Barrel break-in ?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Oregonhunter, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Oregonhunter

    Oregonhunter Well-Known Member

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    Hello all, My dad purchased a weatherby 300 mag a few weeks ago and is just about ready to shoot it for the first time.

    He was watching the outdoor channel and they were talking about breaking in your new gun barrels.

    I have read about this in all the hunting magazines,but I usually go out shoot a few rounds then clean to remove any copper deposits.then shoot again.

    To be honest I never really thought about calling it breaking in time.He showed a lot of enterest so thought I would ask all you experts out there!!

    I do know that after a while the gun does seem to settle in and groups get tighter and so on. However the show he was watching gave an actual recipe.(shoot 1 clean,shoot twice clean)He maid it sound like they did this for approx. 200 rnds.

    Do you folks think this is any better than what I am doing now?(shoot 3-5 then clean)

    Thanks for the advice!




    Rob
     
  2. Jeff In TX

    Jeff In TX Well-Known Member

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    Oregonhunter,

    Email me please!
     

  3. 4mesh063

    4mesh063 Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of anyone taking the shoot and clean (every shot) past 20 rounds. Seldom past 5 or 10. Then usually they step up to 5 shot groups for say 4 or 5 groups. Then increase to the maximum rounds between cleaning by watching how difficult it is to clean and changing accordingly. My breakins usually last about 200 rounds or so but most of that is in 10 or 20 shot groups. My newest gun I'm shooting 30 between cleanings and it's got about 350 rounds through it. That number will go back to 15-20 when it's shot in matches. I don't get real anal about cleaning. I ususally just watch the barrel condition and try to get it where it doesn't get fouled bad.
     
  4. 4mesh063

    4mesh063 Well-Known Member

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    I do think that factory barrels tend to like being broken in more than say a Kreiger, Shilen, Lilja, etc. Customs that are lapped don't really need as much care as factory barrels (I don't think anyhow).
     
  5. Oregonhunter

    Oregonhunter Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks thanks for all your help!!

    I dont feel too bright never having done this with any of my guns before. But my dad was so interested in this I thought I should look into it!

    I also have a new gun that I was hoping to shoot soon so it looks like we will both be doing a lot of barrel cleaning!!!

    This is my dads first ever new gun (he has always bought older ones up to this point so barrel break in was never an issue before)
    And I have really never thought to do it with any of mine.

    One more question, does it help the groups out more than anything?
    THX Again!

    Rob
     
  6. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

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    Try running some 000 steel wool through your bore before ever firing a round (about 100 times). I have found this will cut down on shoot in rounds and will polish bore to great finish you will be happy with results.
     
  7. Oregonhunter

    Oregonhunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the help!!!

    Rob [​IMG]
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I shoot 5-clean, shoot 5-clean, shoot 10-clean, shoot 20-clean.

    After that, I clean every twenty rounds to 30 rounds or after hunting season - whichever comes first. Its usually the end of hunting season.

    Good Luck,
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Baldeagle, I spoke to the guys at Krieger and they told me that they felt that break in was unneccessary and the barrell will eventually break itself in. This is VERY contradictory from the info on their web site.

    I'm not saying this to agree or disagree just to point out that their words and web sight do not agree!

    I personally don't believe that 5 shots before cleaning will leave permanent residue in the barrel.

    [ 02-28-2004: Message edited by: John M. ]
     
  10. baldeagle713

    baldeagle713 Well-Known Member

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    INteresting, Very Interesting.
    I guess to each his own then. I how ever I Like cleaning a new barrel before and after I put the first round down the tube. Be sides brakin in a barrel cleaning after each
    shot for the first 5 shots prolongs the time at the range and well time at the range is time well spent. Plus alittle extra care in the beginning never hurts. Just my thaughts on the matter. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff In TX

    Jeff In TX Well-Known Member

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    I've gotten a couple of emails asking me to repost the research I did on barrel break-in and the use of moly coated bullets.

    This has been on a couple of other boards, so I hope it helps.

    Barrel Break-in and the use of Moly Coated Bullets

    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. It's like trying to wax your entire car with just a tinny dab of wax and starting over at the exact same place each time you apply more wax to applicator. You just can't cover the entire car, but you get a nice wax build up at the starting point. Same thing with trying to moly coat your barrel with moly bullets. You get a nice moly build up right in the throat area and not much moly beyond that.

    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 do to the excessive heat and pressure. Were not talking coated or adhered to, we’re talking bonded to. In addition, add carbon fouling and some of the copper jacket from the bullet to the mix. Follow this up with another round and you’ve now embedded the carbon fouling and 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 screwdrivers corner edge. This is what happened to a brand new Shilen SS select match barrel I had to have replaced with less than 400 rounds through it.

    For those of you who think you’ll clean moly out of your barrel with a solvent, you’re kidding yourself. Name one gun cleaning solvent that will dissolve Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2). You’re not going to find one. I understand some cleaning products will remove loose moly from the barrel, but I’m unaware of any product that will dissolve bonded on Molybdenum Disulfide from a barrel and not destroy the barrel steel in the process. Some moly users say they brush it out when they clean their rifles. Without looking through a borescope, how would you know? Doug Shilen at Shilen barrels cut the throat section out of my ruined barrel to see the specific damage once he determined it was toast. He could barely scrape the moly out with the sharp edge of a screwdriver on the barrel I ruined. I could have scrubbed with a bronze brush for days on end and I wouldn’t have touched 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 regiment 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 a 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 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.

    I'm sure this will spark a debate here and there, but that's good thing. The more information we have, the better off we'll be.
     
  12. littletoes

    littletoes Well-Known Member

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    So, we want to pre-coat our rifle barrels, but maybe we don't want to use moly, or maybe we do. That may be a hard question to follow, or answer. I have heard that shooters who use shooters choice/kroil mix of two to one have desireable results too. I always clean a new barrel, because i don't think they do at the factory. There may be some tiny metal chips in there, and i don't want to send a high velocity round throug there to scratch things up. But back to barrel prep, prior to break in or shooting. I have heard of alcohol/moly being used, but still am not convinced. The water/moly thing scares me. There must be something else out there that might work, and is available. I only wish i had a bore scope and the time and money to know for sure. I hope this does start a debate, how else are ideas born! I don't know if I care for the "steel wool" idea. Sending anything down a bore that might be as hard as the bore worys me too. Why not just lapp like the big boys do? Anyone can get lapping compound, and all the big barrel man. do it, so it seems. Opinions?
     
  13. baldeagle713

    baldeagle713 Well-Known Member

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    Broke my new Krieger Barrel in today. shot one. Cleaned! Shot one cleaned did this three more times. Shot 3 cleaned, shot 5 cleaned, shot 7 and the barrel Cleaned up with 4 Wet patches. [​IMG] It's Load testing next time. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]