SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  Mason's Rifle Room    Rifle cleaning rods: Is mine too long?
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Rifle cleaning rods: Is mine too long? Login/Join 
Member
posted
Hey all-

I have a question about rifle cleaning rods:

Is there such a thing as "too long"? I am trying to clean my 16" Ruger Gunsite Scout and having a hell of a time with pushing patches down the bore.
I am using a Tipton 40" carbon fiber rod with a Tipton .30 jag and Hoppe's patches. I almost blew a blood vessel pushing it down the bore and I thought the rod might snap, it was flexing so much.
I tried the .270 jag when I pushed the dry patch down the bore and had the same result.

Should I be using a shorter and stiffer rod for such a short barrel? This method definitely is not working.

Bruce

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RNshooter,




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
A shorter rod might make it a little easier, but probably not much.

I use many different rods, jags, and patches for cleaning my guns. I don’t like using a rod that bows too much because it will then rub more against the rifling.

The patch thickness can obviously make a difference for how easy it is to push down the bore, but so can its overall size. For .30 caliber I use a KleenBore .30 jag and Brownells #3 patch (084-268-003) that’s round and 1 3/4" in diameter. That gives me a snug fit, but not one that’s too difficult to push through. The square patches that are the same thickness but larger that I use for handgun cleaning are too big for .30.

Added: And jags vary in diameter as well. I just bought a couple for 6.5mm for that reason; one measured 0.217" and the other 0.220".




“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
 
Posts: 39818 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
You should not have to use that much force to push patches down the bore. Using a boat load of force can result in:
- Bending the rod, which can scrape against the chamber and the lands.
- Breaking the rod from being bent so far. This is more of an issue with segmented rods, but you still don't want to break any rod while it's in the bore.
- Scraping the lands with the jag.
- Putting unnecessary pressure on the chamber, bore, and lands.

A bore guide will help keep the rod & jag centered, and will reduce rod flex. But I think cleaning can be done without a bore guide.

I suspect one of two things are occurring. First, your jags are mis-sized or mis-marked. This is possible, but not likely. Second, you're using too large of patches for the jag design -- this is where I would look.

I also don't use dry patches in the cleaning process. I always start with wet patches, as the cleaning solution acts as a lubricant, thus reducing the force necessary to push patches down the bore.

This comes from .22lr shooting, but would never consider putting a dry patch down the bore first. The primers and powders in .22lr ammo leave hard and sharp residues in the bore. Pushing them down the bore with a tight dry patch can prematurely wear the bore. In theory, centerfire ammo shouldn't have such potentially scratchy residue in the bore. But given that centerfire barrels don't last forever, I see no reason to potentially cause bore wear from cleaning practices.
 
Posts: 6016 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of sourdough44
posted Hide Post
I cut my own patches, size solved.
 
Posts: 3724 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
As I am using a Tipton rod and Tilton jag and a bore guide, I guess the issue is the patch. I started with a wet patch and then another before a dry one. All were very snug, even with the .270 jag.
Smaller patches it is.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Picture of arcwelder76
posted Hide Post
Shouldn't have to open the thread to find out what you want to know about cleaning rods.

USE THE TITLE.


Arc.
______________________________

"Like a bitter weed, I'm a bad seed"- Johnny Cash

"I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel." - Pee Wee Herman

Rode hard, put away wet. RIP JHM

"You're a junkyard dog." - Lupe Flores. RIP

 
Posts: 25903 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Fixed, Arc.




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Okay, so I ordered some smaller round patches and a Tipton Max Force rod. I like that the handle can be slid up the rod to give you better leverage and less bow to the rod.

I will report back.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Of course you don't have to push on the end of the rod either. Sometimes I need to grab near the muzzle and give it a bit of help.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 7769 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Storm
posted Hide Post
A bore guide might help, if you don't use one.



Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
 
Posts: 3846 | Location: Colorado | Registered: December 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
posted Hide Post
I'll assume that you are removing the bolt prior to inserting the cleaning rod...but if not, remove the bolt before cleaning.

