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Thread: Breaking in a New barrel

  1. #1

    Default Breaking in a New barrel

    I haven't purchased a new rifle in years and have forgotten the propper procedure for breaking in a new barrel. Rifle is a Kimber Montana in 300WSM if that matters.
    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default This is how we did it

    When sighting in your rifle you usually shoot groups of three. We would shoot three and then clean the rifle. Move target further out and shoot three and clean the rifle and so on. We would do that for the first 20 rounds. Then good to go. Have done 5 rifles this way for family and friends, maybe more. I know 4 of them love any factory ammo you feed it.

    I remember seeing a thread a while back on this. Seemed like many different ways or opinions. They must all work. Just depends on what you decide to go with. Some cleaned after every round. We were told by two sourdoughs back in the day, 12 years ago, to do it the way we do. Getting the barrel hot and letting it cool and then cleaning breaks in the new steal they said. Plus it helps for sighting it in new as the you will get better groups keeping it clean. This just what I have heard, done and seen personally. Goodluck when you decide on buying the new rifle and have fun.

  3. #3


    Basically gotta agree that there are many many different methods to do it, and they probably all work. The way I grew up breaking in new rifles was to clean after every shot for the first ten or so, then after every 2-3 shots after that. There are also a lot of different theories as far as whether barrel break-in is even totally necessary. According to one of the major rifle barrel manufacturers, there is no need to break them in as the first shot out of a new barrel is the most accurate and each shot after that is slightly less accurate than the one before it due to the fact that each and every shot wears just a little bit on the barrel. I see the logic in that, but yet I still break in barrels the way I always have.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

  4. #4

    Default Basically, I do the following

    Sighting in, I bore sight and use the three shot method starting at about 50 yards. Then I move the target out to 100 then 200 making sight adjustments as necessary. I sight all my high power rifles in for 100 yards using the iron sights and 200 yards using the scope. If the scope fails, I just unscrew the Weaver QD mounts and use the irons. So far I have never had to do this in the field.

    As far as the barrel, just keep it clean using good quality bore cleaner and patches. Use the brush when needed to remove stubborn fouling but don't use the brush more than you need to. Buy a decent bore light and check the bore every few shots and clean when necessary.

    The main thing with high power rifles is not to let the barrel get too hot. A hot barrel will hurt accuracy and there is no use making sight adjustments with a hot barrel because when it cools down your point of impact will change. Fire no more than two shots before allowing the barrel to cool. Once you sight in you can do rapid fire practice but keep in mind that the point of impact will shift with a hot barrel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Thumbs up Barrel break-in IS important...

    ...although I know there are vastly differing opinions out there. Take a look at the following...

    I trust Dan's opinion. What he describes, is what I have done for many years...even though some of the guys tease me at the range when I'm breaking-in a new barrel.

  6. #6

    Default Break-In

    Thanks for the thread, Doc. This is the same procedure I have used on several(too many) rifles for 15 years. It gets old cleaning after every shot for 10-20 shots at first. But following that procedure, I have not only noticed great accuracy, but how quickly and with very little cleaning, the powder fouling and ALSO the copper fouling comes out.
    Take the time, do it right the first time, and it will pay off in the long run.
    p.s. A machinist shooting buddy of mine feels it's very important to run an oil patch every time after cleaning during break-in. Good Luck!!

  7. #7
    Member 454casull's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Sterling, Alaska

    Thumbs down Kimber Montana

    Good luck getting that thing to shoot good, however you end up "breaking the barrell in". Hopefully it will be one of the Montana's that shoot a fair group, but don't hold your breath. It's a gamble with those things. If you can't get it to shoot decent after you break it in, don't worry it was something you did wrong, it's just a Kimber Montana. That would be par for the course. They don't even make good boat anchors, they are to light! Well anyway, good luck, and let us know how it turns out. I hope for your sake it is one of few that will actually shoot.


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