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Barrel going on 30-06??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 08:45
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I have a Heym 30-06, with probably between 2000 and 3000 rounds through the barrel. I find that my first 5 shots or so do not group as well as subsequent strings.

I allow 1 minute between each shot, so the barrel is more or less at similiar temp. I clean the barrel using generous amounts of Shooters Choice to flush out carbon and powder residue, then I use Tetra Gun to dissolve copper residue, and finally a light gun-oil before packing away.

Any comments as to why the rifle or barrel is behaving in this manner? It is a light barrel.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 08:56
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thats still a pretty nice set of groups, for a barrel with that many rounds through it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 09:37
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Are you cleaning to much? the first groups look more like fouling rounds.

go to 6mmbr.com and check out the barrel cleaning, and over emphasize on copper fouling, (as opposed to carbon fouling).

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 09:50
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Dale I think you are on to something. I have also suspected something like this, this is why I gave my cleaning regime. I never use to use copper solvents, but this is the new buzzword in South Africa. Products like Foresters Foam and all this.

I used the Tetra Gun and even left it overnight untill no blue was pulled out. I then found it takes even more fouling shots for the rifle to perform. I just do not know if this is a function of over cleaning, or a shot barrel being shown up. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 09:58
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copper fouling is a really overplayed horse right now, the only one that really matter with todays high quality bullets is carbon fouling, and from the sounds of your cleaning and the group size from your other post would doubt that is problem either.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 10:38
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Thanks Dale for your input. I will try easing up on the copper fouling regime for a while and see what results I am getting. I must say that the Tetra Gun pulls out a fair amount of "blue" copper fouling.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 14:09
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Shooter's Choice has a fair amount of ammonia in it so it'll clean out copper too, but not as fast as other products with more ammonia. Is the Tetra Gun just a cleaner ? They also make oils and greases, which might require more fouling shots to settle in.

 

I wouldn't worry as much about the cleaning provided it's adequate, instead look at what 'gun oil' you're using in the last application. Some will require fewer fouling shots than others, or will stay in expected groups better than others.

 

Also make sure that the bedding is good, that the chamber isn't overlubed when shooting, that the guard screws are adequately torqued, etc.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 14:47
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TetraGun is a heavy ammonia based product, solely for cleaning out copper fouling. I use a good general purpose anti rust gun oil to very lightly oil the barrel when storing. I use a dry swatch to clean the oil out before firing. The rifle settles down after a few rounds, so I do not think it is bedding. torque etc, but more something to do with the barrel.

I have subsequently read a few articles on the web about barrel cleaning, and most people warn against overcleaning and state that a heavy ammonia based product should only be used every 200 rounds or so.

I have been doing this after every shoot of 15 to 20 rounds.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 15:26
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I don't think your gun is displaying anything unusual as far as grouping. It usually takes a few shots from a clean barrel to settle in. Unless your gun is showing signs of poor accuracy after 15-20 rounds, you could try extending the cleaning intervals. Also, I hope you are using a bore guide if you are cleaning that often. Maybe RifleDude can offer a different spin on what your rifle is doing, but, in a fairly light barreled sporter, after 15-20 rounds of firing, it is more likely that groups are opening due to heat than from fouling.

 

Add: Not sure what Tetra product you are using, however, if it contains ammonia, do not leave it in overnight. Most of the ammonia based products should not be left in a barrel for more than 20 minutes, tops.



Edited by Roy Finn
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2007 at 10:30
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8shots,

Dale is correct about the copper fouling issue.  Copper fouling can build up to a point that it hurts accuracy, but most of the time, you shouldn't be concerned with trying to remove all traces of copper.  In most barrels, some copper fouling is actually beneficial, because it fills in the slight pores and tool marks in the bore, "conditioning" it.  It is not at all uncommon for a rifle to group better after a few "fouling shots" because until some of the fouling returns, the bore isn't consistent from shot to shot on the first few shots after cleaning.  This is why competitive benchrest shooters will always fire a couple "foulers" before shooting groups for score.  I suspect this is exactly what you are seeing with your .30-06.  Past a certain number of shots heat does begin to play a role in groups enlarging, but groups decreasing in size after a few shots are fired from a clean barrel is also normal.  Anything that is inconsistent from shot to shot in the entire rifle system will contribute to inconsistencies in the point of impact, and accuracy, by definition, is all variables being as consistent as possible in rifle, ammo, and shooter.  If the 2nd target is typical of groups after the bore settles-in, then your rifle is shooting quite well!

