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Thread: .243 - to clean or not to clean?!

  1. #1

    .243 - to clean or not to clean?!

    I bought a browning xbolt in .243 last year (I've had a lot of problems with it!) - the latest was an inability to shoot a decent group... which I eventually worked out was due to the rifle being clean!!!

    I was told to always clean my .243 after shooting - I'm a deer stalker so it's all about the first shot being through a clean and cold barrel... trouble is it doesn't group 3 shots when it's clean and cold!!! My .17hmr won't shoot straight unless it's clean, and my .22 won't shoot straight unless it's dirty (so I never clean it).

    It settles down after about 6 shots, and I'm able to shoot very good groups when I zero at 100yds... but by then the barrel is warm, and being a fluted barrel the zero seems to shift!!!

    So my questions are:
    • Should I bother cleaning it if it doesn't like it? - Once zeroed I'll only use it for the odd deer.
    • Does anyone else have an issue with fluted barrel's moving zero when warming up?
    • Does anyone know a magic trick that will swap my xbolt for something more sensible free of charge and without having to wait 4 months for a variation?!

    Thanks,
    Rich

  2. #2
    Rich,

    I have an x-bolt .243 stainless fluted and was told only clean it if it gets wet or on loss of zero. I have put 140 shots through it, not cleaned it and it groups fine.

    ATB

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyDoom View Post
    I bought a browning xbolt in .243 last year (I've had a lot of problems with it!) - the latest was an inability to shoot a decent group... which I eventually worked out was due to the rifle being clean!!!

    I was told to always clean my .243 after shooting - I'm a deer stalker so it's all about the first shot being through a clean and cold barrel... trouble is it doesn't group 3 shots when it's clean and cold!!! My .17hmr won't shoot straight unless it's clean, and my .22 won't shoot straight unless it's dirty (so I never clean it).

    It settles down after about 6 shots, and I'm able to shoot very good groups when I zero at 100yds... but by then the barrel is warm, and being a fluted barrel the zero seems to shift!!!

    So my questions are:
    • Should I bother cleaning it if it doesn't like it? - Once zeroed I'll only use it for the odd deer.
    • Does anyone else have an issue with fluted barrel's moving zero when warming up?
    • Does anyone know a magic trick that will swap my xbolt for something more sensible free of charge and without having to wait 4 months for a variation?!

    Thanks,
    Rich
    Wondered how long it would take to ask!!!!!!

  4. #4
    It sounds like you need to get the factory bedding sorted out.

    There are also some cleaners that claim do not alter the POI from a clean barrel. Have you tried them?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    It sounds like you need to get the factory bedding sorted out
    I have a friend with an x-bolt fluted .243 who had exactly the same problem. It turned out to be the bedding as suggested above - he spent ages trying to get it zero'd before realising what the problem was (he's had the bedding sorted now and it shoots very accurately).

  6. #6
    I have started using wipeout to clean all my rifles.
    1st shot slightly off zero then business as usual, not expensive and seems to do a good job.
    I wish I was half the hunter my dog thinks I am

  7. #7
    When you clean do you remove all carbon and copper?

    The reason i ask is maybe your rifle only needs the carbon removed.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 243 Stalker View Post
    Rich,

    I have an x-bolt .243 stainless fluted and was told only clean it if it gets wet or on loss of zero. I have put 140 shots through it, not cleaned it and it groups fine.

    ATB
    Thanks - will give that a go!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by palmer_mike View Post
    I have a friend with an x-bolt fluted .243 who had exactly the same problem. It turned out to be the bedding as suggested above - he spent ages trying to get it zero'd before realising what the problem was (he's had the bedding sorted now and it shoots very accurately).
    So bedding in - basically just carry on shooting it and don't clean it then?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by weejohn View Post
    When you clean do you remove all carbon and copper?

    The reason i ask is maybe your rifle only needs the carbon removed.
    Yep have been removing all carbon and copper, but also had the same problem when I just used a boresnake... so I'm thinking I should just avoid cleaning it altogether? Maybe the odd dry pull through with a patch?

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