How clean is your barrel when working up rifle loads


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41wheelgun
November 30, 2012, 08:54 PM
I know that the title might not belong on this thread, but it is related to reloading. I have and do use the OCW Load Workup method for my TC Encore and after cleaning my rifle the first shot is always high, but after a few shots it will settle down. My question is how much cleaning does anyone do for their rifle bore, such as using a copper cleaner and get everything out, leave the copper in, or just swabbing the bore a couple times and call it clean.

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JLDickmon
November 30, 2012, 09:06 PM
as clean as it gets between shooting sessions..

Etkini
November 30, 2012, 09:10 PM
My Remington 700's barrel doesn't get cleaned anymore. It changes the POI for the first 5-10 shots, so I just don't bother cleaning it, which is especially helpful when working up a load as it may have a huge group for a load that's actually spot-on.

My others, which aren't built for such accuracy, get cleaned after every range trip.

Walkalong
November 30, 2012, 09:12 PM
Reasonably clean. Definitely not squeaky clean.

jwrowland77
November 30, 2012, 09:15 PM
I clean every rifle after every trip. Saying that though, before I shoot any of my reloads that I have worked up, I know fire 5 factory rounds to dirty up the gun again before firing any reloads. If I know I'm going to go on a hunting trip though, and I'm taking my reloads, I won't clean clean my gun. That way I can make sure it's dirty before firing a reload much like I do at the range.

Firing 5 factory rounds prior to shooting reloads also keeps me in a steady flow of once fired brass as well. I figure I save enough to afford my factory rounds to dirty the barrel.

rcmodel
November 30, 2012, 09:29 PM
I don't tolerate copper fouling.

But I don't test loads with a squeaky clean barrel either.

It won't be that clean when a deer or coyote jumps up in front of my scope now will it!
And it won't be that clean after a morning of target shooting either because I clean guns when I get done shooting, not during.

rc

Jaxondog
November 30, 2012, 09:33 PM
I will run a patch with Hoppe's and a dry one after the 5th round. Just something I have alway's done.
If I'm just blasting away I will do it after I finish.

beatledog7
November 30, 2012, 09:33 PM
I don't over scrub my rifle bores, but I do like to make sure they're not fully lined with copper. A little fouling is ok as long as consistency is not adversely affected. Also, I consider the first shot in a cold barrel of a hunting rifle to be the one that will count. So, if I'm working up a load, I shoot from a cold and moderately fouled barrel then wait for the barrel to cool to near ambient temperature again, maybe 5-8 minutes, before the next shot.

If that seems like a long time to wait, consider doing two rifles and two loads during the same range trip and shooting B while A cools down. You're taking your time and recording results anyway, right?

After the range time, the bore gets a little shot of copper solvent and a blue patch? test to see if there is excessive copper. If so, it gets cleaned but not obsessively. That little bit of fouling is what I consider normal shooting condition. I would never consider cleaning the bore after a final sight-in. Just leave it alone at that point lest cleaning the bore changes something.

gamestalker
December 2, 2012, 01:04 AM
I clean my barrels after each range session, and depending on how much I'm shooting I will clean at the range. But if I'm doing work ups, I'll put a couple of rounds down the barrel before evaluating performace along with some reasonable cool down time between shots. I feel that some copper will help in producing consistent comparisons, think of it as kind of filling in the high and low spots of a barrel.

GS

Andrew Leigh
December 2, 2012, 01:57 AM
Get to the range with a squeaky clean rifle.
Normally 3 shot fouls the barrel sufficiently for load development.
Normally fire around 30 - 40 rounds doing the OCW method.
Return home and clean with Hoppes and remove copper fouling residue.

If I am off hunting then I go to the range, make sure my zero is where I thought it was (load in summer and shoot in winter), fire a couple of shots (just because I can) and then I clean on the range. I then throw three down the barrel to foul and take home a dirty rifle for the hunt.

thump_rrr
December 2, 2012, 07:57 AM
I virtually never clean my barrel even though the action gets cleaned every time.
I was speaking with a local open class champion who is now in his early 80's and still winning. I was having trouble reducing my group size no matter how much load development I was doing.
He suggested not to clean the gun till my group size began to open up.
I took the rifle, a Savage 10 BA out 3 times each time shooting 50 rounds.
The 3rd time all 5 shot groups came in below .5 MOA with rounds 131-135 bringing a .250 MOA group and rounds 141-145 bringing a .248 MOA group.

I hate leaving dirty guns so when I came home I cleaned the gun so that I could disprove his theory next time out but sure enough my groups were larger with a clean gun so my rifle no longer gets cleaned till I see the groups opening up.

Grumulkin
December 2, 2012, 08:19 AM
I know that the title might not belong on this thread, but it is related to reloading. I have and do use the OCW Load Workup method for my TC Encore and after cleaning my rifle the first shot is always high, but after a few shots it will settle down. My question is how much cleaning does anyone do for their rifle bore, such as using a copper cleaner and get everything out, leave the copper in, or just swabbing the bore a couple times and call it clean.
1. If your first shots are high, you're probably leaving oil in the bore which isn't a good idea. If you let the last thing in the bore be some solvent like Prolix followed by a couple of dry patches, this probably won't happen.

2. There are individual differences in barrels. Some do need a few fouling shots before the groups tighten up but the majority of mine don't.

3. If you have to do a lot of barrel scrubbing your technique is flawed.

4. The worst bore cleaner I've used is Remoil. Hoppes is a bit better but there are far better products.

5. Never use a stainless steel brush in a barrel. In fact, I hardly use any brushes for my barrel cleaning. Wipe Out, Patch Out, Wipe Out Accelerator and Carb Out are the products I use the most.

6. On new barrels, I'll usually clean every to to 15 rounds for the first 100 rounds. After that they usually get thoroughly cleaned after 20 to 30 rounds. That's not to say this is the "right" cleaning frequency. Some barrels might need to be cleaned less and some more depending on the barrel, bullet and powder. Let accuracy falloff be your guide.

mtrmn
December 2, 2012, 10:48 AM
I rarely if ever clean the copper out unless my accuracy goes south, which hasn't happened without some other explanation. I clean powder residue/soot out after every shooting session, usually with some WD40 on a few patches followed by a couple dry patches.

41wheelgun
December 2, 2012, 05:08 PM
Thanks guys for your input. I will use your suggestion on my next range session

R.W.Dale
December 2, 2012, 05:19 PM
Did it get wet?

If not I'll not clean it till it either does, is going to the "back rack" in the safe for awhile or accuracy drops off. (Hasn't happens yet)




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

blarby
December 2, 2012, 08:28 PM
How clean is your barrel when working up rifle loads

Clean.

Foul shot, fire ten test for grouping... patch clean, repeat.

Coltdriver
December 2, 2012, 09:12 PM
I clean my barrel every 10 rounds when working up ocw loads.

I use butches bore shine, just a copper remover.

One fouling shot, then the 10 shot string, then butches.

The fall and spring are great around here as it is always cool, usually in the 50's or a little cooler. Lets the barrel cool quicker.

ranger335v
December 3, 2012, 09:17 AM
Clean or dirty really isn't the right question, test your loads with the barrel as you expect to use it.

Mike Walker, the guy who developed the Md. 700, et al, showed me something with one of his 1/4 moa bench rifles years several ago. He came to my home range and set up. Then, on the bench, he did a 'final' bore cleaning with Hoppes #9 and his first shot was in the group.

He said a couple of wet patches removed the residual oil from his last real cleaning session and then 3-4 snug clean patches removed the residual Hoppes; it worked for him and it's worked for me on the range and in the woods.

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