How I Clean My Air Gun Barrel - Tony Fouracres

2 Comments12 June 2020  |  Air Arms

Tony Fouracres talks us through the process on how he keeps the barrel of his air rifle clean.

The cleaning of an Airgun barrel can be a controversial subject, some never clean at all, others just when their accuracy groups open up and some clean them frequently. For me, keeping the barrel of my EV2 mk4 clean and in tip top condition is very important to achieve maximum accuracy from the gun when Field Target Shooting. I tend to give the barrel a light clean every 150 to 200 shots and especially before a competition.

Personally, I use the Napier ‘Gun Cleaner’ and ‘Rifle Clean’ for this but other makes are available. I prefer to make my own ‘Pull Through’ from 100lb nylon coated stainless steel fishing trace wire, folded in two and attached to a small handle. This is very strong, does the job perfectly and in all my years it has never broke leaving the ‘Patch’ (a little piece of cleaning cloth) stuck inside the barrel.

Firstly, I turn the gun upside down in the maintenance cradle. This is to ensure that no cleaning fluid (or oil) accidentally runs down into the air transfer port as this may cause future problems. Never spray the cleaning fluid directly into the barrel, just spray a little onto a small piece of cleaning cloth cut to a length about 70-80 mm for a 0.177 barrel. You will notice my mark on the top of the Rifle Clean box shown in picture below. If unsure, start with smaller size patches and gradually increase size until it feels snug but not excessively tight when being pulled through barrel.

Most lead deposits will be at the muzzle end of the barrel, so always pull the patch through from that end (breech through to muzzle). If you have a silencer/air stripper fitted, I use a straw in which to insert the wire through and then guide it into the barrel, as removing and refitting the silencer/air stripper may require re-zeroing the gun afterwards.

Having slightly dampened the patch with the cleaner, fold or roll it up and then fold in half to insert it into the loop of wire protruding from the breech. Slowly pull the patch through the barrel taking care to keep the wire central in the barrel as not to damage the crown at the very end of barrel.

If you have not cleaned the barrel for some time, the patches will probably come out black. Repeat until the patches come out clean. Then put one or two dry patches through. Finally put a VERY slightly oiled patch through followed by another completely dry one. I actually prefer a drop or two of Napier Pellet Lube instead of the oil and in doing that I don’t lube my pellets.

Because I keep my barrel very clean, my patches are not too dirty when they come out, but compare that to a patch that came out of a very old Spring gun I cleaned for a friend ….

Finally, when shooting a competition, I always carry a little tub containing my homemade pull through, a few pre-cut patches, some pellet lube, a VP90 field patch and a few shoot-through felts. You never know when they may be needed, especially on a very wet rainy day when barrels become damp!

Have fun and shoot safely...

Pete the Plinker
19 September 2020  |  22:31

Would you use a heavyweight braided fishing line i.e catfish strength of 100-150 bs.i don't feel confident using s.s wire.this would prevent cuts on the barrel crown?

Jacqueline Wilson
08 November 2023  |  13:23

Thank you for your guide into cleaning air gun barrels as I am a rather senior active person who manages to clear her 3 guns one of which was a problem to me having Parkinson’s that being my FX Crown Mk2 as I do use a pull through on my two Weihrauch HW100 177& .22 both are easy to keep in pristine condition
. However the FX is another issue as one has to unscrew the barrel outer cover to get at the inner barrel to comprehensively clean said barrel as you describe the first pull through was black from previous shooting though I had used soft 177 preformed pellets to clean the barrel only they do not appear to be effectiveness there use.
After 3 pull through my barrel at last was clean after another pull through confirming all was clean I reassembled the barrel after a quick wipe over with a soft cloth & a very fine spray of gun oil it all went together perfectly
Thank you for your read it’s most effective.
Kindest Regards