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Posted: 4/4/2006 3:00:21 PM EDT
How do you properly break in a 24" stainless HBAR 223?

Sorry for the dumb question
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:04:51 PM EDT
I have a 24" stainless, asked the same question. I was told to follow a strict guideline of loading the mag, firing the AR, zero the AR, repeat. hug.gif Have fun
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:05:30 PM EDT
Depends who you ask. Some say just shoot it, some say shoot clean shoot clean shoot clean for some arbitrary number of rounds, and there are many other opinions too.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:14:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 3:15:51 PM EDT by ranchhand]



have a 24" stainless, asked the same question. I was told to follow a strict guideline of loading the mag, firing the AR, zero the AR, repeat. Have fun





I agree! That's how the military does it!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:44:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 7:49:29 PM EDT
well normally I'd say shoot, zero, repeat have fun. But then I went and bought a National Match. and ended up doing the shoot and clean routine for twenty rounds. I don't know if it helped but I still had a blast shooting the entire arsenal that day. It was a full day at the range with my dad. how sweet is that.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 9:53:38 PM EDT
Lay down the challenge for someone to present empirical evidence, from a controlled study, showing that the shoot/clean/shoot/clean routine makes any difference. I don't think anyone can bring it. Just take your rifle to the range, shoot, and have fun.

People used to believe all kinds of crap that turned out not to be true. I'm sure you can come up with plenty of examples of that.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 9:58:39 PM EDT
One of my reloading manuals says that the shoot-clean-shoot method of new barrel break in is done to remove any tiny burs that might be left from the rifling process. Ten different people will tell you ten different reasons why it does or does not matter, but it sounds like a decent explanation.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 10:26:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 10:30:22 PM EDT by xenophobe]
It depends... If you want to stretch every last possible bit out of accuracy out of your barrel, you WILL follow a strict break-in.

What is a proper break in procedure? That all depends on who you ask. The Marines and the M40, The Army with the M24, Lilija, Shillen, Krieger, Douglass, Rock, Schnieder, Obermeyer, etc? Pretty much any manufacturer of top end barrels will tell you how they think you should break a rifle in. It is generally suggested to clean your bore first, fire, then completely clean again. Some companies or people will tell you that copper solvent should be used, others say to keep it away from their barrels. It is pretty mutually agreed for the first 5-20 rounds you clean, shoot ONE round, then clean again until your patches are white, and repeating that process. Then moving up to 2, 3 or 5 rounds in succession till at least 50 rounds are shot.

Will it give you miracle results? No. In the best case scenario it might only shrink any potential barrel's grouping size down maybe 1/10th of an inch @ 100. Since each barrel from each manufacturer is not identical, even the best barrel manufacturers have a range of consistency and sample variation, it's almost impossible to prove that this helps.

What it does is lap microscopic burrs off of the sharp edges of the lands and polishes the flat spots of the lands and groves, and is necessary even with hand lapped barrels... I don't know how, but my gunsmith, who builds some really nice M24 and M40 variants, can borescope a rifle and tell if it was properly broken in, or if it's been abused. A properly broken in barrel is also easier to clean.

Is it necessary? That's your call... it's your rifle, and out of a standard grade hunting barrel or milspec AR barrel, it probably won't help much at all...

But at least almost all the people who will argue that Moly-Coating is bad/good will both agree that a proper break-in is essential on a match/sniper grade barrel.

Link Posted: 4/4/2006 10:51:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 10:57:23 PM EDT by ru4freedom]
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!

Like xenophobe said for a Sniper, Target, or Varmint rifle, you'll get your best accuracy, & longest barrel life by doing a strict break-in procedure lke thoses suggested by the "big time" barrel manufacturers followed by frequent cleanings during shooting sessions!!

For rifles that are just a "Lead hose" Shoot the shit out of it....., clean it when your done & use copper solvent as needed..., you'll know when , because your bore will start to look like it's copper plated!! But as above, for a tack driver you can't allow copper or powder fouling to build-up if you are going for consistant optimum accuracy!!!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 11:35:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!



Do you have some data to back that up?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 11:56:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigbore:
take to the range
zero your optic/sights
take home and clean
done




Sound advice form a smart man
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 12:55:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dpmmn:

Originally Posted By bigbore:
take to the range
zero your optic/sights
take home and clean
done




Sound advice form a smart man



True. And the groupings on my 18" SPR & 16" Recon SS Barrels just keep getting tighter with each visit to the range too .
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:25:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By spanky02:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!



Do you have some data to back that up?



