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Old September 16, 2007, 05:23 PM   #1
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Never clean a .22 rifle

My friend Dr.Lee told me once to never clean a .22 rifle. The fouling on the bore isnt great enough. The net round blows it all out. (with the exception of coated rounds) You do more harm risking the crowning and hurting the barrel than you do leaving it be!

That being said. I was raised to ALWAYS clean a firearm asap after shooting.......not neccesarily white-glove cleaning...we all know hopw bad that is for any firearm....but clean barrel, bolt, receiver, and action. (Action can be cleaned every 5 times or so) Is how I was tought.

BUT! My friends model 60 hasnt been cleaned in 3 years and its been down at his fathers house. It shot fine....we cleaned shoots fine. Accuracy didn't change. The rate of FTEs dropped and their were less misfeeds. A cleaner crisper trigger but stayed the same...My uncle has a .22 over 50 years old and it shoots 1" groups at 50 yds. It's never been cleaned.

May the ole man hava point here???
Just out of curiosity im willing to hear some opinions....

Thanks for the .02$ :P
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Old September 16, 2007, 05:28 PM   #2
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I've heard the same thing for years. If you go to there's a bunch of different opinions on the subject. I've always cleaned all mine though and never had any problems, I'm just in the habit of cleaning all my guns after I shoot them.
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Old September 16, 2007, 06:44 PM   #3
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Would you drive your car for 100,000 miles without changing the oil ? Whats the big deal with cleaning a .22 ? I clean all my guns every time I shoot . I paid a lot of money for these guns, why not take care of them.
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Old September 16, 2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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I clean the exterior and the action after shooting. I run a Bore Snake through it at the end of shooting season, except for my Rem 552 which likes to rip the fabric. The BORE of the 552 hasn't been cleaned in 15 years and it still shoots just fine. I do clean the gunk from around the chamber mouth though.
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Old September 16, 2007, 06:55 PM   #5
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I clean em every time...just wondering if its unneccesary....

I take care of my firearms just wondering if its not neccesary..
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Old September 16, 2007, 07:02 PM   #6
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Do whatever your gun's owner’s manual says to do.
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Old September 16, 2007, 08:02 PM   #7
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I used to clean my Anschutz three or four times a year. Lots of other competitors never touched theirs except when they were so clogged with gunk that you could barely shove a round into the chamber, but I liked to stay slightly ahead of that condition.

The highest-quality .22 ammunition usually has slime on it. That gunk will eventually cause problems as 100% of it does not go away when you pull the trigger. I've found this to be slightly more of a problem with Eley Tenex than other match loads, but it can happen with any of them after a while.

After a real-deal cleaning accuracy is effected, though. It comes back after 10 to 100 rounds, but it is an issue. If you did not notice it, it is because the rifle was still accurate enough to shoot to the edge of your abilities. If your abilities were more substantial, you would have noticed.
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Old September 16, 2007, 08:31 PM   #8
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o0o0o0o really

Hahahaha just kidding
Yeah I didnt notice much of a change at all....especially at 50 yards....
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Old September 16, 2007, 09:35 PM   #9
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I generally just wipe my .22's down after shooting. I really clean them around every 2-3000 rounds. If you have an old gun with a pitted barrel cleaning the bore is detrimental to accuracy. The lead fills the pits and increases accuracy.
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Old September 16, 2007, 09:43 PM   #10
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It's interesting the Marlin Model 60 was mentioned. I inherited one. I know it was not cleaned thoroughly. Well, I took it out several times and it would FTF more often then it would feed. I really did know how to take it down properly to field strip it, so I just cleaned the barrel and what part of the action I could get to. No improvement. I finally searched this forum until I found detailed instructions on how to break down the model 60 action. You can't imagine how filthy that action was. :barf: I cleaned her up good and lubricated some of the parts. Guess what? No more FTF's. Well, maybe one every now and then, but it made a very noticable improvement. It's like a new rifle! I don't know about all rifles, but I would have to say it is very important to clean an auto loader.
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Old September 16, 2007, 10:40 PM   #11
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I don't know about never, but I don't spend much time cleaning rimfires. If it's hurting anything I can't tell it. Every once in awhile I'll clean one just because I'm bored.
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Old September 16, 2007, 10:50 PM   #12
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I must disagree with the old coot because if I don't clean mine after a brick (sometimes less) it starts to have the cases stick in the chamber that the next round gets stuck behind it. I have had a couple pop with half sticking out of the chamber. I don't know if thats how it shot it or if it only ejected half way. In any event, thats not cool because I have to pick the remainder of the case out almost every other one once this starts to happen. Kinda ruins the day. Those Remingtons are really dirty and its just being plain lazy not to clean them of any dirt that got in there and will wear it down prematurely. I don't suppose he cleans his guns loaded, does he? I just can't figger out how anyone does that.
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Old September 16, 2007, 11:52 PM   #13
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I've known quite a few top-flight shooters over the years, including several Olympic gold medalists and a number of Camp Perry smallbore champions.

All of them clean their .22s routinely.
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Old September 16, 2007, 11:59 PM   #14
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I think the issue is "over cleaning."

I use good copper splashed ammo, even though I buy it in those bulk 550 round boxes. It the bolt and barrel get sooty, I'll swab it out--just a few times.

But I'm not going to sit there into the wee hours of the morning agonizing over every smudge and shadow of grit.

