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New barrel break in - is this necessary?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by taybri, Apr 27, 2013.

?

Barrel Break-in, necessary or needless.

Poll closed May 27, 2013.
  1. Proper barrel break in procedures are important contributors to rifle performance.

    19 vote(s)
    24.7%
  2. Barrel break in procedures are unnecessary and possibly harmful.

    58 vote(s)
    75.3%
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  1. taybri

    taybri Member

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    I have a new 30-06 and I'm headed to the range on Monday. I have read a lot of stuff about barrel break in procedures. People say roughness in the barrel needs to be smoothed out in a systematic way or the barrel is ruined. This seems dubious to me. Shooting the rifle will smooth out the barrel no matter how often you clean it during the first 20-50 rounds.

    Others say scouring the barrel with copper solvent between each of the first 20 rds will help smooth out the barrel and prevent future fouling. This seems like a great way to accelerate barrel wear. Whatever break-in this method achieves will eventually happen anyway.

    Here is a link to a typical procedure I might use:

    http://www.legacysports.com/uploads/pdf/NewRifleBreakInProcedure.pdf

    Here's a dissenting view on the subject by Gale McMillan who also presumably knows stuff about barrels:

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

    He says the recent break in theories are bunk, and probably designed to sell more barrels. Some folks say that it can't hurt, so go ahead and do it. McMillan says it actually hurts; both the unnecessary rounds down the barrel and the extra cleaning.

    Has anyone done a systematic study on this issue; a side by side comparison of identical new rifles subjected to barrel break in procedures compared to those shot without break in procedures? Does anyone have any actual evidence supporting current break-in theories, or are they just theories?

    Frankly, a lot of this break-in business sounds like loose gun shop talk, not hard evidenced based wisdom. No offense to anyone, but I am skeptical. Also, I am willing to be persuaded if I am wrong. -Looking for someone with more than another theory.
     
  2. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    Welcome to THR.

    There are several threads here at THR regarding this topic. It can get quite a debate going. Krieger advises to break in a barrel, and details the procedure. Other manufacturers say none is needed. Do as you personally prefer, and what the manufacturer recommends.

    Geno
     
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    Here we go.... :)



    Please do a search.
     
  4. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I have had rifles where I did it, I have had rifles where I didn't bother. If there is a difference, it's too fine for me to see it.

    I do think that if it makes a difference, pretty much all of it happens in the first ten rounds or so.
     
  5. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Can I vote twice?
     
  6. ElPasoCounty

    ElPasoCounty Member

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    I've done it for some of my rifles. Before I heard of it I never did. Now that I've tried it I haven't noticed. I wont bother on the next new barrel...
     
  7. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    I do it everytime I'm going to shoot a new rifle. Mechanically...scientifically maybe... logically.... it makes sense. However! I have no method of proving or disproving its effectiveness.
     
  8. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    My thoughts are that premium hand lapped barrels require little break in, while budget barrels do benefit from a break in procedure. If all else fails, follow the procedure that the manufacturer recommends.


    NCsmitty
     
  9. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    You're not going to break a barrel in with a cotton patch. No matter how long you scrub it.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    IMO: On a standard production grade rifle?

    NO!!

    Choot'm Lizibet! Choot'm!

    rc
     
  11. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    My daddy told I should do it. So I do.

    Does it make any difference? Yep, daddy told me to do it. So it must. Daddy been dead for over 15 years and I know that he wants me to. So there.
     
  12. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    Custom or high end rifle no.
    Standard factory rifles yes.
     
  13. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I am one of those that thinks that if it was really that important, that the savvy barrel manufacturers go ahead and do it themselves and then be able to sell and advertise verifiable more accurate barrels, out of the box.
     
  14. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Makes sense, holden. If it worked for something, someone in marketing would have proven it by now, in an effort to surpass competitors in sales. Way to use the ol' noggin. :)
     
  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    No it doesn't make sense. Krieger bartlein broughton lilja rock etc sell blanks to gunsmiths. You can't break the barrel in until after the gunsmith cuts the chamber because the whole point of break in is removing the tool marks in the throat from the reamer.

