View Full Version : realistic cleaning of hunting rifles

January 23, 2006, 02:16 PM
Just wondering for hunting rifles what is realistic for cleaning the barrel. After how many rounds would you need to clean somthing like a 30-06. I've many guns in the cabinet that my dad has never cleaned the barrels on in 30 yrs. Just looking to keep the guns in good shape and shooting accurate. I have about 200 rounds through my 06.

January 23, 2006, 02:16 PM
Just wondering for hunting rifles what is realistic for cleaning the barrel. After how many rounds would you need to clean somthing like a 30-06. I've many guns in the cabinet that my dad has never cleaned the barrels on in 30 yrs. Just looking to keep the guns in good shape and shooting accurate. I have about 200 rounds through my 06.

Wild Bill Bucks
January 23, 2006, 02:40 PM
Most guys don't take proper care of their hunting rifles, They hunt with them and stick them back in the closet until next year.
How often you clean them is open to 100 different opinions but I think that with modern ammunition today, the cleaning isn't as neccessary as it was in years past.
I use nothing but Lubalox coated bullets through my rifles so the copper build up is not as bad as it is if you use copper or lead bullets.
I worked to hard to earn the money to buy my rifles to let them get to dirty, so I clean my rifles about every 50 rounds after they are broke in good, and after EVERY hunting season.
I Clean and oil every part of them and wipe them down before storage.
I have had some of my rifles for over 50 years, and outside the occasional ding they get, they look and fire as good now as they ever did.
How much you shoot and how often you go hunting in the weather has more to do with how good of shape your guns stay in, so clean them after every hunting trip even if you don't clean the inside of the barrel.
My first shot over a clean barrel is subject to shoot off a little in some of my rifles so I won't clean the inside of the barrel if I Know I will be going hunting again in a day or two, but when I am through with the season, I will clean them completely before I store them. You wouldn't buy a new car and never take it to the car wash, so don't treat you rifles any different.

Hope this helps.

January 23, 2006, 03:03 PM
I clean my barrels everytime the gun has been fired, and do a complete stripdown a couple times a year, or anytime I think that water may have gotten in. I don't believe that such cleaning is really necessary, but it certainly can't hurt.

john in jax
January 23, 2006, 03:05 PM
I don't care if it is 100 rounds at the range or 1 round at an animal I always clean my guns inside and out after shooting them. Wild Bill is right, it isn't as necessary today as it used to be, I'm just anal.

January 23, 2006, 03:59 PM
Problem with cleaning every time you shoot is that accuracy is compromised after oiling a barrell. I will always fire 1 round out of a freshly oiled barrell to foul the barrell and make sure there are no oily fliers. Since I rarely fire more than a few rounds during deer season I will usually not clean until after season is over.

Art Eatman
January 23, 2006, 05:01 PM
I'm pretty religious about protecting the crown at the muzzle. I use the brass cone dealie if cleaning from the muzzle end, or I clean from the breech.

If cleaning after only a few shots for sight-in or after a kill, I just spray some WD 40 on a patch and run it through the bore. Maybe follow up with some gun oil sprayed on a patch and run it through before storage.

Periodically, or after a fair number of rounds, I'll use some copper-removing bore cleaner and/or a copper brush. Then, follow up to see if patches come out clean. Again, some oil before storage.

Guns that haven't been shot in a long time, and the number of rounds is unknown, I'd do the copper-remover thing. etc...

FWIW, my two pet rifles that I've had for over 35 years are still shooting inside one MOA.


Wild Bill Bucks
January 24, 2006, 11:44 AM
I had a sweet 16 browning for about 20 years that I used WD on, and it worked great for the inside of the barrel, but over a period of time I noticed that the finish of my blueing kept getting lighter. It didn't dawn on me that the WD was gradually removing the blueing from the metal until the shotgun was almost silver.
Talked to a gun smith that told me to use it to clean inside but to use Rem-oil for outside.
Have you noticed any lighting of your guns?

January 24, 2006, 12:47 PM
I clean my black powder muzzleloader every other season whether it needs it or not. :) Centerfires may see a boresnake once in a blue moon.