Do you have some data that will disprove the above assertion?
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:43:46 AM EDT
I think that there is a reason that all of the Good barrel manufacturers say to break the barrel in with the shoot clean shoot clean method. If you want data to prove or disprove if the process is worth the effort, then contact a major barrel manufacturing commpany and ask them. But if it didn't make a difference, then they wouldn't tell you to do it or make a big deal out of it.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:47:59 AM EDT
Someone needs to post that reply from McMillan Bros. about breaking barrels in.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 4:52:05 AM EDT
Check the websites of the big guys. Krieger, Noveske, etc. There are some solid recommendations.

You might want to pick and choose, or better yet, do whatever YOUR manufacturer recommends.

The "shoot the shit out of it" is fine for a 225 dollar chrome lined barrel. But if you're buying 24in stainless, you're obviously looking for something else.

Most important, don't clean from the muzzle end, and use an excellent bore guide and rod. And did I mention a bore guide? And avoid the mistake I made, which was not calculatiing the added length of the bore guide when deciding what length rod you need. . . . .
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 5:02:14 AM EDT
Taken from the Krieger website:

BREAK-IN & CLEANING

With any premium barrel that has been finish lapped -- such as your Krieger Barrel --, the lay or direction of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, so fouling is minimal. This is true of any properly finish-lapped barrel regardless of how it is rifled. If it is not finish-lapped, there will be reamer marks left in the bore that are directly across the direction of the bullet travel. This occurs even in a button-rifled barrel as the button cannot completely iron out these reamer marks.

Because the lay of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, very little is done to the bore during break-in, but the throat is another story. When your barrel is chambered, by necessity there are reamer marks left in the throat that are across the lands, i.e. across the direction of the bullet travel. In a new barrel they are very distinct; much like the teeth on a very fine file. When the bullet is forced into the throat, copper dust is released into the gas which at this temperature and pressure is actually a plasma. The copper dust is vaporized in this gas and is carried down the barrel. As the gas expands and cools, the copper comes out of suspension and is deposited in the bore. This makes it appear as if the source of the fouling is the bore when it is actually for the most part the new throat. If this copper is allowed to stay in the bore, and subsequent bullets and deposits are fired over it; copper which adheres well to itself, will build up quickly and may be difficult to remove later. So when we break in a barrel, our goal is to get the throat polished without allowing copper to build up in the bore. This is the reasoning for the "fire-one-shot-and-clean" procedure.

Barrels will vary slightly in how many rounds they take to break in because of things like slightly different machinability of the steel, or steel chemistry, or the condition of the chambering reamer, etc. . . For example a chrome moly barrel may take longer to break in than stainless steel because it is more abrasion resistant even though it is the same hardness. Also chrome moly has a little more of an affinity for copper than stainless steel so it will usually show a little more "color" if you are using a chemical cleaner. (Chrome moly and stainless steel are different materials with some things in common and others different.) Rim Fire barrels can take an extremely long time to break in -- sometimes requiring several hundred rounds or more. But cleaning can be lengthened to every 25-50 rounds. The break-in procedure and the clearing procedure are really the same except for the frequency. Remember the goal is to get or keep the barrel clean while polishing out the throat.

Finally, the best way to break-in the barrel is to observe when the barrel is broken in; i.e. when the fouling is reduced. This is better than some set number of cycles of "shoot and clean" as many owners report practically no fouling after the first few shots, and more break-in would be pointless. Conversely, if more is required, a set number would not address that either. Besides, cleaning is not a completely benign procedure so it should be done carefully and no more than necessary.

CLEANING

This section on cleaning is not intended to be a detailed instruction, but rather to point out a few "do's and don'ts". Instructions furnished with bore cleaners, equipment, etc. should be followed unless they would conflict with these "do's and don'ts."


You should use a good quality straight cleaning rod with a freely rotating handle and a rod guide that fits both your receiver raceway and the rod snugly. How straight and how snug? The object is to make sure the rod cannot touch the bore. With service rifle barrels a good rod and guide set-up is especially important as all the cleaning must be done from the muzzle and even slight damage to the barrel crown is extremely detrimental to accuracy.

There are two basic types of bore cleaners -- chemical and abrasive. The chemical cleaners are usually a blend of various ingredients including oils and ammonia that attack the copper. The abrasive cleaners generally contain no chemicals and are an oil, wax, or grease base with an extremely fine abrasive such as chalk, clay, or gypsum. They clean by mechanically removing the fouling. Both are good, and we feel that neither will damage the bore when used properly.

So what is the proper way to use them? First, not all chemical cleaners are compatible with each other. Some, when used together at a certain temperature, can cause severe pitting of the barrel -- even stainless steel barrels. It is fine to use two different cleaners as long as you completely remove the first cleaner from the barrel before cleaning with the second. And, of course, never mix them in the same bottle.

