How to Clean Rimfire Rifle Barrels
The experts at ELEY Limited, top rimfire ammo-maker, have posted a helpful guide to cleaning rimfire barrels. We reprint highlights of the article below, but we suggest you read the full article on the Eley website: How to Clean Your Rifle the ELEY Way.
Editor’s Comment: This is not the only way to clean a rimfire barrel. There are other procedures. This is the method recommended by ELEY based on decades of experience with the top smallbore shooters in the world, including many Olympic Gold Medalists. Some shooters have been very successful cleaning less frequently, or using different types of solvents. The ELEY method is a good starting point.
Rimfire Barrel Cleaning
1. Clean the extension tube with a 12 gauge brush and felt or tissue moistened with solvent.
2. Smoothly insert a cleaning rod guide into the receiver.
3. Apply a dry felt to the cleaning rod adapter and push it through the barrel to the muzzle in one slow steady movement. As the felt is dry it may feel stiff.
4. Remove the soiled felt and pull back the cleaning rod.
5. Apply a new felt to the cleaning rod adapter and moisten it with Rimfire Blend / cleaning oil.
6. Insert the moistened felt into the barrel and push it to the muzzle with short forward movements.
7. Remove the soiled felt and pull back the cleaning rod through the barrel.
8. Clean the rod with tissue to avoid getting solvent on your hands.
9. Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8, until the felts are no longer dirty or soiled.
10. Apply a new felt to the cleaning rod and moisten it with gun oil.
11. Insert the oil-moistened felt into the barrel and push it to the muzzle with short forward movements.
12. Remove the felt and pull back the cleaning rod through the barrel.
13. Remove the cleaning rod guide and clean the action of the receiver with a dry cotton bud or tissue.
14. Clean the bolt with a cloth and some gun oil. Apply a light film of gun oil to the bolt, the lock nuts and to the cam – do not apply too much.
15. Insert the bolt into the receiver and close it. It is important to be able to close the bolt without feeling any resistance. If you do feel resistance, remove the bolt from the receiver and check whether the action contains any impurities, debris or foreign particles and clean as necessary.
After cleaning care
1. Before the next use of your rifle use a cleaning rod to push a clean dry felt through the barrel to the muzzle in one steady movement.
2. Remove the soiled felt and pull back the cleaning rod through the barrel.
3. Repeat this until there are no signs of oil on the felt.
Your rifle should now be clean and ready to use again.
Clean More Thoroughly After 200-300 Rounds
IMPORTANT: Eley stresses that the procedure outlined above is a basic cleaning procedure. After a few hundred rounds, Eley recommends brushing the barrel to remove lead deposits:
“Intensive cleaning of your rifle will be needed after every 200–300 rounds. The barrel should be cleaned with a bronze brush. In order to do this you will need to push the brush in the direction of the muzzle and repeat three times. A bronze brush is used as it is the only tool that can be used to completely remove lead remnants.”
The above procedure is reprinted courtesy ELEY. All content © 2015 ELEY Limited. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission.