July 2nd, 2020

Smart Advice on Barrel Cleaning — Best Techniques and Products

Criterion Barrels Cleaning Clean Solvent rod guide Hoppes Wipe-Out

This article comes from the Criterion Barrels website. It provides good, conservative advice about barrel cleaning. Understand that cleaning methods may need to be adapted to fit the amount and type of fouling (and the particular barrel). In general, we do try to minimize brushing, and we follow the procedures Criterion recommends respecting the crown/muzzle. We have also had very good success using wet patches followed by Wipe-Out bore foam. Along with the practices outlined by Criterion below, you may want to try Wipe-Out foam. Just be sure to use a fitted cleaning rod bore guide, to keep foam out of the action recesses and trigger assembly.

The above video shows how to apply Wipe-Out or other bore-cleaning foam. We use a slightly different method. First, we use 3-4 wet patches to remove loose carbon fouling. Then we apply the foam as shown, but usually from the muzzle end (with bore guide in chamber). Here’s the important point — after 20-30 minutes, once the bubbles have dissipated, we apply the foam a second time, getting more of the active ingredients into the barrel. We then patch out, as shown, after 3-4 hours.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Rifle Barrel?

We are asked this question quite frequently alongside requests for recommended break-in procedures. Improper barrel cleaning methods can damage or destroy a barrel, leading to diminished accuracy or even cause a catastrophic failure. When it comes to barrel maintenance, there are a number of useful techniques that we have not listed. Some techniques may work better with different barrel types. This series of recommendations is designed to incorporate a number of methods that the Criterion Barrels staff has used successfully both in the shop and on their personal rifles. Please feel free to to list your own recommendations in the below comments section.

We recommend the use of the following components during rifle cleaning:

• Cloth patches (sized for the appropriate caliber)
• Brass jag sized properly for your bore
• One-piece coated cleaning rod
• General bore cleaner/solvent (Example: Hoppes #9)
• Copper solvent of your choosing (Example: Sweets/KG 12)
• Fitted cleaning rod bore guide
• Plastic AP brush or toothbrush
• Q-Tips
• Plastic dental picks
• CLP or rust preventative type cleaner

There are a number of schools of thought relating to the frequency in which a barrel should be cleaned. At minimum we recommend cleaning a barrel after each shooting session to remove condensation, copper, and carbon build-up. Condensation is the greatest immediate threat, as it can cause the barrel to rust while the rifle sits in storage. Copper and carbon build-up may negatively impact future barrel performance, increasing the possibility of a failure in feed or function. Fouling should be removed whenever possible.

The below tips will help limit the wear of different parts of your barrel during routine maintenance, helping extend the life of the barrel and improving its performance.

The Crown
The crown is the portion of the barrel where the bullet loses contact with the lands and grooves and proceeds to exit the firearm. The area most critical to accuracy potential is the angle where the bullet last touches the bore of the barrel.

Avoid damage to this area by using a plastic toothbrush and CLP type cleaner to scrub the crown from the exterior of the barrel. Even the most minimal variation in wear to the crown will negatively impact barrel performance, so be careful to avoid nicking or wearing away this part of the barrel.

Reducing Cleaning Rod Wear to the Crown
When running a patch through the barrel, place the muzzle about a ¼” from a hard surface that runs flat at a perpendicular angle to the cleaning rod’s direction of travel, like a wall or the edge of a work bench (pictured). When the jag impacts the hard surface, retract the cleaning rod and remove the patch.

By withdrawing the jag prior to its exit from the barrel, you are limiting the possibility of the brass dragging upon the crown if the rod is at all bent or misaligned. The soft cloth patch will continue to serve as the point of contact between the jag and the barrel, minimizing potential wear.

If possible, insert the rod through the chamber, pushing it forward toward the muzzle. Some rifles, such as the M1 Garand or M14, will require you to insert the cleaning rod through the muzzle. In these situations the use of a cleaning rod guide is recommended to limit the friction placed upon the crown.

