Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone any experience of a gradual deterioration in accurracy in micro groove barrels caused by copper fouling? I have now put about a hundred and twenty rounds of 265g Hornady XTPs through my 444SS and a recent careful range check has confirmed that the group size has opened up threefold. I have just done a thorough clean with solvent and, unsurprisingly, the bore was very dirty. I had been using a boresnake, but obviously this wasn't going to remove much copper. I haven't been able to get back to the range yet to check results. Should a good clean do the trick? Or should I be looking elsewhere? I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,880 Posts
I clean my rifles and handguns with "MONTANA X-TREME™ Copper Killer 50 B.M.G. Special Formula" and have never suffered a degredation in accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
A boresnake is good for a field cleaning, to remove your copper fouling try some BoreTech Eliminator, works for me. A Microgrove is just a 12 grove instead of a six grove rifling. Depending upon how polished your bore is the fouling will build up gradually and yes it can effect accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,992 Posts
In my 35 Rem XLR (I shoot only jacketed bullets in this one), I also use the Montana X-treme. Even though the bore in this rifle has been lapped, it still will foul with gilding metal after extended shooting. Being a competitive Benchrest shooter for a good portion of my life, I am in the habit of cleaning the bores on my rifles after every 5 to 10 rounds or so....my huntin' rifles are no exception to that rule! Sounds like you have some scrubbin' to do.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,957 Posts
Copper fouling is a accuracy killer in any rifle, I use the foaming bore cleaners, IMHO there is nothing better. I also clean my jacketed bullet shooters after a range trip, oxidation on the copper is the real killer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,943 Posts
I have been bouncing back and forth between jacketed and cast bulletsmin my 444. Ive been using the Montana X-treme copper stuff after shooting up jacketed bullets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I must be the odd ball
and abuser of firearms
I have 2 target rifles
223/243 that I keep very clean ,but all the rest
every year if I use them
all they get is a bore snake
with hoppes and then a patch with rig.

The deer don't seem to mind.
I sight my bolts in for 100yds and
levers in for 75.
Keep in mind I hunt Nh and 75 yds in the
woods is a long way.
I'm sure it's a different ball game out west.

ronny
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I admit I let my cleaning regime slip a little with the 444. I use Forest Bore Foam in all my other rifles exclusively with excellent results. My thinking was more about effects, if any, which might be peculiar to micro groove barrels. Such as, are they inclined to foul up quicker / slower / no difference from ballard? What is the word on the number of rounds fired before cleaning becomes necessary to maintain good accuracy?

By the way, I finally hit on the idea of how to stop the bore foam from oozing back into the action. What I did was to drill out a 44Mag case through the primer pocket so that the feed tube was a good tight fit and makes a good seal. (No doubt somebody already thought of this centuries ago!)

I will be at the range tomorrow morning with a pristine barrel...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,992 Posts
Here is a story that explains what barrel fouling can do to accuracy.........Many years ago, one of the Benchrest competitors that I shot against had a barrel for sale. I asked him how much and he said 20.00! It was a Hart barrel (top of the line competition stainless). I asked him why so cheap. He said the barrel was shot out and not good for competition anymore (according to him, it would not hold 3/4" at 100 yards)...... I needed a barrel for varmint hunting and thought that a good cleaning and a lap and polish might bring the barrel in to good coyote accuracy (I was culling for the state at the time). I took the barrel over to my mentors shop and had him borescope the bore. He said to take it home and soak it for a week (we used a tube filled with solvent for the purpose). After the week was over, I scrubbed the bore and took it back for bore scoping again. My mentor said the bore looked like brand new! I took the barrel home, chambered it for 222x35, and mounted it on a stocked BR action. My first match out with that barrel: 40 mph switching tailwinds and a driving rain....grand aggregate score for 100, 200, and 300 yards was .3330 group sizes! The ex-owner of that barrel wanted to buy it back on the spot!!! I went on to win many matches with that barrel....the only problem it had was the ex-owners lack of proper cleaning!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,170 Posts
Here's another vote for BoreTech Eliminator... Can't say how well it compares to Montana X-treme that Dawei and Flat Top mention. Those guys have never steered me wrong, so I may have to give the Montana stuff a whirl one of these days.

But, I will vouch for the effectiveness of Eliminator vs. the effectiveness of Barnes CR-10, Sweet's 7.62, Butch's Bore Shine, and Hoppe's Benchrest Copper Solvent. Plus it doesn't smell up the house like the ammonia based cleaners will, so the Mrs. doesn't mind it nearly so much.

One thing about it (the BoreTech Eliminator) though - - use it in conjunction with a nylon brush (preferrably on aluminum vs. brass) to run your dampened patches and not your good brass jags or your good brass/bronze brushes. That stuff will dissolve the copper out of the brass/bronze alloys overnight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
LongRanger said:
By the way, I finally hit on the idea of how to stop the bore foam from oozing back into the action. What I did was to drill out a 44Mag case through the primer pocket so that the feed tube was a good tight fit and makes a good seal. (No doubt somebody already thought of this centuries ago!)

