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Old 05-01-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
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Tricky Gun Cleaning Question!

I'm an older gunman; I've been shooting for a long time. Years ago it used to be recommended (I believe by gun authorities as prestigious as the NRA.) that a gun barrel should, ideally, be cleaned twice - Separated by a two or three day interval.

The reasoning was that firing residue and ignition gases trapped in the steel would have time to leach out, and would be cleaned up with the second cleaning. Until the other day I took this information for granted and assumed that everyone knew it; but, I guess not!

Neither have I been able to find a single word about this cleaning practice anywhere on Google. Can any of you older, more experienced gunmen help me out? I need to know that I haven't been hallucinating!

Thanx!
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:29 AM   #2
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Well that was recommended for people who didn't want to use soap and water to clean a black powder firearm. It was also recommended if you didn't want to use soap and water to clean residue from corrosive mercuric primer smokeless powder ammunition. But mercuric primers are getting to be a pretty rare item anymore. Sure you'll find some mercuric ammunition if you are into military surplus and have a tendency to buy older foreign military ammunition. But these days you almost have to go out of your way to find any ammunition with a mercuric primer.

With most guns, using modern ammunition, especially non-military sporting ammunition, there is no need to clean your gun more than once. In fact, modern ammo is so safe and stable, you really don't have to clean your gun after shooting anymore. I tend to shoot a few of my guns a LOT, so rather than have a cleaning party after each range session, I just clean the most frequently used ones quarterly. But I've had guns that have not been cleaned for a full year, and when I finally realized that I hadn't cleaned them, they cleaned up just as if I shot them 30 minutes earlier.

I know many shooters of high volume guns such as .22's or AR-15's/AK's that clean their guns only when they are so gummed up that they stop working.

Ammunition wise, we live in VERY good times.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:24 AM   #3
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When I first went in the Army the ammo we had was corrosive, and we were required to clean our weapons for three days in a row after firing even though we were using GI bore cleaner made to remove corrosive salts. Like Kevin says that's not much of a problem any more.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:23 PM   #4
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It's pretty obvious to anyone who leaves a barrel wet with a solvent like Hoppes or Clenzoil for a couple of days. Barrels that I cleaned with Hoppes and Barnes copper solvent that were clean at the range would get a coating of Hoppes to protect them from moisture. When I patched out the barrel the patch would be black and green with fouling that had leeched out of the pores of the steel.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:00 PM   #5
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It is not recommended to leave any of the ammoniacal cleaners like Sweets, Montana Extreme or Barnes for any length of time.

If it hurts your nose or fingers there is a very good bet it will hurt steel too.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies! Much appreciated.

(Phantom4570, I'm an older gunman; and that's been my experience, too.)
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:29 PM   #7
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A note on 'Hoppes'

Hoppes is one of the most used cleaning agents around....possibly the oldest still in use. But I have a good friend...ex marine (is there such a thing?!?!) and he makes a tidy business cleaning guns that have sat for a long time with HOPPES in the bore! He uses this stuff RB-17...says it's the best stuff ever made. Cleans all the old crap out from antique guns and all the stuff in new guns too! PJ's Gun and Metal Care - RB-17 There are a lot of better products out there. I have been using Shooters Choice since the 80s and still use it. Never had a problem and accuracy is always spot on. I do the regular cleaning ritual and let it soak overnight. Clean again the next day and put it away.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:22 PM   #8
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page 11 of the FMRP-0-11A-M40A1 Cleaning procedures:

"After the weapon has been fired, it must be cleaned for at least three consecutive days. For several days after firing, check the weapon for signs of corrosion and fouling by running a clean patch through the bore. Graphite and carbon deposits will sweat from the pores of the metal for three days, thus the need for repeated cleaning."

US Marine Corps FMFRP 0-11A - M40A1 Sniper Rifle - April 1989 - Documents
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:19 PM   #9
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I don't know about the Marines and the M14s they got out of storage for the Sand Box, but the M16/M4 used a non-corrosive primer in the ammo. Yes, back when we had Garands and M14 much of it had mercuric primers as did some of the .45ACP. I thoroughly screwed up the barrel of my issue .45 by not cleaning it for a week after running a 100 rounds or so of that crap though it.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
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I'm with Kevin. I never clean the bore of a rimfire and usually clean a 1911 right before it quits working... which could be not often.

Rifles are a different animal. I clean varmint or benchrest rifles at the range after 25-50 rounds depending on caliber. I use Hoppes or Shooters Choice for that and then if needed I will clean again at home with one of the strong ones like Sweets or Montana extreme

Hunting rifles don't usually get shot as much and one cleaning is usually enough.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M118LR View Post
page 11 of the FMRP-0-11A-M40A1 Cleaning procedures:

"After the weapon has been fired, it must be cleaned for at least three consecutive days. For several days after firing, check the weapon for signs of corrosion and fouling by running a clean patch through the bore. Graphite and carbon deposits will sweat from the pores of the metal for three days, thus the need for repeated cleaning."

US Marine Corps FMFRP 0-11A - M40A1 Sniper Rifle - April 1989 - Documents
Yes, that's it! I knew I remembered it; but I just couldn't remember where I'd first encountered this, 'embedded-gas precaution'. (Getting old is never easy!) I've looked, and looked, and looked - including repeatedly watching this request. Thank you so much for coming up with this difficult-to-find information.

The effort is much appreciated!

Last edited by Silver Bullet; 09-15-2015 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Bullet View Post
Yes, that's it! I knew I remembered it; but I just couldn't remember where I'd first encountered this, 'embedded-gas precaution'. (Getting old is never easy!) I've looked, and looked, and looked - including repeatedly watching this request. Thank you so much for coming up with this difficult-to-find information.

The effort is much appreciated!
You are Welcome Silver Bullet. The same information is available in the FM 23-8 U.S. Rifle 7.62 MM, M-14 and M-14E2
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