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Cleaning slow fouling bore question

05 May 2020
@ 08:12 am (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Hi Nathan,

I just recently read a few of your books and they're great!

I have a question regarding the cleaning of my bore. It's a Tikka with a really smooth bore and about 200 rounds down the bore. I have polished the throat yet, but just cleaned it to bare steel last night in preparation of doing so today in accordance with your book's outlined method.

My question is about removing the powder residue between shooting sessions (usually 20-25 Rd sessions) while preserving the fouling. I've been shooting the new staball 6.5 powder recently (.30-06 with 150gr Sierras) and noticed it's much more dirty than other powders I've used and takes quite a bit of patches to get it all out. My method is swabbing with either hoppes 9 or Remoil, then using a bronze brush with the same on it for about 10 strokes of the full barrel, then wet patching until it comes out white. Then I'll dry patch and do a light oil coat for protection. Then I use an oversized patch in the chamber and neck area and then dry patch that. I'm worried that this powder is going to end up creating an impenetrable carbon layer in the throat area that I can't get off when I need to do a throat polish.

If you're maintaining a slow fouling bore in this manner and want to polish the throat every 100-200 rounds, what would you recommend doing for the throat area in between full cleanings? Would you change anything with my method?

Thanks and thanks for all the information you've put out!

Replies

06 May 2020
@ 04:05 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Hi, Ryan. That's a good question, because carbon buildup in the throat can cause pressure to spike. You have already figured out how to clean the throat down to bare metal prefatory to polishing, but that's overkill for giving the gun a once-over between range sessions, as you know. There's a video on Vimeo that you can rent for 3 or 4 months in which Nahan demonstrates, with a model 700, an easy way to remove throat fouling. After you're done cleaning the bore, remove the bore guide. Then, using your full-length cleaning rod with a caliber-size bronze brush and solvent, stick the brush into the throat and exert pressure on the rod just aft of the action while scrubbing back and forth with the brush. My Dewey rod is flexy enough to do it with a caliber-size brush, which hits that area where the bore guide o-ring seals. If your rod is less flexible, you could use the next size up brush. No need to buy a separate pistol-length cleaning rod just for the throat.
06 May 2020
@ 08:25 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Hi Ryan, this is something you will have to eyeball. A magnifying glass at the muzzle will be the most basic guide.

Assuming your Tikka likes to be somewhat dirty and with a hint of sex wax (copper) in it, you will need to be careful about carbon removal. Hoppes for example, is quite good for stripping carbon, especially when left to soak in for some time. But it will remove light copper, which you may not want. You may need this copper for the sake of accuracy, POI and for minimizing ES.

You may just have to use a very non-aggresive solvent like CRC- SP 350 as outlined in the books and just leave the bore as is. Like I say, you can eyeball it at the muzzle. Many guns need to be well fouled in order to shoot well. Provided the bore is well looked after (rust prevention), it will handle a carbon layer, using a very light solvent to clean the bore.

On the other hand, some rifles (generally other brands), like to be kept fairly clean and will 'go off' at about 30 rounds or so. Both copper and carbon need to be removed.

Heavy carbon is OK in dry climates, but may be detrimental in coastal climates and with blued bores. If the bore is blued and you see a heavy carbon layer, it is worth stripping to see what is underneath. There may actually be rust pits under the carbon.

So what if you have a polished up Chrome moly Tiikka, Sauer, Schultz etc. If its a high end job, its been lapped to buggery. You set the rifle up and find that its a slow fouler and needs to be dirty to shoot well. But by the same token, physics dictate that if the bore is not carefully attended to, it will rust in a manner of 48 hours. So you cannot really strip the hygroscopic carbon (for the sake of accuracy), nor can you really leave it as is. It is at this point that you have to really start getting into using the right preservative for the right situation (storage vs field) as discussed in the accurizing and maintenance book.

Seldom will carbon become so hard that you cannot remove it. Even the cheap spray engine degreasers are quite aggressive these days and can remove carbon, using a tight fitting bronze brush along with soaking.

