice accuracy issues. Then I clean my rimfire rifles. I do clean around the chamber if the rifle has a match chamber pretty regularly.
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:57 PM   #6
Bart B.
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I clean my .22 match rifle every 100 rounds or so. First, in goes a cleaning rod guide replacing the bolt. Starting with two patches a little wet with Hoppe's No. 9 back and forth severa inches then out the muzzle. Next come the bronze bore brush; 10 to 15 round trip strokes the full length forward out the muzzle then backwards out the breech. Then 3 or 4 more patches damp with Hoppe's followed by 2 or 3 clean patches.

And yes, squeaky clean rimfire bores need to be fouled with a few shots 'cause they shoot high at the beginning. Bullets leave faster and they need to be slowed down by lead and powder fouling to just the right amount. Then they'll drive tacks for about a hundred shots.
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Old September 5, 2012, 02:26 AM   #7
bamaranger
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sparingly

I read a really good article 20 yrs or so ago that argued that many .22 lr rifles are overcleaned, and cleaned in such a manner as to damage the bore and or crown.

Since then, I clean the bore of my .22's sparingly, no burshes, and only with patches and solvent when I use a rod at all. My current drill is a bore snake that has lost most all its bristles. I put solvent on it and pull it through a time or two after a shooting session. I do not leave one dirty, as the heat and humidty here can cause trouble quick.

I am particular about chamber, bolt face, breech face and metal exterior, but do not get carried away on the bore,
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:22 AM   #8
Slamfire
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I have been shooting small bore prone for the last three years and this is a topic of interest.

Competition rifles are cleaned from the breech and use a bore guide. When they are cleaned, the interval between cleaning can be a very long time.

I 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. I did not get a good answer about how many shots it takes for a barrel to be talking to its owner, but it has to be thousands or rounds, not hundreds of rounds. You shoot almost 200 rounds per small bore prone match. Incidentally these guys shoot at least once a month, usually more. The fouling does not get a lot of time to age.

Incidentally, one competitor told me he had fired at least 700,000 rounds through his match rifle barrel! (I did not ask how often he cleaned it)

Every competitor I have talked with, and I have seen this myself, will tell you it takes a couple of fouler shots out of a clean barrel to stabilize the group. And this is also try for different brands of rimfire ammunition as the lube is different between makers.

I asked Ten-Ring Service (706-647-5941), who were on Commercial Row fixing competitors rifles, about cleaning a match tube. Their advice was long and I don’t remember all the particulars. But they said use powder solvent first, patch the barrel dry, , and then use a dry bristle brush at least ten times to mechanically remove any leading that might have collected in the nooks and crannies. Somewhere at the end you patch again. I don’t remember if they said it, but most cleaning advice on match tubes comes with disclaimers about not letting the rod or jag touch the crown, throat, anything.

I believe and I have seen recent articles on this, sharp edges from jags, rods, will scratch and damage the crown, bore, and throat, so for people who don’t have bore guides, it would be better not to clean their rim fire barrel.
However, I have lived in areas of high humidity and have examined 22 LR barrels that rusted internally because they were not cleaned. So if you live in one of those places and it is months between shooting sessions, you have to take that into consideration when deciding to clean your barrel.
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:30 AM   #9
johnbt
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" 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.

John
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:40 AM   #10
Slamfire
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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?
In a small bore prone match, you start dropping points, whether they are unforced errors or not, for all practical purposes, you are done for the day.

The guy who won last weekend, he only dropped two points, and if he had dropped three, someone else would have got it.

If the match has several relays you will have enough time between relays to clean your barrel, but you are still out of the competition for #1.
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:28 PM   #11
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I am not quite as concerned about putting a 22 rimfire away cause the lube on the bullet protects the barrel. I am careful with my 10 22 since I need to clean from the muzzle. I have not had trouble with rust setting up either.
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:44 AM   #12
Bart B.
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Lones Wigger, who's probably won more smallbore matches than anyone in the USA, cleans after every 50 to 100 shots.

