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Do you break in your new barrels?

  • Yes, I break in every barrel

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  • No, I don't even bother

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm taking my new baby to the range tomorrow and I wanted to know if I should go through the laborious break in process, or, if a Match Grade barrel would have already had the rough spots worked out of it.

Pardon my ignorance :lol:
 

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"Should I break in a new SA match grade barrel?" Is that a trick question?
 

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break it in.... even the chrome lined barrel needs a break in. the procedures are different though.
 

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Madpup:

I would break it in. If you read the material available on the web, you will find that the time taken to properly break in the barrel will invariably protect your investment, give you better performance and save to time in the long run when cleaning. That is simply IMHO.

If you are looking for alternatives to the proper "break in" procedures, you can look at David Tubb's Final Finish. I cannot recommend this product yet, because I am still testing Final Finish on one of my M1A's. However, it may be an alternative.

Best Wishes,

Tom O.
 

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I didn't break in my (Supermatch) and there was no excessive fouling or significant loss of accuracy after the first 80 rounds. Gale McMillan (yeah, that Gale McMillan) implied that a maker of custom barrels started the "barrel break in myth" to increase sales. A match barrel is good for maybe 3000 rounds with certain over-bore and wildcat chamberings significantly less. Even still, the average match shooter will only need to replace a barrel every 2 years unless he owns more than one rifle--then less often.

Mr. Mac challenged anyone to explain what the break in ritual is doing aside from prematurely wearing out the barrel.

http://yarchive.net/gun/barrel/break_in.html

Gale McMillan said:
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. 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.
 

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the krieger process is shorter than some others i have heard about.
 

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I certainly respect Mr. McMillan and understand his point, and it makes sense, but I guess my belief is that a break-in period certainly cannot hurt the barrel and even if McMillan is correct, the break-in period only takes off a small percentage off the barrel's useful life.

Is this the barrel equivalent to "Are snap caps necessary for dry firing and do they extent firing pin life, especially in pistols?" Ooops, wrong discussion board!
 

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it depends

I don't do much break in for a "lapped" barrel (Kreiger), but for a normal, non-chrome plated, non lapped barrel, I start by shooting it enough to see how much copper fouling there is.
I have one barrel, (I think it is a Barnett - whatever Fulton Armory sells as an NM) that picks up much more copper than the Kreiger.
I'm going to try; http://www.snipercountry.com/InReviews/ ... Finish.htm
on it and see if it polishes enough to reduce the fouling.

Frank
 

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OK.
Gale, rest his soul, was right on.
Jack Kreiger is a 100% great guy. I use Kreigers on my serious sticks. Douglas on my "not quite so serious" sticks. Still, he's done some SERIOUS investigation on other stuff. Ever wonder how much freebore was going to effect your accuracy? Ask Jack, he knows ;-)
As for break in, who needs it? Everyone does. It's just what you deem is proper for break-in.
Break in for me (in the standard sense of the word) was the first 22 rounds out of the tube at all-fleet. That was good for 5th place.
Then the tube got cleaned.
After the first couple hundred shots, man, that thing settled in and just SINGS.

And no talking about SniperCountry here (big grin), right Reverend Moe?

The best of this forum fits right in with those guys. The majority of them could teach classes, and most do. Great good friends, and always will be.

-Bravo
 

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I too read Gale Mcmillan's thread and since then have not used any break-in methods on my last 2 rifles, save just shooting and normal cleaning, and guess what? There's NO difference in cleaning time/effort between say, my kid's Rem 700 heavy barrel (which we 'broke-in') and my Scout. I'm someday going to buy 2 identical rifles :lol: and try breaking in one barrel and not doing the other, just so I can -objectively- state whether it works or not. Until then, I'm in the camp that says don't bother.
Then again I'm in the camp that says don't change out perfectly functional commercial parts in the M1A too.... :wink: (had to throw that one in there!).
 

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Seems as though you've posted a question for which everybody has a different opinion---so I won't try to refute anybody, but I WILL offer a
suggestion...
I broke my Krieger in as per instructed. It cost me a lot of money to buy
the damn thing, and I'm blue-collar. I work for my paycheck! So what is the harm in doing what they say? Maybe its unneccessary--I dunno! I
sure as hell didn't design it or produce it, so I'll listen to Those Who Know
More Than I.
Besides, what does it hurt? A little spare insurance on your part? Plus,
the satisfaction and confidence that you took the time to do it right. Maybe the best I can offer is that its FUN to pamper your favorite rifle with its new barrel. Its not time-consuming or drudgery, unless that's how you feel about your time at the shooting range! To paraphrase that old axiom, "A
bad day at the range is worth more than a good day at work"...!!!
 
