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Mar 25th, 2012
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Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! #4661544 10/15/13 02:41 PM
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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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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: ChadTRG42] #4661609 10/15/13 02:57 PM
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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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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG] #4661711 10/15/13 03:26 PM
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I would add that higher quality barrels (ex, aftermarket, Hart, Shilen, etc.) may foul even less, requiring even less cleaning.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: kry226] #4661755 10/15/13 03:38 PM
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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...

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: ChadTRG42] #4661790 10/15/13 03:47 PM
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good read up use scentless oil confused2

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG] #4661868 10/15/13 04:01 PM
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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^^^^^



Originally Posted by rickym
What kind of lights does it shoot out?
Like are we talkin the mini bulb Christmas lights or a 500 watt flood light?

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Lochsley123] #4661887 10/15/13 04:05 PM
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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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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: redchevy] #4662068 10/15/13 04:51 PM
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good advice.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: old03] #4663405 10/15/13 11:51 PM
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Good info. Thanks for sharing it. up


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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #4663423 10/15/13 11:55 PM
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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.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: HighPriest] #4663466 10/16/13 12:04 AM
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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.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Medinabuck] #4663694 10/16/13 01:13 AM
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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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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG] #4664066 10/16/13 02:48 AM
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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.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Deerhunter61] #4664587 10/16/13 11:52 AM
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up good info.


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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: FiremanJG] #4664713 10/16/13 12:52 PM
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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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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: landsurveyor] #4664753 10/16/13 01:07 PM
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I normally don't clean my rifles until I am ready to store them for an extended period of time. I always hunt with a fouled bore. If you live in a dry climate then I think you could get away with storing them with a fouled rifle bore but in the humidity of North Central Texas I think you should clean lightly to remove moisture absorbing fouling. It doesn't take much moisture in the air to get rust started. If my rifles are going to be stored an extended period of time then they get a good cleaning and coating of oil.


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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: landsurveyor] #4665050 10/16/13 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: landsurveyor
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


I looked in the log book for the .260. It was cleaned when the barrel was brand new to get maching fluid, and any steel shavings out. It was fouled with 5 shots, then dry patches, and was untouched until it had 500 rounds on the barrel. Then was cleaned again around 1200 rounds. And it's the tightest shooting rifle I have.


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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Geezer Ranger] #4665725 10/16/13 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Geezer Ranger
It doesn't take much moisture in the air to get rust started. If my rifles are going to be stored an extended period of time then they get a good cleaning and coating of oil.


A friend recently asked me what would be the best method to remove rust for his shotgun that had been left in a closet for an extended time. It's why I periodically apply a light oil to all my firearms, including inside and outside the barrel. Before heading to the woods, I fire one or two fouling shots just dry and stabilize the bore. And if I don't expect to use the gun within the next month or two, I clean and oil the barrel before storage.


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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Texas Dan] #4665854 10/16/13 06:15 PM
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Yes, for storing them, oil is fine. It will help protect the metal from rust. But a lot of shooters will oil it up with the plan to then go shooting. Then they wonder why there first few shots are "way off". I recommend cleaning the chamber/barrel to get the oil out, and not shooting it, though.



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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: ChadTRG42] #4666840 10/16/13 11:01 PM
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It's my understanding that fouling is necessary to create a more consistent spin to the bullet as it travels down the barrel. If the bore was completely clean and dry with no oil residue, you still want fouling in the barrel to compensate for the very slight imperfections in the bore that result from normal manufacturing processes. It's because of these same imperfections that some will spend a lot of money to have a factory barrel re-worked by a gunsmith who has a reputation for such work.


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Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Texas Dan] #4667397 10/17/13 02:22 AM
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I always started with a clean rifle then got it dialed in with 3 to 4 shots and did not clean the barrel until the season is over. It does make a difference.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: Conchoman76] #4676533 10/20/13 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: horton5303
I always started with a clean rifle then got it dialed in with 3 to 4 shots and did not clean the barrel until the season is over. It does make a difference.


This is what I do. Never pay much attention tothe groups until oil is burned out and barell fouled.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: jab3006] #4676985 10/21/13 01:15 AM
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What do you mean store them, go shoot more often.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: ChadTRG42] #4678023 10/21/13 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the info.

Re: Rifle Cleaning for deer season- NO oil!! [Re: DCS] #4678218 10/21/13 02:57 PM
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It's worth your time to find out where the rifle shoots with oil and without oil in the barrel. There will likely come a time that you will want to know. I also hunt with a fouled barrel, but I apparently clean bores more often than some. Actually, I never leave oil in the barrel, but will on occasion leave Bore Shine in the bore if the gun won't be used for a while.


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