Do I really need to remove the moderator on my rifle when I clean it? If so, how often?
MIKE ALLISON replies: Look at this photograph showing the crowns of two identical rifles, both only 14 months old. The one on the left of the photograph is cleaned regularly – definitely after every 20 rounds.
The one on the right is also cleaned after every 20 rounds, but the moderator was left on permanently. The one on the left is still printing sub ½” groups at 100m, whereas the one on the right was becoming erratic at about 12 months old, with 8” groups being the norm.
Moderators should be removed from your rifle at the end of your stalking session for that day. Harmful gasses build up in the moderator during normal use. These are retained within the moderator and can cause rapid damage to the crown as well as down through the barrel and to the bore.
You cannot expect rifles to perform faultlessly unless care is taken in their maintenance, so please do not leave your moderator on your rifle if you want it to perform to its maximum capability time after time.