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Thread: Breaking in a barrel...

  1. #1
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default Breaking in a barrel...

    What is the best way to break in a new rifle barrel? I have also heard that it does not really matter, just shoot it. What are your opinions?

  2. #2

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    Howdy aknwbie, while you're waiting for replies there a few posts in the "Borescope Challange" thread on this subject. My view.... breakin process probably doesn't hurt. Good Shootin

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Thinking back on all the factory barreled rifles I've owned, I only had one that was a really good barrel. I had to really search back in my memory to come up with one. (probably remember it cause I won money with it).

    If it's a factory barrel, why bother. You can not make a silk purse, out of a sows ear. The tool marks in factory barrels make you wonder they do as well as they do.

    On the other hand a barrel by one of our country's top makers (and there is lots of them). Is a horse of a different feather. Following good break-in procedures will make life with a good barrel easier to keep it from copper fouling.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4

    Default Proper Rifle Break in Procedure

    http://www.asrealasitgets.net/forums...0448#Post40448

    Be shure to have your volume adjusted as there are some important verbal instructions.



    Just shoot the dam thing...

    Norm

  5. #5
    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Default Break in is a good thing

    I have owned several new rifles and just recently started following break-in procedures on the last 3. I must say that I see better accuracy from the ones that I broke in vs. the ones that I just shot to sight in. It is not a huge difference but it is 1/4 to 1/2 inch better on the ones that I followed the following recommendations. I clean after each shot for 10 shots; then clean after every 2 shots for the next 10. I never fire more than 5 without cleaning from then on.
    What breaking in does is smooth out inperfections in the lands and grooves and the cleaning between rounds prevents copper from getting imbedded in those inperfections until they are smooth. I clean with Hoppes copper solvent and then use 409 to remove the solvent and oil and then use a couple of dry patches to dry the barrel before firing again. I also let the rifle sit at least 5 minutes between rounds to ensure it is completely cold. A heated barrel will copper foul easier than a cold barrel.
    I was stationed with 2 guys that shot for the Army marksmanship team when I was in the Army and this is the procedures that both recommended.
    If you properly break-in the barrel, you'll find that it is much easier to clean after firing.

  6. #6
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Ever hear of Gale McMillan? One of this countries premier barrel makers. Here is what he says about breaking in a barrel.

    From this site: http://www.snipercountry.com/Articles/Barrel_BreakIn.asp


    Quote:
    Gale McMillan
    posted September 25, 1999 10:10 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The break in fad was started by a fellow I helped get started in the barrel business . He started putting a set of break in instructions in ever barrel he shipped. One came into the shop to be installed and I read it and the next time I saw him I asked him What was with this break in crap?. His answer was Mac, My share of the market is about 700 barrels a year. I cater to the target crowd and they shoot a barrel about 3000 rounds before they change it. If each one uses up 100 rounds of each barrel breaking it in you can figure out how many more barrels I will get to make each year. If you will stop and think that the barrel doesn't know whether you are cleaning it every shot or every 5 shots and if you are removing all foreign material that has been deposited in it since the last time you cleaned it what more can you do? When I ship a barrel I send a recommendation with it that you clean it ever chance you get with a brass brush pushed through it at least 12 times with a good solvent and followed by two and only 2 soft patches. This means if you are a bench rest shooter you clean ever 7 or 8 rounds . If you are a high power shooter you clean it when you come off the line after 20 rounds. If you follow the fad of cleaning every shot for X amount and every 2 shots for X amount and so on the only thing you are accomplishing is shortening the life of the barrel by the amount of rounds you shot during this process. I always say Monkey see Monkey do, now I will wait on the flames but before you write them, Please include what you think is happening inside your barrel during break in that is worth the expense and time you are spending during break in.
    You want to spend a crap load of time and ammo doing something that really don't need to be done, have at it.

    Since Mr. McMillan is far more experienced than I, I'll be taking his advice and just shoot it and then clean it when I'm done.

  7. #7

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    I agree with bear buster. I personally know some Olympic and AMU shooters that have won numerous gold medals and world championships. Most of them agree that to break in a barrel only requires shooting it. Clean as you normally would and you should be fine.

  8. #8

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    Yep, just shoot! break-in is a waste

  9. #9

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    I agree with the last couple posts, I dont brake barrels in any more, I have never seen a difference and its a lot of time and ammo wasted. I just shoot the darn thing anymore. Keep in mind its already been fired with no break in when you get it.....

  10. #10
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I know Gale and I know Rocky personally, I will say that what Gale says has some merit. I've done it both ways and to be frank I can not tell much difference between the two as far as barrel life goes. (as to break in) What I can tell you for a fact that a barrel that has been broken in sure as heck cleans faster than one that has not.

    A great barrel one that is worth holding on to, can shoot many thousands of rounds and keep shooting accurately. The reason barrels like this get retired by competitive shooters finely, has to give up on them, is because they take to long to clean between relays to get the accuracy back.

    A good friend of mine bought a rifle from the 1995 National champion two gun winner(bench rest) The barrel when he got it was about two thousand rounds into the life of the barrel. This rifle was just unbelievable for tight groups. By 3500 rounds he just ran out of time to get it clean before the next relay. Not enough time to load his ammo and clean the barrel. This barrel would still make tiny groups. But after 12 rounds it would loose it. Now I know for sure that this barrel was broken in by the first owner Don Neilson using Rem oil for the break in.

    Some barrels such as a cut rifled barrel make take longer to break in, not all such as Krieger shoot like a button barrel from the first.

    The landscape has changed of barrels has changed in the last 10 to 12 years, there are a lot more cut barrels out there today than years before. You would have been hard put to find anything but a button barrel. Some of the cut barrels just would not get anybody to buy them back then as they would not shoot until about 500 rounds. Today's cut barrels, shoot much quicker due to the better lapping they get from the maker.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11

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    I am getting a Cooper rifle soon and I just talked to one of their reps. He said they do have a procedure they recomend but with their rifles, but breaking in isn't really necessary with Cooper rifles because they give their barrels a 400 grit lapping. He said that barrel breaking is basically like lapping.

    Here's a real good article by Dan Lilja and some of the points are consistent with coments in this thread.

    http://www.riflebarrels.com/articles...el_fouling.htm

  12. #12

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    So now I'm wondering about Sako's barrel making process. Do they make a well lapped smooth bore or are their bores rough?

  13. #13
    Big Stick
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    Cooper typically use Wilson blanks and 400 grit is AWFULLY rough for a bore.

    My 21 in 223 bugholes and fouls little to none and is obviously finished miles beyond 400 grit,regarding interior.....................

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