How many rounds of cast bullets do you fire before cleaning?

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GBertolet posted this 3 weeks ago

How many rounds of 1600 fps rifle ammo do you generally fire before cleaning? 20, 50, 100? At what round count does the accuracy begin to visibly suffer for you?

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Chickenthief posted this 3 weeks ago

I have a Marlin 94 in 44MAG with microgroove rifling that is close to 5000 rounds at @1750fps.

240grain cast from 94/3/3 with a check added.

 

It sees a boresnake twice a year wether it needs it or not!

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M3 Mitch posted this 3 weeks ago

In my experience, a good cast load with grease lubed bullet leaves the bore in excellent condition for storage, so I mostly don't clean at all.  A lot of .22 target shooters don't clean and say that cleaning the bore spoils accuracy until it gets back to a stable fouled state.

I can't prove it definitively, but, more and more I think the kind of leading that interferes with accuracy is mostly caused by undersized bullets, with a too-hard or too-soft alloy sometimes tagging along as an "unindited co-conspirator".

I do live in a dry area far from any salt water though. 

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BudHyett posted this 3 weeks ago

The point of accuracy deterioration only comes with experimentation. What shoots well in seventy degree temperature range may not shoot well in the ninety degree temperature range. The factors may be the lube, not cleaning enough, amount of lube, etc.. 

You need to keep good records, e.g.:

  • Lube
  • Outside temperature
  • Number of grooves lubed
  • Rate of firing - building barrel temperature
  • Alloy hardness - in general terms

Each rifle is a law unto itself. With one rifle, I clean after 100 yards on the theory the rifle will have the 200 yard sighting period with the bore being reset for competition. With another rifle, I run a dry patch through after each string. 

Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Rich/WIS posted this 3 weeks ago

Usual practice is a quick wipe of the bore with a patch lightly dampened with bore cleaner to remove powder residue followed by a dry patch,or if minimal powder residue just a dry patch.  Before storing for longer periods an oiled patch.  

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GWarden posted this 3 weeks ago

BudHyett hit it on the head, keep good records. I also include in the records humidity. After you keep records long enough you know what is needed. 

Bob

Iowa

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Chickenthief posted this 3 weeks ago

BudHyett hit it on the head, keep good records. I also include in the records humidity. After you keep records long enough you know what is needed. 

Bob

Iowa

Nah, if you ned that long and that much record keeping then you're doing something/(lots) wrong!!!

Start with proper bullet fit.

Then proper bullet lube

From there you can fiddle, but not before!

Up to 1200fps'ish = 97/3

Up to 1500+fps'ish = 94/6

From there a 94/3/3 and above 1750fps a 94/3/3 with a check.

Thats my recipie and i'm sticking to it!

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 3 weeks ago

Honestly I have not found the answer. I don't remember how long since I cleaned my match bore.

Still shooting great.

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Eutectic posted this 3 weeks ago

 

GB

If the load/alloy/bullet size is correct, the answer is ∞. That is infinity if it prints correctly. A good rifle load at moderate velocity will reach a stable bore condition in a few shots and then it does not change until the throat wears out. OK, not infinity but maybe 25,000 rounds? Then you need a larger diameter bullet.

I never clean my 30-30 at the range. We have fired it so fast you could not touch the barrel, still shooting great.   I am obsessive so I put a patch with Ed's Red through it at home, but this is probably not needed.

The 308 can get some leading if pushed over 2100 fps.  Mostly I shoot 1800 fs with 170 grain bullets. Mild loads leave a coat of lube in the barrel and will shoot all day. 

Steve

 

 

 

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John Alexander posted this 3 weeks ago

Like Steve, Mark and Chickenthief, I too have had load/bullet/size/throat/bore combinations that seemed to shoot forever with the same good accuracy.  I have gone a competitive season or two of practice and matches (2-3K shots) without so much as a patch through the bore. At one time I thought others at matches who cleaned after a few shots just didn't know what they were doing even though they often shot better than I did --  which should have given me a clue.  I was young, foolish and maybe a bit arrogant.

However, Not all match winning loads/powders/bores will do this no matter how well the bullet is fitted and the alloy appropriate for the pressure involved. Some powders seem to build up hard black fouling which degrades best accuracy.  Some bores just seem to need cleaning if you want the best accuracy. Of course continuing to shoot minute of bunny is another thing, much easier, and more common. Those guys who are shooting aggregates near .5 moa and cleaning after every target card are not necessarily just obsessive.

From my experienceI I think Steve's definition of infinity is a little optimistic. The rifle I am currently shooting in matches has 11,880 rounds through it, all  low pressure CB loads except 500 + - jacketed. The rifle is shooting as well as ever but I have both increased the bullets nose diameter and reduced the seating depth several times starting after the first few thousand rounds.

John

 

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pisco posted this 3 weeks ago

always clean my firearms after using as i don’t know when i will use the again but i could have 40 shots when they are used

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Shopdog posted this 3 weeks ago

I "dry mop" right much,in the 20-40 round count. Viva kitchen towel,ripped N wrapped around wore out bore brushes.

This isn't really cleaning,more of a clearing. Knowing round count(and obviously the load dynamics),dry mopping let's me see what the carbon layer is doing. I barely run any lube but what there is gets,smoothed down more than cleaned out using this method.

My work is about varmint blasting so velocity is way up compared to stated goals in OP. Use of slow burning powder that's sometimes on the ragged bttm edge of efficiency can leave deposits.... which gravity plays heck with. The stuff will lay in the bttm of the barrel. Good luck with your project.

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Bill2728 posted this 2 weeks ago

I grew up on a farm and it didn't take many 90º+ days to figure out that I much preferred cleaning, oiling, greasing and prepping at the end of the day instead of starting a new day covered in grease, oil and dirt.  Then a career in the army where that belief was reinforced in that the mission was not finished until things were put away cleaned and prepped tor use.  Retired and returned to farming with the same beliefs/habits, I simply can not put a rifle away that has not been cleaned.  Maybe that's why my groups suck??? surprised

 

Bill

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Coydog posted this 2 weeks ago

I clean my guns depends on how long I will have them sit.For rifle and hand gun , But when I do I mainly shoot cast ,I will use Johnson Paste wax for the barrel and then store. I seen about this on here some time ago I think ,to fake the barrel to use and I see my groups are good.for my liken. I lube and size my boolits. Shotguns I oil the barrel after use and clean . 

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shastaboat posted this 6 days ago

Haven't been on this forum for a few months but I find that after 100 rounds or so shooting ground squirrels and jack rabbits with my Designated Cast AR15  5.56 Wilde that accuracy starts to slip.  Cleaning removes the powder fouling present and accuracy returns.  Absolutely no leading present.

Because I said so!

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