Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

cobaltbomb

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

the comparison lowlight made on the 2 trgs,the response of mike from tac ops, gale mcmillans story, and the well thought out initial post of the OP is enough <span style="font-weight: bold">empirical</span> DATA for me.
 

chrisj

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Awesome job Jeff!!!! God Bless You!!! I have done extensive testing on bbl break in also and have similar findings. BBl break in = Waste of time/$$$$. Great job.
 

chrisj

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MrDrift</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: vkc</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It never made sense to me to push all the grime down the barrel and into the bolt area with a cleaning rod. I like using an Otis cleaning cable or bore snake to "pull" the fouling out.</div></div>

That's why you pull your bolt out and push the rods from the breech end!

Not on a Garand or 14 or M1 Carbine


</div></div>
 

11D20

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Great post....I used to use a moly bore cream and burnish all of my rifles...I haven't done that in several years....Interesting on not getting all of the copper out of a barrel...I think I will try to find that bore cream again and re-due my Savage and Ar-15...I think my Ar-15 has the Mike Rock barrel on it~!..It is stamped below the flash hider as DPMS, but where the barrel and receiver meet it has a big R in circles.....All I know is that it shoots excellent....

They say never buy anything that was made on Monday morning, or Friday night~! Mine must of been made on Tuesday~!

Thanks again for the cleaning of barrels....
 

JBurer

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

I'll be taking a new Armalite AR-10T out for the first time next month and read this thread for some information regarding break-in.

When I compare what's in the rifle's manual versus whats been discussed here, I'm surprised by the divergence.

http://www.armalite.com/images/Manuals\sassman1.pdf

My biggest concern is related to the moly ammunition experiences. P 17 - Armalite is specifically recommending Black Hills moly coated .308 Match ammunition.

If you have an informed opinion about why the manufacturer is recommending this particular kind of ammunition, I'd appreciate you sharing it!
Thanks,
John
 

pupdawg

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JRBJAG</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'll be taking a new Armalite AR-10T out for the first time next month and read this thread for some information regarding break-in.

When I compare what's in the rifle's manual versus whats been discussed here, I'm surprised by the divergence.

http://www.armalite.com/images/Manuals\sassman1.pdf

My biggest concern is related to the moly ammunition experiences. P 17 - Armalite is specifically recommending Black Hills moly coated .308 Match ammunition.

If you have an informed opinion about why the manufacturer is recommending this particular kind of ammunition, I'd appreciate you sharing it!
Thanks,
John </div></div>

Oh of course they recommend BLACK HILLS MOLY because they SELL it.

<span style="color: #FF0000">...See.</span>



 

Jeff in TX

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

JRBJAG,

I've been traveling like a mad man the last month and haven't really had any free time to myself. I'll put together another thread on my finding of the effects of shooting moly coated bullets.

Bottom line if you like your rifle, don't shoot moly coated bullets.
 

mm509

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

tagging this for future reference. I just spent 45 minutes looking for it, because I dont like to tag stuff. lesson learned
 

Cascade Precision

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

My experience:

Rifle #1: Savage 116 youth .243 accustock and accutrigger.
Took it to the range with box ammo because that is what will likely be shot. I only expected 1moa out of it. Sighted it in with 3 rounds and cleaned thoroughly. Talked to fellow shooters (we will call him "my dad" for this story) and he said that the rifle shot really good. Shoot a couple 5 shot groups, clean in between (powder fowling). Each group was 1" at 200 yards from the time I sighted in at 200. 5 five shot groups, gentle cleaning for groups 1 and 2, almost non-existent for groups 3-5.

Took the rifle home, gentle cleaning and oil for storage (knew it was going to sit a few months).

Next time for wife to shoot, ran a dry patch to clear dust and any excess oil, 200 yard 5 round group at just under 2 inches. Cleared the fowling, oiled for storage.

Rifle #2: Savage 10FCP H-S stock, accutrigger, .308.

This rifle I really wanted to be a shooter, so I took care in choosing ammo and components. I wanted to spend time getting a good load without sacrificing barrel life.

Started with a cleaning of factory oils, overall inspection of rifle, then to the range with some Black Hills Match and a first batch of handloads (which sucked, but that is my fault).

