Accuracy and oil




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  • Accuracy and oil

    I have heard that the oil you leave in your barrel after cleaning it can cause your first shot be less accurate. Any thoughts on this? If you do believe it causes your first shot to be less accurate, do you leave oil in your barrel before going hunting on a stainless rifle or do you wipe the oil clean before leaving?

  • #2
    Oil in the barrel


    I think the common thinking on this is that oil can influence the first shot, especially if it is a long one. Since it is nearly impossible to accurately predict in advance how far your first shot at game will be, a common practice is to avoid cleaning the bore between your last shots and the hunt. Makes sense when you think about it, because all subsequent shots will also be out of a fouled bore. Might as well make them as consistent as possible.

    That's what I do, anyway. I'm sure there are other views on this.

    If you're concerned about rust in the bore from rain or snow, just put a dab of electrical tape over the end of the muzzle (just one small strip, don't cram a wad of it in there; for obvious reasons).

    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (406) 662-1791


    • #3
      Fouling Shot !!!

      It is my opinion that an oiled barrel will definately throw off the first round. As Michael mentioned, the distance of a shot will be a big variable here also. Dont overlook the obvious. A cold barrel will have different harmonics than a slightly warmed barrel. Just as a hot barrel will develop eratic barrel harmonics. I can appreciate the disdain for leaving the bore unoiled. A good remedy would be to clean the gun as you normally would after shooting it and the morning of (or evening before) shoot one fouling shot out of the oiled barrel and then put it away for the hunt. I know that some target shooters will develop loads at the range in batches of 5 or so rounds of different amounts of powder or different bullet seating depths. They will clean the gun after each batch is fired. The logic being that if you want to compare apples to apples, all the test rounds need to be fired through a clean bore. Not one that is progressively getting fouled. But between these 5 rounds they always have a fouling shot. So they shoot a batch, clean the gun, shoot a fouling round and then shoot the next batch. They have seen a 5 shot group get pulled out to 1.5 - 2 " because of the first shot opened the group. Hence a fouling shot. I you are really type A or shooting long distances, take the gun out and shoot one shot several days in a row. Have the gun cleaned and the fouling shot done the night before each time (as you would for a hunt), then over a period of 4-5 days in cool/cold weather, see where the point of impact is by taking only one shot out of a cold barrel that has had a fouling shot the previous night. you could get great information ( a time delayed group if you will ) by taking the same target out and shooting from the exact same distance. You may be surprised where that first shot takes you. Looking at a pattern over 4-5 days will be eye opening if it is 4 inches low and left of where you had the gun sighted in at. The hunt is much different than the range yet many people dont give this the attention they should. Get a group over 4-5 days that will replicate what will be expected of your gun on the morning of a hunt. You may be changing the zero on your scope!
      The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


      • #4
        I always have my barrels oild AND again cleaned with some special rope "Quickclean" - so I have always the same conditions AND I have tried what influence this had on my barrelīs first shot: None
        BUT: This varies from gun to gun, so there might be guns with no or minimum influence and others with bigger one: Try it the next time on the shooting ground.
        What absolutely makes a difference on my barrels is when I cleaned the barrel with Forrest Foam for reducing copper fouling. Than I need 2-3 shots for having the old condition again...



        • #5
          It depends on the gun. Some guns show a dramatic effect as to the POI of a clean or dirty barrel, hot or cold. However, I have a rifle that is amazingly consistant, whether hot or cold, clean bore or 50 rounds through it, the POI is always the same.

          Find out how your rifle behaves, and whatever conditions it is most consistant at, have it in that shape when you hunt. Sending a fouling round through the bore then taping the muzzle isn't a bad way to start a hunt.
          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.


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