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new barrel break in

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Unread 12-30-2012, 06:26 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,132
Re: new barrel break in

Bart, my personal custom barreled rifles I typically do the following. Load 100 pcs of new brass with MY standard load, which most often has been a proven 1/2moa load or better at distance, in that particular chambering. The first 100 bullets are all identical in every aspect. I then shoot 1-5 bullets and clean, until I have cleaned the barrel about 3 times. Then i will run about 20-40 rounds thru it shooting for accuracy, or just pounding some steel on my 600 yard range. I clean it again after bore scoping to evaluate the condition/amount of fouling, at this point it usually cleans up with 3-4 patches of Bore-tech. I then burn up the rest of the loads until 100 rounds are thru, I typically crono every load of these hundred, With the last 10 bullets are evaluate the LR accuracy to see if; 1. they are in the speed range I wish to meet, 2. they have low SD, 3. and they group at least 1/2moa. Now many of actually most of my guns are heavy barreled. If they meet my requirements I will continue with that load, or I may tweak it to what I want from it. But by 150 rounds I will be 100% done messing with loads for that rifle. 95% of the barrels I do this to with the exact same loads will show the following,
1. lower ES with the last 10 rounds then the first 50.
2. higher velocity by 50-100 fps with the last 10 rounds verses the first 30
3. often enough the same load will shoot tighter groups with the last 10 rounds than the first 50.

Aaron Davidson and his crew, at Gunwerks, has broken in every rifle that is a package gun that leaves there shop, he says every one gets on average 100 rounds thru them to determine the actual stabilized data so he can build a correct turret matched bdc dial. When a guy puts out over 800 rifles a year and tells me something I tend to listen, and then evaluate his theory myself. My guess is you have never done what I outlined in my first paragraph, thus you have no baseline to say what if anything you could learn from this. And to be honest I really don't care what you do but I would like to put it out there so others who are a little more open minded can judge for them selves.

I shoot f-class and Practical/tactical and can tell you there are literally hundreds of guys who have dealt with this same thing. Hell I have taken new barrels with 10 rounds thru them to f-class matches just to burn up the first 100 rounds, trust me my scores at 1000 yards are not what they are after I have the gun shot in with 100 rounds, even if I don't change the load at that point.

I can assume from your reply again that you read the article and discussion and answered your other questions.

I never said I was smarter than you, those are your words, but it's obvious by your condescending tone that you think your smarter than me. Since you used the term "think" in reference to what you perceive that I feel. Hey if that floats your boat run with it. I just find it ironic how you try and test every ones knowledge when you feel yours is so superior, yet you don't back it up with anything, and refuse to provide data or life examples other than "I did it and it's not so."

Post up some of your competitive match results, target pics, trophy's you won.
May-be even a pic of an animal you killed over 200 yards.

Oh by the way sorry I was out all day and couldn't respond sooner but I was at a informal br match today where I shot two sub 2" group off my bi-pod and rear bag with my 6xc tactical gun. I placed second to a guy shooting a full out f-open gun. But I take a little credit for that since I built it.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 9,768
Re: new barrel break in

WTG Jim and congrats!

I voted for my "FREEDOM", "GUNS", and "MONEY" - keep the change - UNK.

"I am always proud of my country!"

"Leadership Rule #2: Don't be an ***hole." - Maj Gen Burton Field.
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Unread 01-01-2013, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,101
Re: new barrel break in

Great Jim and keep it up.
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Unread 01-01-2013, 02:14 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 110
Re: new barrel break in

Another perspective.

Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures - Sniper's Hide Forums
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Unread 01-01-2013, 04:58 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: new barrel break in

Interesting read. The Sniper's Hide OP seems to be a very intelligent and educated man and yet he just doesn't get it although he does bring up some good points.

I have never heard or read anywhere where anyone ever implied that the patch and brush is what is breaking your barrel in. That clues me in that there is something that he just doesn't get.