Neal Johnson, who's shop in Colorado Springs does a lot of work on Olympic team members rifles, says to rebarrel .22's when the black erosion ring has worked its way up and around from 6-o'clock to 9 and 3 at the origin of the riflling. That happens today with the ammo available that shoots the most accurate at around 30 to 35 thousand rounds.

Rimfire barrels used to last twice that long in top level competition. But that all changed in the 1980's after the ammo company folks changed the primer mixture for safety after a blast in Eley's Great Britian plant killed a couple employees. The best rimfire ammo made since has never equalled what the stuff before had for accuracy. No wonder that most of the smallbore records set before then still stand.

Last edited by Bart B.; September 9, 2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old September 9, 2012, 12:44 PM   #13
FrosSsT
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I thoroughly clean my rugger 10/22 every 500 rounds or so, under that I leave it alone
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:42 PM   #14
L_Killkenny
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Outside the target world (which I know next to nothing about and won't comment) there is little if any need to clean guns after each use. That's centerfires and rimfires. I'm not going to say that cleaning after each use is a bad thing just unnecessary in many cases. I clean my guns when I "think" they need it. I just got done sending 44 rounds downrange thru 3 different guns. Put 100 +/- rounds down range between 2 of those guns a few days ago. Think I cleaned em? Heck no. A squirt or 2 of RemOil and a good whip down and they're good to go. I may occasionally run an oiled patch thru them but generally go a handful of range sessions or more before I actually clean em. Now as you can see my range sessions are short. If I was shooting hundreds of rounds thru a particular gun in one setting that gun would get a solid cleaning. No doubt about it.

Guess what I'm saying is with rimfires or centerfires let common sense be your guide and use that rock sitting on your shoulders.
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Old September 11, 2012, 03:09 PM   #15
m16tackdriver
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I am probably in the minority, but I clean my all of my rifles after each and every shooting session. That means wet/dry patches through the bore, with another patch with oil. Before I take the rifles to the range, I run a dry patch through each to remove the oil.

After 23 years in the Infantry, I am absolutely fanatical about keeping all of my weapons clean.
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Old September 11, 2012, 05:33 PM   #16
Metal god
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I find some of the post very interesting . As for me I go shooting what I consider often For a southern california resident . At least once a month sometimes twice . I always take a 22lr with me . The other day my son and I went shooting . We took the 22/45 and my 10/22 . We shot 600 + rounds of 22 that day and never cleaned the guns while we were there . In fact I've never cleaned any gun in the middle of a day of shooting ( just to clean it ). I did do a barrel break in on one of my rifles once . That must mean Ive cleaned a gun while at the range once . I would think most of us would not even consider cleaning the bore every 50 or so rounds But most of us are not trying to set world records either . It is nice to know what the expert world record holders do , but it almost never applys to my monthly trip to the range .

I only use the cleaning rod for soaking the bore and to oil the bore if Im not planning on shooting that particular gun any time soon . All other bore cleaning is done with a bore snake

I always clean the guns I shoot within 24 hrs of shooting them . Not that 24 hrs means anything but to me . If I don't clean them with in that time I will forget and never clean them . By doing so I know what ever gun I pull out of the safe it will be ready to go .

Last edited by Metal god; September 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:15 PM   #17
Slamfire
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Quote:
But that all changed in the 1980's after the ammo company folks changed the primer mixture for safety after a blast in Eley's Great Britian plant killed a couple employees. The best rimfire ammo made since has never equalled what the stuff before had for accuracy. No wonder that most of the smallbore records set before then still stand.
I have heard a number of people say that, Carl at Champions Shooters said it was the transition was from ether based primers to water based.

He said that while I looked at this 1971 ish factory target



I was discussing this after a small bore match and I told the group I would not pay a premium for 70’s/80’s ammunition as gunpowder does not get better as it ages. I was able to chronograph an old box of Eley, it was in a cardboard box, and the extreme velocity spreads were higher than the new stuff.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:03 PM   #18
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I clean and oil my firearms after every session. If they havnt been use in 6mos or so, I wipe them down, run a dry patch through, and then re oil. This procedure has been in my family for generations. I have 2 rifles that came from my great grandfather and they are in pristine condition. Worked for them, works for me.
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Old September 19, 2012, 03:23 PM   #19
Picher
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I don't tend to clean .22LRs as much as I used to, even my benchrest barrel, which is a Lilja (stainless). Stainless steel is softer than chrome moly so many competitors change barrels after about 15,000 rounds.

