Barrel Break In Time!


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one-shot
March 19, 2010, 01:09 AM
So it's starting to warm up down here in Utah. It's time to take my Savage Model 12 in 223 out and break the barrel in. I'm planning on using a box of 52Gr BTHPs(Black Hills) I have sitting around.

On my list to buy is a bore guide, some cleaning patches, a rod, and some oil. Does anyone have any recommendations on what brands to get? If anyone else lives around SLC, I am close to Impact Guns and will be driving by Cabelas in Lehi this weekend.

Oh, and a pic of my gun/scope.

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2391710214/photos/202793/rifle

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2391710214/photos/202794/scope

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Afy
March 19, 2010, 05:34 AM
I wouldnt bother with break in. It is pretty much a myth, and will do about as much good as giving the rifle a bath. Probably less. IMHO

MGA 1028
March 19, 2010, 08:37 AM
I totally agree. Just don't overheat it and control the copper fouling until the barrel gets burnished. My last one took about 150 rounds. I used KG-12 until it stopped fouling.

Geno
March 19, 2010, 08:49 AM
The best barrel manufacturers in the world recommend a break-in of some extent. Some of my barrels such as on my Remington M700 Police in .308 it has made little difference, because it was already so smooth. I still have gone through one box of ammo, shooting 1 round then cleaning.

The best way to see if you need a break-in is to fire a 3-shot group. Remove the bolt, and check the bore for copper. Allow it to cool. Fire a 2nd, 3-shot string. Remove the bolt and check the bore again. If no copper, no "foul". :D If your group size changes, or you have copper fouling, you need to break it in. Group sizes getting tighter usually means the throat is still rough.

If you can fire 5 to 10, 3-shot groups and have no copper fouling, and your groups size remains constant, your barrel is good to go.

Geno

R.W.Dale
March 19, 2010, 11:18 AM
Bbl break in 101

buy rifle

take to range

send multiple high speed pre sized copper & lead polishing bits through the bbl at high velocity. Perform this step to the owners satisfaction or untill your consumables run low.

Go home, clean rifle and repeat till satisfied

dakotasin
March 19, 2010, 03:25 PM
for barrel break in i will sometimes go so far as to even push a patch thru the barrel before it goes to the range.

USSR
March 19, 2010, 03:28 PM
For a precision rifle, I follow the break-in procedure outlined on Krieger's website.

Don

Z-Michigan
March 19, 2010, 03:29 PM
for barrel break in i will sometimes go so far as to even push a patch thru the barrel before it goes to the range.

I do this on every barrel. So many are shipped dirty.

Otherwise I do nothing special. In fact, on chrome-lined and nitride treated barrels, break in is essentially impossible. On standard metal barrels it is possible, but you can see the comments above.

I guess if I had a >$500 precision rifle I would probably spend the extra time doing shoot once, clean, etc. though not knowing if it made any difference. For anything not expected to be do better than 1.5 MOA, I wouldn't bother.

jimmyraythomason
March 19, 2010, 03:32 PM
The best barrel manufacturers in the world recommend a break-in of some extent. The only thing needed to "break in" a barrel is to shoot it.

SaxonPig
March 19, 2010, 04:52 PM
Infamous #36

----------------

Barrel break in.

36. “Breaking in” a rifle barrel is probably just a waste of time. Some barrel makers recommend it while others do not which demonstrates a lack of universal agreement on whether it’s really necessary so it probably is not. Every formula for break in involves some combination of firing and cleaning. The fact that there are numerous different formulas should be evidence that nobody really has the definitive answer on the best procedure meaning there likely isn’t one. Simply shooting the rifle as intended will likely be all the break in that is required.

375shooter
March 19, 2010, 05:05 PM
A while back fire lapping was getting a lot of attention. Anyone have any thoughts on it? Does it increase accuracy or does it just result in the throat being worn?

