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Thread: How often do you clean your rifle?

  1. #1
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default How often do you clean your rifle?

    I think everyone has an opinion on this. Some clean after every outing, some only after extended periods of time. What do you do?

    I've read articles about pitting of bores, and then others that claim you can go hundreds of rounds between cleaning. Does anyone have experience with a gun that wasn't cleaned that was permanently damaged by pitting or rusting?

    Kind of bored tonight, just something I've had on my mind.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Unless the gun's gotten wet, I don't clean the bore until accuracy degrades. The exterior, and working parts get cleaned regularly. Used to scrub the bore after every outing, but determined that to be counterproductive.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Deep clean at the end of hunting season,just wipe down durning season. Foul bore just before season starts.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Annually I'll scrub it down and take it all apart and retorque everything.

    I'll wipe it down and clean scope lenses as required- one of the joys of a cerakoted and stainless rifle.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I don't know what is BEST.

    I clean my riflles throughly after each range session if it is normally stored. If it's in use regularly, not so often. I don't think it's a good idea to leave fouling in the barrel for a long time, to absorb moisture.

    When I'm hunting, and if the weather is damp, I wipe them off, and run a bore snake through the barrel, most days. And, if it's wet I wipe them off with a paper towell first to get the moisture. And, I always put a strip of Electrical Tape over the end of the barrel when I'm carrying it.

    It'll be interesting to see what others say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Deep clean at the end of hunting season,just wipe down durning season. Foul bore just before season starts.
    Since it's so wet and soggy down there in Wrangell, do you take measures to waterproof your rifle?

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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  7. #7
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I love cleaning my rifles. I clean them and oil them up like some folks work their rosary beads.

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    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Deep clean at the end of hunting season,just wipe down durning season. Foul bore just before season starts.
    This is real close to my regime also.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  9. #9

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    I only clean the bore after a hunt. If it rained a lot during the hunt I will usually remove it from the stock to make sure it is dried and oiled as well.

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    So, we're talking "clean and rust prevention" as opposed to bore condition vs. accuracy ? I use TETRA OIL and have for many years now - first time I am treating with the stuff I warm the whole gun with a hair dryer inside and out (out of the stock) I rub TETRA OIL into the entire exterior with a wool sock, you don't need to put much effort into it cause it penetrates the surface of the steel better when warmed - You will never need to worry about rust again
    Then, do the same to the bore and every single piece of metal on the gun ..... done

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    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    I was asking about both rust prevention and bore condition. Just wanted everyone to share how they handle it. I always make sure the external surfaces are clean and oiled but sometimes I really delay cleaning the bore until it really needs it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidty_dog View Post
    I was asking about both rust prevention and bore condition. Just wanted everyone to share how they handle it. I always make sure the external surfaces are clean and oiled but sometimes I really delay cleaning the bore until it really needs it.
    Guns that get wet I bring in to dry out and rub down with a little oil on a wrap. I don't clean the bites of my guns that I carry regularly unless accuracy degrades or I can see fouling. Mine seem to shoot better that way.


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    our military snipers sometimes shoot out a barrel without ever cleaning copper fouling, the standard apparently now is not to clean copper fouling until you begin to loose accuracy - carbon fouling and powder residue is a different matter though and should be scrubbed fairly often - I watched a recent interview with an actual tenured sniper who stated as much

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    For me, I will clean the rifle real good after hunting season is over. I will spend time to ensure that the bores are good and clean. During the off season shooting I seldom do much more then run a bore snake through them. If we had done much shooting during the off season then I will again clean the bores. Once the rifles are sighted for hunting season, I do not touch the bores. During the hunting season I will wipe them down and keep them clean. I have some, fun shooters, that I do not spend a lot of time clean until they start to slow down. Hand guns are cleaned a lot more often then the rifle, but they get shot a lot more.

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I love cleaning my rifles. I clean them and oil them up like some folks work their rosary beads.
    Outstanding!!! Same here.


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    I've heard it said numerous times from numerous sources over the years that "a lot more damage and unnecessary wear is done to good rifles cleaning them than shooting them"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    our military snipers sometimes shoot out a barrel without ever cleaning copper fouling, the standard apparently now is not to clean copper fouling until you begin to loose accuracy - carbon fouling and powder residue is a different matter though and should be scrubbed fairly often - I watched a recent interview with an actual tenured sniper who stated as much
    I've probably seen the same program or at least one similar. The main line of thought is that when out in the field, unless you clean your rifle after every shot, you only get one shot from a clean bore. After that, you are shooting from a fouled bore and the rifle won't shoot the same as when clean. Once it is fouled, for the most part at least, it will be consistent from shot to shot. On the sniper program, they showed the first shot from a clean bore, then a series of follow up shows from a fouled bore. The first shot was in one place, all the follow up shots were consistent in a tight group, but nowhere near the first shot (relatively at least). If you are only looking for a single shot and not worried about being consistent on the follow up shots, then a clean bore every time is fine. If you are in a situation where you want to make sure every shot is as consistent as possible and you are likely going to need follow up shots, you are probably better off with a fouled bore.

  18. #18
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I wipe the outside down after every time they come out to play. I clean powder and carbon fouling from the bore after every time they are shot, except for during the fall or spring bear season when I foul them and wait till season closes to clean the bore. I clean copper out of the bore once a year, usually after the close of the fall season.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    anchskier - hence the "old school" fouling shot ........ it works

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    I don't clean often at all. Many of my guns don't get cleaned more than once every four or five years. The exception being a cast boolit rifle that I'm working up loads for. The bore on those will get cleaned before a different load is tried. Most of that is to see where the first shot cold clean will go. Cold first round fouled bore is also checked after a week or so wait to see what affect cold set up boolit lube will do for the first shot. Most of my hunting guns get wiped down with Johnsons paste wax before outings as most are blued. I also carry a small tub of JPW for a quick wipe down now and then if it's raining. The stuff is totally water proof it's just not wear proof so it needs a little touch up on wear points. I have never had pitting develop on any of my guns under my care.

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