Understanding Firearm Cleaning and Preservation.
Brass or Bronze Brushes.
21. The cleaning fluids should be applied to the brush, the brush attached to the cleaning rod and where possible entered from the breech end and pushed all the way through the barrel, push out of the muzzle, then pull them straight back and out of the chamber. They last about 30 cleans and to clean them just wash them out in boiling water. Bronze Brushes are available from most gun dealers in all calibres. Nylon or bristle are poor second choices. If brushes are too small they are useless, if they are too big they either don’t fit or the bronze wires just lay back and do not work. Ideally they should agitate the cleaning solvent and loosen powder carbon, lead and copper fouling which is like a very thin plating which has to be brushed off or removed by the chemical reaction of the solvents, I prefer to attack it with the brush and chemicals and not put my faith entirely in one process or the other.
22. Jags are those brass things that hold the flannelette on as you push it through the bore of the firearms. Plastic ones are hopeless and usually consist of a loop which even if it was made of anything substantial is only applying pressure to two sides of the bore at each pass. If a plastic loop breaks in your barrel you have problem that’s not terminal at first but if its not handled correctly could be terminal for the barrel. The brass or alloy ones with the spear points are not so bad but every time you use them you lose the patch at the muzzle of the barrel and you have to drag an empty jag and rod back up the bore. The best jags are the long serrated ones such as the Parker-Hale. Wrapping as a broad a piece of flannel around the Jag ensures that it is central to the bore. The serrations grip and ensure that the flannel does not come off the jag. This style of Jag gives the maximum bearing surface of the flannel to the sides of the bore, the only consideration that has to be made is the size of the Jag and the size of the flannel patch. Once the correct size for the calibre is acquired (it should be proportionate to the diameter of the bore) and the knack of cutting the right sized patch is mastered it’s the best its going to get. Rifles are similar to pistols, always try to clean barrels from the chamber end even if it means pushing the rod through the barrel screwing on the brush, as the cylinder is open and then pulling the rod out through the leade of the barrel towards muzzle, then repeating the operation with the Jag and patches.
23. For shotguns over 20 g to 12 the larger Jags are preferred if you can only get a brass loop well its not so critical with a shotgun but again the size has to be proportionate and the size of the patch to be cut may need a bit of experimenting on the first time. But the basic principles still apply. 28 gauge and 410 calibre can be cleaned with rifle equipment keeping in mind that the jags size has to be suitable for the calibre.
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