Your exeriences with Copper fouling


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Sheepdog1968
August 18, 2010, 12:04 PM
I am not a fanatic about cleaning firearms. If the weapon will serve a self defense role, I clean it. I don't want to start a thread on how often to clean as lots of discussion about that. What has been your exerience with copper fouling. When I clean my rifles, I just use common cleaning solvents such as BreakFree CLP, Rem products, etc. I scrub with bronze brush and follow up with patches till things look reasonable. When I look down the barrel, I don't see any deposits of specks to indicate copper fouling. The accuracy has remained the same for rifles I've got say 1000 rounds or more on.

What are your thoughts on copper fouling?
Dyou visually see it?
Has it caused any performance issues?
Any safety issues?

Many thanks.
Woof.

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Txhillbilly
August 18, 2010, 01:32 PM
Copper fouling is a problem for some guns,I think I have the worst.
Most guns that copper foul have a barrel that was button rifled instead of cut rifled. Tooling marks are left inside the barrel and when a copper/copper jacketed bullet is fired,the rough spots pull copper off the bullet/leaving it deposited in the barrel.
My 25/06 is a copper mine,I have hand lapped the barrel twice trying to get the tool marks out.The gun shoots great,but then after it copper fouls the accuracy goes south.It takes several days of soaking and cleaning the barrel to get it all out.I have been cleaning it the last 3 days,and I still get bright blue patches every time I patch the barrel.
As soon as I get it clean this time,I'm going to try some Final Finish bullets through the bore.If they don't clean the barrel up,then this barrel is going in the scrap pile,and a custom barrel will be put on.

I use many different cleaners,and have tried just about everything people have suggested.
Montana Extreme Copper Killer,Montana Extreme Bore Solvent,Hoppes 9 Copper Solvent,Hoppes 9 Bore Solvent,Shooters Choice Copper Remover, Break Free Bore Cleaning Foam,and Gunslick Foam Bore Cleaner.I also put together an electric bore cleaner and tried it,it did clean the barrel some,but I need to get a stronger % Ammonia solution for the electric cleaner to really do the job.
I probably should have tossed this barrel right after I first shot the gun,but I'm hard headed,and know I can get the fouling problem fixed,it just takes some time working on the problem.

SwampWolf
August 18, 2010, 01:39 PM
One thing I do to keep copper fouling at a minimum is to thoroughly wet the bore down with a good solvent (I like Shooter's Choice) and leave it sit over night (not recommended with one of the super aggressive, ammonia-based products out there). It's amazing how blue/blue-green a patch will be after running it through a bore that has been left wet with solvent overnight when the initial night before cleaning showed a clean patch.

Palehorseman
August 18, 2010, 01:57 PM
Copper fouling in rifles is a killer for cast boolit accuracy.

TonyAngel
August 18, 2010, 04:02 PM
Maybe off topic, but copper fouling is something that I've never worried about. How do you know if it's become a problem. I've read about it, but have never seen it. I have yet to see any patch come out of my bore with anything resembling a blue tint.

M1key
August 18, 2010, 04:31 PM
Check for copper fouling with a clean Q-tip stuck into the end of the barrel. It should show up fairly easily...

For cleaning, I prefer to let the solvent do the work. I only use non-ammoniated solvent and allow it to remain in the bore for a while, overnight if necessary, then patch out. If copper remains, then and only then do I go with the stronger, more aggressive cleaners, and never leave it in the bore for more than 30 minutes.

If the bore is rough, try fire-lapping. It may help somewhat.

If you can, run a wet patch down the bore immediately after shooting, while the barrel is still warm, for the ride home. Then clean it as you would normally...

FWIW, I like stainless barrels for their easier clean-up.

matrem
August 18, 2010, 07:02 PM
I have yet to see any patch come out of my bore with anything resembling a blue tint.
If you're using jacketed bullets, you're using the wrong solvent.

Depending on, both the level of precision one is expecting, and the bbl quality, my experience has been: copper fouling can become a "problem" somewhere between 5 rounds and a about a thousand and counting.

briansmithwins
August 18, 2010, 07:25 PM
Every 3 months or 500 rounds or so I do a detail clean that includes Breakfree bore cleaning foam. It's a mild copper solvent and gets plenty of blue crud put of the bore. It also gets rid of lots of carbon fouling.

