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Thread: copper fouling

  1. #1

    Default copper fouling

    Can anyony tell me what would cause a new rifle to copper foul badly for the first 300 or 400 rounds and then be almost none existant after that? the first 400 rounds consisted of TSX, Accubonds, Partitions and remain the same. I ask this because I have other rifles that I shoot the same bullets thru that while copper fouling is not as bad as when new there is still some copper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Can anyony tell me what would cause a new rifle to copper foul badly for the first 300 or 400 rounds and then be almost none existant after that? the first 400 rounds consisted of TSX, Accubonds, Partitions and remain the same. I ask this because I have other rifles that I shoot the same bullets thru that while copper fouling is not as bad as when new there is still some copper.
    I would guess that theres tooling marks inside the barrel from the rifling being cut. These marks/small pieces of barrel steel pulls copper off of the bullet jacket as it rotates down the bore. Was the barrel a custom barrel? I'm guessing it wasn't handlapped. I've heard this argument used to support breaking in or seasoning a new barrel. I can understand the concept on a factory, but not a custom handlapped barrel.

  3. #3

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    Rifle: Nosler 48 325WSM 24" barrel they claim hand laped SS.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby257 View Post
    ....but not a custom handlapped barrel.
    You would think so, but Dan Lilja recommends a break in on his hand lapped barrels.

  5. #5

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    Would SS make a diff?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Would SS make a diff?
    Lilja says SS is less susceptible to fouling than chrome-moly.

    Here's a quote from an article he wrote on fouling...

    ...And though it may surprise some, lapping to a finer finish will result in an increase in fouling. A barrel can be too smooth.
    http://www.riflebarrels.com/articles...el_fouling.htm

    I think it's a very good article.

    Maybe Murphy or Big Al can offere some experience and insight?

    Here's another article on cleaning and break in.

    http://www.riflebarrels.com/support/...aintenance.htm

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    I've read that on Liljas website too. But my question is this, if the barrel is handlapped and smooth (meaning tooling marks and burs have been removed), then what are you breaking in by following a shooting and cleaning program for the first however many rounds? Your firelapping the barrel when you shoot, but if it's been hand lapped, then why the need to do it? Now my curiosity is peaked.

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    Most of the barrels I have are from Lilja, some Hart, Krigirer, a Douglas or two. A few Shilien, Lawton. They for the most part are Stainless. They all seem to require far less work to clean when broken in properly. They clean faster and copper less if they are broken in correctly. I feel far less resistance to rod pressure with a broken in barrel.

    Yes I have read that barrel break in is all hype. That's fine with me, I don't care what others think or write about. I can only trust my own observations.

    Randy: most barrels that do what you describe are cut rifle that were not lapped enough, to start with. guys that use to shoot a lot of cut barrels used to say it took five hundred rounds before they settle down. That is not so much the case today with cut barrels, far more lapping going on now a days than before.

    It took me a long time to come around for cut barrels, I still feel that button barrels in SS are better barrels than cut and lapped barrels in SS.

    I think if you were to talk to a barrel maker they will tell you that the high chrome content of Stainless makes for a lot more tearing of metal requiring more lapping than the button barrels do.

    Making great barrels is as much art as it is science. A huge amount of paying close attention in the process is as much a part of the making, is just as important. I do know at 10X magnification, I can't tell the difference between the top barrels, be they cut or button.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9

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    I should have also said that accuracy has improved some. I use CR-10 to clean the barrels and just got a little concerned this past week at the range when there was no copper sign on the patch. Thank you all for the imput. While we are on the subject is there something better to be cleaning a rifle with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    I should have also said that accuracy has improved some. I use CR-10 to clean the barrels and just got a little concerned this past week at the range when there was no copper sign on the patch. Thank you all for the imput. While we are on the subject is there something better to be cleaning a rifle with?
    You asked and here goes. I'm always looking for a better copper remover. The stuff called KG-12, I have not tried. I have cases of quarts of other brands of copper removers. Every time I find something better, the others become give aways to my shooting friends. I'm afraid to try this stuff as I might be in the same position again.

    http://www.eabco.com/KG12Test.pdf

    You need to buy some and give us a report.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11

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    It just so happens that I am almost out of CR-10 so I will give it a try and get back to all.

