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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/19/2005 9:54:59 AM EDT
I found this article very understanding and pure fact not a bull shit time wasting method as I have been told in the past. Denny you were right.

I've spent the last few months trying to get a better understanding of what a barrel break-in process is and how to properly clean a rifle. What to do and what not to do.

I've spent a lot of time on this board, the BR board and other shooting boards listening to members and what works for them. Conclusion, what works for some, doesn't work for others. Being an engineer in the telecommunications field, when it's broke or you don't understand something you go back to manufactures specs and schematics. So that's kinda what I did on this subject.

I've talked with 4 metallurgist and 3 barrel manufactures (Rock Creek, Hart and Shilen), on the subject. From a scientific point of view, they all said and agreed to pretty much the same thing.

First, barrel break-in processes keep them in business. This shoot and clean, shoot and clean every round or few rounds break-in process only damages your brand new match barrel. Think of a car engine for a moment. Why do we use oil in the engine? To prevent metal-to-metal contact and reduce friction between two metal surfaces. Your barrel is no different from the engine. Mike Rock at Rock Creek barrels gave me the most detailed explanations on barrels and ballistics. Mike has his degree in metallurgy; he was also the chief ballistics engineer for the Army for many years at the Aberdeen Proving grounds. Stan Rivenbark was one of the top ballistic engineers for Raytheon before he retired in the 70's and also has a degree in metallurgy. I also talked with two local metallurgists here in North TX. I confirmed my findings with each person to see if they agreed or disagreed. Conclusion, they all agreed with each other's assessments.

When Mike worked at Aberdeen proving grounds, the Army used high speed bore videos with mirrors, thermal imaging and computers to analyze any and everything that happens when the firing pin hits the primer and the round goes off. When the primer ignites there is enough pressure to move the bullet forward into the lands. The bullet then stops. As the primer ignites the powder, more pressure builds moving the bullet forward where it can stop again. Once there is enough pressure from the round going off, the bullet is moved down out the barrel. All of this happens in nanoseconds (billionths of a second). Your bullet starts and stops at least twice and sometimes three times before it leaves the barrel. This is fact.

If you clean every round or every few rounds during your barrel break-in process or clean your rifle so well after shooting that you take it down to the bare metal, you've created a metal-to-metal contact surface for the next time you shoot the gun. So what's the problem with this you ask? Just like your car engine, metal-to-metal contact will sheer away layers of metal from each surface. So if your bullet is starting and stopping two or three times as it leaves the barrel, that's two or three places for metal-to-metal contact to happen as well as the rest of your bore. The use of JB's and Flitz can and will take you down to metal-to-metal contact. For all intents and purposes, JB's and Flitz are not the most ideal products for cleaning your rifle.

According to Mike Rock, and the other barrel manufactures agreed, all you need to avoid this metal-to-metal contact is a good burnish in the barrel. Shilen, Hart and Rock Creek will all void your barrel warranty if you shoot moly bullets and for good reason. This is not to say that moly is necessarily bad for a barrel, but it is when applied to bullets. There is no way possible to coat a bore with moly bullets. The bullet contact surface in the barrel is only so big. But when your round goes off, moly comes off the contact surface of the bullet in the throat area of the rifle and is bonded to the barrel due to the excessive heat and pressure. We're not talking coated or adhered to, we're talking bonded, d**n near permanent. With this, some of the jacket coating comes off the bullet. Follow this up with another round and you've now embedded the copper jacket between layers of bonded moly. This is the beginning of the black moly ring, which ruins countless barrels and is so hard; it can hardly be scraped off with a screwdriver's corner edge. This is what happened to a new Shilen SS select match barrel I had to have replaced with less than 400 rounds through it. I can't talk for Fastex as I don't or none of the folks I talked to knew enough about the product to comment on it. When I talked to Mike about my new barrel and the barrel break-in process, this is what he had to say. He first hand laps each barrel with a lead lap. He then uses two products from Sentry Solutions, a product called Smooth Coat, which is an alcohol and moly based product. He applies wet patches of Smooth Coats until the bore is good and saturated and lets it sit until the alcohol evaporates. The barrel now has loose moly in it. Next he uses a product called BP-2000, which is a very fine moly powder. Applied to a patch wrapped around a bore brush, he makes a hundred passes or so through the barrel very rapidly before having to rest. He repeats this process with fresh patches containing the moly powder a few more times. What he is doing is burnishing the barrel surface with moly and filling in any fine micro lines left by the hand lapping. He then uses a couple of clean patches to knock out any remaining moly left in the bore.

