October 14th, 2018

Patented Triangular Cleaning Patch — Better Way to Clean Bores?

Rigel BoreSmith Brush Patch Jag Pyramid Triangle patches

Product innovation is all about “building a better mousetrap”, or in this case, building a better bore-cleaning patch. A real smart guy, Shane Smith, has invented a triangular patch that earned a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a utility patent for BoreSmith’s triangular Pyramid Patch™. This unique cleaning patch was designed by Shane Smith, a mathematician/physicist who employed his scientific and firearms knowledge to create innovative bore-cleaning products.

BoreSmith’s clever Triangle Patch™ (aka Pyramid Patch) presents more cleaning surface area to the bore wall than does a conventional square or round patch (of equivalent size). At the same time, the unique geometry makes Triangle Patches much less likely to jam in the barrel. This is because the notches in the sides of the triangle allow the patch to sit more uniformly on the jag (without bunching up). In addition, the Pyramid patch is must less likely to jam due to pleating. One reason conventional patches get stuck is unwanted 5-layer pleating. The special notches in the Pyramid patch remove all or most 5-layer pleating. As a result the patch does not bunch up and this also reduces rod bowing.

The Triangle patch can be used with a standard jag but works best when paired with BoreSmith’s patented dual-diameter JagBrush. Order Triangle Patches HERE.

Triangle Patch Function and Geometry Explained (See 1:18 time-mark):

NOTE: Despite what you may see in this video, you should ALWAYS insert brushes and patches from the chamber end first, using a fitted cleaning rod bore guide. With bolt-action rifles, NEVER insert a cleaning rod (with brush or jag) in through the muzzle. This may damage the delicate crown of your barrel.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
August 21st, 2018

Barrel Break-In — Essential Procedure or Total Waste of Time?

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrels
Photo courtesy Sierra Bullets.

The question of barrel break-in is controversial. Some folks advocate an elaborate, lengthy cycle of shooting and brushing, repeated many times — one shot and clean, two shots and clean and so on. This, it is argued, helps barrels foul less and shoot more accurately. Others say minimal break-in, with patching and brushing after 10-15 rounds, is all you need. Still others contend that break-in procedures are a total waste of time and ammo — you should just load and shoot, and clean as you would normally.

We doubt if there will ever be real agreement among shooters concerning barrel break-in procedures. And one must remember that the appropriate break-in procedure might be quite different for a factory barrel vs. a custom hand-lapped barrel. This Editor has found that his very best custom barrels shot great right from the start, with no special break-in, other than wet patches at 5, 10, and 15 rounds. That said, I’ve seen some factory barrels that seemed to benefit from more elaborate break-in rituals.

What’s the best barrel break-in procedure? Well our friend Eric Mayer of Varminter.com decided to ask the experts. A while back Eric interviewed representatives of three leading barrel manufacturers: Krieger, Lothar-Walther, and Shilen. He recorded their responses on video. In order of appearance in the video, the three experts are:

Wade Hull, Shilen Barrels | Mike Hinrichs, Krieger Barrels | Woody Woodall, Lothar Walther

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrelsDo I Need to Break-In a New Rifle Barrel?
Eric Mayer of Varminter.com says: “That is a simple question, [but it] does not necessarily have a simple answer. Instead of me repeating my own beliefs, and practices, on breaking-in a new rifle barrel, I decided to answer this one a bit differently. While we were at the 2016 SHOT Show, we tracked down three of the biggest, and most popular, custom barrel makers in the world, and asked them what they recommend to anyone buying their barrels, and why they recommend those procedures. We asked the question, and let the camera run!” Launch the video above to hear the answers — some of which may surprise you.

Long-Term Barrel Care — More Experts Offer Opinions
Apart from the debate about barrel break-in, there is the bigger question of how should you clean and maintain a barrel during its useful life. Some folks like aggressive brushing, other shooters have had success with less invasive methods, using bore foam and wet patches for the most part. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. In reality, there may not be one solution for every barrel. Different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa).

