Bad results due to not cleaning barrel?


July 21, 2007, 10:19 PM
I shot my CZ 17hmr today at the range and I got inconsistent results at 100 and 75 yards , which suprised me since I usually get tight groups. Some of it is because wind knocked the bullets sideways, but also I wondered if it might have had to do with the fact that I had forgotten to clean out the barrel after shooting last week about 50 or 60 rounds total. What effect does not cleaning the barrel out have on different calibers, rimfire & centerfire?

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July 21, 2007, 10:26 PM
I doubt it 17 HMR is very wind sensitive. if there's a wind blowing AT ALL forget 100 yd groups it won't happen.

After I get a new rimfire rifle I'll clean the bore and then after that I NEVER clean it again unless it gets wet. Over cleaning a rimfire is a sure fire way to destroy a rifle's accuracy.

On my center fire rifles I clean when accuracy starts to drop off. About 200 rounds usually.

Zak Smith
July 21, 2007, 10:52 PM
Some barrels need regular cleaning to maintain accuracy, and some seem to not. Before I unscrewed the original barrel from my AWP, I shot three sub-1/4 MOA 3-shot groups. It had approx 1500 rounds and 1 year since last bore cleaning at that time.

July 21, 2007, 11:08 PM
When you guys are going 1000+ rounds without cleaning the bore, do you take it down and clean the action or just lube it and call it good? I've always been told to give a gun a good cleaning every couple hundred rounds, or every time you shoot it, whichever is first. Is this overkill and possibly even bad for the gun?

If it matters, I'm mainly worried about my SKS.

Zak Smith
July 21, 2007, 11:13 PM
I might take the bolt out every few hundred rounds, wipe off any sand, and just barely wet the contact surfaces with FP10 to make it run super smooth again. But I also live in a very dry climate, and do at least make sure the bore is dry if it gets wet.

July 22, 2007, 12:43 AM
Friend of mine is heavy into 22 rimfire benchrest shooting. All rifles are custom built and couldn't believe what the costs are. He believes in cleaning ever couple of hunded rounds but says that many of his piers he competes with all over the West never clean the bores. I clean all my centerfires after each use. The 22's, whenever a lot of residue is visible in the actions. Only things I know of that really require prompt after use cleaning are ones that havefired corrosive ammunition.

chestnut ridge
July 22, 2007, 12:56 AM
The 17 seems to foul barrels. Clean the bore every 25 to 50 shots
and it will maintain accuracy. I think it must be powder related; as
the patches are very black.

July 22, 2007, 01:04 AM
Strange that the barrel would foul and accuracy would diminish that soon between cleanings. Would it matter if the barrel was broken in well or not?

I do know that on .22 smallbore competition rifles cleaning them ALL THE TIME is counterproductive as you can shorten the life (100,000 rounds) of the barrel. I cleaned my Anschutz 1913-S every weekend (which was around 500 rounds). Just something I was taught by the Olympic gurus.

I would have bet the .17 fell into that category but maybe not :D

July 22, 2007, 04:42 AM
the 17 is a bit more finicky than a 22. typically , they have bit more powder, burn hotter, and are going down a smaller hole, with more heat, and pressure.
So you would have to clean more. which is why after I break my bbls in, they all get the molyfusion treatment. That being said, some dudes 17's like to be cleaned after every 50 rounds or so, but just use two boresnakes, one you pull through wet, with bore cleaner on it , a couple of times,smack it off on the table, between pull throughs, to get the junk off of it,and dab it off on a piece of cloth, before you pull it through again, then whip out your dry one. that should be plenty. Some guys 17's dont need much cleaning at all, like a 22. I have a marlin in 17mach 2, that i have put a couple hundred rounds through, and accuracy has yet to fall off.

July 22, 2007, 07:52 AM
What effect does not cleaning the barrel out have on different calibers, rimfire & centerfire?

The 17HMRs bullet is more similar to a centerfire even though it is rimfire. A jacketed bullet moving at a relatively fast speed. To categorize it and to clean it like you would a 22lr does not work for me.

I have a Marlin 17V 17HMR and shot a hundred rounds or so without cleaning and the accuracy steadily decreased. So I decided to give the bore a really good cleaning even using cooper solvent. Pretty amazing seeing the bluish green oozing out the end of the barrel! The barrel was badly copper fouled , the next range session accuracy was fully restored to normal.

Now my 22lr Volquartsen barreled 10/22 seems to be able to go on and on without bore cleaning and still deliver exceptional accuracy.

My .223 Savage needs to be cleaned frequently to maintain top accuracy. My Rem. 700 .223 can go longer but I usually clean it after ever range session and the accuracy is the best of any rifle I have owned.

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