With the barrel burnished with moly, this will prevent any metal-to-metal contact during the barrel break-in process. My instructions for barrel break-in were quite simple. Shoot 20 rounds (non-moly bullets) with no cleaning, as this will further burnish the barrel. Done! Now shoot and clean using your regular regimen of cleaning and if you have to use JB's or flitz type products, go very easy with them, or better yet avoid them. Never clean down to bare metal. He said most of the cleaning products do a great job, don't be afraid to use a brush and go easy on the ammonia-based products for removing copper fouling. Basically don't let the ammonia-based products remain in the barrel for long lengths of time.

Well that's the long and skinny from the scientific point of view on the subject. If you're ever in doubt about the real condition of your barrel, take it to someone who has a bore scope and even better if someone has a bore scope that can magnify the view. You may be surprised at what is really going on in your barrel.

I'm sure this will spark a debate here and there, but that's good thing. The more information we have, the better off we'll be.

Link Posted: 8/19/2005 12:19:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2005 12:21:48 PM EDT by Duffy]
no debate from me, I've heard from a few reputable sources that the only reason to "break in" the barrel is to make more money for the barrel makers. Never did break in ANY barrel on weapons I have, they shoot just great. If barrel "break in" were required, you'd think the same would apply to pistol barrels, 5 inch naval rifle barrels, howitzer barrels, and so on, and to any barrel that has lands and grooves. Never heard of barrel break in for them big guns.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 1:00:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2005 1:00:26 PM EDT by Krazny13]
I have almost 3500 rds thru my service rifle barrel, both Moly and non moly. It can be a bitch to clean sometimes, but it doesn't create a 'black ring' that cant be removed. But it still shoots wayyyy MOA.

I do believe that you need to have some sort of a break in period tho.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 1:00:58 PM EDT
Match grade barrels are hand lapped. They are already "broken in" from that. It is a fact barrels become more accurate as they get up to about 200 or so rounds but that is a result of "wear in" not the break in making the weapon more accurate.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:08:05 PM EDT
That is the method I have subscribed to when I first started researching barrel "break-in". Just shoot it.

It seems most of the cleaners that remove copper, also clean to the bare metal.

Is there a recommended cleaner from the likes of Mike Rock, Gary Schnieder, Shilen, Pac-Nor, etc., ???
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:13:10 PM EDT
tag for clearer head to read again.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 6:47:47 PM EDT
I use breakfree and my bore snake. I keep the snake well oiled up and two passes through. Cleaned and oiled up at the same time, never had a problem yet.

Originally Posted By MeagerMouse:
That is the method I have subscribed to when I first started researching barrel "break-in". Just shoot it.

It seems most of the cleaners that remove copper, also clean to the bare metal.

Is there a recommended cleaner from the likes of Mike Rock, Gary Schnieder, Shilen, Pac-Nor, etc., ???

Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:03:17 PM EDT
What about chrome lined chamber and bore?
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:25:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2005 7:26:18 PM EDT by DasRonin]
I had a HK91, never did the break in stuff. It would shoot Sub-moa all day long! It had a PSG-1 trigger group. I have been told that is exceptional for a HK91. ...and that WAS NOT using match ammo!

I later got a Steyr SSG. Never broke in the barrel. One of the guys I work with almost crapped his pants when I told him I never broke it in. That rifle would shoot 1 3/8 inch group center to center at 200 yards. This was using Federal match.

For those barrel break-in guys... I wonder what it would have done if I had not "ruined" the barrel by not breaking it in!

I am not a good rifle shot. I always wondered what a real rifleman could do with that rifle.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 8:07:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dcobra23:
I use breakfree and my bore snake. I keep the snake well oiled up and two passes through. Cleaned and oiled up at the same time, never had a problem yet.

Originally Posted By MeagerMouse:
That is the method I have subscribed to when I first started researching barrel "break-in". Just shoot it.

It seems most of the cleaners that remove copper, also clean to the bare metal.

Is there a recommended cleaner from the likes of Mike Rock, Gary Schnieder, Shilen, Pac-Nor, etc., ???




That is exactly what I do and yes, Denny is right.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 8:09:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CaptSchofield:
What about chrome lined chamber and bore?



Just shoot it! That will break it in.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 9:08:48 PM EDT
Tag - and this needs a tack.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 6:39:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Raptor22:

Originally Posted By CaptSchofield:
What about chrome lined chamber and bore?



