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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got into a discussion last night with a buddy of mine from Houston. The lower floor of his house was flooded during the latest hurricane. So now he has traces of rust showing inside and outside the barrel - he asked for some advice. I suggested a copper bore brush for cleaning the interior rifling and copper wool for leaning the exterior of the barrel. His response: "Can't I just use a bore snake on the rifling? My snake has a section with a copper brush." At that point, I just sighed and told him he had nothing to lose by trying the bore snake.

This is just the latest example of something I run into constantly - folks insisting that the only thing they need to clean their firearm barrel is a bore snake. The way I was taught, a bore snake is great for a quick cleaning after you're done shooting for the day. But for serious cleaning you need a rod with a bore brush and patches along with the appropriate solvent (Hoope's #9 or Sweet's 7.62) and oils (RemOil, Ballistol, or whatever else floats your boat).

I've run into the "bore snake is all I need" line of thinking for so long, I'm beginning to wonder if my own thinking is all wrong. Maybe the latest advances in bore snake technology have eliminated the need for anything else and my cleaning kits are now obsolete. So I'd like to hear some thoughts on the subject.

What say you folks here? Is a bore snake alone enough for you or do you break out a cleaning kit for a deep cleaning of your firearms?
 

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Cowboy
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I read two subjects in your post.

1. How to remove minor rust from inside a barrel.
2. Is a bore snake good enough for proper cleaning of a firearm barrel?

Subject 1. Sure why not try the bore snake especially since he already has one. Sounds like your buddy may not have a copper brush.

Subject 2. I have two pistols that have approximately 2,000 rounds put thru them a year. Their exterior gets wiped down to remove body oil after every session. Interior of the barrel cleaned every winter with Hoppes #9. Roughly every 5 years a completed tear down (every piece is disassembled), sonic cleaned, oiled and reassembled.

Shotgun exterior get wiped down the same as the pistols. Bore snake down the barrel until the interior is shiny.

On the other hand my son meticulously scrubs his firearms after every use. I believe he has caused more wear by his scrubbing then I am at my other extreme.

The above is assuming smokeless powder. If you are talking black powder then you had better get in there like my son and get it cleaned quickly and reoiled with a non-petroleum based lubricate.
 

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Winston Smith Sent Me
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Boresnakes work fine for most of my cleanings but I do complete a more thourough cleaning from time to time (time dependent on how often I use said firearm).
 

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Newbie
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Bore snakes are great for that emergency cleaning when you don't have the proper tools. The draw backs of a bore snake are; you can't properly scrub the bore, you are pulling a cord saturated with carbon and other crap across the muzzle which wears on the crown, and they are less effective cleaners than a rod, used with a bore guide, using patches, a bronze brush and finishing with more patches.
 

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You can clean yourself up in the sink with a bar of soap and a rag if need be, or you can take a nice hot shower. That is the difference between between using a bore snake or properly cleaning a gun with a brush. But like everything else in this world people want a quick and easy "good enough" fix. And the funny thing is a basic cleaning kit with some patches can be had for around the same prices as a bore snake.
 

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Dogs breath
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I have a bore snake for every size caliber I shoot.


But,

I only use it at the range , only when target shooting for accuracy between rounds , or every 3 rounds , depending on caliber.

Those same guns do not see a bore snake when back at home .
They get the bronze/copper brushes, mops, and many , many patches.:thumbsup:

Just my :twocents:
 

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I have a bunch of them for use at the range and I keep one in the grip of my AR's for emergency's,when at home I use PRO Shot bench rest brushes and jags with a mix of 50/50 #9 and KROIL.If you want to clean them up take a large plastic spice bottle and drill a bunch of small holes in it and throw them in the washer with work duds then air dry,it's best done when the wife isn't around if you have one :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd like to thank everyone who chimed in on this thread. I learned a few things. For the record, this is my approach:

1. I have bore snakes for all my guns and pistols. After a day of firing at the range, on a hunt, or whatever, I clean with the bore snake. Especially important when cleaning the Mosin Nagant, as I do shot corrosive milsurp: bore snake with ammonia-based Windex before it goes back in the case.

2. When I get home, the firearm(s) I've used get a more thorough cleaning. Patches down the barrel with Hobbes #9, field strip and clean, RemOil treatment.

3. Whenever the seasons change, that's my cue to do a deeper cleaning. Strip down the firearms and clean thoroughly, Sweet's 7.62 treatment on the barrels, checking for rust (removed via steel wool on those rare occasions that I find any), RemOil treatment.

Yeah, I'm admittedly a little OCD about cleaning my firearms. But I see them like any other type of tool: you take care of them now and they'll work when you need them.
 

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Winston Smith Sent Me
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I'd like to thank everyone who chimed in on this thread. I learned a few things. For the record, this is my approach:

1. I have bore snakes for all my guns and pistols. After a day of firing at the range, on a hunt, or whatever, I clean with the bore snake. Especially important when cleaning the Mosin Nagant, as I do shot corrosive milsurp: bore snake with ammonia-based Windex before it goes back in the case.

2. When I get home, the firearm(s) I've used get a more thorough cleaning. Patches down the barrel with Hobbes #9, field strip and clean, RemOil treatment.

3. Whenever the seasons change, that's my cue to do a deeper cleaning. Strip down the firearms and clean thoroughly, Sweet's 7.62 treatment on the barrels, checking for rust (removed via steel wool on those rare occasions that I find any), RemOil treatment.

Yeah, I'm admittedly a little OCD about cleaning my firearms. But I see them like any other type of tool: you take care of them now and they'll work when you need them.
That is a solid conclusion and mirrors what I do.
 
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