Also, you might consider pulling the rod through the barrel rather than pushing it as pulling the patch or brush will provide slight resistance which will help keep the rod straight as it is being pulled through.

It depends on the specifics of the rifle I'm cleaning but whenever I am able to remove the bolt and see through the action down the barrel muzzle what I typically do is carefully run the cleaning rod down the barrel from the muzzle end without any end attachment. Once the end of the cleaning rod extends out the back of the action I thread on whatever cleaning or lubricating attachment I'm using with whatever solvent or lubrication I'm using, and then simply pull the patch or brush through from the chamber to the muzzle. As the patch or jag nears the muzzle I grab the end of the barrel to stabilize the gun and rod and ease the rod and attachment out. If I need to run it through again I simply remove the end attachment, reinsert the cleaning rod carefully, and repeat the process.
 
Posts: 4364 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Storm:
A bore guide might help, if you don't use one.


Yes, as stated above.

Bruce
 
Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Late to the discussion, as usual. I use Tipton carbon fiber rods and I have discovered that it's better to have too long a rod, than too short a rod.

I had a devil of a time finding one for my 34 inch barrel but Tipton does make a 50 inch rod, I just had to scour the Internet and Amazon to find it.

Years (eons? during the time of the dinosaurs?) ago, I got a universal bore guide. I soon discovered the only think "universal" about it was the fact it was universally useless on all rifles. I then switched over to real bore guides made of Delrin. I have one for AR-15s, one for AR-10s and one for bolt action rifles (mine are all .308s).

Something like this:
https://www.sinclairintl.com/g...uides-prod40914.aspx

I use Bore Tech jags because they are made of aluminum not bronze. I never use anything sturdier than nylon brushes and patches, and the only dry patch is the final one.

As for coming in from the muzzle, well, words escape me. Better use a muzzle protector.
 
Posts: 2953 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
As for coming in from the muzzle, well, words escape me. Better use a muzzle protector.


1- There is no need for the cleaning rod grip to ever come into contact with the barrel crown if the rod is sized correctly.

2- If the cleaning rod grip inadvertantly did contact the barrel crown we are talking about plastic vs. metal and with no more force than it takes to slowly slide a non-tipped rod through a bore. No 5lb. hammers, rocks, or 2x4s are involved. Wink

3- I'm certainly no experienced long distance precision shooter but, over decades of practice in my pedestrian factory rifle barrels, my neanderthal- like methods haven't caused any noticeable damage...either through visual inspection or accuracy wise.
 
Posts: 4364 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
As for coming in from the muzzle, well, words escape me. Better use a muzzle protector.


I’m hardly ever at a loss for words, so I’ll try. Wink

It’s (almost) universally recognized that cleaning a rifled bore from the muzzle is a bad idea unless absolutely necessary (e.g., most revolvers, M1 and M14 rifles, and the like).

The reason is that it’s very difficult to keep the cleaning rod from contacting the “crown,” or final end of the rifling as it’s pushed and pulled back and forth. That part of the rifling is the most important, and any uneven wear there can be very detrimental to accuracy (okay, precision). One historian of military sniping pointed out that the “pull-through” cleaning aids issued at one time by various foreign forces consisted of aluminum beads on a chain and were the worst cleaning method imaginable for the same reason. (That’s also why I would never run a “bore snake” through the barrel of any gun of mine; they’re mostly cloth rather than metal, but if they’re not absolutely clean they still can hold residues that I don’t want rubbing against the sharp corners of the rifling at the muzzle.) Muzzle protectors help, but it’s still not as good as cleaning from the rear of the barrel.

I’ll emphasize what I alluded to before. With proper sized jags, patch pullers, and patches, there’s no reason why running a rod through the bore should be excessively difficult.
It is, however, good to learn what other shooters do. Sometimes I change my mind. Smile




“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
 
Posts: 39818 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
As for coming in from the muzzle, well, words escape me. Better use a muzzle protector.


