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Posted: 3/9/2022 11:32:32 AM EDT
I just finished up a new AR-15 precision accuracy build with a new Bartlein barrel.  I know that a lot of people recommend a specific break-in with a barrel where you shoot once and then clean with a rod...shoot again once and clean with a rod...and so on.  My question is....can I do this shoot and clean with a Bore Snake rather than a rod?  The reason I ask is that I see less chance of doing any possible damage to the barrel and rifling with the Bore Snake than a cleaning rod.  Will the Bore Snake work just as well?  Is there any advantage to the cleaning rod over the Bore Snake?  Thanks for any comments back.
Link Posted: 3/9/2022 2:02:04 PM EDT
[#1]
A cleaning rod won't run dirt back in your barrel. Once the bore snake is dirty (one pass) you are putting more dirt down your bore.

You want bore guide that slides into your upper receiver and a one-piece cleaning rod long enough to make it out the other end. Buying a longer than minimum length rod will insure you don't have to buy another if you get a 24" or 26" bolt action down the road.

I run several wet patches and let the bore soak for 10 minutes, followed by another wet patch. I use the push through style jags. I follow up with a wet bronze or nylon brush several passes unscrewing the brush as it exits the muzzle. I never pull anything back through a barrel. All cleaning is done the same way a bullet travels down the bore.

I follow up with a couple wet patches and finish with a dry patch or two.

There are as many ways to clean a firearm as there are firearm owners. More firearms are damaged by ham fisted owners trying to clean muzzle first than any other system. Some firearms force you to clean muzzle first by design. Be extremely careful not to bugger up the crown by jamming a cleaning rod into it.



Link Posted: 3/9/2022 2:28:04 PM EDT
[#2]
Link Posted: 3/9/2022 5:04:48 PM EDT
[#3]
Originally Posted By bbush:
The reason I ask is that I see less chance of doing any possible damage to the barrel and rifling with the Bore Snake than a cleaning rod.
View Quote


Ignore the tards on the Internet.  You're not going to damage your barrel by properly cleaning your barrel using a quality cleaning-rod/jags and a bore guide.


The example below is with my Criterion CORE barrel and demonstrates what occurs during the barrel breaking-in.


Criterion 16" CORE Accuracy


The accuracy evaluation of this barrel began with factory loaded Federal 77 grain Gold Medal Match ammunition.  One of the first groups fired from this barrel had an extreme spread of 0.18”.  That group is pictured below.






The very next group fired from this barrel had an extreme spread of 1.5”.  That 10-shot group is pictured below.





A 10-shot group with an extreme spread of 1.5” is perfectly acceptable for a 16” chrome-lined AR-15 barrel with a weight of 1 pound, 12 ounces.  However, this barrel isn’t broken-in yet.  The bore-scope image shown below was taken prior to any shots being fired.  It shows the sharp tooling marks on the lands in the leade, which run perpendicular to the direction of bullet travel.  






For the barrel to shoot to it’s potential, the sharp edges of these tool marks need to be “burnished” out.  So, I continued shooting 10-shot groups using a variety of factory loads and hand-loads.

For comparison, the bore scope view shown below is from the leade of a Colt M4A1 SOCOM barrel that's been fully broken-in.




As the fired round-count for the CORE barrel approached 150, the size of the groups shrank and became more consistent.  At this point, I fired the three 10-shot groups “of record” using one of my standard match-grade hand-loads topped with Sierra 55 grain BlitzKings.


The three, 10-shot groups fired in a row from the Criterion 16” CORE barrel from a distance of 100 yards had the following extreme spreads:

1.15”
1.09”
1.13”

for an average 10-shot group extreme spread of 1.12”.  The three, 10-shot groups were over-layed on each other using RSI Shooting Lab to form a 30-shot composite group.  The mean radius of the 30-shot composite group was 0.39”.


The leade of the CORE barrel before and after breaking-in.




The smallest 10-shot group . . .


Link Posted: 3/9/2022 5:13:38 PM EDT
[#4]
Link Posted: 3/9/2022 5:16:59 PM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob01:
The same thing happens from shooting it. LOL
View Quote


Try actually reading what's been posted, because that's exactly what I just demonstrated above with the Criterion CORE barrel example.


...
Link Posted: 3/9/2022 5:30:36 PM EDT
[#6]
Link Posted: 3/19/2022 7:39:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: huudoo] [#7]
what about the vendor  what do they say how to break in..

here is one for example...  THIS IS A CUSTOM BBL quote from their site

Q: How do you clean and care for your Feddersen Barrel?

A: Run a dry patch through the barrel and you are ready to begin using it.
Once you have enjoyed the incredible accuracy of your new barrel for approximately 400 rounds,
we recommend cleaning with 2 wet Hoppe’s #9 synthetic formula patches through the barrel followed by 2 dry tights patches.
We liked this blog for more detail on cleaning https://www.range365.com/dirty-little-secret-gun-cleaning/
Link Posted: 3/19/2022 8:21:26 AM EDT
[#8]
Mod should give himself a warning.
Link Posted: 3/19/2022 4:25:12 PM EDT
[#9]
Link Posted: 3/24/2022 10:59:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Veprz] [#10]
Wow yall are too funny lol

Anyway.."break in" and cleaning methods are really subjective. I can see merit in all of the comments in this thread for different reasons.

- A bore snake; although not commonly associated with precision rifle cleaning, has little to no chance of damaging a barrel in the same way that a cleaning rod could possibly (flexing). Pulling (rather than pushing) a cleaning implement should not allow for any flex. That being said, bore snakes usually have metallic brush sections which some try to avoid. Also, they likely could be somewhat abrasive if not thoroughly cleaned.

- Cleaning rods can flex. Obviously taking your time, choosing the most rigid and shortest effective rod possible etc. can minimize that. Using a guide at the muzzle (like Dewey makes) and pulling the rod through towards the breech can also limit any possibility of flex.

- Non bore snake pull through cleaning systems (I believe Otis makes some) would be a compromise between the two; you are pulling the brush/patch through so no worry of flex, but they are non absorbent (contamination) and take interchangeable attachments (brush, patch etc.).

- Even though many high end precision barrel's bores are lapped; chambering will leave tool marks and gas port drilling can leave burrs. You aren't necessarily "breaking" in the bore but smoothing out the imperfections in the chamber/throat and gas port areas left from finishing the lapped blank.

- Some believe "break in" cleaning procedures minimize inconsistent fouling/copper deposition which is likely before the chamber/throat and gas port areas are smoothed over and also a likely result if present after "break in". In other words if a heavy strip of deposit forms in the area of the gas port while a burr is being smoothed over and the deposit is not thoroughly removed or only partially removed, you will have an inconsistency in the bore which can affect precision.

the bottom line: Even high end barrel makers and top level competitors don't agree on what " break in" and cleaning procedure is definitively the best. Choose what you feel is best and run with it.
Link Posted: 3/25/2022 10:25:00 PM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob01:


First no need to "break in". Clean the barrel well when you get it and go shoot it and clean it after the first few range sessions and it's broken in. The whole shoot one and clean is BS.

No I would not use a bore snake on that barrel. Get a good bore guide and rod and you won't damage anything.
View Quote


Everything this gentleman states is 100% on point.

While you're buying the bore guide and rod, make sure you get a jag as well.  Lastly, a chamber brush and rod, IMO, are good to have for AR's.  Not stuff you need right away, but whenever you decide to do the "deep" cleaning, having that stuff is nice.
Link Posted: 3/25/2022 11:03:38 PM EDT
[#12]
The USMC precision pistol team runs bore snakes in their pistols.

When a shot is taken, fouling is left in the barrel. A bore snake helps wipe out what ammo leaves in the barrel. We can never pull a snake through a barrel faster or tighter than a bullet. How can a bore snake hurt your barrel worse than actually firing rounds through it?  



Link Posted: 3/26/2022 4:03:15 PM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By huudoo:
what about the vendor  what do they say how to break in..

here is one for example...  THIS IS A CUSTOM BBL quote from their site

Q: How do you clean and care for your Feddersen Barrel?

A: Run a dry patch through the barrel and you are ready to begin using it.
Once you have enjoyed the incredible accuracy of your new barrel for approximately 400 rounds,
we recommend cleaning with 2 wet Hoppe’s #9 synthetic formula patches through the barrel followed by 2 dry tights patches.
We liked this blog for more detail on cleaning https://www.range365.com/dirty-little-secret-gun-cleaning/
View Quote


Isn’t that rimfire advice?

 Each barrel maker has their own advice.  Best to follow it for no other reason than a warrant issue on accuracy.
Some barrels need more break in than others.

I’m a center fire they will speed up changing your poi etc.  
Link Posted: 3/27/2022 9:26:24 AM EDT
[#14]
Link Posted: 4/4/2022 1:07:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: MS556] [#15]
Follow the barrel maker's advice.  If Bartlein says do a particular break-in, do it.  That way, if accuracy is not up to your expectations, you can truthfully say you did not damage the barrel when dealing with their customer service.

Generally speaking, the goal of break-in is different than might be assumed when we are discussing match barrels from top end barrel makers.  That barrel has been air gauged for straightness and within very tight specs on both bore and rifling.  It will have been hand lapped.  You are not going to make the bore and rifling better by break-in.

You will make the rifle better by burnishing away the tooling marks from the reamer left behind in the throat.  This is the area where the bullet makes the jump from the cartridge case to the rifling.  In a new barrel, these tooling marks will pull away the metal from the surface of the bullet and deposit them in the throat.  Match barrels have tighter throats to keep the bullet from yawing.  Then carbon fouling gets laid on top.  If you don't get that copper out of there during the initial shooting of the barrel it gets buried under progressively increasing layers of both carbon and copper fouling.  You may never be able to get all the copper out later.  At best, the barrel will foul sooner and need cleaning more often.  At worse, the copper will continue to foul and with it the formerly pristine hand lapped bore will deteriorate from its gilt-edged accuracy sooner.

So, follow Bartlein's recommended break-in.  It will likely be a sequence of shot(s) followed by fairly aggressive use of a solvent designed to remove copper, increasing gradually by number of shots between cleaning until your patches show no copper.  You will never put a contaminated brush or patch through that bore, at least not during break in.

You want a one piece non-metallic rod, a bore guide, new copper bore brush, jag and bore specific patches, pushing through from the chamber side to muzzle.

Maybe a Bore Snake would be ok after break in for emergency use.  But it is contaminated.  I have used them and do use them with rack grade barrels only.

Do what Bartlein recommends.
Link Posted: 5/4/2022 8:03:20 PM EDT
[#16]
Well i just finished long range course intructed by police and military snipers and when going over cleaning they had bore snake users raise their hands and then went ape shot for 20 miniutes on how you’re guaranteed to fuck up your gun as with each use you’re dragging old shit theough it.   They said a brass brush and after 2 uses ditch it.  Also they cleaned their $8000 AI 308s with lighter fluid, and hoppes for the barrel and ran them with almost no oils.   Autos you run drowned and then some.  They also said the only thing acceptable for the snake was to run it through a clean barrel to oil for storage purposes.

Link Posted: 5/4/2022 8:13:41 PM EDT
[#17]
Link Posted: 5/4/2022 10:38:30 PM EDT
[#18]
Well i just finished long range course intructed by police and military snipers and when going over cleaning they had bore snake users raise their hands and then went ape shot for 20 miniutes on how you’re guaranteed to fuck up your gun as with each use you’re dragging old shit theough it.   They said a brass brush and after 2 uses ditch it.  Also they cleaned their $8000 AI 308s with lighter fluid, and hoppes for the barrel and ran them with almost no oils.   Autos you run drowned and then some.  They also said the only thing acceptable for the snake was to run it through a clean barrel to oil for storage purposes.