Regarding the throat:

You can strip the throat back to bare steel by using a harsh solvent and scrubbing at the throat and first 3 to 4" of the bore - while leaving the rest of the bore as is (as Scott suggested). Once the throat is at bare steel, go about your 150 to 200 round count routine polish, then get the solvent out of the bore using brake cleaner or meths. The throat will be polished but the bore will remain fouled. This will allow you to get back into your sweet (same POI) in just one or two shots (or in many cases the first shot).

I don't really want the book fully rehashed here, its our income. But the above should hopefully help guide you towards success.

Let accuracy be your foremost guide. Then work around this in accordance with your environmental conditions.
06 May 2020
@ 10:07 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Ryan, the books are indispensable & exhautive on all manner of topics, but I still recommened the video because it covers all the questions you asked. You can watch how it's done. Nathan also covers the use of Autosol in the video, and the proper use of sp-350, patches, brushes, among other things. For cleaning, breaking in, & evaluating bore fouling . . . rent the video, even if you own the book!
06 May 2020
@ 11:02 am (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Thank you very much for the help! I guess I misunderstood the section in maintenance about slow fouling barrels. I was under the assumption that I should remove all the powder residue and carbon (leaving the copper) after each session. But it sounds like, I just need to lightly clean the bore with a light solvent and anti corrosive agent and not try to get a clean white patch. I've looked all over for the CRC long life, but couldn't find it. After a search here, I find that long life is actually sp350 here. I'll have to go looking again!

I remember that Remoil is mentioned in the book as one that can be used in place of sp350, but it's not as long lasting, is that correct?

I may have to check out that rem700 video for details on the throat cleaning.

Thanks again!
06 May 2020
@ 11:53 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Ryan, Nathan tries to recommend commonly available lubricants and solvents that are cheaper than those marketed by gun manufacturers. As he mentioned above, garden-variety carb cleaner will dissolve carbon. CRC SP-350 is a generic metal protector. Brake cleaner is a general purpose solvent that will remove residues of both. If you want to remove copper, you'll need a gun-specific solvent, like Bore Tech Eliminator. It does copper and carbon, and doesn't stink. The video shows you how to evaluate copper fouling, the effect of which depends on how the gun shoots with or without it. RemOil is a waste of money.
06 May 2020
@ 02:16 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Ryan your Tikka should be a slow fouler unless it goes against the 99% average! The 06 isn't overly fast and barrel finish is excellent, generally only requiring minimal maintenance as Nathan says (not overly aggresive).

Putting your bronze brush through the barrel 10 times every 20 odd rounds will not make for good barrel life.
If you need to go harder than a wet patch with Hoppes to remove carbon l would suggest 1 or 2 passes with a Hoppes coated Nylon brush then patch out.
Use the Bronze brush when its time to de-copper with suitable solvent if needed over the Nylon.

06 May 2020
@ 04:34 pm (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Quote:

Putting your bronze brush through the barrel 10 times every 20 odd rounds will not make for good barrel life.
If you need to go harder than a wet patch with Hoppes to remove carbon l would suggest 1 or 2 passes with a Hoppes coated Nylon brush then patch out.
Use the Bronze brush when its time to de-copper with suitable solvent if needed over the Nylon.



That's a bit confusing. I thought in the accurizing and maintenance book it says bronze brushes won't harm bore finishes. It's a stainless barrel, so I wouldn't think it would wear it out at all.

On a previous rifle I had, I used a bronze brush until I sold it. After I got this Tikka, I only used patches and foaming cleaner (sharp shootr wipe out and sharp shooter tactical advantage) every 20 or so rounds until about the 160 round mark. Then I read the books and decided to go back to the bronze brush and hoppes 9 routine.

07 May 2020
@ 09:57 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
I've had very reputable smiths tell me to use bronze brushes only when needed & l don't recollect Nathan advising them to be used with such frequency.
Your Tikka should have a high quality finish.

