22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

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22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by gjconlon777 on 3/23/2017, 12:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

When I first started shooting Bullseye, a seasoned shooter told me a 22 bore never needed cleaning. He only recommended cleaning the breech face and loading ramp with a Q-Tip. He said that a 22 shoots very clean and cleaning would only damage the end of the barrel. Is this true? How about a Bore Snake? Are they damaging? Opinions?

Greg
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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by teg2658 on 3/25/2017, 8:59 am

I cleaned my 22 barrel once in the 1980s and it took at least 50 rounds before it started shooting at 50 yards again. Since then I clean the chamber with a 25 cal brush and use a toothbrush to clean the back of the barrel and face of the slide.
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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by davekp on 3/26/2017, 6:52 am


teg2658 wrote:I cleaned my 22 barrel once in the 1980s and it took at least 50 rounds before it started shooting at 50 yards again. Since then I clean the chamber with a 25 cal brush and use a toothbrush to clean the back of the barrel and face of the slide.
Tom Ginovsky

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by 30calfun on 3/26/2017, 6:56 pm

You should clean your pistol when necessary. Lead will build up in the lands and the best cleaner I have found for lead removal is Wipe Out Lead Remover (Graf and Sons sells this). Take a magnifying glass and look at your chamber to determine when there is lead present and how clean your chamber is. Always clean from the breech. I use a Otis cable for a quick clean and a coated rod with a nylon brush only for a complete clean. The riflings in a 22 are not very deep and over time a brass brush will wear them down. The Armalite website has a good philosophy on not over cleaning your gun as more damage will be done than good accomplished. Also, Larry's Guns has some good tips for cleaning a Hammerli 208s which will also apply to any 22. I do use solvent, the Wipe Out products are good.

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by BE Mike on 3/27/2017, 7:49 am

Al wrote:Short answer, yes clean them. If you use the same ammo ALL the time, you could possibly get by with less cleaning. but if you change up the brands, I'd clean once a year anyway.

Here's a link to a post of discovery I made in 2011.

http://www.guntalk-online.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3211&highlight=cleaning

Be sure to check out the link to the photo's of the targets. If it hadn't happened to me, I'd call me a truth stretcher (term used to be da^^ liar). 

And remember, when telling tall tales, the first liar doesn't stand a chance.
Stork
Unless I missed something, there was a statement about the difference in accuracy at 50 feet, after scrubbing out the bore. The poster also said that it was a hand held (from a rest) test and he was recovering from shoulder surgery. Too many variables.
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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by Al on 3/27/2017, 10:18 am

BE Mike wrote:
Al wrote:Short answer, yes clean them. If you use the same ammo ALL the time, you could possibly get by with less cleaning. but if you change up the brands, I'd clean once a year anyway.

Here's a link to a post of discovery I made in 2011.

http://www.guntalk-online.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3211&highlight=cleaning

Be sure to check out the link to the photo's of the targets. If it hadn't happened to me, I'd call me a truth stretcher (term used to be da^^ liar). 

And remember, when telling tall tales, the first liar doesn't stand a chance.
Stork
Unless I missed something, there was a statement about the difference in accuracy at 50 feet, after scrubbing out the bore. The poster also said that it was a hand held (from a rest) test and he was recovering from shoulder surgery. Too many variables.

Actually very few variables.
Same night, same box of CCI sv that I started shooting that night with, same pistol, same shooter, same bench-all shot within the same hour.  Groups were shot 2 handed-seated-from a rolled up support. There were no issues with my trigger control, just the ability to hold, while standing, with my recuperating shoulder.

The reason I did it, was my shots hadn't gone on call. Yes, I was recovering from shoulder surgery. No, that didn't mean I can't call my shots. Prior to that point in my shooting I was averaging over 94% for both 22 & 45. I had no problems calling my shots. Even tho sometimes they didn't break where I would have liked them to, I knew where the dot was when the shot broke and the bullet impact was not where the dot was.

To eliminate the weak shoulder variable, I sat down & benched the pistol for accuracy issues. After all, it was a used Ruger mkII I bought when I first got into BE, and I'd put a minimum of 45-50,000 rounds of a wide variety of brands down the bore with out cleaning the bore (chamber did get cleaned with the 'L' shaped 25 cal brush periodically) and the lower along with the bolt completely torn down & cleaned at least twice a year. I thought it may have had a lot put through it before it became mine and the bore was just tired. Turns out it wasn't, just horribly fouled. When the group goes from 2 7/16" down to 1/2" @ 50 feet, with nothing more than a very thorough scrubbing, it's an eye opener.

I think that those who only shoot one brand religiously would have less impact. This was not my case. I shot Eley, Lapua, Federal, CCI, Winchester, RWS, Remington. Some were copper washed, most were lead. I feel, the multiple types of wax coatings along with using copper washed ammo mixed in periodically, magnified the issue.
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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by BE Mike on 3/27/2017, 4:41 pm

Yeah, I never had any fouling in my barrels, but I never used copper washed, only lead standard velocity ammo. Mostly I found that CCI Pistol Match worked best in my Hammerli 208s. I have never cleaned the bore, except for a patch pulled through from the chamber. I shot a clean slow fire at the Frank Bickar Regional with my first ten shots from my H-208s and followed it with a 97, I believe. When I was still actively competing, I would regularly shoot in the high 870's with that pistol and occasionally venture in the mid to upper 880's. The pistol never held me back. I still believe, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as yours, that cleaning a pistol barrel is counter productive.
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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by New2BE on 4/24/2017, 8:00 pm

For me, I Clean and lubricate my pistol after use. I found with diligent application, this practice will reward you with years of reliable, faithful service. Cleaning may effect some match performance, but that can be mitigated by test firing the pistol or have a practice session prior to a match.  I found, the main advantage of cleaning after use (with the exceptions stated above) is it facilitates inspection and preventive maintenance.  I have to buy my firearms so I want them to last; believe me, the good one's aren't cheap, atleast for me.

