Breaking in a barrel..... HELP PLEASE

Nikolakangrga

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May 20, 2009
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154
Location
Sonoma County, CA
My GF purchased a Rem 700 SPS in .243, She has put 45 rounds through it at the range in the last 7 months and has religiously cleaned it after returning home from the range. It is shooting 1" - 1 1/2" groups. She never properly broke in the barrel when she first took it to the range. Is it too late? If she did brake it in properly, do you guys thing it would have tightened up the group at all?

Thanks,
Nick-
 

justgoto

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Apr 11, 2009
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Carrollton, Ohio
I think it might be too late.

From what I gather, breaking-in the barrel doesn't make it more accurate but makes it more consistent.

When I got my rifle, I cleaned it with a copper solvent getting pretty much copper out of it. Then I started load development and cleaned it with the copper solvent every shot for 20 shots. Now when I clean it, I hardly get any copper out of it, I got more copper out the first time I cleaned it, then I have after shooting it 20 times.

The way I understood it; the minimum of copper fouling, the longer it will shoot consistently without cleaning.

I could be wrong; there seems to be a lot of different ideas on this subject.
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
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10,373
Location
Texas
My GF purchased a Rem 700 SPS in .243, She has put 45 rounds through it at the range in the last 7 months and has religiously cleaned it after returning home from the range. It is shooting 1" - 1 1/2" groups. She never properly broke in the barrel when she first took it to the range. Is it too late? If she did brake it in properly, do you guys thing it would have tightened up the group at all?

Thanks,
Nick-
The best thing to try is to start by cleaning real good. ( no copper on patches ).

Then shoot one round and clean.

If it takes more than 2 or 3 patches to come clean, repeat the process for 10 to 20
shots cleaning between each shot. (It takes a long time and is boring).

If at some point it still takes 5 or 6 patches and solvent bushing's to come clean
It is probably as good as it will ever be. (Some factory barrels never stop fouling).

Proper break in can improve accuracy, but the big advantage is normally they foul
less and clean up faster.

J E CUSTOM
 

MontanaRifleman

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May 21, 2008
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6,194
Location
South of Canada and North of Wyoming
It's never too late to break-in a barrel and a lot of guys dont do it at all. IMO, it's best to do it right away, but the bottom line is, if you get the bore cleaned down to bare metal, it shouldn't be much or any different than new out of the box. And in fact, most rifles have a few shots through them before they are boxed.

Important thing for break-in, get ALL the copper and most of the powder out of your bore. Most guys "think" they are getting all the copper out when they get a "white" patch, but that's seldom the case. Two good products to use at the range are Bore Tech Eliminator and KG12. I have used Bore Tech but not KG12 but I hear that it's better than BTE. I wet patch through with BTE until I start getting light blue patches. Then I scrub a little with a nylon brush and let it soak for about 15-20 min. The ptach will turn dark blue again. I repeat this process until I'm not getting any blue. At that point your bore should be about 99% free of copper and about 80-90% free of carbon. A little carbon left in the bore is not a bad thing, at least not according to Dan Lilja. I use a nylon brush because a bronze brush will be eatened by a good copper solvent and show a false blue on your patch.

Breaking-in a barrel is about conditioning your barrel so it fouls less... not about accuracy. Accuracy may or may not improve, but you probably wont notice much difference. The benefits of break-in are easier cleaning and longer shooting strings before you need to clean and maybe less fouling shots needed after cleaning to "settle" down your barrel. That's it.

Cheers and good shooting,

Mark
 

Nikolakangrga

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Joined
May 20, 2009
Messages
154
Location
Sonoma County, CA
Thank you to all who responded. Very informative. I will be heading to the range on saturday with her .243 and my .50 muzzleloader. I will properly break in her barrel then. Thanks again!
Nick-
 

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