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Each manufacturer lists a different breakin proceedure. I've broken in several barrels and cannot see an observable difference between these and the ones I didn't break in. Keep in mind that Gale wrote that break in rant as a response to another barrel maker who had devised a very time consuming 100 plus round break in proceedure that was reportedly for the purpose of wearing out barrels faster than would happen otherwise.

That being said I still prefer to break in new barrels with a simple shoot and clean for 20 to 30 rounds. The purpose is to ensure that any flakes of barrel metal that come off when firing the initial rounds do not get ironed back into the barrel on the next round. I clean the barrel with three patches of Butches bore shine, let the solvent soak for a minute or so between each patch and then dry patch the barrel dry. Dry the chamber and fire the next round. Some folks like to run a patch of kroil down the bore before firing the next round. I doubt that the bullet will care since it uses the copper jacket is a lubricant.

You don't need to scrub the barrel down to bare metal after each shot, you don't need JB bore paste or other abrasives. A small amount used a couple of times a year won't hurt but the cumulative effect is to round off the edges of the lands.

Once I found good solvents such as Butches and Barnes I rarely use a brush. I still use Hoppes #9 for routine cleaning and storage and the Hoppes is good at leaching fouling and copper out of the pores of the barrel steel. The patches are always green and black when I patch the barrel dry before shooting.

I guess the real test would be to measure the life span of barrels that were broken in and those that were not broken in. Every 100 rounds meticulously bore scope each barrel, measure the throat erosion, measure the group size, repeat until the groups open up. Now if I could just get a job that pays me to do things like this...
 
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Wuzzagrunt and LVMP are right on, I do not break-in rifles, from rems to steyrs to sigs to FNs...all just get shot. AND I don't clean out copper either. I have only used CLP to wipe out fouling for the past 8 years..and am still winnning matches with those rifles. I have an Armscorp M21 with 2500 rds through it, and it still prints 3/4moa 5 shot groups. Can I see copper..you bet..does it matter? not a wit. Another...I have a 1000yd match rifle with 300rds through it now. 1.25" straight taper, 6oz trigger, TI firing pin..all the best parts..printed a 0.08" group last weekend, and avgs around .2" for 5 shot groups..only CLP for a quick wipe after shooting.

If you are breaking-in for better accuracy, I will argue the accuracy is better because you are spending 50-100rds firing the rifle and getting used to shooting it. If it is for reduced copper and corresponding clean out time, you'll get there anyway just by shooting normally, and have you really saved yourself cleaning time?..you just spent several hours doing the break-in that you could have saved.
 

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Wryfox said:
Wuzzagrunt and LVMP are right on, I do not break-in rifles, from rems to steyrs to sigs to FNs...all just get shot. AND I don't clean out copper either. I have only used CLP to wipe out fouling for the past 8 years..and am still winnning matches with those rifles.
I wonder if Wryfox is on to something. Doesn't the copper jacket act as kind of a lubracant? And that copper is way softer than the barrel or a cleaning rod.

On second thought, thats just to scary to think about. I'm gona go clean my bores again. Well, maybe not.
 
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My theory is that all those benchresters that claim the slightest copper affects accuracy has simply not allowed the copper to achieve 'equilibrium'. There is self limiting point for copper build up, after which the subsequent bullets simply ride on that existing layer. If copper affects accuracy, it is because it is in the layering phase of build up where each subsequent round may POI slightly differently due to the copper layer being slightly different.

I remember a gun mag article a couple of years ago where they did an experiment to see if copper build up affected accuracy..the most accurate group came at round 92nd,93rd, and 94th fired, with no significant comments to make anywhere along the way. They cut the barrel lengthwise after the full 100rds, and it was pure copper plated all the way down.

The only logical argument I have heard for removing copper is the propensity for corrosion of the copper, thereby affecting the bore surface. Makes sense but I layer my bore with CLP lubricant after every shooting session. I can't remember the last time I saw green on my patches on any of my rifles.
 

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I have owned a large number of new rifles or had some re-barreled and I see no difference in how a rifle shoots whether I tried a break-in procedure or if I just took it out and shot it 20 or so times and then cleaned it. Now I just shoot it how ever many times I feel like and then clean it.
 
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