Stainless steel bore brushes...what the flying fu....? They damage your bore!?
Arrgh! I learned about stainless steel bore brushes today in an extremely aggravating way.
I was cleaning my Mini 14 so that I could get it ready to use for a USPSA 3 gun match (which ended up being cancelled, anyway; heh). I was looking around for a .22 cal bore brush and found one in my big box of cleaning supplies. So, I ran the bore brush down the barrel with some Hoppes a few times, and then I noticed that on the bore brush container it said something to the effect of, "stainless steel bore brush...excessive use may damage barrels."
So, I immediately stopped using it, and threw it out, so that I wouldn't mistakenly use it again in the future! I probably bought the brush a long time ago from a store not realizing how the product was different than other bore brushes. I finished cleaning the rifle and put it back into the safe.
I did a google search for "stainless steel bore brush" afterwards and basically found out that they apparently really and truly can damage your barrel. Concerned, I went back and examined the barrel in my mini 14 as best I could, and there was nothing visually that I could see that was wrong with it. But, since I'm not really a rifle expert, and I hardly ever shoot at long distances, I still feel a little worried because maybe something has been affected, but I just don't have any way to tell or notice. In that way this is a real psych-out for me.
The good news is that I'd never used that brush before, so the positive side of all this is that 1.) I learned about stainless steel bore brushes and won't mistakenly purchase or use them in the future, and 2.) at least I didn't use it in my new AR and won't in the future now that I have gained knowledge about them.
But, the question I'd like to ask the people who post on this forum is, what are the odds that I could have damaged the mini 14 by accident, by using the brush just a few times this morning?