In the book you would have read that a heavy fouler and/or ruff barrel finish requires a more aggressive approach, possibly including lapping and more frequent de-coppering. It simply has to be done with the hope that the barrel settles or runs in quickly. Throats & muzzles can and do get damaged when cleaning.
07 May 2020
@ 10:27 am (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
I guess I'll go back to being paranoid about hurting my shiny bore!

Is the ebook the exact same as the printed book? I've read the information about slow fouling bores in that book many many times and I've found it hard to determine exactly what is best for my Tikka bore and what I gathered from it conflicts with the information here.
16 May 2020
@ 01:30 pm (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
I need one more clarification. Is there a difference between carbon in the barrel and powder residue in the barrel? When I'm patching out my bore with an oil and weak solvent between full cleanings, I'm wondering if there is a difference between removing the powder residue and carbon. I bought some CRC sp350 online because I couldn't find any in town. Between full cleanings, should I patch out my bore with CRC until the patch is mostly white? Or do I want to just remove some of the black and leave a coating of CRC for protection?
17 May 2020
@ 08:10 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Ryan, Carbon fouling is burnt powder residue. Copper fouling is jacket plasma spread down the bore from friction caused by throat/bore/rifling imperfections plus heat. Extreme copper fouling can be alleviated by lapping with scotch-brite or Autosol. (Rent the video.) There's a topic on here from a couple months ago about an inexpensive bore scope. The guy from TruFlight Barrels chimed in. He said carbon fouling can quickly cause rust and pitting in humid climates because it attracts moisture. So, if your gun's accuracy settles in after 2 or 3 fouling shots, then by all means clean it down to bare metal and coat it with sp-350 after each range session. If the gun needs10 fouling shots for accuracy, then hit it with some sp-350 after a range session to seal the moisture out. For long term storage, clean it down to bare metal and coat with sp-350. Frequency and rigor of cleaning depends on the gun and atmospheric conditions.
17 May 2020
@ 03:45 pm (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Thanks! I guess I'm confused about how many patches I should run through the bore after shooting. I usually shoot once a week, 20 rounds a session. I ran some CRC sp350 through the bore today, and it was surprising how much faster the powder residue came out versus using Remoil. So I'm wondering, if I live in a dry climate, should I push patches through until they're mostly white, or just run one or two sp350 patches through to coat it with protectant.
17 May 2020
@ 06:28 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Ryan, Buy some shotgun patches. Cut them in half and wrap a piece around a nylon brush. Soak it with solvent. You can scrub back and forth. If you're shoving patches down the bore with a jag it will take forever. It's all covered in the video.
17 May 2020
@ 06:28 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Ryan, Buy some shotgun patches. Cut them in half and wrap a piece around a nylon brush. Soak it with solvent. You can scrub back and forth. If you're shoving patches down the bore with a jag it will take forever. It's all covered in the video.
18 May 2020
@ 03:34 am (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Yes that's actually what I do. I'll push 2 or so straight down to get the bulk, then I'll go back and forth with a couple patches to speed it up. Thanks for the help!

Is it the "trouble shooting the rem 700" video you're talking about?
18 May 2020
@ 04:27 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Yes. Trust me, it's worth it. Also, check out Paul Leverman's post from yesterday in the Off Topic section. He had a slow fouler he struggled with until he switched bullets and got some copper laid down.
18 May 2020
@ 06:50 am (GMT)

Ryan Tockstein

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question
Will do!

I shot yesterday and had 31 rounds through the bore without cleaning the copper. My groups for the first 31 rounds were better than yesterday's. But, the only copper I see near my muzzle after 52 rounds is this tiny bit
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O4U_8_iki-KPAo6C29-gEOgR6IIlxm8G/view?usp=drivesdk

So, I'm not sure if I just shot very poorly yesterday, or if my good load of 60.4gr is actually only good with a copperless bore and I need to find a different load for having a bit of copper in it. We'll see if it's any better or worse next time I go. Thanks for the info on the thread and video! I'll check them out.
18 May 2020
@ 09:29 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Cleaning slow fouling bore question



 

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