African rifle prep?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by GaryO, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. GaryO

    GaryO AH Senior Member

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    I have one of the newly manufactured Model 70's (CRF) and was wondering if any special rifle prep is in order for a plains game hunt in South Africa in September? What say you? Thanks...
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I have two of the newer M70's from the South Carolina plant. The first is a Super Grade in .300 Win Mag. The barrel on this rifle clearly likes to have fouling before it shoots accurately, roughly 5-6 shots on a clean barrel and the groups come right in. It came from the factory "bedded" but not such a great job, so I had it done again.

    The other is a Safari Express in .375H&H. I've done nothing to it and it doesn't seem to care one way or the other whether it's a clean barrel or not, it just flat out shoots right out of the box. Bedding it is a good idea for the sake of the stock, but it certainly doesn't need it for accuracy.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    If it shoots good and you are practiced up on the sticks, you will be fine.
  4. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    Find the ammo that shoots well. Practice practice and practice.
  5. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    GaryO
    I have the same rifle in .375 and here is what I did to get it "African ready"

    First, I went real easy on the break in, 2 rounds and clean through about 40 rounds

    after I was satisfied I sent it out for bedding;

    Installed a new trigger spring (Ernies gun smithing) that dropped the trigger pull to exactly 3lbs;

    Installed a set of Brockman bases with the pop up peep sight;

    Mounted a Leupold 2.5 - 8X VX3 scope on some Tally QD rings;

    Found a nice canvas sling that is kind of retro looking, comfortable enough but the big thing I can roll it up and stick it in a pocket when its not needed;

    Last thing I did was scorched the barrel with a couple of rounds with valve grinding compound and sighted it in for MPBR which as I remember was about 283 yards. That way inside of about 300 yds I just line it up and send it, I am + or - no more than 3 inches which is more than adequate

    I believe in other threads we determined that for PG a 260/270 grain bullet is about optimal but personally I do not think you would hurt yourself to set up and use the 300 grain bullets.

    Anyway, that's how I got it done. I feel very comfortable with the weapon and in a pinch it can cover the waterfront as far as what I might encounter on the Dark Continent
  6. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    The whole running-in of a new barrel is quite a discussed topic in the sense of preferences. Some swear by it, some swear at it. I asked the question to a gunsmith in our area, and his explanation was the most understanding and basic.
    There are so many individuals that have their own way. Some say shoot five 1 shot groups, cleaning after every shot, then move on the five 3 shot groups, cleaning after every 3 shots, moving on to three 5 shot groups cleaning after every 5, and then one 10 shot group. Now, when i say cleaning, I'm talking about taking the copper out with solvent, so you will have to cart your cleaning kit to the range. But, is all of this really necessary?
    What the gunsmith told me is the following. Everyone has their own ideas on running a barrel in. The main concept behind the idea is that it is a fact that all new barrels have imperfections in the bore, being machining burs and being porous. These factors has an affect on accuracy. The whole idea of running a new barrel in is to get rid of these imperfections, by clearing out the burs and filling these porous holes with copper, which will happen by the continous shooting and cleaing. Remember that the solvent will flush over the holes, filling them with copper, which will smooth the bore out, hense the "fouling" needed to gain the accuracy.
    I usually buy the cheapest bullets around for this excercise. The cheapest bullets usually also leaves the most fouling, which in this case is not a bad thing, but obviously not what you want from ammo that you use often.
    Guess the other positivive is that you get to shoot your new rifle often, getting to know each other a bit better. Hope this makes sense.

    Take Care,

    Best Regards.
    Marius Goosen
  7. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    I sort of agree with Marius...I think a lot of this barrel run in is as much personal preference as anything else.

