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How do you clean your bore?

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I got a Hoppe's 3-Piece Cleaning rod for cleaning my XCR and i can't get the patches to go in from the breech and I understand that I shouldn't stick the cleaning rod through the muzzle end. My solution is to stick the rod through the breech without the cleaning pad then put the cleaning pad on at the muzzle and then pull it through. This seems to work okay but is kinda of awkward. I think my problem is that the plastic attachment that holds the patch is too fat, it fits okay on it's own but once you add the patch it won't budge.

In any case, this was my first cleaning rod and I kinda self learned to clean the rifle (I watched a video on how to clean an AR-15 and went from there...) so I'm more than open to suggestions on how to clean and what tools to use.

Anyways, I have heard good things about the bore snake and was wondering if that's a better/easier way to clean.

So, what do you guys use? What brand of rod or bore snake do you use?
 

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Lex,

I use both sorta kinda. I tend to lean towards the Bore Snake. I have a one piece stainless steel cleaning rod. I'd suggest the single piece as opposed to a 3 piece rod that I have previously used for years. The 3 piece ones do tend to misalign and the you wouldn't want that edge to dig into the bore or the edge of one flare out and get that to gauge into your barrel. My one piece rod has had spiral scratches gauged into it so I believe it is possible. Get a polymer coated one and only use brass rod ends. Plastic do wear out and would bend if you push a patch through sometimes getting binded. If you try to pull out a plastic eye end the threads may strip and you'll haave to push is out one way or another. Don't use the patch push ends in rifles!!!! The are pretty much for pistols or larger bore rifles or muzzle loader types.

With chorme lined bores it is not necessary to do the complete cleaning ritual of solvent, bore brush, patches until they come out clean. In the Army it used to be (maybe still now) a soldier had to clean that weapon until it can nearly pass white glove inspection. That type of cleaning was instilled in me and to some extent I still follow that doctrine but I adapted it to a better result. It's called gun cleaning OCD. Trying to clean weapons to that degree will only accelerate wear specially when it comes to the M16 DI systems-specifically where the carbon ends inside of the bolt carrier and the methods we used to use to remove it. I no longer do that type of standard. I would let the bolt carrier soak in CLP (still the best for this) over night or something like Sweet's for a few hours. But that was the M16/AR.

As far as I would clean my XCR barrel I run a few patches soaked in Sweet's bore cleaner or Hoppe's from chamber to muzzle and just use a bore snake 5 to 10 times chamber to muzzle. If I use Sweet's I still run a patch with Hoppe's or CLP and then a couple of times with the bore snake dry. On a chrome lined barrel a bore brush is not necessary. The Bore Snake has some bore brissles and that is enough to get into the rifle grooves. I don't like to leave any traces of Sweet's without using Hoppe's or CLP afterwards b/c Sweet's is corrosive to copper and it is nearly impossible to remove all copper left in the rifling grooves, so the Hoppe's or CLP acts as a neutralizer. If you use Sweet's (or other ammonia based solvents-you'll be able to tell by the cat piss smell) you will notice patches that you pass through come out turquoise colored. This is the solvent dissolving the copper and it is the first stage of copper corrossion. If it is not completely removed the remaining copper will continue the corrosion process and it will etch into the barrel metal or chrome lining. That will also lead into bi-metal corrosion process (takes a while). Hoppe's solvent can be left in the barrel because it had lubricating properties in the solvent.

The XCR is a combat rifle, but it is a dream to clean compared to the AR. The only carbon retentive parts is the gas block and gas plug assembly and the gas piston specially the inside. What is cool about the XCR specifically is you don't have to return that gas piston to complete shiny like-new condition. Soak those parts in solvent or CLP and remove as much as you can. Then wipe dry and put together dry. I usually just drop the smaller gas pieces in to an extra Hoppe's or Sweet's jar, or use a small container full of CLP. I then use needle nose plier or my dental tool pick (only needed to clean my AR) to retrieve them after it has soaked for a while. Try to get an extra bottle of solvent to use it specifically for that.

