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Hi,

I would like to know EXACTLY what to do when cleaning the barrel of an M1A. I plan on buying a 25" Dewey rod with a guide, Hoppes solvent, a bronze .30 cal brush, 2" round patches,and stripper clips to hold the bolt back.

What I don't understand is what order to do things in when it comes to running things down the barrel and applying solvents.If someone could give me a DETAILED (like I'm a 5 year old) step by step list on how to go about doing this it would be greatly appreciated.

Also, it appears that the Dewey rod I'm getting comes with a needle essentially to hold the patch. This seems like it would limit me to pushing from muzzle to mag well. Is it bad to push the gunk out of the barrel and onto the chamber? If it is bad, is there something I can buy that secures the patch and allows me to pull towards the muzzle?

Thanks,
Connor
 

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For running patches, pass the rod through the barrel to the chamber. Then put the patch onto the rod, and pull it back out.
 

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You will find that just about everybody has their own way of cleaning the rifle. I have been cleaning weapons for more than 40 years and the M1A for more than 30 years, but over the last two years I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't due to the fact that I've been working at a gun range and have seen the effects of a proper cleaning. If I had a dollar for every "shot-out" barrel that I've helped reclaim I'd be a very wealthy guy. I'm going to identify what I use, how, and why, but I'm not going to justify my recommendations because it's not worth the angst that I'll go through while arguing the point. Take the advice for what it's worth, you will hear many hard core competition shooters and average Joe's alike that claim my equipment and process are unnecessary but I know for a fact that it has worked more times than not at the range where I work.

So without more lecturing, you said;

I plan on buying a 25" Dewey rod with a guide, Hoppes solvent, a bronze .30 cal brush, 2" round patches,and stripper clips to hold the bolt back.
I see no problem with your rod selection but I suggest that all the rest can be improved upon.

First of all, I recommend buying a carbon removing solvent and a copper removing solvent. Solvents are designed to chemically react to specific things, a carbon remover might remove some copper, with a lot of brushing and a lot of patches, but it's designed to remove carbon, and it will do that more efficiently than anything else. The same goes for the copper remover. Read the instructions on the bottle, it will tell you what it's designed to remove and the best process to use to remove the fouling. Avoid solvents with ammonia, there are a lot of arguments about whether ammonia will pit barrels but there products available that clean just as well but without any of the potential risks that ammonia could present. Besides, some of the newer solvents smell better and aren't as injurious to our skin/health. If you have ever used a bottle of Sweet's 7.62 you know what I mean, there's a solvent that really needs to be used in an open area, especially when it becomes active in a dirty bore.

Brushes; I don't recommend using anything other than a nylon brush. All metal brushes can, over time, scratch the bore. Additionally, brass brushes will give false indications that there is still fouling in the bore, due to the brass bristles dissolving in the copper solvent. I like the Bore Tech products a lot and I only use their Proof Positive brand of nylon brushes because they are designed to not react to copper solvents, they wont turn you patches blue or green so you wont mistake that reaction for a dirty bore. I also like to have several brush calibers; a .22 or .25, a .30, .338, and a .45 or .50 caliber. The .22 or .25 caliber brush can be used in conjunction with a patch, the brush's smaller diameter will prevent the patch from getting stuck in the bore while still applying reasonable pressure. If your patches are pressed too hard in to the metal they don't clean as well, the same is true with too little pressure. The cleaning power of a patch comes from the fine fibers being free to move like little bristles, if you press the patch too tightly against the bore, then those little fibers are pressed flat and wont scrub as well. Not enough pressure and the fibers don't really get a chance to contact the fouling. I find that a good quality cotton patch on the .25 caliber nylon brush does a nice job, better than a jag as far as I'm concerned because the jag doesn't give. The give in the nylon bristles act like little shock absorbers and I feel that they there is less potential for accidentally damaging the bore as compared to using a solid brass jag. The .30 caliber brush is used for just brushing, I only put either solvent or JB's Bore Paste on it. Sometimes when I really need to apply more brushing pressure, due to the bore just not coming clean as quickly as I expect, I use the .338 caliber brush, again, with nothing but solvent or bore paste. The .45 or .50 caliber brushes are used in the gas cylinder. They are just the right size and they wont score the polished interior.

2" round patches will be really tight in the bore and make for a lot of work moving them. I use a 2" square patch and then I cut them in half. They work very smoothly and just tight enough to do the job. And cutting them in half makes them last twice as long.

As tonyben mentioned, if you insert a magazine in to the rifle, the bolt will stay open, and if you use a patch catcher (or cleaning port) then you wont have to bother with using stripper clips.