Was all over the place (again, my fault upon learning my marksmanship sucked, and is only marginally better now). Spent about 75-100 rounds of barrel life on learning the rifle and recoil. I followed about the same method as the .243, cleaned after each shot for 5, then after 5 shot groups (Still not sure why 5 rounds groups, pretty small sampling for accuracy).

After cleaning the 2nd group of 5, cleaning became a lot quicker, less fouling.

Now, I can shoot 25-50 rounds (about all I shoot at one session), go home, clean the fouling, light coat of oil, storage for next session.

The only reason I clean it at all is I dont know when I will get to the range again and I like to clean any corrosive material out. Rifle shoots sub 1/2" 5 round groups at 100 yards, .90ish at 200, and just over 2" at 300 yards. All this with a stock barrel.

I think the reason it took so long to settle in was my lack of prowess and my knowledge of marksmanship. Yeah, I can shoot USPSA really good, and I am good to decent with sub 100 yrd AR shots, but distance has always been my demon.

Long story short: I concur (for the most part) with th OP.
 

BJKrauel

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

I enjoyed reading this thread, although it took me a very long time. I have been wondering about a "break-in process" along with different methods of cleaning. I have noticed that if I clean the bore completely of copper and fouling my cold bore is always off. different classes I have gone to have snipers saying they shoot fouled bore for consitancy while others would never dream of it. Not trying to rob this thread but it has been informative for sure. Again I am finding there are as many opinions as there are people.

Thanks
 

Terry Persing

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

I've been told that when your CCB is off continually from your next group it's because of oil in the bore.

You can remove this by passing a patch with alcohol through prior to going out to shoot or to the callout. (or don't put oil in your bore, it depends on your storage conditions)
 

pappy42

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

As a designated Counter Sniper (politically correct terminology) for a large law enforcement agency, I learned a couple of things that may contribute to the conversation here.

Firing a high round count with a new barrel, before cleaning, will degrade the performance of that barrel, no matter how it is cleaned afterward. Maybe not much; but some. My oppinion is that there should be some break in regimen.

Re fouling shots; I found that stopping on the side of the freeway and cranking off a .308 round into the ice plant, wearing your ninja suit, would almost always get you a personal invitation to the boss's office.

We solved the problem by a thorough cleaning after a range session, coating the bore with a light coat of Kroil, and when called out, passing three clean patches through the bore.

This proved out several years, and many range sessions, to be a workable solution.
 

Fred_C_Dobbs

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

"[The barrel break-in craze] got started when a barrel maker that I know started putting break-in instructions in the box with each barrel he shipped a few years ago. I asked him how he figured it would help and his reply was if they shoot 100 rounds breaking in this barrel that's total life is 3000 rounds and I make 1000 barrels a year just figure how many more barrels I will get to make."

-- Gale McMillan
 

halon101

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

wow really getting down on the molly. i just shot a couple hundred molly rounds in my 1911.

i pretty much use boresnake and solovent on my ar.
i think i will have to rethink my rem700 cleaning procedure.
 

halon101

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

oh yeah and thanks for making me feel better for not using
"proper break in procedures on my rifles"
 

john_1182

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

damn just lost all this and had to re type it.

For me i think all this comes down to a few points (please note this is just my personal thoughts on the matter)

1:what dose barrel break in do?
2:do i need a barrel break in procedure?
3:how do i do a barel break in procedure?
4:what else might be going on here?

1:from what i have read above and seen online a barrel break in procedure has only one purpose, to wear down the barrel and remove any dings burs that might be in there. wether is be just firing round, hand lapping, fire lapping or shooting a clean bore. and with these processes this happens faster or slower depending on what process you do.

2:i dont think custom barrels need a break in because of there over all quality and hand lapping, as for factory barrels it would be hit or miss and the only way is to use a bore scope to see how bad the internals of a bore realy is, but dose it realy matter if the rifle shoots accurate?

3:how i do barel break in is quite simple, i dont do one. i just load up 20 or so rounds to sight in the rifle and to get a feel for it and just pull a dry clean bore snake through after every 5>10 rounds just to get rid of any excess copper/ carbon that is in that awefull dinged and bured up factory barrel. :p
then i go on to my laod development (50 or so rounds) and by the time im done, somoth or rough bore i have nice accurate rifle.

