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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah yeah. I know. You are only supposed to run the cleaning patch through in one direction, but I have established bad habits already.

Not even sure how to use a jag, or even what the hell it is, for that matter.

I guess you just use it to push a patch through in one direction, am I correct?

Problem I had was this: I always just dipped my clean patch right into the bottle of Hoppe's. I tried it with a patch on a jag, and now I have 2 patches sitting at the bottom of the bottle.
 

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Sometimes I can get a scrubbing action going with a jag, and sometimes it pops off at the muzzle if I push it a little too far. A jag will put much more pressure on the patch, and they work particularly well for lapping a barrel. The other thing I've taken to doing is wrapping a patch around a brass brush, which also works a lot better than just putting a patch through an eyelet. If you think about it, you have to fill up the bore with something to get the patch tight against the sides. I figure you can fill the bore by stuffing patch into it, or you can wrap it around something that will reduce how much patch you need - and also how many. The only part of the patch that actually does anything is the part that actually touches the lands and grooves.

As it pertains to jags, the larger caliber jags are easier to use. You need relatively long jags that have some space cut away under the head so the 'edges' of the patch have someplace to go. Otherwise the edges will overlap the cleaning rod, and with .22's it'll be too tight to get it into the bore. On .22's I've found the patch around a brush works best, but plan on a dedicated brush for the operation - wrapping a patch will pretty much kill it as a 'regular' brush.

The one exception to all this is when I oil a bore - then I always use an eyelet. A patch in an eyelet will hold a bit more oil, and it's easier to get a good coat on the bore.

Personally I like jags, and I recommend them. If you're going to buy some, my advice is buy a whole set. You can get a complete set of 12 jags for about $16 which is less than you'll get them individually. And here's what a Tipton 12 piece solid brass set looks like ($15.99 at Optics Planet) -

 

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I've heard of cleaning from the breech end being the best way to go ,
I assumed that had more to do with protecting the hardware, breech or bolt faces or other metal work down at the breech
or maybe protecting the crown too. Not banging the rod handle or tips against extractors, etc.
but as far as running the patch in one direction only, that seems a little over the top.
We're talking a bout soft cloth vs. hard metal. Could be wrong. My .02.
 

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Nice post. Nice jags too.

Sometimes I can get a scrubbing action going with a jag, and sometimes it pops off at the muzzle if I push it a little too far. A jag will put much more pressure on the patch, and they work particularly well for lapping a barrel. The other thing I've taken to doing is wrapping a patch around a brass brush, which also works a lot better than just putting a patch through an eyelet. If you think about it, you have to fill up the bore with something to get the patch tight against the sides. I figure you can fill the bore by stuffing patch into it, or you can wrap it around something that will reduce how much patch you need - and also how many. The only part of the patch that actually does anything is the part that actually touches the lands and grooves.

As it pertains to jags, the larger caliber jags are easier to use. You need relatively long jags that have some space cut away under the head so the 'edges' of the patch have someplace to go. Otherwise the edges will overlap cleaning rod, and with .22's it'll be too tight to get it into the bore. On .22's I've found the patch around a brush works best, but plan on a dedicated brush for the operation - wrapping a patch will pretty much kill it as a 'regular' brush.

The one exception to all this is when I oil a bore - then I always use an eyelet. A patch in an eyelet will hold a bit more oil, and it's easier to get a good coat on the bore.

Personally I like jags, and I recommend them. If you're going to buy some, my advice is buy a whole set. You can get a complete set of 12 jags for about $16 which is less than you'll get them individually. And here's what a Tipton 12 pieces solid brass set looks like ($15.99 at Optics Planet) -

 

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The thing about inserting your cleaning devices from the muzzle is this - if the rod isn't pushed dead-straight into the bore the side of the rod can get against the crown. Repeated rubbing back and forth (with the associated grit that's present during cleaning) and the rod can basically act like a saw blade. It's particularly a problem with sectioned rods, as the sections are rarely perfectly matched, and those edges hitting the crown can damage it. You want the crown as perfect as you can get it so gasses will escape equally around the base of the bullet. If the crown gets a 'divot' in it, more gas will escape through the divot giving the bullet a push in that spot and imparting a wobble. And that's why you always want to insert rods from the breech.

