Cleaning a .17 - an exercise in frustration


October 7, 2012, 06:34 PM
Today I shot a .17 hmr. I shot maybe 15 rounds through it. So a few hours later, I tried to just do a basic cleaning. I take the bolt out, but nothing I have will fit in the bore. My segmented brass cleaning rod will fit, but stick anything on the end, and I have problems. For starters, I don't have a patch jag that small, so I try to push a patch through with just the rod. It pokes through. Then I manage to make it go in, but just a little. It gets stuck. I managed to get it out by putting the rod in the muzzle end and banging into it a few times.

Then I tried taking a .17 bore brush and wrapping a patch around it. It also got stuck, and I tried to budge it, but it wouldn't come out. I had to use needle nose pliers. After that, I quit trying.

Do I need specialized equipment for a .17?

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October 7, 2012, 06:44 PM
Try a boresnake. I am think they make one for 17 cal. I get pretty good results with the ones I have.

October 7, 2012, 06:50 PM
I had to get a new rod, jag, brush, and patches for my 17. I've been using 7/8 square patches and seem to do a decent job. Maybe someone else is using something different and has better luck. Can't shoot more than 50 rounds out of the rifle without cleaning it. Holds a nice group at 100 yards tho.

October 7, 2012, 09:02 PM
17 is still a specialized caliber you have to pull the trigger and get the brushes jags and rod. IME the bore snakes don't work well with the 17hmr because I noticed the residue seems to be waxy and only effectively removed by bore brushing.

October 7, 2012, 10:02 PM
Patchworm! I got one for my .17HMR and I love it. It works perfectly.

October 7, 2012, 10:16 PM
Do I need specialized equipment for a .17?

Yes. There are smaller rods and tips made specifically for cleaning a 17 caliber bore.

20 caliber rods and tips as well are available.

October 8, 2012, 08:40 AM

i'll second the patchworm. scroll down to the .17 cal version. it's blue.

October 8, 2012, 10:26 AM
I read somewhere on here a while back that someone was using a piece of fishing string threaded through a patch. Tie a knot on the end so the patch doesn't fall off. I have not tried it but it seems like it would get you by until you can get the right set of accessories for the 17.

October 8, 2012, 10:32 AM
Just go get a 17 kit. That's a tiny bore and anything other than the right size will cause problems. I'm no fan of these bore snake types either. Break one off down in a rifle barrel and you got a big problem.
I buy bulk patch material, about a 3/4 inch patch works best for 17 with the stuff I get.

Fred in Wisc
October 8, 2012, 05:40 PM
I usually use foaming bore cleaner to reduce the number of patches I have to thread through that darn little hole.

A special small caliber cleaning rod or a 1/8" soft brass brazing rod (if you're cheap) works best.

October 8, 2012, 06:41 PM
Made up a bunch of these at work when the boss picked up a .17 revolver. Was having similar cleaning frustrations. Work well with " round patches.

October 8, 2012, 07:02 PM
I ended up selling my .17HMR Savage due to the pain of cleaning the bore and cost of ammo.

When I did clean it, I had to cut patches into tiny bits, then push them through the breech with a broken tip of a plastic fork or a jewelry screwdriver. I was lucky my brass rod fit just enough.

It was an accurate gun with a good amount of power for a rimfire, but ultimately I wasn't as impressed as I thought i'd be.

They do have a .17 cal boresnake, but you still should use a brush and patches once in awhile.

October 8, 2012, 08:43 PM
Do I need specialized equipment for a .17?

Yes, pssst, research. ;)

Great caliber, used to own it.

October 8, 2012, 09:19 PM
The small caliber Otis cables should work well.

November 6, 2012, 07:16 PM

Do I need specialized equipment for a .17?
Yes, pssst, research.

November 6, 2012, 07:27 PM
Make sure you get the one piece .17 rod, not a cheap three piece, little bit of a frustrated push an they buckle and break. Loved the rifle, hated the calibre, bought the .22mag barrell available for mine an my cleaning chores have gone back to peaceful zen state sessions....

November 6, 2012, 07:32 PM
I bought a .17 cal. Bore snake. It did not work for me. The little weight doesn't fall through even with the slightest fouling. I just bought an otis kit.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

March 30, 2013, 10:10 PM
i'll second the blue patchworm- mine works well!

March 31, 2013, 02:33 PM
Most of the time I use a length of weed-whacker trimmer line. Melt the end to form a bit of a ball and allow to cool. Wrap the ball end with a 22 patch, saturate with your favorite bore cleaner, and push from the muzzle end. Follow up with some dry patches.

I can't take credit - saw this at Rimfire Central.

March 31, 2013, 02:40 PM
I use the .17 Tipton rod with a Tipton jag and Southern Bloomer patches on my Savage. It's snug, but it should be. The good thing is that you don't need to clean that often, only when you see groups widening up. Like .22, .17 likes to be a bit dirty.

March 31, 2013, 05:39 PM
Many dont clean their .22 LR but i do use a blast of the CLP and let it drain. I seldom used cleaning rod now. As to the .17HMR i heard its a pain to clean bec of the tiny diameter. Just get the dedicated .17 one piece rod, avoid messing up the riflings, the heart of making it accurate.

March 31, 2013, 05:41 PM
blue patchworm has worked great for me for years with WipeOut as a solvent.

March 31, 2013, 05:59 PM
If you are going to shoot .177 cal then you get the right gear. I like Dewey Rods ( but the others on the linked page are also just fine. You also get some good .17 cal jags and brushes as was mentioned. As to patches? Cut down any good patches to size.

As to bore snakes? Personally I am not real big on them unless I just want to wet a bore before leaving the range to make later complete cleaning easier. However, whatever trips your trigger.

Just My Take....

March 31, 2013, 06:46 PM
Do they coat those rounds with something?

March 31, 2013, 07:19 PM
Do they coat those rounds with something?
Some are and some aren't. The one I linked to was Nylon Coated. I also have a few 17 cal Dewey rods that are just aluminum. I have also seen brass so you can pretty much have whatever you want. All my rods are single section.

<EDIT> My bad as I read rods and not rounds as was written. Dumb me! </EDIT>

I have seen 17 HMR with moly coating as well as a few bullet tips.


April 1, 2013, 04:46 PM

April 1, 2013, 09:21 PM
I have a 3 piece brass rod, and I break the tip off a q-tip with a little bit of the paper stick still on it. The q-tip fits perfect in the rod and does a real nice job on the bore

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