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Proper AR-15 break-in?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SnakeEater, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. SnakeEater

    SnakeEater Active Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Central Ohio
    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?

  2. tommytrauma

    tommytrauma Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    This is what i did with mine, straight from the bushmaster web site;

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

    Congratulations on your new toy.
  3. go8dalejr

    go8dalejr New Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    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.
  4. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Senior Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Harnett County, NC
    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?
  5. goalie

    goalie Participating Member

    May 1, 2003
    Minnetonka, Minnesota
  6. SnakeEater

    SnakeEater Active Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Central Ohio
    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:
  7. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    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

  8. SnakeEater

    SnakeEater Active Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Central Ohio
    Hmm, Harry's got me thinking now. When I start thinking bad things usually happen;)
  9. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    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
  10. Pheonix

    Pheonix Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Canton, Ohio
    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.
  11. treeprof

    treeprof Active Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    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.
  12. cordex

    cordex Senior Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    I fall into the JSI camp.

    Just Shoot It.

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