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Breaking in new barrel question

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Unread 03-05-2005, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Breaking in new barrel question

I've not yet shot my new Sako 75 Stailess 7mm08 and need to break-in barrel. Being I don't have reloading equipment and plan on shooting factory ammo for now...I'm wondering if it matters what type of ammo is used for the break in? Would it be OK to use the cheaper line of Remington,Winchester,etc. in the 140 grain bullets or should I use what I hope to be the ammo that is better for deer hunting like Hornady SST or Remington AccuTip which cost more money. I just don't know how reliable the one shot and clean method during the break-in is for testing ammo for accuracy at the same time. When it comes right down to it I've only broke in one other center fire rifle in my life and that was a Browning Boss Rifle so ammo testing wasn't being done since I had planed on adjusting the Boss to the ammo. Thanks to any input on this subject.
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Unread 03-05-2005, 03:25 PM
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Re: Breaking in new barrel question

Does not really matter. I personally like as heavy a bullet as I can get simply because there is more baring surface working on the bore but I would certainly not spend alot of extra money just for added bullet weight.

Stay away from coated bullets of any kind such as moly, oxidized or dry film coating. These reduce friction, how much is a topic of debate but they will take longer to break in the barrel with these bullets. Use a standard grade bullet, Rem Corlokt, Win Power points, does not really matter.

THe most important thing is that you actually break the barrel in.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

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Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

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Unread 03-06-2005, 10:25 AM
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Re: Breaking in new barrel question

I agree with fifty driver. Don't spend extra money for ammo to break in. I use the cheapest crap I can get.

I wouldn't advise testing for accuracy while breaking in the barrel. I mean if you shoot at the same spot on the target with the same scope setting and you want to see how accurate it is out the box thats fine. But, your gun will shoot best after its broken in. So that is when you should start testing loads for accuracy. I'm breaking in my 338 Lapua without a scope. I just fire away! I'm only concerned with the break-in.

When it comes to break-in technique i'm in the minority. I do 3 shot & clean 3 times then 5 shot & clean. I shoot for accuracy during the 5 shot & clean. I do this until it shoots. I find no reason for 1 shot clean. I should note that I also have a custom barrel. I've never broken in a factory barrel so maybe there is a difference. But I also think that a barrel will eventually break itself in anyway. The reason for the shoot & clean is to speed up the process.

Guys, I know most of you do not agree with me so don't flame me for having a different opinion.
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Unread 03-06-2005, 08:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 101
Re: Breaking in new barrel question

Thanks for the info on this subject. The one and only other center fire I broke in and a new Anschutz 22mag rimfire was done by following some directions in a book I read about 15 years ago and don't now rember what it said to do. What is the main thing to look for to know that the barrel is broke in? Thanks: John
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Unread 03-06-2005, 10:56 PM
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Re: Breaking in new barrel question

Two things.

1. A broken in barrel cleans easier & faster.
2. Accuracy is improved.

Thats about it, good luck!
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Unread 03-07-2005, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 50
Re: Breaking in new barrel question

I read this article the other day but have not tried this method. Any thoughts??

I've spent the last few months trying to get a better understanding of what a barrel break-in process is and how to properly clean a rifle. What to do and what not to do.

I've spent a lot of time on this board, the BR board and other shooting boards listening to members and what works for them. Conclusion, what works for some, doesn't work for others. Being an engineer in the telecommunications field, when it's broke or you don't understand something you go back to manufactures specs and schematics. So that's kinda what I did on this subject.

I've talked with 4 metallurgist and 3 barrel manufactures (Rock Creek, Hart and Shilen), on the subject. From a scientific point of view, they all said and agreed to pretty much the same thing.

First, barrel break-in processes keep them in business. This shoot and clean, shoot and clean every round or few rounds break-in process only damages your brand new match barrel. Think of a car engine for a moment. Why do we use oil in the engine? To prevent metal-to-metal contact and reduce friction between two metal surfaces. Your barrel is no different from the engine. Mike Rock at Rock Creek barrels gave me the most detailed explanations on barrels and ballistics. Mike has his degree in metallurgy; he was also the chief ballistics engineer for the Army for many years at the Aberdeen Proving grounds. Stan Rivenbark was one of the top ballistic engineers for Raytheon before he retired in the 70's and also has a degree in metallurgy. I also talked with two local metallurgists here in North TX. I confirmed my findings with each person to see if they agreed or disagreed. Conclusion, they all agreed with each other's assessments.

