Break in and cleaning of a new LR custom rifle

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Timber338, May 16, 2013.

  1. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,615
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    I had a different thread going that brought up some great conversation about "Breaking in" a new barrel and I thought the discussion was worth a new thread to get more input from everybody. What are your thoughts or opinions on breaking in a new barrel, is it worth it?

    Also think this would be a good time to get everybody's inputs on their own personal process for cleaning a bolt action rifle (during and after "break in", if a break even occurred). I've been going through a new cleaning process for the past year or so with great results. But before I muddy the waters with my process I would just like to hear from a few guys first to get the discussion going!
     
  2. X-man

    X-man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    268
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Factory rifle...why bother?

    With a precision match barrel..why not?
    I shoot one clean one for the first two or 3 rounds.
    The first round always jacket fouls heavily.
    The second round usually fouls less and on the 3rd round there is no fouling to be had.
    I'm done.

    Does it matter? I don't know. I think my barrels come up to peak accuracy quicker this way, but I admit it is hard to tell.
    My precision barrels never jacket foul, but I know guys that say the same thing that just shoot their rifles.
     

  3. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    An alternative to the benchrest regimen. The entire series is worth your time.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXf6oZzLYaY]SNIPER 101 Part 43 - Barrel Break In Procedures Compared - YouTube[/ame]
     
  4. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,615
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    In terms of break-in, I really don't think there is a lot to gain by following a very intense and involved process. Even the guy in that video mentions there is not a lot to gain when dealing with a custom barrel.

    X-man, what you said is right on track with what I'm planning for my new rifle.

    In terms of general cleaning I've been following advice from Jim borden. he has a couple of good articles on his website. One great point he makes is that the more corrosive copper solvents are not good for 416 stainless barrels. I've basically been following his process which has not only saved me alot of time, but my rifles seem to foul less as well.

    http://www.bordenrifles.com/clean_edited_april2010.pdf
     
  5. 300wby hunter

    300wby hunter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    I broke in 1 of my 8 rifles and I can't tell the difference between broken in or not. I know guys who like to break them in and others that dont. I think its just a personal opinion.
     
  6. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,107
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    I sort of follow Bartlein cleaning method

    Bartlein Barrels, Inc. - Break In/Cleaning


    I'll clean for about the first 1 to 5 rd fired and most times after 3/4 rd fired I'm ready to shoot a group and that's about the end for me. I do agree with Jim on mixing cleaning solvent with Kroil and there nothing wrong with how he cleans either.

    I do have set of rods for each caliber and their kept in Sinclair rod holders and I do like the Lucas bore guides.

    I've never not done some type of barrel break-in or a new barrel I have put on, all I know is my barrels clean up pretty nice.
     
  7. .300 RUM Guy

    .300 RUM Guy Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    I recently bought a Brand New Factory Remington 5R Rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum. I bore sighted it and went to the range. At 100m (we're in meters over here in New Zealand, however, when it comes to ballistics I work in both imperial and metric measurements) it straight away hit the bull! The next three shots I fired dropped 6" to just clip the bottom of the A4 piece of paper I was shooting at. My mate, who was with me, claimed that was the "Fouling Shot"!

    My goodness, "Fouling Shot" 6" away from the other shots at only 100 meters! I was working on a rifle that I hoped would shoot out to 600m and beyond. 6" linear out to 600m, that's 36" 'out' at that range, 3 FEET, that's one heck of a big animal I'd have to be shooting at to hit it on the first shot at that range, and then there's the other dilemma, whereby, if it was that big I'd be hopelessly "Under Gunned!"

    I started researching this "Fouling Shot" and learnt that if your barrel is prone to copper build-up, due to it being new and not broken in, then that will throw the first shot on a clean barrel until it fouls and the consecutive shots will tend to group together better!

    The secret is to break the barrel in by firing a shot, then cleaning "ALL" the copper out, then firing another and cleaning etc. until the barrel fouls less and less until, hopefully, doesn't really foul at all!

    I rammed the borescope up my barrel and learnt that the first "third" of my barrel, immediately ahead of the chamber, was relatively clean and un fouled, same as the last third just before the muzzle, however, the middle third gets caked heavily with copper and I'm trying to desperately get that to clean with Bore Paste and shot, clean, shot etc.

    So, bottom line is, I'm up to 4 shots/cleans now and I'm desperately hoping it will matter, "IF" I ever get it to stop fouling! (I say IF because there's no sign yet of the copper build-up abating!)

    The alternate (Heaven Forbid) is to fire a fouling shot into the ground, immediately upon exiting my truck, as soon as I reach my hunting ground and risk scaring everything away... Beggar That!!!
     
  8. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Sendero Coveter,

    Before you drive yourself nuts with the coppering issue, take a look at the Sniper 101 series on youtube. Part 40 talks about coppering and cleaning, but you should really start with part 37 and watch through Part 41:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOmco59yJs8]SNIPER 101 Part 37 - Chemical Bore Erosion EXPLAINED - Rex Reviews - YouTube[/ame]

    I've watched the entire series and implemented several of his recommendations. It is a leap of faith, but I do believe he knows what he is talking about.
     
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    I'm curious what cleaning solvent you use?

    I just broke in 3 Broughton 5C barrels and like you, the first shot was a heavy fouler. The second shot was a good bit less. I clean with Bore Tech Eliminator and Bore Tech CU+2. My process goes like this...

    Push wet patch trough, first one is always black

    Continue to push wet patches through until they turn faint blue. After the first patch they are black and blue and the black usually fades before the blue. During the break-in process it took about 10-12 patches before they faded to light blue at first and after about 10 shots of shoot and clean they cleaned up in about 6-8 patches with a lighter over color.

    After patches fade to light blue I scrub bore down with a nylon brush and BTE or CU+2.

    Wait 20-30 min and push wet patch through. This patch is usually a dark to med blue.

    Push another wet patch through and it is usually a faint blue.

    One more wet patch that comes out almost white and I dry patch with 4 patches.

    Shoot and repeat cleaning cycle.

    After about 12-15 rounds through each it was taking about 6 wet patches to clean up most of the copper followed by a scrubbing and a couple more wet patches. The color was not as deep or dark as the earlier cycles, but there was till fouling.

    After that I shot a couple of accuracy check strings, cleaned and called it good and off they go for nitriding.
     
  10. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,035
    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    I find it depends on what condition the inside of the barrel has.
    The rough barrel may benifit a lot more than the ultra smooth match barrel .
     
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    After a good cleaning, during or before hunting season, I will foul the barrel and check zero before going to the field.
     
  12. jkupper

    jkupper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    This is what I do as well. I have also found that breaking in my barrels has helped, but they are all factory. I have never owned a match barrel, so I can't speak to that. I use JB Bore Paste every 3 shots for the first 30 shots. This process works well on a factory barrel. I've noticed that my copper fouling is much less than the rifles that I did not do this to.