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Old March 21, 2013, 06:41 AM   #1
odugrad
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Quick cleaning question...

I know this has probably been covered in dozens of threads, but is a patch with solvent sufficient to clean the barrel? I clean run a solvent patch through several times, again if I need to, then a dry patch until it's clean. Is that enough to get everything cleaned? I know some people use brushes, are those okay to use?
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:15 AM   #2
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Unless you have a copper or lead build up you should be fine.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:27 AM   #3
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How do you know if there is a copper or lead build up? Is it visible?
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:08 AM   #4
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Copper is generally visible. If you're unsure putting a little copper removing solvent in it will give you you're answer for sure as the patches will come out blue (depending on which solvent) afterward.

But, most handguns will go thousands of rounds before you ever need to do that as long as you're using some CLP or other general use product in between sessions.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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As far as lead build up is concerned, if you are shooting FMJ or jacketed ammo, don't worry about it. If you are shooting unjacketed lead bullets, you should use a bore brush when you clean. This will help. Every few hundred rounds maybe use a cleaner that includes a lead remover like Shooter's Choice Lead Remover. After many rounds the grooves inside the barrel may look like they are becoming shallower. That is likely lead build up. You would then need to get a more aggressive product like Lewis Lead Remover. Both the products I mentioned are available at Brownell's.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:41 AM   #6
odugrad
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Would you recommend using a brush? Or would that damage the barrel? I have a cleaning kit that includes a brush that looks like copper, maybe. I don't use it very often.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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Copper is fine and much softer than the metal in the barrel.

Just pay attention to the other post and don't use a brush every time you shoot a few rounds of jacketed rounds.
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Old March 21, 2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Would you recommend using a brush? Or would that damage the barrel? I have a cleaning kit that includes a brush that looks like copper, maybe. I don't use it very often.
Not all metals are created equally. In fact not all types of the same metal, steel for instance, are created equally. The copper brush won't hurt it.

Case in point. When I was young and stupid I got a barrel bushing for a 1911 wedged in there during removal. Tried wacking as hard as could be with a rubber mallet and no go. Didn't have a brass hammer. All I had was a regular claw hammer. I sighed and told myself, "well I guess I will just replace the bushing." I gave it a few good wacks and it came off. Afterwards I looked at the barrel bushing for damage and couldn't find any. The hammer, however, had a noticeable dent in its face. The tool steel wasn't as strong as the steel in the bushing.
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Old March 21, 2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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Oh don't forget to clean your clip!

Some guns with different designs cause more buildup of powder residue than others and can cause the clip to get so corroded it stops feeding.
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Old March 21, 2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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Haha.....he said clip.

In my opinion, running a patch through a bore (as the only cleaning step) is like running a wet papertowel over an iron skillet with caked on grease.

I run a bronze brush through my barrels and cylinder chambers regardless of the kind of bullets I'm shooting. Then I run a wet (with my favorite cleaning solvent) cotton bore brush through the barrel.
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Old March 21, 2013, 12:14 PM   #11
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Has anyone (does anyone) use bore snakes? Do you find that they are effective?
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Old March 21, 2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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IMHO they are a glorified cotton bore mop. They do work, but no better than a cotton bore mop, and for me, they (both bore snakes, and cotton bore mops) should be used as part of the cleaning process after a brass bore brush has done it's thing.
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Old March 21, 2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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Cleaning products...

I'd suggest a Bore-Snake Viper or the new Remington SQU-EEGE product. That has a www.youtube.com clip you can review.
Both speed up the barrel cleaning.
CLP like LPX, Gunzilla, Slip2000, Weaponshield, etc are okay for standard cleaning. A bore cleaner or product like Butch's or Hoppes # 9 or 7.62 is great but you can find a lot of gun care products to fill the need(s).

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www.gunzilla.us www.brownells.com www.midwayusa.com www.mpro7.com www.remington.com
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Old March 21, 2013, 01:16 PM   #14
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I use bronze wire brushes...all the time on my barrels..../ after every range trip ( usually 200 rds or so ) ....to get the jacketed plating out of the grooves in the barrel...

Use whatever solvent you like --- let it sit for a few minutes / brush the barrel 4 or 5 times / run a couple of patches thru it / then put some break free in the barrel - let it sit for a couple of minutes / run another patch or two thru the barrel and you're done.

If I get some real stubborn patches ...I use a little bit of Barnes CR-10 to soak it, brush it out ...and repeat with Break Free.

( I have a lot of 1911's and S&W revolvers with well over 50,000 rds thru them ...cared for like that ...and the bores look great ! ).
------------
I like bore snakes if I'm in a hurry ...or on guns like .22's ....or .410 shotgun .../ I think they do a good job ( but its just a bore brush / and a barrel mop in one tool )...and you have to clean them in dishwashing soap and let them dry once in a while when they get nasty ...( soak them for half hour or so is soapy water - I use liquid dish soap - scrub the brush area with an old toothbrush / rinse them good ...squeeze the excess water out of them ...and hang them up in the garage or someplace out of the way, to dry for 2 or 3 days )...

