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drknite
06-14-2016, 09:40 AM
As a relatively new benchrest competitor I have a question concerning cleaning. Does lead build up in the lands and grooves in the barrel. I understand keeping the chamber clean. A big time shooter said he cleans for lead regularly. How badly does it build up and how often do you clean and what methods do you use. Any ideas or appreciated.

bob finger
06-14-2016, 01:37 PM
I've never had a lead build up problem. With our rim fire barrels we need wax in the barrel to make em work properly. If you don't remove all the wax when you clean then lead will barely touch the lands/grooves if at all. I clean after every target and only get aggressive when the barrel loses accuracy. That does not happen very often.

The trick is to clean the crud out of the barrel regularly without removing all the wax. Squeaky clean means you will have to lay down new wax before the barrel returns to its potential. That might take 10 or as many as 200 shots. bob

MIKECAMERON
06-14-2016, 02:56 PM
If someone has lead build up in their barrel there is something wrong with either their cleaning regimen or the barrel to begin with.General speaking the only way lead builds up is if there is a rough spot in the barrel for it to catch on, and if that is the case then a trip to a good barrelsmith is in order.
MC

tim
06-14-2016, 03:45 PM
There have been a few guys talking about leaded barrels over time. I have shot match barrels from 2 groovers to 8 groovers with everything in between and I have never seen lead in any of them. I deal with one of the 2 or 3 best gunsmiths out there and I'm pretty sure he'd tell you the same.
As has been said, if you get lead in the bore, you have issues, not common.
I would also tell you that every few bricks, get a quality bronze brush, good solvent, and brush it out.
Card to card you do a lite clean, wet patch, couple dry patches, done.
You need to monitor how often you clean the chamber. A new barrel requires higher frequency, after a while, every few matches.
This is how I do it, I have never needed to change up from this, and a good barrel takes not more than a few shots to be right where it should be. I use an Ivy or Stiller rod with Mwerks boreguides. I have always used a borescope primarily to check my cleaning and this, I believe, is as effective as any with a minimum of effort.

drknite
06-14-2016, 03:48 PM
I personally don't run a copper brush on down the barrel. Only to clean the chamber area. I have heard so many stories of ruining barrels that I am reluctant to do so. A good friend overheard some top rimfire shooters at Firechance talking about getting the lead out by scrubbing with a copper brush the entire length of the barrel. Providing you are using a proper bore guide and a good quality rod would this hurt the barrel or is it just not necessary.

bob finger
06-14-2016, 04:14 PM
Tim has a good cleaning process. Mine is different.

Me, after EVERY card I use 2 wet patches followed by 6 strokes with a high quality wet BRONZE .22 cal center fire brush (that is 3 times out and back) followed by 1 wet patch followed by 3 dry patches, and a 4th if I feel it is needed. I do not scrub with the patches, just run them through slowly and remove when it exits the muzzle.

Assuming you are using a properly fitted bore guide and a quality rod ( I use a Stiller and an Ivy) and a properly sized and fitted jag and go slowly so the rod does not bend damage to a barrel will be rare. I cannot imagine a bronze brush damaging a bore unless it is oversized or you have sloppy technique or your bore guide is loose against the action or rod.

One other thing about bronze brushes. They wear out quickly. I always throw mine away after a match, or if I'm shooting practice or testing ammo at the end of the day. Worn brushes don't do much of anything and they are cheap compared to everything else we spend money on.

This will be controversial. I use Remington 40x bore cleaner on the brush. Wet patches are a 50/50 mix of RimFire Blend and Marvel Mystery Oil used very sparingly.

With the above process I almost never need to use the short chamber rod and Iosso the chamber. bob

linekin
06-14-2016, 05:00 PM
I have & still use Shooters Choice Lead Remover. Although I don't remember using it last year at all. I take an eye dropper & put some on a patch, run it down the bore, & use a .22 cf Pro Shot brush.
The lead I was seeing last year was on the lands about an inch + from the muzzle. You could find it anywhere a rough spot is I suppose. A bit more lapping cured my problem & I haven't noticed any lead whatsoever since.
There evidently is a cloth like lead remover of some kind that I was told is much to abrasive in our barrels. Avoid anything like it !!!!!
I haven't been brushing as much as I use to in my normal cleaning. I've been doing pretty much as Tim has with a couple wet & a few dry patches. I mix up a solution of about 60/40Hoppe's & Mystery Oil. I will brush the chamber if I notice accuracy seemingly falling off. I haven't brushed my barrels in probably 10 cards or so. It might be time.
That's what I've been doing anyway. But hey, I'm still learning too.

