Cleaning Smallbore Rifle Silhouette Rimfire Rifles

In General....

If you are using standard over-the-counter ammunition and you are new to Smallbore Rifle Silhouette that is fine. Anything you have confidence in is good enough to try this sport (see the ammunition section on the EQUIPMENT page). The cleaning described here is relative to competition shooting and does not apply to rifles using regular ammunition. There is no reason to clean a smallbore rifle which has used exclusively wax coated target ammunition with any more than a dry patch. There should be no solvents or brushes used. 

The Basics Behind Cleaning Smallbore Target Rifles

There are numerous opinions of when to clean a smallbore rifle. There are so many you will need to do your own research and make up your own mind which works best for you The results of my research and experience on the range is similar to some of the best Smallbore Rifle Silhouette shooters. I specifically spoke to a couple of the best shooters in the world in 2005 to get their opinions and I have their results here.

From Augustine Sanchez Jr., a multi-time National Champion and multi-World Record holder in Smallbore and High Power Rifle Silhouette - Agustine stated he cleans his rifle before going to a match prior to any practicing for the match. It is always with only a dry patch. 

From Cathy Winstead-Severin, a multi-time National Champion and multi-World Record holder in Smallbore Rifle Silhouette - Cathy stated she cleans her rifle after 1,000 rounds. She uses only a dry patch. She mentioned that she will not feel confident in her rifle being ready for a match until it has 200 rounds through it after a cleaning.  

What I Do Personally for my Rimfire Target Rifles

The Anschutz 1808 MS I have is fairly simple. After anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 shots it needs a cleaning. After the dry patch cleaning it is back to normal accuracy after 10 to 50 shots.

The Anschutz 1712 I have is a little more complicated. It needs cleaning after 1,000 to 2,000 shots. It takes 100 to 200 shots for it to return to normal.

Prior to a Championship-type match I will clean both rifles just before the next-closest local match. I will then be able to get some practice in, shoot a 60 round match, and some more practice before shooting the Championship Match. This gives both rifles plenty of shots to stablize and, be certain to not need a cleaning in the middle of the match.