When cleaning- bore brush or no?

BigBrother

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So, I've been cleaning since I got my first rigs about a year and a half ago using the Otis kits, with BreakFree as my all purpose cleaner. So far no complaints.

But, I'm beginning to doubt the use of bore brushes entirely. I used to follow the Otis instructions to a T, always wet patch, brush, dry patch. It would take me forever to get a clean bore. Finally I realized the brush is probably redepositing gunk each time I'm passing through, as it's the only "contaminated" piece of the equation. Well, I switched to only using it at the beginning, and sure enough, decreased clean times.

Well, now I'm beginning to doubt its use at all. I clean after every outing, and just now, I realized once again that even my single brush pass just makes the subsequent few patches dirty as hell, and I'm really doubting at this point that it's just because it's lifting stuff up that wasn't getting cleaned before.

So- what do you guys do? Have you also found brushes do more dirt work than cleaning? Oh, I've also tried cleaning the brushes between use- doesn't really help all that much.

Thanks!
 

Casey Simpson

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Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

I'm getting away from brushes except in a 1911 in which I sometimes use lead bullets. I just can't see what, except for chicken crap or something similar, a brush is needed for. I polish my bores with patch and flitz and Final Finish. Then to scratch the bore with a brush seems like taking a step backwards. I'm thinking more and more of patches only and maybe even moving to bore snakes and cleaning them often.
 

BigBrother

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Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

Yeah, I do the brake cleaner bit (props to QUIB over on arfcom). But I'm a bit with Casey on this- it seems to me more and more like the brush is a rough tool for rough particles- as in real field work- but doesn't really serve a purpose in the "take to the range, shoot, clean (with top notch materials), repeat" cycle.. (?)
 

USMCj

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Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

There is nothing wrong with brushing your bore with a quality brush. It will never hurt your bore if done right.

my cleaning goes like this.

2 wet patches pushed down the bore, let sit for 1 minute
dip the brush in solvent and brush the bore about 5 times, let sit for 1 minute
2 more wet patches down the bore to get the gunk out, then if it still not clean i repeat, if clean, I run some dry patches and done.
 

427Cobra

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    When I do clean, I put a chamber plug in, fill the barrel with BBS, let it sit 24 or more hours and 3 patches the barrel is perfectly clean
     

    BOLTRIPPER

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 427Cobra</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When I do clean, I put a chamber plug in, fill the barrel with BBS, let it sit 24 or more hours and 3 patches the barrel is perfectly clean</div></div>

    +1
     

    gugubica

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    No brushes here (usually) if I have to use a brush, it's nylon.

    Cleaning routine is, shoot the crap out of it, shoot some more, when accuacy starts to fall, clean it.

    Sray wipeout in tube, let sit for hour or so, patch out, shoot the crap out of it. Accuracy returns.

    Every now and then (like yearly or so), I will do the BBS routine, just to make sure the Wipeout is woorking well.
     

    BLAWTON

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I rarely use brushes and only if i cant get it clean quickly. My method is i use 2 or 3 patches of wipeout accelerant till patches arnt quite so black. Then i run one of the wipeout/patchout and spray with foam. Let sit for about a hour or 2. I keep my comp guns really clean by running JB on a small bruch with a patch over it about every 100 rounds. My play guns get jb about every 300-400 rounds just to get that nasty carbon out and i only clean unless its a big bore gun about every 200 rounds. When done i finish it off with a couple patches with kroil and its ready to do. The big guys need a good cleaning every 50-75 rounds. They foul a little bit quicker.
     

    Rob01

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Using a Lucas bore guide, Dewey or carbon rod, jag and a looped bronze brush with brass body, I run 2-3 patches of BBS on the jag and let it set for about 15 minutes. Then put on a looped end bronze brush with BBS on it and make 10 passes down and back being careful when the brush reenters the muzzle. Then 3 patches of Butches and let set for about 15 minutes. If I still get some blue a couple more patches and another wait.

    I like to use the brush because it gets the carbon and some copper out better than solvent alone and when used right the brush won't hurt anything. Make sure the end is looped though. Don't skimp on buying brushes. Also make sure to rinse them off with some carb cleaner or rem oil after they have had solvent on them or it will eat the brush up.
     
    G

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Pistol/shotgun: rolled up papertowel and Break Free twice, then twice with a cotton patch with RemOil.

    Rifle: Boresnake twice with Break Free. Then, Break Free on a cottom patch, looped around a brush 10 times. 2 patches of RemOil. Would be a lot less, but I dont clean that rifle except every 500-600 rounds or so.