4/1:personaly i think between the sighing shots and load development any burrs dings ect will be smothed over and if not ive developed my loads around that anyway. ive done this with my current factory tikka t3 and savage and have no issues and both are .5moa or less to 100 and under 1 moa at 350 yards.

4/2: what i realy think is happening with most "average" shooters is that have been brought up hearing and seeing shoot and clean and not realising that most rifels expecialy mine take a few fouling shot to find there accuracy node (mine take up around 20 rounds), so in shooting 5, 10, 15 rounds and seeing there groups changing they go and scrub the thing clean and start again not realising in doing so there bring back more of that metal to metal contat in the bore and just wearing out the barrel faster. and it to be an issue of clen vs dirty bore and possible bad shooter/ bad load development.

me personaly i just shoot and when im done, typicaly after 5>25 shots i just pull a dry clean bore snake through it, just removing any of the larger carbon and copper but leaving enough there to act as a dry lube and not wear the barrel as much.

4/3: so yes i do believe a barel break in occurs on FACTORY barrels, but it occurs during the inital zeroing and load development phase. yes there is always the exception to the rule, but in my experiance i have never PERSONALY see it. also i think the term "barrel break in" to be a shit one, me i like "barrel errosion" so what barrel errosion procedure do you like best?

appoligies for the rant and spelling and drifting a bit left of topic

-end rant-
 

Jackalope33B

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Maybe a little off topic. But I read online that you can use cheap ammo IE: Brown Bear to break in your barrel? Im thinking not a good idea to run this junk through a $4k rifle. But all opinions are welcomed
 

renegadelizard

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

for about the last 18 years, ive been using a piece of 550 cord with a knot in it instead of cleaning rods..on all of my guns, and very rarely will i use a bore brush...ive been saying since then that barrel break in was a sham...thank you for providing the scientific evidence to back that up..good read..
 

seanmyhre

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

A few of you have spoken of wanting test results, empirical data, laboratorty testing and conclusions. They don't exist. I see the issue of barrel break-in from two different view points. I've been an avid shooter for 30 years now, and tend to lean towards the opinions of those making the best products in these matters. It's not always right, but time seems to sort issues like this out.

My second viewpoint is from a law enforcement stance. As a retired Fed Agent for the USAF, and currently taking classes towards a degree in chemistry, criminalistics concentration, the issue of striation marks on a bullet are very much in my daily education. From a toolmarks comparision perspective, which is exactly what is being discussed here, the lifespan and percentage of deviation of those markings left on the bullet through out the live of a barrel from the rifling has never been tested. I know this because I've looked for the testing, and so has the National Academies of Science (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12589). Striation marks on bullets and cases have not been studied in depth as some a few of you are requesting, and until there is MONEY to do a study in this relm, I doubt the study will occur.

Based on the above referenced 2009 study, I am hoping the money does come through federal grants to bolster testing of this nature to create the empirical data to substanciate or refute the expert's opinions in this arena. More than likely, the testing will involve pistols initially as these are the mass majority of firearms involved in criminal investigations and laboratory analysis. Never the less, any lab produced data is a step in the right direction.

Lastly, I find it ironic so much of today's current technology actually exists based of of hypothesis derived from experts opinions, and there is NO empirical data to substanciate it. The entire basis of our understanding of the atom, it's relationship to chemical elements, and their interactions is ALL hypothetical opinion substanciated by results of testing and experience of experts in molecular chemistry and physics. Lol, we produced the nuclear bomb based off of many of Einstien's theories on energy, none ever proven valid with empirical information.

This is simply the life cycle of scientific discovery. Hypothesis is correct until proven otherwise. The new hypothesis is tested until proven faulty or considered scientific law. I'm not a metallurgist, a mechanical engineer, nor do I have anything remotely close to the experience with barrels as the likes of Kreiger, Hart, Rock, etc. But, I understand the process of technical discovery well enough to listen to the opinions, even without all that empirical data, of the likes of those listed above until I see testing prove the experts wrong.