CLICK HERE for Long Term Barrel Care Article »

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning: Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

“Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.” — Chip Lohman

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
February 18th, 2018

Handy UV Bore Light — Big Fiber Optic for Pistol Barrels

UV Bore light Birchwood Casey Fiber Optic
Put the short “J” end of the UV Bore Light in the chamber area. Always make sure your firearm is unloaded. Doubles as a chamber flag for most calibers.

Let there be light… Here’s a handy new device for pistol shooters. Birchwood Casey has come up with a large-diameter “J”-shaped fiber optic tube designed to illuminate pistol barrels without the need for batteries. The Birchwood Casey® UV Bore Light allows gun owners to quickly check the bore of their firearm for obstructions, dirt and fouling.

UV Bore light Birchwood Casey Fiber OpticThe UV Bore light is an innovative design that uses ambient light instead of batteries. Simply put the short “J” end of the bore light in the chamber area of your unloaded gun and it will provide enough illumination to check the bore.

The UV Bore Light also doubles as a safe-chamber flag for most guns. To use the UV Bore Light as a chamber flag, place the LONG end of the Bore Light in the CHAMBER end of the barrel — see photo.

The Birchwood Casey UV Bore Light is inexpensive. It’s sold by the pair in a two-pack priced at $5.40 MSRP.

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns No Comments »
January 12th, 2018

New Anti-Corrosion and Bore-Cleaning Products from Otis

Otis Gun Care Bore Stick Metal Defense Bore Cleaning Foam SHOT Show

Otis will introduce a number of new products at SHOT Show 2018. We were impressed by two new products, one that cleans bores, and a second that promises to protect the inside of your barrel from corrosion. As to the latter, we’re always looking for better ways to prevent the formation of rust in barrels during long term storage. You can certainly coat the bore using patches soaked with Eezox, Corrosion-X, or other good anti-corrosion product. But is there something that could work even better?

New Otis Metal Defense Bore Stick
Otis came up with a new idea that may hold promise. The new Otis Metal Defense Bore Stick™ is placed inside your barrel during storage. Perhaps better named the “Bore Cord”, this product has a long orange “tail” that runs down inside the barrel. The cord’s fibers release VCI, a very effective corrosion inhibitor. The top end has an orange rubber handle with a conical plug. That plug goes in the muzzle to block moisture and retain the rust-fighting VCI vapors. Available for rifles, shotguns, and pistols, Otis says this product “protects firearms from rust and corrosion for up to two years. It is inserted in the barrel of the gun, features a plug to cap the muzzle, and creates a protective barrier on the metal surface.” Single packs cost $4.99 and two-packs are $6.99.

Otis Gun Care Bore Stick Metal Defense Bore Cleaning Foam SHOT ShowNew Foaming Bore Cleaner from Otis
Count us as Foam Fans. We have used Wipe-Out Foam Bore Cleaner on our own match rifles for years. Over that time, Wipe-Out has worked very well, greatly reducing the amount of brushing required. Chemist Terry Paul, inventor of Wipe-Out, created a great product that really works. Our procedure with Wipe-Out is to first patch out the barrel with 3-4 wet patches soaked with Carb-Out or other solvent. Then we apply Wipe-Out once to the bore (with an O-ring boreguide sealing off the chamber). We wait 20-30 minutes, then apply Wipe-out foam a second time. After 3-4 hours we patch out the bore, and normally the rifle is good to go. For long-term storage we may run an oil patch down the bore as a final step.

Otis now has its own proprietary Foaming Bore Cleaner. The expanding foam is formulated to clean the bore of any rifle, pistol, or shotgun. Available in a 3 ounce aerosol can, it retails for $9.99. The can ships with a handy tube for application, with a push-button control on top. We look forward to trying the Otis foam cleaner to see how it stacks up to Wipe-Out.

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.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
October 18th, 2017

Bore Cleaning The Right Way — Top Barrel-Makers Give Advice

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Ask 10 shooters about barrel cleaning and you’ll get 10 different opinions. This reflects that fact that different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa). To come up with the right solution, first you must understand the nature of the fouling in your barrel.

