Breaking in a Factory Barrell

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 17Fireball, May 5, 2013.

  1. 17Fireball

    17Fireball Well-Known Member

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    I am getting a Savage new and was looking for suggestions on how to properly break in the barrell for accuracy. I intend to reload for the gun and want to achieve the best accuracy.
     
  2. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think the barrel needs breaking in?

    Just shoot that barrel. Every round of break in ammo wears it out a bit. The rifling has its sharpest edges when it's new anyway. Accuracy starts to degrade with the first shot fired. How much may be hard to tell depending on many things.

    Nobody every broke in a barrel until a few decades ago someone thought it would be a good idea.

    You'll get a dozen or more suggested processes to use. Pick one if that's what you feel is needed.
     

  3. jschroed

    jschroed Well-Known Member

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    Just shoot it!
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    My break-in process is to shoot the crap out of it. Warm it up, cool it down, warm it up, cool it down, and just continue doing that, and you should be ok. I've never done a "proper" break-in procedure like these mfg's tell you to do. And all my guns shoot tiny cloverleaf groups from the factory...

    Shoot you about 5 shots, let it warm up (don't let it get too hot), and let it cool for about 5 mins. Then continue doing so for about 50 rounds, then I consider a barrel to be broken in.
     
  5. 17Fireball

    17Fireball Well-Known Member

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    My son shoots service rifle and we needed to follow strict break in procedures for his AR
     
  6. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    What objective's met by not letting it get too hot?

    I've never known a good barrel done any harm by shooting it a few dozen times once every 20 seconds or so and getting it really hot. Done that very thing with brand spankin' new barres (15 or so)l and they never once complained.
     
  7. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    It's not a huge deal, but you can possibly have some heat cracking if you get them too hot. You get it too hot and shoot it repeatedly you could burn the throat out of it. Not saying these things will happen, just saying that these things can possibly happen.

    Whatever works best for you, is what works best for you. I was just stating what I do when I get a new gun, or rebarrel a rifle. It's just like football....We all have our own crazy rituals and techniques when we're waching our favorite team play. We're all superstitious. LOL
     
  8. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Got any numbers (rounds per minute for X minutes) that'll heat crack the origin of the rifling?

    I'm not. I've known a few rifle shooters that are about certain things regarding shooting them.
     
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a round-count....I don't think there are any specifics for any such failures or instances.

    I have just seen one that had it, with a bore scope at my gunsmith's shop, and he said it was caused from overheating a barrel and continuing to shoot... That's all I know about it.
     
  10. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    I've seen the chamber leades in several M1 barrels with a bore scope shot a few dozen times at a rate of 24 rounds in 50 seconds. 8 rounds from a full clip went out in about 12 seconds, then reloaded, another 8 in 12 seconds, reloaded and the last 8 in 12 seconds. No cracking whatsoever. Only normal erosion after a total of about 4000 rounds through the barrel at more reasonable firing rates. This is about as tough as any shoulder fired rifle gets fired except for full auto machine guns.
     
  11. 17Fireball

    17Fireball Well-Known Member

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    The .243 seems to heat up after five shots enough to have to wait five minutes. When my son shoots the AR in the rapid fire events, I think it is about twenty shots in maybe two minutes or something.

    How long does an average .243 barrell last before shooting accuracy falls off?
     
  12. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    I shot matches with David Tubb when he first was using a .243 Win. in competition. He got about 1400 rounds of good barrel life with it. In talking with others using it, their barrels lasted about 1400 to 1500 rounds. That's a way overbore cartridge anyway; barrel life's gonna be short.

    Rapid fire with normal loads doesn't wear out a barrel as slow fire with really hot ones anyway.
     
  13. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I think there is truth to the idea that many people are somewhat superstitious about their barrel break-in procedure. I have been known to refer to that as doing the barrel "rain dance."

    Do I break-in my barrels? Sure. Aside from thoroughly cleaning my rifle before firing it for the first time, I don't really use a set procedure, though.

    I begin by firing a few shots to establish a rough zero. That usually takes five or six rounds.

    I then apply some foaming bore cleaner to the bore, let it sit, then patch it dry, paying attention to how much fouling of various types is coming out on the patches.

    Then I repeat the cycle, observing the condition of the cleaning patches and paying attention to how much effort is needed to remove the fouling each time.

    Eventually, a point will be reached where the rate of fouling slows down and the barrel becomes easier to clean. When I reach that point, I consider the barrel to be "broken-in" or "seasoned."

    Some barrels take more shooting than others to reach this point. That is why I don't believe in a set number of shots or cleaning cycles. In general, I try to keep the fouling from building up by cleaning more frequently during the first few shots, while paying attention to how the barrel behaves in terms of rate of fouling and ease of cleaning each time.

    I pay attention to what is happening during the process and let the barrel tell me when it is "broken-in." Most of the time, it takes just a few rounds. Sometimes it takes several shooting sessions, with a thorough cleaning after each session.
     
  14. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    The same as every other barrel; on the second shot down the bore.

    Nature of the beast, guys. As soon as you start shooting, you're wearing that barrel out. That's what you bought it for, and if you use it, that's just what's going to happen. Clean if properly (use a bore guide), use one-piece rods (coated or polished SS) and be careful with the crown. No reason not to use them, just recognize that this is what they're for, and what is going to happen. Nothing more than perishable tooling, and they're meant to be replaced.