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Old March 13, 2019, 09:18 AM   #1
rebs
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bore cleaning question ?

When you guys clean your center fire bore, do you clean all the copper out ? I have read that when you clean all the copper out that you have to fire a shot or shots to foul the barrel to get the accuracy back. Is this true ? I have read that some guys do not remove all the copper from the barrel and only remove all the copper when accuracy falls off. What is the preferred procedure ?
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Old March 13, 2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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My thoughts on the subject of cleaning, is clean is clean. If I leave some copper in the bore, it is not clean.

I do not halfass clean any of them. If I am gonna drag out the rods, patches, etc. then I am gonna clean 'til the bore scope shows only barrel metal.

I do not clean during the hunt season, only after. But, I do clean after every shooting session whether at the range or out back.

Unless you have a highly polished target barrel, cleaning will require some fouling shots, and maybe the match barrel might need a fouling shot.....it all depends on the barrel.
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Old March 13, 2019, 03:54 PM   #3
RC20
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Lack of Clairty

I don't have copper problems (I don't shoot over 2900 fps)

I have had guns there was copper in them, cleaned it out and its not come back. Those were old mil surplus.

As we are talking target guns, I would simply wait and see if it kept building up.

Some are hot shooters and will and you will keep building up. If it keeps building it has to be cleaned back.

Most will at most scrape a bit off on the rough areas (if at all) and that is the end of it - no build up no cleaning.

Build up is the key, you need a horoscope to tell though

I use the Boretech if in doubt, mostly I used the Carbon Killer 2000 as its all carbon.

Our family 270 did have variation of copper and carbon and I cleaned that out to bare metal. Will see what it does in a bit of shooting.

I alwyas clean the carbon out. My barrels all shoot the same clean or with fouling shots. They get fully cleaned when I am done shooting them.
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Old March 13, 2019, 03:56 PM   #4
603Country
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I’ve been through several stages of bore cleaning. The first stage was when I thought I got all the copper, but didn’t. Second stage was finding Boretech Eliminator and really getting all the copper out. Then I found that not all rifles shoot better with all copper gone. Now if accuracy falls off noticeably, I clean the bore with Shooter’s Choice. That usually is all it takes, but if not, I will remove the copper. Every barrel is different.
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Old March 14, 2019, 07:21 PM   #5
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rebs
It depends on the barrel , if it's a factory barrel , it's the luck of the draw . Some are smooth some are rough which will build up copper . Match grade are smooth and very rarely build up copper . I was lucky first with a factory then shot it out and changed it to a match grade . I found first remove the carbon then the copper . KG - 1 carbon then KG - 12 copped . What I found what also works well is at the range I run a couple of patches with Ballistol , when I get home the Ballistol loosened up everything , Then flush out with Hoppes #9 and dry patch . As long as there is no oil or solvent left in the barrel . No need for foul shots . But if you have a barrel that's rough and builds up copper then yes the copper has to build up an smooth or fill in the rough areas . Even though it's best to clean it squeaky clean even if you need to use JB Compound , never harmed my barrels . I use it after every 3rd cleaning . Hope I Helped .

Chris

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Old March 14, 2019, 09:11 PM   #6
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As the others said, this is gun dependent. My old DCM Garand's barrel shot great through the first 40 rounds of the National Match Course, and the groups rapidly opened up in the last ten (second half of the 20-round slowfire prone phase at 600 yards, where one can least afford to have that happening). One fellow on the board had a gun that would start doing that at 20 rounds. I finally ended the problem by going to moly-coated bullets. They really did cut down on the problem. I've firelapped the problem away, too.

Recently, I noticed G. David Tubb is selling a product he calls TubbDust. You add 11 grains to a pound of powder and mix it well and it works to prevent copper build-up over time.

I am unaware of any positive benefit to having copper in a gun. It mostly builds up just ahead of the throat, tending to form a constriction, raising pressure. I can believe that you can develop a load that is tuned to the higher start pressure of a constriction, and might therefore think the gun shoots better without it, but if you develop the load cleaning between every shot, I don't think you'll find this is so.
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Old March 15, 2019, 06:22 AM   #7
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I don't see the need to abuse the bore that much.
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Old March 15, 2019, 12:31 PM   #8
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I'm not suggesting he actually clean between each shot to develop a load. I just mean he wouldn't wind up with the same load and that it would not be less accurate under that circumstance because of lack of copper. I know three people who actually do develop loads that way. In two instances it is because they intend to hunt with a clean, bare barrel, and want to know how it will shoot in that condition. In the third, the guy doesn't hunt much anymore but feels that gives him a barrel break-in while developing a load at the same time. He uses only hand-lapped custom barrels, so copper build-up won't be a big issue for him anyway.

I am also not willing to call cleaning "abuse". It will be if you do it badly or stupidly, but it's not necessarily that easy to do damage through cleaning. The retired Marine Scout Sniper I took a class from had us clean every 10 rounds, as that is what he'd been taught in his training. There are a few M24's in the hands of other Scout Snipers that have been reported to be shooting well after 15,000 rounds, which is far longer than most match shooters keep stainless steel 308 barrels (about 3500 rounds), so there may be some unrecognized benefit. I don't know that, but feel like keeping an open mind about it after reading about those long-lived barrels. I'd have thought the throats would be gone, but I guess not.