CLICK HERE to read Full Match Barrel Care Article »

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning. Chip’s article, Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care, is in the Shooting Sports USA digital archives. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

John Krieger Interview with AccurateShooter at SHOT Show:

The debate about the proper care of a match barrel is a hot one, spiked with folklore and old wives’ tales, Lohman said. He and his staff set out to set the record straight: “We tried to interject some science into the discussion of cleaning a match barrel,” he explained. In his article, Lohman writes:

Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.

For more Shooting Sports USA articles, visit www.ssusa.org.

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 21st, 2017

Barrel Cleaning TECH TIPS — Criterion’s Advice for Bore Cleaning

Editor: This article appears on 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.

Criterion Barrels Cleaning Clean Solvent rod guide Hoppes Wipe-Out

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.

For regular maintenance we suggest using a single piece coated cleaning rod rather than the traditional segmented rod or bore snake. While segmented rods and bore snakes may be convenient for field use, the corners between the segments may bow out and catch on the lands, scraping along the length of the rifling. Residual grit and particles from expended cartridges may also get caught between segments, resulting in an abrasive surface working its way down the length of the barrel. Most bore snakes will remove significant amounts of carbon fouling, but may fall short in the removal residual carbon buildup and copper fouling during deep cleaning. Good rods can be sourced from multiple manufacturers, but we have found good results using both Pro-Shot and Dewey brand products.

General cleaning requires the use of patches rather than nylon or brass bore brushes. Brass brushes may be required when aggressive cleaning is required, but can lead to unnecessary wear on the barrel if used frequently. This is not due to the nature of the soft brushes themselves, but from the abrasive particles of grit that become embedded in the material that is being run repeatedly through the bore. We recommend the use of bore guides when cleaning from both the muzzle and breech. These bore guides will help serve to protect the crown and throat from cleaning rod damage.

If significant resistance develops while running the cleaning rod through the bore, no attempt should be made to force it in further. Back the rod out and inspect the barrel to determine the cause of the resistance. The jag may be pushing between a bore obstruction and the rifling, digging a divot into the barrel before pushing the obstruction back through the muzzle. One way to minimize the risk of a stuck rod is by utilizing a slightly smaller patch during the initial push.

The process of cleaning the length of the rifling is relatively straightforward:

1. Check to make sure the rifle is safely unloaded.
2. Carry out any necessary disassembly procedures prior to cleaning.
3. Remove bolt (if possible) and insert fitted cleaning rod bore guide in action.
4. Soak a patch in bore solvent (similar to Hoppes #9).
5. Center and affix the patch on the brass jag, inserting it into the chamber end of the barrel. A misaligned patch may cause the jag to damage the lands of the rifling, so make sure the patch is centered on the jag.
6. Run the patch the full length of the barrel, retracting it upon reaching the end of the muzzle.
7. Let the solvent sit for a minute.
8. Continue to run patches through the bore until carbon residue is minimized.
9. Run a dry patch through the bore to ensure carbon residue has been removed.
10. Soak a patch in copper solvent (Sweet’s or KG-12).
11. Run the patch through the bore, leaving it to sit for 3-5 minutes (do not let solvent sit for more than 15 minutes.*)
12. Repeat this process until no blue residue remains on the patches.
13. Run a patch of Hoppes #9 and a dry patch through the bore to neutralize the copper solvent.
14. Inspect the barrel prior to reassembling the rifle, verifying that no bore obstructions remain.

*Please note that some ammonia-based copper solvents may prove to be corrosive if left sitting in the barrel for an extended period of time. It is essential that these solvents be removed within 15 minutes to avoid ruining the bore.

The Chamber
Proper cleaning of the chamber is a critical component of a general cleaning procedure. Carbon rings can build up near the neck and throat of the chamber wall, leading to feeding malfunctions and pressure spikes inside the chamber.

The chamber can be the trickiest part of the barrel to effectively clean, due to its fluctuation in size and the awkward ergonomics often required to remove carbon residue. Numerous chamber specific devices have been created to address this problem, and while some should be avoided (steel chamber brushes), others can be used to great effect (cleaning stars and plastic dental picks). The simplest approach to cleaning a chamber is to apply solvent to a couple patches, and use the cleaning rod to spin the wadded up patches inside the confines of the chamber. This should aid in removing any excess carbon. A Q-Tip can be used to reach portions of the chamber unreached by patches.

