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CLEANING BARRELS—I have heard that hot water will in jure a rifle barrel by drawing the temper and that it should not be used for cleaning the barrel; is this true? What is the best way to clean a small caliber rifle, to keep it from rusting and getting spots in the barrel, and what kind of a rod and grease is best to use?

No, hot water will not injure a gun barrel and it is better to use boiling water than cold water, as it cleanses better and the hot barrel dries out better. No rifles that I know of have tempered barrels, and even if they had, the heating from rapid shooting would be snore likely to draw the temper than hot water. If you use hot water in cleaning use it thoroughly and get the barrel well heated up then wipe it as dry as possible and the heat of the barrel will do the rest. For my part I prefer to clean the barrel with white cotton rags saturated with Marble’s Nitro Solvent Oil, finishing with dry, clean rags. Next day I clean it again in the same way, and sometimes the third time before the final greasing. Then I grease s rag thoroughly with Winchester Gun Grease, or any of the other heavy greases put up for this use, then run this rag through the barrel several times, so that all parts of the bore get well-greased. Cleaned and treated in this way the rifle barrel will never rust or pit.

Always clean out this heavy grease before you use the rifle again. I prefer to use a hard steel rod that nearly fills the bore, and use the jagged end in preference to the slotted one. I always let the rag follow the rifling in cleaning and greasing. I used to use a wood rod as I thought it least injurious to the barrel, but nosy I believe the hard steel rod is less harmful. If you use a wood or brass rod always wipe it clean with a clean cloth before you use it, and in all cases, if your gun s so constricted to allow it. Clean it from the breech.

Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.

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