There was also a test by members of the Garand Collector's Association, IIRC, to check the damage done by segmented steel military cleaning rods. It took them 66,000 strokes to get a muzzle wear gauge from a 3 to a 4. I think the takeaway is, don't use segmented rods and do use a bore guide. You can do damage, but it takes some effort.

The approach I've described numerous times is to open the action, point the muzzle down and pump spray enough Bore Tech Eliminator into a barrel to get it to coat the bore by running down until it gets to the muzzle. If I do this at the range before the carbon has time to harden and then plug the breech and muzzle for the trip home, a normal barrel that doesn't foul especially heavily is essentially clean by the time I've made the hour-long drive back to the house. One or two wet patches with five minutes in between then finishes the job.

Incidentally, I don't consider fouling shots to be required to lay down copper. Fouling shots seem to mainly be for powder fouling, and their effect seems to apply equally to bores that copper foul easily and those that don't and also equally to shooting lead bullets. It seems the powder offers different friction and material resistance to a bullet than a bare barrel does, but a couple of shots will usually reach the point that powder fouling is pushed out by the next bullet about as fast as it was laid down, so you don't see further POI shifts. A few purists want a few more fouling shots than that, but I see that as a waste of time, for the most part. But only you can know your barrel, so YMMV.
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Old March 15, 2019, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Recently, I noticed G. David Tubb is selling a product he calls TubbDust. You add 11 grains to a pound of powder and mix it well and it works to prevent copper build-up over time.
Has anyone used this Tubbdust? What are your thoughts on it? Does it have any effect on accuracy or POI?
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Old March 15, 2019, 03:21 PM   #10
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First, I did not read all the posts so forgive me if I'm being repetitive.

When you get a new rifle or pistol, the condition of the bore is factory fresh. Some are lapped to remove the tool marks on the lands but it's really difficult if not impossible to lap the groves. Steel being what it is, can never be cut to a perfectly smooth surface so some imperfections will remain. If you were to use a bore scope after your first shot, you would be able to see the copper deposits at the imperfections.

Over time those imperfections will be smoothed out and eventually, your copper fouling will become minimal. How long that takes is unpredictable but with normal cleanings between shooting sessions it might occur somewhere between 40 and 100 rounds.

Imagine that the copper that is in that imperfection is still there after the first firing. The bullet will have less ability to smooth the imperfection because it is already filled. In fact, the imperfection will see little to no improvement until the first shot is fired after a thorough cleaning.

There has been a long standing argument about the need for breaking in a firearm. Is it a must? No, what you want to happen will happen eventually. If you want it to happen sooner then you need to determine how to go about that. Let's assume that cleaning to include removing copper after each shot for some determined number of shots will result in a smoothed or sweetened bore. The only way to determine when it's sweet is with a borescope.

If you remove the borescope from the process then let's say we shoot 10 shots and clean after each shot. Once that is done, we start shooting 3 round groups and allow the barrel to cool between and then clean it. How many groups do you need to shoot before the barrel is sweet. The answer is simple, you do that until you can repeatedly shoot groups of the same size from the same distance.

If you find that you need to shoot a fouling shot before you shoot groups, the barrel is not sweet and if this has been going on for a while, (more than 100 rounds fired), then you may never get to a sweet barrel. Some just won't ever get there so go ahead and shoot that fouling shot, it's not a bad thing to have to do it. I take my Weatherby's out at the beginning of hunting season and fire 4 rounds through them and then I never clean them until after the season is over. It's just the way they are.
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Old March 15, 2019, 08:36 PM   #11
603Country
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Heck, I live at the range. Or, better said, I have a 100 yard range at the ranch where we live. I shoot and hunt whenever the mood strikes me, so I don’t clean a barrel before I go home. I am at home. I clean it when accuracy falls off a bit, which varies widely with the caliber and the number of rounds through it since the last cleaning. The 220 Swift with an old Douglas barrel needs cleaning after 25 to 35 rounds. The Sako 270 with a factory barrel will go a bit further than that. The 260 with a Brux barrel hardly ever coppers up, but carbon fouling needs a bit of cleaning after 75 to 100 rounds. The 223 with a Benchmark barrel gets shot a bunch, and I have to admit that I don’t really keep a round count, but call it 100 rounds or a bit more. It took me quite a while to figure out that 223.

So, a fellow needs to shoot a rifle until he gets to know what cleaning frequency is best for that rifle. If you shoot 5 rounds during a hunting season, just clean after the season. If you are a range rat, you should already know what you need to know.

For the record, I am a fan of cut rifling barrels that have been well lapped. But that’s just me, and others with even more experience may have a different opinion. The expensive button rifled barrels shoot very well, but seem to need cleaning a bit more. That’s what I think at present, but I could be wrong.
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