    Carbine: Dont shoot it bc I hate cleaning it.
    laugh.gif
     

    McCrazy

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I use brushes as they seem to break up carbon and powder fouling much faster than just using jags with patches and solvent.

    Besides, brushes are made from bronze which is much softer than the steel in your barrel so they aren't going to hurt anything as long as you use them correctly.

    If you are worried about it you can always use nylon brushes but IMHO they don't work as fast or as well. Always a trade-off...

    In the end there are many ways to clean a gun properly and many ways to do it improperly. The "best" way to do it is a rather heated and obscure subject on the other hand.
     

    TCA4570

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I don't "scrub" often.
    +2 on the BBS
    Couple of dry patches if haven't shot it in a couple days.
    See what it needs.
    Go from there.
    I would rather shoot than clean, and a little copper can be a good thing.
    Easier to manage, than be control freak.
    First dry usually removes just dirt.
    If it was swabbed after shooting, it will be clean, with a tinge of blue where helping.
    Copper and nylon brushes work different. Both may be needed.
     

    Graham

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    The answer depends on whether you are using a carbon solvent and then a dedicated copper remover, or a one-time do-it-all like BBS or Montana.

    If you are using a straight carbon solvent, then a wire brush can be useful. If you are using JB as well, then a wrap-around jag is better.

    Nylon brushes are not for scrubbing, only for applying solvent in the bore.

    I use a few patches of Kroil to get the carbon out, followed by a few patches of BBS. Then a nylon brush with BBS on it, brought back through the bore in short yanks. Wait five minutes, then dry patch and it's done.
     

    applevalleyjoe

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BigBrother</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So, I've been cleaning since I got my first rigs about a year and a half ago using the Otis kits, with BreakFree as my all purpose cleaner. So far no complaints.

    But, I'm beginning to doubt the use of bore brushes entirely. I used to follow the Otis instructions to a T, always wet patch, brush, dry patch. It would take me forever to get a clean bore. Finally I realized the brush is probably redepositing gunk each time I'm passing through, as it's the only "contaminated" piece of the equation. Well, I switched to only using it at the beginning, and sure enough, decreased clean times.

    Well, now I'm beginning to doubt its use at all. I clean after every outing, and just now, I realized once again that even my single brush pass just makes the subsequent few patches dirty as hell, and I'm really doubting at this point that it's just because it's lifting stuff up that wasn't getting cleaned before.

    So- what do you guys do? Have you also found brushes do more dirt work than cleaning? Oh, I've also tried cleaning the brushes between use- doesn't really help all that much.

    Thanks! </div></div>

    Interesting observation! I'll have to check this out. I wonder if Gunslick Foam bore cleaner can be used instead of the brush to achieve the same end..spray and let sit for 15+ minutes then swab out.
     

    pvfd304

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I never understand why some think that brushes will strach the bore.

    Steel > bronze
    Steel > Nylon
     

    tman300wm

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Bronze brush hurt a steel barrel that you have just crammed an over size chunk of lead and copper down at temperatures and velocities that turn metals into plazma? I think not!

    Just keep the brush clean of dirt and don't use an aluminium rod. Get a bore guide, and a good solvent that you can leave in the bore over night. Let the solvent do the work, and don't clean it all that often. Hell, I do mine about every 500 to 700 rounds at most and have gone as many as 1000 without cleaning. If you are that worried, get a nylon bore brush.
     

    rm76

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I dont think you will ever get a consensus on this. I tried for years to decipher the "proper" way to clean -- without luck. Even the pros dont agree on the best method -- not by a long shot! Apparently many different techniques work and many good shooters will clean only very rarely. Most damage to barrels is with cleaning rods, especially were the proper bore guide is not used and at the muzzle with poor techniques.
     

    robpiat

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I have and will always use steel and bronze brushes. There was a guy over at FCSA trying to clean a BMG with a nylon brush...to me that is laughable.
     

    Sam Hail

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Many theories by many individuals. Don't know if there is a right or wrong answer but I do know that carbon fouling will hold moisture which in turn will have a negative effect on the bore (rust). Caked on copper will reduce the bore diameter -
    Bronze and nylon are softer than steel so their use will not scratch the bore but they will remove the carbon.
    Wet patch - dry patch - wet patch - dry patch. . . . until the heavy carbon is removed. Then wet patch, wait for cleaner to penetrate the caked on stuff, scrub, wet patch then dry.
    Repeat until your happy with results. Finish with a thin coat of gun oil followed by a few dry patches - done.
     

    rescueswimmer

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I talked to the guys at gap and the reccomended a good Nylon brush and good solvent.