Follow instructions on the bottle as far as soak time, etc. . . Always clean from the breech whenever possible, pushing the patch or swab up to the muzzle and then back without completely exiting the muzzle. If you exit the muzzle, the rod is going to touch the bore and be dragged back in across the crown followed by the patch or brush. Try to avoid dragging things in and out of the muzzle. It will eventually cause uneven wear of the crown. Accuracy will suffer and this can lead you to believe the barrel is shot out, when in fact, it still may have a lot of serviceable life left. A barrel with a worn or damaged crown can be re-crowned and accuracy will usually return.

The chemical cleaners may be the best way to clean service rifle barrels that must be cleaned from the muzzle -- i.e. M1 Garand, M14, etc. . .-- because this method avoids all the scrubbing necessary with the abrasive cleaners and the danger of damaging the crown. But again, as long as the rod doesn't touch the crown, abrasive cleaners should be fine.

Abrasive cleaners work very well. They do not damage the bore, they clean all types of fouling (copper powder, lead, plastic), and they have the added advantage of polishing the throat both in "break in" and later on when the throat begins to roughen again from the rounds fired. One national champion we know polishes the throats on his rifles every several hundred rounds or so with diamond paste to extend their accuracy life.

Again, as with the chemical cleaners, a good rod and rod guide is necessary. A jag with a patch wrapped around it works well. Apply the cleaner and begin scrubbing in short, rather fast strokes of about two to four inches in length. Concentrate most of the strokes in the throat area decreasing the number as you go toward the muzzle. Make a few full-length passes while avoiding exiting the muzzle completely, but do partially exit for about six strokes. You can avoid accidentally exiting by mounting the rifle in a vise or holder of some sort and blocking the rod at the muzzle with the wall or something to keep it from completely exiting.


This sheet is intended to touch on the critical areas of break-in and cleaning and is not intended as a complete, step-by-step guide or recommendation of any product.

The following is a guide to "break-in" based on our experience. This is not a hard and fast rule, only a guide. Some barrel, chamber, bullet, primer, powder, pressure, velocity etc. combinations may require more cycles some less!

It is a good idea to just observe what the barrel is telling you with its fouling pattern. But once it is broken in, there is no need to continue breaking it in.

Initially you should perform the shoot-one-shot-and-clean cycle for five cycles. If fouling hasn't reduced, fire five more cycles and so on until fouling begins to drop off. At that point shoot three shots before cleaning and observe. If fouling is reduced, fire five shots before cleaning. It is interesting to shoot groups during the three and five shot cycles.

Stainless Chrome moly
5 one-shot cycles 5 - 25 - one-shot cycles
1 three-shot cycle 2 - three-shot cycles
1 five-shot cycle 1 - five-shot cycle


Thank you for choosing a Krieger barrel.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 7:46:58 AM EDT
Thanks very much for the replies guys.

AP
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 12:38:49 PM EDT
I took a pair of Pac-Nor super match barrel blanks and machined them into 25" bull barrels, chambered in Tactical 20. One was broken-in using the shoot and clean approach, and one was just fired straight through for 200 rounds with no cleaning. After both had 200 rounds on them, I cleaned them both and shot several 5 shot groups at 100 yards. Both guns averaged 3/8".

Whatever that is worth.

Tony Rumore
Tromix Corp

Link Posted: 4/5/2006 1:37:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 1:38:30 PM EDT by chargedmr2]
Bigbore,

Since you're an experienced shooter, will you comment on the statements taken from the Krieger website. I'm currious to know the reasoning behind your statments. Does the break-in procedure make good theoretical sense but result in no practical differences in accuracy? What are your thoughts?
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 1:43:08 PM EDT
This is what DPMS had to say about it

DPMS Barrel Information

To achieve the best results for accuracy you should clean the chamber and bore after every round for the first 25 rounds, then every 10 rounds up to 100 rounds. It usually takes about 200 rounds per barrel for optimum accuracy. Please keep in mind that our barrels are production barrels, not custom barrels. Accuracy is dependent upon many factors such as bullet weight, powder load, rifling twist, rifling lands, operator technique, etc. Our production barrels have achieved anywhere from 1/8” to 1 ½” M.O.A.. Obviously, we would hope that every production barrel would shoot ½” M.O.A., but with all of the above factors, we cannot guarantee a specific group size. NOTE: Using reloaded ammunition will void warranty. Modifying chamber or barrel voids warranty. This includes re-reaming of chamber, returning barrel to a lesser diameter and/or re-threading barrel for compensator or attachments.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 2:18:17 PM EDT
From: Gale McMillan <" gale"@mcmfamily.com>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Barrel break-in necessary?
Date: 7 Jan 1997 20:40:25 -0500

Mike Sumner wrote:
> ...

