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Old December 18, 2012, 02:16 PM   #1
M14
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First Shot From Lightly Oiled Barrel

I noticed my new M700 .223 tends to put its first shot about 2 1/2" - 3" high @ 100 yds. from a clean & lightly oiled barrel. When I know I'm going on a varmint safari, I can run a patch through first. However, I live in the country & some shots are targets of opportunity. Is there a remedy (other than aiming lower) when you don't have time to swab the barrel?
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Old December 18, 2012, 02:51 PM   #2
chris in va
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I'm probably ignorant about the subject, but seems to me a thin film of oil in a barrel will have less resistance than one that is bare. That first shot scrapes out the oil, and subsequent shots will hit at a different spot.

"Fouling shot", am I right?
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Old December 18, 2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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If you can't go to a shooting range to perform your fouling shot, I would run three dry patches, three wet degreaser patches and maybe one dry patch.
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Old December 18, 2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Just leave it fouled. Slightly fouled would seem best if your rifle's accuracy suffers with fouling buildup. I don't think I have a rifle that isn't slightly fouled at this time.

I just cleaned my Dad's rifle and the bore hasn't been cleaned in 5 to 8 years, or maybe 10 years. The bore wasn't rough at all, and it shoots great. Don't get overly concerned about having a dirty bore.
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Old December 18, 2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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There should be no oil in your barrel when you go to shoot it. Powder will stick to it. Run a dry patch through first. I still take a couple of fouling shots before a hunting trip or before moving my POI when shooting at the bench.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:18 AM   #6
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I always hunt with a fouled bore. People who want to hit what they are shooting at dont shoot clean bore.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:21 AM   #7
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Proper military discipline is not equal to proper firearms maintenance. You don't need to clean the bore after ever trip to the range unless you are shooting suspect surplus ammo, black powder, or some other corrosive concern.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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Sorta hard to know what is meant by "lightly oiled". Varies with the oiler, seems to me.

Anyhow, I've always followed my uncle's advice: "As near to dry as you can."

So, after the last dry patch is run through in cleaning, I spray very little RemOil on a patch and run it through. Call it a "miniscule film", I guess. Anyhow, I've had no trouble with first-shot flyers.

Absent really wet weather, I've rarely cleaned a rifle during the two-month Texas deer hunting season. Never had any rust problems. Basically a dry bore after checking my sight-in ahead of the season.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:22 AM   #9
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Best way I know of to clean oil out of the bore is to run a patch wetted with rubbing alcohol, then a dry patch. I don't practice cleaning the bore often. Of course, if you are using black powder, don't follow my advice.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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Even if I don't have the chance for a "fouling shot", I always wipe any oil out of the bore before taking a rifle out. For normal in home storage, only a very light coating of oil (if any) is needed in the bore.

2 1/2" to 3" higher than your normal grouping is a pretty big difference. I've normally seen 1/2" to 1" at most.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:36 AM   #11
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Fine. Leave the powder residue in the bore of your rifle so that it can absorb moisture. Its your rifle.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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Some rifles will throw first rounds out of an oiled bore, some don't. If one does, consider that the barrel may not be well-tuned to the ammo being used.

It's believed that the ideal situation for a load is when the bullet exits the barrel slightly before the muzzle reaches the maximum vertical amplitude of it's vibration, when it's nearly stopped moving in that direction. That's when minor variations in pressure/velocity don't make as much of a difference in vertical displacement of projectiles (POI).

Tuning to achieve such a condition is accomplished by the handloader, primarily by changing seating depth, but bullet selection, powder selection, charge weight and primer selection can all have an effect.

Folks who don't reload can change ammo brands/types, bullet weights, stock screw tensions, or consider changes to pressure points. Action bedding can also alter or even reduce vibrations somewhat.

I usually clean my CF rifles after shooting and use a slightly damp patch with Break-Free CLP prior to storage. When hunting in November, I usually run a dry patch through the bore, then place a piece of electrical tape over the muzzle to keep the bore dry and protect it from debris. The trapped air ahead of the bullet pushes the tape off prior to the bullet exiting.
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Old December 19, 2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the great advice! When I'm going to be using my rifle for an extended period of time (e.g. deer season), I do the dry patch/fouling shot(s). I was looking for a solution for when the coyote is walking across the field & I grab the rifle out of the gun safe. I'm thinking of trying the lightly oiled patch followed by a dry patch first.
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:59 AM   #14
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picher: "It's believed that the ideal situation for a load is when the bullet exits the barrel slightly before the muzzle reaches the maximum vertical amplitude of it's vibration, when it's nearly stopped moving in that direction. That's when minor variations in pressure/velocity don't make as much of a difference in vertical displacement of projectiles (POI)."