    I have to admit this stuff is the best I have ever used, Just picked up the C4-Carbon CU+2-Copper and the Rimfire blend. Wow this stuff is awesome, I used it on my AR that I had just "cleaned" well at least thought I had cleaned well. This stuff really works well.
    Boretech solvents
     

    Shooters Plus

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I always make at least one pass with a bronze brush. I think the main thing is to just not reverse the brush while in the bore. I do not use cleaning rods any longer, I only use the Otis nylon coated cable pulls.

    Shooters Plus
     

    NOMISS

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Try this, get a patch and pass it through the bore to within a quarter of an inch of the muzzle and have a look at the bore in plain daylight or use a quality flashlight like a Surefire, the light will reflect off the white patch onto the lands and grooves, if you have grey streaks (powder fouling) or copper streaks (jacket fouling) your bore isn't clean, if you can see nothing but "polished" steel ignore the rest of my post, but if this fouling is present it can give you a cold bore zero that will change after two or three rounds down the bore, even if its only a half an inch of play in zero at a hundred yards, that translates into an inch at two hundred... so on so forth.
    Accuracy = Consistency and vice versa, so if you return the bore back to "default" or with as little fouling as possible it will greatly help your shooting.
    I found with every rifle i have ever owned that the one piece plastic coated rod, bore guide, and phosphor bronze brush and solvent with the key ingredients - time and plenty of passes was the best and most thourough method, the Otis kits are a great piece of equipment and i have one myself, but i never really regarded them to be more than a kit i would keep in my assault vest for a time when i was stuck and the issue kit wasn't up to the task.
    Take the time, use a one piece rod and bore guide with a bronze brush and solvent, plenty of passes through the bore and mop with a jag and patch.
    What you have been doing is cleaning your rifle with oil and a cord, which used wrong could lead to "cordwear" this is where the constant method you use to clean the bore may wear a groove into the metal, oil itself will just plain stop all fouling from cutting or pitting the bore, and it may clean some fouling, but its only a field cleaning measure, oil left in the bore is a no-go either unless your putting your rifle up for a month or three, my advice - clean the rifle with every care and attention to detail you would use when your looking for targets or squeezing the trigger on that rifle.
    Hope i was of some help!
     

    one shot ST

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    This is what I do....... simply from HS Precision owner manual

    H-S precision barrel breack-in & shooting/cleaning

    your new H-S precision rifle has gone through its initial breack-in process during its accuracy testing.

    for the first 30 rounds you put through your rifle, clean it after 6 rounds following the cleaning procedures below.

    WARNING DO NOT USE ABRASIVE/GRITTY CLEANERS TO CLEAN YOUR BARREL, DOING SO COULD AFFECT THE ACCURACY & LONGJEVITY OF YOUR CUT-RIFLED BARREL!!

    1 using Shooter's Choice solvent, clean barrel to remove powder fouling. Apply solvent to bronze brush and stroke 5 1/2 times through bore, stopping at muzzle end. Apply more Shooter's Choice solvent to brush and stroke another 5 1/2 times.
    Push cleaning patch through bore to remove liquid and fouling. Push a second patch through bore.

    2 repeat above procedure for second time

    3 using Sweet's copper solvent or Butch's Bore Shine, clean barrel to remove copper fouling, Apply solvent to bronze brush and stroke 2 1/2 times through bore, stopping with brush out of muzzle end.
    Apply more Sweet's solvent to brush and stroke another 2 1/2 times through bore. Let solvent work for 5 minutes. Push cleaning patch through bore to remove liquid and fouling. Push second patch through bore.

    4 Push a clean patch through bore, stopping 1/2 to 3/4 short of muzzle. Inspect for copper fouling. If rifle still shows copper fouling repeat step 3. If bore is clean, proceed to step 5.

    5 Apply a lubrificant (LPS 2, WD-40, etc.) to a cleaning patch. Push patch through bore.
    Push a second non lubricated patch through bore to remove excess lubricant.
    Clean chamber with a chamber mop.
     

    UKDslayer

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    If fouling is heavy, I prefer to use the Wipe Out accelerator, one or two wet patches, let sit overnight. Dry patch the next day, then few wet patches of Shooters Choices, Nylon brush (general guestimate rule I use is one pass per 5 rounds shot), dry patch. If dry patch still pretty dirty, go back to wet patch, nylon brush, dry patch. If first round dry patch has only a little remnants, continue to run through a few more dry patches until acceptable. Then refoul with 4 rounds
    smile.gif
    for CCB.
     