Spray cleaners make the job easier.
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Old September 17, 2007, 12:02 AM   #15
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.22 boresnake.
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Old September 17, 2007, 12:07 AM   #16
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I dont clean my .22LR's until they are good and dirty... I clean them every time I open a new 500 round bulk box of ammo.

Now .22 magnums? I dont know about the others, but to shoot good and tight, mine needs to be operating-room sterile. It shoots the best groups right after I've got done running copper solvent through it. No fouling shots needed.
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Old September 17, 2007, 01:09 AM   #17
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Firearms dont need to be cleaned nearly as much as a lot of people clean them. (although they do need to be protected)

If your in someway depending on a firearms for something, it needs to be cleaned. If it is a target gun, it will often shoot more consistant if it is dirty.

The idea of "Never" cleaning a gun means you are not protectin the weapon and you are not shooting it very much or at somepoint dealing with a weapon that is no longer very functional. You HAVE to clean a weapon at some point.
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Old September 17, 2007, 05:59 AM   #18
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I don't suppose he cleans his guns loaded, does he? I just can't figger out how anyone does that.
???? huh
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Old September 17, 2007, 07:05 AM   #19
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There is nothing wrong with cleaning 22 Rimfire rifle barrels.
But, after cleaning the bore, it takes about 10-20 rounds through the bore to "season" it with the ammo you'll be shooting. Each different brand of ammo has its own bullet lube, and the rifle shoots best after seasoning with that lube. You can change brands of ammo without dleaning the bore, but you'll have to re-season the bore with the new ammo.
The reason you don't have to clean 22 bores is because the ammo isn't harmful to the bore as with centerfire ammo. But, that's not justification for not cleaning 22 bores.
Of course you must have the proper cleaning gear, and technique, to do the job right.

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Old September 17, 2007, 07:57 AM   #20
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My dad hasn't cleaned his .22's any time during my existence (I have never experienced ANY problems with either of them), and his idea of cleaning his bigger rifles was spraying a can of wd40 down the barrel and letting it soak.
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Old September 17, 2007, 08:11 AM   #21
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Hmmm... never...

My friend Dr.Lee told me once to never clean a .22 rifle. The fouling on the bore isnt great enough. The net round blows it all out. (with the exception of coated rounds) You do more harm risking the crowning and hurting the barrel than you do leaving it be!
well... this isn't a rifle, but I shot so many rounds through it in one day, that a bullet got stuck in the barrel ( no, not a squib load, the barrel was so leaded, that a round stuck in the gun )... 1200 rounds of cheap Remington Thunder Bolt ammo, in about 7 hours of active range shooting ( we were shooting competitive spinners betwen 3-4 of us )

I had to take it to my gun building buddy to get the bullet removed, & the extremely heavy lead fowling removed...

I now only use copper washed bullets, & never Remington thunder bolt ammo...

so from my expirience, cleaning should depend the quality of ammo, & the amount & frequency of rounds shot...

... I believe in the old saying...
Never say never... & never say always...
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Old September 17, 2007, 08:22 AM   #22
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The waxy lubricant is what gunks up the bores and chambers of .22 firearms. That gunk is NOT good, for the copper coating and lead particles get stuck in the gunk, and can accumulate to a "problem" level that can't be remedied by merely "shooting it out"!

What's the big deal? Bronze is a VERY soft material, and carbon steel is quite hard. I don't think that you can "kill" a .22 barrel by bronze brushing it! Just don't use a stainless steel bore brush, for stainless is "refined" carbon steel!

My very first firearm was a Winchester model 69A, and it was "born" back in 1951. I can only guess-timate that it has had AT LEAST 30,000 rounds through it, and it's still as accurate as the day I got it....on my 6th birthday! It doesn't always get cleaned after being fired, but the LEAST that is done is to run an oily mop through the bore, and thoroughly wiped down with an oily rag after being fired. The bore gets bronze brushed on every OTHER time that it is fired, with a solvent mop run through it several times, followed by dry mops (as many as necessary) until the bore is clean. Final stage is to oil mop the bore before it is stored. When it's going to be fired, it gets ANOTHER oil mopping, followed by a couple of dry mops. 56 years and counting....and, no malfunctions, FTF's, FTE's or RUST!
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Old September 17, 2007, 09:19 AM   #23
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You might take a look at (go down to barrel cleaning), Wil Schuemann makes some of the best pistol barrels money can buy and, like me, the only thing that goes down them are bullets. You are however, going to have to clean the action and trigger group. I have an old Walther 22 target rifle that has never had the bore cleaned (over 50 years) and it's the most accurate 22 I own.
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Old September 17, 2007, 11:08 AM   #24
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Same guy that says never clean a 22 probably never washes

his underwear either............
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Old September 17, 2007, 11:48 AM   #25
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Do you think action type has anything to do with it? I've had blowback semi-automatics get really foul, for example, but bolt guns foul less. I realize I'm talking the action, not the barrel, but I'd like peoples' opinions on this anyway.

I'd be concerned about lead build-up. OK, the solution to this would be to use plated bullets, right? Except I just bought a whole brick of match ammo that doesn't have them.

That's my second question. It's Remington-marked Eley Match EPS, and it has bullets that are light-colored. They're closer to silver in color than the usual dark gray of lead. Anybody know how those lead up the barrel, or don't lead it up?

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