Barrel cleaning and its relation to accuracy

so I watched this video
NEVER clean the BARREL of a precision rifle! - YouTube

…and now I am confused.

I require unconfusing… Discuss.

I actually notice that my baby pews seem to be more consistent when a bit dirty. One just throws bullets everywhere until it gets to a specific round count after a really good clean. Noticed the same with 22 rifles, but interesting to hear what our resident precision shooters have to say.

Yeah I can agree with a lot of that. Clean the throat soemwhat regularly though. 22LR needs a tonne of lead to really bed in. Like a few hundred of the same type. Big changes when a new type of waxed match bullet is introduced.

What… you’re ment to clean the rifle? :thinking:


Asking the internet how to clean a barrel will always cause confusion. How often do you shoot, is corrosion between shooting an issue, can you be arsed, type of shooting you do, abrasive v chemical and so on.

I see guns cleaned every string and then other guns that have never seen anything but bullets in the bore. I have decided that it purely depends on what makes you feel comfortable that the gun will perform as expected.

Corrosion is the only thing I have seen result from a lack of maintenance but even then they are usually still a functional firearm with a level of accuracy expected by the owner.


I’m not really asking how to clean. I’m broadly asking whether people “detailed” clean (however you define that, not important). Or, just run an oiled patch and call it good.

CF detailed clean each time put away for a period greater than 2 weeks
RF clean only when I start getting the first round fliers
Shotgun LOL
Handguns when I start getting F2F, F2E or light strikes. Except for the 1911 that has F2F ebry time :cry:

I run the snake with a few drops of oil in the tail during the wet season. Corrosion is a real biatch in the tropics.

This old chestnut!
Clean it when you think it needs it… ie: not when your’e told is ‘right’

I am in the camp that for a comp rifle cleaning it after every trip to the range is the way to go and clean it till it is like new or better.
From this clean position a state that is repeatable you will learn exactly how the rifle performs with each round down the tube. It is a repeatable performance so if you know what the effects are on the POI you can make allowances for that and put each shot in the middle where you want them.


I work on the ‘barrel equalibrium’ principle: ie, the barrel settles after a number of rounds and then is very predicable for x number of rounds and then accuracy starts deteriorating.
Mind you, i don’t win shoots and im pretty lazy, so…

When i notice predictabilty start to faulter i clean the b’jeezuz out if it and then fire at least 10-12 rounds before i expect it to be back on song. I’ve shot over 100 rounds before noticing anything that couldn’t be blamed on my shooting technique.

As with others, i run a dry nylon brush through 22lr periodically but do give the throat a good go more regularly… other than that i let the next round clean it and shoot min 20 rounds plinking before resighting if changing ammo requires a tweak.


I went to the range with a young bloke from the forum with a 22 that was giving him heaps of problems accuracy wise.
What we found was that after a clean it was good and consistent but by about 30 rounds the group were really opening up and to be honest the POI was unpredictable. Just running one dry patch through the bore made a considerable difference to the results until again after x number of rounds things went downhill in a big way.
If the rifle had of been mine I would have given it a good scrubbing with JB bore paste to both clean it and perhaps smooth any imperfections in the barrel that were catching fouling.


I never cleaned my ISSF Match 54, unless i wanted to waste 50 rounds of ammo getting my original sight settings back…People have lost smallbore matches to over cleaning.

I haven’t cleaned my 22 in a while and last comp noticed things opening up and consistently missing some targets. Nothing changed. Needs a clean methinks.

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Are you shooting copper coated or wax coated bullet ammo in it?

I almost exclusively shoot cci std lead rn out of that one. But now that you’ve mentioned it, it probably had quite a few copper plated rounds through it, way back.

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In my experience a bore really need be conditioned for lead or copper, for best accuracy. If there is any trace of copper in the bore, lead accuracy will suffer, and vise versa. But depends on accuracy requirements i guess. I like my 22s to shoot well under an inch at 50m, i need to remind myself i dont need to shoot one hole groups at 50m anymore…its a hard habit to break.

Yeah, one target is either 10mm or 5mm, and that’s the c*nt I just couldn’t hit last time. And I used to, consistently! So something definitely changed and I don’t think anything shofted, so yeah.

It’s a mystery :magic_wand:

Scub the bore out, and shoot subsonic lead bullets…more consistent than any copper hunting bullets. Eley Std. was good…and you will only have to clean the bore annually.

Yep, that’s the plan. Scrubba scrubba scrubba. And back to CCI Standard in my case. I pretty much only shoot 3 brands…

  1. Anything scoped - CCI standard
  2. Lithgow gets SK Rifle Match because it loves them and capable of making use of them.
  3. All vintage or open sight guns - (insert cheapest bulk ammo here, currently Thunderbolts)

All lead, that’s all I really shoot. Although Thunderbolts are HV, but with open sights plinking they run very well.

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Sounds fair…if this old Anschutz won’t put five together at 50m i will probably sell it off, but looking at the bore, i think i will be keeping it.