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Clean Enough

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Old 05-31-2007, 04:04 PM   #1
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Default Clean Enough

I was always told to clean until the patch comes out clean. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but when I hear "clean", I think of a nice, white patch with no trace of gray, brown, or any other funky color. To achieve that state of "clean" in any of my center-fire rifles (Sako Vixen .222, Remington 700 .22-250, Rossi .357) takes what seems to me to be an inordinatel amount of time and material. The last time I cleaned the .22-250, I think I went through a couple dozen patches and a measurable amount of a bottle of Butch's Bore Shine. I can run wet & dry patches through until they come out almost completely clean, then run a wet brush through a few times -- and the next patch is jet black. Sheesh, back to scrubbing.

Tonight I tried a Boresnake, with some BBS on the front end of it. After 8-10 passes I tried a wet patch to see how clean the bore was. Not even close. Sure, it looks nice & shiny, but the patch comes out black, and after a couple of passes with a wet bore brush it was REALLY black. A dozen wet patches later and now I'm down to a light blue color, so it's sitting for a while with a wet bore before I finish it off.

I've always thought "clean" meant that final patch put a light oil film on bare metal with no trace of carbon or copper on it. Is my idea of clean just way too anal, or is it reasonable to expect to use a couple dozen patches, half an ounce or more of solvent and a good 45 minutes of scrubbing to get the bore completely clean?

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Old 05-31-2007, 07:34 PM   #2
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You're not anal. Only perfect conditions, my weapons are sparkly fresh also...or maybe we are both anal. Either way, mine will fire...everytime I need them.

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Old 05-31-2007, 08:11 PM   #3
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Careful as more firearms are damaged by over zealous cleaning than by a lack of maintinance. I run patches soaked in hoppes through mine untill they stop turning black. I only use a bore brush every 500 rounds or so.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:05 AM   #4
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This is a very good question, and in my opinion there are a LOT of shooters out there that over clean their weapons, especially the bore. When you clean and clean until there are no traces of copper, powder, or fouling, you have "stripped" the bore clean. You will actually degrade your accuracy in doing so, especially with a factory barrel. Let me explain a bit, a factory barrel usually has more "tool" and microscopic imperfections than say a custom Rock Creek barrel. When you shoot your rifle, these imperfections will be filled in with traces of copper and other impurities, but in effect is giving you a more "consistant" bore surface. When you clean and clean until there is absolutely white spotless patches coming out, you've most likely removed all these impurities, but now have a slightly less consistant bore, resulting in degraded accuracy. I don't use brushes in my bores at all, and if I did it would be a nylon brush. Use a good bore foam such as Wipe Out, and just patch it out until the patches are "almost" clean. You are done. There will be those that insist you must patch and patch until it's spotless, but I disagree with this. While we are on this topic, if you are using a metal rod to clean your rifle, you are damaging it. Use a Dewey or other non-metallic or coated rod to push your patches through using a brass jab and a bore guide. Your barrel will love you for it.

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Old 06-10-2007, 01:49 PM   #5
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Go your guns like to be clean?

I have a rifle that only really works well with a sparkling clean bore, accuracy begins to measurably degrade after 20 rounds.
I also have a rifle that doesn't start to shoot really well until its had 10-or-15 rounds down the pipe, and it'll hold its accuracy for about 300 rounds before it starts to fall-off.

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