    ArcticLight

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Why would you want your bore clean? Throws the accuracy off.

    My rifle has NEVER even seen what a bore brush looks like, let alone had one within 10 feet of it......

    If accuracy drops off get some shooters choice, put a wet patch in, put another in and let it soak 10-20 minutes.

    Repeat procedure after using dry patches.

    On a factory BBL it will take you 16-30 rds to settle back in after you clean it though....

    Even DTubb said 1-16 rds on a match grade bbl.
     

    Vin

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ArcticLight</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Why would you want your bore clean? Throws the accuracy off.

    My rifle has NEVER even seen what a bore brush looks like, let alone had one within 10 feet of it......

    If accuracy drops off get some shooters choice, put a wet patch in, put another in and let it soak 10-20 minutes.

    Repeat procedure after using dry patches.

    On a factory BBL it will take you 16-30 rds to settle back in after you clean it though....

    Even DTubb said 1-16 rds on a match grade bbl. </div></div>

    There seems to be a growing trend of not cleaning at all. Maybe its my military and leo background but I don't get it. Everytime you shoot a round it deposits fouling and copper in a barrel, that shit attracts moisture and eventually builds up... I clean after every time I shoot and have not seen a decline in accuracy. Also my <span style="font-weight: bold">C</span>CB, clean cold bore shot is consistent.You ask 5 guys and you will get 8 opinions. Everone seems to be an expert on it.
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Vin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    There seems to be a growing trend of not cleaning at all. </div></div>

    That should tell you something.

    Fouling builds at a slow rate. The key is to find out what your rifle "likes". How many shots after cleaning does it take to get the best accuracy again? How many shots could you save if you only cleaned every 300-400 rounds?

    Your CCB is consistent. Great. Since I shoot my rifle weekly (or every two weeks at the most) I keep it fouled. This way my Cold Bore is dead on with following shots. There is no worry about compensating for CCB. Lots of guys track their CCB. Have you tested it at 300, 400, 500, or even 1000 yards?

    You say you clean after every time you shoot and haven't seen a decline yet? Over how many barrels? How many shots/cleanings do you have on the current barrel?

    I don't clean my barrel until accuracy declines. So how is that any more damaging than cleaning constantly?

    I too came from a Military background. I have seen countless M16's destroyed because cleaning was institutional. Ever watch a boot clean the compensator on a -16? I also have a LE background. What works for duty pistols is not exactly what you would want with a precision rifle. What I do with a chrome lined M4 and a CM .308 are a bit different because they are different weapons with a different purpose.

    Don't be afraid to try it. You might like it.
     

    Patrick_S

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Highjack... What would you do with a rifle that was given to you and you have no idea when it was cleaned last, but it looks like its been quite some time? This way I have no idea what its capable of or how many rounds its likes between cleanings, ect

    Thank You
    Patrick Scott
     

    Silent

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Do what you feel comfortable with if you HAVE to clean every time and you feel comfortable with you CCB then by all means clean away. However try not cleaning and see if you can live with a "dirty" weapon and clean every 3-5 hundred rounds or once you see accuracy starting to drop... Give it a try
     

    BobinNC

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Wow, never would have believed that there was so many different approaches to simply clean a rifled barrel. Since everybody does it different, here's my way:

    I only clean every 50-100 rounds, except if the bore gets wet.

    - 10 strokes with a dry bronze bore brush
    - 3 wet patches with Shooter's Choice
    - Let it sit for 15 minutes
    - 2-3 dry patches
    - 1-2 wet patches with Barnes CR-10
    - Let it sit for 15 minutes
    - 2-3 dry patches

    Done. Is my way better, haven't a clue?.....

    Bob



     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    My approach is to use the brush to distribute solvent into the deeper reaches of the rifling, and for this purpose a nylon brush is adequate. I have my doubts about the ability of the bronze brush to really disrupt glazed on fouling in a bore.

    These days, probably 95% of my bore cleaning is done with Outer's Foam and patches, period. .22's almost never, and shotguns, Hoppe's #9, patches, and that's all folks.

    Greg
     

    NikolaiS

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Out of curiousity, is there anything wrong with the "cleaning method" of just running a boresnake through the barrel a few times?--done. With some clenzoil.

    (I have a feeling I'm about to be smacked for this one.)

    Nik
     

    LoneWolfUSMC

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Here is my take on boresnakes....

