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Thread: Barrel Fouling shots?

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Barrel Fouling shots?

    I'm reading about Fouling shots for Benchrest guys and wondering

    For Handloads info, I am running about four or five fouling/sighting shots before starting with my loads then every five to seventh shot I run a Boresnake down the barrel to "get the loose stuff out before another group,

    Is this too much, is the first of the next group a "nonfouled" shot?

    What do the Benchrest guys do for a range session of forty rounds, not clean at all through that many or what?

    Just a dry Boresnake, use some solvent, fouling shots for every group that you really want to test????
    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 !

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    If only your fifth, sixth, or seventh shots leave "loose stuff" in the barrel, you have other problems to worry about. Leave it "dirty". That's the most consistent plan.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  3. #3
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Once again it's all about what the barrel wants that gives it best and to a point the caliber. Some barrels especially the .22 seem to want to shoot there best for a group when they are squeaky clean from the first shot to all five with no foulers. Others especially the 6mm want two fouler shot before the group is started. Other find that they have to keep track of the group during the record run. I know of a lot of people that use a bore snake for rim fires but nobody that uses them for center fire. The use of cleaning between records and sighters is the most common method you see followed. You will find the high count barrels use the most frequent barrel cleaners. The cleaner barrels all seem to give the best accuracy.

    Once a barrel is broken in (I'm talking about custom made barrels here) cleaning between relays, which is about as many as 15 shots is common. Cleaning is a whole nother topic which causes wide discussion.


    I can tell you of shooters that want to e certain tat a given condition will be there though out the group so start with sighters and continue to use sighters through the group. so may take more shots than what would be considered the average.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4

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    Last fall while at Brownell's shooting range I watched some benchrest guys as they cleaned their guns between shooting itty bitty groups. Then they shot fouling shots to get them dirty again. It was all to much for me shooting perfectly good bullets at nothing in particular just so they could foul the barrel.

    It was hilarious when I drug out my coyote rifle and hit the little bulls eye the first shot. Mind ya I had to shoot an inch and a half low cuz my critter gitter is sighted in that much high. Well it was luck and after the next round the arrogant one in the bunch said you got a flyer on that one. I looked through the spotting scope and it had landed almost 3/4 of an in do east of the first one. The third round split the difference between the two. Wow a 3/4 inch group after about 500 fouling shots over the last two or three years. They didn't share my excitement!

    The one guy let me shoot his 6.5 Creedmore with a kazillion power scope on it. Every time my heart beat the crosshairs jumped off the dot and I saw heat waves like I was in the Sahara desert. I shot a better group with my coyote gun/k6 Weaver and the guy was offended.

    Its pure and simple, I weren't meant to be a bench rest shooter but I sure admire those guys than can do it.

    They were shooting 2 and sometimes 3 fouling shots!

  5. #5
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Not much fouling

    Ok, I'm not really a fouling shots guy but I'll clarify a bit what I am doing now

    To start out wanting to compare some different loads(say 7 rounds each of 64gr, 65gr, and 66gr) and wanting to really know how they match up, before I start the group of 64gr, I'll shoot about 3-5 rounds of something extra, maybe the start load of 63 (from book) or something, mainly to check the scope sighting

    I read about fouling shots somewhere so thought this may be what I am doing also. The 66gr group could be a lot different than the first 64 if I don't do some fouling/cleaning right?

    Then after say 7 rounds of 64gr, If I look down the barrel I can see stuff, not much but powder residue, etc.(heck I don't know what but it is not clean) so that's what I mean by loose stuff, If I run the Boresnake the first pull is tighter than the second and third so I figure it is pulling something out that comes easy. I'll probably never bring all the cleaning rods and stuff to the range so I just use the snake to just bring it back a bit

    Then I am loading for Hunting which by definition will be a clean dry barrel for the shot that counts and the next one or two that I may use to anchor something would be about the max, right? So, the idea of leaving it dirty seems to hardly apply to what I want to know about the accuracy or velocity of three hunting rounds. Unless I'm just totally overthinking the whole thing?

    Thanks for the opinions guys, I'm having fun though nearly overrwhelmed by the detail in shooting handloads

    after years of "know nothing" beyond that it fires a box of factory ammo on target well before heading to the woods
    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 !

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Lets start here by asking yourself why does this manufacturer make 3 different weight bullets all of the same shape, base design but the weights all vary by only one grain? For the simple reason "the shooter wants to know which weight shoots best from his barrel" For the particular range? Yes the barrel needs to be cleaned after each run of bullets weight. It is not just powder fouling you try to remove, it is a combination of jacket fouling, powder fouling and primer fouling that you try to remove between groups. Why because no matter what you shoot you will always start out shooting a clean barrel. You never want to leave or let a fouled barrel that way. Because under all that dirt can allow moisture to live, you never want moisture no matter the barrel material a place to live. Now folks that don't have a clue will tell you that they can't have moisture in there barrels. Want to bet? It's going to happen no matter what they do, unless the barrel is clean. It's called the Vapor phase. Bench techniques required to be able to read and adjust for the conditions. You must be able to read and understand the wind flags, so the most important thing you can do is have and use wind flags.


    I don't want to spend too much time on this subject, to really help you get the most that any rifle can deliver you need to know about reading flags. To do other wise is a waste of components.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Got More?

    Thanks Big Al, that's great info, tell me more, I'm up for learning all I can

    Really appreciate the experienced guys on these forums, open to all opinions, best way to learn
    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 !

