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Load Development During Barrel Break in

 
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2013, 02:16 PM
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Re: Load Development During Barrel Break in

I've always chuckled at references to that "smallest group in history" story about a McMillan barrel. The smallest groups only happen when all the group expanding stuff cancells each other out. That one's the best example of egos overpowering reality.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2013, 07:34 PM
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Re: Load Development During Barrel Break in

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Originally Posted by jakelly View Post
Barrel break in for a custom lapped barrel is a mythical creation designed to shorten barrel life. One of the Mcmillans had some great comments about the idea's origin and challenged the mechanical benefit to the barrel from "break-in". His thoughts were that a barrel was most accurate on the first shot and every shot after that was a degradation. FWIW those boys did shoot the smallest group in history, some maintain it was a zero, officially scored as .009. Factory barrels and custom barrels are very different physically and mechanically.

You should never have to break-in a lapped custom barrel.
Breaking in a barrel is for conditioning the throat and bore for minimal fouling, not improving accuracy. The benefit is less fouling, longer shot strings between cleanings and easier cleaning. That said, some competitive shooters take a little different view of it taking up to 100 rounds to burnish and season a barrel for optimum precision and velocity... but that's not me or the greater number of shooters and hunters.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2013, 07:41 PM
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Re: Load Development During Barrel Break in

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Originally Posted by scsims View Post
I will be receiving my first custom rifle with in a couple of weeks, it's a .338 Edge. I was wanting to begin loading some test rounds for load development.

What do most of you do when making loads for the barrel break in period? Should I just load 20 or so rounds at the starting charge weight and just use them for break in and don't shoot for accuracy and precision?

Or can you go ahead and load in powder increments for load development at the same time as breaking in the new barrel?
If you do accomplish load development during break-in, make sure you get all cleaning residues out of your bore so it doesn't affect your pressures. Also, I personally would not shoot for groups during the cleaning/break-n process... only for max pressure.
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2013, 08:30 PM
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Re: Load Development During Barrel Break in

I will be getting my first gun with an aftermarket barrel back on Tuesday and I am going to do a very thorough break in, 55 shots using a mild load as to not put a ton of stress on the action and gun right off the bat, I will shoot 1 and clean for 10 rounds, 5 shots and clean for 15 rounds, then shoot 15 rounds and clean for 30 rounds. Then I will start doing load work up to find max pressure. I have 15 different charge weights, 3 of each, and I will shoot round robin until I hit pressure, then shoot the remaining 2 rounds of the safe charges and check for consistency in POI and accuracy. Not cleaning at all over the <45 rounds ( I have an extra 4 fouling rounds of the same mild load used for break-in to shoot before I shoot the first shot of the adjusted charge weights as to not skew the results). Also, my loaded rounds are running <.001 run out CONSISTENTLY!!!! I can't wait!! But I will have to because we will be in Sioux Falls SD next weekend and won't have a chance to shoot it.
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2013, 08:45 PM
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Re: Load Development During Barrel Break in

I break in every rifle and handgun, cheap or expensive following the Savage recommended procedure. If you buy a new Mercedes, you don't take it off the showroom floor and firewall it to maximum speed, you break it in according to the recommended break in procedure, Same holds true with anything mechanical, guns included. After all, a firearm is a machine that goes bang.

Not all my rifles were expensive, on the contrary but cheap to one person is expensive to another.
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2013, 10:58 PM
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Re: Load Development During Barrel Break in

I do take some advantage of the breakin process. I will usually shoot the first 10 rounds which are cleaned after each shot, with a load/bullet combo that I have investigated and selected as good for the intended purpose. I will back off the charge weight so I'm not operating at max pressure or velocity. I will zero the scope with the first 2 or 3 shots and shoot the remainder using a consistent cleaning process for each shot and see how tight a group I can get at 100 yards just to get a feel for how load rifle performs. With the remaining 3 and 5 shot cycles I will then begin to test charge weight increases to find the max load if the load looks promising. Once the barrel appears broken in, I will then get down to serious refinement. If the break in load looked good, I'm ahead of the game and have a feel for how it performs. this has worked out well for several rifles I have set up. When it didn't work out, I at least got the rifle broken in and moved on to further load development.
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