BS-Changing the frequency of barrel cleaning

  • Last Post 18 August 2018
joeb33050 posted this 12 August 2018


Changing the frequency of barrel cleaning
I have cleaned barrels every 12 shots, and never. I have cleaned barrels frequently, in hopes of seeing an accuracy change, with no reliable results. I last cleaned my BSA Martini 22LR during the Carter administration, and it shoots great. I watch Anschutz $3000 rifle shooters clean very often.


Threshold: Clean when you feel the urge.


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RicinYakima posted this 12 August 2018

For one season I pushed one patch of Ed's Red and one dry patch at the end of the day. Next time I shot three foulers in the dirt and went for record shots. But I use a lot less lube than most folks, just the band ahead of the gas check. And the cleaning is just to clear the ground glass from the primers and A2400 residue a couple of inches in front of the throat.

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pat i. posted this 13 August 2018

I used to watch Tom Gray clean the bejesus out of his barrel during a match. I would have gladly told him he was using the wrong lube, wrong alloy, or wrong techniques if he wasn't waxing my arse with a gun shooting 2400 fps long before 2400 fps 1/2 groups were a common occurance on the internet. That's why I'm so adamant about asking people to shoot in a match if they're gonna tell other people everything they're doing is wrong for accuracy and their way's better. Its easy when it doesn't require proof. Might make me sound like a %$@€? but I have a lot of Missouri blood in me.

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RicinYakima posted this 13 August 2018

I agree with Pat. If you don't shoot in matches, I don't believe you. Shoulder to shoulder competition under the same conditions is the only "proof". Grey #24 is still my go to lube for match bullets! But I am down to my last 10 sticks.

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dbarron posted this 14 August 2018

Roger that. And there's nothing like completely stinking the place up and totally embarrassing one's self to provide MOTIVATION.  Unfortunately some of us need frequent applications of same. Certainly we don't want it.

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Bud Hyett posted this 14 August 2018

Shot the Regional this weekend using the  Shilen barrel .25-20: using one ring of SPG lube on the NOE  25-120-FN. Cleaned at the end of the group matches and the end of the score matches. The lube left a small, dark lube star on the muzzle about one-quarter inch wide. The star was soft and cleaned off easily with a towel.

The first shot out of the barrel was not on paper after the cleaning, but each subsequent shot was on the paper. The grease star started forming with the first shot. There is no leading.

At the end of the match, I clean thoroughly and then run twp patches with Kroil through for a preservative in the barrel. 

Why the first shot after cleaning disappears, I have no ideal. 


Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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pat i. posted this 14 August 2018

I never got why some guys think being able to go season after season without cleaning deserved a badge of honor anyway. I look at cleaning the same way I look at making my bed or brushing my teeth. It might not HAVE to be done but I'll feel a lot better if I do it.

Bud I don't think there's many rifles out there that don't throw the first shot out of a cold barrel cleaned or not and you'd have to be a brave man to go right to a record target without a sighter. It was mentioned here that you don't get a sighter when hunting. The difference is during a match turning a .6 group into a 1.5 inch group because you didn't fire a sighter is a big deal. When hunting turning a 1.5 inch 50 yard group into a 3 inch 50 yard group isn't. The deer won't know the difference and will be just as dead.

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joeb33050 posted this 17 August 2018

So, last Friday 100 yard 5-shot groups, BSA Martini 22 lr, GECO Automatch,9 groups avg. 1.020"

Hadn't cleaned this gun since Carter; got guilty, 1st patch/Hoppe's #9  had some black stuff, 2nd patch clean, nylon brushed #9 10 strokes, patch clean. Soaked bore #9 overnight, patch was clean.

Today Friday 8/17/18 10 group average 1.100"

Not guilty any more.

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BigMan54 posted this 17 August 2018

I like joeb's "Threshhold".

Clean when you feel the urge.

I used to shoot twice a week at the LAPD Harbor Range. U.S. NAVY property attached to old Fort MacArthur. NAVY said it didn't what civilians shooting on Fed property. I was ok for the kids at the LA CITY Softball Fields that were down wind from the open range. 


But get to it, I used to shoot my RUGER MKII TARGET about 200rds a session. I used the REMINGTON Target .22's with the wax covered bullets. About the time I hit 700-800 rounds the Pistol would start to jam because of wax build up. You'd think I would automatically clean after 600rds. But no I had to wait for that first failure to feed. Used to buy that REM ammo at BOWER'S WHSLE. $85 BUCKS per case out the door. The early 90's were the Glory Days of cheap ammo.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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JSH posted this 17 August 2018

I went all one IHMSA season of not really cleaning my 30-20. Forget the number of rounds but was a couple thousand. I ran a dry patch through after the match, more to clear any residue in the throat out so I had no issue chambering. I always took my fouling/sighter shots. I saw no difference in my scores as far as an average.

Now, I clean after every outing. Why, because I know where I start off with a clean bore. Some of my rigs like more fouling shots than others and I keep that in mind.

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OU812 posted this 18 August 2018

Sometimes less lube helps accuracy (filling just one lube groove vs. four). Filling all four lube grooves may not shoot as accurately, but will allow more shots without cleaning.

I fill all four lube grooves to season barrel on the first fouling shot. Remaining shots have just one lube groove filled.

Taper bumped bullet with Felix lube in groove.


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Ed Harris posted this 18 August 2018

Like Joe, my youth was profoundly influenced by smallbore match shooting.  I was coached by the best of that era, Col. Maurice Kaiser, and I shot with the Acorns club alongside the Timberlake kids.  After I got involved in ROTC rifle teams in college, the smallbore went away and I was deep into highpower, and remained so until I got out of the Navy and went to work at NRA.  There I met Mark Humphreville, Gary Anderson, Larry Moore and Pres Kendall, who were the best smallbore shooters ever.

Those guys NEVER cleaned their rifle bores unless there was some sort of problem.  With good ammo they didn't need to.

I started cast bullets in .30 cal. when the supply of free or cheap DCM ammo ran out.  Ivan Hicks, Sid Musselman and Frank Marshall were my mentors.  We didn't shoot past 200 yards, so accurate loads didn't need to be high velocity.  The goal was a load which shot well on the MR5 reduced 600-yard target at 200 yards using your normal 600-yard sight dope in .30-'06.  Most common was a #311299 cast from wheelweights, without GC, using a "one third" to "half-charge" of 4895 pull-down powder, which was also free or cheap.  Typically 18-25 grains with a tuft of kapok or Dacron.

In a boltgun with smooth barrel no cleaning necessary.  If not  stainless barrel, would run a wet patch through just to prevent rusting in semi-tropical Virginia summer.  Next range trip one wet patch to remove soft crud. two dry patches, dry chamber and shoot.  My Model 70 Target .30-'06 would average 3" ten-shot groups at 200 yards.  My 2-groove issue Remington 03A3 about 4-5"

When the free pulldown 4895 ceased being available we fooled around with cheap pistol and shotgun powders, Bullseye, 700-X, Red Dot, 452AA, all worked, about 7-8 grains in the '06.  Wanted velocity subsonic to prevent transonic buffeting.  Required a bit more elevation, but accuracy equal to the 4895 loads, no filler needed.  No cleaning needed.  Liquid Alox out by then left a protective coating on the bore.

My recreational loads today not much different.



73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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