Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Magazine Articles > Technical Articles - Discussion


Reply

Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #15  
Old 12-22-2009, 06:59 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,953
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Jim, thanks for the reply. I remember reading another article on gun cleaning that said brushing helps work in the solvent and increases and/or accelerates the oxidation process. I'm not sure of all the chemistry involved but using the nylon brush does seem to help the process along in my experience. Just wet patching BTE gets the job done but takes longer soakings and more applications.

Best,

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-22-2009, 08:28 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,145
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Grin, basically just that knowing when the gun is clean and not getting false indicators off of a brass jag, or seeing one small streak of blue where a single land may still wear a little copper, and knowing it needs a bit more attention.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-23-2009, 11:36 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lebanon, OH
Posts: 15
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Jim - Nice write-up on cleaning and break-in. I am about to receive my first custom gun, a .338 wildcat with a 36" Lilja barrel. I want to treat it as royalty. I am an engineer with some training in metallurgy, and there is one question that I have never seen answered about break-in. I know one very successful mile shooter who does no break-in, and says he cleans his barrel "almost never." I know others who will clean after each group, if possible. So I am really perplexed.

The question: What does break-in actually do to the metal of the barrel? When you say that you fire the first round, then clean out all the copper, what has actually changed in the barrel to make the next round behave better? And each subquent shot & cleaning? Any metallurgist will say that sliding one little copper slug down a hard & polished steel barrel will not change anything. Copper is just too soft to move any steel around. If you tell me that the breakin pushes copper molecules into tiny pores in the steel of the bore, and those embedded molecules never come out, I can buy that. That would smooth over microscopic pores. If you tell me that it's not the copper, but rather the heat of the gases that somehow changes the surface metallurgy of the bore, and that cleaning out the copper after each round just allows the gases from follow-on shots to make better contact with the steel, I can buy that too. But I just have a lot of trouble believing that miniscule contact with soft copper that peals off a bullet will change the steel in any way. I really hope you or someone else interested in this aspect can explain it to me.

My Navy SEAL son-in-law said then never clean barrels. They don't carry cleaning stuff, and they don't want to change the way a gun shoots.

Thanks,
Walt
Lebanon, OH
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-23-2009, 12:29 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Winder, Ga.
Posts: 61
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrad View Post
Jim - Nice write-up on cleaning and break-in. I am about to receive my first custom gun, a .338 wildcat with a 36" Lilja barrel. I want to treat it as royalty. I am an engineer with some training in metallurgy, and there is one question that I have never seen answered about break-in. I know one very successful mile shooter who does no break-in, and says he cleans his barrel "almost never." I know others who will clean after each group, if possible. So I am really perplexed.

The question: What does break-in actually do to the metal of the barrel? When you say that you fire the first round, then clean out all the copper, what has actually changed in the barrel to make the next round behave better? And each subquent shot & cleaning? Any metallurgist will say that sliding one little copper slug down a hard & polished steel barrel will not change anything. Copper is just too soft to move any steel around. If you tell me that the breakin pushes copper molecules into tiny pores in the steel of the bore, and those embedded molecules never come out, I can buy that. That would smooth over microscopic pores. If you tell me that it's not the copper, but rather the heat of the gases that somehow changes the surface metallurgy of the bore, and that cleaning out the copper after each round just allows the gases from follow-on shots to make better contact with the steel, I can buy that too. But I just have a lot of trouble believing that miniscule contact with soft copper that peals off a bullet will change the steel in any way. I really hope you or someone else interested in this aspect can explain it to me.

My Navy SEAL son-in-law said then never clean barrels. They don't carry cleaning stuff, and they don't want to change the way a gun shoots.

Thanks,
Walt
Lebanon, OH
That is right on. Most guys start getting better results after about the 6th round or so. Bench rest guys will shoot 9 sighters and will not clean before competition starts. Zeros change after cleaning and it is obvious when shooting 1000 yard matches or even those of shorter distances.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-23-2009, 08:02 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,145
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Walt, I cannot say exactly what happens to the bore that allows it to copper foul substantally less after a proper brake in.

Some ideas I or others have or have had at one time;

Carbon is laid down in the micro finish of the barrel, this sounds kinda wierd but if may explain the coffee collored hue in a used but clean custom barrel.

The well repeated idea that the throat tooling marks from the chamber reamer are being smoothed out with the idea that there is a copper wash sent down the bore due to the reamer marks disrupting the copper jacket.

If we think about the granular finish left by lapping a barrel on the microscopic level it would consist of thousands of peaks and valleys running parralel with the lands, to reason that copper rubbing over these "peaks" does not burnish or round them off is like saying I can take my rockwell 45 hunting knife and cut thru a copper pipe and not have the blade dull.

So with that common sence being applied to a copper jacketed bullet being swaged into the rifling under 50,000 psi. I would conclude that there is some change to the barrel that is in fact what is defined as "Brake-in"

I do not know of any Metallurgist who would make the statment you suggested in your post.
I dought your son in law is using a precision rifle in his duties, if he was that statment would not be made.

Last edited by Coyboy; 12-23-2009 at 08:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-23-2009, 08:11 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,145
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Quote:
Originally Posted by john g duvall View Post
That is right on. Most guys start getting better results after about the 6th round or so. Bench rest guys will shoot 9 sighters and will not clean before competition starts. Zeros change after cleaning and it is obvious when shooting 1000 yard matches or even those of shorter distances.
John that is a very valid statment. A bone clean barrel usually needs a few fouling rounds to settle down. But this does not really apply to the topic at hand. Most competitive shooters do some form of barrel brake in and none that I know bring a fresh tube to a match.

When I prepare for an f-class match I start with a clean barrel and then fire 3-4 fouling shots before the match. I may run up to 100 rounds thru that barrel during the course of the day and if the match is a two day I will clean again that night.

I did try to do a two day match with that gun without cleaning between days and at about the 140-150 round mark, on the second day, the accuracy really started to suffer. This was with a 243AI.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-23-2009, 09:43 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Re: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See

Thanks for writing this article Jim. Real world experience is always appreciated over theoretical conjecture. Can you explain what you mean here?

"One trick for determining the bores cleanliness is the q-tip down the muzzle. This will allow you to see if you have the copper out of the bore."

I'm following your advice breaking in my new 243 X-bolt.
Thanks. MW
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: Custom Barrel Care at 17X By Jim See
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Health care reform = Gun Control Crane General Discussion 1 11-09-2009 11:53 AM
Do I care how a barrel is made? or do I Gunnersaw1 Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 22 06-04-2009 07:51 PM
If you care about the future of NZ hunting, please read. whin4 Australia, New Zealand 4 05-26-2009 09:15 PM
take care when drinking tequila lurcher Humor 0 05-26-2008 03:17 PM
Premier Reticles takes care of their customers MontanaMarine Long Range Scopes and Other Optics 4 04-15-2002 04:58 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC