Gun Cleaning Tips

Chris101

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May 1, 2020
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Hey guys, I'm brand new to the realm of long distance shooting, and I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on gun cleaning habits. I was taught growing up that keeping it perfectly clean was the key to accuracy, but recently I've heard of some folks leaving it for a few hundred rounds, and then wiping it out but leaving the copper fouling in place, insisting it is more accurate. I've been a bit wary of trying new ideas like those, just because I don't have the funds to ruin my rifle with poor maintenance habits, so if there are any tips or tricks from those of you with experience, I'd appreciate it. Right now, due to an extremely limited budget, I'm running a Browning BLR in .30-06 and getting 1/2 MOA groups out to about 600 yards, then they start to spread to as much as 1 MOA around 1000 yards, which I'm pretty happy about given the setup, but if cleaning it differently can improve it at all, I'd appreciate the input.
 

1moaoff

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  • Nov 16, 2008
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    BLR shooting 1/2" to 600 so roughly a 3.5" grouping of 5 shots And then still sub moa at 1k yds?

    If that's the case i wouldnt even shoot it. That's one of the rarest you can find.....
     

    1moaoff

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    Chris, sorry if that sounded harsh or sarcastic. It was but let's clarify.
    1st, you are say you are getting 1/2 moa groups out to 600? Is this correct? Then still sub 1 moa at 1k yds?
    I'm not saying it's not POSSIBLE, and if you are being serious with your questions on this site there is a wealth of information.. I will say however that making what many would consider outrageous claims if you cant back them up up will not go well on this site.

    Just for refernce that accuracy could easily win any major PRS match or similar.
     

    Chris101

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    May 1, 2020
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    Hey no worries, I didn't find any sarcasm. Yes, that is correct, the groups were pretty tight to begin with, but I stuck a barrel deresonator from Limbsaver on it and it tightened them up dramatically. I'm in central British Columbia, Canada. I've never tried getting in to any matches, but I think there are some locally. Do you really think that's good enough to try out? I always thought they were much higher level than that. I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers, I only just became a member the other day and thought you guys would know more about this stuff than I do.
     

    High Desert duck

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    I don’t clean unless the gun gets wet or stops shooting. My current 25 creedmoor has been cleaned twice in 1900 rounds. Both after shooting a comp in rain or snow. My hunting 30-06 likes to be cleaned more often every 200 rounds or so, but most often after hunting season because it’s been wet.
    These are both cut rifle barrels. Button rifles or hammer forged sometimes copper foul quicker and will ask to be cleaned more often.
    Maldonado i live in a super low humidity area, my daughter lives in Minnesota and I advise she run a wet patch followed by three dry to prevent rust if she’s not going to shoot in the next 2-4 weeks.
     

    Chris101

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    May 1, 2020
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    I really appreciate the feedback on that. I guess I just don't know what a good match setup looks like. Out of curiousity, would you mind letting me know what you're running and how well it does? Also, do you have much match experience?
     

    DownhillFromHere

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    A couple of things. Welcome to SH, first of all. As was said above, there is an incredible wealth of info here.

    So, given the level of expertise here, it's important that you understand you have made an accuracy claim that is difficult, even impossible, to believe: that you have a production lever-action hunting rifle producing groups comparable to those from 20-pound custom-built bolt-action rifles. Be prepared to respond to expectations that the claim be backed up with multiple 5-shot groups as well as expectation of more, um, doubtful remarks.

    As regards cleaning, do not expect a concise answer. Some people clean after every range trip. Some don't clean until accuracy falls off. Some clean until the bore is factory-new. Others do less. The snarky response is, if your cleaning regimen produces the kind of accuracy you're recounting, you don't need any advice from SH! I personally clean every 50-100 rounds (that can be every range trip) and try to get most but not every bit of carbon and copper out. There are plenty of threads here on the subject.

    Good luck. If your BLR is capable of anything near the accuracy you claim, you have a unicorn that should be put in a vault someplace and brought out only for $100-a-shot bets!
     

    Dthomas3523

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    The “don’t clean until accuracy falls off” is some outdated information that keeps getting passed down for some reason. The only time this isn’t a bad idea is if you just plink at the range and it doesn’t matter if accuracy goes to shit.

