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What's wrong with bore snakes??

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by milemaker13, Jan 14, 2018.

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  1. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I read a comment that suggested bore snakes were not good/great for cleaning. While I agree a rod is better for cleaning, is there a problem with using a snake for quick cleaning?

    I use one with CLP on my .22s just to clear out any bits of unburned powder, etc. I'm a new user of CLP, but in theory I like the clean & preserve aspect I think I'm getting...
     
  2. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    I started using bore snakes for my M1 Garand and Winchester lever guns - all those that are difficult to clean from the breech.

    Usually I make a couple of passes, to keep the crud from falling into the action, then move to a regular rod - preferably with a muzzle guide.
     
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  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    An excellent use for them. I also keep a .30 cal and .22 cal one in my range bag and hunting 'ditty'/possibles bag. The .22 one has been used at 4-H shoots to clear 'fuzzy' bores many times.
     
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  4. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    They have their uses. The people who don't like them I think have an issue that you're putting a "dirty" snake back into the gun each time unlike a patch you switch out. I have them and like them fine for some uses.

    One big caution I would give is pitch them if they show any fraying or look like they may break. If they break off in the bore it is NOT easy to get them out. So, keep an eye on their life expectancy.
     
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  5. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    For casual cleaning, especially for the average .22LR barrel (which some say shoot better 'dirty'), I think they should be fine.

    Same goes for centerfire barrels that are chrome-lined or otherwise somehow augmented for heavy use and/or potentially inconsistent cleaning.

    I could see someone maybe not wanting to use one for their high-end barrel that is optimized for supreme accuracy, or for a treasured/heirloom gun.


    Have also heard horror stories about them getting stuck or tearing off in barrels. A real pain to extract. I would echo Ohen Capel's caution in post #4. YMMV.
     
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  6. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    I resisted trying them for years, but now like them. They work well for me in both rifles and pistols.
     
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  7. Skoghund

    Skoghund Member

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    I gave my double rifle a pull through with a bore snake this morning after firing a few practice shots before a couple of days driven boar. If the correct bore snake is used for a caliber how can it not be removed? The barrels on my double rifle are 60cm and with the bore snake nearly pulled through there is still quite a bit hanging out of the barrels. Clamp that bit in a vice and pull out backwards. Or am i missing something?
    Another argument I've heard against bore snakes is that they can damage the crown. There must be some real numties out there if they can't pull a boar snake strait out of a barrel without touching the crown.
     
  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The lack of personal responsibility for one's education here in the US would astound you, Forest dog. There are a few of us left here who have what used to pass for 'common sense', and fortunately, a much higher percentage that the norm are here on THR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  9. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood member

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    It’s the high end precision barrels that might be the issue. When you break in a certain way, and you keep everything consistent as well as reducing the metal/plastic pieces from touching parts of the bore, it’s easier to use a one piece rod and bore guide. Also a snake has more tension and thus scrubbing angle depending how you pull it.
    However......
    I’ve been shooting precision long range for a second, so I’ve had all opportunity to clean the bore the right way and “the wrong way” with a bore snake and to be honest I’ve never noticed a change in accuracy outside of the normal fowling removal.
    The military kits for the sass come with a Otis bore snake set. In hind sight, the way I see it, if it isn’t damaging metal in the bore, and you have a good solvent, then it will probably be fine.
     
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  10. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I use bore snakes for polishing barrels when I first buy a gun. Rub mother's mag polish in it and go at it for about 30 minutes. My barrels don't seem to foul as quickly after doing this. I bet the same people who freak about using them would have a heart attack over me doing that.
     
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  11. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Getting stuck in the bore is generally not an issue on short barrels of pistols or for smooth bore shotguns using boresnakes. On rifles, I recommend using the Otis rip cord as it is built stronger rather than the Hoppes. It can also be used with Otis cleaning kits as well. Avoid the no-name Amazon or Ebay generic stuff as if you do get one stuck via the cord breaking--very difficult to get out without damaging barrel.

    BTW, they are designed to be washed via the washing machine now and again.
     
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  12. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I love bore snakes, use them all the time for pistols, rifles and shotguns. I rarely use a rod much anymore. When they are too dirty though they go in the garbage. Bad plan washing them in your cloths washing machine. The residue in the barrel has lots of water soluble lead compounds in it that would no doubt now be soak into the bore snake fibers. When you wash them those lead compounds are going to end in the machine and possible on your cloths in the next load and on you when you wear them. If I was going to wash them it would be by hand in a bucket or something not in the washing machine that I wash my tighty-whities in. :rofl:
     
  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've seen too many threads over the years on this and other forums with people asking for advice on what to do when one got stuck in the barrel. For a quick, cleaning I occasionally use one, but it isn't my 1st choice.
     
  14. bbqreloader
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    bbqreloader Contributing Member

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    Use it as a pass thru on my AR after a bore brush, mainly I have a helluva time getting the swab down the barrel using the cleaning rod attachment. I use it on my 10/22 also.
     
