View Full Version : Barrel cleaning...

06-12-2018, 01:26 PM
Please share your latest info on barrel cleaning. Products used, how often. etc. etc.

Thanks, Dennis

Chas DiCapua
06-12-2018, 01:49 PM
Dennis, there are guys with loads of experience that I hope will chime in for you.

To some degree I think it depends on the barrel and type of rifling. Some may need cleaning more than others.

For me, I clean my barrel when competing after each card. Sort of, whether it needs it or not.

I can't remember the name of the product I use. I believe it may be called "Crown Saver".

It's basically a thick nylon cord with a loop on the end of it for the patch. You push that through the barrel from crown to breech. You use a straw to get it started into the barrel. Then add a couple of drops of your barrel cleaner/lead solvent of choice to the patch and pull it through the barrel from breech to crown. The nylon cord has a pull handle on the opposite end of the loop.

That's really it. At least as far as what I do.


06-12-2018, 03:32 PM
Youíve been on airgunnation!, ya me too, if itís about JB BORE PASTE???, I havenít found the need, if it will harm a barrel?, if you were to talk to 10 different airgun or centerfire smiths probably get 10 differing answers!, all I know is I used it in my center fire guns to help with carbon in my ppc & Br comp. guns I used it sparingly, was under the impression it could end up lapping a barrel if not careful?, I would not use in my 12 groove LW thatís for sure, Iím generally lazy and one of the attractions of airguns is not as much maintenance, cleaning etc., Iíve always kept on top of it (cleaning ) I suppose if a barrel went south for no reason I might give a much more aggressive procedure (JB bronze brush etc. to try to bring it back!) I am sure ther are much more experienced shooters who will chime in and I hope they do! Cause I think We could all learn from their experience...

06-12-2018, 04:03 PM

You are going to hear many different answers, there is nothing written about cleaning a barrel...It all depends on the barrel, cleanliness of the ammo, hardness of the lead used in the ammo, velocity that you are shooting, etc...In my opinion you have to find out what works best for your specific barrel...If you ask me what I use, it is very simple: One wet patch of either Kroil Oil or WD-40 (both are penetrating oils) and then 2-3 dry patches followed by shooting 4-5 scrap pellets for seasoning the barrel before starting a new target...I do this routine after every card when competing and about every 2 cards when practicing...Now, I am talking about .177 calibers shot at a max velocity of 815 fps (I shoot LV at 797 fps. with 8.4's or 715 with 10.3's and HV at 815 fps. with 13.4's ).

I've found that for my particular use I don't need lead solvents nor frequent polishing....I actually clean any new barrel thoroughly, then polish it with Flitz or similar fine polishing compound and never polish them again and I have barrels with well over 50-60,000 pellets that are very precise...I use a borescope if the barrel loses accuracy and I suspect leading, but this has never happened in a BR barrel at the velocities I am talking about; it does however when you pass the 950 ft. barrier and it gets worse when you play around 1,100 - 1,200 ...Specially if you are shooting .22's or any of the larger calibers. Big bores at high velocities lead your barrel like butter on a piece of bread and you need to clean them following the routine used for removing lead from black powder guns.

I forgot an important issue: Many people believe that if the patch comes our grey that the gun is leaded or still needs cleaning...Nothing farther from the truth...ALL metals oxidize in contact with air forming a very thin layer of oxide immediately after cleaning/passing a patch...A dry patch may come out white but then if you add solvent, penetrating oil, Flitz, JB or ..... the patch once again comes out dark...This is why we use one wet followed by usually two dry patches, once a dry comes out clean the bore is considered clean and good for BR precision most of the times...

For people still wondering, do an experiment : Get a piece of scrap steel and sand it with 400 -800 grit sand paper until the surface is very shinny...Now you are sure the surface is as clean as it is needed to be inside a clean barrel....Then use a white rag with Flitz or any polishing compound and rub it...The rag will come out grey or dark in color all day long no matter how many pounds of polishing compound you use...The more you wait between polishing passes the darker the patch will come out (more oxidation). If you have ever buffed silverware you will understand what I am saying.



06-12-2018, 05:16 PM
Thanks AZ, I was hoping someone with your knowledge & experience would help out!, what you have described is basically what Iíve been doing(three LW BARRELS 1 standard 2-Poly) never used Kroil, have in center fire barrels, I use some penetrate from boeing on my airgun barrels but have access to both from my work. Thanks, Joe

06-12-2018, 06:26 PM
You are on the right track Joe...Keep on doing what you are doing...

