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Old August 16, 2012, 06:08 PM   #1
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Segmented Brass Rods for cleaning?

Maybe I'm too old school...

What am I not understanding about the use/misuse of brass segmented cleaning rods, especially when used with a guide to protect the crown? It seems that contact wit the rifling will be tangential and moderate, especially when compared to the aggressive contact from a bullet.

... need some edumacation...!
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Old August 16, 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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GI rifles are often cleaned obsessively. Used in moderation... meh.

Still, they aren't necessarily straight and brass is soft; it'll pick up grit.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of better options.
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Old August 16, 2012, 11:05 PM   #3
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picking up grit

30 Cal....
Point taken on excessive cleaning... I'm kinda' mostly a swab cleaner, leaving the bronze alone unless really needed. I just zeroed a new Savage 116 Weather Warrior in 30-06, and a Marlin 336 in 30-30. Sure don't want to ruin the good parts!
As to brass picking up grit... I worry about that with vinyl coated steel rods or even graphite, since the resin holding the graphite together is relatively soft and could, itself pick up grit.
Go figger... I guess I need to 'Air' rod!
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Old August 17, 2012, 12:42 AM   #4
4V50 Gary
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I still use my sectionalize brass rods. Simply wipe them down with each pass. BTW, I do the same with solid one piece rods.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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Old August 17, 2012, 02:11 AM   #5
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My only. 177 rod is a sectional. I got so frustrated with it, I lock-tited it so it'll quit coming apart.

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Old August 17, 2012, 10:42 AM   #6
Smokey Joe
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Cleaning rods...

Smokin' Iron--ANY cleaning rod MAY pick up crud. The crud MAY then be hard on the bore with the next pass of rod through bore. I understand that burnt particles from primers are actually a sort of ceramic, and much harder than steel. Burnt or unburnt powder, soot, bullet lube, leading, copper fouling, and plastic residue in shotgun bbls, aren't hard enough to damage steel.

BTW, bullets of lead or copper alloy, aren't hard enough to damage steel either.

Segmented rods have the joints between segments, as crud-catchers. Brass rods are soft so hard bits of crud may become embedded in the brass. Likewise plastic-coated rods for that matter. Steel rods are relatively hard and will normally not become embedded with crud, but being steel they are relatively hard, and can thus wear on the bbl all by themselves.

It's an individual choice.

For me, I avoid segmented rods altogether--except for my emergency rod, which takes down and fits in my range box and therefore is never left at home, and gets used about once every 10 years but is a godsend when I need it.

I also avoid steel rods for their hardness--except the above-mentioned emergency rod which happens to be steel. But it gets used so seldom that it hardly counts.

Military rifles get cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, and the rods are often steel, and no provision made to keep the steel off the rifle bore. And many soldiers, while courageous fighters, are not primarily gun-minded--they just want the bore mirror-bright so Sarge doesn't dock them on inspection. That's where you encounter the most cleaning-rod-caused bore damage.

I used to use brass rods, but that was before I quit using segmented rods as a regular thing.

The rifle rods I normally use now are one-piece Dewey plastic-coated rods. And I wipe 'em off after every pass through the bore. The coating is dark; you can see any particles that might be stuck to the rod. The coated rod itself, clean, won't hurt the bore.

(Nothing magic about Dewey, BTW, but that's the brand carried by my LGS. Any other coated one-piece rod would be the same IMHO.)

With a rod considerably smaller than the bore (e.g. when cleaning a .50 cal. BP rifle, or a shotgun) a rod guide in the muzzle will keep the rod off the bore. With a bolt rifle, a rod guide that replaces the bolt, and inserts into the chamber, is a great help, but the rod is so similar to the bore that I'm sure there is contact between the 2 regardless. The chamber rod guide does serve to keep solvents out of the rifle receiver, so it's a good thing for that reason.

Anyhow, bottom line: It's up to you, and there are pros and cons to be balanced no matter which way you decide.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe

Last edited by Smokey Joe; August 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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Smokey Joe....

I appreciate the commentary.Maybe a one-piece graphite is best (and perhaps has the hardest surface). The price is a bit painful, though. I'd rather spend it on Hodgdon or somesuch!
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Old August 17, 2012, 06:35 PM   #8
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Spend it on a good rod now or a good barrel later.
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Old August 17, 2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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I've been using segmented brass and aluminum rods for over 30 years and can't see I've done any damage. All my rifles shoot as good now as when I got them.You can spend more on cleaning rods but I don't see the need. JMHO
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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Then, before the Internet, there were those that screwed the 3 pieces together and ground the joints to an absolute smooth finish, others taped the joints. Most of the free thinkers, before the Internet, noticed the muzzle ware was tapered, and knew the blast behind the fleeing bullet was under a lot of pressure, to them it was a no brainer, the bullet was escaping the muzzle at the speed of a tree when compared with the gas behind it. They decided the blast escaping behind a flat base bullet was at 90 degree in the beginning, then, as the rifle was used/shot the taper increased progressively. Problem, the escaping gas at the muzzle tipped the rear of the bullet, some bores were counter bored, some were cut off and shortened and re-crowned, now hot high pressure metal cutting gas has nothing to do with the muzzle tapper. Then there is throat erosion.

I do not push cleaning rods, I pull, there are times I have help, when I have help, I am not in charge. And I make bore snakes for my own use.

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