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Thread: What does copper fouling look like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    35

    What does copper fouling look like?

    I tried to Google this but came away with a headache. Everybody has product and technique recommendations for removing fouling but nobody says what it looks like to the naked eye.

    I'm a novice with regard to bolt action rifles and recently purchased a 1977 Rem 22-250 ADL Sporter on AuctionArms. I'm totally satisfied with the condition and accuracy of this rifle. The first three shot group at 100 yd. went in under a nickel, using white box Win. USA 45 gr. JHP. I would like to keep the rifle's accuracy at this level and work on my limitations as a shooter.

    I've read about copper fouling after as little as ten rounds and am curious as to what it looks like. Trying to look through that barrel with 52 year old eyes isn't easy and I'm not sure what I'm seeing is good, bad, or ugly. It looks clean and shiny but clean copper looks shiny to me also.

    Any help here? Is the fouling consistent along the length of the barrel or is it more pronounced at the throat or muzzle? What exactly does it look like? Green, dull copper color, black, etc. Is the inexpensive ammo I'm using more prone to copper fouling?

    My questions are geared toward preventative maintenance as opposed to a problem that I currently have.

    Thanks, in advance for any and all replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    327

    Smile On copper fouling

    The best way to see copper fouling is to remove the bolt from your rifle,place the butt on the ground,tilt the rifle at a slight angle and examine the first inch or so inside the muzzle in bright sunshine. It shows up as copper coloured streaks. Be careful when using ammonia based cleaners as they can send the inside of your barrel rusty if left in too long.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    DFW Texas
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    201
    This topic has been covered many times ---- do a search.....

  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Neosho, Mo
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    What does copper fouling look like?

    If your barrel is chrome moly, you're probably getting copper fouling. An easy test is to wet the bore with a good solvent such as Butch's Boreshine and let it set for about 30 minutes. If a clean patch comes out with bluegreen coloring on it, you have copper fouling. Don't get fooled by bore brush residue. An aggressive brushing with a bronze brush and any good solvent will leave color throughout the bore and should be patched out before testing for copper by wetting with solvent.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    398

    If you won't see it right away

    Wipe the barrel with one or two WD40 patches and then look into the muzzle again and look little bit "sideway" as deep as you can see. A dull redish cooper look should be mostly on the lands.

    From my personal experience the Winchester bullets and ammo were absolutely the worst offender in my hunting rifles. So I didn't buy their crap ever since for some 20+ years.

    Shoot better
    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    152
    Its easier to see then you think.

    Take a clean que-tip with a white plastic shaft (the ones with the yellow shaft give an false color reference). Place the rifle on the ground so you don't drop it when tilting it, tilt the rifle to allow light to enter the crown/muzzle. Place the que-tip down into the bore about 1/2 to 1". the light will reflect off of the white shaft and light up the bore. If you see gold/copper streaks, that's copper fouling in the barrel.

    The presumption is that the bore fouls along its entire length, so if its fouled at the muzzle its fouled along its entire length.

    It certainly works when I look inside the muzzle of my 7WSM and my .308.

    JeffVN

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    35
    Thank you, for the responses. Now I know what to look for and how.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ct
    Posts
    373
    I clean my guns in the basement. A mini mag light works quite well as an artificial sun.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    26

    No copper


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    152
    Your link does not bring up anything.

    JeffVN

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    35
    Photobucket is deleting many pics relating to firearms. Even though it isn't a violation of their policies.

    I terminated my membership with them because of this. Many other forums are experiencing the same problems with Photobucket.

    Whether the deletions are on purpose or not, I don't know. What I do know is that life is too short to support websites that censor legal firearms, if the deletions are on purpose.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    227
    Since I don't have a bore scope I have to rely on patches. Copper will turn patches blue/green with Bore Tech Eliminator or Butches Bore Shine.

    Tony

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    51
    Just checked my Photobucket account, and I have 17 pics of guns or targets, or gun parts. The only deletions I've had are one's I've edited out myself.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    35
    Quote Originally Posted by straightshooter View Post
    Just checked my Photobucket account, and I have 17 pics of guns or targets, or gun parts. The only deletions I've had are one's I've edited out myself.
    See! That is what I get for jumping to conclusions. I frequent another forum (graybeardoutdoors) and not a one of the Photobucket pics come across. And then, I run into the same thing on this forum.

    I will be checking my settings. Maybe it's me!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    152
    None of my photobucket rifle or pistol pics are missing.

    Here are some pics of a sweet rifle that was destroyed by UPS about 18 months ago. they cracked the stock when they ran something VERY hard and shaped like a fork lift through the shipping container.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...VN/VanNiel.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...N/VanNiel2.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...N/VanNiel1.jpg

    JeffVN

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