Cleaning My FNAR


June 30, 2011, 08:24 PM
I have an FNAR (semi-auto, sub MOA, shoots 308 win and 7.62x51) that I keep scruplously (OK, almost obsessively) clean. I was taught to clean a rifle while at OCS at Quantico (had it literally beat into my skull). The procedure was fairly simple - field strip the rifle, run oily patches down the muzzle til one comes out as clean as it went in then pass one more oily patch through followed by a dry patch. Clean chamber, bolt and trigger group to same standard. And that's pretty much what I do. Sometimes I bore snake it first with solvent but I ALWAYS run oily patches through til one comes out clean. It is no biggie to me. Patches are dirt cheap (half cent apiece) and cleaning the rifle is meditative for me.

BUT, having recently bought a .22 (Rem 597) and reading up on cleaning over at RimfireCentral forums, I have found out that some (many? most?) competitive shooters don't clean the bbl until accuracy starts falling off.

I figure there's likely to be one or two competitive shooters here and some undoubtedly shoot something bigger than .22 so it would be a good idea to ask this question here.

AM I hurting accuracy by keeping the bbl clean enough essentially to drink through. The bore is chrome lined and I keep it CLEAN. Is that a bad thing to do? I'm not shooting match grade ammo, just mil surplus German NATO ammo ($0.40/round beats $1.00+).

Now, should I keep cleaning the FNAR as I have (and as I do my to .40S&W pistols) or should I back off cleaning the bore until/unless accuracy goes to hell?

You guys are the ones who have been owning/firing/using rifles for years. I'm a total noob. :confused:

Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. ;)

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June 30, 2011, 08:59 PM
I have an SX-AR, the Winchester sister rifle of the FNAR. I haven't shot it a ton yet, but given this rifle is difficult to fully breakdown, I'm of the opinion that you shoot it until accuracy falls off or it's just incredibly dirty to the extent you're worried about reliability. However, I will use a boresnake and wipe the rest of the gun down after every range or hunting session. I think the boresnake is enough for my uses of the gun, but if you're a high volume shooter it may not be.

June 30, 2011, 09:30 PM
I own a FNAR, and I clean it after the range trip(s). I clean it with patches,
maybe the bore snake. I don't think you hurt anything by a lot of patch cleaning.
A lot of brush cleaning, maybe.

A gun shoots better with a fouled barrel, but one round will do it for you. I'd order some spare parts, mine slightly bent the little pin holding the action block rod in place. I think I need to turn the gas down a bit.

June 30, 2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks, guys. Seems counter-intuitive for a dirty bbl to shoot better than a clean one but you are much more knowledgeable than I am.

Damn! Gonna miss that special time with Ma Bell after a range trip. For me, there's something calming about pulling oily patches through the bore. But if she'll be more accurate with a dirty bbl, I'll just have to be content with cleaning the chamber (patches only), mag well and bolt face etc. First time I have a FTE, though, gonna break her down completely. Excellent vid available for that. Have to save it, burn it to DVD and play it on the 42" plasma.

July 3, 2011, 11:23 AM
I'd keep cleaning it, man. Just realize your first shot the next time might not be as accurate as the rest.

July 19, 2011, 01:47 AM

Kliegl has the right attitude. Do what pleases you but know what you're doing.

If you are still curious about why the bore shoots better when slightly fouled, there are many threads that touch on these facts here on THR. One I contributed to is . Posts after #37 get into the surface metallurgy. Re-reading it, I would emphasis even more the positive aspects of carbon residue from burnt powder and oil. A good solid lubricant.

In fact, the issue of first-shot inaccuracy due to not-yet-properly-fouled bore should be of most worry to hunters. For most hunting, you only get one shot. Hunters should, ideally, fire 3-4 shots before starting a large animal hunt that matters and may involve a long shot. I believe it takes more than one shot to fully stabilize the desired fouling at a steady-state level. (But then, there are a lot of other factors: cold bore versus warm, dust and moisture entering the bore from the air, maybe othes.) A properly, desirably fouled bore is not fragile, however. The fouling coating is robust, not much affected by humidity, temperature, etc.

But since you're dealing with an FNAR, you're probably not hunting. I own an FNAR and love it. After done shooting, I drag one patch with Hoppe's #9 solvent through the bore then a couple of patches with oil, just to get out abrasive atmospheric dust and other airborn crud. Then just know I need a few shots to burn off the oil next time I use it. No concern whatsoever to remove any/all copper or lead fouling. Maybe after multiple thousands of rounds I'll use a borescope to look for excessive copper loading and get rid of that, starting over. Haven't gotten to that point yet....

Sin City Shootist
July 19, 2011, 01:09 PM
Another FNAR owner here. I run a boresnake down the barrel about every 200 rounds and completely tear it down at about 1500-2000 rounds for complete cleaning, including the bolt assembly. I shoot prone mostly in the Vegas desert and dirt is a problem for me. I will take some non chlorinated brake clean and spray down the action every few hundred rounds to keep the dirt out of the action then a few drops of oil.

Now if you shoot crappy ammo with say corrosive primers then yes, clean that thing instantly after shooting.

July 19, 2011, 01:17 PM
Any failures of any kind Sin City?

Sin City Shootist
July 19, 2011, 01:24 PM
Just optics and optic rail systems. I did have a bad primer install(my reload) that came loose and wedged itself in the trigger assy but that's not the guns fault. Other then that it goes bang every time and is pretty accurate.

Andrew Wyatt
July 19, 2011, 03:05 PM
I clean once a year whether it needs it or not.

July 20, 2011, 08:35 AM
It annoys me the side rails are not parallel to the bore, only the top and bottom.

July 22, 2011, 01:28 AM
It annoys me the side rails are not parallel to the bore, only the top and bottom.

Well, you could probably custom-bevel the back of the cheek rails to make them parallel to the bore (and might need to do that for the bottom rail also - I wouldn't trust it), but you'd still be relying on the slide-on fit of the forestock to the barreled action to be 100% reproducable every time you took down and re-assembled the rifle. I am not sure the innards of that forestock are designed for reproducible indexing to precision lands on the barreled action. Is it?

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