View Full Version : Rifle Cleaning?

December 28, 2013, 03:15 PM
Hey guys, I just picked up a Tikka T3 Lite .243 and want to keep it in the best shape I can. I was wondering what you guys recommend I do for cleaning and how often (how many rounds)?

As far as materials go I have the following:
- Break Free CLP
- Break Free Powder Blaster
- CorrosionX (this was recommended by my sporting clays instructor)
- Hoppes Bore Solvent
- Hoppes Gun Oil
- Brass brushes, mops, patches, etc
- Hoppes Viper Boresnake .243

I learned to completely take apart and clean my Beretta A400 Xcel Sporting, something I would like to know how to do with this new Tikka. Anyways, any advice is appreciated!

Art Eatman
December 28, 2013, 03:53 PM
I've rarely shot a bolt action for more than maybe 20 rounds in a session. Generally, I'll spray WD40 on a patch and run it through and then inspect it. Maybe repeat a couple of times. If it comes out plenty clean, I then run an oily patch through the bore.

Other than a wipe-down with an oily patch, I don't do much to the outside. I'll pull the bolt, of course, and do an inspect and wipe.

From time to time as the mood strikes, I'll be more thorough in cleaning the bore. Copper remover in a sort of "In case of in case" mode.

No problems, this last half-century, anyway. Mostly sub-MOA.

December 28, 2013, 04:08 PM
For bolt action rifles, I recommend the following kit:

- Dewey Coated Cleaning Rod
- Brass jag
- Bronze bore brush with bronze or brass center
- Bore Guide that fits the action - ideally with a solvent port
- Butch's Bore Shine solvent
- Optional: JB's Bore Paste
- Weapon Shield CLP. . .Great oil
- Bulk cotten rag material and good scissors for cutting perfect patches
- Blue paper towels
- some kind of plastic poker to wipe down the action internals with oiled rag material on the end
- waxed cloth for wood stock. soap and water for plastic stock.
- FAT torque wrench for assembling and disassembling the stock from the barrel.
- some kind of gun vise
- Q tips for oiling critical areas
- needle point oiler for oiling
- brake cleaner/gunscrubber for cleaning trigger. . .Don't use unless you are sure you can get oil back onto critical points as this deoils things completely.

December 28, 2013, 04:57 PM
Here's a good rifle cleaning video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WRO17sk_dI).

December 28, 2013, 05:40 PM
Thanks for all the help so far guys! How hard is it to tear down one of these rifles and how far does it really ever need to be torn down?

December 28, 2013, 06:06 PM
I don't know anything about Tikka's, but I would start by searching YouTube, I'm sure somebody has done a video.

December 28, 2013, 07:59 PM
shooter's choice or sweet's 7.62, every time you shoot it, except for big game then clean it every two weeks.

December 28, 2013, 08:21 PM
I would say the current supplies you have are more than sufficient. Congrats on your new rifle as well :D

All I have to say is +1 to all the above, and my recommendation as to the frequency of cleaning should be every time you shoot it, clean the bore (even if you fired once) and afterwards put some Hoppes oil on a patch and run it through the barrel after its clean. That said, if you only fired it a few times in one session, just remove the bolt and check the trigger mechanism with a Q-Tip put some oil in there and wipe the excess. Disassembly of the bolt is not usually required unless you've put a couple boxes of ammo through it (my opinion, if you do this every time, it wont hurt either)

Enjoy your new rifle!

December 28, 2013, 11:20 PM
I have a Tikka T3 Hunter in 243 (the hunter has the wood stock). It is fantastic rifle.

For bolt actions you do not need to take them apart to clean them. You remove the bolt to clean it, that's it. I would recommend a bore guide (I have this one, http://www.midwayusa.com/product/815732/tipton-universal-bore-guide).

I have switched from Hoppes #9 to using M-Pro 7 to clean the bore (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/619561/m-pro-7-bore-cleaning-solvent-8-oz-pump). I think both of them do a good job but the M-pro is not a solvent so it does not smell up the place and does not require the same level of ventilation.

