View Full Version : maintainance of hunting rifles

July 13, 2001, 10:48 AM
:confused: I know that this question maybe should be posted in 'art of rifle' section, but as I see, people there debate if their rifles are shooting half an inch or quarter of inch groups. I reckon that is their goal and cup of tea, right they are. I'm basically a hunter, my rifle/caliber are not much touted tackdrivers - a 7mm.Mauser in a sporterized .98 action, and I shoot at targets just for fun and training between hunts. Now: How often do you clean your rifle's barrels? do you remove all the traces of metal fouling? does some metal fouling, if let in the barrel, have any detrimental effects? I hear of fellow hunters say they never clean their barrels, but most are only hunters and fire very few shots. My rifle, with ten shots, gets a very conspicuous metal fouling, ant taking it all out is very time consuming. Thanks.

Keith Rogan
July 13, 2001, 12:04 PM
If your rifle has conspicous metal fouling after only ten shots, you have a very rough bore!
There are a number of techniques you can use to polish a bore yourself or you can pay a gunsmith to do it for you.

To answer your question though, I myself do not clean the bore through hunting season beyond running a patch through occasionally if it gets wet. It makes no sense to get a rifle zeroed in with a dirty bore then scrub it out - at least to me.

In your case though (because of the fouling), I would get it zeroed in then clean it thoroughly and re-check the zero with a cold shot and shoot the rifle clean all season.

July 13, 2001, 01:44 PM
I clean mine after I shoot it, or after its been 'in the field' for a few days. When I say 'after I shoot it', that may mean 1 shot or 40, depending on how the day goes (ie 1 shot at a deer or 40 shooting at prarie dogs). Are you using new ammuntion? a lot of old 7x57 ammo is pretty 'soft' jacketed. And copper fouling can be removed without scrubbing, there are a number of copper solvents that work really well, Hoppes in particular if thats available in your area.

A LOT of us hunters have switched to stainless rifles to save on weight, cleaning, rust resistance etc and my stainless rifle seems to be less suseptible to fouling than my old blue one. of course maybe my old rifle was just 'old'

July 15, 2001, 12:15 PM
I agree with Keith in that game generally won't stick around for you to fire off a couple of "fouling" shots....better to have a couple rounds thru' it before you hunt with it. That said, I do like to keep my rifles clean.......just not to the point of being scared that my last cleaning will cause a flier at an inopportune moment.

Art Eatman
July 15, 2001, 02:47 PM
Leaving wet weather out of the discussion: I've always checked my sight-in, cleaned the bore thoroughly--and then fired a fouling shot a day or so before the season opens. I generally haven't bothered to actually clean the bore again until the season is over. At most, run a lightly-oiled patch through, followed by a dry patch and then another fouling shot.

I'll occasionally check the zero, as insurance against "scope-banging".

As near as I can tell, my 30-year old Pet is as good now as when it was new...

:), Art