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Cleaning 22 barrels

Discussion in 'Rimfire Forum' started by ricklee4570, May 28, 2010.

  1. ricklee4570


    Sep 11, 2009
    Why do so many on here recommed NOT cleaning the 22 rifle barrels? What is different about the rimfires from the center fires that makes cleaning them discouraged?
  2. Flipz


    Nov 9, 2009
    Um, thats a new one to me. I dont know why someone would suggest not cleaning a .22lr barrel. I clean my Sig 522 with both a rod & brush and also a boresnake. My personal opinion is that everything runs better when clean.

    If you were never to clean a barrel you would eventually have problems with built up residue in the bore and lead/residue in the barrel rifling.

    I dont know who you heard this from but I disagree.

  3. Never Nervous

    Never Nervous

    Aug 18, 2009
    Metro ATL
    I clean my 522 and 10-22 after every trip to the range. The 10-22 requires a lot more work (for me) to clean. Seems to shoot better.
  4. Because they don't need it.

    .22 LR ammo is slow enough to not cause a lot of copper fouling, the plain lead bullets don't seem to lead the barrel.

    You do more damage to a .22LR barrel with improper cleaning then you will by not cleaning it.

    I've also done testing and target rifles shoot better groups after about 50 rounds or so then they do with a clean bore.

    Centrefire rifles firing bullets at 2,500-3,000+ FPS leave a lot of copper fouling in the bore and need to be cleaned more often.
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  5. Twisted Steel

    Twisted Steel And Sex Appeal

    Apr 28, 2002
    I've seen people posting targets and noting "fouling shots", which I thought was interesting.

    Growing up, my father was religious about cleaning our shotguns and rifles, but we didn't have a rod that would fit a 22. The rifle as always been, and still is, extremely accurate.

    I cleaned it a couple years ago for the first time ever, and it started jamming, for the first time ever.
  6. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    Clean everything but the bore, clean the bore only when accuracy falls off.
    A lot of 22lr firearms shoot better with a seasoned bore than they do clean. Once clean a rimfire can take up to 100 rounds to return to good accuracy.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  7. Never Nervous

    Never Nervous

    Aug 18, 2009
    Metro ATL
    I guess my 10-22 is smarter than I am. :supergrin:
    Thanks for the info.

  8. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    I've shot a LOT of .22LR (NRA 50-foot program riflr and pistol team in college, etc)

    In bolt-action rifles shooting standard velocity you don't clean them often.

    Semi-auto pistols - there is a lot of lead and crud floating around. Clean often (maybe not every time if you are only shooting 50 rounds) to continue smooth functioning, especially the chamber and bolt face/extractor.. Pistols get DIRTY.

    Semi-auto rifles - no experience.

    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  9. Glock 17L

    Glock 17L *GLOCKAHOLIC*

    Jan 19, 2004
    Louisville Kentucky
    I clean my 22s after every range setion..
    I only clean from the chamber & also have a bore snake for use at the range..
    When you pull it threw lead shards fall out everywere & I use the Federal Copper washed bulk ammo mostly..
    Also I find that a .270" brush works great in the chamber to get all the lead crud out..

  10. Morgo


    Oct 12, 2002
    There's a big difference between not cleaning a .22 rifle as often as a centrefire and not cleaning the .22 at all.

    I really doubt any of the olympic .22 shooters use their rifles with several years worth of build up in the barrel.
  11. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  12. Actions still need to be cleaned and lubed if they are a bolt action rifle or semi auto pistol. Bloop tubes removed and cleaned as well.

    But no need to clean the bore often on a .22. Maybe run a rod down the bore every 5,000-10,000 rounds or once a year.
  13. ricklee4570


    Sep 11, 2009
    When you say run a rod down the bore, do you mean just a patch with some CLP on it to remove light powder foulling or do you mean to run a brush and patches with solvent?

    I have also heard some advocate NEVER using a brush on a 22 barrel.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  14. Brush and patches when it is cleaned.

    Brush isn't going to hurt a .22 barrel.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  15. Warhorse


    Jun 19, 2004
    Every time one of my firearms gets gets cleaned.

    It makes no difference to me if it's a centerfire or a gets cleaned.

    Yes, even the barrels on rimfires, it does nothing harmful to them.


    Dec 20, 2002
    Depends on the gun. My Mark II's bore has only been cleaned twice, and it probably didn't need it. The bore is smooth and shiny. I clean the action though.
    My S&W revolver OTOH has a rather rough bore, and like another poster, I got lead shards coming out when I clean it, it looks like tinsel. It has to be cleaned regularly.
  17. ChiefWPD


    Dec 25, 2004
    For my .22 caliber revolvers and pistols I clean around the action and mechanism but as for the bores, I run either a Q-Tip or a twirl of cotton on a stick, soaked in Hoppes #9 down the bores to clean, followed by a Q-Tip/cotton on a stick of CLP. Work for me.
  18. RedHaze

    RedHaze Handgunner

    Aug 23, 2009
    SE WA
    I run a boresnake through my 22's once in a while. But that's a far as it goes.
  19. Clem Eastwood

    Clem Eastwood

    Mar 7, 2004
    DFW, TX

    on the whole i agree with you, but i never use a steel core brush. i rarely use a brush at all. i clean my actions on my bolt guns about every other range trip. when i do clean the bore (when it starts to loose accuracy or when im going to be testing different loads) i dont even use a brush. i use a bore guide, a good dewey rod, a bronze jag and patches. i have had good success with this. but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

  20. You are completely correct. I didn't go into detail on cleaning methods.

    It's not the cleaning that harms a barrel, it's improper cleaning and cheap equipment that harms the barrel.