When you can't take a fouling shot...


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Flynt
October 6, 2008, 09:32 PM
Here's my dilemma. The place where I deer hunt doesn't have any place to make a fouling shot. I just checked my rifle's zero at the range (6 rounds through a very clean bore), and normally I'd clean the hell out of the bore when I got home. However, knowing that I won't be able to make a fouling shot before I see a deer, I'm wondering if there's some sort of "half way" cleaning method that won't remove the "good" fouling. Thanks, guys.

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Cosmoline
October 6, 2008, 09:43 PM
Why not just sight in for the first shot out of a clean barrel? It should not make that much of a difference for a smokeless rifle in good working order, anyway.

Win75
October 6, 2008, 10:07 PM
With my smokeless powder rifles, I check my zero about a week before season and leave the bore dirty until after the season is over.

Shawnee
October 6, 2008, 10:33 PM
+1 for Win75's comment.

:cool:

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 6, 2008, 10:48 PM
With my smokeless powder rifles, I check my zero about a week before season and leave the bore dirty until after the season is over.

That's not gonna help him. He's not talking about smokeless powder loads (I don't think). You ARE talking about black powder or BP equivalent, aren't you, Flynt?

Mr_Pale_Horse
October 6, 2008, 11:14 PM
I keep my Muzzleloaders dirty also. Dirty bores until the season is over, or I get caught in the rain.

Flynt
October 7, 2008, 12:12 AM
Actually, I was talking about smokeless powder. Thanks.

Coronach
October 7, 2008, 12:16 AM
Just pre-foul it before you go. It won't corrode the bore unless you use corrosive ammo or allow the gun to get damp.

Does your rifle really vary that much between clean, cold bore and dirty, cold bore? I would think the difference between cold and warm would be bigger than the difference between clean and dirty, but YMMV.

Mike

Geno
October 7, 2008, 12:20 AM
Simple as punch...leave it fouled.

rangerruck
October 7, 2008, 01:14 AM
If you must, run a quick boresnake.

.38 Special
October 7, 2008, 01:36 AM
No harm in leaving a bore fouled for a few weeks. Gunwriter John Barsness claims that, since he began using Ramshot powders, he never cleans a bore. Ever.

There is, though, a very good case for learning what your gun does with the first shot. I used to keep "running groups" for my hunting rifles. This consisted of a single target, kept rolled up in the range box, that got set up at the beginning of each range day. The first shot from the gun was fired into that target, which was then rolled up and put back into the box. A few months of this was a real eye-opener -- some of those half MOA group shooters were more like 3 MOA "first shot" rifles.

Powderman
October 7, 2008, 04:57 AM
The folks above have it right.

If you have worked up a good load, or have some factory ammo that shoots well in your rifle, here's what you should do:

1. Take it to the range; while you're there, clean it VERY well, especially the bore. I recommend and use Sweet's 7.62; after all copper fouling is removed, I neutralize it with one patch dampened with Kroil; two dry patches, then Hoppe's until it's clean.

2. Now, shoot to your heart's content. Don't hotrod it--1-3 minutes between shots, and 5 minutes between groups. Let it cool sitting upright in a rack with the bolt open.

3. Clean it again, same way as before.

4. Now, fire 3-5 rounds of your chosen ammunition. Do NOT clean it, but let it cool COMPLETELY. A can of canned air will speed the process up, but still wait for at least 30 minutes.

5. Now, take a single shot at a distinct target--I use B27 repair centers. Note well the point of impact on the target, and keep a log of the result.

This is your cold-bore shot; it's where your first shot will go.

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 05:18 AM
Actually, I was talking about smokeless powder. Thanks.

Where are people getting this idea that you need a "fouling shot" with smokeless arms? That's a procedure for black powder firearms. It has no application to a modern rifle. If you are seeing a significant POI variation between first and second shots, there is something wrong with your firearm. I think this is a myth, like the one about lubing bullets to make them go faster.

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 05:19 AM
dddd

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 05:20 AM
dddd

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 05:21 AM
dddd

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 05:22 AM
dddd

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 05:23 AM
dddd

LGswift
October 7, 2008, 09:19 AM
sextuple post lol

TexasRifleman
October 7, 2008, 09:22 AM
I will agree with Cosmolines 6 excellent posts :)

If your rifle is that much off from the first clean shot to the next then either get the thing working right or simply not clean it.

There is no harm at all leaving a rifle bore dirty through deer season.

I have a couple of rifles that I haven't cleaned in several months. I'll get around to it eventually, and nothing bad will happen.

BP shooting of course is a different animal.

Cosmoline
October 7, 2008, 01:38 PM
LOL, sorry about that. I kept getting a bizarre message that I had to wait 60 seconds to post again.

