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Thread: A barrel cleaning guide for newbies/beginners. Equipment and Method

  1. #1

    A barrel cleaning guide for newbies/beginners. Equipment and Method

    Given the number of "how should I clean my barrel?" threads I thought this may be of some help to folk, especially as I remember wondering what to do and use myself not that long ago.
    It is in no way the definitive guide to barrel cleaning or what kit to use, but a thread to give you general idea and show some suitable products.
    Firstly, a decent cleaning vice or method of holding the gun securely makes any sort of maintainance a lot easier.
    I've ended up with a tipton/tetra gun vise.
    You'll need a cleaning rod suitable for your calibre and a compatible calibre specific jag. You may also want a brush to help remove heavy fouling. A caliber specific chamber mop is also useful and you'll need a bag of caliber suitable patches.
    A Boreguide is a good idea, this fits in the chamber and acts as a guide for the cleaning rod to help minimise the change of damaging the barrel and crown when cleaning. It also prevents cleaning products getting into the chamber.

    Ther are load of cleaners and products out there. I use KG1&2 based on recommendation from Steve Kershaw and the fact they seem to work better for me than the other stuff I've tried.
    Use whatever you like as a powder/carbon remover and copper remover.

    The stuff that sits on the cleaning shelf

    The products and stuff I mainly use:

    I give my rifles a thorough clean when I get them (they've all been second hand) so I know I'm starting with a properly cleaned barrel.
    To do this I use KG1 carbon remover followed by KG2 bore restore to remove copper. The process I use is as follows:
    Fit bore guide, push 3 or 4 patches well soaked in KG1 through the barrel using rod and jag using slow straight stokes.
    All cleaning is done from chamber to barrel.

    Initially leave the KG1 to soak for 20 mins or so then push a few dry patches through followed by a couple more soaked in KG1, repeating untill the patches come out clean.

    If the carbon fouling is quite heavy then you may need to resort to using a brush.
    Push the brush from breech to muzzle. I push the brush out the muzzle and remove it after each pass as I read this was less likely to inflict any damage on the crown.
    I find after a good soak of KG1 only 2 or 3 passes with the brush are needed.
    Follow up with KG1 and dry patches untill they come out clean.
    If you keep on top of fouling, brushing should not be required during subsequent cleaning.

    That should be the carbon fouling removed, now to remove any copper using KG2:
    Put a couple of drops on a patch and push through the barrel repeat about 10-20 times then put a couple of clean patchs through. Repeat this process untill the the patches show no more trace of fouling. This can take quite a while and quite a lot of patches first time round if heavily fouled.
    Once your happy you've de-coked your barrel run a couple of patches soaked in solvent through to remove any traces of cleaners.
    Meths, action blaster or brake cleaner will do the trick. The patches should be spotless now.

    Thats it, job done. You are now ready to shoot or alternatively if the guns not going to be used for a while run a patch with a light coating of oil through the barrel.

    Any subsequent cleaning should be MUCH quicker and involve considerably less patches if you keep on top of it.

    A couple of points to Note:
    Giving a rifle a thorough clean can cause the point of impact (POI) to move. Check zero after cleaning.

    You don't want to get any cleaning products and especially not oil in the chamber. It may cause a dangerous increase in pressure on firing which could affect the integrity and/or accuracy of the rifle.

    You can damage the crown of a rifle so it has an adverse efect of accuracy without there being any obvious signs of doing so. A bore guide helps prevent both barrel/crown damage and liquids entering the chamber.

    If you run and oily patch through a barrel, it may cause the POI to shift on the the first shot after cleaning.
    This doesn't affect every rifle but obviousley you need to find out if it affects yours.
    Check how any aspect of cleaning affects your rifle before using it on quarry.
    If your rifle is affected by the above then you have a couple of options:
    A) Remove the oil with a couple of patches soaked in solvent before use
    B) Fire a fouling shot before using on quarry
    C) Subscribe the other school of thought on barrel care and don't bother cleaning it
    Last edited by pigglet; 07-02-2011 at 07:58.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pigglet View Post
    ..You don't want to get any cleaning products and especially not oil in the chamber. It may cause a dangerous increase in pressure on firing which could affect the integrity and/or accuracy of the rifle......
    I have a short cleaning rod set up with 'tow' wrapped round a jag and roughly shaped as a cartridge case. I use this to clean the chamber after I have finished with cleaning the barrel and have removed the bore guide. Rgds JCS

  4. #4
    Like JCS I clean the chamber out after cleaning the barrel - I use a Tipton (i think) chamber cleaning kit and the appropriate mops for the cartridge.

    Another thing worth noting, certainly something I fell foul of at my first attempt to clean my rifle, was that patches on a jag as shown in the photos can sometimes be a very, very tight fit in the barrel. With a square patch I'd recommend that you start by spearing it onto the jag near to a corner of a square patch and then work your way towards the centre of the patch with successive patches getting a feel for how tight they are in your barrel. It may be that the patches will be so tight that you will never be in a position to safely spear the patch right in the centre. I got rod, jag and patch well stuck down my barrel on my first cleaning attempt and it was only the application of brute force by several people that moved it. I know this is a common beginners fault as I witnessed someone else end up in exactly the same situation and we had to use a mallet to hammer the rod out in the end.

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