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Don't use a GI or any other type of screw {sectioned** together cleaning rod, it will ruin the barrel or barrel crown. This warning goes back to the early 1960's at least, I've said it myself many times, I've read it in Gun Cleaning books, but not in any Military TM Manuals as I recall.

Rather this is true or not I can not say, I have to assume it is. My question is: Has anyone actually had a barrel ruining experience using a sectioned cleaning rod, or personally know of such a case?

There is one in my Shooting box, or there use to be before all that other stuff I don't use covered it up. Today I decided to clean the Shooting box out because it was getting impossible to lift over the tailgate. Along with the mentioned sectioned cleaning rod I decided to discard several other items: including: Three boxes of black, "Lick em and Stick em" Pasters", seven white and four black Rapid fire spotters. One ball point pen with Ike's picture. Several amorfic items that had mold and appeared to be moving. A couple doz. of M1 enblock clips, and some GI issue M1 tools that nobody bothered with, countless plastic small bottles, which at one time had some mystery fluid in them. Three books of matches and a very smelly can of Carbide, also part of the Carbide lamp we used to smoke up the sights with. Wish I had a complete one of these lamps today, they worked...

The Golf bag faces the same fate next week. Art
 

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While I've never trashed a barrel using the steel cleaning rods, I have used them to remove a squib bullet, and stuck casings. They are very strong and work well for that.
 

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Just use mine for chamber brush handles.
 

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Art,

I just read a thread with this in the Accuracy section and was going to post something on it. You beat me to the punch again. Grin. I'm thinking maybe this should be made a sticky as well.

The matter of how much military cleaning rods and sectionalized rods damage the bore has been a SIGNIFICANT and long lasting topic of discussion since at least when they came out with the Model 1803 "Harpers Ferry" Rifle.

I won't start that far back, but I will start with the M1903 Springfield rifle's one piece "Garrison" cleaning rod many of us have used on them, Garands and M14's. The Field Manuals said to run the rod down the bore and then either attach the brush or patch and then PULL it out, so as to do the least possibility of damage to the bore and crown. Then you take the patch or brush off, wipe the rod, and stick it back down the bore for additional cleaning. It also mentioned making sure you wipe the rod clean each time before you stuck it down the bore. Mud, dust and especially sand on the op rod will score the barrel if it is on the rod and if it is then rubbed against the bore.

For years, there were many of us who believed that when the ends of the cleaning rod sections didn't align perfectly, that could lead to additional wear on the bore when the somewhat sharp or square edges of the rod section was rubbed against the bore. I also believe that when NM shooters used slightly softer barrels like those made by Hart in the old days, this may have been a factor. Hart barrels are excellent, but they generally only lasted about 2,000 rounds at peak NM accuracy and that's why we didn't use them on the Model 40A1 Sniper Rifle.

However, a couple of members of the Garand Collectors Association have been doing tests on original G.I. Garand barrels and using sectionalized cleaning rods to see how much they would wear the bore. They included accuracy tests and muzzle wear tests. I want to make it clear they did NOT bang up the crown of the barrel but they used a LOT of stress on the rods to give those uneven sections a chance to rub hard and wear the bore. They always started from the muzzle to give maximum possibility for the cleaning rod sections to screw up the bore. Their results amazed a whole bunch of us. Something like 30,000 strokes of the sectionalized cleaning rod did no discernable damage to the bore or accuracy.

OK, so was it shooting that caused so many WWII barrels to wear so badly at the Muzzle? They did additional tests and kept round counts and Muzzle Wear readings. Using an original barrel in NOS condition and firing something like 7,000 rounds, the barrel was still below a reading of "2" on the Muzzle Wear gage most of us use. So it wasn't the rounds fired either that did the really bad muzzle damage we have seen on original Garand Barrels.

I inspected a bunch of NM Garands for the Virginia shooting team a few years ago and though the Throat Erosion readings varied from OVER 6 to as much as over the reject limit of 9, the MW was always less than 2 1/2 !! They had taken great care no foreign contaminents EVER got on the cleaning rods and the lack of muzzle wear showed it.

Many of us believe it was how much dirt, sand, or foreign contaminants were in the bore AND how fast the barrels were fired that would have been responsible for the most Muzzle Wear on WWII Garand Barrels, as that's all that is left. A bullet coming down the barrel and forcing grit or sand against the sides of the bore is going to do damage.