Otherwise I don't worry much about copper fouling. BSW

Curator
August 18, 2010, 07:51 PM
Some rifles copper foul worse than others. My well-worn 'o3 Springfield will go 500+ copper jacketed bullets before accuracy starts to suffer. My ,223 Savage SS112 will go about 50. I have found that cleaning the bore with a good nitro solvent, or even auto-brake cleaning fluid will get the ironed-on powder fouling and any grease or oil out of the bore, I then plug the muzzle and standing the gun on its muzzle end use a turkey baster syringe to fill the bore with "Janitorial strength" Ammonia from WalMart. I let the gun stand overnight and unplug and dry in the morning. All the copper is miraculoulsy gone without using 200 patches. 2% household ammonia will work too. Cheap, effective, easy. After several complete de-copperings new barrels begin to settle down and foul less.

Sheepdog1968
August 18, 2010, 10:28 PM
Many thanks for all the info. So outside of a change in accuracy, can any of you see the copper in the barrel when the firearm is unloaded and you use a light?

M1key
August 18, 2010, 10:48 PM
Yes, with an overhead light and the Q-tip.

USSR
August 18, 2010, 10:52 PM
...I then plug the muzzle and standing the gun on its muzzle end use a turkey baster syringe to fill the bore with "Janitorial strength" Ammonia from WalMart. I let the gun stand overnight and unplug and dry in the morning.

:eek: I would never do that to a barrel I cared about. Ammonia goes to work on steel also. There are cautionary instructions with ammonia-based copper cleaners such as Sweet's, to leave it in the bore but for a very short time.

Don

taliv
August 18, 2010, 11:33 PM
Most guns that copper foul have a barrel that was button rifled instead of cut rifled.

that may be true, but my best copper fouling barrel (broughton = button) stopped fouling in just a couple shots, and my worst (bartlein = cut) was still fouling after a couple dozen shots doing the shoot/clean/shoot/clean routine.

in the latter case, i experienced a safety issue, with sudden pressure symptoms as copper built up

Hatterasguy
August 18, 2010, 11:41 PM
My barrels usualy look pretty clean, unless its my Mosin which is a sewer pipe on its best day.:D

I use CLP foaming bore cleaner and Hoppes #9 they stay clean. I don't go nuts, I beleive in a functional clean. I don't have to pass a white glove inspection on my rifles.

The bores on my rifles, except the Mosin, are perfect. I buy rifles based on their bores, my 100 year old Swiss rifle has damn near new looking rifling, even by Swiss standards.

TonyAngel
August 19, 2010, 12:01 AM
I'm shooting a BCM 410 stainless steel barrel and average about 300 rounds a weekend through it. When I was shopping, it was advertised as being hand lapped. I've tried a few different copper solvents on it because I figured that there must be some sort of copper build up, but I never get any. Well, a very small amount of blue on the first patch and that's it. Maybe I just have a really smooth bore. I don't know.

Welding Rod
August 19, 2010, 01:19 AM
I have hardly ever noticed any blue/green fouling to speak of either.

I use mostly Break Free and Tetra oils, and Break Free Foam copper cutter and Tetra copper cutter.

I do swab the barrels of my new guns about 50 times with Tetra oil before shooting the first time. And then repeat after every so many normal cleanings. The manufacturer claims this "treats" the barrel with PTFE. I don't know if there is anything to this or not, but I do see very little copper fouling evidence on my patches.

DBR
August 19, 2010, 02:37 AM
Try KG 12. It really works.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=144092

fireman 9731
August 19, 2010, 03:02 AM
I have often wondered if maybe some bullet companies get bad batches of jackets that are a little too soft and end up fouling more...

blackops
August 19, 2010, 03:47 AM
The only time copper fouling bothers me is when I shoot full copper bullets. The amount of time to remove all copper fouling is 3x what it is to clean the rifles I don't shoot full copper in.

308(no copper)-run a patch with hoppes 9 down the bore, run a hoppes 30 cal wire brush 3 times, run dry patches until clean, finally a little rem oil on a patch to finish and that's it.

30-06(copper only)-plug chamber, drip 7.62 solvent down the muzzle, run a patch so the solvent has consistent contact down the bore, let sit for 3 minutes, run wire brush 3x, dry paches, repeat that same cycle 1 more time, run hoppes 9 oil, wire brush behind that, dry patches, and finally a patch with rem oil down the bore.

Simply put, I hate shooting full copper.

Greg Koziol
August 19, 2010, 04:02 PM
depends on the bullets you use. if your shooting full copper bullets your gonna have lots of copper fouling. I shoot a .45-70 that is a copper jacketed flat point with a sfot lead flat point and partial core... i get hardly any copper fouling, mostly lead. If i get copper fouling it is hardly noticeable.. then i again idon' shoot it that much, maybe only put 100 rounds or less through it.

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