At what point do you stop cleaning your bore?


March 21, 2003, 10:03 PM
I scrub and scrub and there are still little tiny dirt dots visible in the grooves of my bore... no matter how many times I do it, they remain. what point do YOU stop and say, "good enough" when cleaning?

Do little dirt dots even MATTER in the grooves?

-sven, slightly OCDed out

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March 21, 2003, 10:28 PM
Every thousand rounds, I do a very thorough cleaning, but for the most part, I stop cleaning when the patches push through clean.

March 21, 2003, 10:35 PM
If there are little spots or pits, it usually means the gun has been fired with corrozive ammunition. Those will not come out. There is such a thing as an electric bore cleaner that removes anything that can be removed.

I personally stop cleaning when I get clean patches out, then I *MIGHT* clean it the next day. Some guns get shot several sessions between cleanings.


March 21, 2003, 10:53 PM
This is just my experience and observation.

I have seen more damage from "improper" cleaning, and "excessive and agressive" methods. My Gunsmith has shown me some 'unique' cases.

Otis pull through system most of the time, patches only, until I get one clean. I just cleaned a 1911 with 800 rds, otis patches can be rotated, fit tight, the bore is bright I pulled through maybe 8 times. Breakfree CLP all I used.

I will only use uncoated steel rods with a jag if I go that route. Takes more passes IMO, because the Otis fits the patches tighter.


March 21, 2003, 11:01 PM
Well, assuming we're talking 1911s, within a couple hours after shooting, I remove the slide, run the bore snake through the barrel twice using just FP10 then drop a couple drops of FP10 down the barrel and let it stand on end while I quickly clean the rest of the gun - I use a blue shop towl/peper towel thing (available on a roll from an automotive store and I'm sure various other places) that don't leave little pieces of itself all over the gun. I wipe off the inside of the slide and the upper area of the frame. Then I put a little FP10 on the corner of another sheet and get any dark areas off the metal. The gun is basically now clean. I have an old kids 'burp rag' I use after the very initial cleaning that has a general coating of FP10 that I wipe off all the metal, inside and out, then 'dry' it off with another 'burp rag'. I use my little micro dispencer to put FP10 down the slide rails. I go back to the barrel, run the bore snake through it twice more, wipe it with wet rag. I also wipe the bushing and FLGR with the wet rag only. I put a drop on each lug and put the thing back together. I then quickly wipe the entire gun down with the dry rag.

This literally takes twice as long to type and it does to actually do. Should take 3 minutes tops if you're in a hurry. Taking your time may require another 2 minutes. Of course, 99% of the time, I only shoot 100 rounds of S&B ammo and 20 rounds of 200 Gr Gold Dots.

March 21, 2003, 11:17 PM
It's a 1911 - no matter what I do, I seem to always be able to get dirty patches after I use a copper brush (using FP10 and/or MP7 bore cleaner)... and, yes, I do clean my copper brushes between use.

These Otis patches sound compelling.

March 22, 2003, 01:04 AM
What kind of ammo are you shooting?

I assume we're talking about your Valtro. Are you positive it was perfectly, totally clean when you bought it?

March 22, 2003, 01:06 AM
Yes. Absolutely brand spanking new when I got it.

I shoot S&B pretty much exclusively.

And I can see that it is dirt on the inside of the bore... the grooves are clean in the middle, but progressively dirty as they get closer to the edge.

This is a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of grime.... I just want it to be perfect.

March 22, 2003, 01:23 AM
I don't know man... I just looked at the barrel of my Colt 1991A1 that I bought used in 1993. I've put at least 5,000 rounds through it and it is really spotless... the rifling isn't quite as clean at the breech as it is at the muzzle but there's no black whatsoever. None at all.

I understand about wanting it perfect, I just don't know why it's not perfect.

March 22, 2003, 01:29 AM
I try to clean the bores out till all the copper is removed , usually 2 times with sweets, then I oil the bore with a patch or mop lightly coated with oil , after a wipe out with hoppes , cylinders are ussually removed and soaked then scrubbed out then hoppesed and oiled . then reassembled , I try to remove as much copper as I can when I do this so it won't build up . staining in the bores are non existant to me or I really don't think they are stains :D

March 22, 2003, 01:39 AM
You're using copper or bronze brushes if I read you correctly.
The metal brushes are reacting to the liquid/cleaner/solvent.

Take or clean a new bristle brush, put a drop of something on it and rub a white cloth...cloth is dirty. Interesting huh?