Keith

tim
06-14-2016, 08:12 PM
I personally don't run a copper brush on down the barrel. Only to clean the chamber area. I have heard so many stories of ruining barrels that I am reluctant to do so. A good friend overheard some top rimfire shooters at Firechance talking about getting the lead out by scrubbing with a copper brush the entire length of the barrel. Providing you are using a proper bore guide and a good quality rod would this hurt the barrel or is it just not necessary.

A proper quality brush will never, repeat never harm a barrel. Crappy rods, ill fitting boreguides or hamfisted technique ruins barrels.
P.S, don't ever reverse a bronze brush in a barrel.

drknite
06-14-2016, 08:28 PM
I am using a Mwerks bore guide and a pro shot cleaning rod. Thanks for everyone's advice.

glp
06-15-2016, 08:29 AM
are those made by Bob Hahin.... originalbobsled.com

I have several for my 37s, Sako Vixen and Swiss K31. All are very nice and work fine centering the rod.

Eidolon
06-15-2016, 05:27 PM
Mr. Finger is devious... He will wear clothing that intentionally tries to distract his fellow shooters. Lol!

doclu60
06-15-2016, 07:09 PM
drknite,
I use a combo of the above cleaning methods. I use Pro-Shot 'old formula', no longer available, but I have a source and also a product that Joe Chacon sells through his ABRA web site called Pro-x. I really see no difference between the two. I use an old Tipton stainless rod that is pretty thin. I spoke with Dan @ KSS on the phone after I received my new rifle. While on the phone I put a caliper on my rod and we decided that the Ivy bored rod guide would be best for my rod. I purchased one from him and it is perfect. Dan uses the new Pro-shot solvent and patches/nylon brush. He does as I do and cleans after every card. I also use a bronze brush. They last longer than the nylon. When lot testing, I clean after every box. When I shot my first match last weekend, I cleaned every card. So did the only guy that beat me, Ron Elbe. I failed to see if he used a brush. I was busy cleaning my own rifle. I also failed to see any of the other shooters cleaning between cards. I don't think they did though.

Dan assured me that using the bronze brush will do no harm to the barrel as long as it is wet and and a proper bore guide is used. I only use Pro-shot BR brass core brushes.

As far as fouling the bore after cleaning, here is my perspective. Really only two ammo brands play big in RFBR. Eley and Lapua. RWS is making some inroads, but the big players are the former. Lapua, and it's sub brands....Wolf and SK (both the same BTW, same machines, same EVERYTHING) only use petroleum based lube on their bullets. SK and Wolf use different lube than CX, Midas+, X-Act. All are petroleum based though. I got this information at the Lapua test center last summer from the tech that tested two of my rifles and has been to the factory. Wax, what wax? Now Eley, which dominates the RFBR matches. Lube on the higher QC ammo most use is beeswax and tallow. I have shot both brands in my Shilen barrel on the new rifle, even though it was chambered by a smith that uses a reamer favored for Eley. It shot two known good lots of Lapua based brands very well, extremely well as a matter of fact. Both were tested last year at the Lapua test center. Center X and SK-RM. It does take this barrel longer to settle down after cleaning when using Lapua than Eley though. I shot Tenex tested at KSS this last winter before delivery of the new rifle in my match on Saturday. Took about 6 to 10 shots for the barrel to come back in. With Lapua, around 10 to 15. Takes more after cleaning and a brand change. YMMV, hope this helps.

Later brother.

Pete Wass
06-16-2016, 09:31 AM
What to do about it? I have 4 barrels chambered currently and all of them lead up. All of them lead up just behind the crown as Keith spoke of and 2 of them lead up the entire length of them in spots. One of them has inclusion holes in three spots in it. All of em shoot pretty well when they are lead free. 50 rounds wlll lay the lead back into them. One is a Shilen Ratchet that, because of a big tool mark at two inches behind the crown, is an iffy performer. Interestingly though, it does not lead up there. It does lead up badly where the choke gets tight, as do the others.

If one does not have a bore scope, they can not know they have lead. Patch color will tell one if they have lead but it takes experiencing the removal of lead, only after the other fouling is removed, to know what it looks like.

