Barrel Break-In

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Eleazar, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Eleazar

    Eleazar Well-Known Member

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    Whats your alls thoughts on breaking in a barrel? Worth it? I was going to try the method below given to me by a buddy.

    Approx 20 rounds. cleaning between every shot.

    Should I do more, less, or not even mess with it?

    BARREL BREAK-IN

    Items Needed:
    308 caliber patches - NEED ALOT

    308 caliber jag

    Cleaning rod...use a good Dewey rod....don't use those walmart metal rods b/c they may scratch the inside of your barrel/action or crown.

    Bore Clean Rod Guide NOT REQUIRED BUT HANDY....keeps chamber clean and aligns your rod to bore chamber much easier.

    2-3 308 caliber brass brushes

    Sweets 7.62

    J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound

    Butch's Bore Shine/Shooters Choice or equivalent copper solvent (similar to Hoppes #9). (one bottle is plenty but two would be a good idea b/c you will use alot of this)

    Barrel Break-In/Lapping Steps

    Shoot

    Push a patch wet with solvent (Shooter's Choice or equivalent solvent) through the bore.

    Wet a brush with solvent and make eight or ten passes through the barrel. Repeat with a second application.

    Push two or three wet patches through the bore allow the solvent to soak in the bore for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Push two or three dry patches through the bore.

    Install brass brush and wrap a patch around brush and smear/wipe JB all over it and run it up and down the barrel (FULL LENGTH of riflings) several times...approximately 15-20x. Save this brush for use only with this JB step...it will be ruined in respect to being used as a brush alone after you use it with JB but will serve as your JB patch brush from this point forward.

    Push two or three dry patches through the bore to be sure you have removed all of the JB compound and loose foulings.

    Push a patch wet with Sweets repeatedly back and forth through the bore and then allow the solvent to soak in the bore for no longer than 10 minutes!

    Push two or three dry patches through the bore to remove the Sweets and fouling residue.

    Push a patch wet with solvent through the bore.

    Wet a brush with solvent and make eight to ten passes through the barrel.

    Push two or three wet patches through the bore to remove the residue and allow the solvent to soak in the bore for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Push two or three dry patches through the bore. May need repeated to ensure all residue is removed. I always "butterflied" the patches (doubled them up) to ensure I was reaching every nick and cranny of the bore....was tight to push but...

    Wipe out the chamber using a large patch on the end of your cleaning rod and
    you're ready to go again.

    Shoot

    Repeat steps repeatedly for approximately 20 shots
     
  2. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't do a real bbl "break in" for my rifle, Just took it to the range, shot 60 rounds and did a thorough cleaning afterward. Some might call that heresy, but after researching it I just couldn't find what breaking a barrel actually does. Later found an article by Gale McMillan arguing against the need for breaking in a barrel.

    I don't knock people who break them in, for my it was just one of those things where I didn't see what it did for the bbl.

    maybe when I do my build, someone will convince me I need to do a real break in and I will.
     

  3. Bughole

    Bughole Well-Known Member

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    Please no JB and no brass brush during barrel breakin or anytime for that matter, unless it's a last ditch effort to save a barrel. If you do a barrel breakin I personally think that it helps a little even on a smooth match grade barrel. They usually take less than 10 shots of cleaning between rounds and then a few three shot groups between cleanings to run pretty clean. I personally would use only a nylon brush sparingly and patches frequently, let the solvents do their job, If you talk with most barrel manufacturers they will tell you to a man that they see more barrels ruined by over aggressive cleaning and lands being damaged than by shooting.gun)
     
  4. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 11, 2012
    That's part of the reason I didn't do a real break in, I was more worried about ME damaging the BBL, though I do clean the rifle too much and need to get it to where I'm only cleaning between every 100 rounds or so
     
  5. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Custom Barrel Care At 17X

    Read the article and the discussion that follows, you will learn a ton.
    this applies to custom barrels.

    In factory barrels it is such a crap shoot some will come around real quick, these are the good ones, others may take hundreds of rounds before the copper fouling falls off. I used to just shoot them and clean them every outing, then when they started cleaning easy with little copper fouling I just shot them more between cleanings.
     
  6. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    There's been opinions on barrel break in since rifling was invented. The vast majority of it's been done and is done by people who are average marksmen shooting average rifles. So I thought I'd ask some folks who were best qualified to know if it helps to use some method to "break in" a new barrel when I started serious competition decades ago. I asked several folks who won the big matches and set some records. Here's what they said to do.