    There is one old man that lives down by the ranch, not an African scholar but a h**l of a whitetail killer and he swears by his method of slathering 5 rounds with valve grinding compound, touching them off and then swabbing it out...that's all it takes and he is good to go

    I suspect that might be applicable juxtaposed against 1948 manufacturing processes but he swears by it to this day and he is just too old and too mean to argue with

    The reality is, regarding bore conditioning, I suspect , for the most part, they are probably pretty good right out of the box these days
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    An equally old coger, and retired gunsmith, told me that "If the barrel is lapped properly it will be broke in by the time you get it sighted in". Im not sure if that is true or not but it does make sense since we are basically lapping the barrel with our break in bullets anyhow. As a point of reference to his comment I should add that he reccomends that you "Throw away the pry bar they send on factor guns and install a nice match barrel before you waste any time shooting it". LOL
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i had never heard of breaking in the barrel until i saw an article 2 or 3 years ago about it in guns and ammo mag. whenever i have got a rifle i just shot it, and they seemed to shoot fine to me without going through all that voodoo ritual.....;)
  10. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..what, exactly, do you want to know...?
  11. GaryO

    GaryO AH Senior Member

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    "barrel break-in" is a myth that is dying a slow death here in the USA...
  12. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    The whole shoot and clean is junk. What it really does is cause you to not overheat the barrel which is the most important thing. McMillian has an article about this. Some custom barrel makes will void the warr if you use any abrasive in the barrel. They can tell this by looking at the barrel and if the sharp edge on the rifling is gone after only a few rounds it has had abrasives in the barrel.
    I mounting a scope on a new rifle and took it to the range to sight in for my daughter while she was at a wedding. Rem 308win SPS with Leupold rings and Leupold 3.5X10X40. I took 4 shots from 30 yards to bring it to bullseye. I only use 1 shot not 3 shot groups for rough sighting when I can call my shots. Moved back to 100 yards and fired 3 more to get it dead on to where I wanted it. I then fired a shot and it was fine. so I fired a second shot and I could not find it. So I though something is not right here. Fired a third shot and could not find it. Walked up to the target to look and all 3 were in the same hole. Not a cloverleaf but the same hole that was round but only slightly larger than other single shot holes in the target. I then shot several more groups that were as good or not quite so good(my fault) before putting the rifle away. This was with 150gr Rem Corelocks in my handloads and only a sand bag under the frount of the rifle.
    Took it home and gave it to her to use. I would say it was "broken in". Oh it still has not been cleaned and does not need it. Before shooting I did pull a bore snake thru it to be sure the barrel did not have anything in it from before I got it new.
  13. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    If the barrel needs me to do finishing work by "breaking it in" then I am one pissed off customer. The barrel should be ready to go straight from the barrel maker. If the gun is so half-assed that I need to finish the barrel maker's job for him, I don't want it.

    The amount of time that most of us spend thinking about the equipment is completely disproportionate to its importance. With all due respect, the weakest link in any even semi-acceptable rifle/shooter combination is the shooter. If you are a national level shooter with the trophies from Camp Perry, then there is the slightest chance that the rifle is the weak link. For most of us, the cheapest way to a better shot group will be practice. And some physical fitness wouldn't hurt most of us.

    Competitive small bore rifle shooting in college made be a trigger snob. I am rarely satisfied with the trigger on a factory rifle. I almost always have my triggers adjusted to my liking. But, it is by no means critical to have it stoned and tuned before the hunt, especially at this late date; you would be lucky to have it back in time.

    The most important thing to do to any gun before a safari is shoot the living hell out of it. You need to do that long enough before the hunt that if something is wrong or you do manage to break something that you have time to fix it. Several hundred rounds at least. I would certainly want to shoot enough that there is some ding, scratch, or wear on the rifle before I went. Worrying about keeping it pristine in no way helps the hunt, so best to get over that hill before leaving.

    The more I hunt, the less interested I get in gear and the more interested I get in improving myself.
  14. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    by this point, just select 3 - 7 letters, put them together in any given order and I am probably a lifetime member
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    as far as the break-in process

    I left out the part about the circle of candles, the dead chicken, the incense and resident curenero

    Worried that you guys might make fun of me!
  15. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    That sure sounds like good advice to me.

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