January 29, 2006, 12:09 PM
For those uof you who love your guns, and keeping it accurate, IE match rifles, Clen it after about every 10 shots, and before you put it up for the day. If you let crap build up on the riflings and you cram another bullet past it, you will wear out the riflings far faster. This is direct from an Armalite Tech guy. I was worried about the barrel life on My 300 Mag. (I got them a bit hot, 3250 FPS) anyways, said I should see at least 4000 rounds before accuracy tends to drop off.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2006, 03:13 PM
WBB, I've not noticed a lightening of the color. The majority of my rifle shooting is with a 1970-ish Sako and a same-vintage Weatherby. Dunno if it's maybe the type of bluing or what. I shoot a lot more pistol than rifle, though, and the majority of that was with a Parkerized 1911 and now a Series 70. I have an old Model 12, but it didn't have much finish when I got it. :)


February 2, 2006, 07:54 AM
I was in a situation where my rifle ment my protection. ANYTIME it has been fired, and I am done for the day, I clean the barrel (not "scrub" but clean) and wipe down the rest. Listen to the action (put your ear up to it and LISTEN) ANY grit and it all gets torn down and cleaned. Subjected to moisture and it gets torn completly down and wiped. I really like the moly powders that are available now. GREAT for the action and it doesn't attract grit!

February 2, 2006, 08:44 PM
+1 on the moly. I use it in the bolt area of my 300 mag. I used to use remoil in that area. I noticed after i shot, I got a bit of oil in my eye from the high operating pressures of the 300 mag, The Birchwood casey MOLY LUBE work great, and like you say, It doesnt attract dirt like liquid oil.

February 2, 2006, 09:10 PM
I clean my guns when I get home after every hunting trip they have been fired. May be 1 shot for a rifle or 100 or more for a shotgun. Just always a good practice. Get the metal wet or finger printed and put them away for awhile and it won't take long before they start to rust and get pitted which I've seen happen.

February 4, 2006, 11:24 AM
I have managed to maintain all 50 or so of my guns completely rust free, In a safe. When you buy shoes and stuff like that , You get those "do not eat Silica " packages in the box. I throw them in the bottom of my safe. They eat up water well. Every once in a while, recharge them with a few minutes in the microwave. It works wonders. I also soak them with remoil before returning them to the safe. Rust bad, oil good

February 6, 2006, 12:26 AM
I use the penetrant "Kroil" and, the solvent "Butch's Bore Shine" as my arsenal for barrel cleaning.

*First, I run a "solvent-soaked" patch through the barrel and let it set a while to allow the solvent a little time to dissolve some of the copper.

*Some shooting podnahs of mine run a brush at this point to "scratch" the copper up a little. I then start on another gun while that one is "brewing".

*After the barrel has soaked in solvent for about 15 minutes, I run the first "Kroil" soaked patch through the barrel to kill the chemical reaction of the solvent by diluting the solvent.

*I then discard the patch and now, run another patch of "Kroil" to let the penetrant creep between the copper fouling and the barrel.

*Give the Kroil a few minutes (4-5) to penetrate. Now, run a couple of lightly oiled clean patches and that gun is free of fouling. An added benefit to this method is it leaves a great little light oil coating behind to protect your barrel from corrosion.

I would surely use this method on guns that have years of fouling to remove. On severely fouled barrels I would give them a little more "soaking" time.

February 17, 2006, 10:34 PM
Many years ago, the owner of a local gun shop told me not to use WD40 on a gun. Claimed it had an additive in it that would remove bluing.

February 17, 2006, 11:03 PM
Around '81 or so I used WD on a Mossberg 12ga. Took the blueing right off as I was polishing.:eek:
Started using it again a few years ago after hearing somewhere they had changed formulas and made it "blue" safe. Oils em' up fine now and leaves the blueing alone.

February 18, 2006, 03:38 AM
remoil, good stuff. It tends to not leave a greay film on guns like wd. Its magic i dont understand

February 18, 2006, 08:28 PM
I am a former Marine 1970- -1976. I clean my rifles, pistols and shotguns first thing after firing and then for three consecutive days thereafter. It does not matter if I have been at the range for a couiple hundread rounds or just sniped a few PA woodchucks. My blackpowder battery gets a bit more TLC.
"This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine..."

February 19, 2006, 09:22 AM
The original thread said "hunting rifles"

With a hunting rifle it depends a lot on the environment in which the hunt took place, wet or hot(sweat), you should clean it after each outing. In my opinion number of shots are not nearly as important as the environment.

I usually at least wipe mine down after each outing, regardless, and clean her up after the season. If an outing is exceptionally wet or hot I will clean it throughly to prevent rust.
Before the season I will wipe it down, inspect the barrel and shoot a couple of times to confirm zero and foul the barrel.
With the smoke pole, I use mostly pyrodex pellets and the new primers and usually only clean up after the season. I always will wipe it down, shoot a couple of loads before season to confirm zero and foul barrel.