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To clean or not to clean?

This is a discussion on To clean or not to clean? within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I'm with Pond Scum, Stangzilla and Maser. I clean my guns after (almost) every range session (there have been a couple of exceptions but very ...


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View Poll Results: To clean or not to clean?
Clean bore after every use 42 97.67%
Never clean the bore 1 2.33%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #16
 
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I'm with Pond Scum, Stangzilla and Maser. I clean my guns after (almost) every range session (there have been a couple of exceptions but very rarely). It's all part of the hobby as far as I'm concerned. I actually enjoy it. Something like a .22 semi is generally the dirtiest - then again, I'm not competition shooting - just plinking with cheap ammo.



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Old May 9th, 2017, 12:43 PM   #17
 
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I don't clean the bore after every range trip but I can't honestly say I never ever clean the bore either ! I do clean it every so often , but this answer is not an option is it .

This is an example of why you shouldn't believe all poll results at their face value , depending on how the question is phrased and the choices given for answers the poll can skew the results in a given manner.
Since I didn't select an option I can't view the results, but I'm predicting the poll will say most owners never clean their bores ! And this will probably not be true. Most are like me , you clean it every so often.
I do clean the action and exterior after every range trip...but this wasn't an option either.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; May 15th, 2017 at 12:27 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #18
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My guns get cleaned after each range session, which is rarely more than a couple hundred rounds.

Something you might want to know.... all 22 rimfire cartridges use finely ground glass in the priming compound to make the rim more responsive as a primer. Each time a round is fired, you will get very abrasive carbon particles from the burned powder along with microscopic glass particles in your bore .... and if you have a semi-auto, that same combination of residue will get blown into your action. Further, if powder residue and lead fouling is allowed to accumulate and the gun is put in storage, humidity will cause the lead fouling to start "galvanic action" (google it), which will cause the bore to get microscopic pits. As time goes on, the pits in the fouled bore will grow to a point where they have a direct impact on accuracy and there's nothing you can do short of replacing the barrel to restore accuracy.

With a normal "field grade" barrel that has striation marks in the bore .... the good news is .... powder and primer residue will fill the striation marks. This will actually enhance accuracy until fouling becomes excessive. Of course it is dependent on the type and brand of ammo you are shooting as to how many rounds create excessive fouling. I'm a firm believer in "fouling shots" where accuracy settles in after a half dozen or so rounds have been fired in a clean barrel. Just because accuracy will be better after a few fouling shots, it doesn't mean you don't need to clean the bore (and action too).

With "match grade" bores that are polished smooth, there's really nothing good about bore fouling beyond a few fouling shots. If you want your 22 rifle or pistol to maintain match grade accuracy, powder residue and lead fouling must be periodically removed BEFORE it becomes excessive and causes bore wear. I do not have the background that Bill B has with precision shooting but as a gunsmith, I must say .... I have seen many 22 match grade barrels with worn out bores that could have been prevented by routine cleaning.

I have also seen bores that have been damaged by improper cleaning .... such as using a stainless steel bore brush or changing direction in the bore with a bore brush or using a bore brush dry with no solvent. Even bore snakes can cause excessive bore wear if they are not used properly. With field grade guns like most of us own, good accuracy doesn't come easy and with a worn bore, it's no wonder why groups spread. Seems everyone has their own definition of accuracy from Bill B's precision level to groups the size of a baseball at 50 yards. So .... when people say cleaning doesn't affect their accuracy, they might be happy with larger sized groups.

No doubt, there must be hundreds of different ways to clean a gun .... lots of different products, and cleaning tools. The procedure I learned in gunsmith school has served me (and my customers) well for decades. It starts will a solvent saturated cloth patch that is "mopped" in the bore to get all bore surfaces wet. After mopping, let the gun sit (muzzle level) for about 15 minutes. This will dissolve and loosen most of the residue. Follow up with another solvent saturated patch and one back & forth stroke of the cleaning rod to remove the previously loosened residue. Using a good bronze bore brush and a liberal squirt of powder solvent in the bore, run a cleaning rod through the bore .... a couple back and forth strokes is plenty. Follow up with a clean cloth patch ... ust one stroke with a cleaning rod with a patch jag. Last is to put a few drops of oil on a clean cloth patch and run it through the bore with just one stroke of the cleaning rod. The bore should now be cleaned and ready for storage. If you can clean from the breech end, it helps prevent crown damage but if you have to clean from the muzzle end, use a bore guide with your cleaning rod.

For solvent, I use Hoppe's #9 and for oil, I use Hoppe's or Outer's gun oil. A small bottle lasts a couple years. I do use a lot of power solvent and buy it in 1 pint jars. No doubt, other cleaning products made especially for guns will work just as well but not automotive or household products that may contain additives that can damage bluing or cause pitting.

I make my own one piece cleaning rods out of solid brass round stock. 13/64" is the ideal diameter for 22s but it is hard to find so a good substitute is 3/16" rod with the tip drilled and tapped with 8x32 threads (standard for all but 17 cal).