The Barrel Exterior
While the condition of the crown, rifling, and chamber are essential to firearm performance, the finish of the exterior should also be cleaned after handling. Condensation, humidity, direct water contact, and salt residue from skin contact can cause rust or corrosion. An application of anti-corrosion products is recommended when placing a firearm into deep storage for an extended period of time. [Editor: AccurateShooter.com recommends Corrosion-X or Eezox, but other products work well too.]

Finding Cleaning Components
While most cleaning components can be found at your local gun shop, some specialty items may need to be sourced through online retailers such as Brownell’s. Criterion utilizes both Dewey and Pro-Shot brand cleaning components during our day-to-day operations.

Do you have any rifle cleaning tips or tricks not mentioned in the above article? We’d love to hear about them. You can post your comments below.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
June 7th, 2017

New Hi-Viz Orange Cleaning Rod Guides from Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports Cleaning Rod Bore Guide Orange PVC Delrin O-Ring Seal

Here’s a new product we like — Creedmoor’s extra-long, fitted Cleaning Rod Guides (aka Bore Guides) that offer a port for adding solvent. We like the distinctive bright orange color. That helps you quickly identify your rifle on crowded cleaning bench.

Why a Rod Guide Is Needed for Proper Bore Cleaning
A good Cleaning Rod Guide ensures that your brushes and jags are centered in your bore, so you don’t get uneven wear in your throat. Moreover the guides protect the action raceways, blocking liquids and debris from entering the trigger group. The port helps you add solvent without making a mess or spilling on a fine stock finish.

The orange Creedmoor Cleaning Rod Guides have some nice features. They are long enough so that you can avoid removing larger optics and include a port to apply solvent. The O-ring at the front provides an additional seal for the chamber. These Rod Guides are designed for specific action types and chamberings for proper alignment. Creedmoor’s Bore guides cost $24.95. That’s quite a bit less than some other vendors’ fitted cleaning rod guides. Current offering are:

Rem 700: .222, .243, 6.5 Creedmoor, .280, .300, .308
Tubb Rifle: 6.5 Creedmoor
Ruger Precision Rifle: 6.5 Creedmoor
AR Platform: AR-10, AR-15

TIP: When using any cleaning rod guide, you should cover the rear of the stock with a towel to prevent any solvent from touching the stock. Solvents can harm find wood, painted, and hydro-dipped finishes.

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 2nd, 2017

Bore Cleaning 101: Speed Up the Job with a Wash Bottle

Wash Bottle

rifle bore cleaner bottle

Small patches are not very efficient at distributing bore cleaning liquids inside your bore. The problem with a tight-fitting patch is that the solvent gets squeezed off in the first few inches. You can switch to a smaller jag, or a bore mop, but there is an even better way to get an ample amount of solvent in your bore. Just spray directly into the bore with a wash bottle, an inexpensive plastic bottle with an L-shaped dispensing neck, tapered at the end.

When using the wash bottle, you can either just plug the breech and spray from the muzzle end (where most copper fouling is), or, alternately, put the wash bottle neck directly in the chamber and spray forward. When spraying from the chamber forward, you may need to use a rubber O-Ring to seal off the action… depending on the bore size and the particular wash bottle’s neck spout diameter. We prefer to plug the breech ans squirt from the muzzle.

Bottle Solvent Application Great for Smaller Bores
Using wet patches or wet brushes is an inefficient way to really saturate the tight bores of 17s, 20s, and 22s. Even with a cotton bore mop, most of the solvent will be squeezed out before it gets to the end of the bore, where most copper fouling occurs. For these smaller 17, 20, and 22-caliber bores, you can just take the wash bottle and stick the tapered nozzle right in the chamber. The tapered end will press fit in the throat, sealing off the chamber. With the barrel slightly nose-down, give the bottle a couple good squirts until the solvent mists out the muzzle. In just a few seconds, this will put more solvent in the bore than a half-dozen wet patches.

