breaking in a barrel

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by huntokanogan, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. huntokanogan

    huntokanogan Well-Known Member

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    I recently purchased a rem. 700 BDL SS chambered in a 7mm STW. I believe this perticular gun was made from 1997-2001 only. It's got a factory muzzlebreak.
    I have been shooting since I was able to shoulder a gun. I have never "broke in" a barrel. i went out, sighted my gun in and then took it hunting.
    It wasn't untill reading posts on this forum that I even realized there was such a thing. I rarely shoot more than a dozen rounds in one sitting.
    This STW I found was a heck of a deal. being that it is at least 10 years old it had only been fired 14 times and is still in the box. The guy bought two boxes of ammo when he bought the rifle and I have them now. one is full and one has 6 rounds left. He said it was too much gun for him. The muzzlebreak tames it down pretty well. I have an 8mm rem mag with no break and it kicks much worse!
    I like the new gun and want to do it right.
    So what would be a proper "break in" for my barrel?
    I appreciate some help on this issue as I am obviously a "retard" when it comes to this...
    I hear they make a 257 and 264 STW as well. What are your feelings on those rounds? Does anyone make a 30 cal on the 8mm case?
     
  2. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Breaking-in a factory barrel is a bit controversial. Whether it does anything beneficial or not is hard to determine. Some guys always break-in their barrels while others laugh at the idea.

    Why not just give the bore a good cleaning and go out and shoot the rifle? If the accuracy is acceptable I wouldn't bother running all that additional ammo down the bore to accomplish a "break-in". On the other hand, if it makes you feel good to do so, it certainly won't hurt. :D



     

  3. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    If done properly, a break-in can help a factory rifle. The problem is most guys don't do it properly. To do it properly you need to clean between each shot and get ALL the copper out. That's where most guys fail.

    There's a good article done by Jim See in the Technical Discussion Forum...

    Custom Barrel Care At 17X

    It's geared to custom barrels but the principle is basically the same for factory barrels.

    I Have broken in a couple of factory Sendero barrels and it did help, as in they are easier to clean now then prior. They were used when I bought them and real fowlers, and they still foul a good bit, but they are easier to clean now then before.

    Theoretically, with a proper break-in, you should see longer accuracy strings between cleanings and easier cleaning. With an over bore like the 7 STW I would use light loads with a slow powder to save your throat... or you could just use up those factory loads.

    -Mark
     
  4. Ian B

    Ian B Well-Known Member

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    Its hard to say what proper brake in procedure is different manufactures recommend different things but its generally the same idea you shot small amount of rounds clean so on and so one but you build up the amount of rounds you shoot until you have put a set amount of rounds through it.
    I hate doing it more than I have to I probably wont do it to a factory rifle unless it already come with a custom barrel and they recommend it.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    It's true that some manufacturers will recommend a set procedure, and gradually increasing rounds between cleaning and I'm not sure why. Reason being, after the first shot, your barrel is copper fouled. The whole idea behind break-in is to condition the barrel so that roughness and irregularities are "burnished" out so it reduces the bore's fouling. This can only be accomplished with a perfectly clean bore. If the bore is fouled, it is basically impossible to accomplish the burnishing. Any shots after the first shot are useless and wasted.

    Also, every bore is different, some may take 1 shot and some factory barrels may take 30. The barrel is broke in when it's broke in... not just because 10 shots were fired through it. With my Senderos, I kept shooting and cleaning until I didn't see any more improvement which was close to 30 rounds in each. And it took several trips to the range because it took a long time between shots to get the copper out.
     
  6. venom600

    venom600 Well-Known Member

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    My Sendero 300 RUM took about 40 rounds. I did it all in one range session, but it took over 3 hours to get it done. Very time consuming. But worth it for sure. The first few (10 or so) fouled the barrel pretty badly. Now I really only clean every 20 rounds or so, unless I'm switching bullets during load development.

    --Ben
     
  7. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    You always clean after 20 rounds?
     
  8. venom600

    venom600 Well-Known Member

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    Not religiously. 20 rounds is an approximation. I always clean at the end of a session at the range.

    --Ben
     
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    My accuracy will usually last about 50-70 rounds and I usually leave the barrel fouled until it needs cleaning. On average, that's about every other trip to the range.
     
  10. venom600

    venom600 Well-Known Member

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    I could probably go longer than 20, but at this point I usually shoot 20 rds. or less each trip to the range. I make it a habit to clean at the end of every range session so that I always know what state the rifle is in when I bring it home.

    --Ben
     
  11. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    Holy smokes. My 22-250 gets cleaned once a year. Depending on the gopher and p-dog population, that could be well over 500 rounds. My 223 bolt gun probably gets over 1000 before it gets cleaned. I've never noticed a decrease in accuracy in either of them. Even my 243 AI probably gets to 500 before cleanings and again I can't tell that accuracy has ever tailed off. Just wondering what I'm missing...
     
  12. venom600

    venom600 Well-Known Member

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    To be perfectly honest, I haven't seen a drop off in accuracy due to fouling....ever. I was just taught (since I was about grasshopper-knee height :D) to clean your gun regularly. So, since I clean so frequently, I've never seen seen that drop off in accuracy due to fouling.

    --Ben
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Probably the differences in cartridges and cals. I haven't shot anything under a 25-06 on a regular basis, but those small 22 cal bullets don't have much bearing surface, so they might not foul as much as longer bullets. I just got a 22-250 this year so I'll be finding out :)
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    What you are missing is the best accuracy that your rifle can do.

    If you clean your rifle back to bare metal clean and shoot 3 shot groups, you will probably find
    that the first shot will go left and the next 3 will group together to the right of the first shot.(The
    first shot removes any solvents or oil) ,and the next 3 shots are from a lightly fouled barrel,

    Keep shooting 3 shot groups until you see a deterioration in group size (It may be small but it will
    tell you how many shots can be fired before accuracy drops off.

    Most rifles reach this point at 7 to 9 shots but can vary based on the finish in the bore.

    At this point accuracy seems to level out and will not get worse or better. This is the reason
    that most people think that there rifle is fine while hunting. a good rest on a bench is realy the
    only way to find how often you rifle needs cleaning(The same thing applies to load development)

    I have some rifles that shoot the cold bore shot in the same spot as the next 5 or 6 rounds
    And some shoot there best with a fouling shot and dry patching then the next half dozen
    rounds hit the same place.

    I prefer to shoot 5 shot groups to test the rifles accuracy but to check the fouling tolerance I use
    3 shot groups.

    To show the effect of fouling on a 5 shot group the 5th shot is normally the one to go out.
    (Sometimes I think its me trying to hard not to mess up a great group).

    When shooting hundreds of rounds without cleaning you are protecting your barrel with copper
    fouling from ware but the throat is still eroding, so I figure I might as well get the most
    accuracy while the barrel is still in good shape.

    The fact that this subject is controversial I have tried both methods (Clean often, or not at all
    for forty of fifty rounds) And in my opinion there is no question which method is best for accuracy
    and cleanup.

    As I said all barrels are different and each person can do it however suits him best.

    J E CUSTOM