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CLAYBUSTER100's Shotshell Reloading Page
Shotgun Barrel Cleaning

I know, I know this has nothing to do with shotshell reloading;

We all know the traditional method.

   As all target shooters know this is very labor intensive and time consuming. I have found a way that isn't hard or takes very long. Although I would NOT advise  this for rifled barrels of any sort, for the smoothbore fan it should work rather well.

   When I go to the shooting range I generally shoot 4-6 rounds of Trap & Skeet plus 1-2 rounds of Sporting Clays and the occasional 5 stand thats 500 or so shots and a lot of plastic wad residue.

   As we know the hardest thing about cleaning a shotgun barrel is getting the plastic wad residue out.

  Most of the cleaning products are smelly and don't work the way they are supposed to. Those that do have to be used have to be applied repeatedly for them to work. This takes a lot of muscle and time.

   In my never ending quest for an easier and faster way to do thins, some call me lazy, I like to refer to it as WORKING SMART, I was browsing through a Brownells catalog and came across a product called Brownells Shotgun Wad Solvent and decided to give it a try. Following the instructions, it worked the best of any that I have encountered. It doesnt take much either, it came in a 1 pint 6 oz can 4 years ago and I still have over half of it left.

   Me, being who I am, tried various other methods and found this to work the easiest and fastest. I have an old cordless drill, variable speed, that isnt, a corded would do the same, several cleaning rods both shotgun & rifle, and several adapters that allow shotgun cleaning tips to be used on rifle rods. I took the handle off of a rifle rod and chucked it into my drill, the rod, not the handle, with an adapter and bronze brush, put some of the Wad Solvent on the brush and went to cleaning the barrel of my Rem. 11-87sc. After 5-6 passes I took the rod out, and ran a couple of dry patches through and checked the barrel. WOW! Was I impressed! What I did with this setup in less than 5 minutes would normally take close to half an hour. I noticed that the rod had a tendency to flex and hit the chamber area and I didnt like that. So taking an empty hull, case, whatever you want to call it, deprimed it and used a drill bit slightly larger than the rod drilled o hole where the primer pocket is. Viola! a chamber guide, it is still in use today along with one for the shotgun rod. They work great and are very cheap.

   After using this setup for a few months I got concerned about the abrasiveness of the brush, I know the bronze brush is the norm, but you have to consider the RPMs it's turning in the drill, 1000 or more!

   One day the wife was washing dishes and I noticed that she was using one of those scratch pads thats for Teflon coated pots and pans. I asked and she reluctantly gave me one. I wouldnt tell her what it was for, as Id never hear the end of it.

 I took it down to my cleaning bench, cut it to fit in a slotted tip in the cleaning rod, put some Wad Solvent on it and went to work on my Rem 870 Express I had just got done shooting some clays with. WOW! Again. It worked as good, I think better than the brush. My way of thinking, it doesnt hurt the Teflon coating it shouldnt hurt the barrel, I may be wrong, but until something else comes along or I shown otherwise, Ill continue with this method

   As for choke tubes, I use the same method, but with a shortened rod so as not to be as cumbersome. This could probably be done in a drill press, just havent done it with mine.

   I may have stumbled onto something else, I have a small bottle of Powdered Teflon that after Im done cleaning the barrel I put on a clean, dry patch and pass it through the barrel around ten times. This really seems to make a difference, after all that shooting, there seem to be very little residue build up of any sort, plastic, powder, lead, and the cleaning is a lot easier and faster. I also use it on all the working parts of my gun including the trigger group and so far have never encountered any major problems or wear. I have noticed that the inside of my guns are a lot cleaner probably due to there not being any oil for the dirt to adhere to.

  Who really wants to clean a firearm all those stinking messy chemicals. Id rather be doing something I enjoy like reloading, working up loads and at the range shooting so I can start all over again. What a grand viscous cycle.


This is my observations, it is not written in stone. If you decide to use this method, I will not be responsible for any misgivings you might incur. Remember this is NOT a manual.