Barrel Cleaning Frequency
By Mitchel Demand
The shooting world today is constantly evolving. There always seems to be a new powder, bullet or cartridge introduction, not to mention all the new duty specific guns. One thing that will most likely always stay the same is bore cleaning. If the barrel is full of carbon and copper, it will not shoot to its potential, even with the best handloads. We have a mind-numbing array of cleaning supplies at our disposal and the majority of them work very well. For this Blog, I will solely focus on my cleaning process and frequency just for an overall example.
For all my non-magnum guns, I will carbon clean them every 50 rounds and copper clean at 100. The magnums I clean at 25 and 50. For some this may seem excessive, and it might be. But by doing this, I know the rifle bores are taken care of and unless I change bullets or loads, there will never be a change in point of impact. Cleaning more often will make the task easier and save time. All that said, I know for a fact that there are a lot of factory guns that need to be cleaned more often for consistent accuracy.
When I carbon clean, I use a nylon brush. That is a personal choice and bronze brushes work just as well. Using a good bore guide during the cleaning process is also a good idea. If nothing else, it will help keep contaminates out of the magazine area. Bore Tech Eliminator has been my product of choice for the last 6 years and in my opinion, you will be hard pressed to find a better product. I soak one patch then push it through the bore to get the loose carbon out. Then soak the brush and run it through the bore 10 – 15 times. One more soaked patch down the bore then I dry patch with 3 or 4. The process can be repeated if necessary but is seldom needed.
At 100 rounds, after the carbon has been removed, it is time to work on the copper. I’ll soak a patch with Wipe-Out Accelerator then follow with a patch soaked with Wipe-Out copper remover. I usually do this part before going to work or going to bed at night. When I get home or up in the morning, I simply dry patch it out. If the patch has medium to dark blue on it repeat the process. Normally, by following my round count process, the gun is clean after the 1st time. Once I’m satisfied that the bore is clean, all that is left do is to mop out the chamber and lug area.
I am a real fan of the products I listed but there is no doubt that the products you currently have will do just fine. The main point is to clean the guns often enough that it is simple and not time consuming. Doing this has extended barrel life and enhanced accuracy for me.