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So I was planning to "break-in" my M1A Standard's bore...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Andrewsky, Mar 15, 2008.

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  1. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Member

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    And I've decided I'm not going to. Now, I imagine that if before every shot I washed the bore with powder solvent, then brushed it, then powder solvented it again, then dry patched it, then used copper remover followed by powder solvent, my gun would shoot accurately for a long period of time, blah blah blah.

    I've gotten the bore pretty clean and I'm going to just put rounds through it for these reasons:

    -It's messy: I spilled a small amount of Hoppes #9 Powder Solvent on my USGI Birch stock and it stripped away the tung oil finish I had (maybe the size of a dime). I wear gloves and try not to breathe in the chemicals but I still don't like being around them.
    -The bore has already had rounds through it from the test firing done at the factory, and it's sat six months without having been cleaned. I know this because there was copper on the bolt face when I bought it.
    -My gun is not a six hundred yard bench rifle. It does have an M25 gas cylinder, NM spring guide, NM flash suppressor, shims, and a handguard I modified myself (so it doesn't touch the stock:D ), but it only has iron sights and I fire factory non-match ammo.
    -It's expensive and time-consuming. I figure if I followed a proper procedure for only 25 rounds I would use over 1,000 patches, plus tons of chemicals.

    So tomorrow I'm just going to have fun shooting it, and I'll clean it up afterwards.

    Well, actually I don't have anywhere to shoot.

    Oh wait, I'm the RSO at the local range.:evil:
     
  2. SnakeEater

    SnakeEater Member

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    The whole "break-in" procedure is a myth. The only thing all that unnecessary cleaning will do is wear out you barrel. With an M1A being a 2-3MOA capable rifle I wouldn't even consider "breaking it in" for a second. Just shoot it.
     
  3. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Barrel break-in is a hotly debated topic. Three things that are generally taken as true:

    1. For every shooter telling you to break the barrel in via *insert process here*, there will be another one telling you to just go shoot the darned thing. One of those shooters in the latter category was Gale McMillan, a man who can hardly be described as ignorant or a wannabe.

    2. The difference in performance, if any, will not be noticed in anything less than a true precision rifle. A rack or service grade anything (M1, M14, M16) won't really benefit from a break-in regimen.

    3. One thing that can be influenced by break-in is ease of cleaning. Supposedly the break-in closes up pores in the metal that allow fouling to cling to the barrel.

    Whether that third point is worth the time and effort to do a shoot-one-clean-one routine is up to you.

    Mike
     
  4. Buzzbox

    Buzzbox Member

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    Unless you have a custom built, blueprinted stick, break-in is masturbation.

    Just shoot.
     
  5. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    That's good buzzbox. ROTFLMAO
     
  6. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Enjoy your new rifle. While break in may not be a good choice here, don't forget your chamber brush when you clean your rifle.

    I suspect that folks *could* neglect the barrel, but the rifle will really appreciate the chamber brushing.

    Back when I used to shoot cross the course competitively, a high master who took me under his wing, so to speak, and who used to shoot with the AMU, explained that there are also "dirty gun" shooters, of which he was one. He would run a couple of wet patches down his barrel and swab it out with a couple of dry patches. No brushing, none of that. This kept fouling at a certain level in his barrel. He only took the gas system down for cleaning when it started to "skip." He always cleaned the chamber, and the "fire ring" just ahead of it.

    The theory was that things "remained the same." He shot high master scores with that M1A.

    So, in sum, I don't think your approach is any more "right" or "wrong" than any other.

    YMMV.
     
  7. LongRangeInternational

    LongRangeInternational Member

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    Here's a good discussion on barrel break-in.
     
  8. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    When I received my first custom built blueprinted MK14 SEI I was concerned with a proper break in procedure.
    I called Ron Smith for advice and after he stopped laughing at me, he told me to just shoot it. Just shoot it :)


    Excellent advice.
     
  9. lencac

    lencac Member

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    Here's my 2 cents. I've had bunches and bunches of rifles of all different kinds, some new, some very used. So I have tried every option you can think of. If you think you need to do it for piece of mind that process can be accomplished in a much easier fashion. It's called J-B cleaning compound. Think about it. All you are trying to do is hone the barrel so any microscopic burrs don't catch copper. The whole thing is so the thing will clean easier down the road. With J-B cleaning compound the whole process can be done in about 20 minutes and it does work. OK, having said that I think the break-in procedure is a bunch of hog wash. The machining processes on quality modern firearms is so good I think it all but eliminates the issue.
    I have a custom built NM M1A from Springfield Armory I had built about 15 years ago (SS barrel). At that time I didn't know beans about "break-in procedure." I just shot the you know what out of it. To this day it will still shoot sub-MOA groups and it is the easiest firearm I have to clean. And it literally has thousands of rounds through it. I will give one piece of advise though. For the first few hundred rounds don't put more than about 50 rounds through it at a time without cleaning.
    So kick that little demon , who keeps screaming in your ear, off your shoulder and go enjoy shooting an absolutely tremendous firearm.
     
  10. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    A true precision rifle will also likely be hand-lapped to remove tool marks one again negating any need for break-in.
     
  11. LongRangeInternational

    LongRangeInternational Member

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    Avoid JB and other abrasive compounds.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    .
    When you play with JB you are playing with FIRE!!, you have got to be careful and sparing.

