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#1233549 - 02/27/09 11:13 PM How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy?
j_valdez Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 265
Loc: NM
how bad can it affect accuracy? if a clean barrel shoots 1/2 groups how bad have any of you seen them open up? how many shots can u put thru a clean barrel before you see accuracy suffer?


Edited by j_valdez (02/27/09 11:14 PM)

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#1233550 - 02/27/09 11:15 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: j_valdez]
Dultimatpredator Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 2559
Loc: Wisconsin
On average if I was shooting .5" group it normaly tripples in size to a good couple of inch group when really dirty.

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#1233551 - 02/27/09 11:21 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: j_valdez]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
Every rifle and barrel are a little different... Depending on the quality and condition of the barrel...

New factory barrels may take a 100 rounds to get "broken in" and custom barrels may take none.

Some shoot a little better 'dirty' and others shoot their best when they are really clean...

My match grade .204 AR shoots the same from clean to about 60 rounds and then it needs to be swabbed out...my .223 likes a few rounds through it before it produces it's best accuracy..

I have a Savage .204 that shoots pretty consistently, as long as I don't heat the barrel up and then it starts stringing shots..
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#1233552 - 02/27/09 11:22 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: Dultimatpredator]
204Gunner Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 1230
Loc: Lake City, Michigan
I'd say up to about 30 rounds but then again it depends on the powder being burnt, the barrel, and the cartridge.

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#1233553 - 02/27/09 11:23 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: Dultimatpredator]
Orneryolfart357 Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/06/07
Posts: 9053
Loc: Nevada
In some circumstances, certain rifles actually shoot better with the Barrel a little on the Dirty side.. My Tikka groups better with a not so clean barrel. You no doubt will recieve different info in this matter.
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#1233554 - 02/27/09 11:31 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: Orneryolfart357]
2muchgun Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 14660
Loc: Michigun
Depends a lot upon the individual barrel and cartridge. I won't tell you how often to clean it, but I will say I often run a boresnake through and let it go a while. Just enough to get out any large powder deposits lying in there. You don't want to wait so long that the grooves fill with copper. This will degrade accuracy immediately. Eventually I give it a real cleaning. Over cleaning has sapped the life out of many a barrel, IMO....
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#1233555 - 02/27/09 11:41 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: 2muchgun]
Rustydust Online
PM senior

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 6213
Loc: Southwest Idaho
I have a .223 Savage 112 that just seems to shoot well if the barrel is squeaky clean or has had 200 rounds fired through it. Matter of fact, I have shot 100 yard groups with all 5 shot shots touching with at least 200 rounds fired through it previously.

My Savage 12 in .204 is another story. It shoots very well indeed with a clean bore, but less than 50 rounds later it wants to be cleaned. Not hot loads either, as I prefer to keep my loads at least 200 fps under factory.

Different guns give different results natch, but the ones that shoot the best the longest without cleaning are the ones that I take to the field the most too.
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He said, "Well, I don't know and I don't care.'"


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#1233556 - 02/27/09 11:48 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: Rustydust]
varhunter Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 528
Loc: Montana, United States
I've had my groups open up a couple of inches. The thing is though, that some of my loads won't shoot if the barrel is too clean. My Barnes Triple Shock X bullets need my barrel to be squeeky clean to shoot anywhere near good. It just depends on the gun and the bullets.

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#1233557 - 02/27/09 11:54 PM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: varhunter]
Tap2K Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 181
Loc: Reno, NV
My Tikka T3 starts to lose accuracy after 30-35 rounds. My custom Rem 700 with a Krieger barrel gets cleaned every 250 or so rounds, sometimes even more and then I have to put about 10-15 rounds down it to get the accuracy back. It all depends on the barrel. Some shoot dirty, some don't.
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#1233558 - 02/28/09 12:59 AM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: Tap2K]
foxxpro Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 687
Loc: Wytheville VA
Every gun is different. You just have to try different things and see what works best. I have some that likes clean barrels and then some I never clean. I have a stevens 223 that takes at least 50 rounds to start shooting good again.
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"You can't kill 'em layin' in your bed."


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#1233559 - 02/28/09 01:23 AM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: foxxpro]
SuperSeal110 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/15/04
Posts: 3460
Loc: Michigan
I had just over 1k through the .223ai before I cleaned it.

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#1233560 - 02/28/09 06:40 AM Re: How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy? [Re: j_valdez]
Martyn4802 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 3293
Loc: Grayling, MI
How bad does a dirty barrel affect accuracy?

I can't answer that question, because I've never let a barrel go to the point of inaccuracy due to not cleaning it.
When shooting centerfire benchrest in the early 1970's there was a rule of thumb about cleaning barrels, and it was shoot no more than 20 rounds and clean the barrel. During a relay, we'd shoot "maybe" 20 rounds max through a barrel. This counted sighter shots and record shots, so it worked out well from that point of view. We all cleaned barrels after each relay.
I still use that rule of thumb, but that doesn't answer your question. I don't personally know who could honestly answer that question as there are far too many variables to consider. I think any answer would be a generalized reply.
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