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How often to clean
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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guncollector
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Joined: Apr 25, 2006
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Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: How often to clean Reply with quote

How often do you clean your hunting rifle during hunting season? When at the range, the best accuracy is obtained after a fouling shot and for 10-20 additional shots in most rifles. Typically I will practice a bit at the range, clean the rifle, take a fouling shot, run a dry patch through the barrel and be ready for hunting.

What I'm wondering is what happens when you take 2 shots opening weekend, 2 more 2 weeks later, 1 more the following week and find yourself at Christmas with a rifle that hasn't been cleaned since October but has only has had 6-7 shots through it. Is it time to clean it? Is it a good idea to run dry patches through between weekend hunts? Obviously a good cleaning plus a fouling shot is probably the ideal but is it worth it if you've only shot a couple of times?

What do you do?
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Shipster
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

guncollector the number of rounds doesn't really dictate to me when to clean a gun during a hunting season as much as the weather does. Like you said best accuracy follows fouling shots, so why would I waste all that money cleaning my rifle then have to go through the process of fouling the bore. What I do is after my initial pre-season zero check I will take electrical tape and tape over the end of the muzzle to protect the bore from the elements. Then it's just a matter of protecting the outside of the rifle and wiping it down and keeping it clean and protected. After the season is over it gets stripped down and cleaned re-oiled and put back together. Ready for next year.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

And where Shipster hunts It's wet. I know as I have hunted both Oregon and Washington Cascades and Coastal Range...

I sight my rifle in at the range. Clean and inspect. Then just before opening day I fire three fouling shots and it gets wiped down in the evening when in hunting camp and cleaned after hunting season closes. I only disassemble the rifle every 2 years unless it has gone through hell...

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

Humm,

In my opinion a rifle can never be too clean. If I shoot even a single bullet that day I clean it out, do a full inspection after field stripping the rifle, reoil and re-grease everything and put it back together. Very Happy

And nothing wrong with giving your firearm a rub of oil every now and then when its in the safe to keep it from rusting up. Wink

Dimitri

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:15 am    Post subject: It depends Reply with quote

I clean my firearms after every use or encounter with wet weather. After handling them, they get wiped down with a 50/50 mixture of gun oil and gun grease on a cloth. All the best...
Gil

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kbis
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:22 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

After I have confirmed that the gun is still zeroed in with a few shots, it stays fouled until after deer season. The outside does get wiped down after every outing.
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1895ss
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

My gun/guns get wiped down daily with eezox gun oil but the bore doesn't get cleaned until the season is over unless I'm hunting in wet weather. Then the bore gets cleaned daily as well.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 4:00 am    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

Some interesting thoughts here.

I have developed a habit over the years of cleaning my rifle every day I have it out....guess it comes from when I was in the Army when we had to do that.

When I go to the range I swab the barrel with Sweets on completion of shooting for the day...leave it for a couple of minutes then clean it until I get clean patches, then give the bore a light coat of oil. When I am out in the scrub I usually fire a couple of foulers prior to the start of the hunt (not a problem because of the size of the area we hunt) then don't clean it totally until I get home after the hunt, unless of course it has been raining then it gets a good clean. I believe that even the humidity in the air is sufficient to cause moisture problems in the bore.

For the outside of the rifle I use a Kleenbore Silicon Cloth. Never had a problem with surface rust etc since I started using this product.

Cheers, Vince

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

Cleaning is performed to restore accuracy and/or prevent rust. Conditions dictate how often this needs to be performed, IMO. Hunting in wet conditions dictate a patch with a light amount of Rem Oil or Break Free followed by a dry patch. The exterior may need a wipe down, too, but, as much emphasis as we place on anti-scent clothing and materials, most lubricants carry their own smell. Whenever possible, after the requisite fouling shots, the rifle isn't cleaned until the hunt ends.
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Joe Boleo
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:13 am    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

Like some of you here, my preference is to clean guns after every use. This is especially true with my muzzleloaders. Deer rifles get cleaned and wiped down after shooting them. My other guns get wiped down every time I handle them. Seems to work OK.
Joe
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums Joe Boleo! Howdy

Dimitri

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

I have never found that fouling shots made that big a difference, so I clean when I deem it needs done.....after a hard day sloging through the swamps or a long shooting session at the range. It all depends on you.

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fb41
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

I clean my rifles before I put them away for the season; during the season, only the exterior gets wiped down with silicone.

I use a product called Metal Treat on all my rifles. It keeps the bores rust free, even after shooting. Florida has a high humidity year round and rust can be a real PITA.
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

I clean my rifles between shots just to give them time to cool down. After a day at the range I do a comprehensive cleaning. I clean them before I leave for the range. My revolvers are thoroughly cleaned after using them. Shotguns are cleaned after a day of use. Like the revolvers it is a comprehensive cleaning with field stripping the action, cleaning all parts including the barrel and then judicious lubrication as they are reassembled.

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4rum
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: How often to clean Reply with quote

Dear guncollector;

Gun cleaning habits, supplies and methods will vary greatly. You show a common concern about the proper care of your hunting rifle(s). There are many excellent how to's and suggestions already posted. I personally use several of the products and procedures already listed.

My one suggestion would be carefully monitoring of your rifles/guns at all times. Look at them. Inspect for water, debris, rust, copper fouling (in the bore). When ANY of these conditions exist, clean thoroughly. The life of your weapon is worth the effort to clean and check the zero. You will develop limitations on routine cleaning during hunting season. Learn to clean properly with a good rod. Many bores have been ruined by good intentions. A poor quality, jointed rod will scrape and marr your rifles bore. If improperly cleaned with such rod, irrepairable damage can result.

Best of luck... an' whack a big'n.
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