Breaking in a second hand rifle

Pappakap

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Purchased a rifle third hand (owner #2 never fired it) and the thing looks pretty much brand new. It was a custom build from G.A. and I’m finally getting it ready to zero. My question is do I go through the process of scrubbing it after every shot assuming it’s never been broken in or do I just go with it and see how it does? I can try to provide a picture of the bore but as I’m sure you guys know that is a rather futile endeavor. Thanks in advance for any help you offer.
 

tnc

Molon Labe
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Nope. Make sure there’s no barrel obstruction and shoot it to see what it does
 

Pappakap

Sergeant of the Hide
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So shoot it to zero, try out the different ammos and see what I can get out of it and if I feel there’s some wild fliers not related to my marsksmanship then run some solvent and a copper brush through?
 
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ShtrRdy

Gunny Sergeant
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Since it's already been shot a number of rounds your best bet would be to clean the bore really well and then find ammo it likes.
 
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Pappakap

Sergeant of the Hide
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Sorry first rifle I’ve ever really given a shit about looking after the bore. I have ar’s and had a handi rifle I beat up when I was younger. I tend to treat my ars more like pistols. I never owned a bottle of copper solvent until recently. Just trying to protect my investment and get the tightest groups I can with my ability.
 

1500varmint

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IMO there's no course of action you're going to take that's going to hurt the rifle.

- Put bullets in and shoot the thing: That's what it's designed for.
- Clean it first and then put bullets in and shoot it: Same as above, just a little cleaner.
- Go nuts and clean it, then clean it again with copper cleaner, then put bullets in and shoot it: See above.

It's your gun, so do whatever makes YOU the most comfortable.
 
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Pappakap

Sergeant of the Hide
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It's your gun, so do whatever makes YOU the most comfortable.
I know ultimately it’s whatever I choose to do or not do. I’m just trying to keep it the 3/8 MOA gun I believe it to be. I didn’t want my inexperience with a precision firearm to cause damage or affect the accuracy.
 

ShtrRdy

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Assuming the original owner shot it a lot and didn't clean it I would do the following the first time. This assumes there is some significant carbon fouling.
***** the editor removes the formatting *******
1. Use Butches Bore Shine to remove the powder fouling. Two or three wet patches followed by two dry patches

2. Use Bore Tech Carbon Remover. Carbon will look brownish on the patches.
a. Run two wet patches through
b. Wet a bronze brush and push through 15 passes.
c. Run one wet patch through. These will look very black/brownish at first
d. Run one wet patch through. Let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
e. Run a dry patch through
f. Repeat step 2b through 2d until there isn't any darkness on the patch from step 2e.

3. Use Bore Tech Eliminator to attack the copper.
a. Run two wet patches through
b. Wet a polymer brush and push through 15 passes.
c. Run one wet patch through. These will look like blue-ish at first
d. Run one wet patch through. Let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
e. Run a dry patch through
f. Repeat step 2b through 2d until there isn't any dark blue on the patch from step 2e
 
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Bender

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Just bore snake it and shoot it till group changes.

Shoot and clean method is an old mans tale. Just shoot the damn thing.
 
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Blaster7Romeo

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Just bore snake it and shoot it till group changes.

Shoot and clean method is an old mans tale. Just shoot the damn thing.

Yep that.... I got a used rifle like you did one time ... cleaned it first to start off on a "fresh page" took me $20 in .308 ammo to get the groups back down lol just think of it like they layed the copper in there for you already lol
 
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Fig

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GAP has break in instructions. I did it on mine, but I’m not convinced it does anything. There’s a ton of shooting minutia worth arguing about. Barrel break in isn’t one of them IMO. Just don’t get it too hot. That’s the only legit cardinal rule.
 
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Pappakap

Sergeant of the Hide
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IMO. Just don’t get it too hot. That’s the only legit cardinal rule.
Considering my barrel is about an inch thick I’m not so worried about that. I’m not sure what the profile is I’d call it “bull”. It’s stamped GA so I’m thinking maybe Bartlein. Either way my wallet will be smoking before the barrel if I shoot that much.
 

Fig

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Lots of competitors on SH, and we typically shoot 10+ shot strings. You won’t find any pencil barrels on tactical steel firing lines. They’re all Palmas, MTUs, m24s, heavy varmint, or some form of full contour. I put stick on thermometers on all my barrels to monitor heat, but by feel probably works just as well. If your strings are too close or too long it kills your barrel life (even on a .308).

If you’re just slow firing at paper you’re probably right though...
 

tnichols

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Lots of competitors on SH, and we typically shoot 10+ shot strings. You won’t find any pencil barrels on tactical steel firing lines. They’re all Palmas, MTUs, m24s, heavy varmint, or some form of full contour. I put stick on thermometers on all my barrels to monitor heat, but by feel probably works just as well. If your strings are too close or too long it kills your barrel life (even on a .308).

If you’re just slow firing at paper you’re probably right though...
Agreed, and I'm glad you brought this up. Firing schedule means a LOT when it comes to barrel life, 308 included.