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Is cleaning the barrel of an air rifle really necessary


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#1 mjr88

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:39 pm

Hi all :rolleyes:

As the posting title asks , i was just wondering if the barrel of a 12ft11b air rifle need to be regularly cleaned to maintain accuracy.

Let me explain a bit. Basically , for many years i used air rifles for hunting and i never cleaned a single barrel ( yes , not once ) Over the years i have bought and sold numerous springers , pcp's and all different makes. All my rifles seemed to stay pretty accurate and accounted for many of our coney and fluffy tailed friends , right up till when i sold them.

About 10 years ago i applied for my Rimfire & shotgun certificates and sold off all my airguns , as they just wasn't being used anymore.

Recently however i have come in to possession of a 1977 hw35 that used to belong to my father. I can remember him buying it from new and i have done the rifle up. The stock has been completely refurbished by myself , and the action was sent away to be resprung and serviced by a qualified gunsmith.

Before i zero the gun for the first time i was just wondring if you guys think it necessary to give the barrel a good scrub and keep it clean on a regular basis , like i do with my Rimfire and shotguns. As this rifle has a lot of sentimental value i have no intention of selling it.

I have heard that an air rifle barrel does not get as fouled up as a live round gun , hence the question of cleaning the barrel ,

Regards ,

John :unsure:

Edited by mjr88, 24 June 2011 - 03:39 pm.


#2 ryan666

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:49 pm

well every barrel is different,my old a410s never wanted cleaning and stayed spot on,but my rapid 7 likes a good clean every couple of weeks.i just tend to let be unless the grouping opens up then i will give it a clean :thumbs:

#3 zini

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:10 pm

Yes clean your barrel when,

1. You have accuracy problems with a tried and tested pellet and you know its not the wind etc.

2. Change pellet brands (dont forget to fire between 20 and 30 of the new pellets through the barrel to re lead it properly prior to accurately zeroing it again.

Washing and lubing your pellets help prelong times between cleaning.

On average i clean mine about 2 times a year.

Si

#4 pianoman

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 01:42 am

Hello John.
With air rifle barrel cleaning, I guess it may vary from barrel to barrel and the pellet types used. I use only ever use one type of pellet for my .22 Weihrauch HW80 rifles and that's H&N Field Target Trophy, washed and lightly lubed with WD40. I rarely clean my barrels more than once a year as I don't get accuracy problems with these rifles' barrels/lubed pellets and they are both ten years old. "If it ain't broke....!" etc.

With your Father's HW35, it wouldn't hurt to get the barrel scrubbed and re-lead with the pellet of choice, once it's ready for a bit of regular use again. It's a good thirty four years or so old, after all! :thumbs:

I had an HW35 Export model .22 rifle of around the same vintage as your dad's in 1978 to the mid 1980s and it was an absolutely beautiful break-barrel rifle for rabbit and pidgeon hunting. Well worth all the TLC you can give it.

All the best with it.

Simon

#5 andyfr1968

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 01:50 am

I've never cleaned an airgun barrel. Ever. Each to their own and airgun's can be funny sods sometimes so maybe I've been lucky :thumbs:

#6 darren watson

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:19 am

I think i heard once that de-gunking your barrel/lubing your pellets can possibly help your pellets fly out above 12 ft/lbs. as a rule of thumb I'd get it chronoed afterwards, just to be safe.

#7 mad al

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 07:48 am

@58 years on this planet the thought has never eneterd my head. I know lads who do and still can't hit the side of a flukkin barn :thumbs:

#8 mjr88

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 08:36 am

Thanks for the replys lads :thumbs:

#9 fry

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 12:01 pm

interesting set of answers there for me as it does cross me mind when i miss stuff :thumbs:

#10 Buster321c

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:17 pm

I like to keep an eye on my `kit` and will give it a good service about every 18 months . This is a full strip down , and only then do i clean the barrels . If i were to have accuracy problems , i would give it a clean :thumbs:

#11 barrywhite

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:39 pm

Once I was shooting an old webley omega 22 with different pellets and getting different groups .I was just shooting for fun wasting ammo .I had a few of the dynamic pellets the hard tin lead free ones what ever they are made of .I shot them threw the gun .After shooting the dynamics I belive the guns groups tightend up .I feel the hard pellet scrapped any exsess lead out of the barrel leaving a lightly lead coated barrel .Never being able to repeat experiment I dont know if what I belive to be true was in fact true or I just had a better mood and my shooting improved.Has any one eles noticed this?