  8. #8
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to join this group, you will find more suggestion their than you can stand. Places to find all that you will need and lots of free advise.
    http://www.benchrest.com/forums/ Book mark this page. spend your time on that forum and you will be well ahead of the game. Look for books to read also, this will help you allot. A good used bench rifle with a new barrel and good wind flags is a huge help.Get yourself a good 6 PPC and look to spend a bunch of money. No place in Alaska to shoot Bench rest but you can still have a lot of fun. Most people that shoot bench rest have a PHD in the gun world so do not be surpriced at the level of gun knowledge.
    "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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    Ask around shootersforum

  10. #10

    Default Test What Your Rifle Does Clean vs. Fouled

    I would suggest that you do a shooting test with your rifle: Load 6 sets of 3 all the same, using a load that has proven accurate in your rifle. Shoot the first group starting with a squeaky clean bore, and record each shot's placement on the target.
    Shoot the second group without cleaning the bore, also recording each shot's placement on the target.
    Clean the bore really clean.
    Shoot the third group, as above.
    Shoot the fourth group without cleaning.
    Clean the bore really clean.
    Repeat the above shooting process.
    Now you have a somewhat reasonable statistical comparison set. It is also instructive to use the chronograph, recording each shot's velocity.
    (I use graph paper to record the shot locations, and each shot's velocity, as I shoot the groups. This requires a high power scope or spotting scope to be able to see all the bullet holes, at least for my aging eyes).

    By the way, I recommend buying at least a 20X high quality scope for load development and for shooting tests like this. It is a huge advantage over a regular hunting power scope for precision shooting. I change to the hunting scopes on my rifles after I have finished the load development using the high powered target scope.

    There are many things to think about when conducting a shooting test, all of which relate to you shooting consistently. Practice uniform trigger pulling, breath control, positioning of the rifle on the rest, grip on the rifle, cooling time between shots and between groups. This will enable you to get a more valid comparison, so you can decide whether you want to start hunting with a clean bore or a one or two or three shot fouled bore. The more closely you approach uniform shooting, the more useful your results will be.

    This kind of exercise is just that--an exercise. There is a high probability that you will clean your hunting rifle bore after each trip to the field or range, and shoot your first shot with a clean bore. Therefore, you should know exactly where that first shot goes with a clean bore, and sight the rifle to that location. Then it will be irrelevant where the others go except at the range on paper. Generally, the fouled shots will not be very far from the clean barrel shots. There are some rifles that shoot that first shot significantly differently from the following shots, so it makes sense to hunt with them after shooting a fouling shot first.

    Regards,
    Jim

  11. #11
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Did anyone read the article in the American Rifleman a few months back (I can't recall right now which month) where the guy did a bunch of fairly sensitive acuracy test with and without cleaning his barrels on fairly-accurate rifles? If I recall, he even did somewhat of a torture test of running one rifle for hundreds or thousands of rounds without any drop in accuracy. Did anyone read that? What are your thoughts, agreements, rebuttals to that?

  12. #12
    hap
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post

    Just a dry Boresnake, use some solvent, fouling shots for every group that you really want to test????
    I do not know any serious shooters that would use a boresnake in a rifle... Cleaning does more to damage barrels than shooting and running the same dirty snake through a bore is a bad idea, IMO.

    The Juenke machine allows me to shoot the garbage bullets as foulers and I would not be shooting them for accuracy or hunting anyway...
    art

  13. #13
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default I got ya

    Thanks Hap,

    I think that's more than a few times I hear that now, didn't see it that way as dragging stuff back through, so that Snake is history

    I'm learning a lot here, keep talking guys,

    I like Midnight's experiment idea, but man would I love to find out I don't have to mess with it til I get home

    My first fouling shots by the way, are not far from the next, or the third, or the seventh anyway, so doesn't seem anything is being accomplished beside wasting several rounds that I could be load testing with. As I think I mentioned above I usually do this fouling/sighting with low end loads anyway and they actually are usually really pretty good groups, (definitely nothing that would be considered a flier or way off in comparison to others following
    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 !

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Did anyone read the article in the American Rifleman a few months back (I can't recall right now which month) where the guy did a bunch of fairly sensitive acuracy test with and without cleaning his barrels on fairly-accurate rifles? If I recall, he even did somewhat of a torture test of running one rifle for hundreds or thousands of rounds without any drop in accuracy. Did anyone read that? What are your thoughts, agreements, rebuttals to that?
    I read the article. I think it was Barsness who wrote it. IIRC he pretty much said, for a hunting rifle, shoot the thing without cleaning until it shows significant reduction in accuracy. I also seem to remember him defining two types of cleaning. One is running a couple of patchf of Hoppes no.9 just to get the powder residue out before you put the gun away. He was not saying to forego that. The "cleaning" he was advocating letting go until your rifle told you it needed it was intense cleaning to remove the copper/lead fouling down to bare steel. I may be mixing two different articles here.

    I have a friend who shoots litterally thousands of rounds between cleanings and it seems to make no difference in his practical accuracy. I don't quite go to that extreme, but I'm sure not going to worry about all that cleaning for every 10 shots either. Especially when I can still get 1-1 1/2" groups all day long and no cleaning.

  15. #15

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    It is my understanding that all barrels are different, in many after 10-15 shots it needs to be cleaned, others that isnt the case. Most "fouling" shot that i have ever heard of only consisted of 1 shot. I dont think its a great idea to not clean your rifle, though i think the advice to just run patches through with hoppes number 9 is a good idea till accuracy declines, then scrub it down to steel. Neglecting to do this can result in a pitted bore over time.

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