I’ve received questions, especially from new BPCR shooters, asking for recommendations and comments on cleaning rods and wiping rods. Although, depending on the rifle, it may be possible to use the same rod for both applications, I prefer one designed for a specific job.
Bore Cleaning Rods A rod designed to clean the rifle bore between relays, after a match or shooting session should be stiff with minimum flex. It should rotate very smoothly on the handle and the shaft should be sufficiently stiff so as not to rub on the bore under heavy pressure assuming the use of a chamber guide and proper jag. In some, hopefully few, situations, additional force such as pounding on the handle may be necessary to drive a tight patch down the bore to clean out heavy fouling or lead deposits. Therefore the handle should be made of high quality durable material and designed with ball bearings for rotational ease. There are many suppliers of cheap rods but only a few make good quality rods. Well-known brands that come to mind are Dewey, Bore Tech and Tipton. Based on personal use and what I’ve read concerning handle construction, I’d rate the Tipton as the best of the three, followed by Bore Tech and then Dewey. But there are a couple of other suppliers I’ d recommend for BPCR over all others due to the design. They are Dan Phariss rods and one’s sold by Shiloh Sharps.
The Phariss and Shiloh rods are uncoated stainless and feature a slot a few inches behind the tip. A cleaning patch in the slot is ideal for centering the end of the rod and helping to ensure the rod or jag does not bang against or rubs on the muzzle crown assuming the slot and patch are not pushed completely out of the muzzle.If having to choose between the two, I’d give the nod to the Shiloh rods due to the price. If a Dewey, Bore Tech or Tipton rod is used, I highly recommend the Montana Vintage Arms (MVA) long black nylon jags, which are also sold by Shiloh Sharps. The MVA jags are sufficiently long to keep the jag and rod centered in the bore and allows the patch to drop off.
Regardless of the rod brand or design, it’s a good idea to use a chamber guide to protect the chamber and throat. Most BPCR shooters make their own by drillinga hole in the rear of a cartridge case large enough to slide over the rod. Also recommended is a rod-stop that limits how far the rod can be inserted into the chamber and bore to prevent the back end of the jag or centering slot with patch from exiting the muzzle. In place of an adjustable stop, a length of plastic (PVC or similar) pipe can be slid over the rod to butt up against the handle. If not using a chamber guide it should be slightly larger in diameter than the breech end of the chamber. With a chamber guide the tube can be just large enough to slide overthe cleaning rod. BTW, this is my preferred method and is displayed in the following photos of a Bore Tech rod with a cartridge-case chamber guide and PVC stop. The jag on the end is the aforementioned one from MVA.
Wiping Rods Some time ago I switched from “blow tubing” to wiping (running a damp patch down the bore between shots). A light-weight flexible delrin rod is preferred since speed is of the essence and especially if the tang sight tends to interfere with a stiff non-flexible rod. A heavy stiff rod is not needed since only light pressure is required to push a wet patch down and out the bore. Althoughmany shooters use delrin wiping rods with wood handles and screw-in jags purchased from a BPCR accessory supplier, the handle is not required and neither is a jag if the rod is of sufficient diameter to lightly force the patch against the bore and the rod is only used for wiping. Therefore a length of the correct diameter delrin rod from an industrial supply company such as Grainger, McMaster-Carr or MSC will work just as well as one from a BPCR equipment supplier. If you choose to use a wiping rod that is threaded at the end for a jag, I do not recommend installing a brush on the end of the rod to push the damp patch down the bore. When pulling the rod back out of the bore, the brush will tend to drag remaining residue in the bore back into the throat and chamber.
And here’s an excellent tip that I have adopted to eliminate a step in the wiping process. Many “wipers” dry the chamber after wiping to stop the wetting solution from running back into the action and/or to eliminate a wet chamberthat can result in case stretching. Therefore many shooters follow the wet patch with a dry patch or “mop”, requiring additional time. So why not incorporate bore wiping and chamber drying in the same step? If a short thin slot is cut in the delrin wiping rod at the appropriate distance from the rod tip, a patch can be folded and inserted in the slot to remove wiping solution from the chamber as the rod tip and wiping patch exits the muzzle. One drying patch is sufficient for each relay. BTW, if you patches are so wet that liquid from the patch tends to puddle or run out of the chamber, than they are way too wet and can result in cases stretching as suggested above and/or case splitting. Excessive moisturein the bore can also result in bore leading. For more on this subject click on the following link: My_BPCR_Bore_Leading_Saga.html.