Make sure your barrel is always in good condition and ready to shoot by following a good cleaning regime. The extent of cleaning required will depend on how much use you give your barrel. We recommend a thorough cleaning after every range session. But if it’s just a few shots, then a light cleaning will usually do. If things are looking really grungy, then a more heavy-duty approach may be required. Brand new barrels require special care before, during and after their initial use. What follows are our suggestions for how to maximize barrel life and performance.
NEVER shoot a completely dry bore, as this will greatly promote copper fouling. At the end of cleaning run an oiled patch down the bore followed by several dray patches to remove all excess oil. The goal is to leave a very fine oil film in the bore.
Proper barrel care requires proper equipment:
- Dewey brand caliber specific chamber guides (which we sell here);
- A carbon fiber (or coated) one-piece cleaning rod;
- A brass cleaning jag or phosphorous bronze bristle brush;
- Hoppe’s No. 9 gun cleaning patches in the correct size;
- Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent (gun bore cleaner);
- Sweet’s 7.62 Solvent (gun bore cleaner and copper solvent);
- Tetra or KG spray degreaser/cleaner;
- Tetra, Hoppe’s or KG gun oil.
CAUTION! When handling firearm cleaning products always wear nitrile gloves. Cleaning products are very toxic and can absorb into your skin. Please protect yourself!
New Barrel Break-in
When using a new barrel for the first time, make sure that the bore is oiled before your first shot. You should also make sure the barrel stays cool during the first 20-30 shots. During these shots, use your cleaning rod to run a patch with Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent down the bore, followed by a dry patch, every few shots to remove the bulk of the carbon fouling.
Some shooters like to fire lap their barrels before or after their first use with “Tubb’s Final Finish” and the like. However, we prefer a simple hand lapping procedure, as fire lapping can be hard on the throat of your barrel. The hand lapping procedure we use, and which produces great results, is described by Fred Bohl here
New Barrel Cleaning
We recommend you remove all the copper fouling in your new barrel after its first range session. But after this first session, you should allow the fine coating of copper that develops in the bore to remain, as it helps with both accuracy and cleaning. For this procedure:
1. Use a chamber guide, one piece cleaning rod and patches to apply Sweet’s 7.62 Solvent to the bore, following the directions on the bottle;
2. Clean the chamber and bore with Tetra or KG spray degreaser / cleaner; then
3. Run a dry patch, and then a patch with a few drops of gun oil to finish. A light coat of oil is all that should remain in the bore, so if it still looks kind of wet, run a single dry patch or clean bore snake to remove the excess oil.
If you've just put a few rounds through your barrel, like during a sight-in for hunting, then a light cleaning will usually do.For this procedure:
1. Use a chamber guide, one piece cleaning rod and patches to run Hoppe’s No. 9 Solvent down the bore; then
2. Follow with a dry patch, and then a patch with a few drops of gun oil to finish. A light film of oil is all that should remain in the bore. Follow with several dry patches or clean bore snake to remove the excess oil.
We strongly recommend a thorough cleaning after every range session. For this procedure:
1. Using a chamber guide, one-piece cleaning rod and a brass jag, run a patch soaked with Hoppe’s No. 9 from the chamber to the muzzle, until the patch is protruding about 1/8” from the muzzle (I like to put a small o-ring on the shaft of my cleaning rod to indicate where to stop, which makes the process much faster);
2. Pull the patch back just to the start of the chamber guide, without removing it;
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 ten times, then let the bore sit for a few minutes;
4. Run a dry patch. If it comes out with any dark powder fouling residue on it, repeat steps 1 – 3 until the dry patch comes out clean; then
5. Finish with a few drops of gun oil applied to a patch. A light film of oil is all that should remain in the bore. Follow with several dry patches or clean bore snake to remove the excess oil.
Heavy Cleaning / Light Lapping
This procedure helps with break-in and gives an extra thorough cleaning. For this procedure:
1. If your barrel has been shot, follow the “New Barrel Cleaning” procedure described above; then
2. Follow the “Rifle Bore Lapping / Polishing” procedure described by Fred Bohl here.
We hope you enjoy your Bison Armory barrel. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding its maintenance, installation or function.