Hello to all,
I believe this is my first actual post here on the sight, I'm more of a lurker and do a far amount of googing on my own to figure things out. Today though I got to thinking about a bore guide when it comes to cleaning. This came about for a few reasons: never used one, don't have one, prices at bass pro seamed a bit high for plastic? and the video i watched on Brownells site about cleaning an AR.
At 27 I have cleaned my own guns since I was about 8 and don't remember ever jamming my rod into the side of the bore??
Also how could a cleaning rod made of a brass damage the bore of a steel barrel. I have used brass punches for assembling components( gearboxes) made out of steel for large trenching equipment & i hit that stuff with a 4 lb hammer and it hardly does anything to the steel. I do understand that small flaws can make a big difference in a fire arm though.
While watching the video on Brownells he take a bore brush, which I have never used, and pushes it into the bore and then has to pull hard to get it back out. How can this be good? You aren't suppose to do this with a brush when cleaning the rifling: full stroke, exit & then return, right? but i guess it is just the chamber.
The bottom line though is that I'm skeptical. I'm not saying I'm 100% right but I feel like a bore guide is just another type of snake oil. Another thing that the gun component accessories manufacturers have produced & convinced people that it is a must have.
Don't worry about it, just go slow and be careful. Remember they are a RETAIL site looking for business..
The two places barrels are damaged is at the throat and the crown.
Bore guides, which aren't snake oil, protect the throat during cleaning. Every manufacturer of match grade barrels recommends them, and they aren't selling bore guides.
Kreiger, who makes some of the worlds most accurate barrels, will caution against pulling the brush back through the bore once it passes through the crown. The problem being all the little bits of carbon embedded in the brush. The bristles won't damage the crown, but the carbon can.
I've read articles about recrowning barrels which won't shoot anymore, and it brings the groups back. With AR15s, the crown is largely protected by the flash hider. The only way to damage it is if someone attempts to scrape carbon from the crown with a metal tool or by dragging a brush back over it repeatedly.
To a large degree, it depends on your particular rifle and skill set if it will matter. If you and your rifle aren't capable of any reasonable accuracy, then you may never notice the difference.
A stainless match barrel can cost upwards of $400. A bore guide, maybe $30 on the high end. Its pretty easy to work that economy out.
If buying all the cleaning tools aren't your thing, you can make do and get a decent clean with a bore snake.
if you got a steel usgi rod then I'd definately rock the bore guide. I don't have either I have an aluminum rod and feel there is almost no way for this to harm the barrel. I never pull my rod back out i run it from chamber to muzzle and then unscrew it only once per cleaning then i use a plastic tipped jag and patches to get out all the stuff the brush loosened.
The problem is if the brush isn't centered in the bore and forcibly pushed past the throat and the beginning of the brush scratches the throat.
All brushes aren't created equal either. Some have exposed sharp steel ends. Quality ones are brass and the end is looped so there are not sharp steel edges. A well fitting brass jag is the way to go as well. Never use stainless brushes.
I've never seen an aluminium cleaning rod, only the coated style, steel GI and stainless.
Picked up a used one at a great price an love it. Keeps down on the mess with the solvent port. Not sure if it is always needed but I prefer it now.
Do not get plastic, get aluminium.
Ive got bore guides,but I only use them for bench cleaning,and specifically to keep solvents,especially copper solvents,out of the action.On the AR I don't want these solvents on the anodized aluminum receiver and in my barrel extension.
Otherwise I don't worry about damage from or to the rods I use as I take care in their application.
I use bore guides, and I am a big fan. As stated above, they keep unwanted stuff out of the receiver.
I find them most useful on bolt guns though, that's where they really keep stuff out of the action and off the stock.
I picked up a Tipton universal at Cabellas for $15, gotta say I do like it. Makes cleaning a cinch, I like also that it has the AR adapter to line it up just right. Glad I got it!