How to Clean a Rifle Barrel

By Larry Potterfield • January 18, 2023

Copper fouling in a rifle barrel can destroy accuracy. Hi, I'm Larry Potterfield with MidwayUSA. Let me show you the right way to clean a rifle barrel.

For a quality job you'll need a cleaning rod, preferably one-piece, a board guide, cotton patches, a bronze brush, a jag, powder solvent, topper solvent, and some gun oil.

The bore guide protects the rifling from the rod, while the O-ring keeps the solvent out of the action. Start by placing a patch on the jag soaking with powder solvent and run it through the bore. Repeat this process to remove any loose fouling.

Then it is time for the brush. Pass the brush through the bore 10 times five down and five back.

Now you can run some additional patches soaked in powder solvent to remove any fouling you loosened up. If a barrel has heavy copper fouling, an aggressive copper solvent is just the ticket. You'll want to repeat this process until your patches come out with almost no visible fouling on them.

Now run a couple dry patches through the bore to remove any leftover solvent. All that's left is to oil a patch and run down the bore to protect it.

So, keep your barrel clean if you want your rifle to shoot accurately!

--Larry Potterfield