Barrel Why Fouling Shots ?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by Bucktote, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Why a Fouling shot?
    After a succesful hunting trip or a day at the range, most of us clean our rifles shortly after returning home. We use various solvents, Copper cleaning agents etc. The next time when we want to check zeroed POI we shoot a fouling shot ot two, why is this necessary?
    Having shot numerous rounds thru the fine Sako barrels, surely with errosion gasses, that preceed projectiles (about 70% of the hot gases) and the abrasion from bullets the lands should be smoothed out & any solvents or oils should be burnt up by the preceeding hot gasses. As a boy I watched my dad rod the barrel of his Remington
    30-S rifle with lapping compound. Is all this cleaning necessary only to be negated by foueling shots. After all it is the first shot in a hunting situation that is the one that counts, is not better to take that all important shot with a clean barrel? I understand cleaning preserves the steel by eliminating corrosisve agents that remain in the bore after shooting, but what mechanical reason is there for a foueling shot? I would say that in a new barrel there are some rough edges that final polishing in manufacturing may have missed, But in a seasoned barrel why is a foueling shot necessary? Maybe I have too much time to ponder these and other mysteries in th shooting relm?
    B/T

     

  2. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

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    I’ll equate it in my world. Nearly 100% of all my rifles shoot a flier high and left after cleaning, like clockwork. So typically, I don’t clean a rifle once range work is completed-until after hunting season. If I’m at the range and I decide to clean my rifle, I’ll then “call a flier” which equates to a fouling shot-then typically it settles right back to zero. I don’t want to have a flier be my first round in a hunting scenario. Others may see it differently or do it differently, this is my preference and it provides me with a level of assurance and confidence. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
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  3. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply Bigountry4me,
    I guess it's like an asprin, don't know how it works, it just does!
    Like the Sargeant says " Damd it Just do it!! BUT it does make me wonder?
    B/T
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I have results similar to Bigcountry's with certain rifles (by no means all). One that sticks out in memory is my .30-o6 Krico 700, which has a rather skinny barrel. It consistently puts the first shot an inch or two from the other two (from a 3-shot detachable mag), which are usually quite close together. I have never been entirely certain whether this results from initial fouling or from the barrel heating up on the first shot. It's an annoyance on the range, as it blows group size up over an inch, but it wouldn't seem to make much difference on a deer, moose, or other game you might shoot with a .30-06.
     
  5. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Icebear,
    I don't mean to say that it doesn't happen, just what is the mechanism for it to occur? It seems to be the norm for everyone I talked to through out the years. All say shoot a foueling shot after cleaning. Guess it's like the Gremlins that used to plague my B-47s Starter Gennerators on occasion. Gen. Le May did not tollerate late take offs. They would crap out after our preflight start check.Thank heaven they were a quick changeout, but it sure made my blood pressure go up !
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    It certainly IS the first shot that is the most important in any hunting situation. Whether the second through fifths shots "group" particularly well or not is pretty immaterial since the object of your hunt will almost certainly be on the run after the first shot.

    Cleaning fluid residue left in the barrel will almost certainly put the first shot somewhat out of the center of the zero. To check my hunting rifles I will (1) clean the barrel at the end of hunting season, (2) check the zero before the next hunting season after firing a couple of fouling shots, (3) check the point of impact of the first shot the next day (or whenever the barrel is cold) to see that it is where it should be. I don't clean the barrel again until after hunting season. This way I am assured that the first shot goes where the crosshairs say it is supposed to go, and if the "warm" barrel group is an inch or so away it is not an issue.
     

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