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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from the range. I was trying out some handloads. As usual, I always start with a clean barrel. I was shooting some Hornady 150 grain SPs over H335, Winchester LRPs and mixed brass. I had some factory loads, Remington 170 grain Core Lokt, and Winchester 150 grain Power Points to sort of serve as a baseline.
The drill was to clean the barrel, fire three rounds, clean barrel, let it cool, and try the next load, repeat for all loads. After completing, I had a few rounds left over, so I shot them without cleaning. Here are the results:
33 grains H335....2.6" clean barrel
2.8" dirty barrel
33.5 grains.........4.1" clean barrel
2.2" dirty barrel
34 grains............3" clean barrel
2.2" dirty barrel
Winchester 150 grain Power Point 2.6"
Remington 170 grain Core Lokt 3.25"
2004 Marlin 336W 30-30
Has anybody else found this to be true in their rifles?
Disclaimer: I'm not Daniel Boone, but I do normally shoot better than this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, do you clean and oil your rifle before you take it hunting, or clean and oil it, take it shooting, and then take it hunting? :hmmmm:
Actually, I found this before, just never measured it. Also, I don't think one fouling shot does it, some of mine need as many as five to settle down. This is just what I've experienced, yours may be different. :biggrin:
 

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me, having been a 1,000 yrd shooter for so many yrs now, I have run the couse of cleaning , to not cleaning to everything in between
Me now, I try to work loads up , I don't count the first shot if off a clean bore
I shoot one shot and then work from there, and I don't clean the bore again till after say, maybe 25 30 shots
modern powders today burn rather clean(even the black powders we use)
so, I don't go over board on cleaning
on hunting rifles, after I get a load I want, I shight in, normally takes 5 or less rounds, and I then leave bore dirty till hunting season is over
On my muzzleloaders, I have found for sure, a dirty bore makes must tighter groups
on inlines, all it seems to take is a primer being fired off?
and then I clean between every 3 shots, and clean bore
I prefer Blackhorn 209 , black powder these days, non corrosive, no smoke, and no sulfer smell
it runs hotter, so takes less powder too
just make sure your gun can use it before using, not all inlines can take it
 

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I leave it dirty after sighted in for huntin season. When I'm done using it after season, then I clean it... I've seen guns that have been ruined from over cleaning Especially when cleaned improperly... Not a ton mind you, but I have seen it.
The only time I really clean at the range is if I switch between cast & jacketed bullets.


BloodGroove4570
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great, thanks guys, I don't feel like such a lazy slob now. With all these gun people always talking about how they detail strip and super clean their guns after every range trip, I was starting to feel bad. :flute:
 

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After each use I run a dry patch through it and put it away... Thats all it needs shooting my lead boolits



Doc
 

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45Nut, I believe your observations are dead on. I have read a lot of pro's and con's about cleaning the barrel, not cleaning. On my 39A .22 I used to clean after every outing, never cleaned it at the range, but would as soon as I got home. Now I have lost tract of how many round between cleanings 300 or 500? I only clean when the groups start to open up. Same with my other marlin centerfires, if they are shooting nice tight groups then I don't mess with them. If I am going to set them up for a couple months then I usually clean the barrel and everything else.
I still feel like a slacker for not cleaning my rifles every time I shoot them. But they actually shoot better fouled. Of course like everyone else said, if it's raining out, my rifle gets cleaning and oiled, with a note to take a couple of fouling shoots prior hunting or shooting again.
 

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There is the whole odor thing to, with a deer smelling the cleaning solvents. Or bad guys for that matter. Have detected people carrying concealed, based on the odor of Hoppes #9.
 
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Once I have sighted in my rifle and scope for the hunting season, I do not clean it. After the hunting season I clean the barrel, and then shoot at the range with out cleaning. Next hunting season, I sight in the barrel after cleaning and shooting 5 rounds. All subsequent rounds are well in the target zone.
 
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First thing I would add is don't judge a group by three rounds. Shoot a minimum of five.

Scrub the bore 20 passes with a bronze brush wrapped with a cotton patch. One wrap only. Then run four passes with a new clean patch on a jag. Now your rifle is clean and dry and your first round will hit on target. In the field you can cut a piece of electrical tape the size of a postage stamp for the muzzle if your worried about moisture.
 
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When sighting in or shooting groups it seems every rifle demands there individual preference of fouling before I begin counting shots for a group. Equally, each rifle demands an individual preference of rounds through the tube before demanding a cleaning.

For example, between my 30-30, 32 Special, 308ME and 338ME, the first two begin to open up groups between 25 to 30 rounds depending upon the season I'm shooting. The 308ME is around 20 to 25 rounds and the 338ME is between 15 to 20 rounds. Each will get a cleaning but before returning to the bench I always run a dry patch down the barrel, otherwise each rifle prefers a different numbers of rounds down the tube before they settle down.

Equally, each rifle has their individual preference of number of rounds sent down the tube before letting the barrel cool off. The 338ME being the most temperature sensitive then the 308ME, then the later two calibers are fairly equal. That said, I tend to let my rifles speak and I make note of what they prefer... or in the case of the 338ME, demand!

When I return home and am not going hunting then I clean the barrel.

Their is a difference between a day of punching paper at the range or sighting in before hunting and the paying attention to barrel temp. For hunting I measure my groups from a dead cold barrel and fouled with 3 to 4 rounds down the tube. Then I know precisely where my POI will be pulling the trigger on game.

Jack
 

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I agree with Jack, let the rifle tell ya when it needs cleaned, they vary, that's for sure. DP
 
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