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Old December 7, 2012, 08:55 PM   #1
whitearrow
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got a ? on barrel rust issues

aight fellas i've been around guns and been shooting since i was 6,i'm 42 now. i have always cleaned my firearms after use due to the fact that i was a lil paranoid that if i didn't the barrel would rust from the copper and powder residue. what exactly makes a barrel rust? is it the copper on the rifling or the powder residue thats in the bore? i've heard of folks sighting in their rifle before deer season and not cleaning it until the season is over. would all that copper and powder on the rifling and in the bore cause rust issues like pitting and such?
thanks,
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:47 PM   #2
coyota1
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Rust is caused by bare metal exposed to oxygen dissolved in water. If you live in a dry arid climate you can get away with out cleaning for extended periods. If you live in a moist humid climate, or hunt in the rain I would at least run a dry patch, and an oily patch after hunting. I clean my rifles at the end of the day if I fire them. It can't hurt.
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Old December 7, 2012, 10:54 PM   #3
big al hunter
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Back when breach loaded guns were a new concept and up til a few decades ago primers had salt in them. That salt would cause rust in short order if not cleaned out very soon after firing. It became common knowledge and everyone taught their children to clean after use. That was taught to generations. Modern chemistry has released us from those bounds by removing salt from the mixture. Still a good idea in humid areas because powder residue still holds moisture but it won't attract it as much as the salty version.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:05 PM   #4
boattale
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I'm shooting .270 Winchester Supreme Ballistic Silvertips. Those are the black lubalox coated bullets. The last time the bore of my rifle saw a brush and solvent has been at least six or seven years ago. That was something like maybe 30 rounds ago. The barrel gets a oily patch through it at the end of season and a dry patch next fall before I shoot it to dirty the bore, and then a second time to confirm zero. It might see two to five rounds through it during season. And then the oily patch before the rifle goes in the safe. The bore looks like a mirror and holds zero.

I used to shoot Sierra Game Kings in the same rifle and needed to clean it (get copper out) after every time I shot it.

The .22-250 is a different story altogether. Not shooting coated bullets in it and it wants cleaned a lot more often.

Last edited by boattale; December 7, 2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:35 AM   #5
Metal god
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Quote:
The last time the bore of my rifle saw a brush and solvent has been at least six or seven years ago. That was something like maybe 30 rounds ago.
And thats why you buy used hunting rifles . There are plenty of 20 year old rifles out there with less then 100 rounds through them .
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:02 PM   #6
Mobuck
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If stored in a dry environment, most firearms need little "cleaning" until they start to show accuracy or functional degredation. Modern ammo deposits very little residue that is not likely to cause rust unless subjected to high levels of moisture. Oddly, the only rifle I've had show bore "rust" ijn a long time was a 17 rimfire that uses jacketed bullets so produces very little residue. I have no idea why since it had not been exposed to moisture any more than the other rifles sitting beside it and had not been fired for months.
I try to pull all the firearms out at least once a year and run a patch dampened with Kroil through the bore and wipe exposed metal.
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:53 PM   #7
jmr40
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Quote:
The last time the bore of my rifle saw a brush and solvent has been at least six or seven years ago. That was something like maybe 30 rounds ago.
I went through 140 rounds of 308 and 30-06 with 4 rifles on Tuesday's range session. More rounds through each gun in 3 hours than you have shot in 6-7 years.

Unless you are shooting corrosive ammo or the inside of your barrel gets wet there is no need to clean your barrel after every shooting session. I keep a piece of electrical tape over my barrels to keep moisture and other debris out of the barrel when hunting.



Deer season will be over here in a couple of weeks and all of my rifles will get broken down and given a thorough cleaning then. During the winter and spring I go to the range a lot because no one else is there. It is a good time to practice and experiment with my handloads. I get out some in the summer and fall, but not as much since the range is a bit more crowded. I'll thoroughly clean them all again in August or early September. Or if I notice accuracy starting to get worse.

After cleaning I'll go back to the range and shoot 3-4 groups of 3 shots through each barrel to confirm zero and fowl the barrel. Most guns, all of mine, shoot a little better after 10-12 shots through the barrel vs a clean barrel. I then tape up the barrel and won't touch the barrel again until after hunting season unless it does manage to get wet. Even then it is likely to be just a bore snake to get the moisture out. I do clean any debris from the action as needed, but don't want to touch the barrel unless I really have to. Never had a speck of rust in my barrels.
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Old December 8, 2012, 02:18 PM   #8
coyota1
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jmr40, that tape looks as though it could change you POI.??
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:50 AM   #9
sc928porsche
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Copper dosnt cause rust in the barrel. Powder can contain salts, but most dont. Powder does retain moisture and will speed the rusting process.
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:11 PM   #10
Mobuck
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I've never seen the tape cause a change in POI. The initial burst of gas that escapes ahead of the bullet blows the tape off-not the bullet. I've used this trick for 30 years on everything from 223 to 300 Win mag. Also used the rubber glove finger on 12 guage.
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