New Barrel Break-In and Cleaning


Well-Known Member
Sep 19, 2002
I know this has probably been covered before, and I have seen it on other forums with wildly varying opinions, but I figured many folks here have spent more on barrels than most hunters have ever spent on guns...

What is the recommended way to break in a new barrel, and what are the do's and dont's of cleaning your barrel and rifle?


I'll answer this question for a felow horseman..

Mynew barrels i will shoot and clean after each shot for 10 shots, then shoot and clean after each 3 shots for (10 strings) Then I shoot and clean after each 5 shots for (10 strings) .. this will usually do it..

I use shooters choice in my rifles.. with a match barrel I feel your cleaner doesn't need to be as "strong" as if you had a factory barrel. In my factory barrels I use sweets after every 20-30 rounds to eliminate too much copper build up...
I will use sweets in the match barrels about every 100 rounds.. just to be sure...

always use a bore guide, always use a coated rod. I use a brush for my barrels but I use the nylon ones... I also flush my trigger with lighter fluid about once a month when shooting regularly ( summer )

I'm sure the other guys here have different methods but this one has worked for me...

Darryl Cassel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2001

I use these items

1. Butches or Shooters Choice Bore cleaner
2. Plastic brushes---NOT BRASS brushes
3. Sweets Copper remover
4. JB Compound
5. Coated Dewey Rod.
6. Kroil

My procedure is;
I clean after EACH shot for 5 shots in a row. I wet a patch with Butches and run it throught the bore. Then another wet patch to make sure the bore is wet. Run the plastic brush through the bore 10 times. Each back and forth stroke is counted as ONE time.
I then run a dry patch through and then another. I then fire another shot and do the same procedure.
At the end of the 5 shots I do the above plus after I dry the bore with the clean patches, I then use sweets on a patch and run it through the bore. Wet another patch with Sweets and run it through. Run the plastic brush through 10 strokes with the wet sweets in the bore and then run dry patches in. Come back again with Butches bore cleaner and wet the bore.
On a wet butches patch put JB paste on and stroke it back and forth 10 times through the bore.
After that, dry the bore with clean patches and run the Butches through through the bore again and then dry with clean patches again.

Now start the 2 shots and clean with Butches and brushing for 5 times. After you have completed that cycle and have run 10 more shots through the barrel (15 total counting the first 5), do the Sweets and JB procedure again and then start the 3 shots and clean after each three shots fired. At the end of these 15 shots do the sweets and JB one more time and the barrel should be ready to use.

You will have fired 30 rounds total and the bore should clean up very well with match shooting or LR hunting.
You will also have a "large" pile of used patches to discard.

My barrels have lasted a long time when using this procedure.

When done shooting and cleaning your rifle, run a patch or two of Kroil through the barrel and leave it in the bore.

When using Sweets NEVER let it in your barrel more then 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I usually run a wet patch with Sweets in the barrel then another and then another until no bluish coloration comes out on the patch.
Make sure you dry out the Sweets with a dry patch or two and then come back with Butches to clean out the Sweets.

That's the way I have done it for years and if you ever buy a used barrel from me, they are very good and will have many rounds left in them.

Make sure you store the rifle so the barrel drains toward the muzzle. It's best to store them "MUZZLE DOWN" not stock down. The oil will drain into the chamber or trigger if stock down.

Glad you asked the question as many people know NOTHING about breaking in a new barrel.

Later and good luck.


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2007
Wilmington NC

The reason you see so many variations is that each gun is different, some use Moly, some use Danzac and everyone has their favorite "ritual" cleaning that works for them. Which one is right? Doubt that will ever be resolved. Let your gun guide you based on the principles you read and you find/think work best for you.

I use Bore tech rods, just like them better than Deweys. Plus you can get them 60" long, I use the 52" for 30 inch barrels.

I use plastic Kleen Bore hard bristle brushes. I do not get traces of copper in bore from the brushes with these brushes.

for solvents I use Montazuma Extreme, and barnes CR10

I use JB to keep the carbon ring out of front of chamber and first 3-4 inches of barrel if I feel a build up there.

I finish with 2 patches of Kroil followed by on dry patch.

I finish with action cleaning tools to clean the raceway and chamber. Got Darrel Holland making a set with rods about 20" instead of the normal 12".

Lube the bolt lugs, and engagement surfaces.

My break in is single shot, clean 1-5 shots for match barrel, until copper quits. My last spencer took 3 shots to do that. After than, go for it.

Factory barrel, you might have to single shot clean for 10 shots, then 5 shot groups for 5 groups and then go. Some guys fire lap with David Tubbs fire lap kit ($28) to smooth factory bores.

I use Bore Tech bore guides also on all my guns. Makes it easier to keep solvents out of the action and off the stocks.


[ 03-20-2003: Message edited by: BountyHunter ]


Well-Known Member
Sep 19, 2002
Thank you all for the informative responses.
I am currently putting together a grocery list for MidwayUSA so I can do it right.
Warning! This thread is more than 20 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.