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Thread: Boresnake for cleaning Rifle?

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    Member zpoehler's Avatar
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    Default Boresnake for cleaning Rifle?

    I have been using boresnakes to clean all of my rifles and I have heard some negative remarks about this method of cleaning..mostly that the snake doesn't clean very efficiently, especially after it gets dirty. My range cleaning method is running the snake through the bore twice, then wrapping a small patch over the brush until the patches come out clean..usually 3 times to get a clean patch. Then I clean the crown with a patch and q-tip, bore and crown appear to be very clean but I have been told by a few people that the boresnake is a no-no and can wreck a good barrel? I do hand wash the snakes after they appear dirty but am wondering if i'm missing something and should invest in a good set of bore guides and rods with all the accessories to clean my rifles, i'm willing to do so but am mostly wondering if i'm just doing harm to my rifles by using the boresnakes?

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    Member zpoehler's Avatar
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    I need to add that most of my rifles shoot good to very good but am concerned for longevity

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I use them for a field kit due to their compact size, but not for a dedicated system.

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    I use them for my lever guns. I have 2 for each caliber. The first one is soaked with Hoppes. The second one is soaked with LPS 3. Been doing it that way for years. Allows me to clean them from the "right" direction.
    We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I use them, not exclusively. I like them for when you just want to get some fouling out. For a real good cleaning they don't work all that great though.

    I haven't heard of or experienced any sort of rifle damage by using them.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If you want to get your bore anally clean, then you can't beat a good rod, guide and alternating between JB compound and Barnes CR-10 until you get no more blue patches, then scrub out the Barnes with Hoppes #9 or Ed's Red and oil the bore.

    One of the risks of bore snakes, especially over time, is that the snake can break off in the bore and then you are seriously up the creek. I carry a bore snake in my field kit, but use rod's at home.

    One final comment on cleaning, I think many times we can over do it. If the gun is still shooting accurately, there is no reason to clean it after X number of shots. Excessive cleaning can do just as much if not more damage and wear on a barrel as shooting.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    All I can say is that you will never see a professional shooter cleaning a match rifle with one. That said, I keep one in my backpack to clean my rifles in case I get something down there while out hunting. They are a great tool. Where they will harm your rifle is dragging that brush over the throat of the barrel. You will wear this down and it will very much affect your accuracy. I have had this conversation with many people and we have all come to the conclusion that if you really want accuracy out of your rifle then use a bore guide and a rod. It may take awhile but it will eventually harm your rifle.

    Make sure that you are using a bore guide. I really like my Tipton Rapid bore guide set, and it was very inexpensive. I think I paid about $30 online.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Pretty much covered by the previous responses. I keep one in my back pack just in case I need to field clean my hunting rifle due to a trip or contaminates in the bore. Also if hunting in wet climate with an uncovered muzzle you can put a few drops of oil on the snake and pull it through at the end of the day in camp. They're very light, easily packed and reasonably useful in a pinch. Diffidently not a primary cleaning system.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I'm considering ditching the boresnake all together as a field kit device because of some mud that got in my bore and caked-in. I'm going to a light weight cheapy 3-piece aluminum rod instead.

    This past hunting season, the only way I could knock out some dry mud from my bore, was with a spare throttle cable from my boat motor.



    Bore snake is worthless if the obstructions get thick.

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    Default A BoreSnake Caution

    Since the discussion has been about BoreSnakes I thought I would share some real life experience. I will not go into names and places to protect those who were involved but it serves as a good lesson if you're a multiple BoreSnake user.

    About a year ago I was attending a shooting school and it was a fairly windy day in a dusty environment. We were on the range and people were taking turns shooting through the chronograph. One of the students thought that he might have gotten some sand or dirt in his barrel and another student in the course let him use his BoreSnake. However, the BoreSake in question was for a 30 cal and it was used on a .284 (7mm) rifle. The guy pulled really hard to get it through and unstuck and so did many others on the line but no one could pull it out. I talked to the manufacturer of that particular rifle earlier this year and he told me that they had to replace the barrel on that brand new rifle. OUCH! Yes a carless mistake but could happen if you're not careful and have multiple bore snakes around, so be careful.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I'm considering ditching the boresnake all together as a field kit device because of some mud that got in my bore and caked-in. I'm going to a light weight cheapy 3-piece aluminum rod instead.

