Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics

Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics


Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 01-12-2005, 12:08 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Conway, AR
Posts: 22
Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

Thanks for your advice. I bought a Rem. 700 BDL from the same smith about 6 years ago. He bedded the action, did a trigger job, and hand lapped the barrel. That 300 win-mag shot into just over an inch at 200 yards out of a sporter barrel. He is really good at what he does and has my full trust. I understand what you are saying and if I did not know the gunsmith personally, I would not allow him to touch the barrel at all.

Thanks again,
Reply With Quote
  •   #9  
    Unread 01-12-2005, 01:58 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: Central PA
    Posts: 1,307
    Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

    SS et al.

    The MAIN purpose for barrel break in is to smooth out the transverse "grooves" left in the leade when the barrel is chambered.

    the chamber reamer, no matter how sharp, lets grooves perpendicular to the bullets travel at the beginning of the lands, and needs smoothed off a bit.

    Dave tubb uses, i believe his finest grit, FF bullets to expedite the process even on custom barrels.

    Most coppering during break in comes from the rough new cut lands causing vaporized copper to get deposited in the bore.

    Check it Out!!--> Shoot the Smack The Smiley Match...and help
    Reply With Quote

    Unread 01-12-2005, 04:13 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Jun 2007
    Location: Wilmington NC
    Posts: 4,749
    Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

    NO way would I lap a factory barrel or let anyone tell me he can do it without damaging the muzzle end of the barrel.

    Dan Lilja makes a cut across the blank about 3/4" down from the muzzle ends of the blanks he sends out. Lapping will wear out the ends of the barrel blank and enlarge the bores. On one end you chamber it and on the other you cut off 3/4-1".

    Now if Dan Lilja and every other barrel mftr cannot hand lap without enlarging the bore end with the number they lap daily, do you really think a local gunsmith who laps a barrel once a month can do it without damaging the muzzle end????

    Fire lapping if carefully done will help but got to watch throat erosion.

    Reply With Quote
    Unread 01-12-2005, 07:24 PM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Aug 2004
    Location: utah
    Posts: 302
    Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

    [ QUOTE ]
    I would suggest you listen to yourself and your intuition.

    Barrel break in is full of urban legend that getting a clear answer is a big waste of time.

    Mechanically, all that is being done is to remove any rough spots. Whether it is with a bullet or lapping compound really doesn't matter.

    The most recent rifle I have is a Savage 110 in 270. Rds 4,5, and 6 went into 1/4". All I did before firing was to clean out the oil in the bore. I would suggest barrel is broken in.

    Personally, I don't bother with barrel break in. I just shoot and see what happens. If accuracy degrades quickly, then I hand polish with some JB bore polish and non embedding compound. This just takes the 'edge' off the lands. About as gritty as toothpaste so removing metal would take a lifetime.

    A bit more shooting and a barrel will settle down, IF it is ever going to. A mis manufactured barrel is never going to improve. A well made barrel will shoot from the get go.

    I really don't see the point of breaking in a match barrel. If this is a quality lapped barrel, any thing I do is only going to degrade the finish and cause wear. I would just shoot it as is. If a match barrel looses accuracy quickly due to fouling, I got a lemon and its back to the shop.

    My 2 cents..


    [/ QUOTE ]
    This is the biggest crock I have ever read on this forum ,I tried not to respond but I can not let this pass.
    If you have ever really done a barrel break-in correctly then this quote is absurd.
    Every barrel manufacturer on the planet suggests a barrel break -in, it is more than just smoothing out the rough edges it is just like seasoning a new dutch-oven, dont do it and things dont turn out quite as well.
    Doing a barrel brake-in makes your barrel copper foul less and clean up easier for the life of the barrel with better accuracy.
    I have tested guns over the years on doing break-in or not ,I will never NOT break-in again factory or custom.
    Reply With Quote
    Unread 01-12-2005, 09:13 PM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: NY
    Posts: 394
    Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

    Here is an interesting post I had saved re: the break in of a barrel. From Gale McMillan. I guess this debate will never end.

