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Petzal: How I Test Rifles

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March 23, 2010

Petzal: How I Test Rifles

By David E. Petzal

Since I’m in veritable frenzy of rifle evaluation for our "Best of the Best" section of the magazine, I might as well say a few words about how I do it. Or I could say something about health care. No, rifles. First, I clean the barrel. This is because all gun makers, when they learn they are to ship a rifle to me, pour a mixture of baboon sperm, vulture puke, coal oil, radioactive waste, industrial sludge, and copper dust down the barrel and bake it a while. I’ve never gotten a clean gun from anyone, so step number one is to get hot with the cleaning rod.

Step 2: Weigh the trigger and check for creep and overtravel.

Step 3: Weigh the rifle.

Step 4: Remove the barreled action from the stock and check the fit and finish. Do parts gall and chafe, or does everything fit together with no strain? Is the inletting a mess? If the gun is epoxy bedded, does the epoxy look like a turd that fell out of a tall cow’s ass, or is it done neatly?

Step 5: Mount a big fuggin’ scope. The more Xs you have, the smaller a target you can sight on, and the smaller the aiming point, the more precisely you can shoot. This year I’ve been using a Zeiss Victory 4.5X-14X for most of my range work, and currently have a Bushnell 4200 Elite 8X-32X on a .22/250.

Step 6:
Shoot at the range. I never let the barrel get as far as warm, so I shoot two or three rifles at a time and rotate them. I like to try a minimum of three different loads, and am perfectly happy to shoot match ammo or handloads. The .22/250 I shot this morning grouped in 1 ½ inches with two brands of factory ammo, but inside a half-inch with handloads.

Step 7: Cycle rounds through the magazine to see how it feeds.

Step 8:
Clean the barrel every 20 rounds.

Step 9: When I’ve gotten a good idea of how well it shoots, write something more or less honest about the rifle.

Step 10: Send it back—clean.

Comments (68)

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

David-
After reading all of that you can borrow any of my guns anytime! :}}

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dr. Petzal;
I often find the guy at the range with a rifle he paid too much for that "won't shoot" is just really dirty, copper solvent stinks but if you want to hit anything, you have to use a lot of it. However, If you suggest his gun is dirty, you'ld think you called his mother dirty. "Its a new gun, it's not dirty".

If the rifle's not dirty, maybe the guy can't shoot, I really love that. I love finding the guy with a new Kimber 1911 that can't hit paper 10 feet away, usually has a really red face and ears. I ask if I can try and then I drill the center out of the bull, and hand it back and say, "nothing wrong with that". Then the face and ears are really red if they weren't before.
Great Post
AKX

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

You obviously take your cleaning very seriously. Any comment on using boresnakes instead of cleaning rods? I'm guessing that most of the rifles you review are .30 or .270 caliber so one or two boresnakes would go a long way. Ever used 'em?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I dunno.

Don't guess I can help here.

You have already taken care of the cussin', blunt honesty, and objective reporting.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mad_dog9999 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I would love to know what products and methods Mr. Petzal uses to clean and take care of his guns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To MJC: I do take my cleaning very seriously. Talk to any gunsmith and he will tell you that he hardly ever sees a barrel that is shot out, but sees plenty that are ruined by improper cleaning, or no cleaning.

The only thing as useless as a bore snake is the Congress of the United States of America. It (the bore snake) may remove some of the powder fouling from the bore--note that I said "some"--but it will not even touch the copper deposits that are the true destroyers of accuracy.

Barrels can be properly cleaned only with rods, phospor-bronze brushes, J-B Bore Compound, and whatever foul-smelling solvent you prefer. There are half a dozen good ones out there. And elbow grease--lots of it.

Cleaning barrels is not interesting, or uplifting, and I loathe having to do it, but when you consider that the total price of a first-rate new barrel is $600-$700, well, you can buy a lot of brushes and solvent for that.

+12 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

Blunt and outstanding wisdom, as always.
[Clicks over to Brownells to buy some J-B Bore Compound.]

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hi_tail wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

It's a rough job, but someone's gotta do it. Two questions Dave, are you retiring anytime soon and is F&S accepting applications? :P

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I'm sorry to hear you detest bore-snakes so much. I don't use them by themselves, but after a solvent soaked patch, and a good brushing. Then a couple passes w/the bore-snake, and I call it good. I personally haven't noticed any accuracy problems w/any of my guns, and I've got a bore-snake for just about every caliber. I definitely don't shoot as much as you though, and undoubtedly I have a different definition of what 'accurate' is.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Is there a test that compares rifling in a barrel? Other than MOA. Or simply put how does one manufacturers 1:14 twist 21 inch barrel compare to another? Do you or can you gauge the depth of rifling? Is there some variance between one 1:10 to another 1:10 of the same make?

Sorry so many questions but you hear so much about other details of a firearm but little about what guides your bullet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

DavidPetzal:

Sounds like you have a good testing system. Guns probably shoot better when you are done reassembling them, with the right torque on each action screw, than they would if they came out of the box clean. Surprised you are so kind to the barrel, though. I've had a couple of rifles, one a Remington 700, that would put bullets into one jagged hole all day from a cold barrel, but when fired fast would fire a 1/2" two shot group, 1" three shot group, and about a 2" five shot group at 100 yards. And that 4.5 x 14 Zeiss scope! Clearly, you want your rifles to do well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,

I contend that the Bore Snake is not nearly as useless as the Congress. If they were, we would have already tossed every one of them in the trash. After a thorough cleaning post practice, checking zero, etc; I will fire a fouling shot and swab the bore with said snake just before the hunt and tape the muzzle. I will also run the snake through it if the rifle has been out in the snow, rain, and dust during the hunt, but not with the intent of removing copper or any other real fouling. Just wiping the windshield, not detailing the truck! JMHO

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from jscottevans wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Great article, I always like listening to the inner workings from someone who knows quite a bit about guns.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Happiness is definitely a clean barrel. A friend complained about some 30/06 ammo I loaded for him. Talked him into a trip to the range and asked to look at his rifle. The inside of the bore looked like it had been upholstered with a road killed racoon! We cleaned it with a field kit I had along. I've seen prettier stuff come out of the gutter in a dairy barn! In short fur is not conducive to accuracy.

Now, what type of solvent should we use on Congress?