I posted a question in the bolt action forum asking how people clean their rifles and there were many different answers. This is how I clean my Tikka (I clean it after shooting 50 rounds or so):

- Using a Hoppes one-piece cleaning rod with a .243 brass jag I run several wet patches of M-Pro 7 through the bore (action to muzzle only, no back and forth)
- Wait 5 minutes
- Run a nylon brush through the bore once or twice (action to muzzle only, no back and forth)
- Run additional wet patches of M-Pro until patches start coming out almost clean
- Sometimes wait another 5 minutes
- Run wet patches until they come out clean
- Run dry patches until dry
- Remove bore guide and use pick + cotton patch to clean chamber
- Finish with one or two pulls of a bore-snake

December 29, 2013, 12:47 AM
I will probably follow the above method! So on a rifle are you supposed to only run the brush through ONE way? I know on my shotgun it is perfectly okay to basically scrub the barrel with my brush both ways, because it is chromed.

December 29, 2013, 09:31 AM
CC268 said: I will probably follow the above method! So on a rifle are you supposed to only run the brush through ONE way?

I don't see how a little brass brush can damage a barrel that has a bullet forced through at 30-50,000psi, at 2,600fps.

What you should make part of your maintenance is copper removal. I just bought a borescope for Christmas and I thought that I was very thorough in my maintenance. Alas, all the evidence is there to be seen, I just couldn't see it. Lots of copper affecting accuracy, pressure and velocity.

December 29, 2013, 10:03 AM
One-piece, coated, ball-bearing (allows free rotation as it's pushed through the bore) cleaning rod- as in Dewey.

Get a bore guide to protect the throat, and keep solvents out of the action.

Forget the bore snake. Useful for a quick but incomplete clean, handy in the field as in a hunting trip where you're not able to use the regular equipment.

Arguments on both sides as to brushes (even what type) or patches only.

I use patches only, with Wipe-Out foaming cleaner.

Whatever you use, it comes down to not damaging the bore, or the crown of the rifle with your equipment and procedure. Most of the commercial solvents will get the job done, and it's splitting hairs whether to use Brand "X" or "Y".

December 29, 2013, 10:34 AM
Thanks guys!

December 29, 2013, 02:54 PM
I'm not sure there is such a thing as over cleaning if done right but there is a definite point of diminishing returns.

I don't and won't "thoroughly" clean my guns every time they are taken out and shot. Sometimes they won't see a patch for days on end in the field, sometimes I'll run an oiled patch or two thru and do a good wipe down (followed by a fouling shot), and yes when needed and sometimes when I'm bored I break out all the goodies and clean them up right and proper.

It's all about use. You go out for a quick hunt in dry conditions and fire a shot or two leaves very little reason, if any, to clean the snot outta your gun. Even less if you're gonna do the exact same thing the next day, and the day after that, and the day after........ Kept oiled and reasonably clean, no gun will suffer ill effects if it isn't babied.

Water, dirty conditions and copious amount of ammo run thru it on any given day demands a good cleaning though.

Cleaners of choice: Nothing more than RemOil and Hoppes #9.

December 29, 2013, 03:31 PM
Yea I am in Arizona so it is obviously really dry and NOT humid haha.

December 29, 2013, 08:29 PM
1. I got some Barnes CR-10 Copper Bore cleaning solvent...how often should I use this stuff?

2. How often should I undo the two bolts that hold the trigger up and clean all that stuff out??

December 29, 2013, 09:05 PM
I've been dealing with copper fowling for the past couple of weeks. I have 308 bolt action that I've put a couple of thousand rounds through and an AR-10 with about the same number of rounds. I clean them after every trip to the range, but I had never cleaned for copper. Like most people I use Hoppe #9 and Rem Oil.

I started experiencing loss of accuracy and wanted to look inside the barrel to see if the rifling was gone and was time to replace the barrel. I finally found a gunsmith that had a borescope, after talking to him he told me not to bother with bringing the rifle until I had cleaned the copper and if I still had a problem afterwards I could bring the rifle to him.

I started by soaking patches, let is soak for ten minutes and them using dry patches. After a day of doing this with no end insight I called him back and he told me to plug the end of the barrel and fill it with Hoppe Copper Solvent and let it soak overnight. I did and after about 20 patches the bore was clean.

I took it to the range and tested it. And sure enough accuracy visibly improved. On the 27th (Thursday) I received my new borescope. Now I can see in there.

From now on I'm planning on using a cleaner that removes both carbon and copper, KG-12 Big Bore Cleaner Solvent. So for me the answer is every time I shoot.

December 29, 2013, 09:18 PM
Okay I will use it every time then

December 30, 2013, 08:28 AM
I'd clean a new barrel before use. After that I clean the barrel sparingly unless it gets wet.