As for using ammonia based solvants to clean your barrel: They result in Ammonia chloride salts forming in the barrel. This is straight up bad stuff. Chlorine is one of the most caustic elements on the planet. It want's another electron from anything and it will destroy whatever it has to to get it. This is why chlorine gas (a blood agent for all you military out there) is so deadly, the chlorine gas rips apart your lungs to get the electron it so desires at the molecular level and results in drowning in your own blood. Same process in the bore of your firearm, but with the alloy, it rips electrons away and destroys the bonds between the elements within the alloy. The crystal structure of the alloy breaks down into it's respective elements, and the iron can no longer hold it's molecular geometry nor contain the carbon trapped within it. This results in pitting. http://www.schuemann.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3zZ4oir3t50=&tabid=67&mid=445
 

PKGunsmithing

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

I've been a licensed gunsmith for four years, and have trained at Remington, and Navy CRANE in their sniper rifle armorers course. In short, I've never seen any hard data regarding barrel break in procedures. There exists lots of myth, legend and folklore but no verifiable data that confirms any of the claims as to whether or not brand "x" chemical or brand "y" technique actually extends the life of the barrel or improves accuracy. Here's where I'm hoping someone will jump in and respond with a technical reference that can enlighten all of us and put a lot of misperception to rest. One thing for certain though - failure to clean the barrel sufficiently can bring a painful and sudden death to any barrel. A Hawkeye bore scope will reveal any lapses in consistent and thorough cleaning procedures.
 

Clark

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

I don't believe in barrel break in, I don't want to believe in barrel break in.

But lately, I am getting broken in.

I get some new factory lapped barrels, that as soon as I shoot it, I see Copper in the muzzle.

I clean with KG12, and get the Copper out.
I fire, and Copper streaks in the last 3/8" of the bore I can see.
I keep firing and cleaning until the barrel stops getting Copper fouling.

So I guess I am breaking the barrel in.
 

MikeinMO

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Thought provoking! Makes me wonder... A barrel can really have only three effects on a bullet which are friction,spin and possibly deformation if there is a flaw. How much friction may be affected by crud in the barrel, and that might change after several shots. Spin will be constant because the rifling won't change. Burrs or other flaws will remain relatively constant too, for a given barrel, and would be expected to affect all bullets similarly. If the flaws are such that they impart instability, they will of course be inaccurate. If they don't cause instability, the bbl will shoot to the same spot every time IF (big if) all other factors remain constant. There are myriad factors one could postulate as having significant effect: Some include Bullet weight consistency, diameter consistency, jacket characteristics, powder charge, burn rate uniformity, shell case effects, primer effects... etc. etc. It's amazing that rifles are as accurate as they are, isn't it?

The fact that almost any rifle made with reasonable attention to precision and detail in boring, rifling, chambering, headspacing and stocking, and shot with reasonably precise factory made ammunition will shoot within MOA or thereabouts tells me that no single variable makes a huge difference most of the time, and that even the sum of all variances isn't really much usually.

Precision shooters are operating on the steep part of the accuracy curve, where it approaches the asymptote. The fact that different precision shooters win using different approaches and techniques suggests that we all might be grasping at straws. Still, grasping at straws means sending rounds downrange, and what better way to spend a sunny afternoon?

I feel the need to conduct some tests.
 

Lochem158

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Great info... will Miltech work for the light oil fro long period of storage?
 

Decoy

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedur

I have the same break in procedure as lowlight, little to none. I believe that the break in procedures that we all have heard about and have been hammered down our throats for so long were probably necessary at one time, but not now with modern firearms.

The materials used to manufacture barrels today are a much higher quality level due to metallurgical developments, manufacturing processes and inspection procedures done at the mill. This is relevant due to the older materials having more voids or inclusions and the breaking in procedures used to help “fill-in” these voids.

Although we are a pistol barrel manufacturer, we have seen more accuracy lost and damage caused to the barrels due to improper cleaning procedures, improper cleaning chemicals or just plain abusive practices. Here is an article on our site that talks about the damages that can occur due to over or improper cleaning.

http://www.schuemann.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3zZ4oir3t50=&tabid=67&mid=445

Not cleaning a bore may not be the correct way to go in every circumstance but if you are aware of what not to do it might help save a barrel some time.

I will put a oil patch through my bores every once in a quite or use a bore snake in the field if necessary.