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Here's my gun cleaning issue - I brush the crap out of my bores with bronze brushes and copper solvent, but am never sure if I'm really done. The solvent dissolves the copper fouling and gets it out, but also seems to get some of the brush, so I still get the green stuff, and feel like I'm getting a tiny layer of the brush left on the bore. Should I just brush thoroughly then do a few patches with copper solvent to take care of the brush crap? I like sparkling bores and this has been making me a nervous ninny. I have lost sleep...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

davidpetzal-
I would argue that nothing on this planet is as useless as the U.S. Congress, not even the proverbial t-ts on a boar hog. I have always wondered what, exactly, that strange and clinging mixture on the inside of new rifle barrels was, thank you for enlightening us. In your opinion, is there any value to firing a rifle once or twice before the first cleaning, to heat up the barrel?
Or is this just a gun myth and a waste of good gunpowder?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from BowtechWVU wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

good advice

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Hi-tail: I hadn't planned to retire soon, but after my appearance before the Death Board, who knows?

To Buckhunter: I've had such outstanding accuracy from so many different barrel makers that I no longer pay any attention to how they produce the things, or the particulars thereof.

To shane: Remember that bronze is an alloy of copper, so anything that eats the copper out of your barrel is going to eat your brushes as well.When you're done cleaning, give your brushes a toot of Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber. It will get the solvent off.

To crm .30/06. A waste of ammo. That stuff comes out just as hard when it's warm as when it's cold.

To focusfront: I don't use a torque wrench on action screws. My experience is, with a properly made gun, that the screws will simply stop turning at a particular point and that is where you stop trying to twist them. I've never seen accuracy improve by cranking screws until the tendons in your elbow pop. I know there are people who disagree with this, but that's my experience.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from GregMc wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Appearance before the death board?
Stick to rifles Mr. Petzal, you actually know something about them.

-13 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Yes, but the copper from the brush is being deposited as I'm scrubbing out the fouling with the solvent, is it not? Maybe I should follow up with a plastic brush, and maybe I should cool it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Shane;
If you think your brush is leaving copper in the barrel use a stainless steel brushes instead. They make those but you might have to order from Midway or Brownell's. Those brushes are pretty abrasive so I try to limit their use.
If you use the Stainless steel brush with a good solvent (Butch's, Sweet's, or Montana Extreme, it should be mostly ammonia, Hoppe's #9 is a powder solvent and won't do too much to the copper in your barrel) when you start or finish to see if there is still copper in your barrel.
JB bore paste is great stuff too if your barrel is really dirty or when cleaning a rifle for the first time. I don't think you can wear out a barrel by cleaning it, you might damage the crown if you're not careful, but you won't likely wear out the bore.
Just my two-cents.

AKX

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I agree with WMH on bore snakes being good for the once over at the end of the day for shotguns and rifles, and I agree with DEP on the need for hardware for real cleaning.

Sounds like I need some of the new big fuggin' scopes.

Looking forward to your Best of the Best.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I hadn't used JB Bore Compound before but last year I started using it followed by Kroil. It seems to get the barrels fairly clean. I am like some of the others, I never know when I have the barrel clean. I too use the bore snake at camp when I have been out in the rain or snow and want to dry the bore. I have always used big scopes because I have always had the feeling you can't hit what you can't see. I have always done most of the other steps when I got a rifle.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Like the others, I have found the bore snakes to be far more useful than the US Congress, but not nearly as useful as a rod, brushes and patches. The bore snakes are really good for the fall weather in the Pacific Northwest -- when I come in for the evening, I saturate it with RemOil and clear the bore of moisture while leaving a thin film of oil.

On to ObamaCare -- I am proud that my State Attorney General is in league with those filing suit! The rest of my state officials I'm not proud of...

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Use full lenght cleaning rods of brass or steel and clean religiously when u get home from the range. those aluminimum screw-together stuff is toxic. aluminium is too soft and those joints are gonna unscrew partially and ream out scars in your barrel, in addition tiny metal particles stick in the aluminium and works as grinding paste.. i can shoot 200 shots on the range no problem withouth any cleaning, then when i get home just clean it till its actually clean and u can push through doubled-up patches withouth any fouling or residue, then put a single pach through with 3 in one gunoil, and then before i go a shooting again i put a couple of dry patches through and im ready for both hunting and range work. after 7 years my barrel is still pristine and as precise as it ever was..
If more people knew how to clean the right way then riflebarrel makers would loose atleast half of theire customers im sure.. And good barrels foul much less than the standard or worse factory ones.. (remington- uugh!)
Copper solvent for when its needed, copper brushes, cleaning rod, patch holder and good gunoil is all u will ever need for good guncleaning thats healthy for your riflebarre. and the right ammount of elbowgrease.. all the sprayfoam miracle stuff is mostly only a replacement for the elbowgrease.. me, i like the scent of gunoil and often watch tv while i clean and enjoy it as a zen activity. just dump an open newspaper infront of the good chair and i can splatter freely withouth much cleanup.. ;)
peace

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave, You got me sold on Bushnell Elite scopes. Just need a rifle to put it one. For cleaning my rifles I take an old bronze borebrush and wrap a cotton patch around it tight. Next coat the patch with J&B and make about 10 passes thru the bore. Replenish the paste and do it again. After about three rounds of this clean with Barnes CR-10 or Sweet's bore solvent. If a patch doesn't go thru snow white it isn't clean yet. Repeat until the patch IS snow white and then you have a clean barrel. I clean my guns like that and then coat the bore with ultraborecoat. After that all I use is solvent and patches to clean. UBC does not make a gun more accurate it makes the barrel easier to clean by reducing copper, lead and carbon fouling.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from quinnm107 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Shane,
Ref your question on the Rifle Test fire.
I work for a Police Dept in AZ, and had a custom Rem 700 made, so I spoke to the Dept Armorer about the proper cleaning. He told me to clean the barrel with barrel solvent and a brass brush, swab with patches until no carbon is on the patch; then clean the barrel with copper solvent and a nylon brush (won't leave residue, and won't scrap up your rifling-steal brushes will) and swab with patches until there is no copper residue (green tint to patch). I use "Shooter's Choice" as recommended by the Armorer; I also do a third cleaning with "M-Pro 7"; which is a barrel solvent and mild copper solvent, with a protective solvent mixed in... I use the nylon brush and swab until no carbon or copper is on the patches. Use a full length straight cleaning rod and a chamber guide if you are cleaning rifles like the Rem 700. Any other questions, leave a comment on one of the pictures I posted and I'll respond. Please let me know if this information was helpful.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave,
yep I agree, I've received rifles with barrels that were full of cosmoline or some gunk. Can't imagine the pressures if I had shot a factory round or hand loaded down that barrel. IMO the best use for a high powered scope is for testing a new rifle to wring out the best in it although some rifles/barrels get better.
As far as cleaning products when new, Hoppe's 9 is fine and copper cleaners (Barnes) don't come into play till later.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Baboon sperm,Vulture puke? Petzal you are one creative sumbitch!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Ralph,
Dave is geting more descriptive in his disgust for things isn't he?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

davidpetzal:

I lack your uneducated touch, so I use a torque wrench to make sure I get the screws just right; not too tight, not too loose.