Hunting season is winding down and all of my hunting rifles will be taken out of the stock and thoroughly cleaned within the next couple of weeks. I use CLP or something similar to wipe down exterior surfaces and to use as a lubricant. I will use a copper solvent with patches to clean the barrel. No real brand preference for cleaning products, most seem to work. I use a brush as little as possible, but will if needed. I do recommend a quality 1 piece cleaning rod.

From January to mid summer is the slow time at my local range and when I get in the most practice and experiment with different loads. I've found that my rifles are more accurate after about 10-12 rounds have been put through them so at this time of year the barrel is not cleaned. I'll still wipe down the exterior and clean any crud out of the action, but the barrel is not cleaned unless accuracy starts to decrease. If an individual gun needs a thorough cleaning it gets it, but usually not

Once the weather warms up and the range gets more crowded, I shoot less. I'll once again break everything down for a good cleaning. I'll make a few more range trips with each rifle sometime in August or early September to verify zero and fowl the barrels before hunting season starts. The barrels don't get cleaned again until after hunting season unless I hunt in the rain with it.

December 30, 2013, 08:42 AM
Barrel needs cleaning about every 40 rounds. Wipe the bolt with oil at that time. Action can probably go several years before you need to clean the trigger or disassemble the bolt.

It is a good idea to annually remove from stock and clean/reoil the barrel & bottom action surfaces. You may want a torque wrench to retighten. Depends on your feeling of torque. I have the FAT wrench, but could likely do without.

December 30, 2013, 08:48 AM
I hardly ever clean my barrel, can easily go a few hundred rounds with no noticeable effect on accuracy. I keep the outside as well as the bolt well oiled, especially from sweaty (salty) hands, just use oil on a rag. The Hoppes oil would do fine.

If I don't shoot very often I'll put a lightly oiled patch through the barrel, even when dirty, to stop any rust forming in the barrel.
When it comes time to clean the barrel properly, I run soaked patches with Bore Tech Eliminator or Hoppes 9, and leave it in there a while to work it's way in (about 30mins). I use a bore guide to not drip solvents and stuff everywhere.
Then I run a nylon brush on a one piece rod through the barrel a few times, I take it backward through just being careful.
Then I'll run dry patches until they come out clean.
If it's still quite dirty or I'm bored, I'll run another wet patch and then the nylon brush again.

I hadn't cleaned my gun after probably 100rounds not long ago, and still managed to shoot a clover leaf at 100yards with my T3 Lite 223.

Biggest thing for me is to wipe to whole outside with oil, as it's very muggy where I am, so rust can form very quick. And also oil the barrel when storing.
I left my Remington 870 very dirty for a long time in the safe, but it was well oiled. When I finally cleaned it, it came up like new again.

December 30, 2013, 12:13 PM
Thanks for all the tips guys! I am very anal with my guns and keep them in great shape.

December 30, 2013, 12:20 PM
Interesting. 40 is a number I have found to be where accuracy starts to turn. I can go 60, but it is clearly shooting worse by then.

Mine is a Savage 12BVSS in 300 WSM, shooting 190 gr Bergers, if that matters.

December 31, 2013, 12:10 PM
Hey guys I know I should put a thin coat of grease on the back of the locking lugs on the bolt. Based on my research there should be some grease on the cocking cam and extraction cam. Not sure where these two things are located on a Tikka bolt??

December 31, 2013, 12:43 PM
Every rifle is different.
As Trg said, in his case they need it rarely.
Best advice on "how often" to clean the bore is only when accuracy degrades.

December 31, 2013, 12:46 PM
CC268 said: Hey guys I know I should put a thin coat of grease on the back of the locking lugs on the bolt. Based on my research there should be some grease on the cocking cam and extraction cam. Not sure where these two things are located on a Tikka bolt??

Good maintenance requires that you take the bolt apart for periodic cleaning and lubrication. I don't do it very often, I wait until I get a misfire and then I do a detailed strip and cleaning of it. But I'm just punching paper. If I was hunting/competing I would do it before each event.

Here's someone on YouTube has done a Tikka bolt disasse (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdw8-jcytk4)mbly.