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Old March 24, 2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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Old March 24, 2013, 02:17 PM   #16
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
I use bronze wire brushes...all the time on my barrels..../ after every range trip ( usually 200 rds or so ) ....to get the jacketed plating out of the grooves in the barrel...
While bronze brushes are softer than the barrel metal, a lot of use of wire brushes WILL begin to wear the barrel -- just like you can use sticks to rub a groove in concrete or marble or granite. It takes a while, but it WILL happen.
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:07 PM   #17
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^ Shooting bullets through your barrel will wear it down quicker than a bronze brush will sir.
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:08 AM   #18
Walt Sherrill
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^ Shooting bullets through your barrel will wear it down quicker than a bronze brush will sir.
Kind of depends on what you're shooting, how much you shoot, and how much you scrub, doesn't it?

Lead is pretty soft, so is copper. Bronze is mostly copper and a little tin and much harder than copper alone. If you're shooting copper-clad lead rounds, I think that makes the round shot a bit HARDER than lead alone, but softer than the bronze brush. Some folks may be shooting steel -- ala the cheap imported ammo -- and that's arguably much harder than a bronze brush.

Using bronze brushes CAN accelerate wear -- but if done judiciously, it probably won't matter much; done heavily and regularly, it could make a difference.

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Old March 25, 2013, 12:24 PM   #19
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I discussed this with Wilson Combat recently ...

and they assure me there is no potential damage or premature wearing of the barrel ...from brushing the bore with typical bronze brushes.
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Old March 25, 2013, 01:18 PM   #20
Metal god
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I'm not a handgun guy ( do have them ) but I'm in to longer range rifle shooting . For a rifle I believe cleaning your bore a lot can and will reduce barrel life . That intern will reduce accuracy .You got to remember all that carbon and other fowling can work as a lite abrasive or lapping compound when running the brush up and down the bore . When your barrel has some fowling in it , that very fowling can work as a barrier between you bullet jacket and the bare steel of your bore .Leaving a little in there can help . If you clean your bore to a showroom shine every time you shoot . The first few shots you take next , the jacket of the bullet will be screaming down your un protected bore . Thats how I look at it for rifle bores and accuracy For handguns scrub away it's not like your trying to shoot sub MOA at 500yds . There are some of you that would notice accuracy issues with a handgun do to barrel wear . Most of us would not IMHO . Now if you got a match grade pistol by all means take care of the bore and crown . If you got a XD9 or 686 I would not worry about it .

That all being said . I clean my ARs really well after every shoot . Some say you can go 600+ before cleaning your AR . I don't want to have 500rds through it and then SHTF and I need to shoot 500 more , so they are always clean lubed and ready . Did I say they I mean it Really most of my guns I keep pretty clean but I don't scrub & scrub & scrub till there is no bristles left on my brush .

Thats my $0.02 let the smack talk Begin
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:41 PM   #21
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Please note, that this post is about the use of jacketed bullets, only.

It's not that I think frequent cleaning with bronze brushes will quickly wear out a handgun barrel, it's just that it is unnecessary.

I'll also point to an interesting read about differences in opinions of precision rifle shooters at http://www.accurateshooter.com/techn...eaning-debate/. The editor surveyed some of the top shooters and some of the barrel makers (their comments are in the article). The editor concluded, in part:
Quote:
If you read through the many perspectives above, a few themes come through. First, the short-range Benchrest guys are doing a LOT of brushing, while many of the winning 600- and 1000-yard shooters are cleaning fairly infrequently, and are NOT using bronze brushes. It also appears that most barrel-makers still advocate frequent cleaning with bronze brushes. However, I’m not sure most barrel-makers have actually studied the effect of brushing on barrel life in a scientific fashion, nor have they really explored the potential benefits of brushless cleaning alternatives.

Now, many top “point-blank” group shooters toss their barrels after 500-700 rounds, and in some cases, as little as 300 rounds. It may be that to obtain benchrest competitive accuracy, i.e. a barrel capable of shooting “zero” groups, you have to clean often and brush aggressively. However, many of the 100-200 yard score shooters, whose 30BR guns can shoot in the low ones (when tested for group) are finding that cleaning less often (and less aggressively) has NOT reduced their scores. Furthermore, these 30BR shooters are getting thousands of rounds of accurate life from their barrels. Is a 30BR THAT different from a 6PPC? Or is the short life of PPC barrels attributable, at least in part, to over-cleaning?
Now, there's a big difference in bullets traveling at handgun velocities and those traveling at rifle velocities. It would make sense to me, though, that the effects of frequent cleaning with bronze brushes is simply exaggerated at rifle velocities and that the life of a handgun barrel would be shortened to some degree by frequent cleaning with bronze brushes. It is also logical to assume that the bristles of the brush would take at least some molecules off the inside bore of the barrel. How much would this shorten barrel life in a handgun? I don't have a clue. Maybe it's the difference in 50,000 rounds and 55,000 rounds. Maybe more, maybe less. Again, I don't know.

By the same logic, frequent cleaning of handguns with bronze brushes might result in a theoretical increase in accuracy. Most of us can't get the full potential out of our handguns so I can't see that this theoretical increased accuracy would be of any real benefit to us.

So, back to my original premise -- when shooting jacketed bullets, it's not necessary to frequently clean with bronze/brass brushes. Save it for when that patch with the solvent comes out green/blue, indicating some copper fouling. Less time cleaning and more time for something else.
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
I discussed this with Wilson Combat recently ...

and they assure me there is no potential damage or premature wearing of the barrel ...from brushing the bore with typical bronze brushes.
They make barrels for 1911s, right?
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