As a barrel maker I have looked in thousands of new and used barrels
with a bore scope and I will tell you that if every one followed the
prescribed break in method A very large number would do more harm than
help. The reason you hear of the help in accuracy is because if you
chamber barrel with a reamer that has a dull throater instead of cutting
clean sharp rifling it smears a burr up on the down wind side of the
rifling. It takes from 1 to 2 hundred rounds to burn this bur out and
the rifle to settle down and shoot its best. Any one who chambers rifle
barrels has tolerances on how dull to let the reamer get and factories
let them go longer than any competent smithe would. Another tidbit to
consider, Take a 300Win Mag. that has a life expectancy of 1000 rounds.
Use 10% of it up with your break in procedure for ever 10 barrels the
barrel maker makes he has to make one more just to take care of the
break in. no wonder barrel makers like to see this. Now when you flame
me on this please include what you think is happening to the inside of
your barrel during the break in that is helping you.

Gale McMillan
NBSRA IBS,FCSA and NRA Life Member
Gale Mc

mor info at the link
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 6:13:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 9:44:26 PM EDT by ru4freedom]

Originally Posted By spanky02:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!



Do you have some data to back that up?




Just a lot of experience dat-a got from lots & lots of range time!!

But this is common knowledge among Target & Varmint shooters..., not to mention common sense!!!

Proper break-in = Smoother bore!

Smoother bore = Less build-up!

Less build-up = Easier cleaning!
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 6:29:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 6:30:47 PM EDT by Dace]

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:

Originally Posted By spanky02:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!



Do you have some data to back that up?




Just a lot of experience dat-a got from lots & lots of range time!!

But this is common knowledge among target & Varmint shooters..., not to mention common sense!!!

Proper break-in = Smoother bore!

Smoother bore = Less build-up!

Less build-up = Easier cleaning!





Barrel break in is a myth started by barrel manufacturers.


"Common knowledge" doesnt automatically mean its fact or proven.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 6:48:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 9:43:39 PM EDT by ru4freedom]
No it doesn't..., but common knowledge is generally based on many people coming to the same conclusions derived from like experiences!!

In turn.., conclutions become "fact" for the person or persons that experience the same result enough times!!
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 7:10:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 7:11:48 PM EDT by Dace]

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
No it doesn't..., but common knowledge is generally based on fact!!

But on the other hand, experience is "fact" for the person who experienced it!!



Common knowledge isnt always based on fact. Its simply knowledge that many people share. They could easily be sharing incorrect knowledge. AR15.com is the thesis of common knowledge however its not always based on fact.

As to your second post, I highly doubt you have truly experienced that a barrel "broken in" is more accurate then a barrel that has not been "broken in."

The differences are not quantitative and never have been. Thats why its a myth/theory. It might sound good on paper however it does not mean its true.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 7:23:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TonyRumore:
I took a pair of Pac-Nor super match barrel blanks and machined them into 25" bull barrels, chambered in Tactical 20. One was broken-in using the shoot and clean approach, and one was just fired straight through for 200 rounds with no cleaning. After both had 200 rounds on them, I cleaned them both and shot several 5 shot groups at 100 yards. Both guns averaged 3/8".

Whatever that is worth.

Tony Rumore
Tromix Corp




Thank you !!

That's the kind of answer that is actually useful.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 7:36:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By spanky02:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!



Do you have some data to back that up?



I do. I shoot thousands of rounds at the matches annually and I did a test on two of our Krieger uppers. Both were new Krieger 1/7.7, SS barrels. One I broke-in, by cleaning (Hopps and Sweets) after each shot for the first 10 rounds, then after every three for the next 18. Both were then shot at an 88 shot course. When we cleaned them, the one I broke-in didn't have any copper fouling after the second patch with Sweets. The other took almost three times (6 patches) before the copper fouling was out.

I know this is a very limited test, but I'm convinced that it was worth the effort. Not that it was much effort, either! Having said that, I don't do this with my non-match rifles. I don't shoot my non-match rifles at 1000yds either!

Your mileage may very, but give it a try!
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 8:09:05 PM EDT
EL_TIRADOR,

Thats exactly the point of the exercise! TO MAKE THE BARREL EASIER TO CLEAN. It really has nothing to do with accuracy, except incidentally, and everything to do with easier and faster cleaning. Good answer!

Cheers,

Phil
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 8:38:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By EL_TIRADOR:

Originally Posted By spanky02:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
With proper break-in you will get less powder & copper fouling between cleanings down the road!!



Do you have some data to back that up?