    Unless you are throwing it in the washing machine between pulls, you are yanking the same crap back through the barrel. IMHO working the same grit back through the bore is worse than just leaving it there in the first place.

    I won't use them on my precision rifles for that reason. They are fine for AK's, M4's and Shotguns, but not on anything I want optimal accuracy from.

    I know there are several on here who use them, but if it's a quick field cleaning solution I need, I just bust out the Otis kit.
     

    okiefired

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Unless you are throwing it in the washing machine between pulls, you are yanking the same crap back through the barrel. IMHO working the same grit back through the bore is worse than just leaving it there in the first place. </div></div>

    LW, how would that be any different than firing hundreds of rounds down a dirty barrel?

    okie
     

    NikolaiS

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Unless you are throwing it in the washing machine between pulls, you are yanking the same crap back through the barrel. </div></div>

    Ok that makes sense. Maybe I'll try the boresnake as initial run, and then patch it clean.
     

    maccrazy2

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    How much force would you guys say it takes to push a patch thru your barrel? I have 30 cal jags by diffrent makers and they run from very loose to so tight I don't want to use them. My 50cal tipton rod,jag is so tight it is hard to run it thru the barrel. I have never seen a general estimate on how tight they should be.
     

    BMerino

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    My riflesmith has been in the business for over twenty years and worked with metal 40 years before that. He has assured me the brushes has zero negative impact on the bore. He actually encourages the use claiming you can't clean it properly without which will alter and reduce accuracy as copper fouling increases over time.
     

    pawprint

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I really like J and B bore cleaner, if you think your barrel is clean, all the fancy shit people swear by, then run a patch with som j and b through it, 8-10 licks, it will come out black 99% of the time. Repeat depending on the condition, it will come clean. I have to agree with all that feel more guns are destroyed by over cleaning (killing with kindness) than by not, however; if you look at world record, benchrest shooters techniques, they keep the bores clean, very clean. Military weapons often have a chrome plated bore, different animal. The type of steal also makes a difference in cleaning. SS can make for a very accurate tube, but it is much softer than chrommoly. I believe you should clean a barrel when it starts to tell you it needs cleaning, and before you put it up. More than that is over cleaning.
     

    Lburt

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    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Rob01 has, in my opinion, the right idea starting with the most important piece of cleaning equipment you can have. A bore guide that fits your chamber and action. Lucas bore guides are cheap insurance that you are not going to ruin your throat or chamber. As far as brushes are concerned Bronze with Brass loop. NOT bronze with steel loop. If you want to use Nylon, try sizing up one 8mm(.323) for .308. Some solvants are better with copper and some with carbon. No harm in using 2 different kinds as long as you make certain all of one is gone before using the second one. kind of like eating your ice cream with the same spoon you stirred your spagetti sauce with; you might want to clean it first.
     

    erndog105

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    Minuteman
    Nov 20, 2008
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    Texas
    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    Can someone tell me if I should or should not use a solution with ammonia? Butches has ammonia and I have heard ammonia is not good to use. Thks
     

    CCooper

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    May 20, 2009
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    Hoschton, GA
    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I use a brush roughly .05 smaller than the bore and wrap with a Sinclair cotton patch saturated in Butch's bore shine. I also use a Lucas bore guide. Usually 5-6 patches wet then a couple dry and I'm pretty clean. I don't pull back thru the crown either.
     

    Greg Langelius *

    Resident Elder Fart
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 10, 2001
    9,041
    5,268
    AZ
    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    I use a slotted steel patch holder, as long as I can find. It permits a bigger patch, which translates to more solvent going into and being blotted out of a bore.

    IMHO, the solvent does the work, everything else is about getting it in and out of the bore, and getting it thoroughly distributed into any recesses.

    Most of the time, I'm using foam anyway.

    Ammonia is fine, just don't mix solvents that contain it with other things. The formulations are concocted to work effectively, efficiently, and safely; and messing around with formulas is not something I'd be comfortable doing. Only exception I'd trust, Ed's Red, and it doesn't contain ammonia.

    Greg
     

    lordfaramir13

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    Aug 9, 2009
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    Colorado Springs CO
    Re: When cleaning- bore brush or no?

    +1 for the foaming bore cleaner. Especially for the used rifle purchase. Bought my 1 and only rifle from a gunsmith in our shop. Said it was a good rifle but rarely cleaned. Had copper fouling throughout. 1 squirt and a day later had blueberry pancake mix coming out. 2 more squirts and 2 hrs later clean as a whistle. Chrome lining and no pitting.