With competition barrels, it's good to clean them more often when new because they sometimes lead up a bit in the Leade area until fully broken in. Some shooters use old brushes (cleaned with brake cleaner) to scrub the lead out of the lead without pushing the brush further down the bore.

Stainless barrels break in sooner than chrome-moly, but quality chrome-moly barrels can outlast several stainless barrels used for rimfire benchrest.

Regardless whether a barrel is chrome-moly or stainless, wax on LR rounds will protect the bore, often better than cleaning solvents. Whenever solvents are used, they should be followed by a patch with preservatives like Break-Free. Most solvents don't contain preservatives.

In any case, clean from the breach end whenever possible, use a rod guide, and try to get a cleaning rod that is no longer than necessary to push the patch out of the bore. The rod should be stainless steel and polished to a bright finish, so it won't pick up grit. It should also be wiped off repeatedly so any grime on it won't wear the rifling, especially at the crown.

I realize that most plinker shooters won't want to go through all this trouble. My rifle bores get treatment commensurate with their accuracy levels.
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Old September 20, 2012, 12:04 AM   #20
scottd913
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as stated before +1 for cleaning after every use in addition i clean mine every 6 months if not been used the humidity and all. all so said before what worked for my for fathers works for me. my papaw said a man that wont clean his own gun wont wipe his own butt!! so ya have to put a few rounds down range to seat the barrel what did that ever hurt?
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Old September 20, 2012, 12:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Stainless steel is softer than chrome moly so many competitors change barrels after about 15,000 rounds.
I have never heard of a rimfire barrel that is hardened to anywhere near the limit of what would be reasonable for the alloy employed.

In other words, while it might be true that the hardest chrome-moly steels can be hardened to higher levels than the best stainless steels, it's purely academic since those figures run up in the high 50 to low 60 RC levels.

Rimfire barrels are 20-25RC at best. In other words, the hardness of a rimfire barrel has absolutely zero to do with what type of steel alloy is used and is purely a manufacturing decision.

If any manufacturer was willing to endure the pain (cost) of machining such hard steel, they could easily make a stainless barrel that registered 2x or 3x harder than the typical carbon steel/chrome-moly rimfire barrel.
Quote:
...quality chrome-moly barrels can outlast several stainless barrels used for rimfire benchrest.
I can't come up with a plausible reason why that might be true for rimfires, given that it's fairly common knowledge that centerfire stainless barrels seem to last longer than carbon steel/chrome-moly steel barrels. Not due to hardness differences, but because the stainless steel seems to be slightly more resistant to throat erosion.
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Old October 11, 2012, 02:12 PM   #22
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I'm old school. I clean after each range trip, never had a problem. I bench rest- Rem. 700 LTR 308 Cal. also CZ 453 22LR. both bolt guns. I don't mind cleaning,two foul shot with both rifles & there good to go. I'm careful cleaning,use a bore guide, coated rods for each caliber. My guns are as good as the first day I bought them.
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Old October 11, 2012, 04:16 PM   #23
Slamfire
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Stainless barrels break in sooner than chrome-moly, but quality chrome-moly barrels can outlast several stainless barrels used for rimfire benchrest.
I have not found a significant difference in the centerfire barrel life between chrome moly and stainless and I have no clue as to rimfire.

While dining in the Shooter's Mess at Camp Perry this year, (on all you could eat grilled Ribeye steak!) I sat across from a former Small Bore Prone National Champion and asked him how many rounds he had put through his barrel. He said about 700,000!.

Maybe the benchrest shooters are seeing things that are inside his hold, but I before I have heard estimates of the barrel life of a rim fire match rifle that were around 250,000 rounds. This was the first time I heard of anyone firing over a half million rounds through a barrel.

I hope I live that long.
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