I do. I shoot thousands of rounds at the matches annually and I did a test on two of our Krieger uppers. Both were new Krieger 1/7.7, SS barrels. One I broke-in, by cleaning (Hopps and Sweets) after each shot for the first 10 rounds, then after every three for the next 18. Both were then shot at an 88 shot course. When we cleaned them, the one I broke-in didn't have any copper fouling after the second patch with Sweets. The other took almost three times (6 patches) before the copper fouling was out.

I know this is a very limited test, but I'm convinced that it was worth the effort. Not that it was much effort, either! Having said that, I don't do this with my non-match rifles. I don't shoot my non-match rifles at 1000yds either!

Your mileage may very, but give it a try!



Why am I not surprised the one you shot, cleaned, shot etc is cleaner then the one you just shot and cleaned at the end.

I MUST be missing something.................
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 8:42:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 8:43:27 PM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By EL_TIRADOR:

I do. I shoot thousands of rounds at the matches annually and I did a test on two of our Krieger uppers. Both were new Krieger 1/7.7, SS barrels. One I broke-in, by cleaning (Hopps and Sweets) after each shot for the first 10 rounds, then after every three for the next 18. Both were then shot at an 88 shot course. When we cleaned them, the one I broke-in didn't have any copper fouling after the second patch with Sweets. The other took almost three times (6 patches) before the copper fouling was out.

I know this is a very limited test, but I'm convinced that it was worth the effort. Not that it was much effort, either! Having said that, I don't do this with my non-match rifles. I don't shoot my non-match rifles at 1000yds either!

Your mileage may very, but give it a try!




It would have been a great test if you had cleaned both BEFORE shooting the 88-round course, so they started as clean barrels.

Still - good on you for doing the comparison! (even if we can nitpick and say how it could have been even better )
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 9:50:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 9:54:21 PM EDT by ru4freedom]
Hey...., I've got a idea!!

I'll just keep on breaking-in my barrels...., and everybody else can do what ever they want with theirs!!

I know how my rigs shoot...., & why!!!

Link Posted: 4/5/2006 11:49:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 12:01:15 AM EDT by chargedmr2]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By EL_TIRADOR:

I do. I shoot thousands of rounds at the matches annually and I did a test on two of our Krieger uppers. Both were new Krieger 1/7.7, SS barrels. One I broke-in, by cleaning (Hopps and Sweets) after each shot for the first 10 rounds, then after every three for the next 18. Both were then shot at an 88 shot course. When we cleaned them, the one I broke-in didn't have any copper fouling after the second patch with Sweets. The other took almost three times (6 patches) before the copper fouling was out.

I know this is a very limited test, but I'm convinced that it was worth the effort. Not that it was much effort, either! Having said that, I don't do this with my non-match rifles. I don't shoot my non-match rifles at 1000yds either!

Your mileage may very, but give it a try!




It would have been a great test if you had cleaned both BEFORE shooting the 88-round course, so they started as clean barrels.

Still - good on you for doing the comparison! (even if we can nitpick and say how it could have been even better )



Based on his post it would appear that he did just that.

On another note...

If the barrel break in process is a myth, as many of you state it is, then why don't you actually address each reason used to support the "myth" and show that it is incorrect or misleading. Take, for example, the statements made by some of these barrel manufacturers (e.g., Pac-Nor, Krieger) that are trying to "sell more barrels" and explain why the statements are incorrect.

I hear more reasons explaining why a break in process SHOULD be used than why it SHOULD NOT be used...other than, "it doesn't do anything so why bother...shoot the shit out of it."

ETA: I'm not taking sides on this issue--I just want to know the real REASONS behind both sides.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 1:19:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 1:34:30 AM EDT by LAWDAWG8654]
I got it. The more you clean the barrel the faster it will wear out. That must be the reason the manufacturers are telling people to clean them so much. So they can sell more barrels!

Well that was dumb; I didn't read the first page where this was already mentioned.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 4:59:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chargedmr2:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By EL_TIRADOR:

I do. I shoot thousands of rounds at the matches annually and I did a test on two of our Krieger uppers. Both were new Krieger 1/7.7, SS barrels. One I broke-in, by cleaning (Hopps and Sweets) after each shot for the first 10 rounds, then after every three for the next 18. Both were then shot at an 88 shot course. When we cleaned them, the one I broke-in didn't have any copper fouling after the second patch with Sweets. The other took almost three times (6 patches) before the copper fouling was out.

I know this is a very limited test, but I'm convinced that it was worth the effort. Not that it was much effort, either! Having said that, I don't do this with my non-match rifles. I don't shoot my non-match rifles at 1000yds either!

Your mileage may very, but give it a try!




