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#4661544 - 10/15/13 09:41 AM Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!!
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9425
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Every year I hear stories of hunters missing a deer, and they have no idea why they missed. After talking to them, they had their rifle cleaned spotless and all slicked up with oil on the inside of the barrel after shooting and zeroing their scope. Oil is a great barrel protector, but not on the inside when you are ready for making an accurate and precise shot.

So, how do you clean a rifle and keep the barrel fouled in and zero'd for deer season? Most rifles will shoot around 50 to 300 rounds (or more) before accuracy begins to fall off. Most hunters clean their rifles way before this time. I clean my rifles before I shoot them at the gun range. I run a patch on a jag (pointed metal tip) soaked in Butch's bore shine for about 2-4 patches. I'll run these through the barrel back and forth until I see I have the barrel almost clean. I stop there, and put 2-3 dry patches to get any remaining liquid out. (If you clean the barrel 100% clean, it will usually take 2-7 rounds to get the barreled "fouled" back in, and shooting accurately.) Now, the rifle is ready to shoot and get the barrel fouled in. During cleaning, the solvent's remove copper and powder fouling. "Fouled in" means the barrel has some copper build up from the bullets in the rifling, which will help make a consistent and repeatable shot. Since I didn't clean the barrel to bare metal, I usually only need 1-2 rounds to confirm my zero is dead on and shooting consistent. Once you confirm your zero, don't touch the inside of the barrel again! This is where most hunters make their mistakes. They will clean it again and oil it up inside and out. Outside oil is fine. It will help protect the outside of the rifle. But oil inside the barrel will cause the rounds to go anywhere they want to go, often not where you wanted. A little oil on the bolt and race way is also fine. I put some oil on a patch, and put the patch on the areas I want to oil. If you put drops of oil directly on the parts, it will seep into other areas you may not want oil.

What if the barrel gets wet? Run a dry patch though the barrel and call it good. If you have to clean it, do a light cleaning, like 1 wet patch followed up by a couple dry patch's, but NO oil on the inside.

If you drop it in the mud, push out any debris with a dry patch, then give it a light cleaning, but no oil. Some hunters carry a bore snake. This is good for removing any debris, but does not do much for actually "cleaning" the inside of the rifle.

If I am storing my rifles for a long period, I will put a coat of oil inside the barrel. But before I shoot it, I will clean it, and get any oil out of the inside of the barrel. This is why I clean my rifles at the range before I shoot them.

I hope this helps some of the hunters who over clean their rifles, thinking that's what's needed.
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#4661609 - 10/15/13 09:57 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: ChadTRG42]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
This has been a free public service announcement from an official THF rifle expert. Thanks for watching.



Y'all could do like me and never clean it until it quits shooting sub MOA. That's every few months.
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#4661711 - 10/15/13 10:26 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG]
kry226 Offline


Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 4783
Loc: Germany
I would add that higher quality barrels (ex, aftermarket, Hart, Shilen, etc.) may foul even less, requiring even less cleaning.
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#4661755 - 10/15/13 10:38 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: kry226]
Nighteagle Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 345
Loc: burleson, tx
I actually agree with fireman on this point. I usually run my rigs a bit dirtier than most, but they shoot sub moa better when fouled...

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#4661790 - 10/15/13 10:47 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: ChadTRG42]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9307
Loc: wondering about the woods
good read up use scentless oil confused2

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#4661868 - 10/15/13 11:01 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG]
Lochsley123 Online   content


Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 2785
Loc: Covington, TX
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
This has been a free public service announcement from an official THF rifle expert. Thanks for watching.



Y'all could do like me and never clean it until it quits shooting sub MOA. That's every few months.



^^^^This^^^^^
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#4661887 - 10/15/13 11:05 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Lochsley123]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23431
Loc: Texas
Hmmm just thought about this a little My 223 seemed to shoot a little worse than I remembered... I subscribe to the don't clean it till it shoots bad school of thought and I haven't cleaned it at least the past 2 years. Think Im gonna give it a cleaning.
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#4662068 - 10/15/13 11:51 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: redchevy]
old03 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Hunt county Texas
good advice.

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#4663405 - 10/15/13 06:51 PM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: old03]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10828
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Good info. Thanks for sharing it. up
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#4663423 - 10/15/13 06:55 PM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
HighPriest Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/19/13
Posts: 59
Loc: Wilderness
If you bought a new stainless rifle, did a little barrel break in, cleaned it, fouled it, hunted with it, sat in the corner and shot it twice a year to check the scope, and never cleaned it again, You would be long dead before it weren't deer capable.

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#4663466 - 10/15/13 07:04 PM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: HighPriest]
Medinabuck Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Lakehills, TX
Just came from the range. My Ruger 77, 25-06 is entering its 5th deer season. Fired three rounds, all in the bull, packed it up and am now awaiting Nov 2. I have a drawer full of unused cleaning supplies, snakes, anti-foul solvent, etc. I guess the gun will tell me when its time to use it. Thanks for making me feel better about 'neglecting' my bore. However, I'm almost anal about cleaning the exterior and the bolt.

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#4663694 - 10/15/13 08:13 PM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Medinabuck]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
You're not neglecting it, you're actually taking care of it. Over cleaning adds up to wearing out a barrel, in my book.
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#4664066 - 10/15/13 09:48 PM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG]
Deerhunter61 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 5516
Loc: DFW
Great info. I was always taught to hunt with a fouled barrel. I can't tell you how many young shooters I've seen at the range who clean their rifle after every single round. Perhaps the know what they are doing but that goes against what I've been taught.

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#4664587 - 10/16/13 06:52 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Deerhunter61]
TAT Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 4944
Loc: good ole texas
up good info.
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#4664713 - 10/16/13 07:52 AM Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG]
landsurveyor Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 4572
Loc: Annetta TX
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
You're not neglecting it, you're actually taking care of it. Over cleaning adds up to wearing out a barrel, in my book.

Agreed sir. I have a Ruger M77 22-250 born in 1976 that I can't remember cleaning the bore once. Been trying to wear that barrell out since I was 13 and the groups just keep getting better. Love that rifle. The guys you see at the range punching the bore after a few rounds are probably breaking in the barrel but I had a gunsmith who I respect very much told me the best way to break in a barrel is to go the range shoot a couple of boxes through it. Clean the bore one time when you're done and never clean it again and just keep shooting the pee pee out of it. 2cents
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