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I have for a long time doubted the procedures that I hear so much about for new barrel breaking in. Something like shoot one and then clean after each shot for 50 rounds. Then clean after each 5 shots for the next 100 rounds.
Do you really think that your brass brush and cotton patches are going to improve what a fine barrel maker cannot? It's almost laughable. Read an article by Shilen that said there is probably more damage done by these procedures than good. Read the Hart website (check it out )on barrel break in procedure. They recommend not doing this and clean like you would with any rifle. I'm sure that someone will say it's better to be safe than sorry. Can someone tell me why this is important and what is accomplished by this? Is there the opinion out there that you are improving on the quality?
 

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none of my barrel makers send a bullet down the barrel

None of my barrel makers fire bullets down the bore of their barrel blanks before they send them to me. So yes, until they start doing that I think, no I know, that I can improve on a raw bore.

Everyone that cleans their guns well breaks in a barrel exactly like I do. Some spend a few hundred rounds breaking in a barrel and maybe pass over some good load combinations if they reload before breaking in the barrel. Us lazy people would rather break in a custom barrel after only firing typically five to fifteen rounds down it, sometimes less.

Nobody has to agree on barrel break-in, they all get to the same place sooner or later.

Hu


I have for a long time doubted the procedures that I hear so much about for new barrel breaking in. Something like shoot one and then clean after each shot for 50 rounds. Then clean after each 5 shots for the next 100 rounds.
Do you really think that your brass brush and cotton patches are going to improve what a fine barrel maker cannot? It's almost laughable. Read an article by Shilen that said there is probably more damage done by these procedures than good. Read the Hart website (check it out )on barrel break in procedure. They recommend not doing this and clean like you would with any rifle. I'm sure that someone will say it's better to be safe than sorry. Can someone tell me why this is important and what is accomplished by this? Is there the opinion out there that you are improving on the quality?
 

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Here's what I do, well most of the time anyway..

New rifle:
Pre-clean machining fluid and hard carbon factory test firing,
1) Several sloppy wet pathces
2) Couple dry patches
3) Couple sloppy wet pathces
4) Brush and dry patch
5) Single moist patch

Barrel Break-in for first 5 shots,
1) Fire one shot
2) One sloppy wet patches
3) Couple dry patches
4) One moist patch
5) Repeat #1 thru 4 next few 3 to 5 shot strings

I think this procedure allows the metal surfaces to harden without excessive scoring from carbon buildup between shots. Makes me feel better anyway. Only takes a little extra time.

And for used rifles, I just clean and shoot and hope for the best.

I am NOT a fanatic about keeping my bore squeakey clean. Why pave the road, strip it up, and then resurface again. I am convinced from what I've read that brushes do more damage with excessive use than most people realize.

Best thing one can do is invest in GOOD cleaning equipment and not leave harsh cleaners setting in the bore. Quality bores will clean up pretty darn fast if cleaned shortly (10-20 minutes) after firing while the barrel is still warm.

There are as many methods as shooters....
 

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I have proven to myself that barrel breakin works for me. Small groups, clean, etc. I have done with and without and with has shown marked improvement. So either I am just lucky that all the ones I broke in were better barrels than the ones I didn't or it works. After shooting for over 50 years I have many barrels behind me to compare. IMHO
hotcap
 

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If you want to take a newly installed custom barrel, with a custom cut chamber, and ignore the tried and true procedure of breaking in a barrel, be my guest. If you ever looked at a new chamber with a bore scope, you will see that there are perpedicular machining lines to the bore. It's a fact of life due to the way the reamer cuts as it is rotated in the lathe. The biggest part of "break-in" is smoothing out the leade from the chambering. A match grade barrel has a superb finish, and doesn't need much finishing, but the chamber/leade has to be brought up to the same finish.

It takes a minimal amount of effort to shoot once and clean for a few cycles, so why not give that custom barrel every chance to do what it was made for?

If you are damaging a barrel by the way you clean it, you should rethink what you are doing. With the PROPER technique, which is nothing more than common sense, you will not harm a barrel. Don't clean it, and it will not do it's job.
 

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With a CUSTOM barrel, an extensive break-in procedure is unnecessary, doubly so if the barrel has been hand-lapped.

With a FACTORY barrel, however, a careful break-in will almost always help a lot. My routine uses 50 rounds. Clean between shots for the first ten. Clean between pairs of shots for the next ten pairs. Clean between five-shot batches for the next four batches. Total=50. If the bore does not feel notably smoother and clean easier at the end of the 50, continue the shoot five, clean routine until it does.