 

By the way, Shooter's Choice does contain ammonium salts, but it isn't an agressive formulation, and they advertise that it doesn't harm your bore by leaving it in place for long periods of time.  I personally mix Shooter's Choice 50/50 with Kroil and have found this mix does an excellent job of cleaning, and the Kroil penetrates into the pores of the steel, so cleanup seems faster and easier.  Like you, I always follow-up my bore cleaning with a light oil patch, but just make sure you don't use any oil containing Teflon in your bore, because supposedly the flourine produced when Teflon is subjected to heat attacks your barrel steel.

 

BTW -- is that a Heym SR20 / SR21 / SR30 rifle?  Heym makes some really fine guns!  I've always admired the SR series bolt rifles.



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2007 at 11:11
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As I recall Shooter's Choice was developed in part to allow first shots after cleaning to be within normal group size. I don't know what is popular now, but at one time some highpower shooters used it if they wanted to clean their rifles during shoots, to minimize wear and to keep accuracy up. See below for a comment from their web site:     

 

RECOMMENDATION:
Prior to shooting the previously cleaned firearm, run a wet patch with Shooter's Choice MC#7 Bore Cleaner and Conditioner to break down any oils or rust inhibitors. Then dry patch to remove the contaminated bore cleaner. This procedure will bring back the proper pressures and should insure first round accuracy.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2007 at 11:30
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This recommendation is made as a safety precaution as much as anything else, because it is possible to create a hydraulic overpressure due to excessive oil in the bore when firing.  For this reason, it is a good idea to always run a dry patch through the bore before shooting a rifle that has been in storage.  The statement is partially true about accuracy returning after cleaning, but this is related to an overly dirty bore.  If you go too long between bore cleaning intervals, accuracy can suffer because of too much fouling, but best accuracy is usually achieved not with a squeaky clean bore but after a few shots are fired.  Think of it this way, if you start out with a completely cleaned barrel and fire five shots, unless you clean after each shot, your barrel is technically "fouled" after the first shot.  Which condition will have the most consistent bore presentation to the bullet during a group?:

1.  A group fired with the first round through a completely clean bore, followed by 4 more shots with progressively more fouling being collected in the bore,

OR

2.  A 5 shot group fired after 3 or 4 shots have been fired, where fouling level "normalizes" yet hasn't built up to a considerable degree

 

After a few initial shots to "condition" the bore, fouling doesn't build up very rapidly because subsequent bullets are removing a portion of the fouling when they travel down the bore.



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2007 at 12:35
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Rifledude, it is the model SR20N. I have been very happy with it. Heym makes some real serious doubles rifles!!!

 

I understand where you are coming from in terms of fouling shots. I also shoot 1 or 2 fouling shots before serious target shooting. The question is: Is five shots excessive in terms of barrel fouling and thereby indicating barrel wear or "over cleaning".? Is one or two barrel fouling shots not more the norm??

 

In terms of first shot accuracy, I have seen a test where some-one has shot with a lightly oiled barrel, a barrel cleaned the night before with a dry patch, a barrel cleaned with a dry patch immediately before shooting and a barrel cleaned with acetone. The best results were with acetone, next best was with cleaned immediately before shooting. Apparently the oil oozing overnight out of pores  and cracks was enough to have an influece on the first shot. This information has good application in the hunting field where first shots have to count, as buck do not take to kindly to two or three fouling shots into a tree trunk next to them.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2007 at 14:01
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After a few initial shots to "condition" the bore, fouling doesn't build up very rapidly because subsequent bullets are removing a portion of the fouling when they travel down the bore

 

This is the basis and reasons for gas checks in cast bullet loads (along with gas seal) and literally scrapes the barrel clean, however it doesn't work with carbon fouling as well.

