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Thread: Cleaning methods and cleaning strategy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    SW Kansas
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    748

    Cleaning methods and cleaning strategy

    I have always thought I was cleaning way more often than needed. For the last several years I have been using HBN and the bullets and also coating the bbl after cleaning.
    What I have found (with a tuner) is this. Either clean after every group or don't clean until the yardage is done.
    Usually I clean after two yardages if using the same gun. Where we shoot 100 yds on the first day I have really gotten into trouble cleaning between LV and HV.
    A example of this was at Raton last year. I shot LV100 and the gun was shooting very good, had to twist the tuner to keep it that way of course. I decided to keep using it and thought I would clean it. Started the HV and could not make two bullets touch. The gun was totally out of tune. I fought my way through the group and saved it but that really taught me a lesson.
    This year at the Cactus I shot the same rifle both days. I cleaned once during the weekend (after Sat)
    The rifle shot just as small at the last and it did at the start.

    Just something to consider. As a side note, during the KS state match I never cleaned once and was very happy with the results.

    What I am saying is the condition of the bbl really makes a difference on the tune.

    Richard Brensing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    7,891
    When I first got into Competitive Benchrest, I was told, "you clean after every group", with all sorts of weird concoctions that stripped everything but the rifling out of the barrel.

    That was before I started using cut rifled Krieger Barrels. 15 years ago, the Krieger people told me, "you guys clean way too much, especially when it comes to cut rifled barrels".

    When I started shooting a 30, people said, don't clean it. It took a while for me to go there, but now, I don't even clean it until the days shooting is over.

    At Walker County last week end, at the 100 yard, I went through the warmup and 4 matches, and Match five was five wipeouts. I went straight to 200, the Rifle kept shooting.

    When I do clean, I use nothing but Butches, a bronze brush, and patches. No secret concoctions, no witches brew.

    I think the guy at Krieger was right.
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 04-09-2016 at 08:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    1,486

    Thumbs up Right On !

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I have always thought I was cleaning way more often than needed. For the last several years I have been using HBN and the bullets and also coating the bbl after cleaning.
    What I have found (with a tuner) is this. Either clean after every group or don't clean until the yardage is done.
    Usually I clean after two yardages if using the same gun. Where we shoot 100 yds on the first day I have really gotten into trouble cleaning between LV and HV.
    A example of this was at Raton last year. I shot LV100 and the gun was shooting very good, had to twist the tuner to keep it that way of course. I decided to keep using it and thought I would clean it. Started the HV and could not make two bullets touch. The gun was totally out of tune. I fought my way through the group and saved it but that really taught me a lesson.
    This year at the Cactus I shot the same rifle both days. I cleaned once during the weekend (after Sat)
    The rifle shot just as small at the last and it did at the start.

    Just something to consider. As a side note, during the KS state match I never cleaned once and was very happy with the results.

    What I am saying is the condition of the bbl really makes a difference on the tune.

    Richard Brensing

    Richard, I agree with you one hundred percent! And I don't even use HBN or moly.

    Gene Beggs

  4. #4
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
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    1,178

    chillpill Clean ing .. an when

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Beggs View Post
    Richard, I agree with you one hundred percent! And I don't even use HBN or moly.

    Gene Beggs
    Yep... But with or without bullet coating, the powder used does matter on round count.... Talking 6ppc here
    primarily...

    Some powders are ok about NOT building that glassy carbon ring >fast<... Vihtavuori powders tend to be
    good here...
    I get LONG shot strings from a powder that looks to be a version made by Vihtavuori, some call it 8208
    but it's lot is known as #122910... Speed it up a tad with a safe faster single base powder and it will
    WIN.. Obviously 133 does it's fair share of winning.. ;-)...
    Many that clean OFTEN may need to well, not be too clean'y...

    cale

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    98
    I don't shoot competition( not yet) so some of this is greek to me. So approximately how many shots are you going( total) before cleaning( just a rough guestimate)?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    When a centerfire/group shooter shoots an entire agg without cleaning and the last 2 groups of that agg are better than the first group of that agg, what does that tell you?

    /

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    S.E. MI
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    I seem to remember Long range guys shooting 300-500 rnds with that HBN coating.....I think, I read that David Tubb and some others that shoot at Camp Perry.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    SW Kansas
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    748

    Your right Cale

    I should have mentioned N-133 is what I use. I didn't know they made anything else
    Seriously though, VV burns so clean, I tried other powders years ago and could make them shoot but they sure weren't as clean.


    Also, going 50 to 100 rds before cleaning is probably about what I'm doing.

    Richard Brensing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West central NH
    Posts
    574

    Above all, keep careful records

    Whatever strategy you choose, the rifle should be the one to choose it by telling you what it likes. You won't know what it likes for sure unless you keep careful records of EVERYTHING about your load, the loading regimen, the cleaning regimen, the temperature, humidity, mirage, light, wind and so on. I shoot Score matches, as well as various other disciplines. I have a custom record sheet for each type of match recording every relay. I also have notebooks for everything I do with every rifle, from bedding to scope changes to loading.

