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Breaking in a new barrel
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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mc223
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:35 am    Post subject: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

What are your thoughts on breaking in a barrel? Specifically shoot 5 or some other number and clean. Repeat until new barrel is worn out due to the cleaning.

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Daveyboy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Border barrels do 1 shot, drop in the copper solvent and leave it for a day. Then give it a good scrub and do it again. This they do for ages Shocked

I put one round through it, copper solvent, scrub pretty much straight away, dry patches until clean and then do it again.

First 10 rounds like that, then 3 rounds and then 5.

After that, shoot it - clean it. Consistancy equals accuracy and viccy verky. No more than say 20 rounds before it gets a good clean - even on the range.

.17hmr is a different matter. I clean that every 100 rounds.

D

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rrogacki
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

From Jim Owen's Jarheadshop, I submit the following:

Modern gun makers have devised a number of ways to create the long tubes of steel with internal spiraling grooves we call rifle barrels. All start with a blank bar of metal; from there divergence in methods and sequence of operations grows quickly. Some barrel makers do all outside machining before boring, reaming and rifling, others do the opposite. Those spiraling grooves are created through cutting, scraping, broaching (a series of cutting edges on one tool) or hydraulically forcing a reverse image tool through the bore. Hammer forging combines outside shaping with internal dimensioning and rifling. Some makers straighten barrels; others are vehemently against this. Lapping with fine abrasives may or may not be done at various stages. Great barrels are produced by all the varied processes.

The finest attention to detail still leaves some minute roughness inside a new barrel. Chambering leaves some roughness in the leade and throat areas. These microscopic grooves, rings, pits and fins tear at the outside of a bullet as it passes by, causing some of the jacket material to remain behind. Successive shots add to this; residues from primer and powder combustion add to the chemically active mix. As a string of shots progresses the deposits build up, creating constrictions and uneven passage of the bullet through the bore. Barrel vibrations become less uniform, and accuracy suffers.

Think of a firearm as a very simple internal combustion engine. The barrel is the cylinder, the bullet is the piston. In this "free piston" engine we use each piston only once, but we expect several thousand functions from the cylinder. Two dissimilar metal surfaces must move past each other at high speed, under great pressure and with little or no lubrication. Careful break-in of the cylinder will enhance accuracy, allow longer accurate strings between cleanings, ease the cleaning process and extend the life of the barrel. Any barrel will benefit from proper break-in, be it the chrome-moly steel tube on a mass produced hunting rifle or the stainless steel product of the finest custom maker.

Break-in is done at the range, and takes a long morning or afternoon. A series of shots is fired, in combination with very thorough cleanings. The objective is to have successive bullets pass by bare steel, acting to wear down microscopic irregularities and impart a final polish to the barrel. The soft metal bullet jacket has an action much like the effect of a leather strop on a straight razor. Minor rugosities which rise above the base surface of the steel are wiped away.

In addition to the rifle and appropriate plain bullet ammunition the following will be needed:

* Padded cradle or vise to hold the rifle
* Cleaning rod guide
* High quality plastic coated cleaning rod
* Bronze bristle brush
* Plastic or boar bristle brush, or bore mop
* Spear or wrap around patch holder
* Ample supply of patches
* Powder solvent such as Hoppe's, Shooters Choice, etc.
* Copper solvent such as Sweet's 7.62, or abrasive cleaner such as JB Bore Paste
* Wiping rags

Before firing the first shot wipe out the barrel with powder solvent and patch dry. Some pretty strange things can get in a barrel during final assembly and shipping, let alone while on a display rack. Firing that first shot without cleaning risks damage to the bore.

Fire one, and only one, shot and clean well with powder solvent, bronze brush and patches. Always use an eye dropper or squeeze bottle to apply the solvent to the brush; dipping the brush in the bottle just contaminates your whole solvent supply. Wipe the rod between passes. Now clean again with copper solvent. Apply the copper solvent with the plastic or boar bristle brush, or with the mop- this stuff eats bronze brush bristles! Apply liberally, and allow to work for three to five minutes. Position the rifle with the muzzle low to keep solvent from draining into the action and bedding. I like to dry fire, shoot another gun, shoot the breeze, etc. while waiting.

