Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

Get or give advice on equipment, reloading and other technical issues.

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Brad Y
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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#16 Postby Brad Y » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:09 am

Looks like I’m up for a gunslick. Got my first 5r on its way soon hopefully.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#17 Postby saum2 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:02 pm

So Albert, the VRA will stock Gunslick and get rid of the Dewey ones :-) Once they reduce stock to $90K

Trevor Rhodes
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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#18 Postby Trevor Rhodes » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:15 pm

I have 8 Dewey rod and there is nothing wrong with them and they are only $60 at the VRA shop.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#19 Postby williada » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:38 pm

Seems to me that people who are bending rods are encountering too much resistance on tight patches loaded with fluid that swells them and bogs on the powder fouling which should be softened and broken down so as not to act as an abrasive when you bend your rods and mar internals of the barrel. A better approach IMO is to use a wet nylon or bristle brush soaked in whatever cleaning fluid you use pushed through a couple of times to remove the bulk of the residue. Then go in with your patches. Don't be afraid to use a bronze brush after the patch soak to remove carbon embedded on the junction of the groove and lands. Then patch out again. Trevor makes a good point about Dewey rods. The fashion in this game kills me.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#20 Postby AlanF » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:27 pm

The critical factor is the bearings. I've never seen a Gunslick rod, but do have several Tipton rods which are carbon fibre and have two bearings in the handle. In my opinion they are better suited to canted land barrels than Deweys because of the superior bearing setup giving a very free running handle. I don't use my Deweys with bronze brushes now, even in square lands barrels. Learnt from bad experience with Bartlein 5Rs.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#21 Postby williada » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:59 pm

Alan, cast your mind back to ecomeat's problem with the Bartlein. It was not the barrel but the abrasive on the brush that caused the problem. To me that is the critical issue, not whether bearings are sufficient to do the job. Sure others might have better bearings. They may be more efficient at thrusting with firm resistance but that is courting disaster with abrasion, let the chemical do the work rather than mechanical advantage. If people are worried about damaging the bore perhaps a wool mop laden with cleaning fluid would soften the powder residue in the first instance. Wiping down the rod and patching out residue before a brass brush is used is a good idea to minimise the carriage of abrasives. Hot soapy water down the tube first is a good idea with precision equipment.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#22 Postby AlanF » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:30 pm


I remember Tony's problem well, but have had slight damage to a couple of my own 5Rs using bronze brush with solvent (never abrasives) where the rod doesn't turn at the full rate of the rifling, and it leaves lines on the lands which are slightly straighter than the twist. I did some testing with Dewey vs Tipton, same bronze brush, same 5R barrel, marking the handles and counting the turns. The Tiptons consistently do more turns, particularly on a pull stroke. Some say you should only push a bronze brush, but I've found if its drawn gently into the muzzle there is no noticeable crown damage.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#23 Postby terryx » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:32 am

Hi there this is my input. Australian made with bearings in handle strong and any length you want. can,t go past CCW Engineering in WA check him out (on'ya Chris ) He makes some great stuff .

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#24 Postby Wal86 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:38 am

I have never had a drama with dewey rods, i put my first product in with a can while the barrel is still warm and leave it soak for 4 to 6 hrs before I put a rod down.. First patch always will fly out the end with no resistance with alot of black and purple goo in front of it..

Good bearings are a must, but a cleaning rod is only as good as the operator, some of the things you see done at the range you just shake your head... :shock:
But if there are better rods with better bearings I will have a look at these that is for sure...
I can't comment on cleaning 5R barrels as im not a fan of 5R rifling but that's just me, so I won't buy one...

What was interesting is i went back and read the 9 pages of "death of a barrel"..
Earlier this year I looked at a dozen to 15 barrel blanks and one of those barrels had the exact same jungle vine lands, as the barrel that was scoped in that thread... Im not sure what ever happened to those barrels as they were not mine but very interesting all the same..


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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#25 Postby pjifl » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:40 pm

Some of my thoughts on cleaning rods.