 

the distinction becomes defining at what point copper stops and carbon starts, (over takes copper). As to how many it takes depends of the gun. I have SS barrels that only take 1 shot, chrome molys that seem happy at around 3, chome lined sometimes 10 and select fire doesn't matter how many, they're all fouling.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2007 at 17:59
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Originally posted by 8shots 8shots wrote:

I understand where you are coming from in terms of fouling shots. I also shoot 1 or 2 fouling shots before serious target shooting. The question is: Is five shots excessive in terms of barrel fouling and thereby indicating barrel wear or "over cleaning".? Is one or two barrel fouling shots not more the norm??

 

In terms of first shot accuracy, I have seen a test where some-one has shot with a lightly oiled barrel, a barrel cleaned the night before with a dry patch, a barrel cleaned with a dry patch immediately before shooting and a barrel cleaned with acetone. The best results were with acetone, next best was with cleaned immediately before shooting. Apparently the oil oozing overnight out of pores  and cracks was enough to have an influece on the first shot. This information has good application in the hunting field where first shots have to count, as buck do not take to kindly to two or three fouling shots into a tree trunk next to them.

 

I would think 2 or 3 shots should be sufficient for fouling shots, but is it really requiring 5 each and every time before everything settles in? 

 

Interesting test results you cite.  I think it all depends on the individual barrel and the amount and "lay" of the toolmarks inside the bore as to what degree fouling and oil residue left in the bore effects POI.  I know what you mean about the first shot from a cold barrel being the important one on a hunt.  I too have never seen any game animals that will sit patiently while you fire fouler shots.

 

If you fired a single shot from a cold, clean barrel, does it have a predictable POI each time or is it totally random?  Similarly, if you fire a single shot from a cold barrel that has had a few rounds shot through it without cleaning, does it show a predictable POI?

 

The SR20 is a VERY nice rifle!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2007 at 07:31
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Thanks Rifledude. Here is a pic of the babe!

 

 

I have been messing about with my new scope so much that I cannot say too much about first shot consistency etc.

I do know the rifle well enough that normally 1 or 2 fouling shots did the trick to bed it down.

So to go full circle and back to the original question, maybe framed a little different:

A rifle that normally, (and which was not normally vigoursly cleaned with copper solvent) beds down after 1 or 2 fouling shots, now take 5,  does that mean that the barrel is on its way out? Or is it just over cleaning?

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2007 at 09:43
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"So to go full circle and back to the original question, maybe framed a little different: A rifle that normally, (and which was not normally vigoursly cleaned with copper solvent) beds down after 1 or 2 fouling shots, now take 5,  does that mean that the barrel is on its way out? Or is it just over cleaning?"

 

You received a number of answers so take your pick on what you want to believe. At this stage it's easier to pose a questions and do an experiment. You already know the results of your current cleaning method, so try another cleaning method to see if it improves.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2007 at 11:19
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Originally posted by 8shots 8shots wrote:

So to go full circle and back to the original question, maybe framed a little different:

A rifle that normally, (and which was not normally vigoursly cleaned with copper solvent) beds down after 1 or 2 fouling shots, now take 5,  does that mean that the barrel is on its way out? Or is it just over cleaning?

 

 

When a barrel starts to become "shot out," the throat area is always the first to go because this is the part of the bore receiving the greatest heat.  Looking under magnification, throat erosion looks like cracked, dry earth.  I guess it's conceivable that if your barrel's throat was excessively worn that perhaps the first couple of shots filled these cracks in with copper, then once filled, the succeeding bullets have less upset entering the rifling.  This is only a guess, though.  Usually, as throat erosion becomes significant enough that loss of accuracy results, the bullet has to jump increasingly further before it engages the lands, so you would typically see an overall loss of accuracy, even with your best groups after fouling shots.  To test if this is what is actually occurring, you can try seating your bullets out and see if your first groups from a clean barrel are tighter.  If increasing cartrige OAL tightens your first group as well as succeeding groups thereafter, then it's pretty safe to say your throat is eroded.  If you have access to a bore scope, you can visually see if your throat area is worn out.  If it isn't visually worn and increasing COAL doesn't improve your groups, then I can't say for certain what is causing your problem without inspecting your rifle in person.



