Back here in the Meccastreisand armory and man cave, Coach and I have been busy cleaning the entire armory in preparation for a wild thrashing head to head test of Modern Spartan Systems firearm cleaning and lubrication products against the old standby of Hoppes #9 & Sweet’s 7.62 and RemOil. While we’re busy doing that we’ve lined up a special discount for our loyal readers to make your holiday self-gifting a little more pocketbook friendly. Head on over to http://modernspartansystems.com and use code BCLEAN19 to get a 10% discount on your order.
We’re going whole hog with this test. We’ve got the important baseline data gathered in the form of our score cards from each competition we enter. We’re going to be looking for how we do in matches, not just on the sighting bench (the occasional sighting bench will be used however). We’re going after some interesting questions. The question that really matters, “How will using this product actually affect my life?”. That breaks out into two areas: Time and Targets Hit. In the end it all boils down to those two things. How much life you have to not live in order to take care of your guns so they work for what you want them to do and how many more times will you hit your target than you used to?
For black powder cartridge guns, will MSS Accuracy Oil help prevent the build-up of carbon fouling that makes us have to clean the chamber half-way through a match? Will that make us more consistent shooters in the back half of match? Will not having to clean mean fewer POI changes? How many points is this worth in the real world? So we’ll test using a .45-70 Trapdoor Springfield rifle. An actual antique. We know that after 30 rounds it starts getting plain old difficult to get a round in it due to fouling build-up. Will we be able to make it to 40? Could we stretch it to 50? When it does come time to clean is it going to be a brush job or a mop job?
Beyond the mindset shifting, how about not having to go into the back half of a match with the rifle shooting differently than it had been? After you clean them they take a few shots to foul-in, so to speak. A clean rifle will usually shoot to a different point of impact than a lightly fouled rifle. How will this new cleaning suite do for us? If we get away with not cleaning in the middle of the match and the rifle is then shooting consistently how will that affect our scores?
We hypothesize that not cleaning will mean not rushing around between relays and that’ll mean up to about 3 more points since we won’t have to break out of our shooting mindset to go clean the rifle. We also hypothesize that not having the mid-game cleaning in play means we should be able to pick up 1-3 additional points. If either or both of those actually happen I know that success is infectious and we’ll feel the effect. When we’re on a hot streak we’ll usually pick up a point or two just on the think-good-do-good principle.
These same principles apply to the other guns we’ll be testing against. With pistols, will my Glock cycle our handloads just a little bit smoother? We load that ammo the way we do knowing full well that it occasionally presents us with type 1, 2 and 3 malfunctions which provides a very useful surprise malfunction clearance drill to keep us sharp. With our long range precision prone guns will we pick up that elusive 3-5 points that haunt our scores but rarely show themselves? Will it take fewer, the same number or more shots to get the rifle to settle down after cleaning? Will we get smaller groups? Will velocity spreads be affected? How about those mystery flyers?
What will happen with our rimfire silhouette rifles? Will our scores increase? We’ve been shooting within 3% of our current scores for about 2 years now. Admittedly we don’t get nearly as much practice as we used to so each match we start pretty well cold anymore. Will my M1 Carbine feed smoothly without that mid-magazine malfunction? How will my shotgun react? Will I finally be able to get that last bloody target and run a clean round?
Well, better lubrication makes things work more smoothly that’s for sure. Lubrication that lasts is a great thing and might as well be a ghost for all the luck I’ve had up till now trying to find. Cleaning products are a whole bigger thing. Anything strong enough to be effective is likely to be strong enough to damage the steel we’re trying to clean. It’s also likely to be toxic as all get out. Will MSS’s cleaning regime be easier on the elbow grease?
Right now we don’t know. We’re stripping and cleaning everything we have right now to get them all back to unfouled dry metal. Once that’s done we’ll go out and get them dirty again. We’ll track groups and velocities to see how long they take to settle down. Then, we’ll clean them again but this time with MSS’s goodies and then we’ll use their metal conditioning protocols and see what changes in the form of velocities and groups as well as in terms of what happens to our scores in real competitive match shooting situations and in our training regime.
So, yes there will be math and we will get a quantitative analysis. There will also be real world results which are qualitative by definition but which lead to quantitative results that can be fairly measured against prior data. Stay tuned.