Rifle cleaning question - keep copper in? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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gringogigante
08-24-2012, 22:51
I recently saw a show with some Green Beret snipers that were talking about how they only cleaned their rifle bores by running several patches through them but not cleaning the copper fowling. He said that when he left the copper in, his shots were more accurate.

He started from a totally clean gun. Then after 20-30 shots he cleaned it with 5-10 patches only (not scrubbing out the copper fowling) as this made the gun more accurate. Not sure how or why this happens, so I thought I'd bring it to the pros.

How do you clean your hunting rifle?

Chris

msoprano
08-25-2012, 00:01
During hunting season I only use a boresnake. I won't give the bore a thorough cleaning until I see declining accuracy. So, almost never. Took me a while to get used to keeping a "dirty" bore. The army gave me harmful over cleaning habits, IMHO.

WoodenPlank
08-25-2012, 00:18
I recently saw a show with some Green Beret snipers that were talking about how they only cleaned their rifle bores by running several patches through them but not cleaning the copper fowling. He said that when he left the copper in, his shots were more accurate.

He started from a totally clean gun. Then after 20-30 shots he cleaned it with 5-10 patches only (not scrubbing out the copper fowling) as this made the gun more accurate. Not sure how or why this happens, so I thought I'd bring it to the pros.

How do you clean your hunting rifle?

Chris

Copper build up over time can affect accuracy, but not necessarily by making it worse. At extreme distances, it can change POI(ie: shift in a specific direction, or simply make the group larger), so a particular rifle's (and shooter's) dope may best match up to a specific level of fouling in the bore. By trying to maintain the rifle at a consistent point, it keeps the dope matched to the weapon.

SigFTW
08-25-2012, 08:27
This is a very informative thread.

m2hmghb
08-25-2012, 11:29
The copper fouling can fill in the microscopic pores in the bore so that it is a smoother surface for the bullet to travel over putting less drag and imperfections on the projectile.

Zombie Steve
08-25-2012, 11:41
In general, I clean 'em out knowing that next time it goes out, I'll need to fire some fouling shots before it starts settling down and giving me the best accuracy.

If the next time is a hunting trip, it doesn't get cleaned. Cold bore shots are enough of a monkey wrench to deal with. Cold / clean bore just adds a tad more uncertainty.

All that said, heavy copper buildup in your bore is not a good thing. The more it builds up, the harder it is to get out.

Butch's bore shine is really helpful.

M&P15T
08-25-2012, 11:46
During hunting season I only use a boresnake. I won't give the bore a thorough cleaning until I see declining accuracy. So, almost never. Took me a while to get used to keeping a "dirty" bore. The army gave me harmful over cleaning habits, IMHO.

Bore Snakes and CLP is all I use to clean my AR & GLOCK barrels. Gets them clean as a whistle.

Don't know why you would consider a rifle cleaned with a Bore Snake as "dirty".

Zombie Steve
08-25-2012, 11:58
A boresnake is a stopgap measure between cleanings or a finish to a proper cleaning to make sure the barrel is completely dry.

Take a patch wet with copper solvent and run it down your bore. Let it sit 15 minutes. Betcha the next patch comes out blue.

CLP isn't going to chemically etch copper fouling. Neither will Hoppe's #9.

M&P15T
08-25-2012, 12:51
A boresnake is a stopgap measure between cleanings or a finish to a proper cleaning to make sure the barrel is completely dry.

Take a patch wet with copper solvent and run it down your bore. Let it sit 15 minutes. Betcha the next patch comes out blue.

CLP isn't going to chemically etch copper fouling. Neither will Hoppe's #9.

Let's stick with the GLOCK barrel, since it's faaar easier to visually judge. After 3-4 passes with CLP and a Bore Snake, it's spotless. Mirror smooth and clean.

If there's still copper in there, it isn't visible. In the past, I can remember fouling that was very difficult to remove, that I assumed was copper fouling. My CLP/Bore Snake regime easily removes everything that the eye can see.

Can you describe what copper fouling would look like?

R2D2
08-25-2012, 13:34
But wasn't the original question about hunting rifle bores not Glock pistols?:cool:

Zombie Steve
08-25-2012, 13:55
You normally won't see much if any copper fouling in pistol barrels. Start working things up to 50,000 psi and it's a different ball game.

http://www.ballisticstudies.com/site/ballisticstudies/images/muzzle%20compressed%20for%20website.jpg


It's difficult to see on an AR with the flash suppressor, but this is usually the easiest way to see on a normal barrel.