Just shoot it! That will break it in.



+1 Dcobra. Good info. My snipers got the the be new m40A3 and I asked about the break in process. The Platoon Commander and platoon Sgt said "We just shoot them."

Thanks for the info.

Max
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 9:09:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 9:14:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dcobra23:
I use breakfree and my bore snake. I keep the snake well oiled up and two passes through. Cleaned and oiled up at the same time, never had a problem yet



That's what I've been doing on my FN PBR. However, I've noticed a bit of spread in my groups the last time I shot. Time for a "conventional" cleaning. There is something to be said for traditional barrel maintenance... in moderation, of course!
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 6:43:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Duffy:
no debate from me, I've heard from a few reputable sources that the only reason to "break in" the barrel is to make more money for the barrel makers. Never did break in ANY barrel on weapons I have, they shoot just great. If barrel "break in" were required, you'd think the same would apply to pistol barrels, 5 inch naval rifle barrels, howitzer barrels, and so on, and to any barrel that has lands and grooves. Never heard of barrel break in for them big guns.



Gale McMillan had a long string of emails concerning barrel break in...they used to be easy to find through googling, but I can't find 'em now.

IIRC, he's the one that made the comment about the barrel makers, and he even mentioned one guy in particular.

His basic premise was, "After all the work and effort I put in to these barrels, what do YOU think you're gonna accomplish with some arcane ritual?" Not verbatim, but that's the general drift.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 8:14:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fenian:

Originally Posted By Duffy:
no debate from me, I've heard from a few reputable sources that the only reason to "break in" the barrel is to make more money for the barrel makers. Never did break in ANY barrel on weapons I have, they shoot just great. If barrel "break in" were required, you'd think the same would apply to pistol barrels, 5 inch naval rifle barrels, howitzer barrels, and so on, and to any barrel that has lands and grooves. Never heard of barrel break in for them big guns.



Gale McMillan had a long string of emails concerning barrel break in...they used to be easy to find through googling, but I can't find 'em now.

IIRC, he's the one that made the comment about the barrel makers, and he even mentioned one guy in particular.

His basic premise was, "After all the work and effort I put in to these barrels, what do YOU think you're gonna accomplish with some arcane ritual?" Not verbatim, but that's the general drift.



TFL
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 7:35:27 PM EDT
Barrel breakin works for run of the mill barrels. Ruger, for example, is notorious for putting out firearms with very rough bores. Using a breakin procedure on these barrels is not going to significantly reduce the lifespan of the barrel since they are not very accurate to begin with. However, it will make it easier to clean and possibly more accurate. Using a breakin procedure on a match, hand-lapped barrel is stupid though.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 2:25:35 PM EDT
Back when I was shooting bench rest, most of the guys spent more time cleaning than shooting. Hoppes, Shooters Choice, Sweets, JB, ect ect. About 99% of all the barrels were stainless. Don't know if there is a huge difference between those and chrome moly, but the rule of thumb was 2-3 rod strokes per round fired. I'm sure a lot of barrel life was lost to the ritual, but all seemed to do it using their own regiment. My experiance was that after a "good cleaning" it always took a few sighter shots to get the thing to settle back in. My approach, may have been pure laziness, was leave the copper and just patch out the powder fouling. Those guns would and still will shoot way better than me.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 2:31:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 3:16:58 PM EDT
Shoot that motherfucker.

Clean it every couple of hundred rounds, or IF accuracy is going to shit.

Break in is for old farts and people with too much time on their hands.

Link Posted: 8/25/2005 3:38:04 PM EDT
Taggage........I have been told the whole process of "breaking in a barrel by "the book""..............where is this "book"? And who the Fuck wrote it? Thoughts? Answers?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 7:12:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 7:14:06 PM EDT by JOHNNY223]

Originally Posted By J_Smith:
Taggage........I have been told the whole process of "breaking in a barrel by "the book""..............where is this "book"? And who the Fuck wrote it? Thoughts? Answers?



I wrote THE BOOK over a half a case of Bud and two day old pizza just to fuck with you guys --- Sorry.

J223...
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:25:30 PM EDT
My idea of breaking in a rifle is:

1. Buy the weapon
2. Buy the ammo
3. Shoot the ammo out of said weapon

repeat 2 & 3 for awhile. Clean. Repeat.

Occasionally, repeat step 1 and start all over again.


Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:30:01 PM EDT
Just dont bump-fire your new match barrel the first time you take it out to the range.
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