View Full Version : copper fouling
When I clean my rifle, I use copper solvent and a brass brush then pull patches through it until they stop coming back with a bluish residue. (or at least almost, I can never get them to come back completely white no matter how long I take on it.) How detrimental is copper residue to accuracy?
I also have cleaned my pistols (Glock 27 and Kahr PM 40) with copper solvent but I never seem to get any bluish tint at all on my patches. Why? Do pistols not pick up copper as bad as rifles?
The answer like many in LR shooting is "it depends." Accuracy comes from consistency shot to shot. Fouling is not bad provided it provides a consistent interface shot to shot, and it does not harm the bullet. I typically shoot my LR rifles thousands of rounds between detailed cleanings because the bores foul in such a way that does not affect accuracy.
Some barrels will collect copper fouling in such a way that eventually accuracy will be harmed.
It is also common that after cleaning "down to bare metal", it may take 5-20 rounds fired before the barrel "settles in" to its original accuracy again.
I want to thank you for the advice. I cleaned the barrel of my ruger before I read your reply to my last post. I now know this detail cleaning after every range visit has probably been giving me most of my problems.
I went to the range again today and at first it was printing all over the paper. Cold barrel, hot barrel, different ammo, really did not seem to matter. Then after about 15 rounds through it, I started getting tight groups. My last group was exactly 1 inch center to center at 100 yards. I was using Hornady 180 grain sp. This is my best group so far, and am very happy with it. Incidentally this group was shot with a hot barrel with no cool off period between shots. I am wondering if a cold barrel will shoot to a significantly different point of aim. This is a question I will investigate another day.
Now my question is : Should I do anything at all to the barrel? Will it be alright to just run a lightly oiled patch through it? Should I go ahead with the Hopps number 9 powder solvent and just lay off the copper solvent?
It is a stainless barrel, by the way.
As long as you don't live in a really moist environment, or the bore isn't wet, you won't harm it by not doing any cleaning after a range session.
If it makes you feel better, you can run a slightly moist patch through, or even a dry one. If do you use any oil, be sure to run a dry patch through after.
But I live in a dry environment and I don't do anything at all to the bore after a range session.
One other note, sometimes changing bullets (ie brands) will change how the bore fouls. Your best accuracy will probably be after you've shot one bullet type 5-20 rounds.
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