OK, so what about M14's and M16's? No sweat, the chrome lining is harder than the steel of the sectionalized cleaning rods. So no need to worry about them at all, though the FM states one should always clean the M 16 from the breech so you push contaminants out the bore rather than dragging them down and back as can be done from the muzzle.

Not sure if I've covered everything, so if anyone has additional questions, please ask.
 

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They're somewhat abrasive (parkerized). That probably damaged Springfield and Garand barrels worse than the sectioning per se. But I'll agree they had some help from corrosive primer ammo.
 

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They're somewhat abrasive (parkerized). That probably damaged Springfield and Garand barrels worse than the sectioning per se. But I'll agree they had some help from corrosive primer ammo.
I have to say I'm not 100 percent certain, but I expect that would have shown up in the tests I mentioned above and it didn't seem to have made a difference.
 

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Thanks for the post gents, I have been pondering this for a couple weeks now... still like to use the ONE peace carbon fiber coated rods with a copper or nylon bore brush for a good scrub down...
 

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Cleaning rods

I read a post a couple of months ago on this forum where Ted Brown said that he uses a Dewey stainless steel one piece rod. I ordered it and a bag full of nylon brushes and sleep a little sounder knowing that I'm not hurting that old SAK barrel.

+1 on clearing squibs in the field with a sectioned rod.

Ole Silver
 

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I read a post a couple of months ago on this forum where Ted Brown said that he uses a Dewey stainless steel one piece rod. I ordered it and a bag full of nylon brushes and sleep a little sounder knowing that I'm not hurting that old SAK barrel.

+1 on clearing squibs in the field with a sectioned rod.

Ole Silver
I also prefer a one piece stainless rod for most of my cleaning.
 

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Oh, Fahrfignuggen !!!

OK, forgot something but I couldn't put a handle on it before.

Something else that has been brought up about Muzzle Wear on Garand barrels has been the gas escapage close to the bore and the fact the gas burns hotter once it hits the atmosphere. Something like when they hit an afterburner, I'm told. Add to that the fact traces of corrosive material from the corrosive primers would also be superheated for a very small amount of time when the gas hit the open air.

OK, I think I have it all now.
 

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I use one with shrink tubbing on it to clean one of my .50 cals., from the receiver of course. I have a J.Dewey ,but if I'm not carefull I bang my knuckles on the receiver. Same type of set up for the M1A. I use a smaller coated rod with a 22-250 case, with the base cut off, on the cleaning rod. The silght taper fits nice and snug in the flash suppesser. Every time you pull a patch through, it pops the case out. Remove the dirty patch,then slide everything back in, re-attach a clean patch and do it again. Have to be carefull with the brush. It will get stuck in the small .22 cal.hole if you pull to quickly.
 

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The Otis cleaning kit is the way I clean my barrels. The best system on the market. I will never use a one piece or screwed together rods ever again. I have a GI kit in all my M14 clones and would not dare use any of it but the chamber brush and combination tool.
 

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That Otis kit is what I went to for the .30 cal gas rifles. Try it, you'll like it. Easy to carry in your bag or shooting stool, too. I still have stainless and coated rods for the bolt guns and the AR, but we clean them from the breech end.

In re the article in GCA, this I don't know but somebody will. How many thousands of conventional rounds fired does it take to open up a M14 or M1 muzzle from zero (new) to 2.0 or 2.5? Was it possible to account for this in the cleaning rod testing?
 

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Squib

A Squib is a non-magical person who is born to at least one magical parent.

Thar ya go Matey's!!!

Harrrrrrrrr.......

Ole Silver
 

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In re the article in GCA, this I don't know but somebody will. How many thousands of conventional rounds fired does it take to open up a M14 or M1 muzzle from zero (new) to 2.0 or 2.5? Was it possible to account for this in the cleaning rod testing?
The Otis cleaning system is a great piece of gear. The owner came to the Rifle Team Equipment Repair shop at Quantico in the mid Eighties to demonstrate the system and he gave us all one each of them. I was a Gunny at the time and was a bit skeptical of the system until he demonstrated it. He allowed us to drive a fired cartridge case into a chrome lined barrel so hard we literally hammer welded it into the chamber. With just three or four taps with the rod, it drove the case out slick as you please. Extremely impressive. I have often used the system since and it really is great.

