Barrel broke in?

RockyMtnMT

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I always clean when the rife shows a degradation in performance or once a year after hunting season. As a general rule that is not nearly 100 rounds. I get plenty of shooting with all the diff rifles we work with.
 

ButterBean

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We have been cleaning before shooting then shooting a few and cleaning to see if there is any copper fouling. If fouling is present then staying with several shots then clean until fouling ends.

With our bullets we rarely see copper fouling so we have pretty much abandoned any formal procedure. I will try and monitor vel farther in the load count to see if I can see any further gain in vel. Seems to be a consensus that the barrel will continue to gain speed until finished.

I have always felt like I am cleaning life out of a barrel when following a full break in procedure. Particularly if there us no copper fouling present.
I've went from one extreme to the other and I have seen no difference in the end result in barrel break in procedures, as of now I clean after the first 10 and then I let her eat. My last project has shot Hammers only, 200 rounds in and it's still shooting the same speeds as the first 10 with 0 copper fouling
 

cabelasken

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I talked to a custom rifle maker and he mentioned over half of the rifles he receives where the client insists the existing barrel is shot out are really just in need of a thorough cleaning. I have always cleaned my rifles at every 20 to 25 shots after break in.

Of my 3 custom guns, two shoot perfectly from clean barrels and one needs two or three fouling shots before getting serious.
 

PApa Black

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This subject gets beat up a lot. I'm not asking opinions on whether or not to break in. I want to know how you all determine when a barrel is successfully broken in. Round count or fouling or something else?
I use a borescope. When it smooths out and stops holding copper between shots. And follow the brands break in process
 

Shane Lindsey

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Cleaning regimens are unique to the individual, as is load development.
I have owned a Hawkeye borescope for 8-9 yrs, plus a teslong, I would not advocate to anyone to do what I do.
Spending just a short time cleaning a rifle after a range session would eliminate issues for a lot of us. Unfortunately I usually do not have the enthusiasm to do so.
Powder choice alone will dictate how and when one cleans.

Can you elaborate/give examples of different powder experiences?

I have heard N570 for example is pretty rough on barrels. My RUM shoots N570 so I clean pretty regular, but do not have a borescope to actually see degradation. If I did, I am sure my OCD would not let me rest until all was back to bare steel. I work the throat area now pretty well because of this.
 

Painless300

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Can you elaborate/give examples of different powder experiences?

I have heard N570 for example is pretty rough on barrels. My RUM shoots N570 so I clean pretty regular, but do not have a borescope to actually see degradation. If I did, I am sure my OCD would not let me rest until all was back to bare steel. I work the throat area now pretty well because of this.
Get your self a borescope, they are pretty cheap now and can tell you volumes about whats going on with your barrel.
 

Chamberman

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Clean as needed or perform the "one pull" method.
Pay attention to your speeds.... Once the speed plateaus start your "serious" load development.
By the time it speeds up you should have a pretty good idea of your load.
"one pull" method: Start a bore snake in the chamber just to where you feel it at the throat, from the muzzle end, fill a pippit about 1/3 to half full with some good gun oil, I use Montana Extreme bore conditioner. Squeeze the contents of the pippit into the barrel and wait a few seconds, then pull the bore snake through. NEVER SHOOT YOUR BARREL DRY.
You can use other methods and scrub the barrel every 20 - 30 shots if you wish.
Again, the idea is to keep an eye on your speeds until they plateau- after this your barrel is broken in, IMHO.
 

milo-2

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Can you elaborate/give examples of different powder experiences?

I have heard N570 for example is pretty rough on barrels. My RUM shoots N570 so I clean pretty regular, but do not have a borescope to actually see degradation. If I did, I am sure my OCD would not let me rest until all was back to bare steel. I work the throat area now pretty well because of this.
We are getting off the topic of barrel breakin. I think N570 gets a bad misrepresented rap, I would bet most running it are at around 64gr minimum and magnum barrels really never last like smaller cartridge ones. Getting a cleaner burn is paramount.
Other than IMR 7977, I do not shoot much slow powder today, but do feel the Enduron line of powders are good, they just don't pack the punch of the Hodgdon extreme line equivalent.
So I shoot faster powders, H4895, Varget, RL 16, both 16 and H4895 notorious for laying down hard carbon in the first part of the barrel. Ignore it, and velocity climbs, and can climb w/o accuracy degradation.
Varget on the other hand tends to foul the muzzle end of a barrel, let it go too long and it seems like drag is created.
I think the Norma powders I have used resulted in the easiest cleanings. I like the N 500 series from VV too, but you really have to want to shoot it to pay the price, has to be a relatively good size gain.
I also think copper agents and temp stability is the future in powders, and Alliant has upped their game considerably with 16, 23, and 26.
 
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Bob Wright

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I just followed the manufacturers various break in procedures. Their procedures can vary quite a bit.
My Krieger barrel started cleaning easily around shot #5.
My gunsmith told me to shoot 100 rounds out of my Proof barrel without cleaning it. At 75 rounds, I cleaned it as I couldn't stand it, lol....
My factory Remingtons needed about 50 rounds to start grouping and cleaning easier.
Every barrel is different I reckon.
 

Tidus56

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Similar to ButterBean I have tried both ends of the spectrum. I have landed on less cleaning during break in. I shoot 1 clean, shoot 3 clean shoot 6 clean and then 10 clean. So only 20 rounds for me now days. I have done way more extensive break ins and I can’t tell a difference.
 

Andrew Cowling

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This subject gets beat up a lot. I'm not asking opinions on whether or not to break in. I want to know how you all determine when a barrel is successfully broken in. Round count or fouling or something else?
As a smith I build a lot of rifles. Most of the time the client asks me to run a barrel in.
I let the barrel tell me when it is ready by the amount of copper fouling and how easy it is to remove.
My process may take a little longer but the results speak for them selves.
I shoot 1 shot and clean using a well soaked nylon brush with sweets 7.62. I do this for 10 shots. Then I will fire a 3 shot string and clean again for 5 strings. If there is still a lot of copper being deposited then I procede to shoot 5 x 5 shot string and clean between each string. Each time a inspect the bore before and after cleaning. As the barrel is run in I notice that there is less copper fouling. When the fouling is removed completely I take note of how much time it has taken for that clean.
Once the barrel reaches a point that it hardly has any copper in it from a string and the clean up is very quick, then and only then do I concider the barrel to be run in.
When the barrel stops getting badly fouled with copper then it will give you consistent SD,s and velocities which translates to tighter groups. Also the tighter groups will remain for longer.
 

Painless300

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This has been hashed out here a thousand times, while a borescope is a very useful tool to some most put too much faith in it, and has nothing to do with the OP's question
Didn't mean to get off subject, just trying to help him out. IMHO the borescope, once you know what your looking at can really help in cleaning properly, over pressure situations and many other issues that arise.
 
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