Barrel break-in?


Quintin Likely
May 26, 2003, 06:53 PM
I don't shoot for benchrest type groups myself, but I've never noticed the difference between breaking in a barrel and not doing so. This past weekend, I noticed a couple fellas shooting some high zoot lookin' ARs. Send a couple rounds downrange, break the weapon down, clean the bore, repeat. Has anyone noticed any big difference breaking in a barrel or not?

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Art Eatman
May 26, 2003, 07:32 PM
I never have. But, I never heard of such until I joined up with The Firing Line in late 1998. My father and my uncle apparently never heard about it, for they never commented to me. I don't recall reading any comment about it in Phil Sharpe's books.

:), Art

May 26, 2003, 09:16 PM
Braking in a barrel matters for the upper end of accuracy. It's the difference between a 1MOA and a sub-3/4MOA factory bolt action.

May 26, 2003, 09:21 PM
I never have.

Never heard it even discussed until a few years ago. FWIW I have seen some bbls ruined, life shortened, or start shooting "groups". Not from shooting them...other reasons.

Some other input/perspectives:

May 26, 2003, 09:28 PM
One note before taking what Gale says about not needing a break-in as bible, he is referring to custom rifle barrels where the lapping is done by hand by the gunsmith or barrel maker. With a factory rifle coming off an assembly line, the break-in smoothes the imperfections from the machining process.

May 27, 2003, 01:11 PM
If the "imperfections" mattered in factory guns, accuracy and bore smoothness would be directly related. They aren't. The standard Savage bore is a nightmare under a borescope, yet they are accurate rifles.

All break-in consists of is super frequent cleaning, and shooting. Removing small amounts of fouling just doesn't seem like it would have any effect compared to the friction of the bullet down the bore; clean or dirty. So even if there is a break-in period for bores, it's the shooting that does it, the existance of fouling isn't going to change that.

The term "break-in" is essentially stolen from machines that involve many parts in a complex interaction - like an engine or autopistol. A bore and bullet is a bit too simple an interaction for this description and is really a false analogy.

May 27, 2003, 01:17 PM
Just shoot em. I don't think Gale was really big on cleaning them every time, either.

I've always found that they shoot funny for a few shots after they've been scrubbed, too.

May 27, 2003, 03:21 PM
I can only say that I have seen 2 700P's, a Mike Rock 5R barrel 700, and a match grade DPMS all shoot sub 3/4 groups at 100 yards and none had any magic ritual done. Take out of the box, clean, go to the range, shoot, bring home, clean.

/my experiences

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