Cleaning a 22 Bolt action rifle


September 7, 2008, 04:22 PM
How often do you clean your 22 bolt action rifle? Do you find that it increases your accuracy?


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dagger dog
September 7, 2008, 04:41 PM
I clean mine every time it's shot. That way I never have an accuracy problem. Thats called preventive maintenance.

September 7, 2008, 04:58 PM
I keep the bolt face and breech clean, I also keep the exterior wiped down as to prevent and rust.
But the rifling I only clean when accuracy fades or when new.

I rarely clean the rifling.

22's are a funny bunch, cleaning to much rarely leads to better accuracy, never cleaning rarely leads to better accuracy, I once bought a rifle I thought was a really good deal because it was a smooth bore, a shot of bore cleaner later, not a smooth bore.

You have to find out what you like, and what the rifle likes, if you want to clean it everytime you shoot it, fine, if you want to clean it every 25 years, fine. But some people complain about accuracy and how a rifle was supposed to shoot a specific group size at a specific yardage and scream and whine about being ripped off. And in a rimfire, more often then not, the barrel needs to be dirty and so some people never find the potential of the rifle because of OCD cleaning.

Find out what makes YOU comfortable and do that

September 7, 2008, 05:00 PM
More .22 rifles have been ruined by cleaning the bore, then by not cleaning the bore.

Clean the bolt & action every time you shoot, but leave the bore alone, except for long-term storage!


September 7, 2008, 05:55 PM
I only clean mine when accuracy/precision starts to open up.

September 7, 2008, 05:59 PM
I agree with the above posts...don't clean the bore until accuracy starts to fade. Everything else just clean as needed.

September 7, 2008, 06:12 PM
I clean all of my .22s after every time I shoot them.

Accuracy has been consistent over a decade, never had a problem.

September 7, 2008, 06:49 PM
I almost never clean the bore of my .22 rifles. I have to agree that more wear is caused by cleaning than shooting them.

September 7, 2008, 08:20 PM
I clean all of my .22s after every time I shoot them.

Accuracy has been consistent over a decade, never had a problem.If this is true then you have no comment on the issue because you have no experience with a dirty barrel.

September 7, 2008, 08:37 PM
Used to clean after every shooting session. Now, maybe run a patch or two down the bbl once a year. Clean the actions after two or three uses. Some shoot better a bit on the sooty side than they do squeeky clean.

September 7, 2008, 09:32 PM
I clean mine every time I bring it back from shooting. I haven't lost accuracy from when I bought it.

September 7, 2008, 11:46 PM
A lot depends on just what a person calls accurate. I've seen people hitting a paper plate at 50 ft. just tickled to death.

September 7, 2008, 11:49 PM
For me it is at least 1/2 inch groups or better at 50 yards.

September 8, 2008, 12:08 AM
I used to clean my 22 after every range trip. then I somehow got lazy and havent cleaned( the bore) since.
I think not cleaning it has actually made my groupings smaller. I clean it when it starts to lose accuracy which I think wont happen anytime soon because after last time I cleaned it Ive been putting at least 25000 rounds through and had no problems with accuracy yet

September 8, 2008, 01:32 AM
I bought a Marlin 60 from a pawnshop for 80$ OTD. the gun was so dirty you couldn't hardly push a shell in the chamber. You for sure couldn't eject it. I think that was why it was so cheap.

I cleaned it and it has run fine since. I normally brush them out and run a patch down the bore and call it good.

I'm a lot more concerned about the inerds than the bore.

September 8, 2008, 01:42 AM
I clean mine every time it's shot. Didn't used to, but since I've become an adult, every gun used gets clean every session.

September 8, 2008, 02:45 AM
I've got several .22's. All get a proper cleaning each time out.
Proper cleaning with good equipment and materials has always served me well. Improper cleaning is worse than not cleaning at all.
A good coated rod, with good accessories including a bore guide, cleaning solvent and a good perservative/lube used sparingly will prevent possible problems.
An appropriate length of .095 weedwaker line modified slightly is an excellent breech to muzzle field cleaner. Shown is one for a handgun. It's the auto loaders friend!:)


September 8, 2008, 04:44 AM
I clean the bore once a year. The bolt etc about every 1000 rounds. Seems to work for me. :)

September 8, 2008, 06:09 AM
I clean mine all the time.
So I can't help you on the accuracy.

It makes me feel good knowing it is clean....I'm weird I guess?

September 8, 2008, 06:34 AM
I clean the bore of my 22rf's about once a year. If they look dirty, I'll clean more often. I clean the actions about every other time I shoot. The semi-autos get cleaned around the bore and what I can get at without dissambly every time I shoot.

September 8, 2008, 07:08 AM
I clean mine after every time I shoot them. The same as with all my guns.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 8, 2008, 07:29 AM
I guess you are talking rimfire and not high power.
I have a stainless Ruger Mark II target pistol that I clean about once a year (that would be about 20-30 shots, as I use it primarily to kill varmints).

The high powers I clean also about once a year (which would be after about 5-10 shots), however I do wipe the guns down with hoppes 9 to prevent rust. Hoppes doesn't seem to harden or gum up like cheap gun oil can (the kind you get with a gun cleaning kit).

I use Tetra grease (expensive) sparingly on all moving parts.

If any gun is subject to rain and/or moisture, it gets thoroughly broken down and cleaned thoroughly until it looks like new again.

The only time I see accuracy fade is if the high power rifles have been shot over, say about fifty rounds without cleaning.

September 8, 2008, 07:33 AM
Great thread topic!

I used to clean my .22LRs way too frequently. With two of my .22s,I had to clean them frequently, because the chambering was probably excessively tight. However, none of my current .22LRs suffer from that condition. Save for the bring-it-home from the store clean, I don't clean until the accuracy falls off, or if I am going to store the firearm long-term.

If you enjoyed reading about "Cleaning a 22 Bolt action rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!