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How often to clean

sroc112

Private
Minuteman
Feb 17, 2024
41
11
USA
Does anyone here do anything other than clean their guns after each range trip? I was always adamant about cleaning as soon as I got home from the range. However, my current living situation is a bit unique right now. My wife amnd I sold our home and are staying with family. They are not gun friendly people therefore my guns are at an FFL storage facility. When I do start going back to the range I'll need to first pick up the guns, go to range, drop guns back off, then go home. I'll have no where to really clean them before returning to storage, as most ranges I know of don't have anywhere that they will let you sit down to break down firearms and clean them.

So my choices would likely be to drop them at a gunsmith for a cleaning every once in a while for the duration that we are still living with family. In doing so, due to cost, I'd prefer to not do this after every trip.

I'm speaking in regard to mainly long runs. Long range hunting rifles or shotguns where maybe they are each getting 30-50 rounds put through them per range session.

Any real harm in not cleaning these after each trip? Can I hold off for 2-3 trips, maybe every 2 or 3 months have a cleaning done?
 
I'd say it would depend how busy the range is? I've seen plenty of people clean their rifles at the bench before or after shooting. Outdoor range that wasn't so busy that people were waiting for the spot, no one cared as long as they weren't oiling up the benches or letting patches blow all over.





As for how often... it depends? I have one's I actually clean (bore) every time. Other than I know have not been cleaned in my lifetime and probably haven't been cleaned in 70+ years. I always wipe them down externally with oil afterwards however.
 
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When cleaning the bore less is more.

Wiping crud off and a spot of lube on moving parts is part of a good routine. Keep in mind that if you're going into dusty environment greese and oil attracts dust. So in dust I run my bolts dry.

There's a lot of people who learned too scrub the bore out to please a drill sergeant. This only shortens barrel life and makes consistent accuracy less likely. Be like them if your rifle is bling to show off. If you just want to hit things then clean your bore when accuracy falls off.
 
The only guns I clean every time I shoot are my match rifles due to the standard of accuracy and barrel life expectations. My gassers or pistol almost never get cleaned unless I shoot in the rain or they stop working with us very rare
 
How often do I clean a barrel?

Brand new (or new-to-you) gun, always scrub it down to the white before ever shooting a round in it…No exceptions.

Then, just a single RemOil coated wet-patch + dry patch afterwards before each range session, just to be sure to remove any residual dust or crap from the bore, from sitting up.

When it starts throwing shots (every rifle is different)...Then heavy scrub all the way back down to the white and fully clean patches coming out.

There’s no unnecessary cleanings in between.
 
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For my style (1 day prs matches and some practice sessions) usually every 300rds. And it's only till a dry patch comes out about 97% or so clean. And really I think the carbon I do see if more from the ports in the muzzle brake. My ARs....hahahah..huh?
 
When cleaning the bore less is more.

Wiping crud off and a spot of lube on moving parts is part of a good routine. Keep in mind that if you're going into dusty environment greese and oil attracts dust. So in dust I run my bolts dry.

There's a lot of people who learned too scrub the bore out to please a drill sergeant. This only shortens barrel life and makes consistent accuracy less likely. Be like them if your rifle is bling to show off. If you just want to hit things then clean your bore when accuracy falls off.
What if accuracy falls off in the middle of a match ? What if you are a shitty shot and can't tell ?
 
I do not break in barrels anymore, and I don't clean until I get home, sometimes more than one hundred rounds.
I ran a stock factory chrome lined 5.56 Colt HBar dry and never cleaned for over 1000 rds...accuracy never changed and it still functioned 100%.
Depends on the barrel interior finish, type of bullets used..all copper bullets leave more fouling behind in a rough bore.
 
Unless you’re shooting several hundred rounds in a range session pull a bore snake through it a couple times with a little bit of CLP, Hoppes #9 or some sort of other mild cleaner/preservative that residue can be left in the barrel without harm. Then pull it through once again before you shoot since the residue will loosen up some fouling while it’s sitting. You’ll likely experience a POI shift and the barrel settling in for a few shots with this method but it’s probably the easiest form of maintenance between thorough cleanings. You could have another dedicated bore snake and put some denatured alcohol on it to pull through to neutralize it and prevent the shift too.

I’ve personally gotten away from the mind set of just keep shooting it until it doesn’t shoot or wait until a high round count to do it. Barrels are more consistent the cleaner they are and less fouling is built up and they’re WAAYYYY easier to clean if you don’t wait until you’ve got a thick crusty layer of carbon built up, especially in the throat. Unless you’ve got a rough ass barrel that copper fouls a lot you’d be surprised at the cleaners you can get away with using and not have to use magical shit in order the remove heavy fouling from high round count. I cleaned one of my Seekins barrels the other day that probably saw 150-200 rounds the last range session and stayed pretty hot and it patched out with Hoppes. I couldn’t believe it so I also pulled out the bore scope to look.
 
Fix the family.

Guess cleaning on the tailgate off to the side is frowned upon?

We have a cleaning table at our rifle range. However, we have 5 parking lots for various ranges so it's always easy to go find a quiet spot where you're not going to flag anyone.
 
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Yeah I'm currently working on finding a new range within a reasonable distance from my house as well. Few and far between with any sort of distance to practice on.