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DIYguy

Clean rifle barrel or fouled barrel?

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To clean or not to clean. I know I go through a lot of work trying to get the most accurate loads possible but all that works is a waste if the groups aren't there. I tend to give my AR a complete cleaning around every 200+ rounds or so which is essentially every other trip to the range.

I upgraded my one AR that is my 100 to 200 yard gun and now have a JP Super Match, 18" SS 1:8 barrel. My original barrel was a 18", 1:7 PSA which had pretty good results. Upgraded to the JP and was expecting tighter groups but so far, not as consistent as the PSA. Shooting buddy that shoots competitive PRS tells me not to clean the barrel, just run a dry patch and be done. Haven't cleaned the barrel for a several hundred+ rounds and groups are not happy. I really feel the urge to give it a thorough wire brushing but.....

Loading Hornady brass, Federal AR Match primers, 75g BTHP Hornady bullets, 23.7g AR-Comp, trickle weighed on Chargemaster 1500 and single stage press. Some times I can get the cloverleaf, five shoots touching and other times 1.5 MOA group. ??? Yah, barrel temp can make a difference but I try and allow for that also.

To clean or not to clean?

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Have tested 3 JP barrels none would group consistently better than 1.5 moa with Hornady 75BTHP bullets.

Suggest you try 77 Sierra match king BTHP bullets (sub .5 moa in all 3)

75 BTHP shoot great (sub.5moa)in  White Oat barrels.  Will add 75s like to jump some what.

Clean if you must I clean the action etc every 500ish rounds only clean the bore once a year 3-4k.

Note all ammo loaded on a 550 full progressive with TAC. 

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I've burnt out two barrels on my 3 gun rifle and getting close to the third. The first one was cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, the last two have never seen a real cleaning in over 20k rounds combined, just a oily patch once per winter if I get bored. There has been no discernible difference in accuracy behavior between the different cleaning methods.

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In Precision rifle circles, the consensus seems to be:

- There's always irregularities in the inside of a rifle barrel.

- You get best accuracy when you have copper filling the irregularities.

- At some point, you get too much copper and accuracy starts deteriorating. Then, you remove the copper. Otherwise, you leave the copper alone.

 

Not sure how well this applies to an AR, but my guess is that cleaning to bare steel after a couple of hundred rounds is not helping any.

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Ive went a while before cleaning. As was mentioned...when those irregularities are filled with copper, groups tightened. There is substance to that train of thought

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I was always taught with my bolt actions If your going to spend the day shooting 200 rounds, clean it at the range and put 2 more down range then it will be ready, but since my guns only come out for the range and not competition I just clean them when i get home. Im sure there is some benefit, but Im not sure its measurable.

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There's "cleaning" and there's "cleaning". I like to get most of the carbon out of my guns after shooting. Trying to get all the copper out, every time, doesn't seem to be beneficial.

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This is part of where the debates comes in. I typically will us my JP bore guide, give a squirt of bore cleaner in the port hole, run a brass brush DOWN the barrel maybe six time and follow with sever passes with a dry patch. I also have the Losso Eliminator brushes which might be less aggressive, just want to clean it, not strip it.

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I run Rainier Arms Ultramatch Mod 2 Fluted Barrels on my 3gun Rifles.  They are 7.5 Twist and Wylde Chamber. 16 Intermediate and 18 Rifle gas. I personally prefer my 16s to my 18.

 

They all hold 1/4-1/2 MOA repeatable at 200 yard with 75gr Hornady HPBT Match bullets and XBR8082. Same result with 77SMK. Absolutely best powder for this combo and meters so well in my Dillons.

 

The only cleaning they get is Nylon Chamber Brush with spray of Liberty Libricant Cleaner, Chamber Mop and one pull through with Bore Snake to get rid of Carbon.

 

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I have a JP CTR-02 with a light contour 18" barrel. It does not like 75 gr Hornady bullets, but likes 77gr Sierra Match Kings. I have over 7k rounds through it and it still produces .8" groups while dirty with factory Fiocchi 77 SMKs. I clean it with foaming bore cleaner and then a Ballistol patch followed by a dry patch every 6-800 rds. One other thing to look at is the crown, if you have carbon buildup on the crown, it can make groups open up considerably. Try some different bullets and find what it likes.

Hurley

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Went through all the ladder load development with my original PSA, 18" 1:7 barrel and found loads that would give be 1 MOA and under. Tested against several Hornady match loads using the Labradar for velocity comparisons. Now with the JP barrel all the previous testing is semi worthless as the JP is is 1:8 and loads that worked with the PSA group for crap with the JP.

Going to start the process all over again, starting at 21.0g of AR-Comp and work my way up again.

Thinking of doing my typical ultrasonic clean of the BCG, mop the chamber and do a few passes with the nylon Iosso brush.  Also thinking of burning a few waste rounds into the bank after the cleaning and before doing any of my chrono and grouping testing.

I did pick up (100) SMK 77g BTHP to do some test loads once I think I'm close to a working load with the Hornady. Hope I can make the Hornady work, I have between 1,200 and 1,500 75g BTHP bullets on the shelf and can pick those up locally for $45 per (250), not on sale. The SMK are $35 per (100) unless find on sale.

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2 hours ago, DIYguy said:

Now with the JP barrel all the previous testing is semi worthless as the JP is is 1:8

I wouldn't go as far as to use the word worthless. I have at least 3 barrels in both 1:8 and 1:7 and haven't had to do any development specific to the twist rate.

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Just came in from the shop dong the COAL and CBTO test using the Hornady OAL gage, comparator etc.and trying to figure out where I need to be with the new JP barrel.

After doing five tests I had a variance of .002 for CBTO and .008 for COAL. Averaged the measurements and then backed of .020 for the JP length. Came up with a measurement that's .070 longer than the loads for the PSA barrel. Between different twist rate and jump to lands my velocity and groupings are definitely different so starting from scratch for my ladder load tests.

 

AHI: What do you consider "75's like to jump somewhat"?

 

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