On revolvers you don't have much choice and have to go in from the muzzle. For them a one-piece nylon coated rod is best.
 

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The thing about inserting your cleaning devices from the muzzle is this - if the rod isn't pushed dead-straight into the bore the side of the rod can get against the crown. Repeated rubbing back and forth (with the associated grit that's present during cleaning) and the rod can basically act like a saw blade. It's particularly a problem with sectioned rods, as the sections are rarely perfectly matched, and those edges hitting the crown can damage it. You want the crown as perfect as you can get it so gasses will escape equally around the base of the bullet. If the crown gets a 'divot' in it, more gas will escape through the divot giving the bullet a push in that spot and imparting a wobble. And that's why you always want to insert rods from the breech.

On revolvers you don't have much choice and have to go in from the muzzle. For them a one-piece nylon coated road is best.
Thanks for the info
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate you guys thoughts, I'll add a few o my own ideas:

I use "mops" a lot. I find that they are a great way to distribute either the solvent, or the lubricant.

I also use Bore Snakes.

Personally, I feel that too much attention is devoted to bore cleaning. Most people do it, because it seems logical, but it's the rest of the gun that needs attention, NOT so much the bore.
 

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Personally, I feel that too much attention is devoted to bore cleaning. Most people do it, because it seems logical, but it's the rest of the gun that needs attention, NOT so much the bore.
I think folks spend a lot of time cleaning bores because they have to. It's difficult to get to as it's basically enclosed, and it's perhaps the most important part of a firearm, IMHO. The rest of the stuff on a firearm exists to get bullets down the bore, and the bore is the only part of the weapon that actually touches the sides of the projectile. As such it's the only thing in the firearm that can deform said sides. The other thing that makes bores hard to clean is the pressures involved. Bullets leave a little bit of themselves behind, and those little bits need to be removed to preserve best accuracy. Problem is lead and copper can damn near weld themselves to a bore, and they can be tough to get out. And if you don't get them out they will change the shape of the projectile. Might only be a tiny bit, but those tiny bits add up.

For me I always start and finish with the barrel. On semi auto pistols I'll wash them out with soap (Simple Green) and water first to get the big stuff out. Saves patches and time. I dry it well, and hose it out with acetone to displace any remaining moisture. Then I coat it with solvent and let it sit so the solvent can do its thing. I clean, degrease, and oil the rest of the firearm, and then return to the barrel. I don't stop 'till the patches come out clean and all I can see with a bore light is a clean shiny bore.

Do I overdo it? Yeah, probably. And I'm not saying the rest of the weapon isn't just as important. After all, if you can't get the bullets in the bore to begin with, and detonate them once they're there, the barrel is pretty much useless. But other parts just aren't subjected to the same kind of forces bores are, and they aren't usually as closely related to the inherent accuracy of a given firearm. Other parts are usually a helluva lot easier to clean, too, so to me it makes total sense to spend more time on the bore than any other part.
 

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I have recently started using jags based on advice from here. I like them even for the .22s since with the eyelet it was harder to get a full .22 patch down the barrel and I wound up cutting them in half. With the jag they go through better.
 

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I appreciate you guys thoughts, I'll add a few o my own ideas:

I use "mops" a lot. I find that they are a great way to distribute either the solvent, or the lubricant.

I also use Bore Snakes.

Personally, I feel that too much attention is devoted to bore cleaning. Most people do it, because it seems logical, but it's the rest of the gun that needs attention, NOT so much the bore.

+1

For years I cleaned my guns, including the bore, after every range session. I started to change my attitude a few years ago when I read an article from Volquartsen regarding their rim fire rifles. They suggest almost never thoroughly cleaning their barrels. Claim that many more barrels are worn out cleaning that from shooting. Since then I have only used a bore snake on all my 22s and have never seen a loss in accuracy.

