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Do you run a lightly oiled swab through the barrel and chamber?

I used to, but was told not to by the instructor at a safety course I took a couple of years ago, and have since stopped. The argument was that it a) would attract and hold residue in the chamber area, and b) that oil in the barrel could be potentially dangerous--if the barrel is oiled, it should be swabbed out with a clean cloth before firing that first shot. The oil cannot possibly move out of the way fast enough for a bullet fired down the barrel and is therefore not good to have in there.

I've done quite a bit of searching on the web for information on this, and I'm getting mixed signals. Glock, for example, doesn't recommend it for reason a) and that oil in that area could damage primers. Not surprisingly, manufacturers of gun oils recommend it.

I shoot at least once a week and have not noticed any signs of rust in the barrel since I stopped oiling it, but if oil is recommended, I am willing to start again just to be safe. I don't go crazy in removing every speck of lead from the barrel anyway--I clean, but I don't soak the barrel for 20 minutes in solvent and then scrub with the bore brush 100 times and run 20 swabs through it! I figure the little lead left just fills in the irregularities in the barrel surface and adds a little protection. I can't believe a barrel cleaned that thoroughly stays clean for more than one shot anyway.
 

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Hi Ed,

If you shoot that often don't bother oiling.The oil in the bore could elevete pressure for the reason you stated,and oil in the chamber won't allow the case to grab the wall upon expansion.None of my pistols have oiled bores unless they are one of my babies that were bought for investment purposes and not shot.Don't feel bad about your cleaning habits,I almost don't clean my barrels.It's been so long I couldn't even guess at a round count,but the last time I did all it got was a few wet patches of Hoppes and dried.I should say that I gave up on lead and went to plated bullets though.
 

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If the barrel is stainless steel, there is NO reason to run oil through the bore. If it is carbon steel (and subject to rust) you can use a preservative spray like Shooter's Choice to protect it. That doesn't require patching out before shooting.
 

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Oil can increase pressure in the bore. You must not leave most oils in the bore and dry the bore out before firing. Shooters Choice containes penetrating chemicals that will reduce fouling, protect against corrosion and will not elevate internal bore pressures.

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I think it is a matter of how much oil is left in the bore myself.

I carry all my pieces with a light coating of oil in the bore, and I mean light, not wet at all. But they are not dry either.

I've never had a problem with doing this on any gun I've shot with the exception of the sniper rifles, there, it will change the impact of the first bullet from the rest slightly, which is unacceptable in precision work.

Robin Brown
 

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Oil in the bore and chamber can cause problems, but this is largely a matter of how MUCH there is.

Excess oil in the bore can cause elevated pressures and, since lubes can't compress, if there's too much oil, it can't move out of the way of the bullet fast enough and can cause a bulge in the barrel.

Oil in the chamber prevents the cartridge case from adhering to the chamber walls for the instant it takes for pressures to drop to safe levels, and this also raises pressure.

The key here is to apply a coat of lube to the bore and chamber, then wipe as much out as possible by running one or two patches through it.

This will remove all but a very thin, almost invisible layer of lube, which will protect the metal without causing problems.

Where people get into trouble is in flooding the bore with liquid lube, or worse, a coat of grease, then firing the gun without first removing it.
 
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