Barrel break-in for lapped barrels

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Litehiker, Sep 14, 2019.

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  1. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2013
    Proof break-in procedure from Proof site:

    To break-in the barrel, perform the following steps:
    1. Shoot three shots and then clean (see cleaning instructions on page 7).
    2. Shoot three more shots and clean again.
    3. shoot five more times and clean again.

    Not saying it helps but they do have one.
  2. Andrew Cowling

    Andrew Cowling Active Member

    Mar 12, 2019
    Spot on.
    I have always used and recommended the shot and clean method for running in. My boxes hold 50 rounds so that is how many I use. 10 x 1 shot groups removing all copper between groups. Then 5 x 3 shots groups removing all copper between groups. Then 5 x 5 shots groups removing all copper between each group.

    All of my barrels are hand lapped match barrels. When I go out for a shot the clean cold barrel hits exactly the same point of aim as it did when I cleaned and put it away while holding that same point of aim even when hot and dirty.

    Accuracy of my barrels remains for a much longer time period. Even then I clean after 50 shots maximum to maintain that accuracy and very little copper comes out if any at all. It is so nice nowing that I have a prestine clean barrel that will stay clean for long shooting periods and be dead on every time even from straight out of storage.
    J E Custom and Barrelnut like this.
  3. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    I use a brush that is one caliber size under the actual caliber size of the rifle and tightly wrap a patch around the brush which totally covers the brush up and douse it with solvent (boretech elimnator or bore tech CU +2) and push it through the bore with a bore guide. I never brush my barrels with anything. I push three of them through and then let it soak, then push three more through and let it soak. A factory barrel will usually take more time but a hand lapped custom barrel will clean right up within one sequence.
    Barrelnut likes this.
  4. Andrew Cowling

    Andrew Cowling Active Member

    Mar 12, 2019
    So you think using a copper brush with solvent is a good idea. What rubbish. A nylon brush is the only thing to use when applying solvent in a bore.
  5. Wedgy

    Wedgy Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    "The type of solvent you are using can also help dictate which brush material you choose. Brass brushes are ideal for use with solvents designed to remove powder, lead, metal fouling, carbon deposits, and rust. Nylon is also a great choice when cleaning with solvents like copper removers, as the chemicals won’t break down the nylon the same way they might brass. Depending on the copper remover you use, bronze brushes can also give a false read on your clean, as some ammonia based copper removers will still turn blue or green as they react with the bronze brush rather than any copper left in your barrel."
  6. shooter7

    shooter7 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011

    My "fancy" rifles wear Lilja and Krieger barrels. Krieger recommends either a nylon or bronze brush for cleaning. Lilja explicitly states to use a bronze brush to clean a barrel, not a nylon. I just listen to what the manufacturers say. It's working pretty good for me so far.
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Absalutely, a brush is a poor way to apply solvent to a bore, it's a brush, it's task is to break down carbon in every nook from the neck forward aided by a carbon solvent applied directly or with a patch that soaks into it. Plastic brushes do not even remotely get into carbon especially in the bottom of the lands which is easy to see with a bore scope, a few passes with a bronze brush that actually works is way better than sawing on a bore thinking a plastic brush is actually working. Taking copper out is much more effectively done with the correct solvent and a patch. Correct tools and correct chemistry make cleaning a non issue.
    Hand Skills likes this.
  8. crkckr

    crkckr Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    I will almost always go with whatever the barrel manufacturer says in regard to break in. Why take chances after you've spent so much money on a barrel?

    I like the nylon line method as well, but I use 100lb. fishing line instead of weedwhacker line. I melt a flat base on one end to hold a patch and cut the other end at a sharp angle to make it easy to poke thru a patch.

    However, be advised that you should never allow the line to 'drag' on the muzzle crown while pulling the line thru. These nylon lines will will quickly pick up and embed grime into the line, after which it acts much like a cutting line! I put one finger across the muzzle and let the line ride on my finger and not the muzzle. The lines should also be changed fairly often, due to their ability to embed crud into the nylon.
  9. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    I think JE CUSTOM has the best explanation of why one should clean between each shot for the first 10 or 20 shots. But since my stainless barrel was factory lapped by Miroku I think that any copper build-up or "humps" would be minimal.

    With that in mind I'll do a complete copper cleaning and do a 10 shot clean-each-shot routine.
    As is I got a final 3 shot grouping of 7/8" at 200 yards with a fluted, skinny barreled rifle so that ain't too bad.

    Eric B.
    BTW, on my cleaning with a plastic coated Otis cleaning cable: My rifle has a muzzle thread protector cap so the cable bears, if at all, against the cap bore and not the muzzle bore. And those using brakes should, for the same reason I stated, leave them in place when cleaning, whether with a rod, string or coated cable.