do you clean your 22lr?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Axis II, Oct 14, 2017.

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  1. Axis II

    Axis II Member

    Jul 2, 2015
    I have a cheapo savage mark 2 22lr non accu trigger standard barrel I got a good deal on and could never get the dang thing to shoot worth a crap so I changed scopes and same thing so this week I decided to put a better quality bushnell 3-9 on it and see what it would do. The barrel was filthy from popping pop cans but ive always heard don't clean a 22lr. Well I cleaned mine really good the other day and set out to shoot today at 50yards with agluilla, federal auto match and Remington thunderbolts. Every shot I fired was spread like buckshot. I'm talking like 2-3'' groups and I almost said screw it and went home until I decided to fire another federal auto match group and they started tightening up and then I switched to aguilla yellow box and man I could stack 5rds in a quarter at 50yards.

    Mind you, this gun is non accu trigger and has like a 6lbs trigger and its wearing a centerfire scope so parallax might be off a bit. I moved to 25yards to see how zero would change cause its a squirrel/coon gun and they now all touched with aguilla. IDK how moving closer shrunk the groups but ill take it.

    After firing about 30rds every group with thunderbolts, federal and aguilla held minute of squirrel head at 50yards. I guess it is true that 22's need to be dirty and we should never clean them! :)
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Preble County, OH
    I clean them every now and then. Nothing bad ever came of it.
  3. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

    Feb 11, 2013
    I think I might tend to disagree. But I have just seen to many old 22’s that hadn’t been cleaned in 20 years that shot very impressive groups. My Marlin 60 gets cleaned maybe once a year (more like every 2) and it’s a shooter for sure. Dirty or not.
  4. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

    Sep 25, 2011
    Every time I shoot a firearm I clean it. The one exception in my Remington 700. After checking the zero I clean it then fire one fouling shot. It stays that way until either used on game or the season is over.
    Captcurt likes this.
  5. ontarget

    ontarget Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Michigan (Gods country)
    Your groups shrank when you moved closer because of simple geometry.
    I usually clean my .22s about once a year or so.
    Demi-human and .308 Norma like this.
  6. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

    Jan 23, 2017
    Depends on the .22lr. Bolts, never. Revolvers, never. (Ok hardly ever.) Those 2 types just get an oil wipe down before storage. Acurracy is excellent so no need to change. My mark 3 gets broke down and cleaned when I get a ftf...takes awhile for that though.
  7. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Nashville, Tn.
    I took the mod. 60 to the range last week. Had a few problems so I cleaned it. First time in four years...at least that. I do not shoot it every time, but often enough to not wait so long. It was pretty gritty.

  8. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    Semis get thurougly cleaned when they jam regularly. Everything else gets a couple passes from a pull thru with the brushes removed after every outing. Lube and powder fouling can attract or trap moisture. I prefer to keep the bore clean and oiled as ive had rust get bad overnight after shooting in the rain
    boom boom and Count Les Neins like this.
  9. Jackal

    Jackal Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Northwest Washington
    I have my old Remington 510 thats had probably 5 thousand rounds through it over the last 2 decades . I've never cleaned the barrel. It still headshots rats at 25m with open sights.
  10. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Not really where I wanna be
    The action and outer surfaces yes.....the barrel no....When I first started shooting I participated in rim fire 4 position indoor competition. I shot with one of the best shooters in the country at that time and his father was the coach of our team. I asked the coach one day if he ever cleaned the Anschutz target rifles that we shot.......He said that he cleaned the barrels when they needed it.....I asked him how often they needed it.....He said "never"......Those rifles probably had millions of rounds down the tube and were far more accurate than I was....To this day I don't clean the inside of 22 lr barrels. If it worked for the guy who got a college scholarship in shooting then it would definitely work for me....and it has.
  11. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Morgantown WV
    I clean them when they dont shoot well enough anymore, which in 22lr does not seem to happen very often.
  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central Arkansas
    If my Marlin 60 starts hanging up, I'll hose out the action with Gun Scrubber.
    I can't remember ever cleaning the bore. If accuracy degrades I suppose I'll do it. ;)

    I do believe in cleaning firearms for the most part.
    Hunting rifles get a thorough cleaning at the end of season.
    Handguns get cleaned often. Not ever range trip, but probably every other unless really put through the ringer.
  13. HB

    HB Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    Probably once a year at most. If you read what small bore match guys say, it varies from each match to never. I figure once a year a few patches can't hurt. By and large I believe it's best to leave the wax seasoning intact and avoid running a rod down soft steel bores.
  14. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    Depends on which one.
    The Mossberg M-44 and the Colt Target after each session.
    The Nylon 66 is "only when I get around to it" as it's a pain to take apart o_O
    The AK knock-off only if it starts being cranky.
  15. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    DFW Area
    Unless I'm misunderstanding what he wrote, he shot at closer range to foul the bore, but his groups for record were all shot at 50 yards.
    I'd say clean them when they need it. I tend to clean rimfires if I can tell that accuracy is dropping off or if I'm having issues with function (VERY rare).