#12 mad al

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:55 pm

I like to keep an eye on my `kit` and will give it a good service about every 18 months . This is a full strip down , and only then do i clean the barrels . If i were to have accuracy problems , i would give it a clean http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...



'ckin ell buster this is an air rifle subject and now you've gone all porn on us!!!! :whistling: :thumbs:

#13 zini

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:47 pm

Hi lads,

If you look at the contents of quality tin of pellets in their own tin it will look clean, but if you pour the contents into a see through glass jug and wash them with warm soapy water you will see many tiny lead particles, lead residue and lead dust at the bottom of the jug.

This lead residue if not washed away will over time start to build up in your rifles lans and groves which in turn leads to pellets that do not spin correctly causing the to pellet wobble left and right whilst spinning in flight causing something called Enhanced yawing and a very slight form of the Magnus effect.

Now I don’t want to try and give you all a years worth of ballistics lessons in one thread as it just can’t be done but here are some basic fundamentals of what I’m talking about and things that you may want to think about in the future in regards to cleaning your rifles barrel.

The Magnus effect

In many ball sports these days the Magnus effect is responsible for the curved motion of a spinning object. It’s the reason that footballers like David Beckham can bend a ball into the corner of a net with seemingly magical powers. The effect also affects spinning cylindrical projectiles i.e. bullets and air rifle pellets to a very slight degree.
The effect was first described in 1852 by a German physicist Heinrich Magnus and then in 1742 by Benjamin Robins a British Royal Artillery engineer. Robins explained that deviations in the trajectory and flight of musket balls were due to the Magnus effect.

The Magnus effect demonstrated

http://www.planet-sc...cfm?cit_id=2677

Now imagine that the polystyrene cups that the lady was using is a pellet that is at times part sides ways on to its trajectory due to pellet wobble.

The Angle of yaw otherwise known as Equilibrium yaw

Because a spinning pellet is gyroscopic the force exerted by the air pressure on the pellet will cause the nose of the pellet to move to the right slightly. When this happens the force exerted by the air pressure will again act on the opposite side of the pellets rear end causing it to move to the left again in a yawing motion or wobble. This effect is varied depending on the pellets centre of gravity.

These effects basically mean that there will be a change in direction of the pellet left or right and there can be a slight boost or drop in some situations to the range of the pellet due to the Magnus effect.

The more a pellet is wobbling left and right in flight due to the above natural factors aided by a dirty barrel the more it will be affected. These effects impart most of their force when the pellets sides are exposed to the air when wobbling in flight.

In summary a properly leaded barrel and a dirty barrel are two different things altogether and although the above factors are very small due to us air rifle shooters not shooting over a great distance they do exist and will have a small effect on your own accuracy at the target end.

A good demo video that demonstrates the effects above in slow motion is this one. It will show you how a dirty barrel causes the wobble to enhance and the pellet to drift off. Clean your barrel and then the above affects over a short range will not be multiplied and accuracy will be again restored.

Si.


Edited by zini, 25 June 2011 - 06:57 pm.

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#14 andyfr1968

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 12:23 am

That last clip was interesting, Si.

I guess it's just one of those airgun oddity's. I've been shooting with the bloody things for over 30 years and I've honestly not once cleaned the inside of a barrel and have never had any problems that I couldn't account for elsewhere, but it seems from that film that some accuracy issues may indeed come from dirty bores.

I'm very aware that it's a big issue with powder burning kit, but not with airguns before. You live and learn!! :D

Cheers :thumbs:

#15 zini

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 01:00 am

:thumbs: ;)

Si

Edited by zini, 26 June 2011 - 01:01 am.



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