OT but same reason some ladies said allergic to gold. Granted some persons are allergic, not to gold but the alloy. So the ladies handle the jlry, with makeup, hand lotion,...etc. The gold/alloy/metal causes the reaction. See the cometic industry will not label this warning. So actually the person is allergic, or 'reacts' to a cosmetic. Metal reacts to cosmetic. Same principle.

So If you use a bronze brush, transit to a clean nylon then a patch. Bet you'll see a difference. Soaking before you start helps too.

Heck the first 1911 I watched being cleaned was by a 'gunny' he used a bootlace and pc of T shirt, bore came out clean. I was 6 at the time.

March 22, 2003, 01:55 AM
Usually no more than 10 passes with the brush per cleaning. Many more patches but not brushings.

March 22, 2003, 03:21 AM
Yeah, whether with something like FP10 or a copper remover, soaking after a couple passes to get rid of the loose stuff seems to work wonders.

March 22, 2003, 03:32 AM
I usually spray some break free on the bore brush, run it through a few times and them run a patch through a couple times. Then spray some more on the bore brush, run it through a few more times and then run the same patch turned inside out or another clean one through a couple times. Hold the bore up to the light and it is usually nice and shiny with the rifleing clearly visible. Then alot of times I blow some electronics duster through the bore just to get rid of any excess grains....not that that matters much, but I just like to be thourough. Make sure to clean underneath that extractor well in semi-autos!

March 22, 2003, 04:37 AM
i stop cleaning when the bore looks "clean" not spotless i just wanna get anything that might attract moisture etc and cause corrosion OUT. now as to what i use to do this with...

about two years ago I (re)discovered Pro-shot brand brushes and Jags and Now, esp when dealing with ANYTHING in .45 caliber you couldn't PAY me to use another brand!

had a really badly lead fouled bore on a factory fresh Marlin 1894CB, and went througfh about 6 or 7 Hoppes and KleenBore 44/45 brushes with very little result, (4 passes and suddenly the brush was so loose that i could but it in the chamber, point the muzzle down and shake it adn the brush would fall otu the muzzle!!!) called my father for advice he told me to switch over to Pro-shot b/c instead of a combo 44/45 they made a true 44 cal and a true 45 cal brush, and the same was true of the Jags. and that once he'd found them (around the time i turned 13) P-S was all he used anymore. in the end it took a Lewis Lead remover to make that Marlin acceptable. but the results in my other guns have made me swear off other brands of cleaning tools, (still use hoppes and shooter choice solvents though)

except for my 10/22 (since it has to be clean from the muzzle except when using a Boresnake) i can clean any gun i own, twice as fast adn twice as easily with Proshot gear than i can with Hoppe's or Kleenbore. Plus since i started using Pro-shot i haven't had to replace a brush due to it wearing out, with the other two brands i've used i'd have already at least tossed a .22 brush or two, (two 22 RFs and a .223 bolt acton to clean)

well that's my experience

Navy joe
March 22, 2003, 09:11 AM
Folks get too wound out about cleaning. Unless it's going to corrode I shoot mine a bunch in between cleanings. That said, I'm a stickler when I do clean. For pistols, often the first thing I will do is remove the barrel and after a light scrub out drop it in a bottle of solvent, usually Hoppes benchrest copper remover, but any copper solvent that won't hurt your barrel will do. I leave it soak until I'm done with the rest of my guns, occasionally overnight. If I don't have enough in the bottle I cork the barrel and fill it up. After that the barrel is spotless. I agree that using the bronze brushes may be dirtying your patches, thats no reason not to use them, just finish up with a nylon brush.

Lately I'm mostly worried about my rifle bores, I need an Outers Foul-out, but in lieu of that I clean it good and then run a sloppy patch of Butch's Bore Shine through it. I come back in a day or so and with a few more patches it is clean.

March 22, 2003, 10:59 AM
Bore snakes are the best thing since sliced bread.

Navy joe
March 22, 2003, 11:16 AM
Bore Snakes are good field expedient cleaners that remove loose fouling from your bore. I would consider them adequate for combat cleaning along with detail scrubbing of the gun's reciprocating system. They do not however get your gun clean. They will not touch hard moly/copper/lead or hard built up carbon fouling. I like them, just don't confuse with real cleaning.

Sven, you may want to get a Wilson chamber brush for the .45, ever since I got one I can't get along without it.

March 22, 2003, 12:30 PM
Noticed the same type of grime in the grooves of the CZ 75B... the Glock looks spotless, but it might be due to the dark shade caused by the Tennifer coating.

I want the grooves as shiny as the flats.

Thanks for the tips - I will report progress.... time to go dirty my guns up again!