    And sometimes I clean them because I'm bored and want to fiddle with something gun-related. The last few times I've cleaned my .22 rifle, I've been left with the distinct impression that it was a waste of my time. The patches come out clean and there's no detectable fouling. I suppose that a gun with a rougher bore might need more attention, but this one is so smooth that it doesn't seem to foul at all with the wax coated plain lead ammo.
  16. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

    May 7, 2015
    Sometimes I do, usually I don't. It used to be the Marlin 780 was getting used all the time, so it never got cleaned all through the 1990s. It was never not accurate. Then I cleaned it and stashed it in the safe when I started favoring the 10-22. I cleaned it when I got it, and I lube it every now and then. I'll let ya know if I ever clean it again.
  17. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    I sort of clean mine. Bore snake once through the barrel, the wipe down and lightly oil the bolt. My rimfires haven't seen a cleaning rod in decades.
  18. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

    Sep 21, 2017
    Northern Wyoming
    I swab the bore with my Ed's Red. Run a patch down with some Ballistol on it then run one dry loose fitting patch down the bore. That is my CZ452. Ruger gets the same except the action gets blasted out with scrubber and relubed when it gets crud build up. I don't let it get too bad because then it gets harder to clean and I am not taking it apart just for a cleaning.
  19. 444

    444 Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Just like most of the replies: I clean a .22 LR if I see some reason to do so.
    This is typically a semi-auto that is starting to malfunction. I clean the action. Sometimes, if I have the gun apart to clean the action, I run a bore snake through the bore a couple times but typically, I don't clean the bore of a .22 LR.
    I enjoy going to Project Appleseed events a couple times a year and when I am going to one, I usually clean the rifle action just to make sure that I don't have any problems at something like that.
    But again, it's very seldom.

    With centerfire rifles, I clean the barrels every time I shoot them (which is a lot). With .22s I actually think it hurts accuracy to clean the bore and don't do it.
  20. Lafitte

    Lafitte Member

    Jul 24, 2014
    East Texas
    Bore snake down the tube once in a while. Clean the action a bit and lube it when it won't work. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  21. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

    Dec 8, 2016
    The Haymarsh, MI ( Aka, Paradise.)
    With a bolt action, I clean just as any other centerfire rifle, when the accuracy degrades slightly. Which happens nearly never in a rimfire Savage.

    With my pistols or semi autos I try to clean them much more. I take my kiddos out and any place a smaller finger can go I will run a patch, toothbrush, rag and a little oil. Twenty-twos are dirty and, if I don't keep it as clean as posible, while we are out shooting they will find the blackest, most carboned part to investigate, then need a soda from the cooler or a snack from the backpack, and not tell me first. I always have wipes, even when its just me. Just in case some lead floated around.

    I have a Ruger mkiii 22 / 45 lite blue. It leads like a gluttons artery. It is remarkably accurate for fifty to one hundred rounds. Then, if I don't stop and push the lead out, a bullet will strike the end of the compensator. That one gets cleaned every fifty to one hundred rounds. It's a love/hate story.
    I think Pacnor will fix this problem. Then I will revert back to letting the paper tell me when to do the bore and not getting combustion residue on my clothes.
  22. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    I tend to clean my .22 semi-autos probably a bit more than anything else, mainly because some of the ammo I use tends to be a little bit on the grungy side. Cleanest .22 ammo I use has to be Wolf Match Target; I swear the barrel is cleaner after shooting that stuff than when I started!
  23. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    W. PA
    I don't clean my 22's much either.

    A few years ago, my H&R M12 seemed to lose accuracy. I immediately blamed the scope, and switched to another. Same result. Then I cleaned it. Viola, back to its old self.

    Another story. When I was in high school, I shot on the school rifle team. We used Winchester M52D's. Those rifles were never cleaned to my knowledge unless the coach cleaned them secretly after the season. The good shooters shot 100's with high X counts all season long. One of my team mates complained and started to clean the rifle he shot. My recollection was that he shot a few good practices afterwards but soon he settled back into his average. I'd attribute his temporary success more to a mental thing than a clean 52D shot better.
    1976B.L.Johns. likes this.
  24. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    London (ex SA)
    I fire large quantities of ammo, 90% through a suppressor. The action gets dirty and generally needs to be brushed out with a toothbrush at least, after 500 rounds to 1000 rounds.
    Much depends on the type of rifle and what the mating surfaces look like in battery.
    For example the SIG522 is prone to failure to fire when dirty because the bolt face has a large flat mating surface with the barrel. To make things worse the barrel surface has no recess besides the extractor notch.
    After firing 300 rounds suppressed there is a compressed layer of residues on the bolt which prevents the round from being fully chambered. When you pull the trigger you get a light strike because some of the momentum of the firing pin is wasted pushing the cartridge fully into the chamber.

    The Ruger 10/22 and the Thompson Center R55 Benchmark have a better design where you have recesses on the bolt and around the barrel where some residues can go. The gun therefore can fire a lot more rounds before you get a failure due to crud somewhere in the action.

    Another stupid thing SIG did with the 522 was to have an enclosed firing pin channel with a direct communication with the extractor spring channel.
    Residues can enter the extractor channel and then the firing pin channel where they are compacted in the forward conical part of the channel. Those compacted residues can prevent the firing pin from extending the required distance to set off the primer.

    The R55 and 10/22 don't have this issue because the firing pin is exposed along the entire length on the upper surface of the bolt. There is less chance to have compacted residues causing a light strike.

    My 10/22 variant is a Rimfire Magic which I clean after 1000 rounds to 1500 rounds suppressed.
    The R55 I typically do after 500 to 700 rounds.

    If I shoot unsuppressed with CCI minimag I get a lot more mileage. In the end, that was the only way I could rely on my SIG522, which is why I sold it.
    I shoot mainly suppressed and if a rifle can't handle 500 rounds in one session without being cleaned, I'll ditch it!
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
    boom boom likes this.
  25. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Central Fla
    Absolutely........... Clean it ...don`t clean it. It`s up to you.
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