Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, December 19, 2005

Clean your barrels for extra accuracy

by Tex Force

This week's topic is in response to a comment that came in last Saturday. It was posted to the RWS 34 blog. "Use a brass brush to clean my barrel! I'm new to air gunning but I know not to use a wire brush in my barrel!

If you have only inexpensive American airguns, that advice is good, because many American airguns have brass barrels. They should never be cleaned with a brass brush because it would scratch the bore as it passed through. In fact, you should probably never clean a brass airgun barrel at all! Airgun barrels don't get dirty from the same things as firearms. There is no combustion taking place, no lead melting from the heat of burning gasses nor is any lead being scraped off and ironed into the barrel metal. Any dust that settles in the bore of an airgun gets scraped out when the next pellet goes through. In a sense, airgun barrels take care of themselves.

Steel barrels are a different story
Steel airgun barrels are just as tough as rimfire barrels.
The big difference is the depth of the rifling. Airgun rifling is about half as deep as rimfire rifling. Steel barrels do collect lead if the gun shoots very fast. Anything over 1,000 feet per second, and you can be certain lead is being deposited in the barrel. And, if you use any Crosman pellet, including Crosman Premiers, that velocity gets lowered to 800 f.p.s., because Crosman uses antimony in their pellets to make them harder. Antimony make a lead alloy that sticks to steel.

How to get the lead out?
There is one best way to get the lead out of an airgun barrel.
This way is used by many of the top field target champions in England, and it will not harm the bore. Use J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound on a bore sized brass brush. Apply the compound thickly to the entire brush, then run the brush completely through the bore, starting at the breech if possible. If you do it from the muzzle, you'll have to take extra care to not allow the cleaning rod to touch the side of the muzzle. If it does, the compound will wear away the rifling at the muzzle, which can cause inaccuracy.

J-B Compound is the ticket for best accuracy from a steel airgun barrel.

How many times to run the rod through? I could give you a number like 25, but what I do is feel how the rod binds and gets loose as it passes through the bore. That's the lead grabbing the brush. When that feeling goes away, I give about 10 more passes for good measure. The only spot that should still grab the brush is a two-inch length at the muzzle where the choke is. Better airgun barrels all have this spot, and it will never change.

Where do you get J-B Compound?
You can buy J-B Compound at better gun stores everywhere. Benchrest shooters use it in their rifles for the same reason. If you don't have a good gun store nearby, do a Google search to find hundreds of stores that sell it mailorder.

When the barrel is free from lead, you have to remove the J-B Compound.
Run several dry patches through the bore, and wipe the area around the breech and muzzle to get rid of all excess compound. When the bulk of it is gone, use a mild solvent or, better yet, a preservative gun oil on the next few patches. Alternate oily and dry patches until the patches start coming out clean. The rifle is now ready to shoot.

If you have a leaded barrel, this procedure will restore its accuracy. Don't do it more often than necessary, because any time you run a rod through a barrel there is a chance for wear at the muzzle.


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