A solvent-filled wash bottle is also handy for wetting your brushes. It’s much easier to saturate a bore brush (without spilling solvent on your stock), by using the wash bottle. You can get wash bottles from USPlastic.com, Amazon.com, or lab supply stores.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
January 27th, 2016

Tech Tip: Wash Bottles Speed Barrel Cleaning

rifle bore cleaner bottleOne of our Forum readers complained that his 6mm jags fit very tight with patches, making it difficult to apply much solvent. The problem with a tight-fitting patch is that the solvent gets squeezed off in the first few inches. You can switch to a smaller jag, or a bore mop, but there is an even better way to get an ample amount of solvent in your bore — just spray it in with a “wash bottle”. This is an inexpensive plastic bottle with an L-shaped dispensing neck, tapered at the end. You can either just plug the breech and spray from the muzzle end (where most copper fouling is), or, alternately, put the wash bottle neck directly in the chamber and spray forward. When spraying from the chamber forward, you may need to use a rubber O-Ring to seal off the action… depending on the bore size and the particular wash bottle’s neck spout diameter.

Bottle Solvent Application Great for Smaller Bores
Using wet patches or wet brushes is an inefficient way to really saturate the tight bores of 17s, 20s, and 22s. Even with a cotton bore mop, most of the solvent will be squeezed out before it gets to the end of the bore, where most copper fouling occurs. For these smaller 17, 20, and 22-caliber bores, you can just take the “wash bottle” and stick the tapered nozzle right in the chamber. The tapered end will press fit in the throat, sealing off the chamber. With the barrel slightly nose-down, give the bottle a couple good squirts until the solvent mists out the muzzle. In just a few seconds, this will put more solvent in the bore than a half-dozen wet patches.

A solvent-filled wash bottle is also handy for wetting your brushes. It’s much easier to saturate a bore brush (without spilling solvent on your stock), by using the wash bottle. You can get wash bottles from USPlastic.com, Amazon.com, or lab supply stores.

Permalink Tech Tip 16 Comments »
September 21st, 2014

Solvent-Resistant Cleaning Jags Eliminate “False Positives”

Brass jags perform well for their intended purpose — with one hitch. Strong copper solvents can actually leech metal from the jag itself, leaving the tell-tale blue tint on your patches. This “false positive” can be frustrating, and may lead shooters to over-clean their barrels.

Nylon JagGunslick Nylon Spire-Point Jags
There are now some good alternatives to brass jags. The best may be the Gunslick® Nylon Snap-Lock™ jags shown at right. These never leave a “false positive”. A while back, Larry Bartholome, past USA F-Class Team Captain told us: “The best spear-type jags I have used are the GunSlick black nylon tips. I have used the model 92400 for the last couple years in my 6BR and 6.5-284s. Unlike the white plastic jags, these are strong and there’s no brass to worry about.” You can purchase these nylon jags directly from GunSlick just $1.49 each. At that price, they’re worth a try.

#92400 for 22 through 270 calibers: $1.49
#92421 for 30 through 375/8mm calibers: $1.49
#92423 for 38 through 38/9mm calibers: $1.49


MidwayUSA Nickel Cleaning JagsTipton Nickel-Coated Jags
If you prefer a metal jag, consider the Tipton Nickel-coated Ultra Jags, sold both individually and as a boxed set. All Tipton nickel-plated jags have 8-32 thread, except for the .17 caliber jag which has a 5-40 thread. The vast majority of user reviews have been very positive. A few guys have complained that the nickel-plated Tipton jags run oversize, but we use a .22-caliber jag in our 6mms anyway, so this hasn’t been a problem for us. Both the .22 cal and the .243/6mm cal nickel-plated jags cost $3.08 each at Midsouth. The complete 12-jag set, covering .17 to .45 calibers, including a flip-top carry case, is offered by Midsouth Shooters Supply for $17.62 (Midsouth item 094-500012).

Tipton also makes a nickle-plated 12-Jag Kit in a flat version with a see-through top. Sold by MidwayUSA for $16.99, this features an easy-to-use, clear-topped fitted caddy that can lie flat on your bench, or be attached vertically (to save space).