I’m hardly ever at a loss for words, so I’ll try. Wink

It’s (almost) universally recognized that cleaning a rifled bore from the muzzle is a bad idea unless absolutely necessary (e.g., most revolvers, M1 and M14 rifles, and the like).

The reason is that it’s very difficult to keep the cleaning rod from contacting the “crown,” or final end of the rifling as it’s pushed and pulled back and forth. That part of the rifling is the most important, and any uneven wear there can be very detrimental to accuracy (okay, precision). One historian of military sniping pointed out that the “pull-through” cleaning aids issued at one time by various foreign forces consisted of aluminum beads on a chain and were the worst cleaning method imaginable for the same reason. (That’s also why I would never run a “bore snake” through the barrel of any gun of mine; they’re mostly cloth rather than metal, but if they’re not absolutely clean they still can hold residues that I don’t want rubbing against the sharp corners of the rifling at the muzzle.) Muzzle protectors help, but it’s still not as good as cleaning from the rear of the barrel.

I’ll emphasize what I alluded to before. With proper sized jags, patch pullers, and patches, there’s no reason why running a rod through the bore should be excessively difficult.
It is, however, good to learn what other shooters do. Sometimes I change my mind. Smile


Very well explained, you captured the essence perfectly.

Also, one thing that I do is clean my rod after each pass through the barrel. It's also why you want to eschew coated rods; they tend to collect crap as they are used.

And I totally agree that if the rod is hard to push through, something is wrong and should be fixed. Also, if you notice that it's always harder to push the rod at a certain sport, or easier, then you have a bad barrel because the bore diameter is not consistent.
 
Posts: 2953 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Thanks for all the learned replies. I believe the issue was a tightly fitted jag and an inappropriately sized square patch.

A "teachable moment" with no expensive lessons attached to it. It's a good day Wink

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3328 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
posted Hide Post
Sigfreund and Nikon User I've learned a great deal from you both over the years and greatly appreciate the contributions you've shared with forum members.

I was aware that cleaning a rifle barrel from the muzzle is generally discouraged by many shooters and has been for decades.

I first started this practice on my M1 rifles and Mini-14 because, as you pointed out, this is the only way to do it. After several years with no ill effects I started to follow the same practice with my other rifles.

Another of my practices is to swab the bore with a iso alcohol or cleaning solvent and, if circumstances allow, to let the bore soak for several hours or even overnight. This generally loosens fouling so that relatively few passes with the cleaning rod are required and, hopefully, any barrel wear is kept to a minimum.

The best I can tell you is that I use care when cleaning and, at least in my experience, haven't noticed any undue wear.

It would be interesting to see a study or some sort of Lucky Gunner type test regarding different cleaning methods and any wear associated with them.
 
Posts: 4364 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
Just some musings on the subject of gun maintenance:

quote:
Originally posted by Modern Day Savage:
haven't noticed any undue wear.


Like anything else, the knowledge and care someone exercises is a big factor whenever we discuss something like cleaning practices. Many warnings result from people doing things without any thought or care. I myself do things that would horrify others, and therefore I don’t talk about them because I know what works for me and have no interest in converting—or convincing—anyone else.

I’ve gone through the whole coated versus non-coated cleaning rod evolution. Years ago when I got most of my information from gun periodical articles, there would be mention of people laying their rods on shooting benches at outdoor ranges and how that could lead to grit, etc., becoming embedded in soft rod coatings. When I read such things I could only sit in amazement that anyone would do something like that:
Really and truly, you’d lay your cleaning rod on such a filthy surface and not expect it, coated or not, to transfer dirt into the barrel? Allowing cleaning solvents to run down and soak into the stock and bedding? What’s the matter with you?

I did use Dewey coated rods for a long time, and ultimately quit only after they warned that my favorite TM Solvent would damage their coating. Now I use carbon fiber rods on the assumption that they cause less wear than steel and don’t have coatings to pick up something despite my care in keeping them clean.

