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Old August 26, 2021, 06:31 PM   #1
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Cleaning Rifles, Shotguns and Pistols

I'm pretty rigid in cleaning my rifles, shotguns and pistols; before range time and after, before hunting season and after. My deer rifles are stripped and cleaned before hunting season and after, even though usually there are only two shots fired - a fowling shot and a kill shot. My most offend use deer rifles are a Winchester 100 carbine and a HK 770. They are both spic and span. However, sometimes I cut corners, like after bagging a deer. Then just the barrel gets swabbed. This last week I cleaned two rifles from several years ago. My Winchester 100 carbine .308 and a sporterized T38 in 6.5X57 Mauser. I've use my HK 770 the last two years and the T38 was last used by a friend several years ago. I shot a six point buck about 4 PM on the first day of 2019 WI gun season with my Win 100. My friend dropped an 11 point buck in its tracks about 5 minutes after I shot with my T38. We got both bucks loaded on the back of my Samurai and head for the bar to celebrate. Both guns were wipe down and barrels swabbed quickly the next day, as we had deer to process. They just now got the cleaning they deserved.

This last week both guns got a through cleaning. Between their use I have purchased a Teslong bore scope. It was the first time I had looked in each barrel with the bore scope. The Win 100 barrel was clean except for two spots with minor rust just in front of the chamber and a couple lands had copper built up about a inch long. The gas hole in the barrel was almost plugged from 60 years of crud build up. What really surprised me was the roughness in the barrel from the factory machining process. Now this gun was made almost 60 years ago. The lands and groves were extremely rough from machining. I would never have expected a barrel to be so rough.

I bought the T38 about 15 years ago for $150.00. It had been sporterized and had a nice Bishop stock on it. I re-barreled it with a $100.00 Midway barrel and chambered it 6.5X57 Mauser. I think those barrels were made for Midway by Green Mountain. I did a lot of shooting with it after re-barreling. Anyways that barrel looked extremely smooth with the Teslong bore scope. I did see a couple of spots where copper fowling was building up on the rifling. That copper is now removed.

The Teslong bore scope was only $47.00. It really open my eyes. This coming winter I plan on cleaning the remaining 30 rifles, shotguns and pistols.
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Old August 27, 2021, 11:06 PM   #2
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You're going to wear those guns out from cleaning long before you wear them out shooting. For instance, my .22LR Target pistol, a Benelli MP90, hasn't been cleaned yet this year, and it sees an average of about 200 rounds a month. Back almost 100 years ago there was a marvelous invention, non corrosive gun powder. But yes, a hunting rifle that gets cold, warm, cold, muddy etc. yea, I'd clean that often.
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Old August 28, 2021, 12:07 PM   #3
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I hear you about cleaning to much. But just a habit after 28 years in the US Air Force. Especially with auto weapons. Years ago Winchester 100s and Remington semi-auto deer rifles had a bad rap for jamming. Those rifles that jammed did so because they were probably never cleaned. Maybe they were too complicated for their owners. I spend a lot of time at a local gunsmith's shop and I see what people bring into him for cleaning and repair. I would be embarrassed to claim those guns as mine.

Here are a couple of photo's from the T38 barrel that I just cleaned.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg WIN_20210828_03_15_42_Pro.jpg (94.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg WIN_20210828_03_12_01_Pro.jpg (108.8 KB, 24 views)
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Old August 28, 2021, 04:21 PM   #4
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I used to clean my guns monthly, whether needed or not. Then, as I acquired more firearms, I limited my cleaning to after range sessions---and sometimes not then if I only fired a few rounds from a particular gun. My accumulation has now gotten large enough that I try to oil each of them once a year to prevent rust.

Life is good.
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Old August 28, 2021, 05:42 PM   #5
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A clean gun is a happy gun. And happy guns save lives.

I clean after shooting and deep clean as needed.
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
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Old August 28, 2021, 06:37 PM   #6
7.62 man
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Yes you can clean your guns to death.
A buddy of mine is a bit OCD & constantly is cleaning guns. He cleans them before he shoots, after he shoots & anytime he gets a whim to clean, yet he complains the accuracy is going away. I have thought about taking his cleaning kit away but I know he will just go out & buy another. So they are his guns he can do what he wants with them.
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Old September 15, 2021, 01:59 PM   #7
Bart B.
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Proper cleaning every shooting day will not harm center fire barrels.

Like after each of four 20-shot strings in a day with bare steel rods.

Without any noticeable loss of accuracy.

Burning powders wears out barrels faster than good cleaning chemicals, rod use and brushes.

Go to a 22 rimfire rifle match and note how often the winners clean their barrels.

Last edited by Bart B.; September 15, 2021 at 10:07 PM.
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Old September 15, 2021, 02:56 PM   #8
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How-what-where and when ??

These are basic questions that I ask myself and the most important input is that I listen to the firearm and it tells me what it needs. I shoot just about everything that is legal, including M/L's.

One that is often forgotten, is your CCW. Most of the time it's just dusty but dust can draw moisture. A good example, is your hand-tools. They sit, collect dust, draw moisture and you see stuff that turns out to be rust. I liken it to a routine doctor's check-up.. ....

Be Safe !!!
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
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Old September 15, 2021, 07:44 PM   #9
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A gun that sits in a holster unshot needs some cleaning every so often. A gun lubed and shot a lot does not. Most pistols can go several thousand rounds without cleaning. Most rifles and shotguns, in the hundreds of rounds, some thousands.

So sad that so many gun enthusiasts don't understand proper bore care and clean them all the time. The action is one thing, the bore another. Most of my precision rifles, 400 to 800 rounds between cleaning. Most of the top precision rifle shooters are the same.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
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Old September 15, 2021, 08:32 PM   #10
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Military needs aren't the same as recreational shooters needs. Most any gun can be shot several hundred rounds between cleanings with no problems. Unless they get wet from hunting/shooting in rainy weather etc.

It will take me multiple range trips to go through several hundred rounds. But for a soldier involved in a protracted fight 1000 rounds or more in a day wouldn't be unheard of. With that in mind I'd want to start my day with a clean weapon.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
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Old September 16, 2021, 11:01 AM   #11
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But for a soldier involved in a protracted fight 1000 rounds or more in a day wouldn't be unheard of. With that in mind I'd want to start my day with a clean weapon.
For the environment, the round count is not the issue, it is the abuse. Hunter (my 17 year old) just shot the Sniper Adventure Challenge. Youngest ever allowed to enter the match, considered to be the most challenging any where. 48 hours, 60 miles, 22 challenges, including 7 challenges where the team shot their pistols, carbine and precision rifle. Each firearm only had maybe 100 rounds shot over the course. But, dust, rain, dirt, and miles of land nav in the night and day took their toll. I saw several firearms go down coming through the shooting stage I was running. There were teams there representing most of our elite SF groups, and even some of them had guns go down.

Hunter's carbine is a mess. Dirt everywhere, scratches on the scope, grip and handguard. The pistol is a grindy mess too. But they were cleaned and properly lubed before the match and he never had an issue. In a combat scenario, yeah, they should be cleaned before racked every time.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
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Old November 28, 2021, 12:41 PM   #12
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Time to Lean Time to Clean

Dispelling lubrication and cleaning myths

SWAT Magazine published a reprint of Pat Rogers great article on carbine cleaning and lubrication drills back in 2016, see link above and scroll down to the section headed "Cleaning Regime That What Works for Me".

The article talks about his experience of a 3 day cleaning regime in the Marine Corps (MCRD) and the section above moves to a ten minute regime that he adopted later in life.
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