    Frank D

    From: Gale McMillan <" gale">
    Newsgroups: rec.guns
    Subject: Re: Barrel break-in necessary?
    Date: 7 Jan 1997 20:40:25 -0500

    Mike Sumner wrote:
    > ...

    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 break in method A very large number would do more harm than
    help. The reason you hear of the help in accuracy is because if you
    chamber 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 1 to 2 hundred rounds to burn this bur 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 smithe would. Another tidbit to
    consider, Take a 300Win Mag. that has a life expectancy of 1000 rounds.
    Use 10% of it up with your break in procedure for ever 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 include what you think is happening to the inside of
    your barrel during the break in that is helping you.

    Gale McMillan
    NBSRA IBS,FCSA and NRA Life Member

    Search for Google's copy of this article

    From: Gale McMillan <>
    Newsgroups: rec.guns
    Subject: Re: Good barrels for Rem 700 in .308?
    Date: 10 Feb 1996 12:50:53 -0500

    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 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
    come up with the 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 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 doesn'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.

    Gale McMillan

    Search for Google's copy of this article

    From: Gale McMillan <" gale">
    Newsgroups: rec.guns
    Subject: Re: Remington 700 break in
    Date: 8 Aug 1997 00:01:07 -0400

    Arthur Sprague wrote:

    # On 29 Jul 1997 22:50:26 -0400, (John W. Engel)
    # wrote:
    # #This is how (some) benchrester break in barrels, and it does work.
    # #The mechanism is that the bore has pores in it (microns in size).
    # #If you simply shoot a box or two through it without cleaning, the
    # #pores fill up with gilding metal, and stay that way. If you
    # #follow the above procedure (and they mean *clean* between shots!),
    # #the pores are "smoothed over" with each successive shot. A barrel
    # #correctly broken in is MUCH easier to clean than one that is
    # #not. If it is a good quality tube, it will also be more accurate.
    # #Regards,
    # #whit
    # Well, the range hours here are quite limited. On my first trip I
    # managed to fire a whole fourteen rounds, with a thorough cleaning
    # after each round. It couldn't hurt! Fun gun! Difficult to think of
    # .223 as a battle round after experience with .30-06 and .45ACP, but it
    # surely going to be a pleasure to shoot.
    # Thanks to all for their advice.

    This is total hogwash! 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
    defiantly will shorten the barrel life. I have been a barrel maker a
    fair amount of time and my barrels have set and reset bench rest world
    records so many times I quit keeping track (at one time they held 7 at
    one time) along with HighPower,Silloett,smallbore national and world
    records and my instructions were to clean as often as posable 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
    Gale Mc.
    "A tie is as good as a loss, and no one remembers second place."
    Reply With Quote
    Unread 01-12-2005, 11:15 PM
    Platinum Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: on the rifle range in Utah
    Posts: 2,704
    Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

    If all of what you just said is true, than how do you explain it when on the ??teenth shot the cleaning time gets cut in half and the patch feels like it is going in and out easier?
    Find it
    Range it
    Click it
    Pull it
    Dump it

    If it's not far, it's boring.
    Reply With Quote
    Unread 01-13-2005, 04:28 AM
    Silver Member
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: NY
    Posts: 394
    Re: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?

    All I did by posting was share something I had saved, that was of interest to me. Gale McMillian was one of the most respected names in the firearms industry, and those were his thoughts. This is not science it is opinion, my intention was to share info, and see how others feel about it.

    Good question: [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
    Frank D
    "A tie is as good as a loss, and no one remembers second place."
    Reply With Quote


    Thread Tools
    Display Modes

    Similar Threads for: Is barrel break-in really needed for factory guns?
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    can savage factory muzzle break be removed? win270wsm Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 8 03-10-2014 10:10 PM
    Savage Factory Muzzle Break? bowhunthard Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 10 01-15-2013 11:14 PM
    Quiet possibly the best factory guns you can buy sniperjwt Long Range Hunting & Shooting 54 05-13-2010 09:41 AM
    muzzle break help needed wkinderknecht Gunsmithing 3 11-30-2007 03:00 PM
    Factory guns Pahunter Long Range Hunting & Shooting 17 03-23-2004 05:01 PM

    All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:07 AM.

    Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
    All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC