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Rules for cleaning weapons

Cleaning weapons, let’s look at the nuances.
Remember, Leskov left-Hander asked me to tell the Tsar-priest that the soldiers did not clean their guns with crushed bricks? Vaughn when even in Russia they thought about the abrasive properties of ceramics and the correct technologies for cleaning weapons!
Seriously, not so long ago, in remote places, the trunks were simply “spilled” with boiling water, then driven off with a ruff and wiped dry. But don’t rush to accuse your ancestors of barbarism. This same operation is performed for modern Pneumatics for collective use in very advanced cases, when the barrel is so leaded that it does not take any chemistry and mechanical devices. Physics comes to the rescue: due to the difference in the coefficients of thermal expansion, lead flakes safely peel off from the steel.
I don’t think there are any enthusiasts for a bubbling teapot or, God forbid, an electric drill as a drive for a brush.

How to properly clean the weapon
In order to avoid omissions, we should immediately say that there are a lot of legends, myths and opinions in this area of knowledge. The most radical of them: cleaning weapons is harmful. It is usually followed by those who ruined the barrel or the bolt group by wrong actions, for example, the wrong choice of lubricant. Or-you will laugh-owners of models with extremely difficult disassembly/ Assembly and access to the breech.
The author belongs to the group of “moderates” who believe that excessive passion for cleaning and lubrication, especially without a critical understanding of the essence of the processes, also does not lead to good. This is mainly due to long-standing experience, when the shooters had kerosene (then WD-40 spray), an alkaline composition and neutral oil. The weapons served with these components have served faithfully for many decades, failing for reasons unrelated to the chemistry used and the frequency of hygiene procedures. I will note, however, that all this applies to serial domestic guns, even high – class ones, as well as to civilian versions of the army rifle-OP-SKS, “Tiger”, numerous “kalashoids”.
With the advent of specialized chemicals on our shelves, especially aerosol ones, everything has become even easier. For example, the same legendary “Ballistol” allows you to simply wipe all the iron after a busy day of shooting and rain, pour it inside and out with this spray and do not worry about anything else until you get home, where you can already do cleaning in a more comfortable environment.
And, finally, “maximalists”, most often fans of high-precision shooting. People this way is the practice of thoroughness in everything. They usually prefer a compact, but still a cleaning center to a table covered with Newspapers. For example, such as in the photo, an extremely inexpensive Portable Maintenance Centre.
And it’s hard to disagree with them. See how well everything is thought out and conveniently done.
When you read the recommendations of the adherents of “high-precision”, you are surprised at the perseverance and scrupulousness, a purely scientific approach to removing different types of pollution. Imagine what practical experience and surgical precision of movements you need to have in order to use abrasive pastes to remove copper plating on match barrels!? In the Arsenal of their techniques, for example, the selection of chemicals for cleaning different parts of the chamber, methods that provide for special cleaning after each shot, the use of substances that are neutral to one barrel, but literally dissolve the metal of others. In short, if you have a burning desire to become a real shooter “Benchrest”, do not engage in partisanship– go out of the woods to the people and join the team of like-minded professionals. Moreover, there is no” Benchrest ” without regular competitions.
For the majority of people, all this is somewhere on the other side of good and evil. Therefore, let’s follow the well-known mathematical condition “necessary and sufficient”. Without stopping at the basics of preliminary procedures, such as the need to discharge and disassemble the weapon, prepare all the necessary accessories, etc.

Main stages in cleaning weapons
filling with an alkaline composition (solvent) of everything and everything that came into contact or could come into contact with the primer, cartridge case, bullet and, of course, powder gases during the shot;
proper cleaning;
lubrication of weapons.
For the absolute majority of cases and not exclusive weapons, the already mentioned “Ballistol” or the well-known ” Hoppes No. 9″.