December 31, 2013, 12:58 PM
I am going to go with jmr40 on this one. If you are going to use it for hunting, you can "Overclean" it. I was really busy this year and only got to the range right before deer season. I had cleaned my 7x57 well the previous season and not shot it since. The first shot was about 2" high and left. The next 3 were right in there. Same thing every time I clean it. First shot is off until the barrel is dirty. I used to go crazy cleaning my surplus rifles because of the surplus ammo I shot. With the new powders and primers, you probably are doing more damage constantly cleaning a gun. The more you strip it down, the looser everything gets. It is not a military gun.

December 31, 2013, 01:11 PM
Gunplummer said: If you are going to use it for hunting, you can "Overclean" it.

From time to time I read statements like this and just cringe. It is a ridiculous statement. I can't think of any machine that performs better with internal parts being dirty or fouled. If you're rifle shoots better after it has been used it is because it has an obstruction (copper fowling, lead, caked carbon etc...). A warm barrel expands slightly minimizing the obstruction, but that doesn't necessarily improve accuracy.

Take a look at these targets (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=538750)and my notes the results are there for you to see. Look how the middle groups (FGMM) improved from before to after some cleaning.

December 31, 2013, 05:36 PM
Distinction needs to be made between cleaning the bore (when needed due to accuracy degrading), and cleaning/lubricating the rifle...

Two different animals, often independent of each other.

December 31, 2013, 09:27 PM
Okay so the dissasembly for the bolt looks really easy based on that Youtube video. However, still not sure what the cocking and extraction cams are?? I have so far just put a thin strip of grease on the back of the locking lugs.

December 31, 2013, 10:02 PM
You have a nice shooter there. If it is new, you might want to look into a proper break in. Also note the barrel temp with pattern. Then avoid getting to that temp.

December 31, 2013, 10:32 PM
I have done quite a bit of research on barrel break in and based on research from metallurgists and others it sounds like break in is more of a myth than anything, although there are simple guidelines that can be followed. Some of the break in procedures I have seen seem really ridiculous to me.

January 1, 2014, 12:45 AM
Go to the web sites of barrel makers like Krieger (http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Break_In__Cleaning-c1246-wp2558.htm), Bartlein (http://www.bartleinbarrels.com/BreakInCleaning.htm) and see what they recommend. They ought to know.

January 1, 2014, 04:01 AM
Eppi, I disagree. I know what happens when I clean/shoot my rifles. I don't let leaves and sticks build up in the action, but I don't get silly about cleaning either. I have almost no rifles with button rifling, and I believe that copper fouling is more of a problem with them. I have had a 336 Marlin freeze shut on me. I was young and thought cleaning and lubing was to be done constantly. There was a lesson learned the hard way. If it somehow makes you feel better, wear yourself out.

January 1, 2014, 09:50 AM
I've got a few "don'ts" for your consideration.

1. Don't use a bore-snake on a rifle. One pass with a clean one won't hurt much, but why run a dirty snake through a barrel? It's not just dirt, but ground glass that's used in primers and other gritty debris.

2. Don't allow WD-40 to get within two miles of any firearm!! It turns to a sticky mess that will gum up triggers, firing pins, and has even seeped out of firing pin holes to kill primers in hunting rifles. (Use Break-Free or Rem-Oil sparingly)

3. Push a lubricated bronze brush through the bore from the breech end and remove it, instead of dragging back against a sharp barrel crown. Brass doesn't do the damage, it's the grit that gets on it that causes it to act like a Remington Rod Saw!!! Clean the brush with Brake Cleaner spray or Gun Scrubber spray before putting it away.

4. Use a good solvent, then a dry patch, then RemOil on a clean patch to actually protect the bore from corrosion. Solvents like Hoppe's #9 are not protectants!!

I like to clean a new bore before shooting, then after shooting about 5 rounds, just to get any tiny metal shavings out. After that, it's good to go.

January 1, 2014, 10:24 AM
Thanks guys, I got a Viper Bore snake because it works so damn well on my other gun, but I use it last after the bore is already really clean. The bore snake just sort of gets the barrel that much cleaner.

January 1, 2014, 10:36 AM
Your take on barrel-break in is in agreement with mine, and many others.

But, just like this thread on barrel cleaning, is a hotly debated topic, with evidence to support both sides.

Just bought my son a DPMS LR-308, and they recommend an extensive barrel break-in procedure. He'll most likely, just "shoot it"...

Factory barrels may have machining marks left from the chambering process, and "break-in" is to wear these down, and fill-in/smooth out the leade by laying down some copper fouling. Match grade barrels that have the chamber hand-lapped require little or none of this.

