Editor’s Note: We have asked three (3) of our Technicians on staff to describe the cleaning procedure that they follow. Over the next three months, we’ll introduce each of their procedures. It is amazing how everyone takes a different approach to cleaning. Enjoy and feel free to contribute your procedure! Here is Ron’s procedure.
For as many years as shooters have been sending rounds down range in high power competition, there have been just about (probably even more) that many “correct” ways to properly clean and prepare the firearm for optimal performance. Cleaning procedures have always been a “hot” topic among shooters and I am not trying to start a debate on who is right and who is wrong.
I am a firm believer that the first shot should always be useful as a true indicator of the performance of your record shots that follow. It is very important that the first shot down range on a clean bore should always count. The following is the sequence of a cleaning technique that I have found very productive for high power competition, which translates well for all other shooting disciplines:
1) I use a Sinclair O-Ring style rod guide and Dewey cleaning rod to run 2 or 3 wet patches through the bore to wet the lands and grooves. Piercing a square patch off center will allow for better solvent coverage when you run it through the bore. I will usually leave the barrel sit for a few minutes while wet with solvent. (Editor’s Note – See Phil Hoham’s article in August 2009 on offset patch stabbing)
2) With a second cleaning rod and the appropriate bronze bore brush, I generously apply solvent to the brush and steadily stroke the brush down to the muzzle and back. (take care while the brush exits and re-enters the muzzle to avoid crown damage). I repeat this brushing stroke approximately 5 to 6 times making sure I bring the brush back into the rod guide far enough so the brush bristles reverse.
3) I then pull the cleaning rod out, wipe the rod down, and then re-apply solvent to the brush. I then repeat the process outlined in Step 2. I repeat this process one time for each 10 shots fired. For example, if I shot 88 rounds in a high power match, I would complete Step 2 eight or nine times. I sometimes will run a wet patch through between brushings to push out debris.
4) After the brush work is done, it is time to use patches again. I like to run 3 wet patches through the barrel and let it soak for 10 to15 minutes.
5) After the bore has soaked for 10 to 15 minutes, I run one to two dry patches and repeat with a wet patch. Follow this up again with a dry patch. Continue alternating wet and dry patching until there is no sign of copper (which is a blue/green color) or carbon/lead (black) is present.
6) After my rifle is clean, I like to put about 3 to 4 drops of a quality gun oil on a patch, and run through the bore about 4 times. This leaves a film of oil without over doing it.
I have tested this method of cleaning and found myfirst shot is within ¼ min of where the main group will print on the target. After experimenting with several methods of cleaning, I have found this to work for most rifles. In addition to my competition rifles, I use this technique on my hunting rifles. I have heard many people say they fire a fouler shot when hunting. With this cleaning procedure , I have the confidence that a fouling shot is unnecessary thus not scaring any game off that may be within the next county!
I am currently using TM Solution for carbon and powder fouling. After powder fouling is out, I switch to Bore Tech Eliminator. I use both of these products in the house. They are family friendly, ammonia free, and will not clear out the room.
When cleaning at the range, I have found that Butch’s Bore Shine, and Montana Extreme to be equally as effective, but do not even think about using these inside the house. These cleaning solvents like many others should only be used in a well ventilated area.
Good luck to all of you out there, and feel free to call any of us on the Sinclair Tech team with any questions, or to share your cleaning techniques and experiences. Hope this tidbit of information helps you shoot even better, and your experiences even more memorable!
NRA High Power- Master