    If you hunt, shoot matches, or work with a rifle, then you don’t want to let the rifle tell you when to clean it as you don’t get to say when that will be.

    This would be the equivalent of changing your oil when the car breaks down. Cleaning is preventative maintenance. How clean is up for debate.

    Personally, every couple hundred rounds I hang my barrels vertically and plug the muzzle with a foam ear plug with bucket underneath. Fill the barrel with clr and leave for an hour or two. Drain and patch dry. Then run a wet nylon brush with a battery drill back and for a minute or two. Patch dry. Plug and soak again with copper solvent. Drain and patch dry. Run wet nylon brush with drill then patch dry. Clean chamber and make sure no oil or solvent is left in chamber.

    Them check with a bore scope. The barrels usually come out looking brand new inside. Only takes about 3 rounds to foul again on next range trip.

    Actual cleaning time is 10min or less. Rest of it is just soaking.

    With this method, I always know the status of my barrel and they perform the same way all the time.
     

    wizzles

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    May 17, 2020
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    Yeah, I always see conflicting stories but Dthomas3523 makes a great point that if you know the status of your barrel, you can have more consistent results.

    If you always clean it, you can measure your groups against each other. This allows for consistency in range trips.

    If you like to clean it every 100 rounds, then on the 101st round of a fouled barrel, you can't guarantee consistency.

    If you want to clean it, shoot a box of ammo through it and store it until your matches, then you'll have consistent performance.

    Consistency vs. perfection.

    I make sure the rifle doesn't have corrosive materials in it, and that it isn't wet before I store it. And I typically clean everything after shooting so I can return to that baseline.
     

    skyhook

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    Oct 10, 2020
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    Howdy folks, long time lurker & first time poster. Ran up on this post while I was investigating my own .30-06 BLR's performance. I acquired my Browning BLR lightweight pistol grip earlier this year, and I've been working on long range shooting quite a bit lately. I was absolutely shocked to find it consistently outperforms my bolt action between 400-700 yards. I couldn't believe it for a level action, bc I grew up kind of buying into the "bolt actions are always more accurate than LA line". Well damn, at least from my own experience, that line doesn't hold much water anymore! At 300-630 yards, I am sub-MOA with my BLR -- above that it varies, but is within 1 MOA >90% of the time. I have found 450-550 to be the "sweet spot" for this rifle. I shoot with a 2-7x33 Leupold & 165 gr. federal terminal ascent catridges in the dry thin air of Montana at ~8800 ft. Anyways, I was out with my buds shooting on Friday & they couldn't believe it -- telling me I should put the gun up & bust it out only for big shots. I guess that is what led me to this thread cuz I was wondering if others had a similar experience with their BLR. Personally, I say screw it, if its a "fluke" or blessing or whatever, it's still going through the sleet, snow, mud, & ice on my back this winter!
     
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    lash

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    I really appreciate the feedback on that. I guess I just don't know what a good match setup looks like. Out of curiousity, would you mind letting me know what you're running and how well it does? Also, do you have much match experience?
    Hi Chris. Welcome to Snipers Hide.

    Your rifle is not ideal at all for a PRS style match, even though it has the accuracy needed. First off, the caliber doesn’t lend itself to this style competition, with the .30-06 recoil in an under 8 lb. package making it harder to keep on target for the fast follow up shots needed to shoot the typical 8-10 round stage in 90 seconds. Add to that a typical match round count of around 100 yards and you are better off keeping that great shooter for your hunting. You would be competing with heavy rifles from about 16-28 lbs., shooting light rounds anywhere from 6 BR to 6.5 Creedmoor typically.

    That having been said. I am a big fan of the BLR and see no reason why they could not be capable of the accuracy level you are stating. There are numerous reports on various sites of the surprisingly inherent accuracy of these rifles. I think that some guys here have trouble themselves getting this accuracy with their high end, high $$$ bolt rifles and cannot fathom that not everyone has as much difficulty.
     
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    Smallcalshooter

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    Jan 19, 2019
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    I bought a blr in 1984 in 308 win. With handloads it's a 3/4 in shooter. It's my WV deer slayer wouldn't hunt with anything else. Love that rifle. Lot of memories in 35 yrs.