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How do you break in your barrel?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by biologicole, Jul 20, 2011.

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  1. biologicole

    biologicole Member

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    Seems like I hear about a lot of different theories and methods regarding barrel break-in. What are your thoughts about barrel break-in? Is it really necessary? How do you do it?
     
  2. Philippe

    Philippe Member

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    Shoot bullets thru it......
     
  3. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    i swab the barrel clean and shoot it.
     
  4. Steve CT

    Steve CT Member

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    For a truly high end firearm that you intend to shoot with incredible accuracy under very controlled circumstances with ultra sophisticated ammunition, there are barrel lapping products and procedures that you can easily research on the Net.

    For the other 99.99% of us shooters-Shoot It! A Lot!
     
  5. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

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    Step 1. Shoot it.

    Step 2. Clean it after shooting it.

    Step 3. Repeat steps 1-2
     
  6. smallbore

    smallbore Member

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    I just clean 'em & shoot 'em. . .then clean them after shooting.
     
  7. NoobCannon

    NoobCannon Member

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    Bullets....lots and lots of bullets.
     
  8. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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  9. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    I don't know if it's necessary, or even "good", but here's what I do with a new bolt-action rifle that I intend to be able to take a precision shot with, not competition, but hunting:

    Use a bore guide and clean from the breach. Get a properly sized Tipton composite rod.

    Patch with Hoppes #9 twice, waiting a few minutes after each. Follow with bronze brush dipped in Hoppes #9. Ten strokes, five in, five out. Wait a few minutes. Patch until "clean". Patch once or twice with RemOil. Wait a few minutes. Dry patch.

    Shoot one round.

    Repeat the above four or five times.

    Then repeat shooting four-or-five rounds between each cleaning two or three times.

    Done.

    The idea is to reduce the probability of embedding any specs of machining burrs left hanging on the rifling or anywhere else.

    I'm not sure if it actually accomplishes anything useful, but it's what I do, and it makes me feel good. I'm starting to sight in the scope as I do it too, and since I like Burris Signature scope mount rings, I'm also spending some time dinking around with the eccentric inserts for a while before I touch the Scope adjustment screws anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  10. belercous

    belercous Member

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    The same debate goes on about how to break-in wives, car, boat & aircraft engines too. It really all comes down to use it as you would normally, but don't overheat it until it gets broke-in. Bring it up to max temp, then back off. Repeat as neccessay until the temp stabilizes under normal useage.

    All of these things will run hot when new, but they'll soon stabilize.
     
  11. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    *Bang* Repeat as needed till out of ammo or time.
     
  12. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    I beg to offer a differing opinion:

    http://www.6mmbr.com/gailmcmbreakin.html

    On a .22 barrel, I and many others have discovered that excessive cleaning reduces the accuracy. I clean the chamber often, but the barrel goes 250-300 rounds before cleaning. My 10/22 took 2nd place against 11 center fire rifles in a 100-yard bench rest competition, so it must work.
     
  13. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    It's worked for me for 40 years!
     
  14. ants

    ants Member

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    To those about to post that 'its a waste of ammo'.

    No, you don't break in the barrel by shooting bullets into the berm or into the air.

    You shoot them at targets, just as you normally would shoot.
    Do your live ammo function check on the new gun.
    Sight in your scope.
    Chrono for velocity.
    Shoot groups with different ammo.
    Begin load development (if you handload).

    You do everything as normal. There is no waste of ammo.
    You simply clean with copper cleaner between shots,
    for the first dozen rounds or so.

    No waste whatsoever.



    Prediction:
    Someone on this thread will still post that it's a waste of ammo.
    Perhaps they don't read the whole thread before posting.
    Or perhaps they just don't get it, and never will.
     
  15. ants

    ants Member

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    I'm certain he is correct, regarding elaborate break-in procedures.

    But simple break in procedures do no harm whatsoever.
     
  16. ants

    ants Member

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    But does break in help every barrel?

    I had a 308 with the roughest, ugliest, crappiest, most ripped up bore ever.
    Run a cleaning patch through, and the cleaning patch comes out all fuzzy from the rough bore.
    No kidding, it was so rough it made a patch fuzzy.

    Break in didn't help it.



    I have good production barrels (not match barrels) from good barrel makers.
    I always break them in. No harm in it. They now make me happy. I'm sold.



    A hand-lapped Lilja, or Krieger, or Broughton match barrel probably gains nothing from break in.
    The careful and complete lapping procedure does that for you.
     
  17. ehanger

    ehanger Member

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    1. Buy ammo

    2. Load ammo in gun

    3. Shoot until empty

    4. If not satisfied, repeat steps 1-3

    5. ????????

    6. Profit
     
  18. Shienhausser

    Shienhausser Member

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    I broke in my 686 with around 1,000 rounds of .357 in 4 weeks. Oh yeah.
     
  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I don't outright dismiss barrel break-in, but I think that most of the good you are going to do with be with the first ten rounds. That is going to do most of the burnishing of the throat and rifling.
     
  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I use two methods that have to date worked very well for me. I first lap the barrel by hand using a very fine lapping compound and a no non sense lapping tool. I then clean it and make sure the action and barrel are as bone dry as can be accomplished. For this I use acetone to remove any possible residue form the compound and oil, or cleaning solvent. Then I load up some full house loads and shoot the first 10 without letting it cool down at all. I then scrub it clean and again remove every element of oil or solvent from it betweem cleanings. I contniue this process for 50 or so rounds or until I'm convinced it is grouping consistently well.
    Another method I don't use any more is using the bullets that already have the lapping compound on them. I didn't care for this method because it is too easy to over lap the barrel with those, and you can't really know if you've gone to far before it's too late.
    There are numerous methods many of us use and some that don't even bother with break in. It's your call, just don't over lap the barrel or you may end up with a prematurely worn barrel, especialy if you use the lapping bullets that are available for accomplsihing this task. I've seen a couple of fine barrels ruined because of someone putting too many of these lapping rounds being put through the barrel.
     
  21. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    From the FAQs:

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

    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.
     
  22. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    ive never seen any reports that any specific "barrel break-in" procedure actually have any effect on accuracy or longevity.......

    my rifle shoots better than i could ever ask it to.....and i never did anything other than shoot it......

    so unless someone can actually show that the "shoot, clean, shoot, clean, sacrifice goat, shoot 2, clean, perform rain dance, shoot 3, clean"....actually offer any improvement ......ill stick with shooting my rifle and being happy.
     
  23. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    My new Stainless .357 blackhawk was shooting 4" groups at 25 yards. My older blued gun shot 1.5" groups at 50. I caller Ruger and asked "What the hell??" and was advised to just 'shoot the barrel in' with a few boxes of hot jacketed ammo to burnish the machine marks out of the new stainless barrel. I did, and the groups tightened right up. My wife's stainless Security Six shot super right out of the box, go figure. Anyway, I shoot 'em like I stole 'em, and have some very accurate firearms...
     
  24. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    What is the actual benefit to cleaning the barrel between every shot for the first 10, 20 or 50 rounds (or whatever increased cleaning routine is being suggested)?
     
  25. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Shoot it over and over. Clean it again and again.

    Eventually, you'll come to know the gun quite well and therefore you'll be able to shoot it better than before.

    If you want to give the credit to "barrel break-in", fine. But IMO, you simply know how to shoot the gun now.

    I don't believe much in the theory.
     
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