Avoid using cleaning rod segments for scraping carbon from the recessed muzzle of an AR-15 barrel. We used this trick in the Marine Corps to impress the armorers and NCO’s with the cleanliness of our muzzles, but it likely played a significant role in reducing the service life of the rifle barrel in question.

Use a Q-Tip soaked in solvent to remove any copper or carbon residue from the recessed muzzle of an AR-15 barrel. A little bit of remaining carbon on the face of the muzzle will not negatively affect bullet travel so long as the crown edge remains consistent around the circumference of the bore.

The Lands and Grooves
This portion of the barrel may experience reduced efficiency due to copper fouling and cleaning rod damage. If copper fouling takes place during the initial break-in of the rifle, make sure to check our barrel break-in article.

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Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
July 2nd, 2020

Wind Reading Tutorial for Tactical and PRS Shooters

Sniper's Hide Frank Galli Wind Reading Book Basics

For many riflemen, reading the wind is the toughest challenge in long-range shooting. Wind speeds and directions can change rapidly, mirage can be misleading, and terrain features can cause hard-to-predict effects. To become a competent wind reader, you need range-time and expert mentoring. In the latter department, Frank Galli, founder of Sniper’s Hide, offers a detailed digital resource: Wind Reading Basics for the Tactical Shooter.

Wind Reading Basics is much more than a 47-page eBook — it has charts, instructions for ballistic calculators, and even embedded videos. Galli explains: “We break down the formulas, walk you through using a ballistic computer, and give you all the information in one place. From videos, to useful charts, we make it simple to get started. It’s all about having a plan, and we give you that plan.”

Galli’s Wind Reading Basics, priced at $7.99, can be downloaded from iTunes for iPads, iPhones and iOS compatible devices. Here are sample sections from the eBook (which includes videos):

Sniper's Hide Frank Galli Wind Reading Book Basics


Sniper's Hide Frank Galli Wind Reading Book Basics

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 2nd, 2020

Amazing Pistol Accuracy — 50 Yards with .45 ACP, One-Handed

NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yards

How accurate can a .45 ACP pistol be, in the hands of an expert marksman? Take a look at that target. This was shot off-hand (no rest) with ONE HAND at FIFTY (50) Yards. That’s TEN shots at 50 yards all inside the 3.36″ 10-Ring with eight shots in the 1.695″ diameter X-Ring.* We bet most folks would have trouble matching that with a scoped rifle shot standing.

NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yardsAmazing Handgun Accuracy at 50 yards
This remarkable feat of precision pistol shooting — a 100-8X group at 50 yards — was accomplished this week by PFC Jason Gregoire, a talented young USAMU pistol marksman. And yes, that was done shooting one-handed!

On its Facebook Page the USAMU posted: “Check out this impressive target by PFC Jason Gregoire of the USAMU Service Pistol Team! This was shot one-handed, with a .45 pistol, and at 50 yards during the Centerfire Match in Columbus, Ohio [on 7/1/2020]. The score was 100-8X. Now that is some marksmanship!”.

NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yards

How to Improve Your Pistol Skills

Want to improve your bullseye pistol shooting skills? Then watch a series of videos hosted by Brian “Gunny” Zins, a 12-time National Pistol champion, and retired U.S.M.C. Gunnery Sergeant. Here is one the Fundamentals of Bullseye Pistol Shooting videos that Zins produced with the NRA and Shooting Sports USA.

12-time National Pistol Champion Brian Zins Explains Aiming and Trigger Control.

Pistol Competitors (.45 ACP) at 2019 NTT Match at Camp Perry, Ohio.
.45 Acp pistol camp perry

* This 10-shot group was shot on the NRA B-6 50-yard Pistol Target. Here are the ring dimensions as stated in the NRA Precision Pistol Rules (p. 15):

NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yards

Permalink Competition, Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »