Breaking in a new barrel

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by RWilliams, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. RWilliams

    RWilliams AH Senior Member

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    I'll be collecting a new Winchester Extreme Weather 30-06 in a few days. I have a couple of questions:
    • Is it necessary to break in the barrel? I've never bothered before.
    • If so, what's the best method? I have thought about cleaning the bore with VFG super intensive pads before use, followed by a dry boresnake between each shot for 10 rounds.
    Sorry, I realise this is a bit of an open-ended question but I want to get the best from this rifle.
     

  2. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Enthusiast

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    RWilliams likes this.

  3. RWilliams

    RWilliams AH Senior Member

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    Thanks, I'll have a read through that thread.
     

  4. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Even benchrest shooters and gunsmiths don't agree on whether it's needed or even how to best do it.......

    Bruce
     
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  5. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Fanatic

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    Take firearm to the range. Shoot said firearm to get zeroed. NEVER let firearm barrel get too hot to hold in your hand. When firearm is shooting where you want then stop if you want. This may take more than one trip to range especially depending on firearm or shooter. Said firearm barrel is now "broke in". When done clean said firearm if you feel like you need to or do not until 1) accuracy falls off, 2) 5-10 years or 3) you get the desire to do so.

    OR you can play one of many different silly games that are called "breaking in" that actually only give you the benefit of slowing down shooting so the barrel does not over heat and cooling the barrel with solvent and such so it does not over heat.

    Your choice
     

  6. RWilliams

    RWilliams AH Senior Member

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    Thank you; I'll go with the first option and stop worrying about it.
     

  7. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Exactly!

    I did the one shot and clean, 2 shots and clean etc etc exactly one time, never again. I probably did more harm to the barrel cleaning it 20 times in one day than just shoot and clean when done or when the accuracy falls off. I shoot hundreds of rounds out of my 6.5 Creed without cleaning and can still hit a 9” plate at 900 yards.
     

  8. Jay Bucher

    Jay Bucher AH Member

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    There many schools of thought on break in and cleaning. Everyone has there own theory, barrel manufactures and champion bench rest shooters all have different techniques. New barrels need 100-150 rounds before velocity stabilizes just don’t get it too hot.

    Jay
     

  9. Newboomer

    Newboomer AH Veteran

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    Most new barrels have a few rough spots unless you get a custom made one that has been tweaked. Best way to smooth it out is to shoot it. I run a dry patch to get the oil out and then it's rounds downrange. Cheap practice stuff to tune it up and then build your load with your good stuff. Just keep it cool enough to touch comfortably.
     

  10. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Barrel break in would be really worthwhile if there was some way to prove it helped, but there isn't. I think the best things were already mentioned, shoot it, don't let it get real hot, maybe run some solvent down a couple times, dry the bore and keep shooting.
     

  11. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Any thoughts on how many shots is “usually” needed for a barrel to reach close to its optimal accuracy? Just a ball park figure.
     

  12. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Enthusiast

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    Lets take Bergara for example.

    As per makers instruction of Bergara rifles, it goes aroung 50 shots. It is reccomended in sequences:

    from my rough, and fading memory, it approximately goes like this.

    First few sequences - one shot, followed by full cleaning of barrel, this repeted few times.

    After few repeatings of single shot-cleaning procedure, number of shots increased to 5 shot per sequnece, followed by full cleaning. This few times repeated.
    All togehter cca 50 shots.

    It is also time consuming, for 50 shots and full cleaning it will take all morning on the range, few hours
     

  13. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    John Krieger of Krieger barrels gives a good run down on when to clean and why.

     

  14. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My 2¢, and this is what some custom barrel shooters do. Run some mops or bronze brushes with a patch on them lathered with J.B. Bore Paste. Make sure to remove all of it before shooting. Shoot a few rounds, repeat the J.B process, clean thoroughly. Do this while sighting in. Go hunting.
    Having said that, consider that barrel break-in is akin to witchcraft.:A Voodoo:
     
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  15. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The first few words in this video says it all. John mentioned that a premium barrel is hand lapped. This practice is not followed in the manufacture of production barrels. I follow a break in procedure used by the guys at the AMU it requires about 20 shots. It really is about your expectations about how accurate you want the rifle to be. The use of a coated rod and a rod guide limit if not preclude barrel damage due to cleaning. Similarly the jag should be taken off the rod and not pulled through the crown backwards.
     
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  16. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have never ever "broken in" a barrel - not once - ever. I do practice with them and sight them in. I occasionally clean them (nothing like a little copper build-up to even out those rough patches!) (y) And amazingly, all of my actual hunting rifles group MOA or better. It is true that a lot of shooters enjoy or feel compelled to go through one of the break-in rituals. I hear many of them are engineers and accountants. Others have been filled with guilt by that same anal retentive class. :cry: Not being analytically wired (threatened to fire an Operations Officer once if he ever brought me another decision matrix), I would just take that new toy to the range, get it sighted in and enjoy it. You will find it liberating.
     

  17. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Red Leg I see your point. I am a retired engineer, but I don't own any Rigby rifles, K guns, Merkle's and the like. I'm willing to bet that the barrels on all of your better hunting rifles were hand lapped before leaving the factory and thus would not benefit from a break-in procedure. The fellas at Ft. Benning know a little something about small arms, that belief is why I follow their recommendations. BTW the break in protocol I follow came out of their Armorer's Shop.
     
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  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    My Rugers are delighted to be assumed to be in such company! ;)
     
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  19. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Enthusiast

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    There are two school of thoughts on this subject: either to make barrel break in, or not. None is scientifically proofed.

    I did break in for my match rifle, and not a single breaking in for hunting rifles for which I have same sighting in procedure, and all are moa or better.
    I was thinking for match rifle:
    Break in possibly can help, and certainly will not do any harm. I hated the cleaning part during entire process.

    So, Red Leg, maybe you are right, or maybe you are wrong, but I defintetly like your way of thinking for anal characters! (y)
     
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  20. markferrigno

    markferrigno AH Enthusiast

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    I have talked to a lot of folks about this subject, same two answers every time: 1. It's needed 2. It's a waste of time. I have not broken in any barrels but I do make sure to let the barrels cool (esp. on thin barrel hunting rifles) Usually about 3-5 shots before I let it cool off. I am also not a match, bench or precision shooter but practice out to 300 yds. I shoot factory ammo and most of my rifles are more accurate then me.

    The one thing both sides agree on is to not let barrels get to too hot. I don't what the long term affects of overheated barrels is but the accuracy drops right off with thin barrels at the range when they get hot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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