Barrel cleaning and accuracy

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Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby Big Steve » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:31 am

I tested a different pellet in my AA S400 to see if there was any improvement in accuracy, when I returned to my normal AA Fields grouping was not as tight as usual. Thinking that the test pellets may have left residue I cleaned the barrel, this made no difference to grouping. However after about 25 shots accuracy started to improve, returning to its normal performance after about 60 shots.
What I can't get my head around is in the passed when grouping started to open up, a clean of the barrel returned the tight groups, why did it not do so this time??
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby pmh » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:39 pm

From memory, barrels perform better when they had been cleaned and "leaded" by residue from the chosen pellet.

I have a very good article by a Benchrest champion on how to clean a barrel.

I must dig it out, as it is a worthy read.

Kind regards,



Phil
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby Big Steve » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:20 pm

Thanks Phil I look forward to having a read.
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby pmh » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:11 pm

I have prepared the article, and am in the process of trying to contact the author for permission to reproduce it.

One I have permission, I'll post it as a sticky in this section.

Kind regards,



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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby Big Steve » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:27 pm

Many thanks Phil
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby RobinC » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:53 pm

Oh so many theories on cleaning!!
There are a couple of principles involved, and it depends what type of cleaning is involved?
Is it what I will term for reference sake "deep" cleaning, ie a well fouled barrel or for light cleaning after use of a well maintained barrel?

With a Match Air rifle if it is not regularly cleaned it can get a deepish degree of lead fouling, note I say can, not will. I'm in to pure target shooting, air, I'm not so hot a shot but I work coaching wise with those who are and I'm a cleaning pedant! To those who ar'nt unless you are being coached by me I say please yourself, thats one we don't have to beat!
I follow the principles of top shooter and coach and owner of MEC, Maik Eckhardt, if you do not clean at all, it has been proven in tests that in general the group will be increased by 0.5 of a mm and more, (the dia of the 10 mt rifle ten), and this is the real bummer, it can produce flyers much much more, just one at a time as some of the lead fouling is shot of.
If you then deep clean, using compound and a firm brush it will take 25 shots to rebuild the base level as the barrel needs a very thin film to lubricate and settle to a good norm. You should then light clean after every match course which is 60 + sighters, this then keeps the barrel at the norm. By light clean I mean a couple of dry felts shot through. This is all I do and advise and then a deep clean is never normally needed. when starting a new shoot it will not need any run in shots.
Maik does extermly accurate group testing of barrels and pellets and has an electronic measuring rig with the rifle in a clamp, this can measure groups to 0.01mm. They have found on this when testing a standard cleaned barrel that they can improve the group by 0.1mm by putting a felt through before every shot, but this is getting extreme.
With my .22RF target rifle I clean immediately after every match, approx 70 shots, I rod one dry felt through which takes out the residual powder, then two or three felts until they come out clean. This is to remove the carbon which can then harden in the bore. If I'm shooting again before the barrel and its contents cool I don't clean. The first shot on a clean barrel sounds sharper as the residual lube has been cleaned and that shot is a high 8, then the next two shots come back to the middle and continue as normal, so three shots to return to normal.
With our 6 mm BR 300 metre rifles after a shoot, 70 shots, the cleaning process is a scrub with cleaning solvent to remove carbon, dry out, and then a scrub with another cleaning solvent to remove the copper fouling, then dry out. I don't notice any settling with a cold or clean barrel which is just as well at £1.65 a round! perhaps I just don't want to!
Those are extremes which as an air shooter is not neccessary, unless you have let a barrel go well dirty all it needs is a few felts shot through at the end of every shoot and it maintains its basic accuracy. So get it clean and keep it clean.
Good shooting
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby Big Steve » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:52 pm

Very interesting, many thanks for making the effort and posting this good information.
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby pmh » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:48 am

Article now added as a sticky.

Kind regards,



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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby RobinC » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:06 am

Oh dear! I'm now going to extreme anal degrees, but its an interesting story (at least to those anoraks into cleanng and testing!) and it also demonstrates how difficult it is to get a truly accurate test and the lengths the top guys go to to get an accurate test.
My wife and I have just returned from a match in Holland shooting both air and .22, we also spent a few days in Germany for a holiday and also to get the opportunity for her to have some air rifle coaching with the top coaches in the world at the MEC organisation in Dortmund.
After an intense coaching session she had a rest, and they suggested that they tested her rifle which is what they do with every shooter. The first question was "when did you last clean it?" Now this is a lady shooter, a good one, but still a lady shooter, and lady shooters rifles are similar to lady drivers cars, the tyres pressures are never checked, screen wash always empty, do I strike a nerve here? I had cleaned her rifle several months before but it had been shot a lot since and other than wiping over the outside, the barrel was untouched. The expressions were along the lines of, this will shoot crap, then we'll clean it and show you why you should keep it clean.
The test method was interesting, they shot it on a standard 10 mt Meyton electronic target with the screen on full zoom so just 9 and ten ring on a full 20 inch screen. No clamp, just the fore end in a benchrest adjustable rest and the rear on a sandbag. The rifle was being shot with a Scatt training analysis system on, and that separate screen was used to aim. For those not familiar, the Scatt has an infra red sender attached to the barrel and a reciever around the target, and it produces a trace on a PC screen of where the shooter is aiming, its a superb training tool. The shooter just looked through the sights to get it generaly in the middle and then went to the Scatt screen also on full zoom to perfect the aim, holding only the pistol grip and the tail of the buttplate to adjust by looking at the Scatt trace as he carefully moved it until the trace was spot on the 10 dot and then shot. A perfect 10.9. As he took more shots each showed on the Scatt and the Meyton screen as a 10.9, but for a few shots they thought the live fire Meyton screen had failed, it was showing ten point nines each shot but there was just one circle (the 4.5 mm pellet hole on a zoomed screen is shown as 100 mm OD), no over lap at all! On this zoom every rifle will show some over lap, so these first four shots were perfectly in the same place! By now there was a bit of interest in watching every shot! The last of the ten was finished and it was a perfect group, well actually it was not a group, it was a single hole to the limit of the measuring equipment!
The comment, "This rifle shoots like hell, do you want to sell it!!"
The rifle is a special, a Walther LG400 system supplied as a system only, in a Walther LG300 Junior stock, all weighted and ballanced up to 5 kg. The pellets used were RWS R10, in rifle weight 8.2 gr, and 4.49 dia straight out of a tin.
Out of interest we then shot through some felts, and it was clean in three felts, she then continued training and shot a 98 with an 8 which she called as a bad shot!
I think the moral is, if you have a good gun and barrel then that's the best part of getting accuracy, and if it's not allowed to get really fouled up then an occasional clean is adequate.
Don't think she'll be selling that rifle though!
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Re: Barrel cleaning and accuracy

Postby pmh » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:12 am

Good post there Robin.

I do think a lot of shooters blame their equipment for some poorer results.

"If I shot under my usual, it must be my equipment! ".... "The shooter who just won told me their maintenance regime, so I must do the same to be as good!"

I do very little cleaning or maintenance on my guns, as I know they will always be better than me in their current state.

Kind regards,



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