I personally prefer to avoid brushes unless absolutely necessary. I like to use a good jag and patches instead. Run wet patches one way, breech to muzzle and allow them to fall off (don't want to drag the crud back through, do you?) You may give a dry patch three passes (in, out and back in, then let the patch drop) if the patch will stay on the jag. If not, just let it drop off.

With a used rifle, I'll clean the bejeezus out of it before firing it. Brushes, patches and an aggressive copper solvent in addition to the usual powder solvent. If that doesn't work, a tight jag/patch and JB or Flitz gets 50 passes. If THAT isn't enough, I'll drag out the Outers Foul-Out and electroUNplate the copper out, then start over.
 

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Not Anymore..........

I used to be religious about break-in using the 1-3-5 method. It would usually take about 30-35 rounds and was a real bother. I finally quit doing that and barrels shoot just as well and clean just as easily. Krieger wrote an article about break-in that said a rough throat is where most copperfouling starts. I believe that. With custom barrels and a well-cut chamber using a fresh reamer, copperfouling isn't really a problem even with the Ackley cartridges. My work is done by a guy who really knows what he's doing, using my own reamers. I know how many chambers each one has cut. I also believe in using lots of wet patches. Some guns rarely see a brush because it's not necessary. These are barrels that had no break-in.
 

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On custom barrels, I have done it both ways......

No doubt that after the first 10 shots, the copper fouling decreases, then again after 30 shots or so...it really depends on the barrel maker. It is absolutely dreadful work to say the least...I hate it. Shoot one shot and clean for 5 rounds, then clean every 3 shots for 15 rounds, by then you are ready to shoot yourself.

I suppose that you are lapping the bore, throat, for sure you are stinking up the place with cleaning solvent.

My hunting partner that I shot p. dogs with for so many years never broke in his Hart barrels chambered in 223, 6 BR, and 243 AI. I did break in my barrels, boy, he sure gave me a hard time! I don't think that his barrels copper fouled any more than mine did, but I had the satisfaction of being one up on him... because my barrels were broke in.....Hee! Hee!

People got to do their own thing, it does not have to make sense.

100 years ago, Doctors used to put leaches on people for just about anything to cure them...did not do any good, but it made a whole lot of people feel better and give them hope for a better life!

My theory is if it floats you boat to fire lap a barrel, do it, because if you don't, it will bug you!
 

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New rifle:
Pre-clean machining fluid and hard carbon factory test firing,
1) Several sloppy wet pathces
2) Couple dry patches
3) Couple sloppy wet pathces
4) Brush and dry patch
5) Single moist patch

Barrel Break-in for first 5 shots,
1) Fire one shot
2) One sloppy wet patches
3) Couple dry patches
4) One moist patch
5) Repeat #1 thru 4 next few 3 to 5 shot strings

I think this procedure allows the metal surfaces to harden without excessive scoring from carbon buildup between shots. Makes me feel better anyway. Only takes a little extra time.

And for used rifles, I just clean and shoot and hope for the best.

I am NOT a fanatic about keeping my bore squeakey clean. Why pave the road, strip it up, and then resurface again. I am convinced from what I've read that brushes do more damage with excessive use than most people realize.

Best thing one can do is invest in GOOD cleaning equipment and not leave harsh cleaners setting in the bore. Quality bores will clean up pretty darn fast if cleaned shortly (10-20 minutes) after firing while the barrel is still warm.

There are as many methods as shooters....
I agree with AceBall. That 5-15 shot repetition is about all the break-in I can stand or ever needed. At the last LSSO, I saw the son of a well known Benchrest gunsmith cleaning his gun like he was sawing wood. Now if his method doesn't destroy barrels, I don't know what would. And he finished in the top five. So maybe it all doesn't matter (it's the shooter, not the gun) or he gets cheap replacement barrels every 500 rounds.

Chris
 

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bad example

100 years ago, Doctors used to put leaches on people for just about anything to cure them...did not do any good, but it made a whole lot of people feel better and give them hope for a better life!
Keith,

Leeches worked to fight infection and have been tested and proven effective in the near past. More than one thing that we laugh at has been proven effective once science caught up with folk medicine. Wish I had held the patent on making medicine from willow bark.

There will never be much of a consensus about barrel break-in. First, because some barrels don't need it so anything that someone does is fine and it is also fine if they do nothing. Second, the people that do barrel break-in do it so many different ways that it will be hard to prove what works.

