At BisonTactical we advocate a minimalistic approach to cleaning precision firearms. We subscribe to the theory that a barrel shoots best when it reaches a state of copper build up known as copper equilibrium. Based on this theory, the idea is to reach this copper equilibrium and maintain it as long as you can until accuracy starts to suffer (groups open), at which point you remove the copper and start over again.
This is significantly different than the cleaning regime performed by benchrest shooters who want entirely clean bores for each shot.
The primary difference is the type of shooter – precision rifle shooters tend to lean more to the tactical disciplines, and also tend to shoot at longer distances and larger targets than benchrest. Also, the competitions and environments which tactical precision rifle shooters find themselves in do not lend themselves to intensive cleaning maintenance procedures between each shot.
So, the cleaning regime I suggest is as follows:
1. From a new barrel (or clean barrel) shoot 40-60 rounds until groups develop
2. Run the bore with dry patches, boresnake or Otis Ripcord (preferred) 5 times
3. Stow rifle until next session (if storing for long time or in high humidity areas, run single oil patch through barrel)
Carbon is what we are removing at the end of the session – and we are trying to avoid damaging the brittle metal of the barrel with any abrasion (hence a preference for the Ripcord which has no brush).