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  15. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Bore snakes are great things to carry in the field. They aren't great at giving a rifle or handgun a thorough cleaning, but I have found them to be acceptable for shotguns. Also, they need to be cleaned periodically. For rifles like the garand, 10-22, and others that can't be rodded from chamber-to-muzzle, the otis pull-through cables using brushes and patches (like a rod) are the way to go. I clean my boresnakes like this: place them all in a 1 quart glass jar, with a good squirt of dawn dishwashing liquid. Fill jar to 2" from the top with the hottest water you can get from the kitchen sink, then shake-shake-shake. let it sit for a minute or 2, then repeat. Then do it again. Then drain the nasty water and soap, and put them in a container with clean hot water, gently balling them up in your hands to thoroughly rinse the remains of the soap water and crud out of them. Hang to dry. A filthy boresnake is as worthless as used TP.
     
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  16. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Let's look at what the military issued with their rifles. The Krag used a jointed cleaning rod, carried in the butt. But then the M1903 Springfield and the M1917 Enfield (as well as the British Enfields) were issued with bore snakes ("pull throughs") even though they were easily cleaned from the breech. It would make sense that this was continued with the Garand (which was not easily cleaned from the breech), but then the army started issuing jointed cleaning rods with the Garand. This practice was continued with the M14, which also could not easily be cleaned from the breech.

    The conclusion that can be drawn from all this is that the army didn't care if soldiers cleaned their rifles from the muzzle. It's more important to get the barrels cleaned -- one way or the other -- than to try to preserve match accuracy.
     
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  17. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Bore Snakes are great for quick cleaning. I use one before and after shooting but do not rely on one for true cleaning or oiling.
    I really don't think they are meant as a be all/end all cleaning tool. Easy to carry in a range bag.
     
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  18. George P

    George P Member

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    How you prevent them getting clogged in the bore is to tie a piece of paracord or even venetian blind cord to the loop end so you can pull it out if the black string breaks.

    You also need to keep them clean or else you are just redepositing the crud you scraped out the last time. Hot water, Dawn detergent in a jug or bucket. Shake or wash well, rinse and hang to dry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  19. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    I prefer a PatchWorm.
     
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  20. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I have never used a bore snake. To me they look relatively expensive for a disposable item. But since I have never used one there is a relatively good chance that I don't know what I'm talking about.
     
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  21. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    i liked them, back when i cleaned pistols and carbines. they were handy. however, i really just don't clean guns that often and never do a "quick cleaning". I think i put 19k rounds on my last pistol and cleaned it 3 times. I honestly couldn't tell you how many rounds i've shot through my current one (I go to the range about 4 times a week though). I can tell you i squirted some slip2k EWL on it back in the summer. and I go 3-5k between cleaning on the AR15s on average. I may clean the 300blk every 1000 though. it seems a bit dirtier.

    i will say a bore snake in a range bag is NOT a replacement for a cleaning rod. Sometimes you need a rod to be able to knock out a stuck case, or bullet lodged in the lands or a squib or some other obstruction. can't do that with a rope.

    but i would never use a bore snake on a precision rifle. ever.

    well, i'm not sure i could pick a numtie out of a lineup, but i can tell you nobody can pull a bore snake out of a barrel without touching the crown. the only question is, are you touching the crown evenly on all sides, and the answer is, no, you're not.
     
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  22. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Nothing wrong with them. Just use the right size for the caliber. Very convenient for range work. As state before, replace when appearing frayed.
     
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  23. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Can't we just say Amen to taliv's post and move out?

    P.S. I took the liberty to copy our own Mr. K. (Jim K. that is) splendid short essay about bore snakes and their intended use:

    "To use a bore snake for cleaning a barrel:

    1. Buy a "snake" too big so it will do a great cleaning job.
    2. Jam it in the barrel and break off pull cord.
    3. Decide to use a wood dowel to drive the snake out.
    4. Break dowel off in barrel.
    5. Buy a steel cleaning rod to drive out dowel. Get it jammed in the barrel.
    6. Weld bit to second cleaning rod and chuck in a hand drill. Try to drill obstructions out of barrel.
    7. Watch drill bit come through side of barrel; blame barrel maker for making a curved barrel.
    8. Buy new barrel, mess up threads and try to install it anyway.
    9. Get new barrel installed, fire test shot. Get a snake to clean barrel.
    10. Go to 1."

    ;)
     
  24. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    It just occurred to me that the term "bore snake," as it's being used in this thread, is not the same as a "pull through." The classic pull through is a length of string or chain, with a weight on one end (for dropping down the bore), and a threaded fitting on the other end, to which bore brushes, jags, or slotted patch holders can be attached. Thus, it's like a traditional cleaning rod except that you just pull instead of push/pull.

    A "bore snake," on the other hand, is a thick rope or cord designed to fit the bore tightly, and clean by itself without the use of the aforementioned accessories. I can see how such a bore snake can easily get stuck in the bore. To my knowledge, the military has never issued such bore snakes for cleaning.
     
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  25. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Uh, yeah, because they’re not disposable, intended for multi-uses. If that wasn’t a joke.
     
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