MidwayUSA Nickel Cleaning JagsMidwayUSA Nickel Cleaning Jags


Clear-Coating Your Brass Jags
If you’re reluctant to give up your collection of brass jags (after all they’ve worked pretty well so far), try covering the jag itself with a thin, transparent coating. Forum Member BillPA says: “I give the brass jags a coat of clear lacquer or acrylic; that works for me”. You may need to experiment to find a coating that stands up to your favorite solvent. BillPA says: “The only solvent I’ve found that eats the lacquer off is TM Solution. Butch’s, Shooter’s Choice, or Wipe-Out don’t seem to bother it. Most of the time I use rattle-can clear lacquer”. If you’re feeling creative, you could even color-code your jags by adding tints to the clear-coat.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
February 18th, 2014

New Bore-Tips Foam Bore Swabs for Barrel Cleaning

Wouldn’t it be nice to dispense with patches and jags when cleaning your guns? The folks at Super Brush, LLC, had the same idea, so they invented Bore-tips® swabs. These reusable foam “mops” provide 360° of contact with the bore, reaching both the grooves and the lands. Bore-tips thread onto standard cleaning rods. They are offered in a variety of sizes, from .22 Caliber up to 12 Gauge. Rifle Bore-tips come in .22 (5.56mm), .243 (6mm), and .308 (7.62mm) diameters.

Bore-tips foam bore swab

We saw samples of this new product for the first time at the Berger SWN. We’re intrigued. The product may be useful for some applications, particularly pistols and shotguns which require minimal brushing. For rifles they do a good job of applying solvents because they hold more liquid than a patch. However, you probably won’t want to abandon your jags and patches. Sometimes a tight-fitting patch is still the best tool for the job. Patches are cheap and it’s easier to discard a used patch, rather than fuss with cleaning foam swabs. But for shotguns (and lightly used pistols), these things make sense.

Bore-tips® Claimed Benefits:
• Each tip is reusable and can be cleaned with solvents or soap and water.
• Tough and fiber-free, Bore-tips will not shed or leave lint behind as cotton will.
• FAST PATCHLESS CLEANING — solves the shortcomings of the jag and patch.
• Foam fills the lands and grooves of the rifling, not sliding over the top like a patch.
• Quick threading on a standard 8-32 cleaning rod. Shotgun sizes use a 5/16 x 27 rod.
• Can be used with most commercially available solvents and oils.

How to Use Bore-tips®
Bore-tips foam bore swab
Use a Bore-tip to apply solvent to the barrel. After allowing the solvent time to work, brush the bore to break up any fouling. Next use a clean Bore-tip to push the fouling out the bore. When the now dirty Bore-tip clears the bore, wet it with a little solvent and then squeeze it with an absorbent rag or paper towel, this will blot the dirt off. After blotting the Bore-tip should be clean enough to continue using to remove the fouling until you are finished cleaning. When you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your barrel, use a clean Bore-tip to dry the bore.

Click for Full-Screen Images
Bore-tips foam bore swab Bore-tips foam bore swab

How to Clean Bore-tips®
Bore-tips foam bore swab
For faster cleaning, apply mineral spirits to the Bore-tip and squeeze/blot into an absorbent rag or paper towel. When the Bore-tip is clean, let dry and reuse. Using soap and water, squeeze to blot out any excess solvent or dirt. Next, wash the Bore-tip with a grease-cutting soap and warm water. Once clean, rinse then let dry completely. See cleaning video below:

Bore-Tips Foam Swab Cleaning Demonstration

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 5 Comments »
April 1st, 2013

Clean Your Barrels in Seconds with New Powered Bore-O-Matic

Are you tired of messing with cleaning rods, bore guides, stinky solvents, and messy JB patches? Can’t wait hours for bore-foam products to work? Well now there’s a new solution ideal for all pistol, shotgun, and rifle shooters. With the new Bore-O-Matic cleaning machine, you can clean your barrels in seconds. Remove copper, powder fouling, and even hard carbon in one ultra-fast operation. The Bore-O-Matic uses a self-deploying snake fitted with a bronze brush to instantly rout out all types of fouling. A powerful 0.5 horsepower electric motor spins the brush at 200 rpm as it snakes its way through your bore, eating away fouling, and leaving a “squeaky clean” interior finish in its wake.

