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If you shoot copper-jacketed high-velocity ammunition, the surface of your rifle bore is coated with copper. Although the buildup is slower, eventually this residue will cause the same problems as carbon deposits. Typically this will show up towards the end of a longer shooting day, when your shots begin spinning out of control and hitting wide even though you've been religiously cleaning your bore of powder residue.

The problem is that copper-fouling is more difficult to remove and requires specific copper cleaning products such as Sweet's 7.62, Hoppe's Bench Rest 9, or Shooter's Choice Copper Remover. Fortunately we find that this type of cleaning need be done less frequently, and "after one gets home" may be sufficient. But be sure to get all the copper out. We've used as many as 10 cleaning patches in a row before they came out clean.

Be careful if using a strong ammonia-based copper-cleaner, especially if you have a stainless steel barrel. Leaving it on too long can cause damage to the bore surface! Also, if you choose to brush during this process, be sure to use a nylon rather than a brass brush. Brass itself contains copper, and each pass will redeposit a fresh layer of copper on your bore surface, so that your patches will never come out clean!

So there it is, a basic rundown on carbon, copper, and cleaning, and keeping your Mini a straight shooter!