It would have been a great test if you had cleaned both BEFORE shooting the 88-round course, so they started as clean barrels.

Still - good on you for doing the comparison! (even if we can nitpick and say how it could have been even better )



Based on his post it would appear that he did just that.

On another note...

If the barrel break in process is a myth, as many of you state it is, then why don't you actually address each reason used to support the "myth" and show that it is incorrect or misleading. Take, for example, the statements made by some of these barrel manufacturers (e.g., Pac-Nor, Krieger) that are trying to "sell more barrels" and explain why the statements are incorrect.

I hear more reasons explaining why a break in process SHOULD be used than why it SHOULD NOT be used...other than, "it doesn't do anything so why bother...shoot the shit out of it."

ETA: I'm not taking sides on this issue--I just want to know the real REASONS behind both sides.




As far as the stuff about AR15 barrels on the Bushmaster website goes, that is for chrome lined barrels only, and it says so in the text. I know because I'm the guy that wrote it. In our experience at the factory, barrels would get less fouling if they were fired 200 or so rounds before the first cleaning, then cleaned whenever the accuracy started to suffer. We recommended this on our lined barrels only, as the DCM rifles with unlined barrels we tried this on in testing didn't respond well to it. A "Foul Out" unit is probably the best bet for those, or any unlined barrel, and is handy for getting out fouling on lined barrels as well. Everyone should be aware that this is one area that is being driven by popular demmand right now, with little or no real research being done by anyone in the industry. Barrel break-in is rapidly becoming a popular myth, where some people will tell you straight out that no rifle will shoot if it's not "broken in" right. Well, that's just crap. Any barrel made well will shoot well unless it's neglected or abused, and that's just a simple fact. Any effect breaking in a barrel may have would probably have to be measured with a micrometer at the target, as the difference would be almost neglegible. I used to put it this way. Unless you are firing from a solid benchrest, with front and rear rests, handloaded match ammo made specifically for the barrel you are shooting, and firing single shots allowing the barrel to cool between each round, you won't be able to tell the difference anyway, so for crying out loud, go shoot your rifle! More time using it and less time playing with it, and you'll be a lot happier. Works on a lot of levels, if you get my meaning. That's my $.02, if it's of any use to anyone. Don't go nuts with breaking in rifle barrels, it's not worth the trouble. As always, IMHO, YMMV, etc... ------------------ With my shield or on it...




Look at it this way, A barrel starts out with nice sharp areas of the corners of the rifling . Along the way you build a big fire in it a few thousand times and it burns the corners off. Now take a barrel that to break in you put an abrasive on a patch and run it in and out. The result is that you take the corners off the rifling so that all that fire which would have started with sharp rifling is now starting with rifling that is thousands of rounds old. Which means that a lot of the life is gone. A lap always cuts more on each end where the compound reverses direction as it starts back through the barrel which means that it is enlarging the bore at each ends of the barrel. And last picture a patch riding along the barrel with abrasive on it. It is removing material at a given rate. It comes to a place where there is copper fouling and it rides over it cutting the same amount that it was cutting before it came to the copper. You continue until all the fouling is gone and what have you done? You have put the came contour in the barrel steel that was in it when it was metal fouled. It would not be as bad if it were used on a lead lap but I ask why would you want to abuse the barrel when you can accomplish the same thing without the bad side effects. There is Sweats, Otters foul out or just a good daily cleaning with a good bore cleaner till the fouling is gone. To top this off I will relate a true happening. I built a bench rest rifle for a customer and as usual I fired 5 groups of 5 shots and calculated the aggregate. It was good enough to see that the rifle was capable of winning the Nationals so I shipped it. I got a call from the new owner saying how happy he was with it the way it shot. About 4 weeks later the rifle showed up with a note saying it wouldn't shoot. Sure enough when I tested it it was shooting groups three times the size if the ones I had shot before I shipped it. When I bore scoped it the barrel looked like a mirror and the rifling wasn't square it was half round. From that time on I put a flyer in each gun saying if any abrasive was use in it voided the Warrantee. Now I am not trying to stop you from doing what you want but just inform you what is happening when you use JB. Brass brushes are softer than barrel steel and does no harm. S/S brushes are harder than barrel steel is definetly a no no. Nylon may surprise you to know is very abrasive If you doubt this look at the carbide eye on yout fishing rod where nylon line has worn groves into it.