The first patch after applying copper solvent will show a lovely azure blue color. This is made up mostly of copper compounds, the products of a chemical reaction between bullet jacket metals and the ammonia in the solvent. Patch dry, apply more copper solvent, wait, and patch again. Repeat this regime until no blue color shows on that first patch. The barrel must be cleaned down to bare steel.

Some custom barrel makers recommend that each shot be fired across clean, dry steel uncontaminated by powder fouling or jacket material. Alternatively, some well respected benchrest gunsmiths recommend a "wet" break-in, where the barrel is cleaned as described and a light coating of Rem Oil (tm), Kroil (tm) or a similar light bodied oil is applied before the next shot is fired. Both schools emphasize one shot at a time, and thorough cleaning. Some 'smiths and barrel makers are also endorsing use of the mild abrasive cleaners such as JB Bore Paste, Rem Clean or IOSSO.

Fire another single round, and clean again. Keep this up for at least ten rounds, fifteen would be better. After a few rounds you will find fewer doses of copper solvent are needed to get a clean patch. The break-in process is progressing. A Rocky Mountain Rifle Works (Mark Chanlynn) 30 caliber match barrel needed fewer doses after just five rounds; a Norinco SKS never did need fewer doses.

Finally, fire a series of three shot groups, cleaning as before. After three to five groups and cleanings the break-in process is complete. Shoot well, being confident that you have done your part to enhance barrel performance.

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Premium hand lapped barrels often come with instructions about break in proceedures. Aside from removing remaining tool markings, there is another important reason to use a break in proceedure.

When fired, the pressure/heat from the powder converts some of the copper material at the bullet's base into a plasma. This plasma begins to fill the pores of the barrel's internal surfaces. Removing powder fouling between shots opens more of the pores for subsequent shots. As the pores begin to fill and smooth out, this process can contribute to improved accuracy and easier future cleaning.

As such, when shooters diligently apply the Sweets until no further blue/green patches occur, sometimes they are being counterproductive. No, we don't want every last bit of copper out and doing so, in many cases, only prolongs the process of fouling before accuracy is restored.

Frequency of cleaning a barrel, another subject, is dependent upon the tolerance of the barrel to fouling before accuracy deteriorates and is not predicated on some fixed number of shots. I have one rifle that requires cleaning every 16 rounds while I have another, a 220 Swift, that will rack up 80 rounds before cleaning. That Swift, incidentally, takes only four to five patches to thoroughly clean it.

Once in awhile we come across a rifle that, once thoroughly cleaned, requires no fouling shot. The first shot from a cold, clean barrel will be at the same POA as subsequent shots.
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mc223
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

I offer the following as found in Usenet Archives collected by Norman Yarvin yarchive.net/home.html in the section titled Guns/Barrels





From: Gale McMillan <mcmillan@getnet.com>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Good barrels for Rem 700 in .308?
Date: 10 Feb 1996 12:50:53 -0500

Consider this, every round shot in breaking in a barrel is one round off
the life of said rifle barrel. No one has ever told me the physical
reason of what happens during break in firing. In other words to the
number of pounds of powder shot at any given pressure, is the life of the
barrel. No one has ever explained what is being accomplished by
shooting and cleaning in any prescribed method. Start your barrel off
with 5 rounds and clean it thoroughly and do it again. Nev Maden a
friend down under that my brother taught to make barrels was the one who
come up with the break in method. He may think he has come upon
something, or he has come up with another way to sell barrels. I feel
that the first shot out of a barrel is its best and every one after that
deteriorates until the barrel is gone. If some one can explain what
physically takes place during break in to modify the barrel then I may
change my mind. As the physical properties of a barrel doesn't change
because of the break in procedures it means it's all hog wash. I am open
to any suggestions that can be documented otherwise if it is just
someone's opinion forget it.

