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Thread: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaumont, Texas
    Posts
    67

    Default Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    Hello everyone. Last year I purchased my first high power rifle with a stainless barrel. I've been through the break-in process and I'm very pleased with the results. I'm of the understanding that stainless barrels do not need to be cleaned as often as non-stainless barrels. Please give me your thoughts and comments on the frequency for cleaning a stainless barrel. This is a 30-06 used for hunting.

    John in Texas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    John,

    You are likely to get a slew of different answers but here is my take on this. I treat ALL barrels on center file rifles the same in that they are cleaned after a day at the range and if I hunt in nasty wet weather I'll clean them even if I do not shoot. I am not obsessive about it but I do keep them as clean as possible.

    I view a stainless rifle as something that will hopefully be a bit more weather tolerant on the outside but I do not believe it is a good idea to assume the same on the inside. I think the "less maintenance" idea of stainless is touted a bit too much.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    Dont over clean your barrel. I know severl precision rifle shooters who only clean their barrels every 700-900 rou ds fired.
    You are farm more likely to damage throats and crowns cleaning. It will then take several shots to refoul the barrel for it to settle back down

    Read gale mcmillans esay on barrel break in and why its a waste on new modern barrels

    Make sure you use a good bore guide and a high quality rod.

    I now clean when accuracy drops off or if i know it will be several months between firing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaumont, Texas
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    Thank you Philos and ny700 for your responses. We have both extremes. Very interesting. Anyone else care to weigh in?

    John in Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Monument, CO
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    Cleaning a barrel made of any material is based upon usage and dirt.
    Simply put, I mean clean it when it gets dirty , it has been a certain amount of time or you expect not to shoot for a certain amount of time.
    Remember that some the dirt in the barrel becomes harder to get out as time goes by.
    Don't believe that Stainless Steel doesn't rust .... It does. Plain and simple.

    if you are not going to be shooting clean the gun and oil it and put it away clean and oiled.
    When you bring it out after a haitus, clean and oil it again.

    You would never think to not have the oil changed in your car.
    Don't put a gun away dirty and leave it for time.


    Just my 2 cents worth.
    I am a professional gunsmith.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by CoGunsmith View Post
    Cleaning a barrel made of any material is based upon usage and dirt.
    Simply put, I mean clean it when it gets dirty , it has been a certain amount of time or you expect not to shoot for a certain amount of time.
    Remember that some the dirt in the barrel becomes harder to get out as time goes by.
    Don't believe that Stainless Steel doesn't rust .... It does. Plain and simple.

    if you are not going to be shooting clean the gun and oil it and put it away clean and oiled.
    When you bring it out after a haitus, clean and oil it again.

    You would never think to not have the oil changed in your car.
    Don't put a gun away dirty and leave it for time.


    Just my 2 cents worth.
    I am a professional gunsmith.


    I would say he nailed it.

    I have a rifle I have owned for 26 years and it was used when I bought it. I keep it clean and it is very accurate. I have no idea how anyone could over clean a barrel unless they use wire (bronze) brushes too often or super harsh chemicals. Stick with proven cleaning solvents and oil and it will serve you well for decades-stainless or not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaumont, Texas
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    What I'm gathering from this is just use good common sense when it comes to taking care of your investment. Thanks guys for reminding me of something I knew all along and just needed to hear it again.

    John in Texas

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Philos View Post
    I would say he nailed it.

    I have a rifle I have owned for 26 years and it was used when I bought it. I keep it clean and it is very accurate. I have no idea how anyone could over clean a barrel unless they use wire (bronze) brushes too often or super harsh chemicals. Stick with proven cleaning solvents and oil and it will serve you well for decades-stainless or not.
    Not so much as overclean. But cleaning a barrel with bad equipment or improperly can cause a lot of damage. And somepeopke really aggressivly clean and cause unneeded wear.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    http://www.6mmbr.com/gailmcmbreakin.html

    I really liked mcmillans takr on this.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    eugene, oregon
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: Cleaning Stainless Rifle Barrel

    I am not a big cleaner. That said, some of my guns shoot better clean than dirty so I clean them more as needed (sometimes as often as every 10 shots).Some require just a quick swab others need the chemicals and elbow grease. Here is a real life example of the extreme. A man I hunted with as a youngster (for probably close to 20 years) never cleaned his rifle. He took it out, hunted with it and put it up till next year. He never sighted it in and changed ammo brand and bullet weight at will. That old Rem 721 killed lots of game and he rarely ever shot at something he didn't hit well. That gun is probably still uncleaned. You just can't tell. I would do what feels right to you.

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