Back in the early 60's my dad gave me my first "High Power Gun"...A 3/4 to 1" at 100 yards. .270 Pre-64 Winchester...Cleaning its barrel the patches will come out green, indicating cooper fouling....I used all and every cooper remover I found and completely finished the job after using Ammonia...I went back to the range with with my favorite loads (Dad used to load them for me as I was a kid) and to my surprise, the gun shoot terrible!...Then after maybe 2 boxes of shells the precision started to come back but I discovered that the barrel was fouling again....As a kid I didn't understand how could a fouled barrel shoot better than a clean barrel....Very fortunately my father who was not an expert but a MD was a very close friend to Ed Shilen and Ed asked me to bring the gun. He used a bore scope and air gauged this barrel and explained my father and I that the fouling was actually HELPING its accuracy because of filling in the barrel's pores & imperfections...

Our pellet gun barrels have pores natural to any metal and also derived from machining...These porous surfaces get filled with lead and this is a good thing as long as we don't get it layered or in excessive quantities....
Have you ever heard of people saying that their barrels shot better overtime? ...Well, this is why that happens, the lead fills the pores and the barrel becomes smooth enough for good precision....It is not that barrels shoot better because of WEARING OUT of opening up dimensions as many people believe....

When cleaning a barrel with a wet patch, INSPECT the patch visually and you will see lead particles (dust)...That is all you need to remove when cleaning...Then inspect your first dry patch and you will maybe see a few particles of dust or maybe not, this is an indication that the barrel is getting clean...Once you pass a second or third dry patch all you will get is maybe a little grayish color but no particles...YOUR BARREL IS THEN CLEAN and ready to shoot.

I've been in competitions where I use dry patches only...The first-second patches come out with dust particles but then the 3rd patch comes out clean...I do this on a Ratchet barrel that Ed Shilen made for testing currently on a Steyr LG-110 that I use in LV and FT (LV Class)...I know this barrel doesn't need wet patches in between targets, but I do clean it with a wet patch after the competition is over (100 + shots)....Sometimes I do the same for my HV gun. The advantage here is that I don't need to "season" the barrel, it is ready to shoot and compete after the last patch.



06-14-2018, 12:35 PM
Thanks to all who replied. Great information.

Regards, dennis

newfound wolf
06-22-2018, 02:20 PM
how about if you shoot copper pellets through a lw or poly barrels at 980 fps. what should I do to clean them now.
ive only got about 300 copper pellets put through my barrels and the accuracy sucked.
so I do not want to use them any more.

can I just put some jb bore paist on a patch and put it on a jag and go back and forth with my dewy coated rod?

06-23-2018, 12:48 AM
Newfound Wolf:

I am going a little long...

I am not an expert on Copper Pellets but I would recommend you that you NEVER shoot anything but quality LEAD pellets...There are a lot of marketing gizmos out there, resist the temptation to engage in using any of them in your fine guns...LEAD QUALITY PELLETS is the name of the game for precision and to preserve a good barrel.

The last time I saw those copper pellets they were actually copper plated lead pellets, if this still applies, then you must be getting copper color on your patches and there is nothing to worry about...You will not have layered copper around your barrel's bore...So the same rules for cleaning a barrel discussed in this thread apply...

Now, if you are uncomfortable and want no traces of copper color in your barrel and your barrel is NOT STAINLESS STEEL, use any good AMMONIA based copper solvent used for centerfire guns and follow the instructions from the manufacturer....If your barrel is made out of stainless, I would use any good penetrating oil (let it penetrate overnight) followed by moderate scrubbing. Ammonia can attack stainless if you don't know how to use it, and if you don't, stay away from it...Nevertheless, Ammonia is harmless to Chrome Molly and to the soft steel used in Walther Lothar air gun barrels. Some people believe WL air gun barrels are made of Chrome Molly but they are not, nevertheless you can place an order of at least 10 and have them make them in pretty much any steel material & twist that you desire.

I am going to get off the topic and pass you a good experience...Back in the 60's DAISY came out with steel darts and MARKSMAN manufactured a low power pistol for shooting them...At the time I had a Diana Mod 27 (outstanding rifle) and I shot those darts hundreds if not thousands of times with that break barrel rifle...Later in my life I rebuilt all of my youth's guns and I bore scoped, air gauged and slugged that Diana's barrel and found out that the barrel's dimensions were still within tolerances, but the rifling was dull and not sharp...No big issue for a plinking gun, but the precision it once had was not going to return ever...You never shoot a projectile harder or close to the hardness of your barrel and this was a good example...But hey!, shooting is about having fun and I had lots of it.

About 5 years ago I bought some cheap Crossman barrels for doing some lab testing and machined one of those for my Anschutz 9003 and some others for a few friends of mine...We shoot steel BB's, steel darts, custom tungsten pellets, etc. with consistent power coming from guns that I know are some of the most precise currently in production. We shoot steel darts at a dart roulette set at 50 meters and play the games that you play with hand thrown darts...We use 50 meters because at that distance the darts don't go though the roulette board and we can detach them easily with our hands and at that distance you can still shoot with good accuracy....So if you want to shoot steel BB's, steel darts, tungsten pellets or whatever, buy one of those cheap barrels (no choke) and fit it to your gun and by all means DO NOT restrain yourself from creativity and fun.