Gale McMillan


I totaly agree with Gale McMillan on this one.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:26 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Mc223,

This is also this qoute of Gale which completly turned me off of breaking in barrels. But I might try it sometime as so many people claim its good.

Quote::
posted September 25, 1999 10:10 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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

and its off www.thefiringline.com/...adid=12582

And this is also this one: www.thefiringline.com/...adid=60102

That one single thread probably made me think a certian way then any other thread on the internet or any magazine artical I've read. Smile Hard to argue with a barrel maker that knows his stuff Laughing

I really like this one too Laughing


Quote::
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.

.009 of a inch groups at 100 yards. Shocked I wonder what the rifle was cabable of compared to the shooter to pull that one off Shocked

Dimitri

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

"ONE" barrel makers "oppinion" I might add! Do what you want, stop asking for oppinions if you already have your mind made up!

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

My friend and I both bought Browning .30-06 A bolts about a week apart. He broke his barrel in and I just started shooting mine to get the scope sighted in. Maybe mine was a better rifle, but mine can out shoot his from the bench...Serial numbers were only 10 numbers apart... I have no opinion as to whether barrel breakin is better or not. I just have not worried about it. That's all...I doubt that my .30-30 has ever had the barrel broke in by the procedures listed above. It's 58 years old and still shoots three holes into a 3 inch dot at 100 yards consistently. If you want to "properly" break in your barrel, who am I to tell you not to. Or, it's a waste of time. It's not...Any range time you can get, for any reason or excuss is good...Go for it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Crackshot wrote:
"ONE" barrel makers "oppinion" I might add! Do what you want, stop asking for oppinions if you already have your mind made up!

Crackshot,

Opinions can be changed Wink As well as the "one" barrel maker thing you have to admit its kinda hard to argue with Gale McMillan for many reasons Wink

Dimitri

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Bushmaster, thank you sir for your common sense. It is always refreshing.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Crackshot wrote:
"ONE" barrel makers "oppinion" I might add! Do what you want, stop asking for oppinions if you already have your mind made up!

I am asking for opinions and the experiances of the forum. I have an opinion, and will not stop asking for yours.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

I for one have never followed any breakin procedure or have ever broke-in a barrel. I have been told numerous times the manufacturer test fires the gun before he sells it. That's good enough for me. I have had many guns over my many years & have many guns today, none of which were broken in and they all shoot fine. I've won several sharpshooter competitions with them (nothing on the professional level, but just as good) and with guns anyone can buy for under $500.00 with no custom work of any kind. Barrel break-in, it's a myth Laughing
Keep it coming...

P.S. I can't wait to see some other opinions, especially one that tells me when to stop the break-in procedure. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Sorry guys, had a bad day today . didnt mean to get all Pi&&Y with you all.
BUT........Gale Mcmillan dont even make his barrels, he contracts them out to the lowest bider.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Crackshot,

I don't know what the current Mcmillan company does but I'm pretty sure Gale did make barrels. Smile

I said "did make" because he passed away a few years ago.

Dimitri

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

my first marlin 30-30 I had when I was about 16 years old,
when I first got it, it did not shoot straight , and I could not hit anything with it.

after talking to a few people about this. some one told me to go get two boxes of 30-30 amo, go shoot both boxes , cleaning after each box of shells was done.

I did, I shot each box about as quick as I could action the lever to load a bullet , take aim and pull the trigger. one right after the other.

after I did this. the gun started shooting very straight. with the open iron sights, I was able to shoot coke cans one by one at a hundred yards, every time.

I know thats not saying much, but for me at the time , free handed , I was very happy.

I have told a few others about what I did. and was told that , that was not a very smart thing to do and was not the right way to break in a gun.

but you know, it did work for that gun.

I am with bushmaster, he made a very good statement.

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