And I don't know if I'd call Congress useless. Something is useless if it doesn't help. Congress hurts; those jackals have just flushed all our futures, and our kids' and grandkids' too, unless we can do something about it. As a cancer patient, I take no joy in the thought that my treatment will be in the hands of that corrupt bunch of hyenas who laughingly imagine they represent us. Congress is about as useless as a nuke that goes off while it's still in the silo.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

davidpetzal;
Oops. Sorry, Dave. Thoughts got mixed up. That should be, "I lack your EDUCATED touch." A thousand pardons.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I keep boasting to my co-workers what a good read Mr. Petzal is and without a doubt, today's post is the best work of his I've read. Only Dave can mix animal body fluids with rifle review tests and have them be related!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Don't'ya just love it when you get that frantic call at 3 on a Friday afternoon by someone who needs help with their rifle. You run out to the range to discover everything is still in the box and they have the wrong bases and the rifle has no open sights. You loan them a rifle and it comes back the following Monday full of dirt and rust from the rain. Fortunately, a little TLC fixed it all up!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

One of the guys wanted to buy a AR15 so bad, he couldn't stand it. I told him I'll go to the Gun Show the following weekend and help him pick one out. He canceled out on me and went the following day by himself. Well, he found one and brought it home and called. Don't do anything with it until I check it over. Later that night, he inserted a loaded magazine and the bolt dropped and went totally full Auto in the basement in Military Housing. Blew several holes in a 12" steam pipe and peppered the floor and walls. Come to find out, someone tried to do a sear, not a conversion but modification and screwed it all up!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike375 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

great post petzal

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WeatherbySven87 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

i have recently gotten ahold of a goldmine of rifles my deceased grandfather had and non of them have been cleaned in 20+ years. the first one i went after was the .300 weatherby. i bought a nice little cleaning kit to go to work on them. i used the phosphor bronze brushes and rem-oil. scrubbed em good, used the pads etc.... cleaned it real nice and the weatherby is a true tack driver. im wondering if just brushes and a rem-oil is sufficient or should i get some copper solvent too?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

what is it about sending rifles out of the factory DIRTY!? you spend your hard earned money on a BRAND NEW GUN, which is suposedly the pride and joy of the manufacturer, and they send it to you with a diaper full of cra*! i appreciate that they test fire the gun, and i would not expect the gun to be as clean as a surgical instrument. but honestly, how much effort would it be to run 3 patches through the thing to at least clean the worst of the mess up. one patch w/ solvent, a clean one, and one with oil (or better yet, Kroil) on it would be enough to at least show they care, a little, about the rifle they are sending us.

as far as "Obama-care", i just have one thing to say. VOTER RETALIATION! we NEED to GET RID of polaticians that are not representatives of the american people! i have no idea why any of us would re-elect people who never read the bill and then voted for it anyway. if they will vote for a bill that they have no idea what is in it, why would not they vote to take away any of our rights. IDIOTS!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ferber wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

My father, A.A. Ferber, a small-bore rifle shooter, cleaned his rifles (a Pope-Barreled Ballard and a Model 52 Winchester) after each exercise at his hole-in-the-wall-in-the-woods range. He mainly shot 'E-Z-xes', but he also tested various lots of these and, remarkably (to this pre-teenager at the time), one lot tended to shoot better than others. So, early on, I learned about the importance of barrel cleaning and variances in ammo. Or so it seemed.

Years later, as a competitive pistol shooter, first shooting a bull-barreled High Standard and then a Model 41 Smith...I didn't clean the barrels very often. Even in a vise, after shooting a few hundred rounds, accuracy didn't seem to vary regardless of the cleanliness of the barrel. I still don't know if it really made a difference. Maybe it does in long-gun .22s. Anybody have some input here?

But when it comes to centerfire rifles...I learned toot-sweet, that a clean barrel makes all the difference in the world. As does the brand and lot of ammo (brand far more important than lot). And, of course, even the most basic handloading efforts (just trimming cases to consistent length, seating close to the lands of the barrel, powder/weight/bullet selection) attends to enormous accuracy improvement as we all know. Primer selection, neck width, case brand etc., never enters into my reloading equation because I don't shoot bench-rest matches--or any rifle matches except at my club--and proper, but basic, handloading is tiresome enough. Interestingly, I've found that certain factory ammo (the new generation stuff) in certain rifles shoot as well--or better than--some of my handloads. Admittedly, I'm not a handloading scientist/researcher and only handload for convenience, cost and fun.

As for handloading match pistol ammo--I've never been able to equal or exceed factory ammo in accuracy (.45 ACP). Most oldtimer handgunners I know sang the same song and if handloads were used at at all in matches (Bull's-eye type events) they were only shot at 25-yard events. Is this still true?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quahog wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Thanks for the informative post. I never bought a gun (new or used) that didn't have a pantload in the barrel.
Some of the "experts" at my club use bore- snakes exclusivly. They say you're only supposed to run a swab or brush in one direction - from the muzzle to the breech and no jiggling. I tried that technique some time ago and consistently wound up with a bore full of the same, assorted turds you just described. There's experts everywhere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I guess I follow part of that advice, for different reasons. I learned to clean barrels in the Corps, so there's nothing like the incentive a Drill Instructor can give you.

As I get older, and use stronger glasses, I have a tendency to use big honking scopes myself. Look at the cost savings... I don't need a spotting scope now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Quahog

Nice to hear from you again. One of our distinguished colleagues refers to the species you describe as "Range Monkeys".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

elmer f. last year when I got my brand new Savage Muzzle Loader, I thought I'd never get the crap that was coated inside the barrel from the factory!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Couple things, First I had a FFL and every gun I received was in the same condition Dave described. Disassembled alot of guns just to clean out the gunk they packed them in, guess the factory figures they will be sitting for years on someone's rack for years with no cleaning or oiling.
BTW, if you go in a gun shop and there is dust on the guns displayed leave. They should take better care of their inventory than that.

Also, on the subject of proper cleaning, what do you recommend for lever, auto and pump rifle cleaning where the breech end can't be easily accessed like a bolt?
I use a SS rod (unfortunately sectional) and worry about the crown on the non-bolt guns I clean. What do you use Dave?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To All: A number of you asked what powder solvent I use, and that is Shooters Choice. It smells terrible, so it must work. I have used the ammonia-based copper-eaters like Barnes CR-10. They work, but I'm always afraid I leave the stuff in the barrel longer than 15 minutes and find it has eaten the steel.

