share your rifle cleaning "ritual" and products used!

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by bdmd5093, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

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    Ok, I searched the site to find a similar post, but could not, so I thought this would make a good discussion that others might find helpful (if it has been discussed previously, just direct me to that thread). I am interested in finding out how others go about cleaning their rifles. For me, it is somewhat of a "ritual" that caters to my OCD behavior :) I have a .300 winmag browning x-bolt special hunter (stainless barrell/bolt/action/trigger/guard) with non-fancy ("hunter" grade) wood. It has a Vias brake on it.

    While I don't expect you all to detail your process like I have below, I would be interested in hearing what products you use, and the general order you use them in. Also, feel free to correct me if you see any "red flags" in my process! Also, do you ever do a "quick clean" at the range if you are going to be firing more than "a few" shots? If so, what do you use?

    Here is my process for a "full cleaning" (I also have .270 win model 70 ranger, without a brake, and the process is the same for it) :

    1) I collect all of my necessary supplies: Hoppes Copper Solvent, Hoppes Number 9 solution, Hoppes gun oil, Tipton cleaning rod, Hoppes patches, patch holder, boresnake and brush, an old toothbrush, and some old cotton t-shirt rags, Hoppes felt cleaning pad, and my homemade foam/cardboard gun rest
    2) I usually set it all up on a fold out table in my "man room" area, but sometimes I do it at the kitchen table if the fam is out of town
    3) after again checking that the gun is unloaded (probably for like the 25th time since the last shot was fired), I remove the bolt and magazine, and place them aside on a stack of a few old cotton tshirts, and place the gun on the rest
    4) I remove the Vias brake, dip it in copper solvent, and let it sit aside on a cloth
    5) I soak a patch in copper solvent and run it through the barrel from the chamber and out of the muzzle crown, taking care at the crown
    6) I remove the patch, rather than pulling it back through
    7) I wait 5-10 minutes, and then I run the Hoppes boresnake through 5 times
    8) I then run a clean, dry patch through, and remove it before pulling the rod back through
    9) If the patch is not clean, then I soak a patch with copper solvent and make one pass, wait about 5-10 minutes, and then make 1-2 passes with the brush, and then repeat the boresnake process
    10) I will then run another clean, dry patch through--by this time it is usually clean; if not, I will run a patch soaked with copper solvent through, and let it sit overnight, and repeat the process above the next day
    11) Once I get a clean patch, I will make one pass with a patch soaked in #9 solution--this is usually a clean run
    12) Then I run a dry patch through (only one way), changing it until it comes out dry and clean
    13) I clean all other metal parts (internal and external, including bolt) with a patch (or old toothbrush) soaked in #9, then immediatly wipe dry with cotton patch.
    14) I then run a patch lightly dampened with Hoppes Gun Oil through the barrel once (one way), and then wipe the other metal parts, internal and external (including bolt), with a patch lightly dampened with gun oil, leaving a very light coating
    15) I then wipe the wood with a very very very light coat of gun oil, and immediately wipe off any excess
    16) I wipe the copper solvent off the brake with a clean patch, then run a clean patch through the brake, and try to get into the brake ports also; then I wipe it down with #9 inside and out, dry it with a clean patch, then lightly oil
    17) I wipe the scope "housing" and mounts down with patch dampened with gun oil, and clean the lenses with my cleaning pen
    18) I wipe the magazine (it is hard plastic) down with a patch dampened with gun oil and dry off
    19) I replace the brake, bolt, and magazine and look for any fingerprints anywhere on the gun and smooth them out if present, and let it sit out locked inside my gun closet for one day before putting back in the safe.
    20) I clean up the mess I made, and dispose of any dirty patches appropriately!
    If I don't have to let it sit overnight, it usually takes about an hour.
     
  2. 6MM

    6MM AH Veteran

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    I do a lot of the same steps except that I use Barnes CR-10 to strip the bore following the directions on the bottle. Once the patches come out clean, I'll wipe out the ramp and the chamber and then run a couple patches down the bore with Rem Oil on them. I then lube the bolt locking lugs and cycle the action a few times. I also let mine sit out for a day before putting it in the case.
     
  3. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Looks like OCD to me! Just kidding, mine may look just as bad.