I don’t work on my guns in a NASA clean room, but like NikonUser, I clean my rods after every pass, I keep my bench wiped down, I don’t dip a dirty bore brush into the bottle of solvent, and if I drop a cleaning patch on the floor it gets thrown away rather than used. On the other hand I have used segmented cleaning rods when it was necessary and nothing else was available, and still use bronze bore brushes on limited occasions. I’ve even disassembled guns at the range when dropping a small part would probably have resulted in its being lost forever.

I still clean barrels from the chamber end whenever possible, but that’s more a matter of theory, and faith, though, rather than empirical evidence. Every now and then someone will trot out the old, “My 85-year-old gunsmith has seen more barrels ruined by improper cleaning than anything else,” bit of conventional wisdom. I always want to ask, How does he know what “ruined” the barrel? It would actually take some careful, almost scientific-level controls and examinations to know what “improper” cleaning methods cause more damage or wear than, for example, just shooting the gun. It would be interesting to know, but I don’t have much confidence that anyone would be willing to do or capable of doing a proper study of the question.




“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
 
Posts: 39818 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Modern Day Savage:
Sigfreund and Nikon User I've learned a great deal from you both over the years and greatly appreciate the contributions you've shared with forum members.

I was aware that cleaning a rifle barrel from the muzzle is generally discouraged by many shooters and has been for decades.

I first started this practice on my M1 rifles and Mini-14 because, as you pointed out, this is the only way to do it. After several years with no ill effects I started to follow the same practice with my other rifles.

Another of my practices is to swab the bore with a iso alcohol or cleaning solvent and, if circumstances allow, to let the bore soak for several hours or even overnight. This generally loosens fouling so that relatively few passes with the cleaning rod are required and, hopefully, any barrel wear is kept to a minimum.

The best I can tell you is that I use care when cleaning and, at least in my experience, haven't noticed any undue wear.

It would be interesting to see a study or some sort of Lucky Gunner type test regarding different cleaning methods and any wear associated with them.


MDS, it is not my goal to get you to change your ways; you purport to having empirical data that supports or at the very least, does not infirm your cleaning regimen. I get that and I'm not questioning it.

I explained how I do my cleaning and I will add these few other thoughts. I swap barrels on my match rifle after about 4000 rounds. I buy 500 virgin Lapua cases and start using those with the new barrel. (8 firings and it's new cases and new barrel.) I can assure you that the barrel I just discarded still shoots very well, better than any factory barrel and better than most after market barrels, but I believe it has lost its guilt-edge precision and I'm not willing to drop points because of that.

I prepare my ammo very meticulously because I don't want to leave points on the handloading bench, so to speak. The level of precision needed at the level of competition in which I live demands that attention to detail. I've talked about annealing, high precision digital scales, pointing of boutique bullets and so on. Crazy level of prep.

(To be honest, I think some of the stuff we do has little to no bearing on results, but nobody is considering not doing it.)

A new barrel costs me about $500 plus another $250 for chambering and fitting. These barrels are triple-lapped and high precision. The last thing I want to do is mistreat it. Using a bore guide like the one I linked to earlier, ensures that the rod will not touch the barrel when it's in the bore. I use Nylon brushes and soft aluminum jags with patches. Cleaning from the muzzle makes it impossible to use a bore guide similar to the one I described, certainly nothing that would protect that critical final portion of the barrel just short of the muzzle. The muzzle guides that I have seen only really work to keep the rod and jag from contacting the barrel only further down the barrel and near the chamber.

The weird thing is that ever since I got really OCD about barrels due to competition demands, I've been treating my other firearms the same way. I told you that was weird.

Now, you mentioned a Mini-14 as part of empirical data supporting your regimen. I had a Mini-14 and sold it about 20 years ago. That rifle is not an exemplar of precision, to say the least. And neither is the M1, which is a sturdy battle rifle, not a precision firearm. That is the reason why I went at length about the barrel on my match rifle(s), pointing out the difference in expected precision and why I do things the way I detailed.
 
Posts: 2953 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  Mason's Rifle Room    Rifle cleaning rods: Is mine too long?

© SIGforum 2019