Someone asked how you know when you're through. As you scrub away, the carbon will vanish pretty quickly, which leaves you with copper in the bore, and that can take a while. The quickest way to get it out is with J-B Bore Cleaner and Kroil, both of which you can get from Brownell's. When you think you're done, swab the bore with either Shooters Choice or Hoppes 9 Bench Rest solvent and let it sit for a couple of hours. If there are no green or blue stains on the patch, you're done. If there are, wet the bore again and let it sit, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Eventually the copper will get get tired and leave.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Zermoid: I use Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber. WEAR GLASSES. If you get that stuff in your eyes it will spoil your whole day. Use copiously. It works very well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I was trying to do a little research on Kroil and found numerous references to using it in conjunction with J-B, but all the test results I found on plain Kroil said there were no copper removal properties in Kroil whatsover. What gives?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Shooters Choice, whats that?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Shooters Choice, formally known as Marksman Choice darn good stuff! During my days of competition, I would use about a gallon of the stuff every year. I found to reduce copper fouling is to coat the barrel with Break-Free®. Only drawback is your first shot will be high and on the third shot will be dead on, so I suggest shooting three fouling shots before use following up by mopping the bore with a light coat of WD40 which will also remove powder residue.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Sweet 16?

Mercury Outboard Motor Carburetor Cleaner!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To WAMtn Hunter: Kroil is simply a penetrating oil. However, when you give the bore a coat before you have at it with the J-B, it seems to make the J-B more effective in getting rid of the copper. I can't prove it, but the stuff does seem to work when used in this way. Also, it's great for loosening rusted bolts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To WAMtn Hunter: Kroil is simply a penetrating oil. However, when you give the bore a coat before you have at it with the J-B, it seems to make the J-B more effective in getting rid of the copper. I can't prove it, but the stuff does seem to work when used in this way. Also, it's great for loosening rusted bolts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

DEP

I'm going to try the J-B cleaner. I think I have some Kroil stashed for medicinal purposes and rusty bolts somewhere already. I have been using some Montana Extreme nylon brushes (which are really stiff compared to most others) as well as the traditional phosphor bronze brushes. The Barnes CR-10 really eats up the ph-bronze brushes, so it must eat copper pretty well, too. I always follow a CR-10 cleaning with a good cleaning with Hoppe's Benchrest followed by Hoppe's No. 9, just for the aroma! I learned a long time ago that a clean rifle is a happy rifle. I think it was Drill Sergeant Hammerly at Ft Polk, LA that convinced me of that truth...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

-1 :)

Another one for ya!

Got of came by a rifle that has been cleaned though the muzzle a many times. You checked the bore and throat and it looks good, but the muzzle looks as smooth as a shotgun. Instead of having the barrel replaced, have it recrowned. Cost? About 50-75 bucks and you just breathed new life in the rifle!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I've found along time ago Break-Free® works the same way as Kroil does. Yep, when your shooting 200-300 rounds a day, anything that will help, you use it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave Petzal, WA Mnthunter,
If you ever acquire a rifle with the barrel in poor but salvageable shape take the barrel off and plug the breach with a proper sized cork. Create a mixture of 50% Hoppe's 9 and Kroil and from the muzzle fill it full. Let it set a full day or two and drain, then do your cleaning. It's amazing

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Jim. Good tip!

Cheers!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Over the years I have read, heard about, or developed many combinations, methods, and solvents to clean a dirty rifle barrel. Other than the info gained from absolute fools the general end result is about the same providing you get rid of the powder, eliminate the copper, and then perhaps apply an anti-rust coating of your choice while avoiding damage to the chamber or crown. I just bought a 21 year old Sako which is/was new in the box. I mean brand new with maybe the bolt never having been placed in the receiver. I can tell you that two decades of that
Finnish factory crap sitting in the lands and grooves does not make it any easier to remove.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

You may have heard that more rifles are ruined by cleaning than are by shooting. This is true. Cleaning-rod wear, caused by the rod rubbing the rifling, is the most common cause of barrels being ruined by poor cleaning technique. This is particularly
true when a cheap rod is used to clean from the
muzzle. Soft aluminum rods pick up grit and become a file. When trying to force a tight patch through the bore, the rod flexes and “files” away at the muzzle crown. It doesn’t take much to ruin a rifle. When the damage is advanced, the barrel may have to be cut off to correct the problem.

Never tried a electronic bore cleaner.

Homemade Electronic Bore Cleaner
http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/copperout/index.asp

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Jim in Mo: Thanks for the tip. I believe you can also do the same thing with Shooter's Choice.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave, Shooters Choice will not remove excess copper fouling. My local Candy Shop didn't have any Sweets 16, but it did have Shooters Choice Copper Remover that works just as good including opening your sinuses!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

The more I used Break-Free® in my match rifles, the less copper build up I had and the easier it came out.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

David Petzal

The last "Sweets 16" I saw was a nice Browning autoloader shotgun and an old rock n' roll song from the '60's.

LMAO

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from DDH wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Your gun-cleaning routine sounds just like my husband's. I only wish he would help clean house with such thoroghness (sigh).

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

It's now called Sweet's 7.62 Solvent ;)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Hey wam don't you think you need to lighten up on the weed, you're embarrassing yourself

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

ignoramus [ˌɪgnəˈreɪməs], n pl -muses; an ignorant person; fool [from legal Latin, literally: we have no knowledge of, from Latin ignōrāre to be ignorant of; see ignore; modern usage originated from the use of Ignoramus as the name of an unlettered lawyer in a play by G. Ruggle, 17th-century English dramatist]

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from Gman wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

You all are making me feel like a slacker dummy. I've been using the old Kleen Bore Formula 3 with a brass brush and lots of patches 'til they come out snow white and thinking I'm doing OK...and the rifle is still whitetail accurate.

Any bad experiences with such multi-vis cleaners I should know about?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Too bad breakfree isnt sold outside america. Maybe fear of "terrorists" cleaning theire guns with it??? lmao

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

David, what do you think of coated bullets? I’ve been told shooting coated bullets have ruined a many rifle barrels or destroyed its accuracy?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Hey ingebrigtsen, welcome back from the far side :)

What's the deal you cannot get Break-Free® ??

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Nope not since 911.. :P funny that. think paranoia is infectious :D

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

But it should attest to the quality of it though :P i like robert dunlaps approach to guncleaning. simple green and breakfree. simple and it works.. all little freshly cleaned nicks and burrs gets filled up with teflon and makes em slick and rustresistant. barrel takes more effort offcourse, but i havent really experienced considerable buildup of copper in any of my guns so far. Even the ones i used american ammo almost exclusively in.. and shoots several hundreds of shots in a day on a range withouth any cleaning as i shoot. What gives??
And if i could get breakfree here id probably use it to wet the last patch after the barrel is clean and is going in storage again.. last thing i do is oil the barrel inside. so when i wanna go hunting run 2 dry patches through and dont think about getting it more clean. never needed fouling shots either to get on paper..
Am i doing it right?? dont think i have even a third as much tinkering with my guns as some in here do. takes all the fun and alchemy out of it :P

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper: I assume you're referring to moly-coated bullets. From my experience with them, they do no good at all, and you can never, ever get that gunk out of the barrel. Fortunately, the great moly craze seems to have run its course, as has the great cryo craze, where you pay someone to freeze your barrel for a couple of hundred bucks, in return for which you get a .002 percent increase in accuracy.