    I do not believe in the break in myth, I just take my match rifles and shoot them. Cleaning them with brass bristle brush and copper solvent as you sight the rifle won't hurt anything. It only adds time to the day. A 6 mm or 6.5 mm match barrel only has an accuracy life of 1500 rounds. Adding extra rounds down the tube in the hope of extending that barrel life, makes about as much sense as "eating your way to slenderness" .

    Back to my JB comment. In my .223 and 30 cal match barrels I will sparing use JB, maybe every 300- 500 rounds, and just enough to remove "tightness" in the throat. When you use JB or any other abrasive you are rounding the lands, wallowing the grooves, and it is not at an even rate. With a saturated patch rolled around a worn out bristle brush, you are not controlling the pressure in the bore.

    Modern match barrels have bores with high surface finishes, most look mirror finished. You can see the tooling marks in the lands and grooves of NIB A3 and O3 WWII barrels. I have a friend who has a bore scope. On a NOS M1903 WWII era barrel, he told me his barrel break in experience. After installation on a M1903 action,he examined the barrel first shot. Lots of copper fouling in the tooling marks. He used bristle brushes and solvents and removed the copper fouling. Second shot, still lots of copper fouling in the tooling marks, but less. Third shot, less copper fouling. I forget when he quit, and I think it was around the fifth round, because it took so long to clean the bore, but his observation was the fouling got less each cleaning.

    He acknowledged, we don’t know if he would have gotten similar fouling reduction if he fired five shots and then cleaned the barrel. We don’t know if the cleaning or the firing made the barrel smoother and removed tooling marks.
     
  13. Buzzbox

    Buzzbox Member

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    J-B is indeed like playing with fire. If you don't get all of it out, or purposely leave it too long, you'll be sorry.
     
  14. natescout

    natescout Member

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    what about the break in time between brass and steal case ammo ?
     
  15. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    In the barrel? none whatsoever.

    Mike
     
  16. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Member

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    Coronach is right. I've always heard that when you break in a barrel you might as well fire the cheapest ammunition you have.
     
  17. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Anyone that has a precision rifle (or knows anything about how a barrel is chambered) knows that the one place your gunsmith cannot remove the tool marks from is the leade (throat). This is why you break-in a barrel, not the barrel itself. Jack Krieger hand laps his barrels, and he recommends breaking in his barrels for just that reason.

    Don
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Well Tubb's sells an abrasive bullet kit, and if my memory is correct, he claims he does it for essentially the same reason you have provided.

    As much as I respect David Tubb, think most of his ideas are based on sound reasons, I don't do this.

    Maybe because I have not had any problems with barrel life by just shooting and cleaning the things.
     
  19. lencac

    lencac Member

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  20. USSR

    USSR Member

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    SlamF,

    I don't do that either. I also don't use JB paste or any other abrasive in my barrels. Barrel break-in doesn't have to involve abrasives.

    Don
     
  21. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    There are several reasons why I question this practice of using abrasive bullets in a bore. It seems like a lot of crazy practices seen in firearms aren't used in the commercial/industrial metalworking/machining industries.

    a) I don't want to imbed grit into the barrel surface which can happen if you've got a grit-imbedded bullet being forced down the barrel at bullet-velocities instead of a barrel mold with grit on it being hand lapped at slow surface speeds.

    b) the grit in the bullet will sand more material at the chamber end than the muzzle end because fresh grit cuts best, and worn grit cuts less. This won't give you an even barrel diameter along it's entire length. Exaggerated, it'll look more like a cone.

    c) it'll round over the sharp edging of your lands, especially at the very beginning where it needs to initially cut the rifling into the grit-bullets.
     
  22. P-32

    P-32 Member

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    I'm a active High Power shooter. My lastest AR barrel is a Kreiger. I broke it in by using the gun plummer's advise which was using Kreiger's recommendation to break in their barrel. The barrel made copper while I broke it in. After I was finshed, which by the way was not a long process, the barrel quit making copper. I did find a trace of copper after a 60 round 600 yard practice match last month. This was 65 rounds using 80 gr. SMK's.

    I also use JB's bore paste. I don't use it every time I clean, only when I need to remove copper. JB's makes for quick work on the copper. I have another AR upper which makes a little copper all the time. I don't use a lot of JB's either and always with a wet bore. After I'm finshed I wet patch untill all signs of the JB's is gone. I have not found barrel performace falling off.

    I have a 308 M-1 with a Douglas match barrel. It's barrel life is about 1/2 used up with around 2000 rds through it. Performace has not fallen off yet either. JB's has been used in it from day one.

    I believe cleaning with out a bore guide does more damage than anything else a guy can do to his bore. I rarely use a bore brush any more as well.
     
  23. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    My "Break-in Procedure" for my M1A was simple. Shoot 5 bore snake, shoot 10 bore snake, shoot 15 bore snake, shoot 20 bore snake, Shoot 50 more bore snake, every 100 bore snake. After a 200 round break-in I clean barrel, Hopps, Brushes, Oil and then clean after every range session.

    I have not had one FTF, FTE, or any other problem or issue. My M1A Loaded has always achieved a 1"moa out out of the box. Maybe I just got lucky.

    Happy Shooting
     
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