Here's a photo of some of my solid brass handgun cleaning rods. Rifle rods are too long to fit in a photo. The small rods are for cleaning revolver cylinders and have a fixed handle. The longer rods have free spin handles and have a bore guide (tapered brass guide on the rod). I also make cleaning jags too.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 475linebaugh View Post
On my 22's I clean the receiver group every few outings but only hit the barrel a few times a year. On the other hand my CCW's get a full and detailed cleaning once a week. I feel its probably more important to wipe them down after shooting just to insure no rust develops from fingerprints and such.
Are you shooting all your CCW's every week? While I plan to practice with my LCP (I just got it) regularly, I can't imagine any need to run rounds thru it every week.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 03:38 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
Since I didn't select an option I can't view the results, but I'm predicting the poll will say most owners never clean their bores ! Gary
Poll is 28 clean to 1 no clean so far!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 04:48 AM   #21
 
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Bore cleaning for match guns is as much an art as it is a science. Especially concerning 22lr because of the nature of the bullet but one thing is true for almost all match shooters, some level of cleaning is performed. Even if it's running just a mop down the barrel to push out unburned powder or bits of lead that may have soughed off of the bullet. While competition shooters may have a ritual for maintaining their barrels, they clean the action on a regular basis just like everyone else.

For the rest of the world, it is more practical to clean after every session. Failing to maintain any machine can, and will, result in a higher failure rate. The amount of accuracy one gives up is negligible to the hunter or plinker. Barrels are disposable items for competition shooters, not so much for the folks that buy, use and pass down firearms through generations of hunters.

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Old May 14th, 2017, 04:37 PM   #22
 
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I'd rather clean mine lightly frequently, than heavily once in a while.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 12:00 AM   #23
 
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Most of my rifles every time after a hunt fired or not they usually get rained on or bits of ferns and other leaf matter stuck in places they shouldn't be. My truck rifle its like ok will do that before next season I must remember to do that before next season. Did I remember no of course not .
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Old May 15th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by seatrout View Post
Poll is 28 clean to 1 no clean so far!
Thanks ! That's totally surprising for 22 's....just the opposite of what I was expecting to see. I've seen it in print more than once that more 22 rifle barrels are ruined from overzealous cleaning with a rod than shooting.
Gary
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Old May 15th, 2017, 01:54 PM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
Are you shooting all your CCW's every week? While I plan to practice with my LCP (I just got it) regularly, I can't imagine any need to run rounds thru it every week.


I'm running rounds through my LCP Custom almost every week. There are many who have said it's not a good idea - basically, a finite life theory of sorts. Idk if it's a bad idea but I enjoy shooting it a lot. It's challenging relative to larger guns (not that I have mastered them) but I also find I carry mine a lot more than I initially thought I would. If I get to the range this week, I will surpass 2,500 rounds on it. (Got it in January of this year) I haven't had any failures since about round 25. It's my least expensive handgun and my most often carried. I'm very pleased with it.


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Old May 16th, 2017, 03:22 AM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
Thanks ! That's totally surprising for 22 's....just the opposite of what I was expecting to see. I've seen it in print more than once that more 22 rifle barrels are ruined from overzealous cleaning with a rod than shooting.
Gary
It is pretty easy to damage any rifle or pistol barrel, irrespective of the caliber, with improper cleaning technique. Also, the definition of "ruined" can vary from rifle to rifle. If one was to take a benchrest rifle and damage it through improper cleaning such that it goes from grouping .2" at 50 yards to .5" it would be ruined for use as a benchrest rifle. However, for most other uses it would still be a great shooting rifle. If one was to shoot their .22 a lot and look down their bore with a borescope, you would see damage to the bore from the chamber to the first couple inches at the 6 o'clock position from abrasion due to the deposits from the primer mixture. Just shooting your .22s is causing damage. Use them, have fun with them, take care of them, clean them and when accuracy drops off to unacceptable levels, either re-barrel it or retire it and replace it.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 09:24 AM   #27
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I was raised by the Army to clean my weapons after every shooting; sometimes three times over three days after shooting (a hold-over from WW-II ammo and weapons).

Only very rarely have I not detail-cleaned a firearm the same day as shooting. It is a very relaxing down-time, usually accompanied by a favorite beverage, and often with family company and nice music and conversation. It is certainly not a "chore" (except for my Mk-II)

The greatest threat to a firearm being cleaned is damage to the crown. Or reassembly if you own a Marlin semi-auto and bend the recoil spring.

Note that I predominantly plink - not target shoot or hunt.

My EDC gets cleaned somewhat each week - mostly to remove dust since I carry it everywhere - to include scooping dusty horse stalls. Mostly, it amounts to compressed air blowing out dust, but I always check the bore since I keep a round in the chamber. Dry lube is my friend for everything that moves.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 09:28 AM   #28
 
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Clean after use. 22lr dirty in pistols, revolvers and semi auto rifles. Don't have a bolt action.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 03:20 AM   #29
 
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I tend to clean my heirloom quality .22 (or any firearm in general) after I use them as they may sit in the safe 6 months to a year before I shoot them again. My daily beaters or suppressor hosts tend to get used for a few months before I clean them.

My suppressor hosts get very filthy to to blow-back into the action and those tend to get cleaned with Carburetor Cleaner (gasp) and a good scrubbing. Keep in mind these are run of the mill Ruger 10/22s or Ruger Mark III's and not finely crafted firearms. They already are broke in, scuffed from ATV rides and field use. They are built for reliability, not for beauty.

Daily use will get a drop of oil on wear points every so often but not a good cleaning. My CCW pistols will get looked over once a week and detail stripped once a month. After they are shot they will get a wipe down, lubed, bore cleaned. Past experience with them is they run absolutely reliable even if insanely filthy from Russian steel case ammo and other fodder.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 05:34 AM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond Scum View Post
I clean all the weapons I shoot after each range trip before putting away.Taught to me by my father. Stuck with me 60+ years. No gonna change my ways now.
I agree wholeheartedly. Always clean your weapon after the range. At 60 you must have me beat...but wisdom is forever.
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