A 3 piece rod was handy for field cleaning purpose but now Bore Snake does 2 jobs in one for field purposes. A cleaning rod would still be needed to pop out anything stuck in the chamber or barrel that can't be dealt with a snake, so don't throw them away! Otis makes the coolest compact cleaning kit. I had one but it got lost in the field. The pull though cable would handle anything and almost made the rod obsolete, but as I mentioned above not quite yet. The Bore Snake would make cleaning patches obsolete and the Bore Snake can be cleaned by simply soaking it in hot water and detergent and hand washing it (don't put it in a washer unless you want to spend an hour unwrapping it from the base of the agitator!) then put it out to dry in the sun. In an infantry squad an Otis kit and Bore Snake per soldier and 1 cleaning rod per squad is all what would be needed.
 

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I use the Bore Snake at the range and clean with Butch's Bore Shine / patches and followup with lightly soaked patch of Rem Oil afterwards.

I'ts remarkable how little cleaning is needed.

I do use CLP, TW-25 and Miltec-1 for lube (not all together).
 

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Thanks guys! I haven't fired my XCR yet and I hadn't given cleaning a thought. I guess its time to go get a bore snake!
 

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I strongly advise against using foam bore cleaners as I found out the hard way. The foam will get into the gas valve and break up the carbon but it will just sit there and form its own residue if you don't clean it afterwards. This results in reduced gas pressure and short stroking. I like to use Hoppe's #9 with coated cleaning rods or an OTIS system.
 

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+1 on the Bore Snake. I usually put Hoppes on the part of the Bore Snake around the brass bristles and a little oil on the back end. A couple pulls through and you've run the equivalent of a dozen or more patches. I use the Bore Snakes on everything, rifle and pistol.
 

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The only carbon retentive parts is the gas block and gas plug assembly and the gas piston specially the inside.
Do you have to remove the gas block to clean it, or can that be done with it still attached to the barrel?
 

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The GB is scrubbed the best I can while attached to the barrel. Although it can be removed it's not necessary or recommendable for wearing out screw and screw hole prematurely. You'll see that the gas plug is chromed and the carbon flakes off pretty easily.

BTW I'm talkng about the older gas block assy of course.
 

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+1 on the Bore Snake. I usually put Hoppes on the part of the Bore Snake around the brass bristles and a little oil on the back end. A couple pulls through and you've run the equivalent of a dozen or more patches. I use the Bore Snakes on everything, rifle and pistol.
PLUS - the Bore Snake is also washable (I know I am stating the obvious to most - so please forgive me).

I went to Wal-Mart and bought their one piece cleaning rods (they're blue aluminum with a "T" handle and made by Outers - I think?) and I setup one for patch and one for brush - generally for each caliber. They cost less than $10 each and are a lot nicer than the screw together variety that come in most 'kits'. I've further found that compressed air will remove A LOT of goop from in and around actions that I couldn't remove previously. 120 PSI and a fine tip blow gun, go a LONG way in getting into those sharply machines grooves. Just watch your eyes and wear appropriate protection. Hoppes No. 9 BURNS LIKE HELL when it contacts the eye!

If you don't have an air compressor, try canned air that is available from Office Max for cleaning computers. They have a nice small plastic nozzle extension that is great for getting into small areas.

Now for a HEAVILY CARBONED area, such as the chamber - I use a pistol rod/brush (removing the handle) and put it in a screw gun on low speed and brush away the tough stuff from the bolt side of things. This has worked especially well for AR15's
 

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+1 on the Bore Snake. I usually put Hoppes on the part of the Bore Snake around the brass bristles and a little oil on the back end. A couple pulls through and you've run the equivalent of a dozen or more patches. I use the Bore Snakes on everything, rifle and pistol.
That's exactly the way I clean all my guns. Over cleaning can be as bad as not cleaning enough. The XCR is a dream to clean. The only PITA part is the firing pin.
 