  12. #12

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    Where can it KG-12 be found?

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Randy, I let my fingers do the walking for you and I found out the KG products can be mailed to us here in Alaska. I called and talked to Ken @1-800-348-9558.
    http://kgcoatings.net/index.php

    I would try the link first.

    I also suggest you buy their carbon remover first and then use the copper remover.

    I'm going to make up and order for myself in a week or so. (they do have larger sizes) Just ask. They will except credit cards. I only use Postal Money Orders, but for you folks that are not afraid of plastic. They are setup to take it.

    I'm always on the look out for that next miracle in a bottle.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  14. #14

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    Could not help yourself? I appreciate the info

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby257 View Post
    I've read that on Liljas website too. But my question is this, if the barrel is handlapped and smooth (meaning tooling marks and burs have been removed), then what are you breaking in by following a shooting and cleaning program for the first however many rounds? Your firelapping the barrel when you shoot, but if it's been hand lapped, then why the need to do it? Now my curiosity is peaked.
    Lilja claims that a hardened layer of powder fouling is needed to resist copper build up.

    From the previously quoted article...

    ....It is important to get a layer of powder fouling on top of the lands & grooves. This hard deposit will prevent the copper from stripping off the bullets.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    What is the first thing that goes down the barrel when you fire the rifle?

    Answer, Air. What is one of the components of air? Moisture= water vapor. Water an carbon have an affinity for one another. So then as the slight amount of blow-by = hot powder gas, The copper bullet, hot powder gas, again . So we have carbon, copper and carbon. The carbon must be removed to get to the copper.

    I know Dan, I respect Dan. He has forgotten more about this subject than I'll ever know. Simple logic dictates the sequence of carbon and copper build up. Keep in mind that this water vapor does not compress, carbon on the other hand does compress.

    All button rifle barrels know copper after the deep hole bore, reaming. They are copper plated before the button enters the hole. Copper is a lubricant for the button.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  17. #17

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    OK...carbon, copper, carbon. You remove the carbon on the copper and the copper and leave the first layer of carbon? I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, I don't have a clue. Just trying to figure it out. Seems to be a lot of variables on the subject.

    Just clean down to bare metal and keep a clean smooth bore?

    I should get a bore scope.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    OK...carbon, copper, carbon. You remove the carbon on the copper and the copper and leave the first layer of carbon? I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, I don't have a clue. Just trying to figure it out. Seems to be a lot of variables on the subject.

    Just clean down to bare metal and keep a clean smooth bore?

    I should get a bore scope.
    I don't shoot a dry bore. After I clean the barrel and before the next shot I lube the bore with a damp patch of Kroil and shoot.

    It seems odd, but yes the stuff is in layers. I do know one thing for sure, old Danny boys barrels break in a lot faster this way. Normally it takes 20 rounds his way, when I clean them the way I describe, you don't go past 12 before the rod feels even the entire stroke. Smooth is the word.

    I admit it's easier with a bore scope, but you sure don't need one. to tell when a well seasoned barrel is clean, just watch the patches as they come out the muzzle.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Default Layers

    I have observed the 'layering' phenomenon. I have a CZ550 375 hh that fouls worse than any other rifle I own, or have owned in awhile. I can use an ammonia based cleaner such as Butch's or CR10 until the patches come out clean - Then follow with a powder solvent, then when I resume using the ammonia patches I start picking up additional copper.

    On occassion the 'green' ammonia color will slowly fade on each patch I use, then turn black, then resume thru shades of green. I assume this is breaking thru subsequent layers of crud.

    The CZ noted above is relatively new, and has 300 rounds thru it. I'm hoping that it will become easier to use over time.

    Back to the OP question: I have had luck with WipeOUT, as well as the ammonia based cleaners. I'm using the ammonia stuff now, b/c it is easier / less messy for me and the smell doesn't bug me much. (It's not nearly as strong as a chicken house )

    Nate

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    I admit it's easier with a bore scope, but you sure don't need one. to tell when a well seasoned barrel is clean, just watch the patches as they come out the muzzle.
    I agree, I thought a bore scope would be able to show me what's going on in a particular barrel. How quickly it's fouling and to what degree and what it might look like during the cleaning process, especially with the layering effect. As well as what's going on with the throat.

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