How thoroughly do you clean your auto's barrel?


May 22, 2010, 07:05 PM
I usually clean the bore after 500 rounds of fmj. I clean pretty darn thoroughly, takes awhile, and I hate it. :(

My question is exactly how long do you take cleaning your barrel, what is your process, and how do you determine it is clean enough?

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Peter M. Eick
May 22, 2010, 07:33 PM
I clean the barrel till it gleams.

I use mpro7 and it goes very quickly. If I want to really clean it I dump it in the ultrasonic and 15 minutes of mpro7. Brush a few times. 15 minutes of water displacing oil and back in the gun.

Takes about 30 minutes and maybe 20 passes of a brush and I am done.

May 22, 2010, 07:45 PM
I will shoot about 150 rounds of lead. Before going home I shoot a couple of magazines of FMJ to shoot the lead out.

When I get home, a couple of swipes with a brass brush and bore cleaner and I am done scrubbing. I push a patch, or a paper towel wrapped around an old 38 spl brush, to remove the bore cleaner with the dissolved powder particles.

I can see signs of copper in the grooves which does not hurt a thing as long as it is not lumpy.

In the main I want to remove lumps of lead as lead bullets smear even more when running into that stuff.

Handguns are spitting distance weapons, I spend more time cleaning my rifle barrels, but not much more time.

May 22, 2010, 08:14 PM
I usually just soak it with a patch of hoppes, let it sit 10-15 minutes. Then a couple or 3 swipes with a bronze brush, a few dry patches followed by a lightly oiled patch and call it done. Never spent any more time nor effort then that (I don't shoot much lead though, only occasionally in a couple of my revolvers).

May 22, 2010, 08:36 PM
I usually just soak it with a patch of hoppes, let it sit 10-15 minutes. Then a couple or 3 swipes with a bronze brush, a few dry patches followed by a lightly oiled patch and call it done. Never spent any more time nor effort then that (I don't shoot much lead though, only occasionally in a couple of my revolvers).
I shoot no lead and my cleaning procedure is pretty much the same as gwnorth's. except I run a bore snake through once in awhile(every couple hundred rounds)

May 22, 2010, 08:49 PM
A couple of wet patches....let her sit for a few minutes....a few brush strokes....another wet patch....a few dry patches....done.

It's not a BR rifle barrel.

May 22, 2010, 08:51 PM
"Cleaning?" What is this "cleaning" you speak of?

May 22, 2010, 08:56 PM
I run a patch or two down the barrel, then a bore snake.

The barrel usually looks nearly perfect after that. I am super picky when cleaning parts like slide rails and feed ramps, where imperfections can impact reliability. A very very slight copper residue inside the barrel will in no way compromise reliability of the gun, nor will it appreciably change the accuracy, velocity, increase pressure, etc...
If that were the case, you'd have to clean the barrel in between every shot that you take at the range.

May 22, 2010, 08:57 PM
Thoroughly and completely. I can't stand to see any residue in the bbl when I am done. You never know when you might next get to clean it out. I also keep my car serviced, and full of gas. :)

May 22, 2010, 09:03 PM
Sorry I just don't spend much time cleaning. Sometime I just bore snake it a few times and other times I run a patch of Hoppe's then use a motorized brush via cordless drill, then a patch of gun oil, followed by dry patch, done. LM

May 22, 2010, 09:09 PM
Clean enough to perform surgery in. No lead, no copper, no dirt. Every time it's brought home from the range.

May 22, 2010, 09:11 PM
Spray Powder Blast liberally down the barrel and run a Hoppes Boresnake through it a couple times. Running it once is enough to get it perfectly clean though.

May 22, 2010, 09:38 PM
I clean my guns after each session 95% of the time

The barrel is a part of the gun like every other it gets cleaned too. As mentioned, a few runs of the brush, a few patches, oil, call it good.

Full Metal Jacket
May 22, 2010, 09:41 PM
can't seem to find a nylon brush that cleans my .45 acp barrels thoroughly. if anyone knows of one, let me know. all the one's i've found are undersized to also fit .40cal bores. i don't use brass or steel.

May 22, 2010, 09:52 PM
I'm not obsessive about the barrel. A wet patch, hit it with a bursh to break up the crud, enough wet patches to get the visible gunk out, a dry patch to get the solvent out, then a LIGHTLY oiled patch to protect it from corrosion. That said, I don't shoot lead, I don't shoot corrosive ammo, and I do make sure the chamber is clean. If you shoot corrosive ammo, you need to clean the gun promptly and thoroughly.


May 22, 2010, 11:24 PM
What 19-3 Ben does. BBl clean but not necessarily spotless, all other moving parts, rails, etc gleam.

May 22, 2010, 11:35 PM
after each range trip i normally clean my guns, that includes the barrels too, depending on if i was shooting lead or not depends on how in depth and how much scrubbing i do.

May 23, 2010, 10:23 AM
My barrels and handguns all get a bath in diesel in a small plastic tub.
I run a saturated bronze brush down the barrel then wet patches saturated in diesel till they come out clean. Rinse in the diesel in the tub then blow off with an air hose then wipe dry. Pretty low tech, but it works great.
I shoot cast lead bullets exclusively. I haven't shot a jacketed bullet in a looong time.

Full Metal Jacket
May 23, 2010, 10:31 AM
My barrels and handguns all get a bath in diesel in a small plastic tub.


May 23, 2010, 05:16 PM
You can't know how easy it can be to clean a pistol until you use "Gunzilla."

May 23, 2010, 06:10 PM
Barrels just need some Powder Blast (Brake Cleaner) and a few runs with a Boresnake to get clean. As for the gun itself, I just blast the internals with Powder Blast, wipe a few areas with a non-lint cloth, blast again, and use a compressed air can, and then oil it up.