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After a glass or 6 of Bourbon I have to say " With a F**King Cleaning Kit", being the sarcastic Bastard I am. That said, with the 5.56 it is hard to beat the GI kit comes for the M-16. Clean from the breach if possible, don't want "trash" in the action or a dinged up crown now do we? Clean patch and you are done. :deadhorse: :popcorn: :clap: :party: :doh:
 

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Bore snakes are ok for field use,But if you want to get it really clean.a solid cleaning rod/jag/patch combination is the way to go.The is no way to get it as clean with a snake unless you wash it between each pass.To me it's kind of like taking a bath in dirty water.I will never again use a junky aluminum cleaning rod either,no offense to anyone that does,but it's just to much chance to scratch your bore with multipiece rods that can flex and touch/gouge/scratch your bore.I use a J.Dewey rod myself,that ain't cheap,but you do truly get what you pay for sometimes.
I think it's made from carbon fiber which won't scratch the bore even if it flexes.Also never use stainless brushes in a stainless bore as the two will gall and make a mess.Be carefull as well using brass jags with ammonia based(Sweets 7.62) copper solvents as they can dissolve some of the jag and give a false reading on the patches.
As I've said I use jags.They are caliber specific and fit the bore much better than a loop eye patch holder.Personally I think those things are worthless.One last thing,never clean from the muzzle unless there is no other way,If you must,they make bore guides that are designed to help reduce damage to the crown.The XCR lends itself to easy cleaning from the breach and there is no reason to do it otherwise.Rifles that have to be cleaned from the muzzle are where the boresnake shines.Just my :2cents:



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I had the hardest time with my troops cleaning their M4 barrels incorrectly, a lot of racked knuckles and cursing. Using the GI rods, three of them w/o handle, with a few threads loose on each one point the muzzle down to the ground. Drop the end without the brush through the breach end. Now you can pull the rod through the barrel. The sections that are loose will rotate with the rifling and help allow the brush to follow it. Unless you have a brand new brush you rarely even need to touch that handle section. Whatever mantra you have for number of brush strokes followed up by your patching regimen and you'll be good to go. If you collapse the GI handle section then run a rod through that little hole on top and you've got a T-Handle for working your chamber brush.

If you're like me, running a sectioned steel rod down a barrel I paid for sends chills down my spine. I keep GI rods in my kit in case I have a serious bore obstruction, it's the only thing that'll have a chance of removing if under stress. Mostly I use my pull through rod from Otis for routine maintenance and then swap to the Dewey for running JB paste once or twice a year for a good scrubbing.
 

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Hi lex,
I use all of the above. Bore snake at the range and in the field,an Otis stored in the pistol grip. A G.I. rod for stuck case removal.
Dewey rods are among the nicest of the one piece types but I seem to use my Kleen Bore brand coated one piece steel rods ($14) the most. I avoid brass and aluminum rods. They are weak and easily embedded with grit thus turning them into a kind of lapping rod. I will use slotted patch tips but prefer a good jag. I keep a pack of USGI M16 patches in my field kit 5.56 patches work well for me up to 6.5 mm. I use the 7.62/.30 cal patches up to .50 cal. to save some $$$ take a few patches to your local fabric store and pick up a few yards of matching cotton cloth.
 

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SemiCircle,
I have a couple of those. They are good to go IMHO. They also have the advantage of using common commercial threaded brushes instead of G.I. threaded.
Word of caution.
The universal patches that came with ours are not moment of stupid proof. The intent was good though, thread the patched into the the patch holder different ways for different calibers. One of my team mates did it wrong in fatigue induced moment of stupid and wowser, instant bore obstruction.
Luckily we were able to unscrew the cable from the patch tip and beat it out with a cleaning rod. Lesson learned.
After that we went with ".22" patches for the 5.56s and ".30 cal" patches for the 7.62's.
 

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Thanks, k88b. Appreciate the input. I'm ordering my cleaning gear today from Midway. I asked all of the local shops here about Militec-1 and I got the stinkeye from every one. The thing I've noticed about a lot of gunshops is if you ask about a product, gun, caliber, anything they haven't seen or heard of before, they default to the stinkeye. **Sigh**

Aussie, Prizm, anyone please come open a gun shop in my town. You'd steal the market... ;)
 
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