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Gun Cleaning: “Dos and Don’ts”

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-04-17      Origin: Site


It should be common knowledge and generally understood that firearms work better, shoot straighter, and last longer if they are properly maintained. A large part of that maintenance involves the proper cleaning and care of the working mechanisms and the all-important bore.

What I consider to be the best method of cleaning firearms may differ from the opinions of others. I base my gun cleaning routines on the way I was taught to clean my benchrest target rifles and I continue to use those procedures with all of my firearms. Benchrest rifles are considered the Formula One of the centerfire rifle world, and as such, they incorporate every technology available to shoot incredibly small groups.

Why clean your gun?

Before we talk about maintenance, let us first review what happens when a firearm is discharged. Particles of burnt powder and primer residue are deposited in the bore, along with copper or lead-fouling, depending on the type of bullets being fired. The next shot fired causes another bullet to pass over that fouling and so on until the shooting session is concluded.

If many shots are fired and the firearm is not cleaned, a layered build-up of fouling occurs in the bore. That is especially true in the throat just in front of the chamber. That build-up in effect reduces the size of the bore and can result in a rise of pressure. Remember, accuracy is about controlling the variables. That is why fouling can cause accuracy to drop off as more shots are fired without cleaning as the pressure increases.

Gun Cleaning Supplies

A good accessory for a shooter to have is a cleaning cradle to hold the firearm for cleaning. For the do-it-yourselfer, you can make a cleaning cradle from a wooden box by cutting a V-notch in both ends, then add some padding in each V to protect the firearm, and voila! you have your very own cleaning cradle.

Here is a basic list of items your cleaning supplies should consist of for cleaning any bore:

1. A one-piece cleaning rod of appropriate length and diameter.

2. Bronze bristle brushes of the correct bore size.

3. Nylon bristle brushes of the correct bore size.

4. Suitable brass jags.

5. A good supply of 100% cotton flannel patches of the correct bore sizes.

6. A good quality bore (powder) solvent.

7. A good quality copper solvent for that stubborn fouling.

8. A small glass jar filled with mineral spirits.

9. A bottle of Kroil lubricant or your favorite gun oil.

It is important that you use a good quality, one-piece cleaning rod that is coated. It should have a rotating handle and a rod guide that fits both your receiver raceway and the rod snugly. Ensure that the rod does not contact the bore.

As for bore cleaners there are two basic types, chemical and abrasive. Chemical cleaners are usually a blend of various ingredients including oils, solvents, and ammonia (in copper solvents). Abrasive cleaners are generally, oil, wax, or grease based with a very fine abrasive such as chalk, clay, or gypsum.

I recommend the use of name-brand cleaners on proper fitting patch/jag combinations for your particular bore size and quality, properly sized, nylon or bronze bore brushes.



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