This stuff builds up... oxidizes (galvanic corrosion).

No es bueno.

M&P15T
08-25-2012, 14:12
You normally won't see much if any copper fouling in pistol barrels. Start working things up to 50,000 psi and it's a different ball game.

http://www.ballisticstudies.com/site/ballisticstudies/images/muzzle%20compressed%20for%20website.jpg


It's difficult to see on an AR with the flash suppressor, but this is usually the easiest way to see on a normal barrel.

This stuff builds up... oxidizes (galvanic corrosion).

No es bueno.

I see what you're looking at.

Still, I can tell you, my AR's barrel is clean as a whistle after 4 or 5 CLP/Bore Snake passes. But then, 5.56 runs at 62k PSI, so maybe I'm missing something.

Zombie Steve
08-25-2012, 14:19
You just aren't going to see it looking down a barrel. You can only see it looking directly at the surface with a bright light like in the photo I pulled off google images. You aren't going to be able to do this with an AR unless you remove the flash hider or you have a borescope.

Try what I said before - run some copper solvent down the bore and let it sit 15 minutes. Next patch will be blue. That is copper. Repeat as needed until the patches come out with no blue on them. Run oil after, then a dry patch.

:thumbsup:


ETA: Butch's bore shine claims you can leave it in the barrel as long as you like, but I wouldn't leave ammonia based copper solvents in the barrel for much longer than 15 minutes.

FLRon777
08-25-2012, 14:51
ETA: Butch's bore shine claims you can leave it in the barrel as long as you like, but I wouldn't leave ammonia based copper solvents in the barrel for much longer than 15 minutes.

ZS, how many patches with CLP or other similar product will it take to remove any residue of the bore solvent? Whats the best way to be sure you don't have any residue remaining?

Thanks!

Zombie Steve
08-25-2012, 14:56
ZS, how many patches with CLP or other similar product will it take to remove any residue of the bore solvent? Whats the best way to be sure you don't have any residue remaining?

Thanks!

Like I said, I usually run a patch wet with oil down the bore (run a couple if you're worried about it), then a dry patch (or boresnake) right behind it.

DWARREN123
08-25-2012, 16:06
Don't clean until accuracy starts to go away then refoul the barrel with 10 to 5 rounds. Many rifles are like this but you see it more often in match/target/sniper type rifles.
Also happens in 22LR rimfire rifles a lot.

ak103k
08-25-2012, 18:10
A boresnake is a stopgap measure between cleanings....
I agree. Its better than nothing, but its not the proper tool for the job.

Let's stick with the GLOCK barrel, since it's faaar easier to visually judge. After 3-4 passes with CLP and a Bore Snake, it's spotless. Mirror smooth and clean.
You may have the loose crud out, but the barrel is far from clean. Put a dry patch on a jag, and run it back and forth a few times, and I can guarantee you, youll still see fowling on that patch. Put a proper solvent on a brush, and alternately brush and patch it, and it will come out blue/green for a good while.

I hear people say they can clean their Glocks in a couple of minutes with a bore snake or a couple of patches, and I just dont see how. I clean mine once a week after shooting 3-500 rounds, and it takes me a good hour to get it to the point the patches are "starting" to come out close to clean. They never do come out "white", nor do they with any of the other guns I shoot and clean.


I have an AR that, when properly maintained, and using reloads it likes, will shoot 3/8" or better 5 shot groups at 100 yards. Ive been using Frog Lube alone now for about a year or so, and have seen the accuracy degrade since Ive stopped using a copper solvent in my cleaning regimen. I always considered CLP to also be a field expedient, and it appears this confirms it. Frog Lube works great, but some things do need more specific care to keep them at their best.

garya1961
08-25-2012, 20:31
Most people over clean their rifle/gun bores, I know I do but I'm really trying to break that habit. A couple swipes with a patch with CLP and a couple dry patches are all that's needed. Most probably put more wear fom cleaning than they do shooting.

Zombie Steve
08-25-2012, 21:29
Most people over clean their rifle/gun bores, I know I do but I'm really trying to break that habit. A couple swipes with a patch with CLP and a couple dry patches are all that's needed. Most probably put more wear fom cleaning than they do shooting.