As far as break in procedures go, if an individual feels it is the right thing to do then go ahead but just be aware that you can cause damage to the bore, chamber or crown if done without a good process.

I just received my Gladius and the break in will be shooting quality match grade ammo without touching the bore.
 

dgtlcrack

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Jeff thanks for the info, I started my new 7mmRM with no break in process and so far I'm very happy about it. Happy to know there is some actual data behind the statement. Cheers
 

JGilesEastTx

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Jeff in Tx,

+++++++++++ for LUCAS bore guides++++++++++++. MIKE LUCAS is CLASS. Other bore guides are second class. And in the words of Ricky Bobby, if you aren't first, you're last.
 

fx77

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Don't rule out TK Nolan used by many many BR shooters as bore guide, and one by which they swear.
 

JGilesEastTx

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Well its hard to beat a custom fitted bore guide for your action, caliber, and rod for 30 bucks + 7 for the insert. What more could a stainless steel guide do? Last 1,000 years after you're gone? I doubt it.... but they plastic one will....hahahaha
 

Jhnmdahl

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Interesting thread. The advice regarding being careful not to ding up your barrel with your cleaning rod is probably the least controversial, and most useful takeaway.

I did chuckle reading about Stan's MBA in metallurgy - when I was an engineer, saying somebody had an MBA in something other than business administration was not a flattering comment (you can guess what the B and A stood for).

I'm also curious about how soaking a barrel in ammonia could produce ammonium chloride, absent addition of bleach or some other chlorine-containing material. I think there might still be some potassium perchlorate in black powder, but don't know about smokeless powder. Perhaps a bleaching agent used on the cellulose stock?

John
 

HoboHunter

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Barrel break in is always a controversial topic, and depending on the company you keep religion and politics might be safer. This being my first post here, why not another cook in the kitchen and another spoon in the pot?

I have no comment on custom barrels, but I use a limited break in procedure for factory barrels which I combine with "my" new rifle adjustment procedure (stock adjustments, trigger, eye relief) but I don't do any scope adjustments as far as zeroing. For break in I prefer heavier (longer) bullets from any of the usual manufacturers (cheapest) and only for a total 20-40 shots. After that it's a steady diet of SMK ammo from Federal or Black Hills.

Since I almost exclusively shoot 5.56 and 7.62 out of factory barrels that 20-40 shots and the time I take doing it are not going to significantly impact barrel life or my life.

For what it is worth, this is what one manufacturer thinks.

Take it for what it is worth...

HH
 

bigmike2121

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

OK Looks like 2 entirely different trains of thought on the subject. I'm waiting on my remington 700 SS 5R in .308 to arrive.i'm pretty confused due to the 2 different theories on clean every shot, or clean first and shoot away, cleaning after. i have to assume that the barrel on my rifle (5R rifling, and yes i do know it is NOT a Mike Rock), IS a factory rifle barrel.Paid good money for the rifle (new), and definately do not want to screw it up. Suggestions, break in, or shoot the snot out of it?
 

flyboy

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Did you buy the rifle to shoot it? Well then, there's your answer. Hell I haven't ever cleaned my SPS T in 308 and I have over 3500 rounds so far down the tube. Accuracy, well I place in FTR comps with it.
 

TCA4570

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Proper break in is using what you have available at the time.
There isn't only one way to do it.
We are all getting to the same end.

I haven't cleaned in over 1000 rounds, but I did like a Mofo when it was new, so I could see what it was doing.

Let others play with it and shoot their best groups ever.
Do what is comfortable for you.
I have yet to read the "right way" on a tombstone.

TC
 

skinney_7

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Jeff in TX</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Think of a car engine for a moment. Why do we use oil in the engine? To prevent any metal-to-metal contact as well as reduce friction between two metal (bearing) surfaces. Your barrel is no different from the engine. 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 cause friction which can sheer away layers of metal from each surface. So if your bullet is starting and stopping as many as two times before it leaves the barrel, that’s two places for metal-to-metal contact to happen as well as the rest of your bore. Even though copper is a gilding metal it can still sheer away barrel surface in the bore when traveling at high velocities under extreme heat and pressures.
</div></div>
I have used this analogy...only i have looked at it from another aspect as well, why are cylinder walls honed befor the pistons are inserted and oil is added??? if its not done, you could get cylinder wall scoring, same reason befor you clean your stick, you run a couple soaked patches to "wash" the primer fouling and grit, so your cleaning rod doesn't do what a potentially rough cylinder wall or particles in your oil will do to your motor... the whole motor oil/copper, micro burr/rough cylinder wall analogy has its different ways with people, just sayin, someone who is set on breakin in a barrel is gonna do it, someone who isn't... wont.
 