The break in fad was started by a fellow I helped get started in the barrel business . He started putting a set of break in instructions in ever barrel he shipped. One came into the shop to be installed and I read it and the next time I saw him I asked him What was with this break in crap?. His answer was Mac, My share of the market is about 700 barrels a year. I cater to the target crowd and they shoot a barrel about 3000 rounds before they change it. If each one uses up 100 rounds of each barrel breaking it in you can figure out how many more barrels I will get to make each year. If you will stop and think that the barrel doesn't know whether you are cleaning it every shot or every 5 shots and if you are removing all foreign material that has been deposited in it since the last time you cleaned it what more can you do? When I ship a barrel I send a recommendation with it that you clean it ever chance you get with a brass brush pushed through it at least 12 times with a good solvent and followed by two and only 2 soft patches. This means if you are a bench rest shooter you clean ever 7 or 8 rounds . If you are a high power shooter you clean it when you come off the line after 20 rounds. If you follow the fad of cleaning every shot for X amount and every 2 shots for X amount and so on the only thing you are accomplishing is shortening the life of the barrel by the amount of rounds you shot during this process. I always say Monkey see Monkey do, now I will wait on the flames but before you write them, Please include what you think is happening inside your barrel during break in that is worth the expense and time you are spending during break in


All from people who know more about barrels then I do.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 5:43:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 9:05:47 AM EDT by ru4freedom]
Excessive wear from Fire Lapping maybe......., but from cleaning?????
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 5:58:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
Excessive wear from Fire Lapping mabe......., but from cleaning?????



Ya, because I would laugh at the opinion of McMillan who has forgotten more about custom barrels and rifles then you will ever know.

Most people clean barrels improperly and damage them. You CAN damage a barrel from over cleaning.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:47:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 6:48:36 AM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By chargedmr2:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By EL_TIRADOR:

I do. I shoot thousands of rounds at the matches annually and I did a test on two of our Krieger uppers. Both were new Krieger 1/7.7, SS barrels. One I broke-in, by cleaning (Hopps and Sweets) after each shot for the first 10 rounds, then after every three for the next 18. Both were then shot at an 88 shot course. When we cleaned them, the one I broke-in didn't have any copper fouling after the second patch with Sweets. The other took almost three times (6 patches) before the copper fouling was out.

I know this is a very limited test, but I'm convinced that it was worth the effort. Not that it was much effort, either! Having said that, I don't do this with my non-match rifles. I don't shoot my non-match rifles at 1000yds either!

Your mileage may very, but give it a try!




It would have been a great test if you had cleaned both BEFORE shooting the 88-round course, so they started as clean barrels.

Still - good on you for doing the comparison! (even if we can nitpick and say how it could have been even better )



Based on his post it would appear that he did just that.



I think you are right! I must have misread. Somehow I thought he fired the same number of shots in the non-break in barrel as he did in the break-in barrel, but without cleaning.

But reading it again, I now get the impression that he did the shoot/clean regiment for the break-in barrel for the first 28 rounds, and then compared it to the other barrel which had never been fired.

That IS a good comparison - and the only thing that could have been done differently would be to have a THIRD barrel, in which he just shot one string of 28 shots (without any stops to clean) and then cleaned that one before shooting the 88-round series. Just in case the first few shots down a barrel tend to deposit more fouling in a virgin barrel - and that was what he was picking up in his test, as opposed to any long-term differences in how well they clean.

But yeah - I definitely misread it a little.


Ultimately, now that both the barrels he used then are older and definitely not "virgin barrels" any longer, I'd have to wonder whether he'd still see a difference - if he cleaned them, shot 88 rounds, and compared the fouling.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:52:52 AM EDT
Barrel break-in is a myth IMHO based on what I've read. YMMV of course, if you want to shoot/clean/clean/clean/shoot/clean/clean/clean/shoot/sacrifice a chicken to the barrel gods, knock yourself out.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:18:41 AM EDT
I have created a monster. he
__________________________________________________

Dont outlaw 'guns' outlaw 'outlaws with guns' because if you outlaw 'guns' only outlaws will have guns!!!

This is my rifle ........ PERIOD.

si vis pacem, para bellum

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 9:13:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 1:40:57 PM EDT by ru4freedom]

Originally Posted By Dace:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
Excessive wear from Fire Lapping mabe......., but from cleaning?????



Ya, because I would laugh at the opinion of McMillan who has forgotten more about custom barrels and rifles then you will ever know.

Most people clean barrels improperly and damage them. You CAN damage a barrel from over cleaning.

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 9:47:45 AM EDT
If you have a rifle that cost a lot of green and you want to go through some tedious barrel break-in procedure then go right ahead it's your rifle, do what you want. My rifles, with the exception of my Rem. M700 and my Browning A-Bolt, are all chrome lined. I broke them in by shooting until I was tired or out of ammo. I don't see the benefit of a break-in procedure with the types of rifles I shoot or the type of shooting I do.

