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Cleaning Rod Debate

This is a discussion on Cleaning Rod Debate within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I just got some copper solvent, and I want to improve the care I take of my firearms. I have been using Hoppe's 9 or ...


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Old April 3rd, 2016, 09:36 AM   #1
 
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Cleaning Rod Debate

I just got some copper solvent, and I want to improve the care I take of my firearms. I have been using Hoppe's 9 or CLP, brass brushes, brass jags with patches, and either old aluminum multiple piece rods or an Otis plastic coated stainless steel cable. Also Boresnakes, for quick cleaning (for example, after just a few rounds and knowing I am shooting the same gun again soon).

For my upgrades I know I want one piece rods, I will get and use a bore guide, and I'll need some non-brass jags for copper solvent use. I know there is probably a jag debate and a brush debate that I may start other threads on, but this is about rods.

My choices for upgrades seem to be nylon coated rods (Dewey's), carbon fiber rods (several brands, one choice is Tipton), and epoxy coated spring steel (Lyman). The knock I've read against nylon coating is that metal bits are more likely to get embedded in the nylon causing potential damage, but the counter knock against the carbon rods is that while metal embedding is less likely, the rods are less forgiving and thus the same piece of metal embedded in a carbon rod will cause more damage. I haven't read much about the epoxy coated rods.

I have read some bench rest forum posts and there isn't really any clear consensus--which means, I think, for my shooting (which is not competition level long distance stuff) that any of the rods would be fine. The Lyman appeals as a kit including one handle and four rods is cheaper than other options.

But I'd appreciate andy and all thoughts. Thanks.



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Old April 3rd, 2016, 09:45 AM   #2
 
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I use both Dewey and Tipton rods, as well as a couple of steel rods, and I haven't had any problems.

If you use a bore guide, there should be minimal contact with the rifling. As for metal embedding in the coated or carbon fiber rods, I haven't seen that. Even so, I wipe down my rods before and after use and inspect them - by running them through my fingers - for any rough spots.


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Old April 3rd, 2016, 12:08 PM   #3
 
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OP, on YouTube look up the channel Gunblue490. About two months ago he posted a video entitled "How to Clean Your Bolt Action Rifle Professionally." I think that video is an excellent demonstration of the traditional method of cleaning and oiling guns. If you do it the way he does it in the video, you can't go wrong.

As for cleaning rods, he explains which ones he prefers, and also demonstrates how he wipes his rods while cleaning, so as to avoid getting any debris in the bore.

Is that the only safe and effective way to take care of your guns? Heck no. For another approach, much more relaxed, but still safe and effective, watch some of Hickok45's cleaning videos. Watch a few of Hickok's shooting videos and you will see that his firearms pretty much all run really well, and they also stay looking really good, despite the fact that many of them have thousands and thousands of rounds through them.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 02:17 PM   #4
 
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The brass/aluminum//steel/nylon coated debate can fill pages.
The theory on the soft rods is the rods themselves will not damage the bore but the soft metal (brass) rods can pick up abrasive material and will damage the bore.

This is one of those things where we overthink the perceived issue way too much.

Some of the benchrest guys and other competition shooters will lean towards the nylon coated steel rods but I'm not convinced there's any measurable difference.

I will say that a jointed rod made up of several sections should be avoided when possible.

If you keep your cleaning rod out of the sandbox and wipe it off before and after use, you'll probably be just fine.

I purchased a large brass rifle cleaning rod about 25 years ago and have never seen a reason to use something else.

Now, the small bores may need a stronger steel rod because the diameters are so small. That might be a good place for a nylon coated steel cleaning rod. Smallbore shooters often claim that more .22 barrels are worn out from cleaning rods than shooting. Might be some truth to that.

While a cleaning rod might eventually damage the ends of a barrel (the crown or the edge of the throat) over time, I'm not sure the side of the rod coming into contact with the rifling mid-bore can do much damage. I just don't see a mild steel rod or an even softer brass rod damaging the lands of the rifling mid bore should the rod contact the sides of the bore. That barrel steel is pretty hard stuff when compared to a cleaning rod.

I think these debates sell a lot of high dollar cleaning rods but I haven't seen proof that mild steel is any better or worse than aluminum or brass.

Last edited by Petrol and Powder; April 4th, 2016 at 02:27 AM.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 04:58 PM   #5
 
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I have Dewey and ProShot rods. I had a Tipton but the adaptor tip came off. That when I got the first ProShot rod. I now have 3 of the Proshots and their rod guide. The Dewey is a good rod but the ProShot are better IMO. Both Dewey and ProShot have excellence CS.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 06:05 PM   #6
 
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I use the Pro-Shot as well...........very nice rods
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 07:43 PM   #7
 
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Anyone using the Lyman epoxy coated rods?
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Old April 4th, 2016, 04:04 AM   #8
 
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I use Dewey's and bore guides
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Old April 8th, 2016, 08:05 PM   #9
 
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I ended up getting a complete Lyman set up. Epoxy coated spring steel rods, their bore guide, and their brush and jag set through Amazon. Cheaper than individual Dewey or other rods, and probably functional but not quite as nice. The set includes four rods (long and short of small and larger caliber) and a ball/thrust bearing handle that can be swapped between rods. I got another handle--I'm into this whole thing for about $80 (rod kit + extra handle).

One question--the heavy short pistol rod has a few "spatter spots" of extra epoxy coating, less than 1x1 mm, but you can feel them. I suspect I can hit it with an ultra mild polishing wheel on the Dremel and knock it down. Anyone think I should contact Lyman and ask for a replacement?
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Old April 9th, 2016, 02:21 AM   #10
 
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You cant go wrong with Dewey rods.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 04:48 AM   #11
 
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I've always thunk it, the bore guide folks sell their products to "catch you" to keep the rod straight and centered. I've witnessed some of those rods you've mentioned bow while in use...

I use a simple one piece T-handle aluminum rod from last century on my handguns (me thinks its a Hoppes)... Never had an issue...

Don't own a long-gun of any real value so use a "kit" for that. Gonna follow your thread...
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Old April 9th, 2016, 05:27 AM   #12
 
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Last rod I bought was the Tipton Max-Force one piece carbon fiber. Positionable handle work well and so far I am very pleased.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 05:42 AM   #13
 
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I'm going to go against the grain here a bit.

I use a 3-piece brass rod that came in a kit. I am not worried about a bad joint scraping or gouging the steel of my barrel as brass is much softer than steel. I wipe it down every pass so there is not powder residue or grit on it.

I have a nylon brush or two if I ever want to remove copper from the bore, which is pretty rare. Instead of a jag, I wrap patches around the nylon brush and get 95% of the copper solvent out then switch to my brass loop, brass brush if needed, and brass jag along with some Hoppe's #9 bore solvent and finish removing the copper solvent with those tools.

If I were a long range precision rifle shooter, I would probably change my tune. But I only own hunting rifles.

Has anyone you know ever damaged their bore with a 3 piece brass rod? I don't know of any cases.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 09:27 AM   #14
 
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I just use the 3 piece rod that came in my Hoppe's cleaning kit that I've had for the last 30 years for rifles, and the pistol kit rod for our pistols.

L8R,
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Old April 10th, 2016, 09:56 AM   #15
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I use brass or aluminum 3 piece rods with bronze or nylon brushes and in 30 years have never had a problem. IMHO as long as you do not use anything as hard or harder than the barrel on your firearms then damaging it is highly unlikely
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