But really, you don't really need to clean the gun as if it was a FDA approved meat preprocessing plant. Tests have shown that most modern guns can go thousands of rounds without cleaning before the first failure to extract or something.

The Wiry Irishman
May 23, 2010, 06:16 PM
When I strip the gun, I put Ballistol in the barrel and let it soak while I clean the rest of the parts. Then I run a brass brush through a few times, then a wet patch, another wet patch, then a dry patch. Its enough to get the barrel to a mirror shine, even after 1000 rounds of lead.

May 23, 2010, 06:37 PM
It depends, if I'm shooting plated/jacketed rounds I'll go 5-6 matches (625-750 rounds or so). I take the grips off and put the gun in a bucket of hoppies to soak for a day or so. After the soak I take the slide, barrel, firing pin, extractor and mainspring housing apart then brake clean everything. Hoppies #9 on all the usuall parts and some slide glide on the rails and locking lugs. The barrel gets scrubbed with a stainless brush before and after the brake clean. If it looks good I'll run one oiled patch and one dry patch and call it good.

My match gun has a rough bore and starts to lead up around 70-80 rounds, accuracy starts getting lousy around 200-300 rounds. I take the barrel out and soak it in hoppies for a day. After the dunk I use a stainless brush and scrub my life away. Next I flush it out with brake clean and scrub some more. I'll scrub and brake clean several times till it's surgically clean, then one oil patch and one dry patch. I'll lube the slide and barrel then re-assemble. I only dunk the gun around the 1000 round mark when shooting lead. I've tried shooting jacketed after lead to see if it'll push out some of the lead. It does clean some lead out but not much (at least in my super).

I don't mind my match gun getting dirty. I just dunk it when i feel the action start to "slow down". When I do clean the match gun I spend most of my time with the barrel just trying to get the lead out.

My two carry revolvers and the HD revo are checked, if needed lightly oiled and wiped down every week. All my other guns are cleaned every time they are shot even if it's only one round.

May 23, 2010, 06:52 PM
Glock: using plated bullets, clean it every 2000-3000 rounds, Hopes Elite, brass brush 3-4 strokes, spray with brake cleaner.

It’s clean enough to meet my needs, SSP competition in IDPA.

I figure as long as it functions 100% and the accuracy is good why bother prepping for surgery?

No value added for my time if it doesn’t improve function or accuracy. I got plenty of other things to do.

Of course it’s not a 1911 or AR.

Perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

May 23, 2010, 07:12 PM
Carb and Brake cleaner will clean it squeaky clean in about 30 seconds, followed by a bore snake

May 23, 2010, 08:23 PM
Of all the places that I've had to clean up: The barrel has always been the least of my concern.

May 23, 2010, 10:54 PM
I clean my autos every time I shoot them, thoroughly, as I was taught.
actually, I clean the barrel as if my life depended on it---because it may!

May 23, 2010, 11:28 PM
How thoroughly do I clean my barrel? It depends on the cleaning cycles I select on my dishwasher. Most people overclean their barrels. Some tips for cleaning them: 1) use stainless steel brushes; 2) never clean a barrel with CLP; 3) if using brass brushes, use one size over the caliber barrel you're cleaning; 4) if shooting lead bullets, shoot six rounds of hot jacketed bullets before quitting; and 5) carry a brush and solvent with you to the range and run a wet brush through the barrel several times before putting the gun away.

Undercleaning is always better than overcleaning unless you're using corrosive components like powder or primers. I had one friend who could never go out to eat after shooting because he had a blued black powder revolver. He had to go home and clean his gun in hot, soapy water or it would corrode. I told him to buy a stainless stainless steel gun and shave the stupid mustache. It was the 20th Century.

And Jeff Cooper cautioned against cleaning a .22LR barrel more than a few times a year. I can't do that, alas, any more than I can go to sleep without brushing my teeth, but that was his advice.

May 24, 2010, 01:39 AM
It seems that most start with solvent, and then brush. I wire brush first, ~ 5 times figuring it's easier to remove dry crud than wet sludge. After that:

You can't know how easy it can be to clean a pistol until you use "Gunzilla."

Couple squirts of Gunzilla, let sit while cleaning other parts of the pistol. Bore snake it a couple times, then a patch to check how clean it is. If still dirty, repeat (very rarely have I had to repeat with Gunzilla). I go for a light gray when cleaning weapons; functionally clean vs. inspection clean. I leave the handgun bores dry on the inside when done.

The Bushmaster
May 24, 2010, 09:43 AM
Until it is "germ free"...

May 24, 2010, 02:36 PM
After every trip to the range.

May 24, 2010, 02:58 PM
After every trip to the range.
+ 1, it does not matter how many rounds fired...

May 24, 2010, 02:58 PM
Here's one to try for any leading, I've used it for nearly 10 years with excellent results.
Take your bore brush and wrap it with several strands of 'ALL COPPER' Chore Boy pot scrubber. Then make 4-10 passes through your bore. When the strands get packed into the bristles, just add a few more wraps. This takes lead out better than my Lewis Lead remover with a lot less effort on my part.


May 24, 2010, 05:55 PM
I seriously don't understand some people's obsessions with overcleaning. Over cleaning is more harmful than helpful. It's not like your gun isnt going to work if there is a few particles of powder on a part. I don't run an engine cleaner (like Seafoam) through my car after every trip. Hell, I don't even wash my cloths after I wear them once.
Why use a stainless steel brush rather than a brass brush? Brass is softer than stainless steel. And last time I checked, gunpowder is not harder than steel, nor is it welded to anything.

Its a gun, not a hospital ER.

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