    Just shoot the darned barrel. No breaking process will make it shoot any better if its a bad barrel. If it's a good one, it'll shoot great from the first shot on.

    So, I never broke in any one of several 30 caliber barrels I've worn out. They all shot very well. Even factory sporter ones in hunting rifles.
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    COMPLETE barrel break-in article on riflemansjournal. com .
     
  8. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    Is my barrel broke in? put a small o-ring in a jag groove that sticks up just a little higher than the jag and push the cleaning patch down the bore. does it go down the bore smoothly.

    Target shooters don't seem to mind shooting up to 25 rounds through a barrel to properly foul it. How would a Target shooter know if the barrel is broke in or not, when their custom is to shoot through a barrel that has been caked with fouling.

    I can not imagine the fun or the economy of needing to shoot almost half a box of rounds through a large cartridge for it to cake up enough to shoot properly. If it is taking more than 3 rounds to foul I would consider a couple more clean bore burnishing shots. - no elaborate cleaning schemes the barrel will tell you! I honestly feel that these elaborate break in schemes were recommended just to make a person feel that their barrel was so superior that it requires majestic elaborateness
     
  9. Bughole

    Bughole Well-Known Member

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    Coy Boy I read your article link and agree with it 110%. i don't know how long this can continue to be debated. A guy will spend 5000 on a rifle build and then wonder if his beautiful barrel should be broken in? Are you kidding! Just do it along the lines stated in the article and you will be golden. Your new tube will clean easier later on and save wear and tear on its rifling etc. There is a video by one of the premier longrange shooting outfits that we all know the name of that demonstrates rifle cleaning and the guy doing the cleaning runs the cleaning rod like he's plunging toilets. Just makes me sick to see it. Good shooting to all.
     
  10. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    I've no idea where you got this premise. Please name one rifle target shooter who does this.

    High power target shooters, especially those with the highest classification winning matches and setting records, frequently start with a very clean barrel, then shoot 20 to 30 shots at long range and the rifle's zeroed from the first to the last shot. Too many of them, including myself, have put 20 to 40 shots down range starting with a clean barrel and all shots are under 1/2 MOA on 600 and 800 yard targets.

    Smallbore shooters do put 2 or 3 rounds down range into the backstop after cleaning their barrels. The first shot goes high and the barrel needs to be "fouled" a bit to shoot best.

    But never 25 shots, unless they've got a barrel that's so darned rough it has to be fouled with copper to smooth it up so the rest of the bullets don't get unbalanced from their jackets being rubbed off unevenly around them. Even then it typically doesn't take more than 4 or 5 shots. I've shot with the best of both smallbore and high power target shooters and never ever knew one that put 25 rounds down some range after fully cleaning their barrels.
     
  11. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    Moly bullets and a cleaned barrel And yes you are shooting a caked barrel. Target shooting. unless you have found a way to have the time to clean in between every round.
     
  12. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    If it typically does not take more than 4 or 5 rounds to foul a barrel then how is that a clean barrel. Are you saying that if a barrel does not shoot the same as after cleaned as it does with 20 or so rounds through it that it is a hunk of junk. Better talk to the guys smoking you, you know the ones with junk barrels that are fouling them. That at any rate is Target shooting
     
  13. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    if your bore fouls that badly, get yourself some tubbs final finish and be done with it, or you can do fire-shoot-clean until you don't see any copper and it doesn't really matter what you use as long as you get that copper out and don't damage your bore in the process, you can also do some fire-polishing with KG-2 (A technique producing a finer finish than Fire Lapping).
     
  14. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Snyder, this doesn't apply to me:
    I've never used moly coated bullets in competition. Tried 'em once when on an International Team in South Africa on a practice day; half us us shot naked bullets, the other half moly'd ones. Naked ones shot better, even after "breaking in" clean barrels with the moly'd ones. Virtually all the high power match records have been set with naked bullets. I know the four competitors who, among them, have set more records and won more matches than any other group of four comptitors have; they all shoot naked bullets.

    Then you ask and comment:
    No, such barrels are not a hunk of junk. They're just not what's best for high power competition if shooting top scores is important. Especially when no sighting shots are allowed. Oh, and nobody shooting a barrel in a high power rifle match I've been at that needs several fouling shots to shoot well has ever shot a better score than I.

    ========

    I think you're making too many assumptions. Or have been listening way to often to what ignoratiolinguists say about this issue.