When Mike worked at Aberdeen proving grounds, the Army used high speed bore videos with mirrors, thermal imaging and computers to analyze any and everything that happens when the firing pin hits the primer and the round goes off. When the primer ignites there is enough pressure to move the bullet forward into the lands. The bullet then stops. As the primer ignites the powder, more pressure builds moving the bullet forward where it can stop again. Once there is enough pressure from the round going off, the bullet is moved down out the barrel. All of this happens in nanoseconds (billionths of a second). Your bullet starts and stops at least twice and sometimes three times before it leaves the barrel. This is fact.

If you clean every round or every few rounds during your barrel break-in process or clean your rifle so well after shooting that you take it down to the bare metal, you've created a metal-to-metal contact surface for the next time you shoot the gun. So what's the problem with this you ask? Just like your car engine, metal-to-metal contact will sheer away layers of metal from each surface. So if your bullet is starting and stopping two or three times as it leaves the barrel, that's two or three places for metal-to-metal contact to happen as well as the rest of your bore. The use of JB's and Flitz can and will take you down to metal-to-metal contact. For all intents and purposes, JB's and Flitz are not the most ideal products for cleaning your rifle.

According to Mike Rock, and the other barrel manufactures agreed, all you need to avoid this metal-to-metal contact is a good burnish in the barrel. Shilen, Hart and Rock Creek will all void your barrel warranty if you shoot moly bullets and for good reason. This is not to say that moly is necessarily bad for a barrel, but it is when applied to bullets. There is no way possible to coat a bore with moly bullets. The bullet contact surface in the barrel is only so big. But when your round goes off, moly comes off the contact surface of the bullet in the throat area of the rifle and is bonded to the barrel due to the excessive heat and pressure. We're not talking coated or adhered to, we're talking bonded, d**n near permanent. With this, some of the jacket coating comes off the bullet. Follow this up with another round and you've now embedded the copper jacket between layers of bonded moly. This is the beginning of the black moly ring, which ruins countless barrels and is so hard; it can hardly be scraped off with a screwdriver's corner edge. This is what happened to a new Shilen SS select match barrel I had to have replaced with less than 400 rounds through it. I can't talk for Fastex as I don't or none of the folks I talked to knew enough about the product to comment on it. When I talked to Mike about my new barrel and the barrel break-in process, this is what he had to say. He first hand laps each barrel with a lead lap. He then uses two products from Sentry Solutions, a product called Smooth Coat, which is an alcohol and moly based product. He applies wet patches of Smooth Coats until the bore is good and saturated and lets it sit until the alcohol evaporates. The barrel now has loose moly in it. Next he uses a product called BP-2000, which is a very fine moly powder. Applied to a patch wrapped around a bore brush, he makes a hundred passes or so through the barrel very rapidly before having to rest. He repeats this process with fresh patches containing the moly powder a few more times. What he is doing is burnishing the barrel surface with moly and filling in any fine micro lines left by the hand lapping. He then uses a couple of clean patches to knock out any remaining moly left in the bore.

With the barrel burnished with moly, this will prevent any metal-to-metal contact during the barrel break-in process. My instructions for barrel break-in were quite simple. Shoot 20 rounds (non-moly bullets) with no cleaning, as this will further burnish the barrel. Done! Now shoot and clean using your regular regimen of cleaning and if you have to use JB's or flitz type products, go very easy with them, or better yet avoid them. Never clean down to bare metal. He said most of the cleaning products do a great job, don't be afraid to use a brush and go easy on the ammonia-based products for removing copper fouling. Basically don't let the ammonia-based products remain in the barrel for long lengths of time.

Well that's the long and skinny from the scientific point of view on the subject. If you're ever in doubt about the real condition of your barrel, take it to someone who has a bore scope and even better if someone has a bore scope that can magnify the view. You may be surprised at what is really going on in your barrel. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

Jeff in Florida
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Unread 03-07-2005, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 168
Re: Breaking in new barrel question

Interesting comparison to a car engine. I often wondered why you wouldn't want a very light film of oil down a new barrel? Patch some gun oil followed by a dry patch to eliminate the metal to metal. This would allow a longer slower break-in.

An old time gunsmith told me that he would clean a barrel before firing it, then lightly oil the barrel, followed by a dry patch. Fire 3 rounds remove carbon and repeat the process for 1 box of ammo. Then clean throughly and shoot as normal.

Any thoughts on that idea?

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