From my experience, rifles never shoot better than they do after fouling shots from a spotlessly clean barrel ( meaning NO wax or anything else). Two of my barrels are on their 6th or 7th season and been shot a lot. Both of em will still win matches when I can get my head into the conditions. Now, I think the age and wear on them has made them less forgiving to conditions but they still shoot very well most of the time. I have done all and more of the don't doos to keep them clean. Both the old ones have no lands or groves in the bottom of them and one has to look closely to see any chamber beginning at their breech. They still shoot though.

I have been chasing the lead removal thing for quite some time and have found a safe method that works. Rather than to be ridiculed by those who have never experienced a leading problem, I won't get into here it but if anyone is interested, PM me and I will share it.

Pete

Dave Shattuck
06-16-2016, 12:31 PM
I know this may be ancient history, but when I was buying a Suhl from the Top Dog of all times in IR shooting he passed along his method of cleaning. I feel free passing this along now as a few years ago he made several posts here about all of his shooting ideas, including cleaning.

First: run a patch wet with your favorite oil through the bore. I've always used the old Sports Pal Marine Lube.

Next: run a bronze brush wet with your favorite cleaner through the bore 10 times while, again, only going in one direction from breech to muzzle. Unscrew the brush after each pass before pulling it back through, withdraw the rod, replace the brush and go again.

Now run 2, or maybe 3 wet patches through the bore, again only going in one direction from breech to muzzle, and throwing the patch away after each pass.

And finally: run 3 dry patches through.

It will take 4 to 10 shots for the gun to settle back in.

Dave Shattuck

Wilbur
06-16-2016, 02:12 PM
OK, I'll ask the question if nobody else is going to.... What difference does going one way make?

GordonE
06-16-2016, 02:26 PM
"Monkey See Monkey Do" With a pistol brush a good rod won't bend enough to hurt anything.

Dave Shattuck
06-16-2016, 02:45 PM
Well Wilbur, when it's the #1 telling me something, I listen hard and don't ask too many questions.
As Gordon said: Monkey see, monkey do.
Or, should it be: every little bit helps?
After all, what do I know?

Wilbur
06-16-2016, 03:14 PM
I'd say you know much more than me...as does everybody else. Was just asking! Yes, it's difficult to go against success even if it makes no sense at all. I suppose if you have a really good rifle it makes sense not to goof it up in any way possible. You have to shoot it, and you have to clean it and cleaning is the only variable.

Pete Wass
06-16-2016, 06:49 PM
OK, I'll ask the question if nobody else is going to.... What difference does going one way make?



Some folks won't walk under ladders either.

Pete

doclu60
06-16-2016, 10:05 PM
Lot of interesting opinions here. I agree, from my limited experience, that right after fouling from a proper cleaning is when a barrel shoots best. I also agree there is no way to know how clean your barrel is without a bore scope, or having the barrel new and after break in, knowing how it shot. IMO, cleaning on a regular basis before carbon and lead forms a ring just after the leade and also in the bore, if you have a barrel that has a leading issue, will reduce barrel issues. I have a Benchmark threaded to a Kidd 10/22 clone receiver. It shot almost as good as my new bolt gun, if not the same when new. After many rounds fired and light cleaning methods the rifle fell on it's face. After extensive cleaning of the bore and MANY black patches coming out of it, brush brush brush, patch patch patch, repeat.......I finally got clean patches. The rifle shot to it's as new potential after said cleaning. I have never looked back after that. Clean often and clean with a proper procedure to insure no harm to the crown or bore. This can be achieved with the equipment we have today. I am sure some will agree and some won't.

I belong to a couple of boards. This cleaning issue comes up all the time......and always opens a can of worms and many, almost always conflicting, opinions. This is most likely one of the most opinionated subjects in RF shooting. Barrels are barrels IMO, and every one to some extent needs a certain maintenance regimen. Some one way, some the other. Just like lots. One likes one lot, another likes something different. I clean according to the method posted in my previous post. No more than 50 rounds or after every card, be it practice, or in my one match. (placed second, pretty happy about that).

I do brush. If I do it properly, not damaging the bore or crown, what difference does it make? Well, I know I am not getting build up and the rifle is always in the same condition for the next lot to test or card to shoot. I accept the ammo expended for the re-foul. For me, it builds confidence and I know how the rifle will preform on a consistent basis. After I foul it in again, I know it will shoot it's best again. Do I care if it would shoot 100 rounds before it starts to fall off.......heck no! Why would I? To test if I could blow a card? To test if I have not gotten the very best results out of a lot test? Why would anyone do that?