Jayman_10X

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Thanks for the great writeup. Well researched and explained. A lot of great information is shared on this site!
 

Mike6158

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: two man attack</div><div class="ubbcode-body">so im completely confused now... are we cleaning our barrels or not? </div></div>

Post #2 for me. Figures I would pick one of the most controversial ones.

Cleaning- for me it depends on the rifle.

The original post was very good. Maybe a little too presumptive in that not everyone shoots a custom barrel but over all I like his recommendations.

Custom rifles

I only own one custom rifle (.338 Edge (aka Canyon Rifle) from Defensive Edge and I have yet to clean it (per Shawn Carlock's recommendation to clean if accuracy falls off). The first round that I fired out of the rifle (no adjustments) knocked the center out of the target (.22 LR target)at 100 yards. #2 and #3 nicked the edges of the same hole. I actually stopped shooting and retrieved my target because I thought that I had missed the entire target with the last two
I moved over to 300 and shot a 1/4 moa group. After 50 rounds the performance of the rifle hasn't changed and I still haven't cleaned it.

Factory Rifle

My factory rifle experience has been all over the place.

I bought a 700 Sendero SFII in 7mm Rem Mag. I installed a Jewell trigger and Nightforce scope. Out of the box I was getting sub-MOA groups out to 600 yards. My break in procedure was to shoot 10 and clean. I'm down to 1/2 minute groups but that came from load development not break in or cleaning. I clean it at the range after 20-50 rounds

The other end of the spectrum is my 700 VTR in .308. I bought this rifle for deer hunting. But... being a long range and accuracy freak I couldn't leave it alone. It's got an HS Precision stock and Jewell trigger. I didn't put a Nightforce scope on it but it sure crossed my mind. The rifle took forever to settle down. Prior to "rediscovering" the barrel break in procedure I shot over 400 rounds through the rifle before finally cleaning it real well and using the Tubb Final Finish on the barrel. After the using the TFF bullets and doing some more load development the first 2 rounds are about 3/4 MOA out to 300 yards. As the "triangle" warms up it starts to move so anything after that is high and to the right. Not much I can do about that but re-barrel it and use the triangle for a fireplace poker. I clean this one after 20 or so rounds or if it's going to be stored.

In between the Sendero and VTR I have two 700 Tactical rifles. (1) .223 and (1) .308 I used the Tubb system on both of them and both shoot sub moa after load development. I clean them every 20-50 rounds.

Cleaning

I always use a Dewey rod and bore guide, I use one patch with Bore Tech Eliminator, followed by 2 dry patches. Seems to work pretty well.
 

pawprint

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Jeff, thank you for the very good write up, can you address any differences, in the break in period, between SS and Moly? Several years ago, maybe 10 it's been a while, an article was written regarding moly and its effect on barrel steel, times between cleaning, the average humidity of the area etc. and the production of acid as a result of the moly combustion. It did not address differences in the break in. If you or Mike Rock have noticed any difference worth noting, please post it. Also, as long as I'm asking, could you post any photos of the sectioned throats-erosion and your impressions of such.
 

bkster

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Feb 10, 2009
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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

barrel break in is an interesting diversion from shooting
cleaning a barrel is an interesting diversion from shooting
shforum is an interesting diversion from shooting

ive never seen 2 barrels exactly alike
i dont know why so many people think the can ce shot,cleaned or "broken in " the same way

shoot the fucking rifle, it will tell you what and when and how

barrels are like tires. no matter how you clean, how often, etc.
they are going to wear out, shoot good and then shoot not so good
 

Jeff in TX

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: paw print</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Jeff, thank you for the very good write up, can you address any differences, in the break in period, between SS and Moly? Several years ago, maybe 10 it's been a while, an article was written regarding moly and its effect on barrel steel, times between cleaning, the average humidity of the area etc. and the production of acid as a result of the moly combustion. It did not address differences in the break in. If you or Mike Rock have noticed any difference worth noting, please post it. Also, as long as I'm asking, could you post any photos of the sectioned throats-erosion and your impressions of such. </div></div>

Paw Print,

Like most of the digital age, the pics I took of the throat section of my Shilen barrel I down loaded to my PC, but like a lot of folks I failed to back my PC up regularly and when my hard drive crash, I lost everything including all of my pics.