March 22, 2003, 12:52 PM
Your right about Pro shot, great brushes, and they fit proper.
Otis bronze and nylon brushes are also made well.

Big difference in these two brands IMO than the OTC discount mart stuff.

More bristles, straight (not rounded on ends). Didn't say I never used bristles, when I do its "the good stuff".

CRC Brakleen or Zippo lighter fluid to 'clean and make sure" as someone stated above. Then a light coat of something in the bore.

March 22, 2003, 02:04 PM
Till I get a clean patch.

March 22, 2003, 02:32 PM
What kind of bore brushes are you using?

I have found that the pistol brushes being sold nowadays are somewhat undersized, and way too short.

I had the same problem when cleaning my hardball gun after practice. I use 230 grain FMJRN and 6.3 of Power Pistol. The barrel is a Bar-Sto, and it was holding copper fouling badly.

So, I found that using one of my spare GI issue bore brushes with liberal dousings of Hoppe's did the trick. These brushes are long, have lots of bristles--and are pure hell to get into a .45 bore! Use a rod with a guide for this brush.

Go all the way through, and all the way back out. About ten passes, then use a solvent patch one way to sweep out all the crud. Now, dry patch with about five patches, about four passes for the first two, five-six for the second. Inspect your bore--it should be sparkling clean, and shiny!

After the first cleaning, I have found that applications of JB Bore Compound and Bore Bright help to season the bore and polish out the machine marks. My barrels clean out a lot easier now.

CAUTION: If you have been using Sweet's or any other amoniated solvent, be aware that you MUST oil the bore after use. This stuff absolutely sterilizes! If you don't lube the bore, you will have rust and pitting.

March 22, 2003, 06:45 PM
Hey there Sven.

Lots of good points above.

I'll just say to be very careful no matter what you do.

I've read quite often that often guns can suffer quite a bit from OVER-cleaning.

I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I know what you mean....most of the "grooves" in my barrels look dirty too.

I'm a VERY meticulous fellow, and it just hasn't bothered me that much, plus I'm afraid of over-cleaning and harming the barrel.

To each his own, but I'd just let it go...

March 22, 2003, 06:55 PM
I try not to use too much abrasion when cleaning any gun.

For my pistols, I run one very soaked patch of Hoppe's through the bore, then a couple of dry patches. After that it's three to five patches of Kleen Bore's lead removal cloth, followed by one more wet Hoppe's patch and then a couple of dry patches. If I don't see any lead in the bore anywhere, that's it.

For revolvers it's pretty much the same as for pistols, but I soak the cylinder in Hoppe's overnight on the .38's so the "crud ring" dissolves away.

For rifles, it's a series of wet Hoppes patches followed by dry patches until they come out clean. After that, I put a wet patch of Sweet's down the bore and let it soak, then run a couple of dry patches. If a flashlight down the bore shows any orange color from copper fouling, it's back to more Sweet's.

March 22, 2003, 09:01 PM
When run a patch through the barrel, are you using the "needle" eye attachment?

March 23, 2003, 12:21 AM
I spray the bore down with Rig 2, and let it soak for a bit. Then Rig 2 is sprayed on the brush and it's run through the bore 3 or 4 times. Then bore is sprayed again and a jag tip with patches is used, til clean. One more patch wet with Rig 2, then one more dry one. Done. Works spendidly.:D

Andrew Wyatt
March 23, 2003, 02:43 AM
when i start getting reliability problems, i clean my weapon.

I've run about 200 rounds through my 1911 since its last cleaning.

I detail strip it every two years and clean out ALL of the gunk.

March 23, 2003, 11:56 AM
Yes, I'm using the 'needle' attachment... should I be using the jag?


March 23, 2003, 01:17 PM
I use a jag rather than the needle eye. It removes the majority of the fouling with one or two patches. It allows the patch to cover more of the bore each pass through.


March 23, 2003, 01:26 PM
For those of us who for some reason or another do not disassemble their firearms on a regular basis, I highly recommend a good soaking in Ed's Red. This stuff is really good for loosening up hard carbon deposits, and for working under metal fouling for easy removal.

If you don't feel like getting all the materials and mixing it up, you can buy it. This is the stuff that's used in the Dunk-Kit, available from Cylinder and Slide. It's a bit pricey, but still worth it.

My target guns don't get disassembled too much because of the precision required to re-assemble them. I simply remove the grips, open the action, and immerse it in the Dunk-Kit. After a few hours (or overnight), I cycle the action by hand a few times while still in the solution. (Use some good rubber gloves.) Some attention with a soft toothbrush, a few good tight patches, and allowing it to dry before lubing is all that's needed.