First off, we all know there is a big difference between custom barrels and factory barrels, but the concept is basically the same. Smooth out the roughness because the roughness increases copper fouling and once you get to a certain level of copper fouling, it's going to affect your accuracy and then you will have to clean to get your accuracy back and repeat the process. Reply post time stamped 10:35 sums it pretty well and the OP just doesn't seem to get it.

You could shoot one and clean for a 100 rounds in some factory barrels and never get them completely "smoothed out" and many or most custom barrels will be "smoother" from the git go than a lot of factory barrels will ever be. That doesn't mean that a custom still cant be improved and if you never completely "smooth" out a factory bore you can also still improve it to some extent.

How do you know what your accomplishing without a bore scope? It's quite simple. I see it in the patches I run through the bore. I don't need a bore scope to see the diffidence in effort from the beginning of the process to the end. When it takes me 1 patch to clean a bore vs the 10 patches I needed when I started the process, or maybe 10 patches vs the 25 patches I need for a factory barrel. I know I have accomplished something. It's not rocket science and you don't need to be an engineer to understand it and see the results. it's all relative.

The fact that some folks might ruin their barrel because of lesser quality rods and poor cleaning practices has nothing to do with whether or not barrel break in is a good or bad thing. Get a quality rod and do it right.

It's interesting he said that he always cleans his rifles after he uses them before he puts them away and said, that's the way he was taught and yet he saying he's being "objective" Doing something because that's the way you've always done it and were taught that way is not being objective. A couple of things about that.... If he is cleaning after every use, then he does not need to do a break in as he will see little benefit from it unless he shoots long strings. Also he is actually breaking in his rifle the long way with so many cleanings, and last he is arguing against himself about the whole ruining your barrel by so much cleaning thing.

On the good points he brought up, the part about cleaning all the way down to bare metal not being good is something I agree with, after break in. I'm just guessing, but cleaning ALL the fouling out may require more "settling in" for accuracy after cleaning. Also, when I read Dan Lilja's take on the subject, his view was that you should leave a basic layer of carbon fouling to keep your bore seasoned (paraphrasing him)

I will do the break in thing. I've seen the results and I'm happy.
- Mark

You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it.
~ John Quincy Adams
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Unread 01-07-2013, 09:08 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,193
Re: new barrel break in

This is one of those subjects that will never be 100% agreed on and probably

Every barrel is different (Though slightly)and has to be treated as such.

I believe in break in but treat each barrel different durring the process in order to
get the most from it and in some cases save time and ammo.

If you start with any new barrel and read the signs as you do the break in "IT" will tell
you when enough is enough. some barrels break in in less than 10 shoot and clean shots,
other Custom barrels may take 20 to 25 shoot and clean shots. (A very laborious task)
and a very understandable reason why some fore go the process.

Factory barrels (Not lapped)are a complete different story IMO, I do a simple break in to see
if there is any change in performance (Grouping and clean up) and after 10 shoot and clean
sessions if there is no apparent change I give up and just recomend shooting and cleaning after
each session and monitor the performance for about 100 rounds. If there is still no improvement
it is about as good as it will ever be and is exceptable or a candidate for a new barrel.

Once a barrel break in is complete is I do like the non ammonia cleaners used sparingly and the
use of cotton swabs and patches to clean a barrel of all copper and most (Not all) of the carbon
seasoning to take special care of a fine barrel.

The frequency of the clean up of any barrel depends on "That" barrel and no one method works
best for all barrels. There is No free ride and taking short cuts will only reduce the total
performance of any barrel.

I have used the final finish process on some very rough barrels and the process did improve the
performance but did not ''lap'' the entire barrel from chamber to crown using a bore scope to
monitor progress. So I only recomend its use on poor quality barrels when you have nothing
to lose.

Again : Read your barrels needs and clean as needed to keep it at the top of its performance.

Just my opinion and practice for what its worth.

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Unread 01-09-2013, 05:57 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 18
Re: new barrel break in

Could anybody please explain the Weatherby Vanguard MOA guns to me then? I don't think that they shoot 20 shots through these before they sell them. Are their methods that imprecise that barrels will vary that much?
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