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The metal inside the barrel is bare carbon steel.
I wouldn't get TOO aggressive, there's really no need to.
If it's leaded up, buy and use a Lewis Lead Remover from Brownell's.

If it's copper fouled, allow the bore to soak with a good bore solvent. Just make sure to keep the solvent wiped off the nickel to prevent possible damage.
Run a soaked patch through the bore, wipe off any on the nickel and let soak for 30 minutes or so. Wet a clean patch and run straight through the bore and out.
If it has blue or green stains from copper fouling, let soak 30 more minutes and run another wet patch.
Continue until clean.

You can use Flitz or a "lead away" cloth, but remember, nickle plating isn't all that durable and the front face of a cylinder takes a beating from blast.
Clean the face too often, and the plating will start to thin or even wear off.
 
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