    I have found that my 6 PPC wants to be cleaned after every relay and wants Lock-ease too. My 30 BR doesn't need cleaning during the match. Some folks would rather be lucky than good. I am neither, yet, but I do know that those that are good remember what they did to get them there. If you shoot one rifle, you may get by on memory, but if you shoot a lot of them, the good records sure do help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
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    1,178

    Thumbs up Barrel residue an rd count

    Quote Originally Posted by canuck View Post
    I don't shoot competition( not yet) so some of this is greek to me. So approximately how many shots are you going( total) before cleaning( just a rough guestimate)?
    Also, going 50 to 100 rds before cleaning is probably about what I'm doing.

    Richard Brensing
    Yes Sir, I too...
    For me a yardage is.... 10 rds of fiddling with load a tad... Then there is the 25 rds on the records... Roughly
    15 - 25 rds on the sighters mostly but sometimes only 1 or 2 rds on each sighter, an at times 0... Runn'em...!
    So. Guess I average < 50 rds per yardage... I can get around 100 - 120 rds with my 122910 powder blends.
    So a full Agg 100/200 per class between cleaning.
    Truth is, gotten a few Grands with 100+ rds in barrels and no cleaning the entire Agg. It works and with non coated
    bullets.
    BUT.. Have not seen any of my barrels STOP shooting (Agging) at my 100ish rd count. STILL, I stop and clean
    well at this point so the carbon ring that will "get you", wont have a chance to "get me" eventually... :-/

    And as Jerry says..

    When a centerfire/group shooter shoots an entire agg without cleaning and the last 2 groups of that agg are better than the first group of that agg, what does that tell you?
    That the tube / powder / bullet combo WORKS for long shot strings.... An have seen this a-LOT recently with
    the Viht powders which I'm positive 122910 is.

    Richard, it's funny.... I'm not so sure it's "cleanly-ness" of the powder burn but the type of carbon residue coating the barrel.
    Typical lots of 133 seem to give me long strings of fire along with the 122910 powder I shoot...
    BUT..
    The 122910 leaves WAY MORE visible residue in the barrels............ BUT gives a LOOONG reliable shot string....
    133 typically leaves minimal residue and still shoots long strings.... John Dumas will be shooting a blend of
    133 and H4198 50/50 ratio this weekend at Luther and expects excellent results without cleaning through
    each Agg class. In practice, I have seen his success.... Like myself, More time between matches watching
    conditions rather than cleaning...


    Last year, I did this.... Shot a typical 30 rds or so of testing with my 122910 blends then.... Switched powder..
    XBR8208.......... A powder that has a known issue of a strange barrel residue and FOR SURE short shot strings..
    An yes, after around 10-13 rds... The barrel STOPPED shooting.. Got a .400 loose 3-shot group by round 10 an
    at 11, 12, 13 rds.. That 3-shot was even worse...
    WAY worse...
    The Powder used Matters.

    cale

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    1,253
    if sold as a milsurplus powder, i do not think it is vhit.
    vhit is a import powder, and i do not beleive we use any import powder in mil ammo.
    there is a reason lapua has a factory in the USA...


    Quote Originally Posted by caroby View Post
    That the tube / powder / bullet combo WORKS for long shot strings.... An have seen this a-LOT recently with
    the Viht powders which I'm positive 122910 is.
    cale

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,178

    Guatemalan 5.56 pulldown

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaier View Post
    if sold as a milsurplus powder, i do not think it is vhit.
    vhit is a import powder, and i do not beleive we use any import powder in mil ammo.
    there is a reason lapua has a factory in the USA...
    Foreign 5.56mm Guatemalan ammo was the pulldown origin.... The thought that it was Dupont IMR
    8208.... It was not... But the powder has a very excellent character... Little slow, but that's no problem.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    7
    To start with you need a quality one-piece rod - long one -and a bore guide. Without those two, don't start.

    Then a collection of proper PLASTIC brush, patches and quality solvent by link. The solvent needs to be of a kind or kinds that will not leave ammonia in the barrel if copper cleaning and something for the carbon that builds.
    Last edited by SamuelReg77; 07-31-2020 at 08:29 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Poetry, Tex.
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    6,741
    Quote Originally Posted by SamuelReg77 View Post
    To start with you need a quality one-piece rod - long one -and a bore guide. Without those two, don't start.

    Then a collection of proper PLASTIC brush, patches and quality solvent. The solvent needs to be of a kind or kinds that will not leave ammonia in the barrel if copper cleaning and something for the carbon that builds.


    Tell me, what do you use a plastic brush for? What is the effect of ammonia on a barrel?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
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    6,196

    Where I've come to

    Quote Originally Posted by Butch Lambert View Post
    Tell me, what do you use a plastic brush for? What is the effect of ammonia on a barrel?
    I looked for years to find a liquid cleaner that was fast and would do it all, pretty much. I got to Sharpshooters Supply and his cleaning solvents and found that Patch out was a universal cleaner and close to what I've been looking for. It takes everything out easily and quickly. I also found that Rem 40X bore cleaner was also very quick and effective. Where I've come to is soaking with the Patch out, let it set for 15 minutes, patch it out and then Rem cleaner on a brass brush, 10 strokes and the barrel is shiny without a trace of anything. Cleans Rimfire barrels the same as well. I shoot all day with both types of rifles now and clean when I get home.

    I have seen some good tests of bore cleaners on YouTube. Tells ya how effective cleaners are.

    Pete

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