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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

Is there a such thing as cleaning a barrel too much? All of these copper eating solvents can't be doing the steel any favors either can they? Just curious what other people thought.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

I don't think the solvents are strong enough to harm barrel steel, or is it Think Solvent should be removed during cleaning process too, so I say the steel barrel wins.
I clean my rifle thoroughly after the season end, that's about it, other than a shot of WD40 and a clean patch through the barrel if I'm concerned about dampness for example, after a day of hunting.
And I don't think a bore brush is going to hurt the inside of a rifle barrel either.

I say the barrel wins Big smile Big smile Thumbs up

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Location: new brunswick
Joined: 12/07/2006
Posts: 429
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

I like the boresnake's Thumbs up

You can use them dry or put some solvent on if you like.....fully washable too! Can't go wrong!

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Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

More barrels are damaged from cleaning than shooting.

The solvents won't hurt anything because they will weaken as they dissolve the fouling. Simply wipe them out with a clean patch and then treat the bore with an oil dampened (not soaked) patch. It doesn't need to be completely clean. A very clean bore will often times not shoot all that well until you get a few shots down the barrel.

I recommend a graphite (Tipton or Dewey) or aluminum (Hoppes) rod. It will not damage the rifling or crown. I like Dewey bronze bore brushes and Tipton needle style jags (for cloth patches). Avoid the stainless rods and brushes.

I clean my target rifles at around 600 to 700 rounds. The hunting rifles get a really light coat of oil after sighting in and when season goes out I run a clean patch through the bore and then an oil soaked patch. Before shooting again, I'll run a dry patch through it to rmove the oil and the dust it may have collected.

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Location: California
Joined: 09/06/2008
Posts: 1071
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

Mr. Calhoun is correct it is possible to damage your bore with cleaning. Not so much with overcleaning but being over enthusiastic with the cleaning rod. I've seen some guys go in there like they were rootering out the plumbing or something. Use care especially when cleaning around the muzzle crown and don't worry about a little fowling. Be gentle and if possible use a graphite rod or a rod guide. A little care goes a long way.

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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?
JCalhoun wrote:
More barrels are damaged from cleaning than shooting.

The solvents won't hurt anything because they will weaken as they dissolve the fouling. Simply wipe them out with a clean patch and then treat the bore with an oil dampened (not soaked) patch. It doesn't need to be completely clean. A very clean bore will often times not shoot all that well until you get a few shots down the barrel.

I recommend a graphite (Tipton or Dewey) or aluminum (Hoppes) rod. It will not damage the rifling or crown. I like Dewey bronze bore brushes and Tipton needle style jags (for cloth patches). Avoid the stainless rods and brushes.

I clean my target rifles at around 600 to 700 rounds. The hunting rifles get a really light coat of oil after sighting in and when season goes out I run a clean patch through the bore and then an oil soaked patch. Before shooting again, I'll run a dry patch through it to rmove the oil and the dust it may have collected.

I agree with all of this except that you can damage a barrel with amonia based cleaners if left in the bore to long. Just follow the directions and make sure that you get all of it out.

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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

I tend to agree with Hammer1 and Remington on this one.

Just steer clear of any stainless steel bore brushes, or any carbon steel bore brush for that matter, and you should be safe. Also you should not have to use a copper solvent for every cleaning. Just clean regularly with a good nitro powder solvent such as Hoppes #9 and a good bronze phosphor bore brush with a brass or aluminum rod. The frequency that you clean your guns should be based off of how many rounds you put through the gun at any given interval. In other words it's not always nessesary to have to clean a gun after every trip to the field or range. It just depends. Clean is as clean as you want it to be.

Only use those strong ammonia based copper solvents such as Sweets7.62 or Barnes CR-10 when your shot groups begin to noticeably open up on you. For me that's about every 200 rounds in my bolt action rifles and about every 2000 to 3000 rounds out of my semi-auto pistols. When using copper solvent use either a tight fitting wool bore mop or a nylon bore brush with an aluminum or graphite rod. For smooth bore shotguns barrels you should never ever have to use a copper solvent, but a good plastic wad solvent with a bronze bore brush and chamber brush comes in handy, heck even old Hoppes #9 works pretty good on wad fouling.

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Location: Muskoka Ontario
Joined: 09/04/2007
Posts: 351
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

I agree with whats been said but I will add one thing . After each pass through the barrel wipe off the rod with a clean piece of rag to get the carbon off. Carbon is hard and may scratch the bore if the rod touches it . If you can clean from the breach out so you don't damage the muzzel. If this can't be done use a muzzel guide.
FK

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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

True Fisher King. Its best to clean from the breech, unless you have a rifle such as a lever action where you can only clean from the muzzle.

I agree about wiping the rod of carbon grit frequently, but failing to do so will only result in that grit smearing back in the cleaned barrel, and won't cause any immediate abrasion to your rifling. The carbon fouling isn't hard enough to cause damage to your barrel by being rubbed by from a cleaning rod. Think about it, the fouling can't be that abrasive, if it was then you would smooth out all the rifling in a barrel within the first 100 rounds being fired. To understand this you have to keep in mind the pressure and velocity the walls of you barrel are subject to when firing the weapon. Any grit or fouling that gets placed on the barrel are still there when the next round is fired and that doesn't cause any real immediate damage to the bore. It's wise advise and I fully agree that one should use care and a careful procedure when cleaning a firearm and avoid getting too over zealous with it, but I really disagree that regular cleaning causes damage to barrels or any other part of the gun. There is little if anything that you can do while cleaning a barrel that comes anywhere close to the shock your bore experiences when discharging a round. The only exception being what I've said before about the use of steel bore brushes and even frequent use of steel cleaning rods, these will accelerate wear and scratch your bore more than any other cleaning products.

There are also lots of old wives tales and theories floating around on the internet about how carbon grit and fouling will embed itself into any cleaning rod shaft that's made of brass or aluminum causing the rod to end up acting like an abrasive file. It's all pure nonsence at best. I think these ideas were thrown out there just to get those newer type carbonfiber rods or polymer coated rods to sell.

I've been shooting and cleaning guns long enough to have actually worn out a couple rifle barrels after years and thousands of rounds put through them. I can assure you that nearly all the errosion in those bores was located in the rifling just ahead of the chamber throat area and caused by exsessive heat from frequent firing of high pressure / high velocity calibers, and not in anyway attributed from carbon powder fouling or the use of brass or aluminum cleaning rods or any solvents that get used. Just my observation anyway.

JJD
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Location: Right Side WA state
Joined: 11/07/2008
Posts: 208
Can a barrel be cleaned to death?

In addition to previous comments;
I don't believe solvents will ruin a barrel. If that were the case, I'd probably have ruined every new barrel I've broken in over the past 30 yrs.

I am a big believer in bore guides. Next to damaged crowns, damaged throats are probably the next biggest cause of ruined barrels.

I do believe that the thorough cleaning a barrel too often will decrease it's accuracy. In most cases, a partially fouled barrel will shoot more accurately.

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