Finally, let the solvents do the work. Most people fall in to two categories; the group of people that think that they have to run the brushes and patches through the bore for hours and the group that thinks that there isn't any reason to clean the bore with more than a few patches and a couple strokes of the brush, neither one is right as far as I'm concerned. Using good, modern, cleaners that are designed for the type of fouling that you are trying to remove allows you to use a minimum of labor while getting the bore clean, and without damaging the bore. Also, modern solvents can usually sit in the bore overnight and they will do the cleaning for you while you sleep. Bore fouling becomes layered, one of carbon and another of copper. These layers alternate and the trick to easy, quick cleaning is use the appropriate solvent for which ever layer you are currently working on. I look in the bore before I clean, if the bore looks more black than copper out toward the muzzle then I start with my carbon solvent, if there is more copper then I start with the copper solvent. Use the first solvent until the patches look clean, then try the other solvent, it will most likely look really dirty. Use a dry patch before switching solvents and make sure the first solvent has been removed and the bore is dry before you start to use the second solvent. Keep using the second solvent until it looks clean. Dry the bore again and then try the first solvent again. If it comes out clean then you are done, if it's dirty again, then that means that you have broken through in to another layer of that type of fouling and have to do the process again. Continue until both solvents result in clean patches.

I like to use one other product, Kroil. I like to start my cleaning process by using a couple of patches with Kroil on them. I run it down the bore and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Kroil is a penetrant and I believe that it helps loosen the layers of fouling. I dry the bore before I move on to the cleaning solvents. I don't like mixing chemicals for two reasons; first, the manufacturers don't usually recommend it (some chemicals will produce harmful acids and/or out-gassing that can be harmful to your rifle and/or you), and second I think that there is a possibility that you are reducing the effectiveness of the liquids.

As tonyben's tutorial says, always push your patches through from one end to the other and don't pull a dirty patch back through the bore. Bench rest shooters recommend going the same direction as the bullet but in our rifles it's awfully hard to accomplish that. I use bore snakes or other flexible devices as a field expedient because they are portable and easy to pack away, but I don't use them regularly or for serious cleaning. I think that if you buy a good product that has some kind of soft outside coating on it (even if the inside is a metal cable), and you are careful, then you shouldn't hurt the bore. But the flexible cleaning tools are not as efficient at cleaning the bore, they are just faster at getting the worst of the fouling out, perfect for the field but not really all that great compared to the more traditional equipment. There is one problem with a bore snake and that's the very thing that makes them popular, their flexibility. In the field you will always run in to a situation where you need to get something out of the bore, especially those of us who live in snow country, you always seem to get snow and mud in the bore at some time or another. The flexible bore snake will not always be able to penetrate the blockage and you wont be able to clear it. That's why I also have the old military cleaning rods, in a pinch they are pretty handy.
 

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Thank you, thank you, thank you all for not repsonding to a new comer with "use the search button"!!!! I frequent a couple of other forums that can be rather harsh and such a question would have enlisted a fury of inapropriate comments. Great job gents!!!!!!
 

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I have tended to always run a bore snake (with some oil sprayed on before the brush section. IMMEDIATELY after shooting.

Then i get home and run patches till I'm blue in the face..

thanks Rammac I've been doing it all wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, thanks for all the great responses. I assure you I've done a great deal of research and was never able to find a place that plainly and simply explained barrel cleaning, until now. Thanks a lot!
 

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That thing is pretty cool.

I've been locking the bolt back with a stripper clip.

Awesome orange plastic.

Ole Silver
I had one for about 20 or so years and loved it...keeps the slop out of the magazine and connector lock area...

you'll never whack the bolt face with a jag or release the bolt by hitting it with the rod tip

it got lost somewhere along the line and I finally found them again on eBay after looking for them all over the web for about 10 years...

I think they were out of production or something for a while
 

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You might also want to consider one of these handy items

after you have launched a cleaning rod or 2

pushing a tight patch through the bore


http://www.ebay.com/itm/M1-M1A-Receiver-Insert-RI-1-Safety-Cleaning-Device-/120864653366?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c24184036#ht_500wt_1180
I bought one for my M1 Garands and it works Well Although I do not like it and it sits in a Drawer.'
I place a Stripper clip in the Stripper clip guide and have yet to launch a Cleaning rod or have a Bolt Slam Shut
 

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I bought one for my M1 Garands and it works Well Although I do not like it and it sits in a Drawer.'
I place a Stripper clip in the Stripper clip guide and have yet to launch a Cleaning rod or have a Bolt Slam Shut

Stripper clips certainly work as well...

the reason I like the RI is that I run the (wiped clean) Dewey Rod down the bore patch-less

then thread a dry patch through the exposed loop at the chamber face,

saturate it with solvent from a small squeeze bottle with a needle tip

and pull it back out...it can and does get sloppy if I am not careful

and I want to keep the wood around and contacting my receiver as free of oil and juices as possible

just sorta compliments my cleaning process idiosyncrasies
 
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