I will be at the range tomorrow morning with a pristine barrel...
That's a good idea! I think I will try it and see if I can find one of those aluminum 44 Mag cases I usually don't pick up when I come across them. If I use a brass case I suspect it will react with the Wipe-Out foam I have.

However I usually just rely upon the BoreTech Eliminator on a patch wrapped around a nylon brush for a jag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,992 Posts
....here is a tip. When I am cleaning my bores, I keep a bottle of cheap rubbing alcohol at hand. Each time I brush the bore, I rinse the brush in the bottle of alcohol. It cleans the brush, and removes the bore cleaning solvent and the debris that the brush picks up. The debris falls to the bottom of the alcohol bottle, and even when the alcohol gets discolored it still makes a good rinse, keeps the brushes cleaner, and they do last longer because the solvent has been washed from the brush. I change out the bottle a couple of times a year, and at 99 cents per bottle, you cant go wrong. When I use the Montana X-treme, I use a bronze brush, and rinse in alcohol, and the brushes show no signs of undue wear. The key is to get that stuff in the bore, and clean the brush immediately..........and, a quick rinse of a brass jag, when used, keeps them in good shape as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,170 Posts
Flat Top said:
....here is a tip. When I am cleaning my bores, I keep a bottle of cheap rubbing alcohol at hand. Each time I brush the bore, I rinse the brush in the bottle of alcohol. It cleans the brush, and removes the bore cleaning solvent and the debris that the brush picks up. The debris falls to the bottom of the alcohol bottle, and even when the alcohol gets discolored it still makes a good rinse, keeps the brushes cleaner, and they do last longer because the solvent has been washed from the brush. I change out the bottle a couple of times a year, and at 99 cents per bottle, you cant go wrong. When I use the Montana X-treme, I use a bronze brush, and rinse in alcohol, and the brushes show no signs of undue wear. The key is to get that stuff in the bore, and clean the brush immediately..........and, a quick rinse of a brass jag, when used, keeps them in good shape as well.
Outstanding idea. Thanks for sharing that.

DWB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There's a lot of wisdom and experience on these pages!

Ok, my visit to the range this am went a lot better than planned. It's a private facility limited to a membership of only ten people and we can shoot up to 50 yards, or a little bit more. After a couple of shots to settle in (these were only a couple of inches off point of aim at 1 o'clock) my first 3 shot group measured under half inch with two shots in the same hole. That's more like it.

This simple fact is proven to me: if you shoot with a fouled bore accuracy goes out the window. (Prior to cleaning the best I could manage was at least 3 inches at 50 yds. Extrapolate that out to 150yds or more and we're in trouble on a game shot). The interesting part is the deterioration is so gradual you can miss it until the point where you need to make a distance shot.

It's only my opinion, but I would say that performance is probably on the turn after about 50 shots, and quite possibly sooner if your bore is not in pristine shape to begin with.

I'm very relieved my 444 is back on form - what a great rifle!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,992 Posts
....another tip: For a "hunting" gun, always make your first 3 shots are from a cold, clean barrel...this would simulate a "hunting" condition. Even when I work up loads, I fire the first three from a clean cold barrel, then, I clean the barrel and let it set until it is dead cold. I then again fire the next three shot string, and, so on and so forth. "Sighting in" your chosen load requires the same tactic, and another good tip is to work up and sight in your hunting loads within the temperature parameter that you hunt. By doing all of the above you will be eliminating a number of variables that could affect your performance in the field. I am just as fastidious about my hunting rifles as I was my target rifles when I shot competitively. I dont know if it makes that much difference on large game, but I have never had a bullet go anywhere other than where it went when following the above routine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
"Being a competitive Benchrest shooter for a good portion of my life, I am in the habit of cleaning the bores on my rifles after every 5 to 10 rounds or so....my huntin' rifles are no exception to that rule! Sounds like you have some scrubbin' to do."

Flat Top, do you change your oil in your car every 20 miles as well? :D I'm sorry, but cleaning your rifle every 10 rounds is ridiculous. I can see it in "some" competitive matches IF the rifle doesn't perform well unless it has a spotless barrel, but not in hunting and varmint rifles.

So do you honestly stop shooting coyotes after 5 rounds, break out your cleaning gear and swab the barrel while out "culling"? Do you stop shooting in a great prairie dog town after 5 rounds, just so you can clean? Do you stop shooting after every magazine of rounds in your Marlin, break out the cleaning solvents and clean it? What a boring day plinking and goofing off that would be. You cause more wear and damage to the bore by cleaning than you do shooting it. Each to his own, but I am trying to wrap my head around the constant cleaning gymnastics you mention.

I let the rifle tell me when it needs to be cleaned. When groups open up, I clean with copper solvent. I have several rifles that go a couple of hundred rounds before accuracy deteriorates. Big bores don't foul much, due to the slow velocities they produce, compared to high powered rifles. Now lead bullets are a WHOLE different can of worms. Flinch
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top