We plan on sending a couple of dozen rounds downrange initially for this purpose and to get the optic on paper, then clean and start load development to see what it likes.

January 1, 2014, 10:43 AM
I basically plan on zeroing my rifle and shooting a few rounds after. Then I will take it home and do a thorough cleaning of the barrel and whatever else

January 1, 2014, 11:22 AM
Since so much time has been spent on barrel cleaning, I want to explicit state the obvious.

You do realize that the .243, although a great shooting caliber, is also known as a barrel burner right?

January 1, 2014, 10:25 PM
Well I already bought the .243. Maybe I should have bought the .308, but it is what is it. I don't plan on shooting more than 200 rounds a year through this gun. I am a college student and can't afford to shoot more than that anyways. If I burn through the barrel in a year then I guess I am **** out of luck and I will buy something else down the road. Starting to wonder if maybe the .243 was the wrong choice for me.

January 1, 2014, 11:31 PM

Don't worry about it. Most of us when we started made plenty of mistakes.

Anyway since it is a .243 and uses the same bolt face as a .308. After you've worn that barrel out just replace the barrel with a .308 barrel and voila you have new but familiar .308 rifle.

Not a mistake after all. That's what this guy does (http://forum.accurateshooter.com/index.php?topic=3831627.0) All those calibers are based on the .308 case

January 2, 2014, 06:11 AM
CC268, at the rate you will be shooting (200 rounds / year) you will start to see a degradation of accuracy in perhaps 10 years... And that is 'start to see degradation', not 'shot out' as in it might make a difference to you if you are going to use the rifle as a competition bench-rest gun. If you are going to use the rifle for hunting or recreational target shooting, the life of your barrel will extend far beyond that.

January 2, 2014, 07:54 AM
overthere said: CC268, at the rate you will be shooting (200 rounds / year) you will start to see a degradation of accuracy in perhaps 10 years...

I think you'd better go back and do more research.

Most of the guys I know that used to use a .243 have switched to 6XC exactly because of barrel life. Most target/competition shooters start to see degredation at 700-800 rounds. The 6XC uses a .243 bullet out of a modified .308 case, but with 6 grains less powder. David Tubb created the 6XC exactly because he wanted .243 performance without the barrel burning penalty. See here (http://www.accurateshooter.com/cartridge-guides/6xc/)

January 2, 2014, 08:55 AM
Eppie, do you have any data to back up the 700-800 round claim?

Lilja states 2000 - 3000 rounds of 'benchrest accuracy' for 308 and even if the 243 barrel was to last only two thirds of a 308 it would mean 1300 - 2000 rounds before the accuracy starts to degrade.


Note that they refer to this as the life of 'benchrest type accuracy' but that it does not mean that a barrel is shot out when accuracy starts to degrade, as illustrated by this sentence

"As a very rough rule of thumb I would say that with cartridges of .222 Remington size you could expect an accurate barrel life of 3-4000 rounds. And varmint type accuracy should be quite a bit longer than this."

If we extrapolate this to the 243, again assuming the quite drastic reduction of 33% barrel life from 308 to 243 it would correspond to "Bench rest type accuracy of 1300 - 2000 rounds and varmint type accuracy should be quite a bit longer than this".

You are seeming to claim that a 243 barrel will be degraded to the point of very poor accuracy in 700 - 800 rounds and I have not seen any data to support this. Again, if you have some data to support your claims I would be very interested to see it.

And please do not bring up this sentence from the link above since the OP has stated he will shoot 200 rounds *per year*: "Any fast varmint type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups."

January 2, 2014, 09:14 AM
In all due respect man I just went out and spent a lot of money on this .243 and getting it outfitted for some target shooting, coyote hunting, and deer hunting. I dont need to hear how my .243 is a barrel burner, etc. I don't shoot a lot like so many people on here. Maybe once a month. If I go to the range I can guarantee you the gun will not see more than 20 rounds through it. That is a little over 200 rounds a year. I will make sure to let the barrel cool down in between rounds. It is frustrating to come on here though and just have people bash my brand new gun because its a barrel burner...blah blah blah. This site has been very helpful but obviously many people on here are much much more hardcore shooters than I am. I am not an Olympic bench rest shooter and not sure why so many people on here get so caught up in these fine little details that don't matter so much for your average shooter. I will probabaly pick up a .308 or something else for elk and some target shooting in the next year anyways.