Link Posted: 5/8/2022 2:23:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: UnaStamus] [#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ebbiv:
Well i just finished long range course intructed by police and military snipers and when going over cleaning they had bore snake users raise their hands and then went ape shot for 20 miniutes on how you’re guaranteed to fuck up your gun as with each use you’re dragging old shit theough it.   They said a brass brush and after 2 uses ditch it.  Also they cleaned their $8000 AI 308s with lighter fluid, and hoppes for the barrel and ran them with almost no oils.   Autos you run drowned and then some.  They also said the only thing acceptable for the snake was to run it through a clean barrel to oil for storage purposes.

View Quote

I have nothing substantive to add, I just want to rant..

Most LE and MIL snipers fall into two categories: old school bubba fudds and new school shooters.  The old school bubba fudd mentality is what you just dealt with.  They only know what they’ve been taught in a vacuum by guys running TTPs from the 1990s.  Modern snipers in LE often do this still because they have an archaic SOP that nobody wants to fight to change, or because those that control it are so stuck in their ways and refuse to admit they’ve been doing it wrong out of arrogance that they have emotional breakdowns the instant anyone challenges their obsolete world view.  

The new school shooters are the ones that go out and get outside training, have seen extensive combat, or compete regularly and get exposure to a lot of the current precision shooting TTPs.  Competition has helped immensely with this.  

I know some LE snipers that will run a bore snake down the barrel once after a range session to just knock the crud out, and then only legitimately clean the barrel when the accuracy goes off after 400-500rds.  They punch the same groups as other snipers, and they get 8K+ rounds barrel life out of a .308 bolt rifle barrel.  I’m not saying this is the only proper way, but if you talk to these guys about cleaning, they’re like “yeah, do whatever works.  We don’t care. This just gets the job done for us.”  They’re not emotional invested into the whole thing.

Then I see snipers like my previous agency where they were anal AF about cleaning and their SOP was that they always shot their rifles CCB and trained to make their first shot off of said CCB with the clean barrel deviation (which on one rifle they had was 1.5” low-left).  They had repeatable accuracy when shooting dirty cold bore, but if you asked the why the didn’t just run CB instead of CCB, they would go off on how it was destroying their barrels and whatever else emotional baggage they tied up into it, and that that is how it’s “supposed to be done”.  They also only got about 4K rounds out of their .308 barrels (Remington).    

Point being, if you ever hear a LE or MIL sniper go off on a tirade about something as trivial as cleaning procedure, while at the same time using weird methods, and them providing no data to back up what they’re saying, they’re simply propagating the “tHaT’s THe WaY wE’Ve AlWayS DonE iT!” fudd mentality.  Time to move on.
Link Posted: 5/8/2022 3:26:33 PM EDT
[#20]
Originally Posted By bbush:
I just finished up a new AR-15 precision accuracy build with a new Bartlein barrel.  I know that a lot of people recommend a specific break-in with a barrel where you shoot once and then clean with a rod...shoot again once and clean with a rod...and so on.  My question is....can I do this shoot and clean with a Bore Snake rather than a rod?  The reason I ask is that I see less chance of doing any possible damage to the barrel and rifling with the Bore Snake than a cleaning rod.  Will the Bore Snake work just as well?  Is there any advantage to the cleaning rod over the Bore Snake?  Thanks for any comments back.
View Quote


Yes you can use a bore snake. Yes the bore snake will work as well. The only advantage I can think of cleaning rod over snake is that you can see your cleaning results by using a white patch with a rod.
Link Posted: 5/8/2022 6:10:00 PM EDT
[#21]
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