The first one is extremely convenient to use, since it is made in the form of an aerosol, it successfully copes with all contaminants, including lead and copper plating, and is absolutely safe. And not only for wood or plastic bed, but also for your hands. Moreover, according to the manufacturer and numerous users, it has a bactericidal and generally terribly beneficial effect for the skin. “Hoppes”, on the contrary, is very toxic, so the author does not really like its relatively rare aerosol version. The dose can be snatched even in the fresh air. With their direct duties copes perfectly, perhaps better than “Ballistol”.
There are still a lot of modern drugs of similar action, there are much more effective, for example, the compositions of Shooter’s Choice, but many of them are narrowly specialized. For example, they can only be used for stainless steel barrels. If you are the owner of such a weapon, not too mass, carefully read the manufacturer’s recommendations.
So, the composition chosen by us is applied to all the places to be cleaned – the barrel channel, the shutter, the mirror (at the smoothbore), the gas outlet parts, the barrel outside-5-6 centimeters from the cut. Leave the entire farm to soak for 10-20 minutes.

Cleaning of weapons
Here we will need tools that are closely related to the features of weapons. Let’s look at everything in detail.

1.Ramrod

It has long been the custom that for rifled weapons it should be solid, for smoothbore-no difference, but more often composite. The approach is correct, given the caliber: you never know what can happen in a long tube whose inner diameter is less than a centimeter, so the requirements for strength characteristics in the first case are increased.
The material of the rod is also different. For smoothbore quite suitable wood, brass, for rifled only metal, necessarily in the braid, although the sale is strong on the bend and at the same time relatively safe products made of stainless steel. In any case, do not use aluminum devices, the oxide covering them will not yield to crushed bricks in terms of its abrasive properties.
Another mandatory condition for rifled barrels: the ramrod itself must rotate freely on the bearing installed in the handle, so that the cleaning devices when reciprocating go strictly along the rifling.

Actually, ideally, these options look something like this:
On the left, a ramrod for smoothbore calibers, two-section, length 86 cm, comes with a classic nozzle-visher SL. The right cleaning rod for a rifle .35 cal., 9 mm and above, single section, with bearing, length 91 cm.

2.Visher and patches

The chamber and the barrel section are “sacred cows” and should be handled accordingly. Therefore, the movement of the ramrod with the cleaning material (patch) always goes in one direction – from the breech to the muzzle. The introduction itself should be extremely accurate, and the contaminated patch on the exit from the trunk must be removed from the Vishera. It is very convenient to do this with vishers of modern design.

Compare: on the left, the classic type, familiar to almost all shooters, on the right – brass .22/.223 cal
Agree, the latter is very convenient to pin a branded or homemade patch (a square or round piece of cotton fabric, selected for the caliber), which at the exit of the barrel will simply fall off and fall into a carefully substituted vessel.
It is clear that the reverse movement should be no less accurate, so as not to damage even the soft brass edges of the rifling at the barrel cut. This will lead to the loss of accuracy of any rifled weapons, including pneumatic ones.
Smoothbore defects of the cut will also not add accuracy. And the visher here Willy-nilly will have to use the traditional one, in the slot of which a suitable size cloth is threaded and loosely wound.

3.Guides for cleaning

Several ambiguous devices, just serving to protect the chamber, the bullet entrance and the barrel section of a rifled weapon.
In the photo guides .30 and ABS3 .30 C30.
Let’s start with the second one, for cutting the trunk. The scope of its application is extremely narrow, mainly for some models, and all because, as we remember, the barrel is cleaned only from the Treasury to the muzzle. There are rifles where the manufacturer, as if on purpose, did everything to make it difficult to access the breech. But even here it is better not to resort to a 180-degree inverted technology.

Guides inserted instead of the bolt, according to authoritative shooters, with rare exceptions, do not give accurate centering of the ramrod, because they are made universal for a certain caliber. Meanwhile, each rifle has its own characteristics. In short, it is easier to protect USM from dripping reagents with a cloth, and center the ramrod on the eye, the main thing is not to rush and not to be nervous. Or thoughtfully, again slowly, choose a guide strictly for your weapon.

4.Brush

Here, too, there are enough nuances. In principle, you should remember two things: do not use soft polymer brushes (not to be confused with “puffers”), generously sowing torn bristles everywhere, and steel ruffs for rifled barrels. Only hard nylon and copper or brass. For smoothwall when removing lead and hard carbon, the use of steel mesh devices is quite acceptable.
In the photo: brass brushes and hard nylon under .30 and 12 calibers, as well as a powder puff that serves both for lubrication and for removing excess oil.
There are also brushes for cleaning the chamber. As a rule, they come as part of cleaning kits, but you can buy them separately, even on the handle.

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