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2007 at 11:21
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all barrels are in a state of "on their way out" it's just a degree of what is tolerable to the shooter. some feel hunting accuracy is ok and while others would find this level to be shot out. If you are shooting groups with a sporter and using a 25x target scope, with a hunting trigger, the sporter (most sporters) would be on the "way out" before the second cleaning. Try shooting 40 rds strings before cleaning and don't count the first five. 06's don't foul as fast as say a 243. As far as hunting and shot string in a hunting gun, that has a cone of fire even as small as 1moa at 100 yards, a difference in poi on a "clean" and fouled gun at 300 yds, is immaterial, the build up in tolerance, between the lack of a solid support, and other factors, could offset the 1" error and cause the shot to be exactly were it was intended, although this may not be the point of release, or poa. a dead animal is a dead animal. lots of leeway. very seldom is a point on the animal the target, but rather a kill zone, most of the  time as large as 6" . 

pd and other types of small varmit hunting cut this to 1/2 or less, and if your really into it, there is always the 300 yd. praire dog head shot.

 

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Thanks everybody. A lot of interesting points have been raised. For me, a rifle that cannot hold a 1 inch grouping at 100 yds is not accurate. Obviously the reasons for this is manyfold, but for the purpose of this thread was limited to the barrel only.

A lot of good stuff was said, which I appreciate. I will have lots of fun "playing" with all of this, and let you know if anything interesting comes along. (Oh, what to do with all this time waiting for the hunting season......????)

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8shots,

Dale is absolutely correct about the difference between paper accuracy and real world field accuracy resulting from "tolerance stackup" of all the sources of error.  Obviously, we'd all like for our rifles to be as accurate as possible so there's greater margin for error in the field, but the reality is with a big game rifle, 1 MOA or better accuracy isn't really required under normal field conditions.  We shooters often tend to get so obsessed with meeting some arbitrary level of accuracy on paper that we forget the rifle is seldom the limiting factor in making accurate field shots.  Best of luck to you in diagnosing the problem and keep us posted on what you discover.   Every rifle has its own personality.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2007 at 14:38
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somewhat confused here-- your 6-9 shots in the photo are still around an inch and good to go, you still worried about lthe first 5?

 

the best copper chelating agent (copper cleaner) is strong ammonia soln. which runs about 30% sometimes called ammonia TS (test strength). be very careful with blued guns as if spilled on the outside the will no longer be blue. current foams are either dimethylamine or diethylamine where the hydrogens are replaced by methyl or ethyl groups which increase the ph of the compound. I haven't found any that work well on carbon, and because the patches come out very blue, the shooter thinks the bore is clean. the very best cleaners are compounds that have 2 unshared pair of electrons to "absorb" the carbonyl groups formed by the oxidation products of combustion. Any ether, such as synthetic motor oils are the best but must be diluted out, after suspending the carbon. flurocarbons propellants work well but strip the pores of all lubricant. Personally I replace the strip with a cleaning of light penetrating oil and nitromethane, a fuel used on model airplanes (and one of the ingrediants of the old Hoppes 9 formula). most of the time just skip the "striping" using carburetor cleaner.

 

8-- you might try, since your barrel is "broken in" moly coated bullets, or even better boron nitride.

 

edited for spelling



Edited by Dale Clifford
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Thanks Dale,

Yes, this thread started all because of those first five shots. My "normal" experience used to be one or two fouling shots and then she was good to go. Given the next string, the barrel still  seems good. But is it starting to go, or have I over cleaned it? Sorry to sound like a stuck record.

For now:

I will try only removing carbon and powder residue and do a lighter cleaning with Shooters Choice  for excessive copper.

I will not remove all traces of copper through the use of heavy copper solvents .

I will clean in this manner after every shoot (usually 20 rounds) for the next 200 rounds and see how this barrel behaves.

(Sounds like the three commandments)

 

Hey this is Africa, we still shoot with those round lead ball thingeys, we would not know what to do with those fancy bullets wearing coats and jackets and things!!

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