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My smallest 3 shot group

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Unread 11-02-2008, 08:32 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Jackson,WY
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Re: My smallest 3 shot group

Originally Posted by yobuck View Post
hell no wonder, all these good shooters are leftys
Because they're in their right mind?
B R A S S- Breathe Relax Aim Stop Squeeze
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Unread 11-02-2008, 08:42 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
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Re: My smallest 3 shot group

a bug hole with 200 rounds down the tube. come to think of it, mine seems to shoot as good or better with 20-30 rounds, but i'm always cleaning it. think i'll put the cleaning rod away for a while.
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Unread 11-03-2008, 12:32 AM
JLR JLR is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Wenatchee, Washington
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Re: My smallest 3 shot group

I subscribed to the Carlock school of cleaning this summer and the only thing I've noticed is how much longer a bag of patches lasts Everything shoots as good as when I clean all the time if not fact, I'd say my rifles shoot more consistent after about 30 rounds or so.

That which does not kill me......has made a huge tactical error
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Unread 11-03-2008, 02:08 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
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Re: My smallest 3 shot group

This is a very interesting thread, as I have always been a believer in keeping a clean bore.

Shawn, If you would humor me with an answer to one more question, what is your thoughts on breaking in a barrel and did you break this one in?

Thanks, Mark
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Unread 11-03-2008, 10:46 AM
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Re: My smallest 3 shot group

Not that it matters, but I've got two cutom built rifles (one of them built by Shawn) and neither one of them did I do any "barrel break-in" procedures. After combing through tons of internet forums and reading what some of the top gunsmiths and shooters had to say about it, I came to the conclusion that its a waste of time and may infact lessen the life of your barrel.

My 338 Edge that Shawn built shot a .241" (100 yards) five shot hole with the first five shots. I think I've cleaned that barrel 2 times in 600 shots and it still shoots the same to this day.

Over time, I've found no issues in my accuracy. In fact I get the best accuracy when my round count is between 100 and 300 rounds. After 300 rounds is when I start to see the accuracy taper off and that is when I clean the barrel.

I questioned George Gardner of GA Precision about barrel break-in and his exact words were "just go shoot it". He says that he puts barrel break-in instructions into the cases of every rifle he builds, just because he was getting tired of people calling him about it.

Here's a quote from Gale McMillan of McMillan Stocks, that you might find interesting:

As a barrel maker I have looked in thousands of new and used barrels with a bore scope and I will tell you that if every one followed the prescribed [one shot, one clean] break-in method, a very large number would do more harm than good. The reason you hear of the gain in accuracy is because if you chamber a barrel with a reamer that has a dull throater instead of cutting clean sharp rifling it smears a burr up on the down wind side of the rifling. It takes from one to two hundred rounds to burn this burr out and the rifle to settle down and shoot its best. Any one who chambers rifle barrels has tolerances on how dull to let the reamer get and factories let them go longer than any competent smith would.

Another tidbit to consider--take a 300 Win Mag that has a life expectancy of 1000 rounds. Use 10% of it up with your break-in procedure. For every 10 barrels the barrel-maker makes he has to make one more just to take care of the break-in. No wonder barrel-makers like to see this. Now when you flame me on this please [explain] what you think is happening to the inside of your barrel during the break in that is helping you.

Consider this: every round shot in breaking-in a barrel is one round off the life of said rifle barrel. No one has ever told me the physical reason of what happens during break-in firing. In other words what, to the number of pounds of powder shot at any given pressure, is the life of the barrel. No one has ever explained what is being accomplished by shooting and cleaning in any prescribed method. Start your barrel off with 5 rounds and clean it thoroughly and do it again. Nev Maden, a friend down under that my brother taught to make barrels was the one who came up with the [one shot one clean] break-in method. He may think he has come upon something, or he has come up with another way to sell barrels. I feel that the first shot out of a barrel is its best and every one after that deteriorates [the bore] until the barrel is gone. If some one can explain what physically takes place during break-in to modify the barrel then I may change my mind. As the physical properties of a barrel don't change because of the break-in procedures it means it's all hog wash. I am open to any suggestions that can be documented otherwise if it is just someone's opinion--forget it.

It all got started when a barrel maker that I know started putting break-in instructions in the box with each barrel he shipped a few years ago. I asked him how he figured it would help and his reply was if they shoot 100 rounds breaking in this barrel that's total life is 3000 rounds and I make 1000 barrels a year just figure how many more barrels I will get to make. He had a point; it definately will shorten the barrel life. I have been a barrel maker a fair amount of time and my barrels have set and reset benchrest world records so many times I quit keeping track (at one time they held 7 at one time) along with High Power, Silhouette, Smallbore national and world records and my instructions were to clean as often as possible preferably every 10 rounds. I inspect every barrel taken off and every new barrel before it is shipped with a bore scope and I will tell you all that I see far more barrels ruined by cleaning rods than I see worn out from normal wear and tear. I am even reading about people recommending breaking-in pistols. As if it will help their shooting ability or the guns'.

More from Gale McMillan: Barrel Break-In
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Unread 11-03-2008, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
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Re: My smallest 3 shot group

I have only broke in one barrel using the one shot clean method and I did notice that after the 13th round in this particular barrel (Sako) that it almost completely stopped copper fouling. So I was wondering if that helps to keep needed cleaning at greater intervals?
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Unread 11-03-2008, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chelan Co, Washington
Posts: 525
Re: My smallest 3 shot group

Years ago I used to clean barrels a lot, perhaps excessively.

Got into NRA long-range shooting, and found that a lot of the top competitors wouldn't clean their rifle during an entire weekend of shooting, 120+ rounds. They were still shooting mostly 10's and X's on their last string of fire. One explained to me that such performance was what I was paying for when I sprang for a Krieger barrel... Hmmm.

Put my thinking cap on. Put my cleaning rod away. Shot better. I'll be darned.
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