The one custom barrel I couldn't get to break in after over thirty rounds was a Lilja chambered by a well known smith. Thirty rounds of one shot and clean over two sessions and I threw the stinker on a shelf and forgot about it, I had good barrels around. A few years later after I had purchased a borescope I got curious and took a look at it. The barrel had one big ball of copper in one little place in the throat. I cleaned that out and never did find the burr in the stainless that started the copper build up. However the barrel never had any fouling problems again and shot quite well. I pay more attention to throats on new barrels now. I usually work a little extra in the throat when cleaning before shooting. Found the same thing on an AR gas port years later and took over a tenth off my groups with a little custom sanding in the bore!

My current break-in is different than what I used years ago and it may break-in a barrel faster or keep it from ever breaking in. Doesn't really matter. They shoot and clean easily.

Hu
 

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There is an excellent article in the January 2007 issue of Precision Reloading entitled "A Dual Method for a Faster and More Efficient Bore Break-In & Cleaning" on pages 69 through 79. I have not finished reading it, but the author, Norman E. Johnson, certainly does not think barrel break-in is a fool's task and explains why it is important and how to get the job done in the most efficient manner. Take a look and learn. :)
 

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Nonsense or necessity ?

I suppose it would be hard to prove that any particular procedure is necessary or best but-------with the high cost of good barrels and machine work, I'm not willing to skip these recommendations because of a little work.

I've followed both liberal and rigid procedures and can't see any evidence that any one method is any better.

My current method is:
1) Clean after every shot until copper fouling is minimal.
2) Clean after every three shots until copper fouling is minimal.
3) Clean after every five shots until copper fouling is minimal.

Good barrels usually need a maximum of three one-shot firings, one three-shot group and one five shot group.

This procedure is open-ended in that the shooter makes the decision on when to move on to the next step-----based on observed copper fouling. I'm not sure the five-shot group is necessary but do it anyway-----just in case.

I'm not one to clean very often after break-in but good barrels that have been through a break-in sequence don't foul badly and clean easily, even after quite a few rounds.

The procedure I use doesn't require many cleanings to give the barrel a chance to be what it was built to be.

A. Weldy
 

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Not to belittle anybodys information but if I am wanting to learn about the advantages, if any, from barrel break-in, I'm going to talk to a barrel maker. A good barrel maker at that. One who has had his product on the firing line and in the winners circle for decades. How about Gale Mc Millian for starters? He is quick to tell you that barrel break-in is advertizing hype to get folks to run more ammo thru their barrels thereby promoting earlier replacement. A target quality barrel doesn't last forever and has an accuracy life. Once you have run its accuracy life out, your looking for a new barrel. A new barrel means more business for some folks and these same folks are the promoters of barrel break-in. So with that info, have I changed anybodys mind? Of course not. You do whatever you think is the right thing to do for your shooter. Barrel break-in is alot like motor oil, some swear that synthetic has more protection but don't have a clue what it is or if it even exists but they heard it on tv so it must be true. Do what makes ya feel warm and fuzzy. Me, I just shoot 'em and sometimes even clean 'em, but most still shoot in a hole regardless.
http://yarchive.net/gun/barrel/break_in.html
 

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I'll never go back...

to the "break-in" procedures as I personally have seen zero difference in performance either way. Other than spending alot of money on bullets and shooting/reloading supplies, I found no advantage. I've seen and witnessed all the different ways rifles are treated and have come to my own conclusion.. it does'nt really matter. I had a friend that NEVER ran a patch down the barrel for 3 years...and that rifle continued to shoot exceptionally well. After YEARS of this kind of treatment, he got serious about shooting and started learning from bench-rest boys about cleaning and he followed thier advice...still mad ZERO difference. I've tried different variations of break-in procedures and found no appreciable differences other than time and bullets wasted.
My 2cts....
Ron:eek:
 

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Larry L is right,maybe

If it appears to be all advertisment hype. Then Mr McMillian would certainly be on the right track to sell more of his barrels, if folks listen to and adhere to his comments, wouldn't they? He is an honest man.:D
 

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I saw clean every ten rounds too

If it appears to be all advertisment hype. Then Mr McMillian would certainly be on the right track to sell more of his barrels, if folks listen to and adhere to his comments, wouldn't they? He is an honest man.:D
Cleaning destroys most barrels so clean every ten rounds?
Sounds like Gale has his own agenda! :rolleyes: :D :D

Actually, as you know, Gale is a man of strong opinions not always supported by fact. He also is fussing about one particular break in regimen in these posts. I forget details but when I read the whole thread many years ago it was something ridiculous. Quoting just his posts out of context is a bit misleading.

Hu
 

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Barrel break-in laughter.