Bore-o-matic barrel cleaner

The Bore-O-Matic is easy to use. Simply squirt your favorite solvent* in the barrel, fire up the motor, and let the Bore-O-Matic power its way down your barrel. In seconds you’ll have a perfectly clean bore. Since the Bore-O-Matic’s flexible drive shaft is plastic-coated, no harm can be done.

Bore-O-Matic inventor Tom Bugiardo says that the Bore-O-Matic is perfectly safe for your fine match barrels. “We’ve seen how top competitors brush their barrels like crazy, and frankly, we’re just doing the same thing, but with a motor to minimize the labor.” Additionally, Bugiardo says that the bronze brushes used on the Bore-O-Matic can’t possibly harm your bore. “We all know that bronze is softer than steel so there’s absolutely no risk”. Some potential buyers were worried about the rapidly-spinning bore brushes rounding off the edges of lands or damaging the crown. “Horse-pucky” says Bugiardo, “We’ve researched this extensively on internet gun forums, so we’re 100% confident that running a powered bronze brush at 200 rpm down your barrel can’t harm a thing. Trust us.”

Because the Bore-O-Matic spins as it runs down the bore, gyroscopic forces self-center the cleaning brush. So, no cumbersome (and expensive) bore guides are needed. “Just feed that puppy right down the barrel, and say ‘goodbye’ to barrel fouling forever”, says the inventor.

Bore-o-matic barrel cleaner

Along with the $189.99 benchtop Bore-O-Matic unit, a smaller $99.99 hand unit is available. When working in tight spaces, or when cleaning at the range, the battery-powered Bore-O-Matic “Hand-Jobber” is ideal. The Bore-O-Matic handheld unit conveniently fits in a range box and runs off long-lasting, rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries.
Bore-o-matic barrel cleaner
With the compact Bore-O-Matic “Hand-Jobber” you can also easily dip the attached cleaning brush in a tub of JB or Iosso bore cream. Bugiardo tells customers: “Slather that JB on your brush and run ‘er right in the muzzle if you want a mirror finish in your bore. Remember, nothing says ‘pride of ownership’ better than a bore that shines like a spit-polished diamond!”

Currently the Bore-O-Matic is available only from Bugiardo’s company, TB Plumbing Supplies, in Lizella, Georgia (no website yet). Bugiardo expects the product will soon catch on with shooters nationwide and it will be carried by major retailers and online webstores.


*With its high-speed rotary brush, the Bore-O-Matic is so efficient that you don’t need expensive, specialty solvents. Bugiardo uses a simple solution of Windex, Ammonia, Drano Gel, and baking soda. “Makes my barrels shine, inside and out”, Bugiardo says.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 14 Comments »
December 11th, 2012

Dewey Offers Aluminum Jags and Aluminum-Tipped Rods

For decades shooters have used brass jags attached to brass-tipped cleaning rods. These work effectively. But there is one problem. Many bore solvents will react with the brass metal to give “false positives”. You can get bluish-green patches even when there is no copper fouling in your bore.

To solve this problem DeweyRods.com offers a full line of aluminum jags, aluminum brush adapters, and nylon-coated cleaning rods with aluminum tips. Dewey explains: “Ammonia-based solvents attack copper & brass but also leave your patches a blue-green color so you are never sure if your bore is truly clean of copper. Our aircraft-grade aluminum has the same hardness of brass, it will not embed impurities or harm your bore, and ammonia will not attack it.” As shown below, along with caliber-specific aluminum jags (center), Dewey now offers aluminum thread adaptors (left) and aluminum-shaft brushes (right).

Dewey Aluminum Jags

New Dewey ‘Copper Eliminator’ Cleaning Rods
These new rods have the same nylon coating and handle assembly as Dewey’s standard coated rods, but they feature a chemical-resistant, 8/32 female-threaded, aluminum ferrule. No brush adapters are required. Each rod is supplied with a male-threaded aluminum jag. Dewey charges $39.95 for these rods, but you may find them slightly cheaper at other vendors.