After each range session I will run a bore snake down a couple times, wipe the gun off and then a nice coat of oil to protect it. For center fires, after breaking in the barrel, I will use Kroil on rifles and Hoppe's #9 benchrest on pistols once a year or every couple thousand rounds.

After using these methods I realized how much unneeded cleaning I was doing. Of course in the end it is using what works for you!
 

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With really nasty guns I clean them like normal then take put everything in a pot and boil for 15 minutes or so. Then into the oven on a cookie sheet on warm. Once dry I thoroughly clean again. Particularly helpful when using cheap/old ammo.
 

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A couple more random thoughts to add to this:

I do use a boresnake, as well as rods with brushes, etc. The bore snake REALLY needs to be tugged on to get it down the barrel of my .22 lr. Makes me feel like it's doing a great job.

Rural King has one-piece brass rods.

I have a bore snake for my .45, but also use a pencil and a chunk of Tee-shirt.

In 2011 I got back into shooting after about 8 years off. Things have changed. I got a bore light (led). It's so bright a practically have to use sunglesses to lok down the bore.
 

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For years I cleaned my guns, including the bore, after every range session. I started to change my attitude a few years ago when I read an article from Volquartsen regarding their rim fire rifles. They suggest almost never thoroughly cleaning their barrels. Claim that many more barrels are worn out cleaning that from shooting. Since then I have only used a bore snake on all my 22s and have never seen a loss in accuracy.
I've got weapons that I've had for thirty years that have received a thorough cleaning after every range session and I've yet to wear out a barrel. It's worth mentioning the solvent that you use, though. There are basically two kinds - chemical and mechanical. Chemical solvents use various liquid solvents that dissolve deposits so they'll come out easily. Most of the stuff that's available today is pretty safe, but you can still find the variety that contains ammonia and that stuff can damage a bore if you leave it in too long. Mechanical solvents use abrasives suspended in a solution, and those little piece of abrasive are what do the job. That stuff should be used sparingly and only when absolutely required. Remington Bore Cleaner is of this type, and I have no doubt that overuse could wear down a bore pretty quick.
 

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I've got weapons that I've had for thirty years that have received a thorough cleaning after every range session and I've yet to wear out a barrel. It's worth mentioning the solvent that you use, though. There are basically two kinds - chemical and mechanical. Chemical solvents use various liquid solvents that dissolve deposits so they'll come out easily. Most of the stuff that's available today is pretty safe, but you can still find the variety that contains ammonia and that stuff can damage a bore if you leave it in too long. Mechanical solvents use abrasives suspended in a solution, and those little piece of abrasive are what do the job. That stuff should be used sparingly and only when absolutely required. Remington Bore Cleaner is of this type, and I have no doubt that overuse could wear down a bore pretty quick.
I have pretty much used a Hoppe's product all my life but use Kroil on center fires in the summer (fumes are just too much to use inside). Like you I have never wore out a barrel cleaning but can see where it can happen, especially with small bore. The tiny gap between a cleaning rod and a .22 bore almost guarantees that it will rub on the bore, causing wear. Also there are varying degrees of "wearing out" a barrel. Just because it still shoots doesn't mean it's not wore out. For competition a gun that used to shoot 1/4MOA but now only gets 1MOA may be considered worn out but would be just fine for many other uses and many may never have rung the true potential out of their firearm to even know when it's become worn.

I have damaged a crown cleaning. I received a Rossi 62A pump 22 for Christmas when I was 12 and I cleaned that thing religiously. Just a while back I installed a peep site and then proceeded to sight it in. I could not get good groups, I cleaned and still horrible groups. After a while it came to me that maybe the crown was bad. I tried the brass screw in a drill method and now it shoots great. Of course I was young and cleaned many times from the muzzle and used any rod I had. I now only use coated rods and dispose of them when they get worn.
 
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