To clean or not to clean

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by archer, Oct 27, 2008.

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  1. Obviously I was always taught to clean my rifle before returning it to the armoury,
    But what do people think about cleaning the bore after each outing when a round has been fired?

    And how thorough a cleaning?
    Rod or just bore snake/ pull through?

    What do you think?

    I'm thinking maybe every 20 rounds?
    You all have far more knowledge/ experience than me so any pointers please.
  2. (1) Damp day - clean it.
    (2) Centrefire rifle - clean it.

    Rimfire's don't need as much attention because there is practically no leading and the bullet lubricant protects the bore. This also means you need to fire a few "fouling shots" from a rimfire when you have cleaned it. (1) above still applies though.

    Of course the rest of the rifle will still want a wipe.
  3. You wouldn't go for a shite, and then not clean your ARRSE afterwards, would you??
  4. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    When I was playing soldiers a long long time ago it was twice a day, every day...used or not, damp or not, dusty or not...
  5. I remember getting rifles out for half an hour's drill practice, then having to clean them before handing them back.

    I've spoken to people who put a length of zinc or magnesium ribbon down the barrel to prevent rust; the ribbon corrodes in preference to the weapon, so as long as some exposed ribbon remains then the barrel won't rust. Works for supertankers.
  6. Sounds right. But then, I've got a rimfire rifle that only leaves its case under shelter, and never gets wet or muddy. If I'm training, the rifle gets cleaned properly at the end of the session; if I'm in a rush, I know I can chuck it in the case and clean it later. If it gets damp, it gets cleaned immediately (even though I've got a stainless barrel).

    If you're serious about taking care of the bore, use a cleaning rod, and keep the cleaning rod clean - you don't want to drive any grit caught on the rod into the barrel. Always use a rod guide; it stops the rod scraping against the side of the chamber, and it stops you dripping cleaning fluids into the trigger mechanism (a rod guide has the external profile of your bolt, and a hole down the middle to put the rod; preferably plastic, although the metal ones are cheaper).

    Here's a manufacturer's guide on the subject of rimfire rifles

    I use VFG felts; I prefer them to flannelette, but lots of people are perfectly happy with the "jag and cleaning patch" system.

    Lesson borne of experience: grease up the rifle if you're travelling by air. I was glad I'd done it on one long journey - we went via Hong Kong, and the local customs insisted on unloading all of our firearms from the aircraft, inspecting them outside the plane. They were nice and cold after several hours in a very cold hold; as soon as cold metal met humid evening they were dripping with condensation; were then closed up, stuck back in the hold, and transported for another few hours; and on arrival were immediately taken away to the armoury by the locals...
  7. It won't be quite as effective as on a tanker, because the barrel isn't immersed in water, or so my memory of physics runs. Should work a little though, and the effects on the machetes used in the famous underwater knife fighting course would be incredible.
  8. Thanks,

    Reason for asking is the article in Novembers Sporting Rifle.

    I too had the "if it leaves the armoury it don't come back in without stripping and cleaning"- no matter what
    the purpose for issue.

    The article makes the point of damaging the bore or wearing of the throat by excessive cleaning .
    However loss of accuracy caused by fouling is the counter argument.

    In green the rifle gets replaced at no cost to the user but now I would have to shell out for a replacement.

    Thanks for your input- on balance I think the rimfire bore will get cleaned fairly often but the centre fire will be cleaned after each session.
  9. Good tip on travelling - will remember that!
  10. Shows what you know :roll: Anyone who knows anything about real sneaky-beaky stuff knows that the underwater fighting knives are made from finest stainless steel :)

    Not quite as effective, I agree. Thats why you use a ribbon down the whole barrel, not a lump at either end.
  11. Remember that in civilian world more barrels of worn out by cleaning than by shooting.

    The way it happens in our house is as follows:

    Sniper rifle -- cleaned every outing ( non stainless barrel)
    AR 15 -- cleaned every few hundred rounds (stainless barrel)
    shiny revolver -- once or twice a year
    blue revolver -- every time it is used, unless it is going to be used again within a couple of days
    rimfire -- action when it gets scabby, barrel almost never (every thousand/few thousand rounds)
    SLR -- oily rag everytime, properly cleaned occasionally
    7.62 x 39 bolt action -- every time with surplus ammo, oily rag every outing otherwise and then cleaned every few hundred ( chrome-lined)
    black powder -- properly, everytime!
    SIG P226 -- maybe once a year/every thousand rounds