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Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

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Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

Old 12-16-2004, 11:01 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Default Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

I've never really adhered to any sort of 'ritual' as far as barrel break-in is concerned. I have a new Browning Stainless Stalker and want to give it a whirl. Any of you out there truly believe one way or the other??? I'm only refering to factory barrels not custom hand-lapped competition stuff....you know what I mean. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

i dont know i would be interested to know the same. but a friend of mine bought a ruger77 223 and when he first got the gun he could not get good groups but about 200rds later he was getting great groups dont know if it was breaking in the barrel or he was just getting more proficient with his new rifle? good question![&:]
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Old 12-17-2004, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

[link]http://www.browning.com/faq/detail.asp?ID=112[/link] you can start here or do a search for more.. this same procedure is on the winchester site, maybe others

I would read this first though [link]http://forum.hunting.net/asppg/tm.asp?m=854440&mpage=4[/link]
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Old 12-17-2004, 06:46 AM
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

Search through this forum, the topic was covered in depth about two months ago or so. There really doesn't seem to be concrete evidence one way or the other.
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Old 12-17-2004, 07:52 AM
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

It doesn't hurt anything. I just broke in my Sako75 STW. Here's the deal.

Cleaned every shot for 3 shots (copper in barrel every cleaning) (3 shot group 1.7MOA)
Cleaned every 3 shots (heavy copper for the first 3 cycles of cleaning, but by the 6th cycle of cleaning, shot 18, almost no copper) (Groups got better and better until 3 out of 6 of the groups were .75MOA, first two groups were 1.1" and 1.4")
Cleaned every 5 shots (Did this for two cycles, very little copper) (two groups 5 shot .75MOA)

Copper fouling is always going to be there. No matter what. The above results must be doing something. I mean the copper fouling is getting less and less. Groups size is getting less and less. Proof is in the pudding.

Now I have not broke in barrels before, and velocity's have not settled out until like shot 100. Or you have to foul the barrel 5 shots until group size and velocitys settle to a repectable level. You should not have to foul a barrel 5 shots to get good groups or velocity spreads under 30fps. No matter what John Barshness says. He and Gale McMillian are a tad full of it here. I don't with most of my rifles. One fouler is all it should takes. And thats to put some carbon down and get out all oil. I get so tired of hereing claims on how a rifle will shoot and you meet the guy at the range, and he tells me first 3 or 4 shots don't count.

Some rifles I have had recently never did smooth out. I had one remington 270win BDL that no matter what, copper fouled so bad, it took 1 hour of scrubbing to get it out. I had 300 rounds thru the barrel and it still fouled badly. And it does take 3 fouling rounds to get good groups.

If you do it or don't do it, sooner or later the barrel will be broke in. Just take alot longer.
Old 12-17-2004, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 1,118
Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

I copied this direct from Winchesters FAQ's:

"Q What is the recommended procedure for breaking in a new barrel?
A For the first ten shots we recommend, if possible, using jacketed bullets with a nitro powder load. After firing each bullet, use a good copper cleaner (one that has ammonia) to remove copper fouling in the barrel. We do NOT recommend anything with an abrasive in it since you are trying to seal the barrel, not keep it agitated. If you look into the end of the barrel after firing a shot, you will see a light copper-colored wash in the barrel. This must be removed before firing the next shot. Somewhere in the procedure at around shot 6 or 7, it will be obvious that the copper color is no longer appearing in the barrel. Continue applications through shot 10.

If you have any ammunition left, you then may shoot two rounds and clean it for the next ten shots. This is simply insurance that the burnishing process has been completed.

In theory what you have just accomplished is the closing of the pores of the barrel metal which have been opened and exposed through the cutting and lapping procedures.

The same process may be used with firing lead bullets and black powder to do the break-in procedure with the exception that in this case you should shoot 2 bullets before cleaning for the first 30 rounds. You could use harder lead if available. This will accelerate the break-in. This will accomplish the same thing as the jacketed bullets.

After following the procedure, your barrel's interior surface will be sealed and should shoot cleaner and develop less fouling for the rest of its shooting life. "
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:10 AM
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

Personal opinion I am 100% with BigCountry and have had similar results. I would stay away from the abrasive pasts, other than that I can't see where you would damage a barrel from cleaning it properly.
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:14 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gypsum KS USA
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

In custom barrels, I don't know that I'm a believer in a break in period...in production rifle barrels...that's another story.

When we're talking about barrels that get put out in the thousands from an assy. line, you KNOW that bore is going to be rough. A break in period helps smooth things out in a more regular manner.

Here's one example....have you ever shot a cap and ball revolver? For the first hundred rounds or so they sound like pop guns, or like a shotgun squib load, just a "PUUUNF" and you can't hit the broad side of a barn with them, after a hundred rounds or so, they start "CRAAACKING" and you get higher velocities and more energy out of the same loads, and they finally start shooting well....Old buckskinners will tell you that the "oil is out of the bbl" (not gun oil, but the bluing) when this happens, others say it's because the lead from your slugs has finally fouled up the barrel enough to seal properly...One way or the other, something is happening in that barrel.

One thing that I really think is the key...When you first buy a rifle, the grain structure of the steel is arranged rather randomly, or more likely in a spiral pattern consistent with the tool that cut the bore....The point of breaking in is to let all of the grain structures be REGULARLY patterned and realligned by the bullets going down the bore. In order to guarantee consistent contact, you need to make sure there isn't any fouling between your bore and bullet...getting things all lined up reduces the bbl roughness which reduces the stress put on the bbl by each shot (a little bit at least) so the life span of your bbl would be increased.

I've had several rifles that I almost sold because they shot terribly out of the box...after a hundred rounds or so, they started shooting very well. I've also had a Rem 700 and a Ruger 77 that I did NOT break in that NEVER started shooting well (Ruger and Rem replaced them luckily). I didn't even think to break in my first Ruger Revolver, I got pretty good groups with it anyway, then I bought a matching partner to it and broke it in...it shot about on par with the other one when I first started, now it consistently shoots groups at least an inch smaller than the other.

Now, can I honestly say that the break in had something to do with it? Probably not, unless I had two EXACTLY IDENTICAL guns and broke one in and just shot the other, I'd never be able to say for sure....but based on my experiences, yes, I'll continue to break in bbls. I do honestly think that bbl break-in periods at LEAST help your bore/bullet seal be more regular and will in fact have an effect on the accuracy and life span of your gun.

I don't believe, however, that you'll HURT your rifle by not breaking it in, and even if you don't, it should eventually reach the same point, it'll just take longer to get there. You're not going to make your brand new rifle that shoots 1.5MOA shoot 3MOA because you don't break it in, and break in isn't going to take a 5MOA rifle and make it a .5MOA rifle, but I do believe it has some effect.
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:18 AM
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Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

Nomercy, I find in my custom barrels, it depended on the reamer job. Most of my break in occured at the thoat area for custom rifles. But my custom barrels are usually on barrel burners.

There are times where I find break in a waste of time. No matter what, the barrel is so rough, your not going to get the desired results. You can usually tell this after cleaning every round for 10 rounds. If it is still heavily coppered, I bet you that barrel ain't ever going to break in to be a smooth cleaner. Doesn't mean it won't be a good shooter.
Old 12-17-2004, 09:32 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,471
Default RE: Barrel break-in...fact or fiction???

As an example my STainless Stalker didn't start shooting well until 50 rounds went thru it or so. My Remington 7mm has shot well since the first few shots so I would say it depends on the gun manufacturer and the quality of barrels they are screwing on.
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