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from JW7MM-08 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I know this is a little off topic, but does anyone know where I can get a laminated stock for a Remington model 7? Preferably with a cheekpiece and brown in color. Thanks.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

JW7MM-08,
Google Boyds gunstocks.

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from Ricochet Rabbit wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

cryo?

Does that harm the barrel?

I do know if you paint scuba tanks then bake the paint in an oven, the tanks have a good chance of blowing up killing anyone around!

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To MJC: I do take my cleaning very seriously. Talk to any gunsmith and he will tell you that he hardly ever sees a barrel that is shot out, but sees plenty that are ruined by improper cleaning, or no cleaning.

The only thing as useless as a bore snake is the Congress of the United States of America. It (the bore snake) may remove some of the powder fouling from the bore--note that I said "some"--but it will not even touch the copper deposits that are the true destroyers of accuracy.

Barrels can be properly cleaned only with rods, phospor-bronze brushes, J-B Bore Compound, and whatever foul-smelling solvent you prefer. There are half a dozen good ones out there. And elbow grease--lots of it.

Cleaning barrels is not interesting, or uplifting, and I loathe having to do it, but when you consider that the total price of a first-rate new barrel is $600-$700, well, you can buy a lot of brushes and solvent for that.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Happiness is definitely a clean barrel. A friend complained about some 30/06 ammo I loaded for him. Talked him into a trip to the range and asked to look at his rifle. The inside of the bore looked like it had been upholstered with a road killed racoon! We cleaned it with a field kit I had along. I've seen prettier stuff come out of the gutter in a dairy barn! In short fur is not conducive to accuracy.

Now, what type of solvent should we use on Congress?

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

davidpetzal:

I lack your uneducated touch, so I use a torque wrench to make sure I get the screws just right; not too tight, not too loose.

And I don't know if I'd call Congress useless. Something is useless if it doesn't help. Congress hurts; those jackals have just flushed all our futures, and our kids' and grandkids' too, unless we can do something about it. As a cancer patient, I take no joy in the thought that my treatment will be in the hands of that corrupt bunch of hyenas who laughingly imagine they represent us. Congress is about as useless as a nuke that goes off while it's still in the silo.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,

I contend that the Bore Snake is not nearly as useless as the Congress. If they were, we would have already tossed every one of them in the trash. After a thorough cleaning post practice, checking zero, etc; I will fire a fouling shot and swab the bore with said snake just before the hunt and tape the muzzle. I will also run the snake through it if the rifle has been out in the snow, rain, and dust during the hunt, but not with the intent of removing copper or any other real fouling. Just wiping the windshield, not detailing the truck! JMHO

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from Carney wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Like the others, I have found the bore snakes to be far more useful than the US Congress, but not nearly as useful as a rod, brushes and patches. The bore snakes are really good for the fall weather in the Pacific Northwest -- when I come in for the evening, I saturate it with RemOil and clear the bore of moisture while leaving a thin film of oil.

On to ObamaCare -- I am proud that my State Attorney General is in league with those filing suit! The rest of my state officials I'm not proud of...

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

David-
After reading all of that you can borrow any of my guns anytime! :}}

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from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dr. Petzal;
I often find the guy at the range with a rifle he paid too much for that "won't shoot" is just really dirty, copper solvent stinks but if you want to hit anything, you have to use a lot of it. However, If you suggest his gun is dirty, you'ld think you called his mother dirty. "Its a new gun, it's not dirty".

If the rifle's not dirty, maybe the guy can't shoot, I really love that. I love finding the guy with a new Kimber 1911 that can't hit paper 10 feet away, usually has a really red face and ears. I ask if I can try and then I drill the center out of the bull, and hand it back and say, "nothing wrong with that". Then the face and ears are really red if they weren't before.
Great Post
AKX

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from jscottevans wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Great article, I always like listening to the inner workings from someone who knows quite a bit about guns.

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from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I dunno.

Don't guess I can help here.

You have already taken care of the cussin', blunt honesty, and objective reporting.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Shane;
If you think your brush is leaving copper in the barrel use a stainless steel brushes instead. They make those but you might have to order from Midway or Brownell's. Those brushes are pretty abrasive so I try to limit their use.
If you use the Stainless steel brush with a good solvent (Butch's, Sweet's, or Montana Extreme, it should be mostly ammonia, Hoppe's #9 is a powder solvent and won't do too much to the copper in your barrel) when you start or finish to see if there is still copper in your barrel.
JB bore paste is great stuff too if your barrel is really dirty or when cleaning a rifle for the first time. I don't think you can wear out a barrel by cleaning it, you might damage the crown if you're not careful, but you won't likely wear out the bore.
Just my two-cents.

AKX

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from quinnm107 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Shane,
Ref your question on the Rifle Test fire.
I work for a Police Dept in AZ, and had a custom Rem 700 made, so I spoke to the Dept Armorer about the proper cleaning. He told me to clean the barrel with barrel solvent and a brass brush, swab with patches until no carbon is on the patch; then clean the barrel with copper solvent and a nylon brush (won't leave residue, and won't scrap up your rifling-steal brushes will) and swab with patches until there is no copper residue (green tint to patch). I use "Shooter's Choice" as recommended by the Armorer; I also do a third cleaning with "M-Pro 7"; which is a barrel solvent and mild copper solvent, with a protective solvent mixed in... I use the nylon brush and swab until no carbon or copper is on the patches. Use a full length straight cleaning rod and a chamber guide if you are cleaning rifles like the Rem 700. Any other questions, leave a comment on one of the pictures I posted and I'll respond. Please let me know if this information was helpful.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Baboon sperm,Vulture puke? Petzal you are one creative sumbitch!

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from shane wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Here's my gun cleaning issue - I brush the crap out of my bores with bronze brushes and copper solvent, but am never sure if I'm really done. The solvent dissolves the copper fouling and gets it out, but also seems to get some of the brush, so I still get the green stuff, and feel like I'm getting a tiny layer of the brush left on the bore. Should I just brush thoroughly then do a few patches with copper solvent to take care of the brush crap? I like sparkling bores and this has been making me a nervous ninny. I have lost sleep...

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

davidpetzal-
I would argue that nothing on this planet is as useless as the U.S. Congress, not even the proverbial t-ts on a boar hog. I have always wondered what, exactly, that strange and clinging mixture on the inside of new rifle barrels was, thank you for enlightening us. In your opinion, is there any value to firing a rifle once or twice before the first cleaning, to heat up the barrel?
Or is this just a gun myth and a waste of good gunpowder?

