Yea, this sounds like a newby goofball pontificating about something he knows nothing about.....
This is my cleaning routine based on Experience. parallels John stuff.
40,000 rounds shooting prairie dogs 1/2 inch gorups at 200
There has been much discussion over the subject of cleaning firearms. For those of you who still think you must clean your firearms (especially a rifle) after each and every range session, or after some prescribed round count, then I urge you to please read the excellent article titled “A Clean Barrel” on page 66 of the November issue of the American Rifleman, by John Barsnsess.
I agree with John on many points. The Black powder era is indeed long gone. We have been shooting smokeless powder for well over a century now. There is no reason to fear that your barrel will rust away if you don’t clean it. Many new shooters who come into the league are under the assumption that they must clean their firearms after every range session. Nothing is further from the truth than this misconception.
Rifles: My Savage match rifle, chambered in .308 Winchester goes a full shooting season before I clean it. That’s approximately 600+ rounds of Federal Gold Medal match ammunition fired through the bore. The Savage will routinely shoot its best scores between 300 and 450 rounds.
In 1994, I attended the FBI’s Sniper/Observer School. I used a Springfield Armory Super-Match M1-A rifle and never cleaned it once during the 5-day course. We shot well over 400 rounds during the class and on the final day, I shot a perfect qualification score and placed second overall in the FBIs shooting drills.
When I do decide to clean the Savage, I brush the bore several times with a plastic bore brush to loosen any powder fouling. Next, I’ll push a wet patch through the bore followed by a few dry patches to wipe most of the fouling out. Finally, I use this wonderful product called Outer’s Bore Foam. The Bore Foam was created to remove the dreaded copper fouling. I spray the foam in from the breech end until it comes out of the muzzle. I let the foam sit in the bore overnight. The next day Ill push the foam out with a couple more clean patches. At this point, I’m totally done cleaning the bore. What’s that old Hippie saying? Better Living Through Chemistry.
Im also not in the habit of running a slew of patches through a bore until they come out squeaky clean because I’ve personally never seen that happen. There will always be some discoloration left on a patch. Anyway, I’m going to foul up the barrel again fairly soon so I don’t sweat it too much. If you can run a dry patch through a clean rifle bore that comes out without a speck of discoloration on it then you’re definitely a better man than I am.
Barrel Break-in: As far as the barrel Break-in procedure goes. I’ve done the barrel break-in procedure on a few rifles and I’ve also shot a lot of them right out of the box. I never found any appreciable difference in accuracy to ever waste my time with that process again. Now that may raise the hackles on some of you die-hard riflemen out there but that’s the plain and simple unadulterated facts of life. If you want to do it, have at it!
A lot of riflemen I know are still futzing around breaking-in their rifles. They are still tweaking this or tweaking that. Three F-class seasons have come and gone and some of them have yet to fire a single round down range. Let’s face it folks, this isn’t a NASA mission. We arent sending men to Mars here! I believe the best advice I can give someone like this is to clamp on their scope, bore-sight their rig, and go out to the range and shoot the damned thing already! We can work out the particulars on the firing line. A few minor scope adjustments and an Allen key and you’ll be zeroed for 300 yards in no time flat.
Pistols: The handguns I use in competition also shoot much better when theyre dirty than when theyre clean. My custom built PPC revolver, my 2 ½ Model 19 revolver, and my Model 52-2 target pistol all go a full season between cleanings. That’s approximately 1,000 rounds per revolver and about 500 rounds for the Model 52-2. Granted, I’ll run a Bore Snake through them once in a while, and wipe off the feed ramp, but I’m not dissembling them during the shooting season unless I absolutely have to.
My Glock 34 pistol has gone through a couple seasons of Three-gun matches and an STTG pistol course or two without being cleaned and that amounts to roughly 2,000 rounds, give or take a hundred. My AR-15 has also fired several thousand rounds between cleanings without a hitch. John Krupa of Spartan Tactical Training Group couldn’t believe that my AR-15 still worked after he inspected it.
Over the years, I’ve known several shooters who have done a lot of damage to their firearms by some silly, over-zealous cleaning ritual than by shooting them. I’ve seen the Crowns on several Smith & Wesson revolvers totally ruined by Nimrods who wanted to thoroughly clean their revolvers. Beware of the Aluminum cleaning rod. Use a Brass rod when cleaning a firearm or better yet, purchase a Graphite or Carbon Fiber cleaning rod if possible. The one-piece models are best. There are no sections to unscrew during use. If you’re cleaning a bolt action rifle you should definitely be utilizing a cleaning rod guide while scrubbing your bore.
Now, I’m nowhere near the best shooter in the league. There are several members who are far better than I, but I do feel my level of ability speaks for itself. I didn’t get to where I am today by constantly cleaning my guns. I got here by sending thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of rounds downrange. I’m sure if asked most of our top shooters don’t scrub their guns after every range session either.
If you like to clean guns often then God bless you. You can then come to my home and clean mine if you’d like? I absolutely detest cleaning guns! It’s too much like work. It stinks, it’s messy, and it’s time consuming. I feel my time is much better spent sending a lot of rounds down range, thus trying to become a better shooter than by constantly cleaning my guns.
One Word of Clarification: These are NOT duty guns we’re talking about here. Duty and Self-defense pistols a completely different animal unto themselves. Duty and Self-defense weapons should always be thoroughly cleaned and inspected after each and every use. Your life or the life of a friend or loved one may depend on it.
Now these are just my humble opinions. Take it or leave it.
Great post....I have expensive sod poodle an leg match guns that are cleaned as if they will be used in surgery yet my 3 gun tools are for most part cleaned quarterly ....
My CHL rigs are also cleaned an test fired and carried after a magazine is fired thru em.
Stay Safe !!!
I do run a bore snake through them before I fire them just to make sure there are no little metal nasties left over from manufacture.
I love those bore snakes. Absolutely no chance of marring up the bore OR the crown with those. After a few hundred rounds I will give them a good scrub to remove the copper fouling. But I NEVER use a metal rod of any kind any more.
A friend of mine did acquire a couple extra of those slick new mil-spec rifle cleaning kits. They're like a plastic coated metal bore snake so it won't scuff up the rifling.
I use that for my AR pretty much exclusively now.
I've found that the repeated disassembly/reassembly process will do more damage over time that the honest range wear will.
My National Match M1A doesn't get disassembled more than annually due to the glass bed job.
Now none of this would apply if I were living in the field. Then I'd be cleaning the service weapons at least daily and more often if conditions required it.
But if I were living in the field I'd most likely be humping an AK variant and a 1911 both of which tolerate field conditions extremely well.
Best to you both.