I used to have the opinion of 'your rifle will tell you when to clean the bore'. Do you own the rifle, or does it own you? Why wait for it to tell you anything? Cleaning is almost free compared to ammo cost, travel to matches, cost of equipment....you get the idea. Just a new guys opinion. Hope I didn't step on anyone's toes here. Not my intent......Later brothers.

Pete Wass
06-17-2016, 10:39 AM
Thanks for your input.

Pete

tim
06-17-2016, 01:53 PM
What to do about it? I have 4 barrels chambered currently and all of them lead up. All of them lead up just behind the crown as Keith spoke of and 2 of them lead up the entire length of them in spots. One of them has inclusion holes in three spots in it. All of em shoot pretty well when they are lead free. 50 rounds wlll lay the lead back into them. One is a Shilen Ratchet that, because of a big tool mark at two inches behind the crown, is an iffy performer. Interestingly though, it does not lead up there. It does lead up badly where the choke gets tight, as do the others.

If one does not have a bore scope, they can not know they have lead. Patch color will tell one if they have lead but it takes experiencing the removal of lead, only after the other fouling is removed, to know what it looks like.

From my experience, rifles never shoot better than they do after fouling shots from a spotlessly clean barrel ( meaning NO wax or anything else). Two of my barrels are on their 6th or 7th season and been shot a lot. Both of em will still win matches when I can get my head into the conditions. Now, I think the age and wear on them has made them less forgiving to conditions but they still shoot very well most of the time. I have done all and more of the don't doos to keep them clean. Both the old ones have no lands or groves in the bottom of them and one has to look closely to see any chamber beginning at their breech. They still shoot though.

I have been chasing the lead removal thing for quite some time and have found a safe method that works. Rather than to be ridiculed by those who have never experienced a leading problem, I won't get into here it but if anyone is interested, PM me and I will share it.

Pete

To the "new guys" that really wanted to learn something this might be a learning moment.

First off you have had input from top flight shooters and buliders and their tecniques, by and large, incorporate most of the same elements.

If you're curious, you can get history of cleaning, lapping, leading through Mr. Pete's posts, i.e. His words.....nobody elses.
He has/does his barrel lapping with patches embedded with some compound......not a poured lap that is usually 3"-4" long.
He gets lead in barrels......maybe because they're polished to the point they no longer carry wax, nor do they resemble the interior finish they require.
He has claimed to fastidiously scoure barrels "for hours" to remove lead. We now have a couple barrels with no lands at 6 o'clock????? Only one way that happens folks ..... It ain't from low velocity waxed lead slugs..... It's from improper cleaning and likely rod damage.
In the end, you guys decide.

Eidolon
06-17-2016, 04:12 PM
In the past three months I went from having never been to a big time benchrest match to attending the ARA Indoor National's at the Barn in March and Kettlefoot the end of May.
Besides going to shoot... I really went to learn.
I watched a plethora of top notch shooters clean their barrels. With some nuances they all pretty much did the same thing.
Run some wet patches / run some dry patches / done
The nuances were running a nylon brush in some cases vigorously. If they had a bad card maybe a brass brush.
Still... This has been enlightening.

drknite
06-17-2016, 04:23 PM
Eldolon, I have never been to a big time shoot. Mostly club shooting although we do have some excellent shooters. Recently had a 250 score on a usbr target. Never had the opportunity to watch big time shooters to see how they do it. That's why a lot of questions from my end.

GordonE
06-17-2016, 05:13 PM
Dave
How did #2 do with that cleaning. Did you shoot a bunch of 250s?

drknite
06-17-2016, 05:33 PM
No sir Mr. Eck. We did have a shooter Jason Lane shoot a 250 but not me. I will say the gun is capable as you were the gunsmith who built this turbo. There is no doubt that I am the weak link but I am getting better. Thanks for the excellent work on the rifle. It is a dream to own and shoot.

tim
06-17-2016, 06:09 PM
OK, I'll ask the question if nobody else is going to.... What difference does going one way make?

I believe the prevailing theory is for crown protection Wilbur. Or course going slow while exiting the muzzle and slower still while coming back so as not to bump the crown always struck me as logical.

Pete Wass
06-18-2016, 02:34 PM
cleaning rod damage to crowns that do not have a 45* chamfer on the inside of the crown. Since having that done to my barrels, has removed that situation for me. I don't believe a brush will harm the crown or bore, providing it is straight and one uses caution when retracting same, when the crown is chamfered properly. Plenty of people pull brushes back through their bores and shoot successfully. One must remember to proceed carefully but cleaning does not have to be painfully complicated.

Pete