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Hi-tail: I hadn't planned to retire soon, but after my appearance before the Death Board, who knows?

To Buckhunter: I've had such outstanding accuracy from so many different barrel makers that I no longer pay any attention to how they produce the things, or the particulars thereof.

To shane: Remember that bronze is an alloy of copper, so anything that eats the copper out of your barrel is going to eat your brushes as well.When you're done cleaning, give your brushes a toot of Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber. It will get the solvent off.

To crm .30/06. A waste of ammo. That stuff comes out just as hard when it's warm as when it's cold.

To focusfront: I don't use a torque wrench on action screws. My experience is, with a properly made gun, that the screws will simply stop turning at a particular point and that is where you stop trying to twist them. I've never seen accuracy improve by cranking screws until the tendons in your elbow pop. I know there are people who disagree with this, but that's my experience.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I agree with WMH on bore snakes being good for the once over at the end of the day for shotguns and rifles, and I agree with DEP on the need for hardware for real cleaning.

Sounds like I need some of the new big fuggin' scopes.

Looking forward to your Best of the Best.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave, You got me sold on Bushnell Elite scopes. Just need a rifle to put it one. For cleaning my rifles I take an old bronze borebrush and wrap a cotton patch around it tight. Next coat the patch with J&B and make about 10 passes thru the bore. Replenish the paste and do it again. After about three rounds of this clean with Barnes CR-10 or Sweet's bore solvent. If a patch doesn't go thru snow white it isn't clean yet. Repeat until the patch IS snow white and then you have a clean barrel. I clean my guns like that and then coat the bore with ultraborecoat. After that all I use is solvent and patches to clean. UBC does not make a gun more accurate it makes the barrel easier to clean by reducing copper, lead and carbon fouling.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Ralph,
Dave is geting more descriptive in his disgust for things isn't he?

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

davidpetzal;
Oops. Sorry, Dave. Thoughts got mixed up. That should be, "I lack your EDUCATED touch." A thousand pardons.

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from elmer f. wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

what is it about sending rifles out of the factory DIRTY!? you spend your hard earned money on a BRAND NEW GUN, which is suposedly the pride and joy of the manufacturer, and they send it to you with a diaper full of cra*! i appreciate that they test fire the gun, and i would not expect the gun to be as clean as a surgical instrument. but honestly, how much effort would it be to run 3 patches through the thing to at least clean the worst of the mess up. one patch w/ solvent, a clean one, and one with oil (or better yet, Kroil) on it would be enough to at least show they care, a little, about the rifle they are sending us.

as far as "Obama-care", i just have one thing to say. VOTER RETALIATION! we NEED to GET RID of polaticians that are not representatives of the american people! i have no idea why any of us would re-elect people who never read the bill and then voted for it anyway. if they will vote for a bill that they have no idea what is in it, why would not they vote to take away any of our rights. IDIOTS!

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from DDH wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Your gun-cleaning routine sounds just like my husband's. I only wish he would help clean house with such thoroghness (sigh).

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from MJC wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

Blunt and outstanding wisdom, as always.
[Clicks over to Brownells to buy some J-B Bore Compound.]

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from hi_tail wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

It's a rough job, but someone's gotta do it. Two questions Dave, are you retiring anytime soon and is F&S accepting applications? :P

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Is there a test that compares rifling in a barrel? Other than MOA. Or simply put how does one manufacturers 1:14 twist 21 inch barrel compare to another? Do you or can you gauge the depth of rifling? Is there some variance between one 1:10 to another 1:10 of the same make?

Sorry so many questions but you hear so much about other details of a firearm but little about what guides your bullet.

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from shane wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Yes, but the copper from the brush is being deposited as I'm scrubbing out the fouling with the solvent, is it not? Maybe I should follow up with a plastic brush, and maybe I should cool it.

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from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I hadn't used JB Bore Compound before but last year I started using it followed by Kroil. It seems to get the barrels fairly clean. I am like some of the others, I never know when I have the barrel clean. I too use the bore snake at camp when I have been out in the rain or snow and want to dry the bore. I have always used big scopes because I have always had the feeling you can't hit what you can't see. I have always done most of the other steps when I got a rifle.

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from SD Bob wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I keep boasting to my co-workers what a good read Mr. Petzal is and without a doubt, today's post is the best work of his I've read. Only Dave can mix animal body fluids with rifle review tests and have them be related!

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave Petzal, WA Mnthunter,
If you ever acquire a rifle with the barrel in poor but salvageable shape take the barrel off and plug the breach with a proper sized cork. Create a mixture of 50% Hoppe's 9 and Kroil and from the muzzle fill it full. Let it set a full day or two and drain, then do your cleaning. It's amazing

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Too bad breakfree isnt sold outside america. Maybe fear of "terrorists" cleaning theire guns with it??? lmao

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

But it should attest to the quality of it though :P i like robert dunlaps approach to guncleaning. simple green and breakfree. simple and it works.. all little freshly cleaned nicks and burrs gets filled up with teflon and makes em slick and rustresistant. barrel takes more effort offcourse, but i havent really experienced considerable buildup of copper in any of my guns so far. Even the ones i used american ammo almost exclusively in.. and shoots several hundreds of shots in a day on a range withouth any cleaning as i shoot. What gives??
And if i could get breakfree here id probably use it to wet the last patch after the barrel is clean and is going in storage again.. last thing i do is oil the barrel inside. so when i wanna go hunting run 2 dry patches through and dont think about getting it more clean. never needed fouling shots either to get on paper..
Am i doing it right?? dont think i have even a third as much tinkering with my guns as some in here do. takes all the fun and alchemy out of it :P

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from MJC wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,

You obviously take your cleaning very seriously. Any comment on using boresnakes instead of cleaning rods? I'm guessing that most of the rifles you review are .30 or .270 caliber so one or two boresnakes would go a long way. Ever used 'em?

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from mad_dog9999 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I would love to know what products and methods Mr. Petzal uses to clean and take care of his guns.

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from jbird wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I'm sorry to hear you detest bore-snakes so much. I don't use them by themselves, but after a solvent soaked patch, and a good brushing. Then a couple passes w/the bore-snake, and I call it good. I personally haven't noticed any accuracy problems w/any of my guns, and I've got a bore-snake for just about every caliber. I definitely don't shoot as much as you though, and undoubtedly I have a different definition of what 'accurate' is.

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

DavidPetzal:

Sounds like you have a good testing system. Guns probably shoot better when you are done reassembling them, with the right torque on each action screw, than they would if they came out of the box clean. Surprised you are so kind to the barrel, though. I've had a couple of rifles, one a Remington 700, that would put bullets into one jagged hole all day from a cold barrel, but when fired fast would fire a 1/2" two shot group, 1" three shot group, and about a 2" five shot group at 100 yards. And that 4.5 x 14 Zeiss scope! Clearly, you want your rifles to do well.

