First time gun owners frequently ask, “does cleaning a rifle affect accuracy?” Basically, you don’t need to clean your rifle that often unless you’ve subjected your rifle to an extreme environment with dirt or sand and moisture or especially any salt. Otherwise, it usually is important to clean your rifle anytime you notice the accuracy falling off. If you want to know how to shoot tighter groups with a rifle and pay attention to shot count you might devise a preventative maintenance schedule and clean every 10 or 100 or even 1,000 rounds, but that shot count is up to you to figure out depending on what and where you are shooting.
How long does it take for your rifle barrel to get dirty?
That depends on many factors including how your gun is treated and stored as well as your barrel, your ammo, and what you consider dirty? If by dirty you mean when it starts to lose accuracy, then what measure of accuracy are you aiming for? Most barrels have a break-in period after cleaning, or a certain number of shots before they achieve accuracy, then they hold that level for a certain number of shots before they start to fall off. If you are a precision rifle shooter then you should shoot your rifle in a systematic way, such that you can keep track of what changes you have made and note how those changes affected your accuracy. It’s going to be different for everyone because there are so many different combinations that someone can use, especially once you start loading your own ammo. Some rifles are very sensitive and need to be cleaned after just six or seven shots, while others seem to shoot best with a lot of fouling and can go 100 or more shots between cleaning.
Does cleaning a rifle affect accuracy?
Absolutely, cleaning a rifle can affect its accuracy and if you perform a rifle bore cleaning after its accuracy falls off then usually the process will improve the accuracy of the gun. However, depending on the barrel and your load, you may have to break in the gun with several rounds after cleaning before that accuracy returns. If you pay close attention to your process and the rounds you are shooting then you can learn to predict when your barrel will need to be cleaned before your accuracy drops too far. Likewise, if you want to know how to shoot tighter groups with a pistol then the same applies, the barrel is just shorter so it should be faster to inspect and clean.
Cleaning your rifle at the range
If you determine that your barrel is very sensitive to fouling and loses accuracy after only a few rounds then it’s a good idea to know how to clean a rifle bore at the range, to help maintain your rifle’s accuracy. Experiment with taking a cleaning kit to the range and if you notice a change in accuracy perform a cleaning and see if your accuracy returns. You can take that one step further by performing a visual barrel inspection with a borescope to actually see the fouling. If you can see the difference between a clean and dirty barrel with a borescope then this is a valuable tool for preventative maintenance. Teslong makes several borescope models that are portable and easy to bring to a range including flexible models that are compact and lightweight.
Purchase a Teslong rifle borescope today!
Teslong makes a range of high quality and affordable rifle borescopes. Some models are very simple and just connect to your own mobile devices via USB or WiFi connections. Stand-alone units include their own screen, battery, and lighting system to operate just about anywhere. Take a look at the lineup of their firearms products here:Rifle Borescope: Best Borescope for Rifle Barrels (iPhone + Android) | Teslong