Cleaning Patch Direction

Cleaning Patch Direction

This is a discussion on Cleaning Patch Direction within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; To start: I have searched the forum & couldn't find this topic, so here goes. I've been shooting & cleaning weapons for over 40 years. ...

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Thread: Cleaning Patch Direction

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    Cleaning Patch Direction

    To start: I have searched the forum & couldn't find this topic, so here goes.

    I've been shooting & cleaning weapons for over 40 years. Every so often, I hear someone state that when cleaning a weapon, the cleaning patch(es) should ONLY be pulled or pushed through the barrel "in the direction the bullet travels." When I've asked "Why?" Nobody has ever been able to give me an answer that makes a lick of sense and then it always ends with: "That's the way I was taught."

    With all of the expertise in this forum, I figured that somebody might know if this is actually true (or not). If it is true, please explain "Why?"
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    I understood it was to prevent damage to the crown of the barrel (accuracy affected).
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    It makes no difference. Pushing patches from muzzle to breech tends to shove the gunk into the working rather than out of it. A hard steel cleaning rod could damage rifling regardless of direction. Brass/aluminum won't. I run my patches and brushes both directions, likewise for over 40 years.

    Clean however you desire, as long as you get the job done.
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    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    I understood it was to prevent damage to the crown of the barrel (accuracy affected).
    How can a patch (cloth) damage the crown?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    I understood it was to prevent damage to the crown of the barrel (accuracy affected).
    xx2

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    Just buy a Glock and an AK...then you'll never need to clean anything...right!??!
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    I send metal brushes down from chamber to muzzle, even though I don't think that there is much (if any) chance of damaging the rifling. I can't see any issue with a cloth patch, at all.

    That said, don't try to change direction of a bore brush while it's in the bore. I have seen that result in a pretty seriously jammed up bore brush.... :)
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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    It doesn't make a difference.

    With most of my firearms, I'll clean from the breech to the muzzle just to get the gunk away from the working area, and where I just cleaned. With my Nagant, I'll clean muzzle to breach because my cleaning rod isn't long enough to do otherwise. As long as the barrel steel is harder than whatever you're using to clean, you'll be fine.

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    It's more important when the bore is smaller/longer. When pushing a tight fitting patch through the bore, the cleaning rod will bend. The rod can abrade the barrel steel through either the actual rod or particles embedded in the rod. Unless you use a bore guide, the rod will, over time, wallow out an unprotected crown or chamber, depending on direction. That said, most cf handgun barrels are short with a large bore and the cleaning rod is short and doesn't bend much so you can pretty much keep the rod from hitting either end of the barrel; not that it would make much difference anyway. There are cone shaped bore guides designed to protect the muzzle and bore guides that lock into the receiver to protect the chamber. Cleaning from breech to muzzle prevents, with or without a guide, (as much) gunk from entering the action and when using a jag it is easier to push out the muzzle end and let the patch simply drop off or flick off, then pulling a patch out of the receiver. If you look at the chamber, there is an edge at the transition from chamber to rifling. Cleaning from the muzzle end can deposit gunk at that edge. Using a receiver bore guide usually allows you to install a dry patch on the jag/slot, push through the guide up to a window just before the chamber, and apply solvent/oil at the window which is neater than handling a solvent soaked patch and lining it up with a tiny hole in the bore, etc.
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    I was taught about damage to the muzzle crown, primarily, and that since barrels wear over time from shooting, there's got to be some of the material down the barrel after each shot.

    Wiping down the barrel in the same direction of travel makes sense to me, which would seem to minimize the risk of such detritus damaging the barrel, however slight the added risk of going the other direction (or through the bbl multiple times with that same gunge on the patch). Easy enough to do, with the only real downside being the use of additional patches.
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    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaGunny View Post
    How can a patch (cloth) damage the crown?
    it cant,,, the rod, handle "can"

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    Well, don't use rods and handles harder than the barrel. Most cleaning kits are alum or brass.

    The only damaged crown I ever had was from dropping the firearm muzzle first, but that's another thread.
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    I am a little obsessive, so when I clean my AR I use a rod guide and a carbon fiber rod with a brass jag. An alternative would be to use a bore snake although I do not believe they clean as well.
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    I would say it doesn't matter. While with a semi, you can remove the barrel and run from the breech down, that option isn't available for a revolver. Same with rifles, without a bolt to remove you have to run it from the end of the barrel down instead of the breech out.
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    With semi-auto handguns I slip a wad of cotton ball just below the feed ramp (from magazine well upward) to catch and contain any crap that drops from the patch. I then run the rod in from the muzzle and don't have the problem of any particles ending up where you DON"T want them. The cotton also sheilds the firing pin/extractor works.

    When I have the barrel all good and clean (and lubed), I carefully pull the cotton wad up and out of the frame. Follow up with a good wipeing/lubeing of the feed ramp, firing pin area, and extractor. (I use "Q-Tips here).

    Sooooo.....if you have not fired enough rounds to justify a field strip and cleaning, the only way the rod will feed is from the muzzle end anyhow. Like cleaning a revolver.....bit extreme to unpin or unthread the barrel for cleaning....

    neverenough

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