Does cleaning your barrel throw off the first shot?

Sokam101

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I just bought some 6.5 cm lapua brass to replace my Hornady that I have not been impressed with the consistency of.

I loaded 5 to test out and see what my sds are and I finally cleaned my rifle because I'm going to a class and shooting a match next weekend in PA.

My first round out of my rifle was 39 fps slower than the average of the next 4 shots. The 5 together averaged 17.6sd, es of 42. With that first clean shot taken out my sd was 4 with an es of 9.

I know this is a small sample size but I hope cleaning can throw off the first round. Thanks for helping out this new rifle shooter.
 

Newbie2020

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Did you clean down to bare metal?

If so, @Dthomas3523 has a number of posts and threads on the effects of cleaning carbon vs cleaning copper fouling down to bare metal. I think it matters.
 

morganlamprecht

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after cleaning the first shot will generally always be 25-50 fps slow...every barrel ive ever had does it

as far POI...depends on the barrel...my newer barrels stack shots outta the gate...get 1000+ rounds on them, may take decent number of rounds to get them back to normal
 

Sokam101

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Did you clean down to bare metal?

If so, @Dthomas3523 has a number of posts and threads on the effects of cleaning carbon vs cleaning copper fouling down to bare metal. I think it matters.
I didnt over clean it. Just a few wet patches and a few dry patches.
 

Sokam101

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after cleaning the first shot will generally always be 25-50 fps slow...every barrel ive ever had does it

as far POI...depends on the barrel...my newer barrels stack shots outta the gate...get 1000+ rounds on them, may take decent number of rounds to get them back to normal
Perfect. The POI was a little off but still a really good group. Im not sure why I cheaped out on quality brass this Lapua is amazing.
 

Jefe's Dope

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    Yes. No. Depends.

    Certainly can. May not. Really depends on your rifle.

    Hope that helps. 😁

    My .22 needs about 5-10 rounds to settle. My 6.5 I've only cleaned once and didn't pay any attention. But I would like to have at least one fouler after a cleaning. My preference would be 3-5 if possible.
     

    Snuby642

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    I have a 22rf that takes 10-15 to get back in the swing and then will shoot about 250 rounds.

    Most of my centerfires take just one and two especially if I left them slightly wet with oil.
     

    Snuby642

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    Fowling a clean barrel is a known thing.
    Some competitors buy two targets shoot all the fowlers at one and then for the score on another.

    They know thier barrel and for example shots 1-7 suck shots 7-35 are good and then tapers off.

    My son learned this from a Louisiana shooter on the hide.

    Won't drag him into this, he's always buisy.
     

    Mauser06

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    In my rifle it definitely makes a difference.

    My clean bore shots go to the same POI.


    2nd+ will all group about a half inch higher and a smidge to the right at 100yds. Seems 1 shot is enough of a fouler for it. But I haven't shot it enough to know if it shoots better as it's shot more or not.
     

    AllenOne1

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    I just bought some 6.5 cm lapua brass to replace my Hornady that I have not been impressed with the consistency of.

    I loaded 5 to test out and see what my sds are and I finally cleaned my rifle because I'm going to a class and shooting a match next weekend in PA.

    My first round out of my rifle was 39 fps slower than the average of the next 4 shots. The 5 together averaged 17.6sd, es of 42. With that first clean shot taken out my sd was 4 with an es of 9.

    I know this is a small sample size but I hope cleaning can throw off the first round. Thanks for helping out this new rifle shooter.
    Are you shooting my gun? It does exactly what you are seeing. If I want to check velocity I have to shoot 5 and then shoot a second set of 5 for the true velocity. I do think I over clean it and am going to adjust my cleaning method.
     

    Gustav7

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    Just did this test my last range session on a relatively new rifle.

    I cleaned with Butches Gun Oil until I had relatively clean patches and finished with a few dry patches.

    1st Shot - 1.5" low, 60fps slower
    2nd Shot - 0.75" low, 20fps slower
    3rd+ shots - on the money.
     

    Huskerhunter

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    Fowling a clean barrel is a known thing.
    white or dark meat? :geek:

    When I'm getting ready for a serious hunt, I clean my chosen rifle, then shoot at least five fouling shots. THEN, the next time I go to the range I put up a target at 200 yards and shoot it-- one shot. Rifle goes back in the case. a few days later, when I'm back at the range, I put up the same target and shoot again, one shot, same distance. Repeat one more time. I feel like this gives me real world first shot cold accuracy/POI. But the rifle doesn't get cleaned till after the hunt.
     

    eastexsteve

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    I know this is a small sample size but I hope cleaning can throw off the first round. Thanks for helping out this new rifle shooter.
    Depending upon how much you "cleaned" it can throw off more than just the first round.
     

    charnicus

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    I can confirm my experiences with too clean of a barrel. I’ve been following the TS Customs recommendation for barrel break in, and I’ve gone a bit beyond. Intentionally unintentional. Takes a few to steady back up. Maybe this is an ignorant thing to say, but I hoped that I would find the better groups the dirtier the barrel got during load development. Confirmed twice and made a minor tweak for happiness.