January 2, 2014, 09:40 AM
CC268, if your most recent post is a response to my post then please re-read my post.

The Tikka 243 is a fantastic rifle, you made a good choice getting it and it will not have poor accuracy in 700-800 rounds. Perhaps my posting was not clear but it was intended to challenge the notion that a 243 barrel will have poor accuracy in 700-800 rounds, especially with the usage pattern and target objectives you have indicated.

January 2, 2014, 09:55 AM
Oh no I wasn't responding to you! I know you were negating that statement. Thanks

January 2, 2014, 02:20 PM
I have a very simple method for cleaning my rifles and shotguns after EVERY shooting session:

1) Run a dry Boresnake through the bore twice.
2) Run a patch or swab with Safariland CLP through the bore once.
3) Wipe down balance of interior and exterior with a cloth saturated with CLP.

Has worked for decades with no corrosion, etc. issues.

Art Eatman
January 2, 2014, 06:54 PM
My .243 has had about a thousand rounds through it. Last time out, I put three behind a dime at 100 yards. Seems to still shoot okay for a hunting rifle. I used some copper cleaning solvent at maybe 800 or so rounds, since the groups had opened up a bit. Otherwise? The usual spray of a bit of WD40 on a patch, followed by a bit of RemOil on a patch. Seems as good as any deal.

January 3, 2014, 11:32 PM
I agree, Art. That is why I always thought hunting rifles were such a good deal at auctions. What are the chances any of them had more than 200 rounds through them from new?

January 4, 2014, 11:39 AM
So should I use this Barnes copper solvent after every time I shoot it or just stick with normal bore solvent and copper solvent after a couple hundred rounds or something??

I used the copper solvent after shooting the rifle for the first time yesterday and it worked really well!

Art Eatman
January 4, 2014, 01:22 PM
CC268, there's no reason not to use it, whether it's needed or not. :)

As long as you have no rust and the group sizes are constant, I figure that the maintenance is being done properly.

My personal opinion, FWIW, is that folks worry too much about the methodology of cleaning. However, while I stand by what I said in Post #2, I'm not about to tell anybody what they should or must do.

January 4, 2014, 02:10 PM
After every shooting really.

1) Run a patch with Hoppe's #9 down the barrel with a coated rod.
2) Go take a break for an hour.
3) Run a clean patch down the barrel, repeat until clean.
4) A few swipes with a bore brush with Hoppe's #9 to break up excessive fouling.
5) Repeat 1-4 until you're getting clean patches.
6) Inspect the barrel.
7) Run an oily patch down the barrel, use Hoppe's gun oil.
8) Run a try patch down the barrel.

Remove the bolt and clean with a wet patch using Hoppe's #9. Clean the inside of the receiver with a patch of Hoppe's #9. Dry with a clean rag. Lubricate (lite coat) the bolt and receiver on any surfaces that touch each other with Hoppe's Gun Grease.

January 4, 2014, 11:17 PM
Holy smokes at the different methods and opinions (some of which I can say are just flat wrong, but that's neither here nor there) out there.

1) cleaning the rifle (NOT BORE)... a bolt rifle is pretty easy to maintain. No carbon or soot (or at least no enough to matter) in the action at all. Just keep it wiped down and free of dust and dirt. I would keep some form of preservative (i.e. rust inhibitor). It could be a liberal dousing of CLP, essox, or whatever you want to use. Some are better than others, but use something. I will add that if you're in the desert, use it sparingly.

2) greasing a few key areas is a good idea. I'm not familiar with Tika rifles, so it's hard for me to describe the cocking cam to you. Yes, grease on the locking lugs is a good idea but be conservative with it.

3) barrel break in... everyone swears it's voodoo. Some of the methods I've seen are rediculous (clean after every shot for 10 shots, every 3rd shot for the next 30, etc...). I do practice a kind of barrel break in. I clean after every shot for the first 5. Then I shoot 5 more and clean. Then I just shoot it. I don't think "breaking in" your barrel will make it last longer or be more accurate, but I think it will be easier to clean the copper fouling out of your barrel for the rest of the rifle's service life.