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from BowtechWVU wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

good advice

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Use full lenght cleaning rods of brass or steel and clean religiously when u get home from the range. those aluminimum screw-together stuff is toxic. aluminium is too soft and those joints are gonna unscrew partially and ream out scars in your barrel, in addition tiny metal particles stick in the aluminium and works as grinding paste.. i can shoot 200 shots on the range no problem withouth any cleaning, then when i get home just clean it till its actually clean and u can push through doubled-up patches withouth any fouling or residue, then put a single pach through with 3 in one gunoil, and then before i go a shooting again i put a couple of dry patches through and im ready for both hunting and range work. after 7 years my barrel is still pristine and as precise as it ever was..
If more people knew how to clean the right way then riflebarrel makers would loose atleast half of theire customers im sure.. And good barrels foul much less than the standard or worse factory ones.. (remington- uugh!)
Copper solvent for when its needed, copper brushes, cleaning rod, patch holder and good gunoil is all u will ever need for good guncleaning thats healthy for your riflebarre. and the right ammount of elbowgrease.. all the sprayfoam miracle stuff is mostly only a replacement for the elbowgrease.. me, i like the scent of gunoil and often watch tv while i clean and enjoy it as a zen activity. just dump an open newspaper infront of the good chair and i can splatter freely withouth much cleanup.. ;)
peace

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave,
yep I agree, I've received rifles with barrels that were full of cosmoline or some gunk. Can't imagine the pressures if I had shot a factory round or hand loaded down that barrel. IMO the best use for a high powered scope is for testing a new rifle to wring out the best in it although some rifles/barrels get better.
As far as cleaning products when new, Hoppe's 9 is fine and copper cleaners (Barnes) don't come into play till later.

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from Quahog wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Mr Petzal,
Thanks for the informative post. I never bought a gun (new or used) that didn't have a pantload in the barrel.
Some of the "experts" at my club use bore- snakes exclusivly. They say you're only supposed to run a swab or brush in one direction - from the muzzle to the breech and no jiggling. I tried that technique some time ago and consistently wound up with a bore full of the same, assorted turds you just described. There's experts everywhere.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I guess I follow part of that advice, for different reasons. I learned to clean barrels in the Corps, so there's nothing like the incentive a Drill Instructor can give you.

As I get older, and use stronger glasses, I have a tendency to use big honking scopes myself. Look at the cost savings... I don't need a spotting scope now.

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To All: A number of you asked what powder solvent I use, and that is Shooters Choice. It smells terrible, so it must work. I have used the ammonia-based copper-eaters like Barnes CR-10. They work, but I'm always afraid I leave the stuff in the barrel longer than 15 minutes and find it has eaten the steel.

Someone asked how you know when you're through. As you scrub away, the carbon will vanish pretty quickly, which leaves you with copper in the bore, and that can take a while. The quickest way to get it out is with J-B Bore Cleaner and Kroil, both of which you can get from Brownell's. When you think you're done, swab the bore with either Shooters Choice or Hoppes 9 Bench Rest solvent and let it sit for a couple of hours. If there are no green or blue stains on the patch, you're done. If there are, wet the bore again and let it sit, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Eventually the copper will get get tired and leave.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I was trying to do a little research on Kroil and found numerous references to using it in conjunction with J-B, but all the test results I found on plain Kroil said there were no copper removal properties in Kroil whatsover. What gives?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Shooters Choice, formally known as Marksman Choice darn good stuff! During my days of competition, I would use about a gallon of the stuff every year. I found to reduce copper fouling is to coat the barrel with Break-Free®. Only drawback is your first shot will be high and on the third shot will be dead on, so I suggest shooting three fouling shots before use following up by mopping the bore with a light coat of WD40 which will also remove powder residue.

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from ishawooa wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Over the years I have read, heard about, or developed many combinations, methods, and solvents to clean a dirty rifle barrel. Other than the info gained from absolute fools the general end result is about the same providing you get rid of the powder, eliminate the copper, and then perhaps apply an anti-rust coating of your choice while avoiding damage to the chamber or crown. I just bought a 21 year old Sako which is/was new in the box. I mean brand new with maybe the bolt never having been placed in the receiver. I can tell you that two decades of that
Finnish factory crap sitting in the lands and grooves does not make it any easier to remove.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

David Petzal

The last "Sweets 16" I saw was a nice Browning autoloader shotgun and an old rock n' roll song from the '60's.

LMAO

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

David, what do you think of coated bullets? I’ve been told shooting coated bullets have ruined a many rifle barrels or destroyed its accuracy?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Nope not since 911.. :P funny that. think paranoia is infectious :D

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Don't'ya just love it when you get that frantic call at 3 on a Friday afternoon by someone who needs help with their rifle. You run out to the range to discover everything is still in the box and they have the wrong bases and the rifle has no open sights. You loan them a rifle and it comes back the following Monday full of dirt and rust from the rain. Fortunately, a little TLC fixed it all up!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

One of the guys wanted to buy a AR15 so bad, he couldn't stand it. I told him I'll go to the Gun Show the following weekend and help him pick one out. He canceled out on me and went the following day by himself. Well, he found one and brought it home and called. Don't do anything with it until I check it over. Later that night, he inserted a loaded magazine and the bolt dropped and went totally full Auto in the basement in Military Housing. Blew several holes in a 12" steam pipe and peppered the floor and walls. Come to find out, someone tried to do a sear, not a conversion but modification and screwed it all up!

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from mike375 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

great post petzal

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from WeatherbySven87 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

i have recently gotten ahold of a goldmine of rifles my deceased grandfather had and non of them have been cleaned in 20+ years. the first one i went after was the .300 weatherby. i bought a nice little cleaning kit to go to work on them. i used the phosphor bronze brushes and rem-oil. scrubbed em good, used the pads etc.... cleaned it real nice and the weatherby is a true tack driver. im wondering if just brushes and a rem-oil is sufficient or should i get some copper solvent too?

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from Ferber wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

My father, A.A. Ferber, a small-bore rifle shooter, cleaned his rifles (a Pope-Barreled Ballard and a Model 52 Winchester) after each exercise at his hole-in-the-wall-in-the-woods range. He mainly shot 'E-Z-xes', but he also tested various lots of these and, remarkably (to this pre-teenager at the time), one lot tended to shoot better than others. So, early on, I learned about the importance of barrel cleaning and variances in ammo. Or so it seemed.