On how many rounds fired to open up a barrel to 2.0 or beyond is not easy to demonstrate as there are so many caveats.

First, let's take the easy one. You will not see near the MW in a chrome lined M14 barrel as you would see in a non chrome lined M1 or non chrome lined M14 commercial barrel. In a chrome lined barrel, the throat erosion is going to ruin a barrel long before MW from bullets fired becomes an issue. So, if you have a chrome lined barrel and even if you fire junk ammo through it, MW will not be a serious factor before the barrel is worn out - though you could ruin such a barrel with junk ammo in other ways.

For standard or non chrome lined barrels, it still is not easy to explain at what reading a certain number of rounds fired will open up the MW as far as GENERALLY speaking. The reason for that is there is so much variation on what the barrel reading was when new. During WWII, M1 Garand barrels were made fairly tight. Generally speaking when new, they were well under a reading of 1 or less. Some WWII barrels started out just over 0 or no more than .5. After WWII, they allowed the barrels to be not as tight and many new barrels had a reading of 1 to 1.5 when new. So, you have to know what the barrel was when it was new to give even a somewhat accurate assessment of how many rounds brought it to the condition we find them in nowadays. Of course, that is not really possible for most barrels to know what reading they were when new. Further, no one is going to do extensive testing of many M1 or other barrels and pay for all that ammo and time to get a true scientific analysis. I have to put just some of the caveats down so folks may understand why there is no hard and fast rule about when you check a MW reading, how many rounds have been fired through that barrel.

So I don't have to retype a whole bunch, I also suggest anyone interested go back and read what I wrote about the NM M1 Garand barrels I inspected and how the MW readings were still so tight even when the TE's were so high. This lends credence to the fact the U.S. military never had a MW gage that was regularly used by 3rd Echelon and higher maintenance units like there were Throat Erosion gages for the M1, M14 and even M16 rifles. Had MW been important enough in the life of a G.I. barrel whether or not it was chrome lined, they darn sure would have issued a MW gage.

I won't retype the entire GCA article/s on cleaning rod damage and MW damage by the number of rounds fired,but I will give a brief synopsis. I strongly encourage those who are very interested in this, should join the GCA and get the issues of the GCA journal for in depth analysis. In the current issue, it was noted that it took 66,000 strokes of a segmented cleaning rod deliberately bent as it was pushed in and pulled out to wear the muzzle by a reading of 1 with the commonly used MW gage most of us use. Of course I'm only speculating from my years in the military, but I'm not sure how many barrels would have had that many cleaning strokes done by G.I.'s in the entire life of the barrel.

As to MW, they began with a barrel that read .684 on the MW gage so it was just over .5. The first 1,000 round jump was the greatest at moving it to just at or over gage reading 1. The next four thousand rounds showed fairly regular increases to where at 5,000 rounds fired, the MW was about 1.5. The next two thousand rounds didn't wear the bore as much as the earlier readings and at 7, 000 rounds, the MW was still under a MW reading of 2. So it took 7,000 rounds fired to go from a MW reading of just under .7 to just under 2. That's an increase of a MW reading of about 1.2 for the full 7,000 rounds fired. From the readings and the way the last few thousand round marks didn't move it as much as the first four thousand rounds moved the reading, I'm GUESSING you could see as many as 10,000 rounds fired, or even more, in that barrel would still be under a MW reading of 2.5.

OK, if anyone would like the TE readings by rounds fired or other info, then please join the GCA and get the Journal.
 

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The Otis cleaning system is a great piece of gear. The owner came to the Rifle Team Equipment Repair shop at Quantico in the mid Eighties to demonstrate the system and he gave us all one each of them. I was a Gunny at the time and was a bit skeptical of the system until he demonstrated it. He allowed us to drive a fired cartridge case into a chrome lined barrel so hard we literally hammer welded it into the chamber. With just three or four taps with the rod, it drove the case out slick as you please. Extremely impressive. I have often used the system since and it really is great.


Thanks for the above info Gus. I have a Otis system (multi-weapon) that I have. Otis states that it could be used to drive out a stuck case, or squib round. I've been skeptical about that claim. To this day I'll still carry the USGI sectional rod for that purpose. One piece Dewey rods are my choice but, I cannot ever see myself carrying one "in the field". Does anybody make a quality sectional rod that won't scratch a barrel? dozier
 
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