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Thread: Copper fouling

  1. #1
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    Default Copper fouling

    So I've been shooting 250gr TTSX in my .375 h&h exclusively for about a year now. Sunday night my groups opened up to about 2 MOA or so. I cleaned the gun tonight with some copper remover and it was definitely way dirty. Is there any other way to tell it's building up?

    I am shooting a 6x scope but this load used to shoot around 1 MOA consistently.

    Thanks in advance.


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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I sometimes eyeball it by placing a clean white patch on a jag or laying it over a patch holder and pushing it up to withing a couple inches or so from the muzzle and lighting it up with a bright LED light so it reflects off the white surface and look at it from the side where you can see the barrel wall.

    Thing is, is how much copper build up does it take to affect accuracy?

    If it looks very coppery in there, I'll scrub it with MPro-7 to get the powder fouling out and then use one of the foaming bore cleaners to get rid of the copper.
    Now what ?

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    I have used the same technique stevelyn to observe copper in the barrel. It works and will definetly shows pretty copper. As stevelyn stated how much copper build up affects accuracy. I no longer look at the copper in the barrel nor worry about it until accuracy goes down the crapper. I then use Wipeout and I'm done with it.
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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Here is an alternate way to check for copper fouling. Also kind of a neat toy for looking at chambers, wiring inside walls, that bolt under the alternator that you cant reach, and that pesky sore in your kids mouth.....

    I can vouch that it is legit and a pretty cheap way to get a poor mans borescope. It doesnt have the resolution to see every microscopic atom in your barrell, but you'll get a good idea.


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/131193977927

  5. #5

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    I go one step simpler. Put a little household ammonia on a cleaning patch and run it through the bore. If it comes out blue, there's copper fouling. Time to get to work.

    Copper fouling shouldn't be an issue if you stay on top of it with each cleaning. But let it build up and you'll work to get it out. I picked up a NRA sporter 30-40 Krag a few years back with a bore that barely showed rifling in the third toward the muzzle, and it wouldn't hold a 12" group at 100. Many decades of copper fouling built up. Spent a long, long time getting all the copper out. Now there's plenty of rifling out in that front third. And it shoots like it was brand new.

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    Thanks all, really good info, sounds like I'm not going blind and maybe my barrel was that fouled. I'm going to clean it one more time tonight and maybe try and shoot this weekend.

    Any additional thoughts on when copper fouling begins to degrade accuracy? Is it simply gun dependent?


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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post
    I no longer look at the copper in the barrel nor worry about it until accuracy goes down the crapper. I then use Wipeout and I'm done with it.
    ^^ This is my M.O. as well. I've found that a little copper color isn't necessarily anything to get worked up about, because it doesn't noticeably affect accuracy. The point at which accuracy begins to be affected is gun specific, I would imagine.

    This is parallel to the whole long running debate about how often to clean a bore... I looked at both sides of the argument and came down on the side of "I'd rather wear out my guns by shooting them than by unnecessarily scrubbing them do death", and so I don't clean until accuracy begins to degrade. The less I clean, the more I realize what a waste cleaning tends to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    . I looked at both sides of the argument and came down on the side of "I'd rather wear out my guns by shooting them than by unnecessarily scrubbing them do death", and so I don't clean until accuracy begins to degrade. The less I clean, the more I realize what a waste cleaning tends to be.
    I'm in that camp too, I think it's been a couple years since I cleaned the bore of this rifle.

    I'm thinking about keeping a round count for this rifle and maybe I can start predicting when I'll hit that copper fouling limit?


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    I will not argue with what has been said already here. I have had problems with copper before also. I will just add that if you use a ammonia based cleaner make sure to clean it all out. Ammonia if left in a barrel can etch the bore and ruin it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Any additional thoughts on when copper fouling begins to degrade accuracy? Is it simply gun dependent?
    Yup. All the way.

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    Sweets 762 solvent wet patch through the barrel, 10 minute work time followed by a patch with peroxide. This has worked extremely well for me.

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    What does the peroxide do?

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    A) Brush the barrel with Sweets (Kiss the brush goodbye).


    B) Let the bore soak for 5 to 10 minutes (No Longer on Chrome Molly Barrels. Sweets and CM don't get along very well.)


    C) Now soak a patch with HYDROGEN PEROXIDE and very, very slowly push it through the bore. A chemical reaction will take place between the Ammonia in the Sweets and the Hydrogen Peroxide causing all copper to go into suspension as the reaction takes place. The muzzle of your rifle will look as if it has rabies as the patch slowly nears the crown and you see all of the foaming reaction that is taking place. The blue green colors you see as the patch exits the barrel will amaze you.


    D) Inspect the bore after you patch it out with Butches, by placing a Q-Tip just inside the crown. This will light up the bore and allow you to check for any remaining copper. If there are still traces of copper a second application will usually finish the job.

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    I have used the Sweets before but never heard of using peroxide behind it.

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    I used Sweets 7.62 which worked well with a lot of patches until I found Forrest foaming bore cleaner made in Finland. This stuff is incredible and will get copper out of a barrel supposedly clean after 7.62 sweets with a lot less work. The parent company is Milfoam of Finland and the Forrest name is sold as Gunslick foaming bore cleaner in the USA now .I still have a couple of cases of the old Forrest brand. Check on Milfoams website and you will see the Gunslick stuff is the same ,just a marketing thing as Gunslick has the US selling rights of Forrest

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    D) Inspect the bore after you patch it out with Butches, by placing a Q-Tip just inside the crown. This will light up the bore and allow you to check for any remaining copper. If there are still traces of copper a second application will usually finish the job.

    Discovered this about 25 years ago while cleaning the barrel.

  17. #17
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    Wipeout, like all the other copper fouling threads. It works really good. Does not etch your metal. Requires no scrubbing, so you don't wear out your barrel. Why wait to see how bad accuracy is. Just keep it clean especially if it is easy.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I have always cleaned my bore with Barnes Cr-10 cleaner after every trip to the range. I avoid copper fouling and therefore have no issues with accuracy. Just seems strange to me to leave a barrel dirty. I do shoot a fouling round after cleaning if I am going hunting.
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    So most of you guys don't use brushes with these products.........just patches? I only ask because even though my gun has always been pretty darn accurate, I know it's due for a good cleaning. I've always wondered what kind of damage wire brushes do on the bore, so if I don't need to use one I won't....
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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    So most of you guys don't use brushes with these products.........just patches? I only ask because even though my gun has always been pretty darn accurate, I know it's due for a good cleaning. I've always wondered what kind of damage wire brushes do on the bore, so if I don't need to use one I won't....
    I use a nylon brush and scrub away after running a soaked patch down the bore.
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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