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Old February 18, 2012, 08:00 AM   #1
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Load testing - how many shots before cleaning?

I have two different (18) shot loads I want to try next week at the range. How many shots do you take before running a patch or brush to clean the barrel? Thanks.
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Old February 18, 2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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Pistol or rifle?
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Old February 18, 2012, 08:27 AM   #3
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What are you trying to accomplish? For rifle loads, I normally clean the rifle when I get home. Or not. If it's a hunting rifle, I may not clean the bore but twice a year.
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Old February 18, 2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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I'm testing loads in my .243 Rugr M77 shooting 62gr Barnes Grenades with H4895 and IMR 8208. There will be (3) loads each in six incremental powder amounts for each powder - 36 shots in all.

I'll fire a fouling round or two at the beginning but just wondering if the 36th shot will shoot as well as the first? Thanks.
What direction did that last shot at Kennedy come from?
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Old February 18, 2012, 10:07 AM   #5
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It depends a lot on the rifle as to when a dirty bore will cause accuracy problems. Some can shoot all day, but some dirty up real fast. I wouldn't shoot 36 rounds in any of my rifles before cleaning the bore - if I was testing load accuracy. My usual approach, starting with a clean bore, is to shoot 1 or 2 fouling shots and then two groups of 5 rounds. Allowing some time for the barrel to cool during the shooting. Then I clean the bore and then shoot the fouling shots again. That way I can be reasonably sure that the loads are being tested under the same conditions, and accuracy is mostly load related and not overly impacted by a dirty bore.
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Old February 18, 2012, 11:16 AM   #6
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Use Dan Neberry's round robin method. It will even out a lot of teh variables. With my varmint rifles I have been know to shoot over 1K rounds with nothing more than pulling a bore sanke with a bit of Break Free through the bore. After a couple of hundred rounds. My rifles will shoot minute of bullet hole.

I usualy clean them realy well with a copper solovent once a month or so. Note I usualy shoot at least 200 rounds out of each of them every range trip.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old February 18, 2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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I clean the bore before switching powders and then figure on 5 or so rounds for the new powder to lay down it's layer in barrel. After that, I clean when accuracy degrades or I switch powders again. I don't see accuracy degrade very often.
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Old February 18, 2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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I find that most rifles will shoot a small group for 5 shots.
Wait for the barrel to cool again, fire another group, and it may be twice as big.
Clean the barrel from Copper fouling.
Get another small group.
Wait for it to cool down.
Shoot another group and it is big.

Switch to heat stress relieved, factory lapped barrels that cost $280 and I have to cut the threads and chambers.
Shoot a group... it is really small.
Shoot 5 groups and they start to get bigger.
Clean out the Copper fouling and the groups are really small again.

There are some factory barrels that do not look like a premium barrel inside, but they sort of shoot like it.

It reminds me of the joke where the punch line is, "What every you do, don't sell that cow."
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Old February 18, 2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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This post reminded me of the new
cfe, hodgdon copper fooling eraser

is that really works or is it just a **??&$#@"
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