    We had next to nothing growing up, but my father was adamant that the few guns we owned be cleaned after each use. I grew up in Ohio and deer hunting was shotgun-only. My father had a limited number of firearms – lever action .22 LR, 12 ga SxS and a 16 ga. Single shot. After working construction during the summers, I finally saved enough money at age 16 to buy (2) 12 gauge Remington 870 Wingmaster pump shotguns with 30” barrels and fixed, full chokes. One was mine, and I gave my father the other one. That was almost 30 years ago, and both of us still use these shotguns from time to time to this day. For a significant part of those almost 30 years, both guns have been cleaned internally and externally with WD40. There have been volumes written about reasons not to use WD40, but these two guns are still looking and functioning fine after countless days in the fields, woods and marshes.

    I’m not trying to advocate WD40, but I am pointing out that consistently cleaning and caring for guns will yield decades of good service from most firearms.

    After moving south, I started using center fire rifles. When the bore snake was introduced, I thought I had found the perfect cleaning tool … no jags, brushes, patches, rods … just the appropriate sized bore snake. Based on subsequent experience, I no longer feel a bore snake adequately cleans the bore. My cleaning routine has now evolved into the following (and will likely continue to change as time goes by):

    I start with (2) Tipton cleaning rods and put a jag on one and a brass brush on the other. I also have a bore snake present.

    I use a cleaning vise (Tipton) to hold the firearm.

    I saturate a patch with Barnes CR10 (copper remover) and pass it thru the bore from chamber to muzzle, then I remove the patch at the muzzle end. If I’ve shot several rounds or the whole patch is black, I repeat immediately with a new, saturated patch.

    I then grab the brush and work it the length of the bore 6-10 times (chamber to muzzle, then back).

    I then saturate about 4 inches of the bore snake (near the tail end, but not the very end) with Remington gun oil and pull it thru the bore twice (much faster than multiple patches, and much more contact area).

    I saturate a 50 cal mop (screwed into a pistol cleaning rod with an adaptor) with Rem oil and pass it thru the area the bolt slides. Remove the clip or open the floor plate and clean the spring with Rem oil.

    I then wipe down all external surfaces (metal, wood, scope exterior) with Clenzoil.

    I place a few drops of Gun Butter on the metal-to-metal contact surfaces of the bolt and cycle it several times.

    Finally, I close the bolt with the trigger depressed and place the rifle in the safe.

    I only touch the glass if it absolutely needs it, and if I do, I use Zeiss lens cleaner and a very clean microfiber cloth. Otherwise, I keep the glass covered with scope caps of some kind while cleaning the gun.

    I try to avoid letting CR10 stay in contact with the bore for more than 5-10 minutes. I don’t know how much damage, if any, may result from longer exposures, but I see no reason to experiment and find out.

    Similar steps on the double rifle, but I clean the bore less frequently with jags and brushes and rely on the bore snake more (I use a 50 cal bore snake for a .470 NE).
     
  4. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

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    Great input guys! Shakey, my dad still has an 12ga. 870 wingmaster from way back, in great condition--in fact I have killed a few woodies with it around here. I have a newer 12ga mag 870, and several browning A-5's, (after growing up shooting those you may wonder why I even need a brake on my rifle), and have used WD40 on all of the above. I think the trick it is using it very sparingly. Great idea using a .50 cal mop for the area where the bolt slides--I have long, skinny fingers that can get in there, but it is still awkward.
     
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I start out with Hoppes No.9 regular solvent and run several wet patches thru and let stand, while freshening up the Hoppes off and on for a day or two. This also removes much copper fouling in the form of green residue. I usually brush the bore a few times but not much just to loosen up crud. If after a few days the patches are still coming out green or I can see copper at the muzzle, I switch to Barnes CR-10 and use it for a half hour or so until all the copper is gone. I then re-soak in No.9 overnight, clean with dry patches until dry, then oil. Thats it. Some bores of course are easier to clean than others and soaking times vary. Interestingly it is easier by far to clean black powder rifles than smokeless. Push out most of the crud with either water or I like Shiloh Products Blackpowder Bore solvent, soak a bit, repeat, dry, oil, done. Lead is never a problem with BP because they aint movin fast enough to rub off.
     
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Want to relate one more thing about Barnes CR-10. A couple of years ago prior to my RSA hunt I had cleaned my .338 WM in the above fashion but for some reason or other forgot to clean out or only partially removed the Barnes before stowing the gun. Two weeks later I took it to the range and as I usually do I ran a dry patch thru the bore before shooting. Well... that patch was hard to push thru and came out dark red! RUST!! Lots of it. I nearly fell off the Christmas tree! So after I calmed down I got busy cleaning out the crud with Hoppes and then oil and more Hoppes until it looked clean. I was scared to death I had destroyed the once beautiful bore of the rifle I was taking to RSA in about two weeks. Fortunately for me I could find no evidence of pitting or damage and the rifle shot as before which is to say very good. I hope not to forget that part again!
     
