Sniper & Sharpshooter Forums banner

Is barrel break-in necessary?


  • Total voters
    9
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is known about barrel break-in? Is it necessary? And if so what is the best way to do so?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,238 Posts
I said yes, but I believe the real answer is it doesn't hurt.

Jeffvn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,129 Posts
About as sticky a wicket as you can get in LR shooting I'd say.

Right up there with "who has the coolest gun?" :D

-snowy

P.S.
I voted "yes."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
I said "yes", but I would amend that to reflect standard production barrels only. Many custom tube makers insist that their lapped products don't require break-in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
I said yes but would like to explain the details in my mind. For rifles that are intended for some accuracy (my 700VS for example), I use a fairly standard kind of break-in; I cleaned it good every shot for the first 20 rounds and then as needed, usually every 20 to 25 rounds. For the stuff that isn't so precise (my AR carbine) I just loaded it up and let 'er rip. That's just sort of my own SOP; wrong, right, or indifferent it's just the way I do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,352 Posts
I picked yes ....... what do I think? well I just don't know for sure and everything I have read on the subject from both enthusiastic amateurs to professional barrel manufacturers is contradictory.....so I did it because the manufacturer of my new gun said to do it and ultimately it can't hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,935 Posts
I voted yes...can't hurt. But while we are on the subject, I have another question. How long do you cool the barrel between shots?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
How long during break-in or how long normally? I normally don't worry about that, but during break-in i've never thought of that before. Anyone got an answer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
There's a hard to answer problem. Caliber? Ambient temp? How important is the next shot? What kind of effects does the heat have on your rifle's performance? There's a lot of factors in that one. I usually just go by feel. If it feels like it's getting hot, I let it cool. If I'm on a roll I'll even take it inside and let a fan blow on it. Heat will affect it of course, but it's tough to say what you should do about cooling it. Maybe someone else can give you a rule of thumb I just don't know about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,935 Posts
guess I should have clarified more...How long should you let the barrel cool between shots during break-in? I've heard of several different break-in procedures, but none specify how long to cool between shots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Ahhhh, I see. Never really thought about it, I don't think it matters too much because even the more potent cartridges don't heat the barrel up with just one shot, and if you clean each shot it should be cooled down practically all the way by the time you're done with that. I guess clean it and give it a couple minutes. Sound good?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Personally... i preffer to break in all my barrels. Every one knows that a new car comes with a manual... and it has a break in period. So why wouldnt any other machine also have a break in period?

I clean the chamber and bore after every shot for 20 - 30 rounds ( depending on caliber ) and then after every 3 shots for 20 rounds. Then completely and very thouroughly clean it... let it cool... ect... and shoot a 10 shot group for MOA test. Make sure to clean all the copper out during cleaning in the breakin process during each shot.. ect ect.

After i shoot the first 10 shot MOA test group i shoot two more groups... consisting of 5 shots each. When i get home i once again clean the rifle... then i hand lapp the bore / chamber / muzzle crown. Then... when lapping is done... clean it again. Its a HUGE pain in the rear to do this every time i rebarrel a rifle or get a new rifle... but i get .5 MOA or better with ALL my rifles that i expect too. David Tubb sells the "final finish bore polishing system" or whatever they call it... if you are having problems with fliers or getting random groups... you should try that system out. I had an M-14 that was getting 2 fliers per 5 shot group on average... ( i didnt break it in )... so i used that final finish whatever its called and it smoothed everything out.

BC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,935 Posts
do you use a bore brush or a mop when cleaning barrel between shots during break-in? Also, on another note, what is the life expectance of a barrel(how many rounds?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
I use Butchs Tripple Twill Patchs... ( has three twills instead of two )... brushes scrape and dig into new metal... so i dont use them (unless they are nylon) during break in.. after it is broken in i use brass bristle brush's and patchs for cleaning.

Barrel life depends on caliber and ammo used... and quality of the care in cleaning. But for most calibers... its around 10,000-15,000 rounds (with a .308) with not to much loss in accuracy. The thing that kills barrels is not loss of rifling from wear... but damage to the throat area of the chamber. On the other hand... i have a Kalishnikof that i have put over 45,000 rounds through ( give or take ) and it works just fine... obviously not to accurate ( about 4 MOA 5 shot groups @ 100 yards ).

BC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,935 Posts
Thanks for the info
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
I still dont believe that a brush is going to damage your barrel. I guarantee that if i bought a new barrel and cleaned it with a brass brush and could see damage id box the barrel up and send it back to the maker because thats would mean the tempering is horrible. Brass is far softer than steel and shouldnt cause any damage.

Just my thinking
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I agree, steel vs brass, Steel wins hands down. Isn't that the reason the brush is made of brass?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
I have a friend who is a gunsmith at a gunstore... he has one of those 30 thousand dolor bore scopes that hooks up to a TV and all... and can print stuff out and zoom in... ect ect... ive done quite a few experiments with different brushes and cleaning solvents... steel brushes scrape the bore ALOT... you just cant see it with the naked eye. Brass brushes... still scrape the bore a little... but not to much. Nylon brushes dont scrape at all.

BC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,129 Posts
Steel is a lot harder than rubber as well, but give a piece of stainless a full arm hit with a rubber mallet and look at it under a microscope and you will see damage.

Just a thought.

-snowy
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top