Sniper's Paradise

Go for the X!

Written by cmshoot   
This isn't the process that I use everytime I clean a rifle. I do this process once a year on the rifles that I shoot heavily and on brand-new factory rifles before I break them in. I also recommend it for rifles that you know are heavily fouled, or are starting to lose their accuracy. It's also good for getting any moly, teflon, etc out of your bore.

This process does several things. The hot water heats the factory fouling up, softening it and making it easier to remove. It also heats the barrel, opening the pores in the metal and enabling you to get it really clean. I usually do this once a year to the rifles I shoot regularly as part of my routine maintenance. If you have a rifle that is really fouled this will clean it out. I also do this with brand new rifles that have factory, "non-match" barrels. Helps get any fouling out of the barrel from the test-firing and manufacturing processes.

A friend of mine bought a used, tuned PSS from a guy who complained that it wouldn’t group anymore, saying it probably needed a new barrel. I cleaned it after my friend shot it for .75MOA to 1 MOA groups at 100yds. After this cleaning process it was down to sub-.5MOA. A tuned VS fluted I used to own shot it’s best group ever, 5 shots into .26 inches at 100 yards, immediately after I did this to it for the first time.

This process has also helped in some rifles that had mild copper fouling problems. If you seem to have problems with excessive copper build-up after break-in, you might want to try one of the fire lapping kits by NECO or the David Tubb Final Finish system. They are the same with different names on them. I have used the NECO on a factory 700VS and it worked great. The good thing about the NECO system is that you can purchase it already loaded without having to load it yourself.

A less expensive method to firelapping is hand lapping. Personally, I prefer hand lapping.

For the intensive bore cleaning, you will need:

  1. A good, one piece coated cleaning rod (Dewey, Bore Tech, Tipton, etc.)
  2. Proper size cleaning jag (you can also use a bore brush one caliber smaller for this as it will hang onto the patch better)
  3. Patches
  4. Cleaning rod guide
  5. USP Bore Cleaning Paste, or Iosso Bore Paste
  6. Any gun cleaning solvent (I use Hoppe’s #9)
  7. The ability to boil water. If you can’t do that, just stop here and send your rifle to me for safe keeping, as you are too much of a danger to yourself with a firearm.
Some things that you don’t need, but it will make it much easier:
  1. A long funnel that will fit tightly in the chamber. I bought mine at an auto parts store. It looks like a standard funnel with a long, flexible hose attached, probably for work with transmissions or such. The end fits perfectly in a .308 chamber.
  2. A well-mounted bench vise with a pivoting head. You will be working with the barrel both horizontally and vertically, and it will get hot. I did this for years before I got a vise, the vise just makes it easier. If you don’t have a vise, use oven mitts and the kitchen sink.
  3. VFG bore cleaning pellets and jag (replaces the cleaning jag and patches)
  4. Rod stops

The cleaning process:
  1. Remove the barreled action from the stock. Here is where I grab the barreled action in the vise. I also place an empty 5 gallon bucket underneath where I will be working.
  2. Grab the barreled action in the padded vise. I use blocks of wood to pad the jaws for this.
  3. Rotate the vise so that the barrel is vertical and muzzle down.
  4. Insert your funnel into the chamber. Pour 1 quart of boiling water down the bore.
  5. Immediately turn the rifle horizontal and insert your rod guide.
  6. Coat a patch (or your VFG Bore Cleaning pellets) liberally with USP
  7. Lap the barrel 10X, with a stroke up and back being one stroke. Try to keep from going all the way out of the barrel on either end if you are using patches, as they can come off of the jag. The rod stops are great to use here if you have them. A piece of masking tape on the rod to mark the limit will work, also.
  8. Clean out the USP with 2 patches wet with Hoppe’s followed by a dry one.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for a total of 5X. This is enough for a new barrel. One that is excessively foul may need more, but I have never seen one that wouldn’t clean with 5 runs.
  10. After the 5th session, I run several patches with Hoppe’s through the bore and scrub out the chamber and receiver, also. Then I run dry patches down the bore and thoroughly dry the chamber and receiver. That’s followed by a little Tetra grease on the bolt ways for lube.
  11. Make sure there is no water on the outside of the rifle and reassemble into the stock, making sure to torque properly.