Is your airgun barrel REALLY clean?
by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I want to tell you about a barrel cleaning process that often improves accuracy. Got your attention?
Airgun barrels don't normally require cleaning
It's true that many Olympic and world-class target shooters never clean their barrels. Those who do clean use only felt cleaning wads they either shoot through or push with a rod. A few still use patches, but no solvent is ever used in their guns. Probably the favorite bore protectant used by champions is Tetra Gun lubricant. They have heavily marketed the 10-meter shooting world and are recognized everywhere.
Tetra Gun lubricants are widely used by the world's top target shooters.
If you're going to clean, do it right!
The procedure I am about to describe has always produced great results for me. On some AirForce PCP rifles I own, it has added as much as 100 f.p.s. and tightened the velocity spread. On spring guns, it often removes a lot of latent rust from the bore. And, in airguns that routinely shoot faster than 1,000 f.p.s., it removes lead from the rifling. This procedure is used by nearly all world-class benchrest shooters. AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY, it won't harm your bore! If you get lazy while doing this, you could ruin your gun!
J-B Non-Embedding Bore Compound cleans the barrels of some of the world's top benchrest guns.
Use J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound
The following method WORKS ONLY ON STEEL BARRELS! Use a magnet to determine if your barrel is steel - inside and out. Some lower-priced airgun barrels are often rifled brass tubes inside steel tubes. Don't use the following method to clean them!
To clean your steel barrel, put so much J-B Compound on a brass brush that the tips of the bristles barely show on the sides. Then, run the brush through the bore completely and pull it back again. It's best to work from the breech, but you can't always do that. With careful work, you can go in from the muzzle just as well.
Run the brush through the bore in both directions at least 20 times. Don't get hung up on the number of passes, though. You'll feel the roughness of the bore start to smooth out after a few passes. That's what we're after! You'll probably be removing patches of rust, rough machining marks from manufacturing (possibly, if the gun is relatively new) or lead. If you shoot Crosman Premiers or any other Crosman pellets in your gun at velocities above 900 f.p.s., you will be removing their deposits.
Things to watch!
1. DO NOT let the cleaning rod rub against the sides of the muzzle! This act has ruined more military rifles than combat.
2. The J-B Compound WILL get into the air transfer port of nearly all PCP rifles. AirForce guns are the exception because their port is in the removable air reservoir. When you shoot again, some J-B Compound will get back into the bore. Plan on cleaning the bore several times after you start shooting again. Cleaning pellets shot through the gun may be a good way to do this.
3. Be VERY careful cleaning airguns that have repeating mechanisms. The J-B Compound will not do any good in those revolving cylinders and complex reciprocating metal parts!
4. Don't clean more often than ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! That will probably be just one time for most airguns.
After using J-B Compound, clean it out!
Remove all traces of compound with dry patches. If you must oil the bore, use a metal penetrant such as Tetra Gun, Kroil, Sheath or Sweetshooter. Do NOT use Beeman Pena-Dry - it promotes rust on bare steel surfaces!
I know today's post has a lot of warnings and capitalized words. I don't do that for most of you, but there are a few guys who hear a snippet of information and charge off to change the universe! I tend to be one of them. The warnings are for people like me. Please heed them!