March 23, 2003, 05:12 PM
I had the same problem when I bought my used Para P12. I would get a clean patch and still have fouling in the bottom of the grooves.

Use the jag by folding a proper caliber patch two times. (making it 1/4 the surface size but thicker)

Soak in Hopps (that's what I used anyway)

Lay the folded patch over the muzzle and then push in with the jag.

Don't push all the way through or pull all the way out. The ribs will let you scrub the barrel with several passes. This also allows for a lot of cleaning pressure to be placed inside the barrel.

Make about 8 or 10 passes with each folded patch. Then repeat.

After about 5 scrubber patches run a couple of folded patches through that are dry. This swabs out the contaminated solvent and will allow you to see how much progress was made on the barrel.

Do this until you get a clean barrel.

This works quite well. I don't even use the needle eye now, since discovering the jag.

Good luck.

Navy joe
March 23, 2003, 08:31 PM
when i start getting reliability problems, i clean my weapon.

Well, then, you don't have a weapon. That is an expensive toy. I will carry my Glock or trashy old 1911 that is 500 rounds since cleaned because I know for a fact that I can run them to 2000 rounds without cleaning. I clean to improve accuracy, trigger feel and my general peace of mind. Every Glock cleaning is a detail strip, 1911's at a minimum the slide gets detail cleaned, why clean if you are going to leave the extractor area gunked up. In general, clean long before you would expect reliability problems.

March 23, 2003, 09:20 PM
P12: Very helpful post. I will do that now and report results.

March 23, 2003, 09:23 PM
What is a "jag"?

March 23, 2003, 10:27 PM
Sven-- I was incredible how dirty the patches came out when I first did this. And all this time I was convinced the barrel was pitted.
What is a "jag"? It is a plastic tip that comes with most cleaning kits. It's a round slightly pointed attachement that has shallow ribs 2 or 3 that is just behind the tip. The ribs stop about 1/4 inch or less behind the tip. Until I figured out what is was for, I would use it to push a tightly folded patch through the barrel. Never really helped. Kind of embarasing. I'm one of those guys that never reads instructions.

Another thing I do, I will run the brush through once. In then out. (NEVER change directions with the brush in the barrel) After a couple of scrubber routines if the barrel is still fouled I will make another pass with the brush. Then repeat the process of scrubbiing.

I take down my gun after every shoot. The only thing I don't take apart is the frame. The slide is completely disassembled and cleaned and inspected. This is done regarless of how many rounds are shot at each session. Call me what ever you want. I saw my late brother abuse his guns for months at a time when I was younger. When the slide or bolt wouldn't wouldn't function He'd just spray it with WD-40. I swore I would never do that to my equipment. Got it from my dad I guess.

March 24, 2003, 01:14 AM
to add to the description of jags....
(granted with a bit of my own bias and that of at least one gunwriter)

actually the plastic Jags put out by hoppes and included in various "starter kit" cleaing supply boxes are pretty sorry in my oppinion. and i think it was Seyfreid or someone similar that said very imphaticly do not EVER use those @#$@ slotted tips to clean a rifled bore, they're not only useless but can do damage (thogh i have found there is a use for the properly made ones, see below) the Jags i tend to use are of the Brass or aluminum variety, they are soft enough not to do damage to your rifling, but hard enough to not be compressed my the "crud" (like the softer plastic one's can) plus unlike the plastic type their stems don't bend and flop around when being pushed down the bore

Slotted tips were originally and still are more of a way to have a "multi caliber/gauge bore mop" than a substitute for a Jag. and while they are REAL nice for Shotguns. but only when they are the one's that allow you to get more than one patch in the loop at a time, so as to make a "wad" of fabric that is nice adn tight to the bore.

the slotted tips DO have uses, GI cleaning kits use them b/c they are easier to use and keep "usable" than a cotton mop, and a jag can't be used for a "pull through from muzzle" method of cleaning necessitated not only by the action/barrel set up of guns like the Garand and M-14, but by the issue of sectional rods for cleaning.

sorry i had this drilled into me a long time ago. and now using anything but the best i can get or that is usable with a particular gun, sets my teeth on edge.

i'll get off the soapbox before i get stoned......

March 24, 2003, 02:46 AM
That worked - the jag gave me VERY dirty patches for several more iterations than normal, and now it is relatively spotless.


March 24, 2003, 08:02 AM
Good going:)

March 24, 2003, 02:59 PM

It's information like this that makes me really appreciate the members here on the forum.

Thanks again.


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