Every few months I read about this subject on some forum. I’ll have to tell you I have had some real earth shacking belly laughs over this subject.

Let’s look at this a little closer. Where is the scientific data that supports barrel break-in? How many guns where tested? What guns were used in the control groups? What was the comparison in barrel life etc?

Well a few of the barrel manufacturers have a barrel break-in scenario on their web sites. Surely it must be based in fact rather than myth? I have written a few of them requesting that scientific data that supports their position to date not one of them has responded to that request. If the data was there they would be sharing it. But people ask questions and if you don’t have an answer some folks just don’t feel comfortable if they can’t give you the customer a response. So they hit you with a little salesmanship.

Now anyone that really subscribes to this foolishness I’ll ask you for the real data that supports your thoughts. If you have real proof I will join the club in a heart beat. But no one in years has been able to supply me with anything other than the “Good Ole Boys” all do it.

If you disagree with me please list the URL that supports this with scientific data not some barrel maker’s sales pitch. I know we are all thinking men and would like to be set straight if we’re wrong.
 

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go read about properties of metals

You don't need to read about barrels, you need to read about properties of metals and metal on metal contact. If you can understand the basic properties of metals then you can understand that metal dragging against metal is a bad thing unless we want it to grab. Metal dragging against the same metal is a worse thing. Do a search on metal galling. Here is a link to eighteen thousand articles to read for starters.

http://www.reference.com/search?q=metal galling&r=d&db=web

Once these basic facts are grasped then we can move on to more complicated issues.

Almost Anything done to prevent metal dragging on metal in a bore is a good thing. A proper break-in is one way to accomplish this.

Having borescoped over a dozen barrels after every shot during break-in I don't have to rely on what someone says or what I read, I have seen the results myself. My old break-in methods worked for me. What I am doing now works too, and both reduce or prevent metal on metal contact.

Hu


Every few months I read about this subject on some forum. I’ll have to tell you I have had some real earth shacking belly laughs over this subject.

Let’s look at this a little closer. Where is the scientific data that supports barrel break-in? How many guns where tested? What guns were used in the control groups? What was the comparison in barrel life etc?

Well a few of the barrel manufacturers have a barrel break-in scenario on their web sites. Surely it must be based in fact rather than myth? I have written a few of them requesting that scientific data that supports their position to date not one of them has responded to that request. If the data was there they would be sharing it. But people ask questions and if you don’t have an answer some folks just don’t feel comfortable if they can’t give you the customer a response. So they hit you with a little salesmanship.

Now anyone that really subscribes to this foolishness I’ll ask you for the real data that supports your thoughts. If you have real proof I will join the club in a heart beat. But no one in years has been able to supply me with anything other than the “Good Ole Boys” all do it.

If you disagree with me please list the URL that supports this with scientific data not some barrel maker’s sales pitch. I know we are all thinking men and would like to be set straight if we’re wrong.
 

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There Are Differing Opinions

But, I am kinda like Hu, none of the barrel makers are paying for my barrels,
or shooting them. Having said that, I do in fact have a very specific break-
in routine that I go through on all new barrels. Now, if it does nothing but
satisfy me and give me confidence in the barrel, and since I am the one who
is paying for the barrel, and I am doing nothing that is harming my barrels,
then I am going to continue my barrel break in procedure as I have for years.
So, if there are those that wishes to take his new Krieger, Hart, Lilja, Shilen
or other expensive new barrel out and break it in by firing it 100 times before
the first cleaning, then it is his barrel/rifle to ruin. I don't know about your
funds, but mine comes way too hard to let the lack of a little elbow grease
using a cleaning rod casue me to do damage to my barrels. So, I am going to
continue to use the "Lock Ease" break in procedure. I believe in it and that
is the important thing in my mind. But, I likewise respect differing opinons
and they have a perfect right to break in their new barrels any way they
choose.
 

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Barrel Breakin

I believe the cleaning a barrel gets before the first shot is fired is the one that counts.
I put the rifle into the cleaning rig and really scrub, uses wet patches and brushes. On a factory bore I have even used JB and Flitz, a custom barrel only gets Flitz.
Only then do I shoot one shot and clean to check for copper. If no copper then three shots and clean check for copper. If none then a five shot group and clean. A good barrel should be copper free after about fifteen breakin shots.
A rough bore will take more shot clean cycles, some barrels never stop coppering. You live with it or send it down the road.
I'm too old to fool with the one shot,clean nonsense.
I have found that some brand of bullets will copper more than others. I have quit using moly and just wax the bullets. FWIW..... ;)
 
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