    It's not possible for the barrel mfg to break them in. All they can do is lap the bore.
     
  16. Revoliver

    Revoliver Member

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    I don't think it is necessary, but like oldpapps, I do perform my own personal 'ritual' with every new barrel I get mostly because it is what I was taught and it's just too ingrained in me.
     
  17. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    Both Ruger and ER SHAW told me no need. On the shaw it was a finished gun not a blank, so their answer may differ on that to taliv's point.
     
  18. fanchisimo

    fanchisimo Member

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    I don't think there's a need, but I also don't believe it's that harmful so like most said, either works.
     
  19. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    I kindly disagree about the whole point being to break in the throat. You might be breaking in the throat during the procedure, but the goal, the whole point, is a smooth bore.

    From what I've read, there are microscopic "hairs" and other micro-anomalies inside the bore. The point of break in, as I understand it and perform it, is to smooth the inside of the bore, cleaning after each round to eliminate carbon and copper getting in the pores, until the bullets have had a chance to smooth things out.

    As I said, I don;t have a way of validating OR disproving the procedure, one way or another, and neither does anyone else. There are too many variables even if the same maker gave you 20 barrels, in consecutive order, that just came out of assembly. But!! Mechanically, scientifically, logically? I say break it in. Even if it is a "low priced" rifle. Do we throw accuracy to the wind and not care about just because we have a $350 700ADL or one of the budget Savages, Marlins, or Rugers?

    I personally don't care if my rifle is a "custom" or not (I own no custom rifles), I want each one to be as accurate as it can be. If that means a few lighter-than-normal handloads, some cleaning, and some range time, I'm all in. Why wouldn;t we be?

    What does it take? 60 more rounds through the life of the rifle and a few hours of our time? I would stop shooting if I didn;t want to "fire off some rounds" or if I wanted to "get off the range as soon as possible". But for a guy with a new 30-06, that doesn't handload, and that is only going to fire a couple of three rounds before elk or deer season, just to make sure the scope is still sighted in.... well, maybe there's no need for break in. That rifle is going to sit in a closet or safe for the vast majority of its life anyway. It's the kind of rifle that gives "used rifle" a good name. (:)D))
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  20. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    I didn't vote because i think it's completely unnecessary but do not think it's harmful.
     
  21. taybri

    taybri Member

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    The nays have it. No barrel break in for me. The poll was useful. Thanks to those who voted and commented.

    I have a new Remington 783. We'll see if the barrel gets ruined by neglecting break in procedures.
     
  22. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    I had been shooting for 50 years before I ever heard about breaking a barrel in......so, no......chris3
     
  23. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Just load and shoot.
     
  24. denton

    denton Member

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    I do not think that barrel break-in helps accuracy. However, accuracy is not the main reason for breaking in a barrel. The reason for breaking in a barrel is to increase the number of shots that can be fired before copper build-up becomes objectionable.

    Some barrels require no break-in. If your barrel shoots a few to several dozen rounds before you want to clean it, leave it alone. Just shoot it and enjoy it.

    If you're noticing copper accumulation after just a few shots, you might want to do the break-in procedure.

    As nearly as I can tell, bullets only clean off the microburrs when they are not already covered with copper. Hence, the clean after every shot routine, which exposes the microburrs directly to the bullet.

    I have a 1917 Swedish M96 that had surely been cleaned a lot over its lifetime, but which fouled excessively. I cleaned it down to bare steel, and did a break-in, and it now only slightly fouls. Instead of 10 shots between copper cleanings, I get more like 50.
     
  25. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

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    Not all barrels are the same quality or constructed the same way.... so you will get different results and answers depending on the specific barrel.

    Here is the Krieger Break-In & Cleaning info for their barrels....http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Break_In__Cleaning-c1246-wp2558.htm

    If you read it , it shows why you want to do a break-in cleaning.....
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
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