1/ I believe that a hardened rod does less abrasive damage to a bore than a coated one. That is referring to damage due to friction in the bore. This is because it does not become ingrained with any hard abrasive such as flakes of Carbon. A hardened steel rod is easy to clean.
Of course, a hardened rod would cause damage very easily if its front edge is not beveled and polished. And any fitting attached to it must be similarly treated or it is a risk to the crown. Hardened music wire is excellent. Since it has a very high strength, it is much harder to give it a permanent bend due to abuse of an accident. If anyone wants to make a good cleaning rod, music wire is available at Hobby Shops. Do not be mislead by the name - it is available up to about 1/4 inch diameter rods and is very straight.

2/ The handle bearing is very important. Many apparently free spinning handles do not use ball bearings. They use a small diameter or point contact to something like brass. With age, and under axial force, these are not as free turning as one would wish. Just spinning the handle in air freely without any axial force applied is not necessarily a good indication of free turning while stroking inside a bore. I have rebuilt or redesigned the handles using standard ball bearings and often the standard sealed and lubricated ball bearings from the manufacturers are not very free running.There is considerable friction in them from seals and factory packed lubricant. Ball bearings are designed to take considerable loading with minimum friction rather than run free with very light loading.
Because of this, any ball bearings used should have seals removed and any lubricant washed out to make them run freely. They should also be of a minimum diameter. This means that periodically, they should be washed out with something like lighter fluid and cleaned. They should be cleaned and treated in a similar way to a trigger.

3/ The handle should be designed so no gorilla can get a good grip on it. I have seen people apply great non axial force on the handle causing serious bending of the rod. A small ball handle or small T shape is best. Thus forces one to apply finger light forces always in the axial direction. If these lighter forces are not sufficient, you should reconsider the tightness of a cleaning patch or whatever you use or soak longer.

Many of the comments by others I agree with. I have never used the Gunslick rod so cannot comment.

Probably most important is intelligent use of the rod - always observing that the rod is turning easily when in use. Paint a few dots on the rod just in from the handle.

Finally, clean well, but do not overclean barrels.

Peter Smith.

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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#26 Postby 6.5x55ai » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:24 pm

Bit of irrelevance, maybe not. I am a Tipton Carbon fibre rod fan. I still also still have Bore Tech Bore Stix coated ones which I like because they are 56” inches long. At this length the handle doesn’t need to pass over the stock comb, something that if the comb is high and has no detachachable piece will cause the rod to flex up/bend. This bend then has a complementary undesirable bend in the barrel even with a bore guide. (Unless the bore guide is two piece with the rear section just giving rod diameter clearance.) At 56” the rod handle stops short of passing over the comb even with 32” barrels so not an issue.

As far as the coating goes I am anal about keeping my rods clean. They are wiped down several times during the cleaning process and are stored in capped plastic tubes.

My worst coated rods were the old Parker Hale one which seemed to have a relatively soft coating and we’re damaged easily. I have seen many PH rods belonging to others with rifling impressions in the coating. Being grey I guess makes this easy to see.

Using rods that are too small for the calibre also is an issue I have found as they will inevitably “slap” the bore.

Back to the Tipton. I recently dug out my old Omark. I couldn’t remember the twist so did the cleaning rod twist check with my Tipton rod. I mounted a decent sized pointer on the rear of the rod to make it easier to determine one revolution. I did 3 passes forward and 3 passes in reverse. All checks were all within 1mm. I couldn’t believe how repeatable the measurements were. I had expected a difference fwd versus rev. If the Tipton rod had any impairment in its handle bearings I am sure I wouldn’t have got such comparable results fwd versus rev.

Brad Y
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Re: Cleaning Rods. Coated or not

#27 Postby Brad Y » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:08 pm

I have had two pro shot hardened steel rods fail on me both were because they weren’t able to spin properly. I have a ccw rod and good friends with Chris and I have no issue with that rod. It has served me very well in regular type rifling 7mm barrels. I usually use the ccw rod with a jag and use a Dewey with brushes. However I have my first 308 5r barrel on its way and do not want to risk a repeat of Tony’s problems.have bought a gunslick and when I feel comfortable in my cleaning of it, I might try the other rods.

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