DRYHUMOR
March 19, 2010, 05:29 PM
Sometimes I break em in, sometimes not. I do run a patch with alcohol on it through to remove all trace oils and crud from the production though.

mljdeckard
March 19, 2010, 05:35 PM
The idea of barrel break-in is that you are lapping the rifling, taking off microscopic burrs and flaws. There are formulas for the first hundred rounds, but the precision shooters who taught me showed me that the law of diminishing returns probably takes hold after about the first ten rounds. The good that is done by all the rest is probably imperceptible. Cleaning between shots has less to do with cleaning than giving enough time between shots to not let the barrel heat up to full temperature.

If you have the time, go ahead, shoot 10-20 rounds cleaning between each shot. It's a good time to get the optics zeroed too. I wouldn't bother with 'break-in' firing after that.

ants
March 19, 2010, 06:05 PM
For those who are interested in break in duration, this is cut-n-paste from Krieger Barrels:
Finally, the best way to break-in the barrel is to observe when the barrel is broken in; i.e. when the fouling is reduced. This is better than some set number of cycles of "shoot and clean" as many owners report practically no fouling after the first few shots, and more break-in would be pointless. Conversely, if more is required, a set number would not address that either.

mljdeckard, this helps explain why everyone has a different idea of how many rounds it takes to break in. According to Krieger, there is no specific number. It depends upon the rifle. You have to inspect it yourself to determine on a case by case basis.

The whole article discusses break in very nicely. http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Break_In__Cleaning-c1246-wp2558.htm

jimmyraythomason
March 19, 2010, 06:07 PM
from Krieger Barrels:
that does it for me.

Andrew Wyatt
March 19, 2010, 06:33 PM
it doesn't matter. seriously.

Uncle Mike
March 19, 2010, 07:10 PM
Just pee in your barrel...it'll run all the accuracy gremlins out of it and your accuracy will be phenomenal!

Check this out: http://yarchive.net/gun/barrel/break_in.html

1858
March 19, 2010, 07:28 PM
I have two Krieger barrels and followed their break-in procedure for both. I used Sweet's 7.62 after every shot for three shots with the .308 and by the fourth shot there wasn't any copper fouling at all ... ZERO. That barrel doesn't foul at all now and I've put about 1,100 rounds through it since the break-in and have only used Sweet's once during that time. At the 500 mark I thought I'd better check for copper so I cleaned the barrel with a patch soaked in Sweet's and there was ZERO copper fouling. I've put a lot fewer rounds through the .300 Win Mag barrel but it ceased to foul with copper after 5 rounds following Krieger's procedure. Krieger barrels are so well polished that it's the throat that needs to be polished rather than the bore/grooves of the barrel. There are tooling marks in the throat that run perpendicular to the bore.

As for the Savage 16 FCSS that I bought last year, I didn't bother with any break-in procedure but will clean the bore with Sweet's before this weekend's range trip. That thing doesn't shoot worth a damn yet .... hmmm ... maybe I should have followed a break-in procedure. :banghead:

:)

USSR
March 19, 2010, 08:24 PM
...it's the throat that needs to be polished rather than the bore/grooves of the barrel.

Yep, the throat is the only part of a barrel, even a handlapped barrel, that is the concern of a barrel break-in routine. My Krieger also goes a long time without copper fouling, which is necessary for me when shooting long competition relays.

Don

Average Joe
March 19, 2010, 10:05 PM
Just shoot the darn thing !

semperfi63
March 20, 2010, 12:52 AM
The best barrel manufacturers in the world recommend a break-in of some extent. ...
Geno


I am sorry but this is patently untrue. Krieger only recommends a barrel break in because their customers repeatedly asked for one, Wilson recommends no barrel breakin, McMillan recommends no barrel break in, and further the Mechanical Engineers employed by the Army at the Aberdeen proving grounds say that barrel break in just adds wear to the barrel.

jpwilly
March 20, 2010, 01:49 AM
WASTE OF TIME! Clean your barrel when it's dirty. Remove fouling when fouled. Otherwise leave it alone.

The whole break in retoric is this. The rifle bore has pores (it does) and tooling marks etc that when shot are then filled with gilding metal (bullet jacket) and that you then need to remove that stuff from the pores and fire again to smooth them out and the barrel will foul less and shoot more consistantly for longer periods of time.