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by rich.tullo on 4/25/2017, 8:00 pm

I spoke to an Olympic Rifle shooter last night on this topic. He claimed the carbon buildup just outside the chamber is bad for the rifling. 

I do not know. I clean with a brass rod and brush once a year and only clean my chambers, breach face and feed ramps. I also clean my breach face with an L shaped bore mop too. 

If the bullet (snap cap) does not drop in the chamber with the snake and chamber brush  I run the bore snake.
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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by fpk on 4/26/2017, 12:34 pm

I have not been shooting bullseye for a long time, but I have shot centerfire benchrest (1/200 yards) competitively, which means 5 shot groups < .15 MOA to be competitive. I can say with certainty that cleaning your barrel properly with a brush and patches after every 5 shot group does nothing but keep the rifle shooting accurately.  Typically, you need one shot to foul the barrel after the cleaning, so you put that first one on the sighter target. 

Of course, the operable word is properly.  This means with a bore guide, a coated rod with bearings and never reverse the brush in the middle of the barrel.  Particular care is needed when the brush leaves the front of the barrel and you reverse to pull it back... do not rush this motion, or you will damage the rifling at the crown and it will destroy accuracy.

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by bdas on 4/26/2017, 12:46 pm

fpk wrote:I can say with certainty that cleaning your barrel properly with a brush and patches after every 5 shot group does nothing but keep the rifle shooting accurately.  Typically, you need one shot to foul the barrel after the cleaning, so you put that first one on the sighter target. 

Of course, the operable word is properly.  This means with a bore guide, a coated rod with bearings and never reverse the brush in the middle of the barrel.  Particular care is needed when the brush leaves the front of the barrel and you reverse to pull it back... do not rush this motion, or you will damage the rifling at the crown and it will destroy accuracy.
Do you use solvents on the bore?  If so, what kind?  What kind of brush do you use (nylon, bronze, other)?  What do you do after running the brush through... solvent patches, dry patches, other, nothing?

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by fpk on 4/26/2017, 1:25 pm

Solvents and bronze brushes.  Have used Butchs Bore Shine, Kroil, and Sweets.

Quickly the process... Wet patch and soak for a few minutes (while you are loading another 12 rounds for the next target).  Wet brush around 4-6 round-trips. Wet patch. Dry patches until clean.  If you are not doing this after every 5 shot target (anywhere from 6 to 12 shots depending on conditions and sighters needed), then you might need to repeat that procedure until dry patches come out clean, which would be typical on anything other than a benchrest rifle.

One other thing that I should note: I recommend that you use coated rods, but if you do, you have to clean them with wet, then dry patches, after every use.  If you do not do this, then the coating can get the stuff that you are cleaning out of the barrel embedded which after a while will start to work like sandpaper.

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by bdas on 4/26/2017, 4:55 pm

fpk wrote:Solvents and bronze brushes.  Have used Butchs Bore Shine, Kroil, and Sweets.

Quickly the process... Wet patch and soak for a few minutes (while you are loading another 12 rounds for the next target).  Wet brush around 4-6 round-trips. Wet patch. Dry patches until clean.  If you are not doing this after every 5 shot target (anywhere from 6 to 12 shots depending on conditions and sighters needed), then you might need to repeat that procedure until dry patches come out clean, which would be typical on anything other than a benchrest rifle.

One other thing that I should note: I recommend that you use coated rods, but if you do, you have to clean them with wet, then dry patches, after every use.  If you do not do this, then the coating can get the stuff that you are cleaning out of the barrel embedded which after a while will start to work like sandpaper.
Thanks for the info.  That's more or less what I've settled on, based on a combination of what I've been taught, told, and read... wet patch, wait a few min, wet patch, several strokes with a wet brush, wet patch (or 2), then dry patches.  Wet patches are in a loop, dry ones are on a jag.  If the dry patches aren't coming clean after a few trips, repeat the procedure.  Then a lightly oiled patch in a loop at the end (followed by a dry patch in a loop if I put too much oil on it).

Of course, I'll go hundreds of rounds between such cleanings, not every 5 shots!  Shocked

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by Wobbley on 4/26/2017, 5:40 pm

Probably once a brick would be adequate.

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by fpk on 4/26/2017, 5:50 pm

Completely agree on going several hundred rounds between cleanings. I just used the centerfire benchrest practice to illustrate that cleaning with full solvents and brushes will not hurt accuracy, since anything that would do so would show up there immediately given the overall accuracy of the system of components. What people should be focused on is how to clean rather than whether cleaning is "safe".

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

Post by KenO on 4/26/2017, 6:57 pm

A club I belonged to held ARA matches, which are 100 yard benchrest Rimfire matches. I was surprised to see them doing the same as stated above for CF benchrest.

They shoot a group, pull their bolt, and put it in a holster, then vigorously clean the barrel, and get ready for the next group. This is the upmost precision for Rimfire, measuring groups with calipers, which were just a bug hole.

I shot prone Rimfire prone matches, I cleaned my barrel once or twice a season.

Some never clean.

Take your pick.....

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Re: 22LR, To Clean, or Not to Clean

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