DEAR LABBY Q&A

Submit a question to the Ballistic Experts in our Lab

Dear Labby Q&A

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If you would like to submit a story related to shooting, hunting, or handloading, we would like to read it. Please submit your story here. If it is accepted, your story will be printed on our site, with your name in the by-line.

Submit your Story

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters To The Editor

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Free Trial Subscription to
Handloader or Rifle Magazine

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Improve Accuracy and Barrel Life With Proper Cleaning

ImproveAccuracy

Cleaning guns is less fun than shooting but it doesn’t have to be a chore.  Properly done, cleaning is a quick job that pays off when it comes to accuracy and long barrel life.  A few simple tools and the most efficient cleaning products provide the keys to success.

When cleaning a rifle, the first step is to protect the barrel’s crown and throat from damage.   Top competitors and rifle makers will tell you that concentricity is king when it comes to accuracy and these two points are the ones most easily damaged during cleaning.  There are two rules to preserve your rifle’s accuracy:  Always clean from the breech if possible and use a bore guide where practical.

Cleaning from the muzzle allows the rod to rub against the crown.  Any materials picked up by the rod, like unburned powder residue, are abrasive and may damage the crown.  The cure is to always clean from the breech, even if it means removing your Ruger 10/22 barrel as part of the cleaning process.

In other rifles, where the barrel is threaded or more rigidly pinned, this will not be an option, but that does not mean it is time to clean from the muzzle.  It is better, especially with rimfires, to use a bore snake and let the cleaning product do the work rather than scrubbing with a rod from the muzzle.

If you don’t own a bore guide for your favorite bolt action rifle, the one you count on for accuracy and bragging rights, go buy one.  They are the cheapest insurance you can buy to guarantee accuracy.  Bore guides are usually just simple polymer tubes manufactured to match a rifle’s bolt dimensions and caliber.  Once inserted into the bolt raceway, it funnels the jag and rod into the bore, preventing flex and potential damage to the chamber throat.

Remove Copper Without Barrel Damage

Using a product that effectively cuts copper fouling is another way to extend barrel life.  The product that does the most work with the fewest number of swabs is the best one for long-term rifle accuracy.  Montana X-Treme Copper Killer is the right tool for the job.

Ammonia is an effective copper remover but, if used improperly, has a deserved reputation for causing barrel damage.  Using an oil matrix, our engineers were able to create a concentrated ammonia-based cleaner that will not damage barrel steel.  Copper Killer can safely be left in the barrel for long periods without fear of damage, giving it time to work.  More cleaning power with fewer swabs makes it the most effective cleaner on the market.

Now make several passes with clean patches to check your progress.  It is likely that several repetitions of this process will be needed for very rough or fouled bores.  Repeat this process until there is little or no blue tinged staining on the patch.

For stubborn fouling, it may be necessary to use Montana X-Treme Bore Cream, which uses a mild abrasive to remove copper without damaging the bore.  A few passes with a tight fitting patch coated with Bore Cream will expose copper etched to the barrel and allow the Copper Killer more surface area to attack.  In extremely fouled bores, Bore Cream will save time and effort in the cleaning process.

Prevent Rust and Protect the Barrel

Once the barrel is clean, a light coating of Montana X-Treme Bore Conditioner will prevent rust and improve first shot accuracy.  Several lightly coated patches followed by a dry patch will complete the cleaning chore and leave your rifle ready for its next trip to the range.