I have seen this theory before and seen some interesting graphics on the subject. However it strikes me that the vibration amplitudes would be 360 degrees around the barrel rather than just vertical, so the the variation may be in any direction. This is all theoretical so it's really not of much consequence to me. I just load to get the best accuracy. Doesn't matter to me about the gyrations of the barrel. But it is an interesting theory.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:54 PM   #15
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It amazes me that the long held practice of using a fouled bore is coming into question. I am no longer actively a L.E. sniper. I lost patience and like the entry team much better. Having said that, I have never met a sniper who would even dream of taking a hostage rescue shot with a clean bore. Yeah, we leave $6k sniper rifles in our trunk with the bore fouled. I have only had one rifle rust on me and it was a Ruger #1 416 Rigby. I shot it and cleaned it 4 days later and the barrel was pitted like crazy. It literally turned into a rust bucket in the bore in 4 days. I am 100% convinced that despite what Federal says, the ammo had to be corrosive.
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Old December 19, 2012, 07:01 PM   #16
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I'd never consider using a clean bore for hunting or serious target shooting. I clean mine after each 200 or so rounds then immediately fire 4-5 shots through it to foul the barrel so it will be ready to go. During hunting season I use electrical tape to keep water and other debris out of the barrel. I have guns that were made in the 1930's that have never had a spec of rust in the barrel.

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Old December 19, 2012, 08:21 PM   #17
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If your first shot is that far off you might be over oiling the barrel.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:45 PM   #18
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Like all but one of the above, I leave the bore as is after the last sight in confirmation shot. I too have never seen rust in the bore of one of my rifles. Copper fouling is what drives me to clean, well that and my once a year whether they need it or not habit.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
I'm probably ignorant about the subject, but seems to me a thin film of oil in a barrel will have less resistance than one that is bare. That first shot scrapes out the oil, and subsequent shots will hit at a different spot.

"Fouling shot", am I right?
Diameter of the bullet is large enough to permit the lands to engrave the bullet. Oil is not a lubricant in that scenario but an obstruction that must be removed. A high viscosity oil used for lubrication and metal preservation creates a hydraulic action that impedes the first bullet coming out of the oil coated barrel. The faster the bullet the more it is affected.
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:58 AM   #20
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I can tell you what the Marine team at Camp Perry was doing in '06 & '07...after a match, they cleaned their M16's, then ran a wet patch of Hoppe's through the bore for overnight storage. The next AM, they dry patched the bore, then went to the firing line for the off hand stage. I've done the same for the past 50+ years of hunting and found little variation on the first shot...hunting accuracy...not shooting 5 shot groups. Run a test with your rifle, and see where it throws that first shot with a very slightly damp bore of Hoppe's #9; you may be surprised..and that very thin coating will give you peace of mind in wet conditions. Rod
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
However it strikes me that the vibration amplitudes would be 360 degrees around the barrel rather than just vertical, so the the variation may be in any direction.
Yes, barrel vibrations occur in most directions, but, by far, the greatest vibration amplitude is vertical.
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
I live in the country & some shots are targets of opportunity. Is there a remedy (other than aiming lower) when you don't have time to swab the barrel?
A pressure pad in the forend can dampen barrel vibrations somewhat, putting the first shot closer to the rest, but that usually makes the POI affected more by various holds and rests...and wooden stocked rifles, to seasonal changes in humidity.

Stainless barrels are less subject to pitting when left unprotected; however, I still don't like my CF ones left dirty.
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Old December 20, 2012, 04:07 PM   #23
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If you plan to discharge your shotgun...make sure that you do not cover the muzzle with tape, balloons, condoms, etc --- cuz the barrel may burst.
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Old December 20, 2012, 04:45 PM   #24
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Absent really wet weather, I've rarely cleaned a rifle during the two-month Texas deer hunting season. Never had any rust problems. Basically a dry bore after checking my sight-in ahead of the season.
Art, I had to laugh, Texas is hot and dry and you can get away with that!

None of the gun shops in South East Alaska (panhandle) sell anything other than stainless with synthetic stocks anymore). I lived there when I was a kid and we did fine but they were all short hunts.

On the other hand I never hunted with a clean gun, do the confirmation shots for correct POI and left them as were (I would have oiled the bore if I was going to hunt wet weather for any time but never had to do that
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Old December 20, 2012, 07:16 PM   #25
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erno 86, Tape? maybe. A balloon or condom? It would have to be a very, very, very, sub standard shotgun.
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