    So amongst my rambling I wouldn’t sweat it if you are.

    Hopefully this wasn’t too off.
     

    anotherwannabe

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    Did you rework up your load with the lapua brass vs hornady? They are fairly different capacity and you might also be in a unhappy place for SD/ES with the new load. And agree with everyone else, cleaning changes velocity for at least one, if not a few shots
     

    308pirate

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    This issue has been over stressed, I don't think it does. IMO it makes the recoil a lot smoother.
    I always expect a smooth shooting after cleaning my barrel and i am hardly disappointed.
    LOL

    What a crock of shit

    First of all, your opinion doesn't matter when there are loads of people with chronograph data proving you wrong

    Second, recoil is a physical phenomenon defined by the product of mass and velocity. What you "feel" is irrelevant.
     

    Gustav7

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    No doubt you are an experience shooter Sir, but i have seen a lot of people worry about barrel life and accuracy after cleaning and it isn't big a deal as they make it seem. i often get great barrel accuracy after a good clean.
    Accuracy or precision?

    Cleaning one of my rifles changes both the POI and the velocity. Some guys have noted that it only changes their velocity...or their POI, both of which is going to throw a shot at longer distances.

    I'm not sure where barrel life came into this lol...

    Seems like too many guys are reporting changes in POI or Velocity (or both) after cleaning to just say its nothing.
     
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    alamo5000

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    Cleaning can create a situation for good accuracy/precision but it is definitely not a 1:1 ratio. It all depends on what gun and what the purpose is. Some of those benchrest guys clean after every 5 or 6 shots. A gun that has extremely neglected cleaning wise can suffer from a loss of accuracy or precision...but does that mean 'clean' is the only way to run? No way.

    Going from dirty to clean definitely will impact your poi. It's proven. It could impact other factors as well. At the end of the day though consistency is simply not present when going from dirty to clean.

    What most successful shooters do in my experience is to start with a clean barrel and then foul it on purpose and then start counting groups. Simply put you get the most consistency when shooting on a fouled barrel. That doesn't mean 5000 rounds of not cleaning but it means fouled by a few shots.

    In theory if you shot one shot, cleaned, let it cool, then fired another shot you would have a pretty consistent group but that is not at all practical. The more practical way is to shoot on a fouled barrel and log down where your cold bore hits in relation to the group and compensate as needed. Keep in mind it might take a week to get consistent cold bore data. Shoot, log it, let it cool completely. Then repeat. That said a clean bore will almost always give you a different poi than a fouled bore even when both are shot cold.

    The real trick is to make sure you don't go too far on the dirty side. Do you clean after every 100 rounds? 300 rounds? Who knows...you can only figure this out by shooting. Another thing is that if you switch ammo types or even just bullets you should give your barrel a chance to acclimate to those new bullets before it will settle in to normal consistency.
     
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    Dthomas3523

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    This issue has been over stressed, I don't think it does. IMO it makes the recoil a lot smoother.
    I always expect a smooth shooting after cleaning my barrel and i am hardly disappointed.
    Yea......clean barrel or dirty/fouled barrel doesn’t do anything to the recoil.

    Don’t continue to put out this type of misinformation.
     

    Sokam101

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    Did you rework up your load with the lapua brass vs hornady? They are fairly different capacity and you might also be in a unhappy place for SD/ES with the new load. And agree with everyone else, cleaning changes velocity for at least one, if not a few shots
    I didnt do a work up as I was rushing because I had a class and match this friday and saturday. Accoring to my 4 shot group with lapua same load as my hornady my FPS was about 20 slower than the hornady but my ES was 20 less at 9 ES and my sd was 6-8 better at 4SD than the hornady brass. I think im done with cheapening out on components.
     

    Huskerhunter

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    LOL

    What a crock of shit

    First of all, your opinion doesn't matter when there are loads of people with chronograph data proving you wrong

    Second, recoil is a physical phenomenon defined by the product of mass and velocity. What you "feel" is irrelevant.
    Ever notice how your car drives better after an oil change? :rolleyes: Pure psychological distortion/misperception.