There's a guy I see at the range every now and then that shoots two identical Steyr bolt-action rifles. He'll shoot three rounds, clean for about twenty minutes, shoot three rounds, clean for twenty minutes, etc. Now if that makes him happy, more power to him. However I'd rather spend my time actually shooting because I can do all that cleaning at home in front of the TV.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 1:36:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 5:39:09 PM EDT by ru4freedom]
Very good point!!

On one hand...., it sounds like you love to go to the range & get in some good quility shooting time. That's awesome!!

On the other hand.., the other guy doing all the cleaning is probably a "Anal Retentive" Handloader (like myself) that is either comparing loads, and doing everything he possibly can to squeeze out the last drop of extreme accuracy he can from his given Rifle/Load combination..., that too is awesome!!!

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 5:51:33 PM EDT
Maybe Im missing something here but..... If you shoot say 50 rounds out of a new barrel and 5, clean, 5, clean, 10 clean, 10 clean, whatever out of a different barrel

Of course the "breakin in" method barrel will be easier to clean!!

YOU JUST CLEANED THE MOTHER F*#$%^ 12 TIMES 5 MINUTES AGO!!! head.gif


Whatever you do, dont overclean the barrel. Might as well chuck your cleaning rod up in the cordless drill and ream the hell out of it. hinking.gif
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:59:04 PM EDT


Whatever you do, dont overclean the barrel. Might as well chuck your cleaning rod up in the cordless drill and ream the hell out of it.




WHAT?? you're not supposed to do this??? DAMMIT MAN so that's what I have been doing wrong


on a serious point, I honestly dont know about the"proper" break in, everyone is goin to have their own opinion. me personally i shoot a few rounds and and will swab the barrel for about 2 mags or in that area, during initial zero is perfect time, shoot 3-5 rounds check where they hit, punch the tube. after that then i will shoot it until I'm done for the day, and clean
I am no expert though
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:19:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 7:29:47 PM EDT by WildTurkey]
Ok the threoy goes "barrel manufactures developed this to sell more barrels because the guy that breaks in his barrel wastes 10% of it up breaking in barrel is supposed to last 3000 rounds. and he breaks it in and then shoots 3000 rounds. now he has worn out barrel. he shot 3000 rounds. he got 100% life out of it. maybe it really lasted 5000 rounds or 166% of it's life. who knows.

next guy goes to range shoots shit out of it first time out. then proceeds to shoot 3000 rounds now he also has a worn out barrel. 3000 rounds he got 100% life out of it. maybe it really lasted 5000 rounds or 166% of it's life. Barrelmaker sold more barrels to whom

there isn't a Comp rifle guy here that didn't at some time shoot some practice, shoot for fun, shoot with some buddies. or other wise waste the life of his barrel. oh and still take care of his rifle at the end of the day or the next.

the first guy with broken in barrel had easier and shorter cleanings because no burrs in the throat. does not mean he shot and cleaned for the life of the barrel. just first 20 or 50 or dread 100 rounds. he and had 1/2 inch accuracy because he used the "bore guide and straight cleaning rod and some sweets and hopps #9 and the finest handloads and ammo he could buy".

the other guy scrubed and scrubed and just couldn't get all the fouling out "blue patches every time" got 1 1/2 groups with blue box ammo and 3 inch groups with wolf. he didn't care he was blastin. who is really wrong or right . And nobody ever broke their car engine or motorcylce engine in per manufacturer instructions. after all the car and motorcycle makers want to do is sell more cars and motorcyles. nuff said
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:08:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:

Originally Posted By Dace:

Originally Posted By ru4freedom:
Excessive wear from Fire Lapping mabe......., but from cleaning?????



Ya, because I would laugh at the opinion of McMillan who has forgotten more about custom barrels and rifles then you will ever know.

Most people clean barrels improperly and damage them. You CAN damage a barrel from over cleaning.




I see you are using the old "I have nothing good to say or any intelligent response so I will use smileys" method.

Good one.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:08:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LeadExpress:
Maybe Im missing something here but..... If you shoot say 50 rounds out of a new barrel and 5, clean, 5, clean, 10 clean, 10 clean, whatever out of a different barrel

Of course the "breakin in" method barrel will be easier to clean!!




Yes..., you are missing something! After the inital break-in, 50 rounds or so of shoot, clean, shoot, clean ect... then it is bussiness as useual!!
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:26:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 10:27:46 PM EDT by JLM]

Originally Posted By dpmmn:

Originally Posted By bigbore:
take to the range
zero your optic/sights
take home and clean
done




Sound advice form a smart man



+1. Go search Google for Gale McMillan's 'break in' procedure

ETA: Oh shit someone allready posted it. Good deal!

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:41:14 PM EDT
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