  8. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I use Wipeout. IMO it is far better than anything else out there.
     
  9. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    After about forty three years of hunting and being around rifles,I was introduced to this following range of products about a year ago.I sincerely wish it had been forty three years ago.Excellent stuff.

    Welcome to Bore Tech Inc
     
  10. Mark E

    Mark E AH Member

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    For my muzzleloaders, bores and locks, I use Windex followed by Kroil. Two days after I swab with Kroil, I swab with Kroil again.

    For my shotguns, especially after a couple hundred rounds, I use Seafoam engine treatment, which works miracles for the plastic fouling AND any lead buildup, followed by Kroil. Two days later, I swab with Kroil again. I tear down my locks every 2500 rounds or so, and go over them with Seafoam and Kroil as well.

    For my modern rifles, I use Remington Britebore, followed by Kroil. Ditto two days after with the Kroil. Once a year I tear down the actions and soak with Kroil.
     
  11. AllAboutMoose

    AllAboutMoose New Member

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    Any of you ever tried Sweets to remove copper? Smells like ammonia but it works very well.
    Like the most of you I use Hoppes No.9, I love the smell of that stuff. I think that is because my Dad used it when I was a youngster and the smell sure does bring back the memories!
    Hey bdmd5093 I think you do have OCD tendencies... not that there is anything wrong with that! I have my too, not with cleaning but with lots of other stuff!
    You mention some very good steps in your cleaning process, if I suspect copper fouling at all I'll sometimes use a brass brush wrapped with a patch smeared with a little JB compound to scrub it it out. If you use JB (lapping compound) make sure you thoroughly clean the bore before shooting.

    And Mark E ... I use Kroil mixed with a little Hoppes for my final swipe down the tube before storage. Great tips guys!
     
  12. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Sweets is a great product. I use Sweets and Barnes CR-10. If you follow the directions on the bottle, you are done in a half hour (unless you shoot the 240 weatherby or 244 H&H, then you'll be scrubbing for a while):p. Be sure to oil afterward otherwise you'll end up like sestoppelman, and have a nice rusty bore in the morning. Just a side note, if you have something that you feel comfortable with then keep with it, Butches bore shine, not a bad product, like combining Hoppe's with CR-10, a little safer but also a little longer.
     
  13. North Wind

    North Wind AH Member

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    Lot of great stuff on this thread! I use Montana X-treme as a copper cutter. Stuff works great!
     
  14. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Always open to new ideas, I decided to give the "Eliminator" a try. I have to say this is a great product. I cleaned my .416 Rigby tonite with this product. Probably 100 rounds through the tube. Followed the instructions on the bottle, probably a 1/2 hour or so of work and it was good to go!

    I like that it's a clear and virtually odorless fluid. Any color at all on the patches you know it's something you want out of the barrel.
     
  15. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    Tell you what, Phil, I went to a lot trouble to get the nylon brushes and had adaptors and aluminium jags made up but it was definitely worth it. Bet you don't go back to using anything else...I know I won't..! Their whole range is excellent.
     
  16. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    The nylon brushes were easy to find. I just used a plastic loop instead of a jag. I did alter the procedure slightly. The directions say to use the nylon brush soaked in the Eliminator. I don't know how one soaks something that is not absorbent. So, I wrapped the brushes in a soaked patch and ran it through. The followed that with just the brush alone. Did this sequence 5-7 times. Cleaned two more rifles today and am still impressed. I kept an eye on the lands at the muzzle and could visibly watch the copper going away with every pass.

    One other thing it said to do was to leave some Eliminator in the barrel once cleaned. That didn't make sense to me as it would drain down and possibly collect some leftover fouling at the bolt head. So I used some degreaser to clean out the solvent and then passed an oil soaked patch through the barrel.
     
  17. AllAboutMoose

    AllAboutMoose New Member

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    I checked out the "Eliminator" product... Interesting about how "traces" of copper come from brass jags. I am a machinist and I do know that copper is one of the main ingredients in brass.

    OMG... why I never thought of that is beyond me.:confused:

    I'll be switching to nylon brushes and loops or jags! Thanks for the info!
     
  18. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

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    Thanks to everyone who has replied--this has been a great thread. 17 days until we depart my hunting buddy and I depart for our first Africa hunt!
     

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