.38 Special
October 7, 2008, 08:03 PM
If you are seeing a significant POI variation between first and second shots, there is something wrong with your firearm. I think this is a myth, like the one about lubing bullets to make them go faster.

A lot of people think that, until they try it. Like I said, start a running group with several of your favorite rifles. You may be surprised.

ArmedBear
October 7, 2008, 08:07 PM
Why not just sight in for the first shot out of a clean barrel? It should not make that much of a difference for a smokeless rifle in good working order, anyway.

A couple things...

You can just take a cleaning rod or boresnake to the range, and sight it in with a clean barrel. Run the rod between shots, so the barrel is exactly how you will shoot the first shot. The practical accuracy of followup shots in the field won't exactly be sub-MOA anyway.

That said, if you shoot a clean bore and then shoot out the magazine, you'll get a nice group. The first one won't be a flyer or anything, at least not for me. In a rifle with hunting ammo and even really good hunting accuracy, you won't know the difference.

fastbike
October 10, 2008, 12:18 AM
I'm not buying your running group method. Are the conditions the same for each first shot? Such as wind. I don't clean my Rock River any more often than 300 - 500 rounds and I don't see any difference between first shot and 20th. I do use Ramshot, but I've seen the same performance with Varget.



From 38 Special
"A lot of people think that, until they try it. Like I said, start a running group with several of your favorite rifles. You may be surprised"

ArmedBear
October 10, 2008, 02:05 AM
some of those half MOA group shooters were more like 3 MOA "first shot" rifles.

Not mine.

Shoots about the same. If there's any difference, it's not enough to matter for hunting, since I won't have the gun in a bench vise when hunting.

Cosmoline
October 10, 2008, 02:43 AM
A lot of people think that, until they try it. Like I said, start a running group with several of your favorite rifles. You may be surprised.

I've never seen any significant variation with a smokeless rifle. A muzzleloader is another story. There the fouling can make a significant difference in tightness and accuracy--but it actually tends to help. A smokeless rifle's big problem as the shots get fired is not fouling but HEAT. The barrel heats up and its dimensions change, as does its fit with the stock. I've witnessed this with all smokeless rifles.

I strongly suspect this business of taking a "fouling shot" with your hunting rifle is a hangover from someone's grandpa's grandpa who was shooting a smoke pole. You really do not need to worry about it unless you're going into a competition shoot. For hunting there will be no appreciable difference. Nothing is getting "fouled" with the first shot, just a bit of copper residue at most. There is no black powder and no soot buildup.

That said, there are some good reasons to take some practice shots prior to going on your hunt. Esp. if the rifle just got unpacked from an air flight and you need to check your zero. This may be called a "fouling shot," but its purpose is not to foul the bore.

If you do see a significant variation after the first shot in your rifles, I would suggest that you may be over-oiling the bore. I've noticed people doing that before. The first shot will have to clear out all that oil, and accuracy may suffer. Just leave the bore clean and dry save for a micro-thin layer of CLP.

texastony
October 10, 2008, 10:54 AM
I always thought if you could hit a paper plate at 100 yards, your good to go.

My dad has a .243 that he has put probably 5 boxes of ammo through without cleaning. Met his limit on bucks and does last year. Shots ranged from 80 to 150 yards. Deer were DRT in the kill zone.

My M70 shoots .5 moa when I do my part, which is really quite rare. If I can shoot 1 inch groups, I'm tickled.

matrem
October 10, 2008, 07:45 PM
Didn't Cosmoline cover everything that needed to be said in post # 2?

.38 Special
October 10, 2008, 08:28 PM
Well, I'm sure not here to convince anyone about anything. If what's been working for has been working for you, then no reason to change anything. OTOH, as I mentioned, if you haven't tried it then you're just assuming.

Oh, and FWIW, it's not "my" running group method. It's been around for at least 50 years that I know of, and has been mentioned -- that I have seen -- by Cooper, Keith, Aagaard, Seyfried, and Mike Venturino.

dls56
November 22, 2008, 10:25 PM
My deer rifle needs a fouling shot in order to perform to its potential. I use a light coat (swab with a clean dry patch after) of clp as was suggested when the bore is clean but for whatever reason the clean bore shot is iffy at best and can be as much as 6" different at 250 yards. I hunt over fields and make some fairly long shots. My goal is to hit the neck and drop them in their tracks, anything short of that is unacceptable to me.
In order to be able to do this I shoot almost every day of the year. Different calibers, different rifles, different loads, different results. My conclusion is that no two hunters are quite the same and no two rifles are quite the same either. What may be insignificant at 50 yards can be a miss or worse a wounded animal at 300 yards.

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