    This past hunting season, the only way I could knock out some dry mud from my bore, was with a spare throttle cable from my boat motor.



    Bore snake is worthless if the obstructions get thick.
    Electri al tape works wonders to keep crud out of the bore.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  12. #12
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    +1 for the electrical tape! I run a piece over the end and then wrap another around the bbl to make sure the first one is solid...
    I throw a bore snake into my gear when on a remote hunt, but I think I have only used it once in the field on a guides gun that had been abused a lot.... I can't recall a need on my own when on such a trip....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  13. #13

    Default boresnake

    Quote Originally Posted by zpoehler View Post
    I have been using boresnakes to clean all of my rifles and I have heard some negative remarks about this method of cleaning..mostly that the snake doesn't clean very efficiently, especially after it gets dirty. My range cleaning method is running the snake through the bore twice, then wrapping a small patch over the brush until the patches come out clean..usually 3 times to get a clean patch. Then I clean the crown with a patch and q-tip, bore and crown appear to be very clean but I have been told by a few people that the boresnake is a no-no and can wreck a good barrel? I do hand wash the snakes after they appear dirty but am wondering if i'm missing something and should invest in a good set of bore guides and rods with all the accessories to clean my rifles, i'm willing to do so but am mostly wondering if i'm just doing harm to my rifles by using the boresnakes?
    I wonder about the abrasive affect of the bore snake on the muzzle of the rifling. I have seen many No1 and No4 Lee Enfiidls withte the rifling worn on one side of the muzzle. the Pommies made the troops pull the string cleaner and mesh out the bore, so many passess for each round fired. I use them for a pass or two, but use a good rod and bore guides on my rifles whenever I can.

    Any thoughts there?

  14. #14
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Electri al tape works wonders to keep crud out of the bore.
    I like to cut the little finger off of a black latex glove, thin ones availabe at paint or automotive stores. Slide it over the muzzle, a perfect litle rifle condom that stays put until the trigger is pressed.

  15. #15
    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    Default Use Some Finger Cots

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I like to cut the little finger off of a black latex glove, thin ones availabe at paint or automotive stores. Slide it over the muzzle, a perfect litle rifle condom that stays put until the trigger is pressed.
    Marshall, get yourself some of these little "finger cots" and you can have both your rifle condom and...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_cot


  16. #16
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Looks like an Asian condom.

  17. #17
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    They can't be that bad, can they? The brush part is really small and compressible and not much harm in running cotton through the bore. I use them to "dry" a barrel that may have gotten wet in the field or may be over oiled. Nice on some repeating firearms that you don't want to disassemble or clean from the crown. I bet the majority of hunters have one in their pack to clean/dry in the field.

    I agree, they don't scrub the barrel, but I don't think they are going to ruin it either.

  18. #18
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I've got one in my hunt pack also, just for strange case scenarios,

    and I used to use it at the range, just to knock down fouling as I was shooting reloads for perfection

    then as I thought of the idea of running old dirt back through the barrel,...and how "not really easy" it is to clean the snake itself

    I went to a good bore guide and one pce rod, even for out at the range,...
    now I really like doing that out there, isn't a big deal to have the one pce rod in the rifle case, and it helps me to slow down
    promote barrel cooling etc. to pull the bolt, do a good several patch clean every nine rounds or so

    I also don't really like the idea of the bristle brush, (as light duty as it is) running through there so often
    I virtually never need to scrub with a brush otherwise, with butches and patches, especially if kept up at the range also
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  19. #19

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    I strictly use a bore snake in my firearms. Although they seem to work better in rifles then pistols. I buy two. I use one to clean the bore and another for oil. You run it through two to three times and the bores clean. Rather then having to run patch after patch.

  20. #20
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    Bore snakes are like wiping your butt with a hoola-hoop. It doesn't really clean anything, it just moves s**t around.

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