I'll agree some folks damage their bores in an attempt to clean, but the idea of over clean is a little strange to me...

:dunno:

Fact is most people can get away with a couple patches of CLP because the rifle might see 50 rounds a year, and I'd bet the average is less than that. Five rounds to check zero and one or two on a hunting trip. Lots of hunting rifles around here never see 500 rounds total.

The guys the OP talked about probably did get better accuracy... as I said, a perfectly clean bore can be a little erratic. That's not to say you never clean the crud out of there... powder fouling and copper fouling... let it build up enough and you have a smaller bore - pressures also go up.

Keep it clean and you might have to fire 3-5 fouling shots to get everything dialed in again. Big deal.

gringogigante
08-26-2012, 09:23
During hunting season I only use a boresnake. I won't give the bore a thorough cleaning until I see declining accuracy. So, almost never. Took me a while to get used to keeping a "dirty" bore. The army gave me harmful over cleaning habits, IMHO.

My boresnakes have little metal bristles on them....doesn't that clean out the carbon fouling?

Zombie Steve
08-26-2012, 09:35
My boresnakes have little metal bristles on them....doesn't that clean out the carbon fouling?

It helps, as long as you aren't repeatedly dragging the fouling back down the barrel like most folks I see using a boresnake.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen guys using a filthy boresnake. The idea is to get the crap out of the barrel, not pull it back through over and over.

:rofl:

PhantomF4E
08-26-2012, 09:51
Depends on the gun really even between two of the same model . Some precision cut barrels like to be clean . Some of the rougher cut production barrels, a little copper fouling or lead fouling can improve accuracy as mentioned. Don't shoot lead through a copper fouled barrel though . If you shoot a mix of lead and copper keep it clean !!!.
Only way to tell what is right for your gun is to get out and shoot the crap out of your gun one day and see what your particular sweet spot is when accuracy falls off . BTW some production barrels can be every bit as good as match barrels , you just got to run it through the motions. Float/ not float. Bed/no bed. Clean/ no clean. I got extremely lucky with an 80's production Rem700 with a simply excellent barrel . With the right tweeked loads accuracy is amazing, mine likes just about anything 168 gn and in lead the Lyman 311291 is superb

gringogigante
08-26-2012, 17:50
I've never been a distance accuracy shooter, but why does everyone say to run the bore brushes and patches ONLY one way (breech to muzzle)? They say running the brushes and patches both ways can affect accuracy.

How?

ak103k
08-26-2012, 18:00
Probably the same reason you normally clean from the chamber end (when possible), fear of damaging the muzzle.

I clean from the chamber end, and use a brush both ways. I et the brush clear the barrel before pulling it back. Ive never had any troubles doing this, but I am careful when I pull the brush back. I normally push the patches through with a jag and let them fall.

gringogigante
08-26-2012, 18:14
Probably the same reason you normally clean from the chamber end (when possible), fear of damaging the muzzle.

I clean from the chamber end, and use a brush both ways. I et the brush clear the barrel before pulling it back. Ive never had any troubles doing this, but I am careful when I pull the brush back. I normally push the patches through with a jag and let them fall.

Are you saying that pulling it back towards the breech or chamber will damage the muzzle or muzzle crown and therefore affect accuracy? or is it something internal?

ak103k
08-26-2012, 18:28
I dont think its internal, although, trying to reverse a brush in the bore isnt generally a good thing.

Getting overzealous with your strokes, and allowing the rod etc to catch on the muzzle isnt good, especially if your not using a proper rod.

PhantomF4E
08-26-2012, 19:03
If you are using brass or aluminum you are ok as they are softer than the barrel. The brass brushes with the twisted steel center may cause some issues if you are rough .. It is more about driving debris back into the chamber. Your brush is only as big as your barrel if you pull a bunch of crap back in the chamber your brush, even your snake won't clear it .... Chamber a round... a little extra pressure at one point a little less at the other = less accuracy . You might not realize much at ranges less than 500 yds , but over that everything has to be pretty darn consistent or your groups will open up. Science takes over when you go long .

ak103k
08-26-2012, 19:20
It is more about driving debris back into the chamber. Your brush is only as big as your barrel if you pull a bunch of crap back in the chamber your brush, even your snake won't clear it ....
That will be cleaned out when you patch after you brush. I usually use a couple of large pistol patches to specifically clean the chamber when Im about done with the barrel, and then finish the barrel with a dry patch.