4) for punching holes in paper and hunting, .243 will provide more than 2k+ rounds of service life in a barrel. Sure, there might be some slight accuracy degradation at 800 rounds but you won't notice it unless you measure groups in thousandths of inches and anything bigger than .185 kills your chances at prize money. For your purpose .243 is just fine. BTW, bench guys don't hate .243 because it wears barrels out too fast. Most of pro bench shooters junk a barrel before the 1k round mark, or near it, anyway. .243 just isn't as inherently as accurate as a true bench round like .222 or 6mm PPC... plus it's a little on the recoil heavy side for true bench shooting.

5) cleaning the bore. I don't know your shooting habits, so it's hard to recommend a regimen. As far as precision bolt rifles, I shoot rather infrequently. Sometimes it's a couple of times a month, sometimes I'll go 6 months without shooting. If I'm in an "on again" kick, I don't necessarily eliminate all copper fouling between range sessions. I run a Hoppes 9 soaked patch through and "punch" the bore (run a bore brush through it a few times), then a run an oil patch to prevent rust. I know that I'll probably shoot again in short order, my time is limited so I don't always have time to remove all copper fouling right away, and my barrel doesn't foul bad in the first place so I usually don't see a noticeable accuracy degradation in my rifle until I finally decide that I need to thoroughly clean the bore. You absolutely can have an adverse affect by cleaning the bore too much, or more importantly at the wrong time, however. For a hunting rifle that sees little to no range duty, I wouldn't thoroughly clean the bore until after hunting season. Clean it up good, oil it, and let it sit. If you do go to the range just once or twice and put no more than 15 or 20 rounds through it between seasons, then let it be. If you put a bunch of rounds rounds through it before next season then yes, a good cleaning will be in order. Make sure to go to the range just before the next season begins to get a fouling shot (I like a few for good measure) in. Then don't touch the bore until season is out again. The reason why is your round impact out of a cleaned bore will usually be different than with a fouled bore. You shoot most with your fouled bore (obviously) so that's what you should sight your rifle in for. Some rifles don't shoot much differently between a clean and fouled bore... some rifles can be off by several inches at 100 yards. That could turn into 6 or 7 inches at 200 yards, which could be the difference between good shot and a gut shot.

January 5, 2014, 11:11 AM
So many varying opinions...but should i thoroughly clean the barrel after every time I shoot? Or just after X amount of rounds?

January 5, 2014, 11:34 AM
So many varying opinions...but should i thoroughly clean the barrel after every time I shoot? Or just after X amount of rounds?

CC268, you will have some people answer 'It must be done after every time you shoot or you might as well throw that rifle in the trash!' and you will have some that will say 'I only clean my rifle after accuracy starts to decline no matter how many rounds that is, cleaning it more often is a waste of time'. And then a large number of answers that are somewhere in-between.

There is no clearcut universal 'right' answer. If you feel better about it cleaning the rifle after each session then I would recommend doing so. If you feel better about it cleaning after a certain number of rounds, then do so. Or try out starting on one end of the spectrum and adjust as you go along until you settle on something that works for you.

January 5, 2014, 11:44 AM
I just don't want to ruin my barrel by over cleaning it or ruin it by not cleaning it enough. So I'm in a bit of a pickle.

I went out and shot 9 rounds today...should I thoroughly clean the barrel or no??

January 5, 2014, 05:46 PM
Anyone have any thoughts on whether or not to clean the barrel again after 9 rounds?? I just thoroughly cleaned the barrel including copper solvent last time. Only 9 rounds through it today. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks

January 5, 2014, 05:59 PM
I'm sure some people will disagree, but I clean my rifle after each trip to the range. Once I only fired 3 rounds because of overpressure signs. YMMV.

January 5, 2014, 08:25 PM
I just don't want to ruin my barrel by over cleaning it or ruin it by not cleaning it enough. So I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Don't stress so hard over it. You're not going to wear your barrel out by cleaning it frequently if you clean it properly. You're also not going to do any damage by choosing not to clean as often. If you choose not to clean after every session, just make sure you use some rust inhibitor often and frequently... and this is not just on the bore but on the whole rifle.

BTW, I know it's been mentioned but for this rifle I would ditch the bore snake. If it was a chrome-lined AR15 I would have no qualms using a bore snake. For a good shooting bolt rifle... skip it.

January 5, 2014, 09:14 PM
Okay thanks guys, and I will skip out on the bore snake then!

January 5, 2014, 09:52 PM
Just shoot that rifle and have some good fun with it!