If we all owed a nice bore scope you would see that unless you've purchase yourself a nice custom barrel from a decent source your mass produced barrel looks like a gravel road anyway and your wasting your time.

NCsmitty
March 20, 2010, 11:12 AM
I'm in the camp that believes in a modicum of break in with budget rifles, or budget barrels such as A&B should be done. Usually you will get some extra copper fouling initially in these slightly rough bores, and IMO, it's better to remove it with a little judicious cleaning in the first 20 rounds or so.
Any barrel that has been factory lapped to smooth the bore, often have little or no fouling and a normal cleaning regimen is all that they require.
I could care less if you don't believe in barrel break in, as it's not a waste of ammo, because you can still check grouping and velocity numbers.



NCsmitty

majortoo
March 20, 2010, 11:43 AM
At the very least, please run the brush and a few patches through before your first trip to the range. This will remove all the chips, filings, cigarette butts and miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam found in any industrial environment...

WYcoyote
March 20, 2010, 04:55 PM
Clean it and shoot it.
All that cleaning during "break in" probably does more harm than good.

Geno
March 20, 2010, 05:02 PM
Ya know, cleaning your rifle good between strings is like showerin' between workouts. Doubtful it makes us better athletes, but it sure can't hurt any.

:neener: Geno

R.W.Dale
March 20, 2010, 05:09 PM
Ya know, cleaning your rifle good between strings is like showerin' between workouts. Doubtful it makes us better athletes, but it sure can't hurt any.

:neener: Geno
I disagree there

I've NEVER fired a group that started with a clean bore that was better than the subsiquent groups from a fouled tube.

If you don't want your poi, and accurcay to settle in and become predictible then by all means clean the pee out of your bbl obsessively.

W.E.G.
March 20, 2010, 05:12 PM
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/humor/asciifacepalm.jpg

R.W.Dale
March 20, 2010, 05:15 PM
The best barrel manufacturers in the world recommend a break-in of some extent.

Here's what shilen thinks of bbl break in in general. The first two sentences say it all

How should I break-in my new Shilen barrel?
Break-in procedures are as diverse as cleaning techniques. Shilen, Inc. introduced a break-in procedure mostly because customers seemed to think that we should have one. By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal.
http://www.shilen.com/faq.html#question10

BBL break in is like break in periods for a improperly functioning 1911 it simply gets you closer to either being out of warranty (as with the handgun) or closer to needing a new bbl (as in rifle tubes)

Zerodefect
March 20, 2010, 06:48 PM
Clean.

Shoot 'till ammo runs out.

Clean.

Welding Rod
March 20, 2010, 11:37 PM
I clean a new bore to clean any manufacturing debris, then shoot.

After shooting it is likely I will oil the bore before putting away (to prevent rust) but not bother to clean it until at least a couple of shooting sessions have passed.

Whitman31
March 21, 2010, 12:45 AM
I followed Shilen's advice, no break-in recommended...(per a phone call with customer service)

GMFWoodchuck
March 21, 2010, 01:06 PM
I'm "against" break in. If your rifle has "tooling" marks and "pits" the copper from your bullets will fill them in and essentially smooth out the bore. One could make an argument about the "high spots" but I doubt that after a hundred rounds of 60000PSI and 7000 degree momentary temps that those high spots will mean much. If they do, breaking in isn't going to help either.

Too much is mage of cleaning. You should only be cleaning excess debris out of the barrel. Not every last molecule. That's just a waste of time. And anything capable of eating copper, I would imagine can also eat steel sooner or later.

Just clean the excess crap out, swipe the bore and the rest of the gun with oil so it doesn't rust.

And apparently from what I have read in other threads, you can throw your Glock in a dishwasher. With a very small amount of soap, not the usual.

USSR
March 21, 2010, 05:50 PM
I'm "against" break in. If your rifle has "tooling" marks and "pits" the copper from your bullets will fill them in and essentially smooth out the bore.

Once again, whether you do barrel break-in or not, you should know that barrel break-in is not done to smooth out the barrel (bore and grooves) per se, it is done to smooth out the leade which will have tooling marks on even the finest hand lapped barrel.

Don

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