Proper AR-15 break-in?


March 3, 2004, 02:57 PM
I just bought my first AR-15 a few days ago:) RRA complete lower and a J&T 16" upper. Barrel is NOT chrome lined. So how do I go about breaking the barrel in?


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March 3, 2004, 03:03 PM
This is what i did with mine, straight from the bushmaster web site;

Non-Chrome Barrel Breaking in procedure
A new barrel will shoot best if careful attention is given to proper break-in. Differing opinions exist as to what constitutes proper break-in, however, we recommend that no more than 20 rounds be fired at one time before cleaning the barrel - for the first 60 rounds. Each time the barrel is cleaned for the first 120 rounds, it must be thoroughly cleaned, removing all traces of copper and fouling. Recommended procedure for thorough cleaning: In all cases it is vital that cleaning tools (brushes, patches, etc.) be pushed from the breech toward the muzzle and then removed from the rod at the muzzle end. DO NOT drag anything back through the muzzle. Clean the bore with a good bore cleaner. Decopper the bore with a copper solvent. Clean the bore again with JB Bore Cleaner paste as follows; 1. Work the JB paste into a new patch. 2. Wrap the patch around a worn bore brush. 3. Push it through the bore for ten strokes. Replace the patch every five strokes. 4. Run a dry patch then an oil patch if storing the rifle. After the barrel is broken in , clean the bore immediately after each shooting session. Decopper the barrel every 300-400 rounds. Clean the bore every 1,000 rounds with JB Bore Cleaner.

I'm not a smith, but I figured Bushmaster would know what they're talking about.

Congratulations on your new toy.

March 3, 2004, 04:45 PM
Most people say barrel break in is a myth, do what makes you feel good.
I clean mine after every shooting no matter if its 30rds or 1000.I have never had a problem with barrel life I shoot as much as I want to even if
it's brannew when I am done I clean.

Badger Arms
March 3, 2004, 05:02 PM
For match barrels, you should follow some break-in procedure that involves shooting, cleaning, and shooting often during the first 200 round or so. Clean more often initially and less is required as you've shot more rounds.

The reason for this is well established. To make a barrel consistent, you have to burnish the burrs and rough spots. The bullet jacket does a fairly good job of this, but if you shoot the crap out of it to start, you will be rolling rough edges over on jacket fouling and entrapping particles that will degrade accuracy. The difference isn't much to worry about and a chrome-lined bore does not require it at all. If you shoot matches and/or reload, you might see a difference. You will also notice a SLIGHT difference when you are cleaning. The bore cleans faster and therefore cleaning doesn't wear the barrel unnaturally like it would with the more-vigorous cleaning required with barrels that have not been broken in.

My opinion, it takes maybe 20 minutes longer to do a respectable job breaking the barrel in, so why not do it right?

March 3, 2004, 05:11 PM
If you want to break it in like the guys who really, really care about accuracy do, then check here:

March 3, 2004, 06:09 PM
Thanks a bunch everybody! I'm gonna baby this thing. I figure I'm in debt to the AR gods after the abuse I wrought on my service rifle(s):eek:

Harry Tuttle
March 3, 2004, 07:36 PM
or listen to Gale McMillan :

Posted: 01-24-2000 08:57
Do your rifle a favor and clean it well after every group and forget all the break in BS

Posted: 01-27-2000 08:57
I will make one last post on this subject and appeal to logic on this subject
I think it is the height of arrogance to believe a novice can improve a barrel
using a cleaning rod more than that a barrel maker can do with 30 years of
experience and a * million dollars in equipment . The barrel is a relatively
precise bit of machining and to imagine that it can be improved on with a
bit of abrasive smeared on a patch or embedded in a bullet. The surface finish
of a barrel is a delicate thing with more of them being ruined with a cleaning
rod in the hands of someone who doesn't know how to use one. I would
never in a million years buy a used rifle now because you well may buy
one that has been improved. First give a little thought to what you think you
are accomplishing with any of the break in methods. Do you really believe
that if what you are doing would help a barrel that the barrel maker wouldn't
have already done it. The best marketing advantage he can have is for his
barrels to out perform his competitors! Of coarse he is happy to see you
poking things in your barrel . Its only going to improve his sales. Get real!!!!
I am not saying the following to brag because the record speak for it' self
McMillan barrels won the gold at 4 straight Olympics. Won the Leach Cup
eight years running. Had more barrels in the Wimbledon shoot off every year
for 4 straight yearsthan any other make. Set the national 1000 yard record
17 times in one year. Held 7 world records at the same time in the NBRSA .
Won the national silhouette matches 5 straight times and set 3 world
records while doing that . Shot the only two 6400 scores in the history of small
bore and holds a 100 yard world record that will stand for ever at .009 of one
inch. All with barrels the shooter didn't have to improve on by breaking
them in.

Posted: 09-25-1999 10:10
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

March 3, 2004, 09:53 PM
Hmm, Harry's got me thinking now. When I start thinking bad things usually happen;)

Harry Tuttle
March 3, 2004, 10:16 PM
shoot it
clean it
shoot it some more
several folkes have run cases through an AR
with no cleaning and no loss of minute of beer can

March 3, 2004, 10:31 PM
I have a chrome lined.
I shot 5 rds checked target (CT)
Shot 10 rd CT
loaded 40 rd mag aimed with some then bump fired the rest (most) CT
locked in 2nd 40 rd mag and bump fired Replaced target.
Repeat 1 time, then cleaned.

Next outing fired another 100 rds maybe more 40 at near a full auto pace (left the outside of the barrel smoking). Did another detail cleaning.

I once bought into the break in thing. I find that if I use Militec in the barrel before shooting it is much easier to clean. Things like my .22 rarely ever get cleaned anymore. Just oiled. I am a neat freak. The Army taught me to clean weapons the same way my father did. It is tough to put away your cleaning supplies when you know that there is still crud in there. I think I may be rambeling.... I have 2 three week old babies and work 13 hour days----need sleep after this feeding.

March 3, 2004, 10:46 PM
Guns are test-fired at the factory, when the barrel is at its "roughest". Some guns even come with group test targets, so you know they've been shot multiple times. Other than perhaps some custom makers, how many manufacturers do a fancy-pants shoot-n-clean routine while test firing their guns? Zilch, I'm willing to bet. J&T doesn't make true upper-end "match" quality bbls anyway (no jab at J&T - it's true for most gun makers that slap a "match" grade label on their products) and I wouldn't spend much time on a break-in.

March 3, 2004, 10:57 PM
I fall into the JSI camp.

Just Shoot It.

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