Dewey Copper Eliminator Cleaning Rod

Copper Eliminator Rods are currently offered in two diameters (.22-.26 Cal, or .27+ Cal), and three lengths: 36″, 40″, 44″. Listed rod lengths do NOT include handle assembly. One last note: Dewey cautions users to avoid TM Solution, because this solvent may harm Dewey’s nylon rod-coatings.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
November 1st, 2011

NEW O-Ring Aluminum Jags from Sinclair International

Sinclair Int’l is now selling a new line of O-ring-equipped aluminum jags made by The Custom Shop (TCS). These unique TCS O-Ring Jags are crafted from aluminum so they won’t react to solvents. The O-rings hold the patch firmly against the bore surface to efficiently clean powder, lead, copper, and plastic fouling. There are shapes and sizes for pistols, rifles and shotguns. Rifle jags come in sizes .22 (J22), .243 (J2436mm), .257 (J25725Cal), .270-6.8mm (J27068mm), .284 (J2847mm), .308 (J30RP), .338 (J338RP), and .50 Cal (J50). The “RP” models do double-duty for large-caliber rifles and pistols.

O-Ring aluminum cleaning Jag

We haven’t tried these jags yet, but we think the O-rings may be a good idea. As with any aluminum-bodied jag, be sure to keep the jags clean, as hard particles and debris can become embedded in the aluminum surface. You don’t want to drag embedded debris across your delicate rifling. The TCS jags range in price from $9.95 to $10.95.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
December 21st, 2008

CARB-OUT — If It's Good Enough for Tony B…

Tony Boyer, all-time benchrest Hall of Fame points leader, has had a spectacular year, racking up many major wins. Of course, most of that success is due to his shooting skills, but Tony also benefitted from his superb Bartlein gain-twist barrels, and a new bore-cleaning product, CARB-OUT™ from SharpShoot-R™ Precision Products of Kansas. Boyer has been using CARB-OUT for the past year, and Tony enjoyed one of his best seasons ever. The use of CARB-OUT has helped Tony to remove carbon from his match barrels, reducing the need for abrasives. CARB-OUT, we’ve found, can also reduce the amount of brushing you need to do.

SharpShootR Precision Carb-Out solventOur friend Boyd Allen tested CARB-OUT on a rifle that had stubborn carbon fouling. Boyd had previously applied conventional solvents which did a good job of removing copper and conventional powder fouling. However, when examining the barrel with a borescope, Boyd saw heavy “burned-in” deposits of carbon. In this situation, Boyd observed, scrubbing with an abrasive such as Iosso or JB would normally be required. But Boyd had received a sample of CARB-OUT and Boyd decided to give it a try: “After working with a nylon brush and patches, getting all that I could out, I was able to see heavy carbon next to the lands, extending forward. This I removed by wetting the bore with the nylon brush, letting it soak for 20 minutes, and brushing with a bronze brush. I did this twice. Previously I would have expected to have done a lot of strokes with an abrasive to get the same result, since this was a worst case situation. Being able to to remove hard carbon without the use of abrasives is a ‘great leap forward’ to steal a phrase”.

Using this regimen, Boyd was able to remove the stubborn carbon. “CARB-OUT really works”, Boyd told us. “This was that baked-on black stuff that normal solvents won’t touch. After a good soak, the CARB-OUT on a wet [bronze] brush knocked it out.” Boyd observed, “Others may differ, but after using this stuff, I think abrasives may be a thing of the past.” Boyd observed: “If Boyer, who has been at the top of the BR heap for years, believes in the stuff… that’s significant.”

While Boyd used CARB-OUT with a bronze brush, Terry Paul says the product is designed to work well without brushing. For the typical type of carbon fouling seen in barrels, Terry says: “You simply put it on a patch or a mop and swab it thru the barrel. CARB-OUT also leaves behind a protective coating that prevents future carbon adherance. This coating is less than 100th of a micron in thickness, so it will not affect first shot accuracy.” For more info, visit SharpShootR.com, or call (785) 883-4444.

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »