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Bore Snake, Cleaning Rod or both


Buckshot Bear
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Cleaning rod. Hoppes #9. plenty of patches or old cut up t-shirts. nylon brushes for parts. bronze brush for bore.

Only time I use a bore snake is for a quick pass down the bore if I am at the range and caught in the rain/snow/sleet and want to be sure it is dry.

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Gateway Kid

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5 minutes ago, Turkey Creek Red, SASS # 22854 said:

BB,

 

I use bore snakes for the rifle and shotgun almost exclusively. My 2 cents. I am sure you are going to get a bunch of replies for the cleaning rod.

 

Thanks, a bore snake is something I've never owned but I can see the benefits of one. How dirty does the 'snake' part get eventually?

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3 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

 

Thanks, a bore snake is something I've never owned but I can see the benefits of one. How dirty does the 'snake' part get eventually?

Just rinse the snakes in a tub a hot soapy water as needed and hang them to dry.  The water can get really filthy - especially if you shot black powder.

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on these working guns i use the bore snakes for everything , im not sayin i dont have the rods - i do , i just found the snakes do a fine job with the ease of packing small , for CAS/SASS i keep a rod on my cart for the squib event , only needed it once for me , a few times for others 

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33 minutes ago, watab kid said:

on these working guns i use the bore snakes for everything , im not sayin i dont have the rods - i do , i just found the snakes do a fine job with the ease of packing small , for CAS/SASS i keep a rod on my cart for the squib event , only needed it once for me , a few times for others 

 

What diameter is your brass rod WK?

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I shoot 44-40 BP out of a Uberti 73. I use a bore snake with Murphy’s mix on the front half and Balistiol on the rear. Two passes. Of course, a 44-40 seals up nicely and all the fouling remains in the barrel.  
 

Ladies have been known to use a mess bag to wash their bras. These could be used to wash a couple of bore snakes. I wouldn’t know anything about that. 
 

That’s my story and I am sticking to it. 
 

Chancy

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I use both. I first use the rod with a brass brush a few times and then a few swabs and then I run the snake through a couple times just for extra measure. :)

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Switched from a bore snake to a Sqeeg-e and am delighted with the results.  It's easier to clean than the bore snake, easier to carry around, and two passes is usually all that's needed.  I use one for the pistols and the rifle, and have another for the shotgun.  

 

Note: Do not try to pull one through dry, and don't try to push it through.  It's a one way device meant to be pulled with a cable.

 

 

 

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First pass with the snake, so any debris is not pushed into the action...more important with my Lightning than my partially disassembled Marlin. I do the shotgun with a rod, because the snake gets too dirty.

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15 hours ago, Turkey Creek Red, SASS # 22854 said:

BB,

 

I use bore snakes for the rifle and shotgun almost exclusively. My 2 cents. I am sure you are going to get a bunch of replies for the cleaning rod.

 

Often referred to as a dirt snake by some, but I've grown to rely on them for cleaning the bore of my handguns, rifles and I recently bought one for 12 gauge. I'm not a BP shooter, so I can't comment on that application, but soap, hot water, BP fouling and a bore snake sound like a match made in Cowboy Heaven. 

 

Seriously, if I do my part and load ammunition that runs clean, IOW, no lead or minimal lead fouling, I find the bores to come nice and clean. I spray and bit of Ballistol on the section behind the bronze bristles, and one pass usually does it. On revolvers the forcing cone occasionally requires a bit of extra attention. Nothing beats a Lewis for that. On one old war dog of a Blackhawk I had a gunsmith "touch up" the forcing cone. Cowboy loads don't seem to erode the forcing cone, but a steady dies to 357 or 9mm does seem to do a number on it.

 

I haven't sold my cleaning rods, they do have their place. 

 

Interestingly, I seldom use Hoppes 9 on my Cowboy guns. H9 is a nitro powder solvent, but seldom come across powder fouling that bad to bring out the bottle of H9. 

 

I no longer use a bronze brush with H9, The bronze brush is used to brush out the fouling that isn't too stubborn, and if some stubborn and/or copper fouling is present, H9 is applied with a patch, and removed with a patch. The ammonia in H9 will eat the bronze bristles of the brush. 

 

Occasionally a patch with J-B is required, and if the bore needs a bit of shine, some Autosol. Autosol is probably very similar to Flitz.

 

Once I found a decent combination of bullet (alloy/size/shape) and a good lube, things got easier. 

 

BB

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9 minutes ago, "Big Boston" said:

 

Often referred to as a dirt snake by some, but I've grown to rely on them for cleaning the bore of my handguns, rifles and I recently bought one for 12 gauge. I'm not a BP shooter, so I can't comment on that application, but soap, hot water, BP fouling and a bore snake sound like a match made in Cowboy Heaven

 

That combination would work fine.  I even see some black powder shooters running a wet bore snake through their rifle during a match.  On a recent road trip shooting black powder I just squirted household cleaner with vinegar on the first third of a bore snake and pulled it through the bores.  I later oiled with a second, dry bore snake.  Like Long Hunter said, find a system that works for you.

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Some of ya'll may not have been 'round long enough to learn proper gun care.

 

Ya may have noticed the the cowboys nearly all started with their 45 or 44-40.

After a few years a shootin', the barrel kinds shrinks due to all that lead and crude.  Well you wait a bit, then figure out what caliber the new barrel is.

 

Then you switch to the proper ammunition.

That's why I'm now shooting 38's.

 

A couple friends that shoot a lot more than I are now down to 32's.

 

Eventually, the same guns will make great plinkers with 22's.

 

 

 

Now you can understand why the military left the 30 caliber for the 5.56, right?  :D:D:D

Edited by Marauder SASS #13056
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Experiment yourself.

IF shooting lead bullets, I do like to clean a little more than the snake alone - at least every so often.

Shoot the a pistol, then look closely at the barrel.  Then do the snake. (You can usually see the barrel better in a pistol to see if lead is sticking.)

 

Then follow with a bore brush wrapped with (real) brass scrubber wire.  This really get the lead about the best.  Look again for any lead falling out, shake the brush over a piece of white paper. Then use the brush to see how much lead you get out.

 

A little leading won't hurt but you do not want it to accumulate.

 

Also, you don't need to scrub too hard too often because you may actually wear the barrel and lands and grooves, especially at the ends.

 

Some expert modern rifle shooters recommend getting any powder residue out, but not worry about copper deposits.  They know that the first bit of copper is filling minor voids - smoothing the bore.  So if you clean that all out, the first couple shots merely replaces that filler.  They report as good or better barrel life.

Edited by Marauder SASS #13056
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No doubt I probably clean to often, but I'll chalk it up to habit from to many matches with BP.  I do it so often Sassy just expects it.;)

 

I like the bore snakes and use them often especially on cylinders, but I personally do not think they take the place of rod/patch/brush use with good solvents, dry patch, finishing with slightly oily patch before storing for week or so.  I am not particular to solvents although favor Windex/Vin and, more recently, KG-1 carbon remover.  Most of us who have been around in this game a long time probably have a few jars of Brownell's cleaning paste also. As to oils, I use my share of Ballistol but many other lubricants too, especially Lucas brands.  Heck, I even like the old standby 3 in 1.

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3 hours ago, Fretless said:

What are you pulling with the cable Max?

I just use my hand. I use 3x3 patches for 38's.

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OP is about rifles, but since others are discussing shotgun cleaning too, here goes. 

 

I use a 12 GA tornado brush on a stainless steel rod.  The rod handle is small enough to be able to follow the brush/coil through the bore.  I scrub the chamber and forcing cone area vigorously using the coil, with plenty of Hoppes #9 as a solvent.   Then I put a 4" square patch of soft cotton right on top of the Tornado coil and push it all the way through the bore, followed by the rod.  Pushing the rod on through eliminates the possibility of pulling debris back into the bore or chamber, or the problem of having to unscrew the coil from the rod after each pass.   The patches I use are Harbor Freight red shop rags, cut into quarters.  The bore comes mirror clean and gets a light lube from the Hoppes.  It takes only about a minute to clean a double bore, so I can do it easily right at the cart after every stage or two.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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I use a boresnake after Black Powder shooting in Shotguns and rifles.  Makes it nice and easy to pull all that beautiful blackness out thru the muzzle.

 

For all smokeless I prefer a rod.  Tried an Otis kit (nice Zombie kit with all parts required for AR, Shotgun and handguns).  It worked fine, but still prefer rods.  I keep the Otis kit in my range bag.

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Edited by Crazy Gun Barney, SASS #2428
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I use a 50 caliber bore snake to clean the most overlooked part of gun cleaning.....the magazine tube. Works great and if used regularly will slick it up with just one pass. I learned the hard way about keeping it clean.

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