Years later, as a competitive pistol shooter, first shooting a bull-barreled High Standard and then a Model 41 Smith...I didn't clean the barrels very often. Even in a vise, after shooting a few hundred rounds, accuracy didn't seem to vary regardless of the cleanliness of the barrel. I still don't know if it really made a difference. Maybe it does in long-gun .22s. Anybody have some input here?

But when it comes to centerfire rifles...I learned toot-sweet, that a clean barrel makes all the difference in the world. As does the brand and lot of ammo (brand far more important than lot). And, of course, even the most basic handloading efforts (just trimming cases to consistent length, seating close to the lands of the barrel, powder/weight/bullet selection) attends to enormous accuracy improvement as we all know. Primer selection, neck width, case brand etc., never enters into my reloading equation because I don't shoot bench-rest matches--or any rifle matches except at my club--and proper, but basic, handloading is tiresome enough. Interestingly, I've found that certain factory ammo (the new generation stuff) in certain rifles shoot as well--or better than--some of my handloads. Admittedly, I'm not a handloading scientist/researcher and only handload for convenience, cost and fun.

As for handloading match pistol ammo--I've never been able to equal or exceed factory ammo in accuracy (.45 ACP). Most oldtimer handgunners I know sang the same song and if handloads were used at at all in matches (Bull's-eye type events) they were only shot at 25-yard events. Is this still true?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Quahog

Nice to hear from you again. One of our distinguished colleagues refers to the species you describe as "Range Monkeys".

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

elmer f. last year when I got my brand new Savage Muzzle Loader, I thought I'd never get the crap that was coated inside the barrel from the factory!

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from Zermoid wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Couple things, First I had a FFL and every gun I received was in the same condition Dave described. Disassembled alot of guns just to clean out the gunk they packed them in, guess the factory figures they will be sitting for years on someone's rack for years with no cleaning or oiling.
BTW, if you go in a gun shop and there is dust on the guns displayed leave. They should take better care of their inventory than that.

Also, on the subject of proper cleaning, what do you recommend for lever, auto and pump rifle cleaning where the breech end can't be easily accessed like a bolt?
I use a SS rod (unfortunately sectional) and worry about the crown on the non-bolt guns I clean. What do you use Dave?

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Zermoid: I use Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber. WEAR GLASSES. If you get that stuff in your eyes it will spoil your whole day. Use copiously. It works very well.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Shooters Choice, whats that?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Sweet 16?

Mercury Outboard Motor Carburetor Cleaner!

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To WAMtn Hunter: Kroil is simply a penetrating oil. However, when you give the bore a coat before you have at it with the J-B, it seems to make the J-B more effective in getting rid of the copper. I can't prove it, but the stuff does seem to work when used in this way. Also, it's great for loosening rusted bolts.

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To WAMtn Hunter: Kroil is simply a penetrating oil. However, when you give the bore a coat before you have at it with the J-B, it seems to make the J-B more effective in getting rid of the copper. I can't prove it, but the stuff does seem to work when used in this way. Also, it's great for loosening rusted bolts.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

DEP

I'm going to try the J-B cleaner. I think I have some Kroil stashed for medicinal purposes and rusty bolts somewhere already. I have been using some Montana Extreme nylon brushes (which are really stiff compared to most others) as well as the traditional phosphor bronze brushes. The Barnes CR-10 really eats up the ph-bronze brushes, so it must eat copper pretty well, too. I always follow a CR-10 cleaning with a good cleaning with Hoppe's Benchrest followed by Hoppe's No. 9, just for the aroma! I learned a long time ago that a clean rifle is a happy rifle. I think it was Drill Sergeant Hammerly at Ft Polk, LA that convinced me of that truth...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

-1 :)

Another one for ya!

Got of came by a rifle that has been cleaned though the muzzle a many times. You checked the bore and throat and it looks good, but the muzzle looks as smooth as a shotgun. Instead of having the barrel replaced, have it recrowned. Cost? About 50-75 bucks and you just breathed new life in the rifle!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I've found along time ago Break-Free® works the same way as Kroil does. Yep, when your shooting 200-300 rounds a day, anything that will help, you use it!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Jim. Good tip!

Cheers!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

You may have heard that more rifles are ruined by cleaning than are by shooting. This is true. Cleaning-rod wear, caused by the rod rubbing the rifling, is the most common cause of barrels being ruined by poor cleaning technique. This is particularly
true when a cheap rod is used to clean from the
muzzle. Soft aluminum rods pick up grit and become a file. When trying to force a tight patch through the bore, the rod flexes and “files” away at the muzzle crown. It doesn’t take much to ruin a rifle. When the damage is advanced, the barrel may have to be cut off to correct the problem.

Never tried a electronic bore cleaner.

Homemade Electronic Bore Cleaner
http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/copperout/index.asp

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Jim in Mo: Thanks for the tip. I believe you can also do the same thing with Shooter's Choice.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

The more I used Break-Free® in my match rifles, the less copper build up I had and the easier it came out.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

It's now called Sweet's 7.62 Solvent ;)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

ignoramus [ˌɪgnəˈreɪməs], n pl -muses; an ignorant person; fool [from legal Latin, literally: we have no knowledge of, from Latin ignōrāre to be ignorant of; see ignore; modern usage originated from the use of Ignoramus as the name of an unlettered lawyer in a play by G. Ruggle, 17th-century English dramatist]

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from Gman wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

You all are making me feel like a slacker dummy. I've been using the old Kleen Bore Formula 3 with a brass brush and lots of patches 'til they come out snow white and thinking I'm doing OK...and the rifle is still whitetail accurate.

Any bad experiences with such multi-vis cleaners I should know about?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Hey ingebrigtsen, welcome back from the far side :)

What's the deal you cannot get Break-Free® ??

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from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper: I assume you're referring to moly-coated bullets. From my experience with them, they do no good at all, and you can never, ever get that gunk out of the barrel. Fortunately, the great moly craze seems to have run its course, as has the great cryo craze, where you pay someone to freeze your barrel for a couple of hundred bucks, in return for which you get a .002 percent increase in accuracy.

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from JW7MM-08 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I know this is a little off topic, but does anyone know where I can get a laminated stock for a Remington model 7? Preferably with a cheekpiece and brown in color. Thanks.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

JW7MM-08,
Google Boyds gunstocks.

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from Ricochet Rabbit wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

cryo?

Does that harm the barrel?

I do know if you paint scuba tanks then bake the paint in an oven, the tanks have a good chance of blowing up killing anyone around!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Dave, Shooters Choice will not remove excess copper fouling. My local Candy Shop didn't have any Sweets 16, but it did have Shooters Choice Copper Remover that works just as good including opening your sinuses!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Hey wam don't you think you need to lighten up on the weed, you're embarrassing yourself

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from GregMc wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Appearance before the death board?
Stick to rifles Mr. Petzal, you actually know something about them.

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