I don't have a lot of the technical answers you're asking for. When I visited Speedy’s shop I looked through so many barrels using his video bore scope I lost count. Speedy’s claim to fame is bench rest shooting and he builds and rebarrels some of the bench rest rifles made. The bulk of the barrels I looked through were barrels from bench rest rifles. Most showed the black moly ring of death as moly coated bullets were big with the bench rest shooting community, as is breaking in barrels and cleaning their rifles regularly. As well as the black moly ring of death the bulk of the barrels also showed lots of damage from cleaning rod marks.

Speedy explained to me how the black moly ring of death occurs. When you fire a moly coated bullet. Moly is embedded into the barrel which on the surface doesn’t look bad. However the moly that comes off in throat area is bonded to the throat due to high pressure and heat from the round going off. This is a permanent bond. It is basically fused to the bore due to excessive heat and pressure. With this fusion there is also carbon and copper fouling caught within the micro layer of moly.

Each shot you take bonds/fuses a new layer of moly/carbon/copper into the throat. Looking through a bore scope you’ll begin to see a black ring forming. Depending on your chamber and bore diameter these layers of moly start build up. As these layers build in the throat and barrel it begins to create bore pressure and throat issues.

If you read my post on breaking in a barrel, my brand new Shilen stainless steel match barrel was trashed in under 400 rounds. As I stated in my write up, I was having so many barrel issues I took it to Doug Shilen at Shilen barrels. He hand lapped the barrel a couple of times and problems never went away. Being a stand up company Shilen agreed to replace the barrel. When Doug took off my barrel he cut the throat section out. The black moly ring so black but also showed signs of embedded copper traces that didn’t react to Sweets bore cleaner. The copper was embedded under layers of moly. With the edge of a flat head screw driver and a lot of pressure Doug could barely scratch a scrape mark in the Moly ring. He said he’s seen this many times before.

By no means am I an expert just someone who did a lot of research in search of the truth or at lease something that made technical sense that was backed up by real data.

Hope it helps,
 

nfoley

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Nov 15, 2010
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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Well just spent a lot of time reading all this and am still just as confused as before reading regarding barrel break in. I had never done a 'break in' until I recently bought a remington 700 WSM last year. I have had 2 rem 788s, 5 700s, a ruger and a browning A-bolt. Some bought new and some used. With the exception of the ruger 77 every one of those rifles could be made to shoot under MOA with a little load development, good scope and trigger. Now this remington 700 in 300 WSM has been a dog from day one (after performing a 'break in'). I am lucky to get 1 3/4" groups out of it. And I clean as carefully as I can with bore guide, coated rod, and slow/continuos pressure on the rod. Very likely it was just a bad barrel to begin with, but it is getting a make-over from GAP with new barrel and the works. Being that I trust GAP's reputation I will do whatever they tell me to the new barrel. But I am not sold on barrel 'break in' and I have not seen good data to support it. I feel if I do exactly what GAP tells me and the barrel doesn't shoot they will take care of me (but I am betting it will shoot better than any of my other rifles!)
What I would really like to see concerning convincing data on this subject would be taking 10 barrels from same quality barrel maker in same caliber. Place 5 through a 'break in' procedure and leave 5 alone. Then compare groups at 500-1000 yards between the 10 barrels (keeping all variables otherwise similar). Forgive my ignorance but I really wouldn't care what the barrels looked like - I just want to know how performance is affected.
 

rockmyglock

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Re: Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Thanks for the writeup! I'm looking into buying my first precision rifle platform and this helps put things in perspective. Half the battle is picking the right gear, the other half is what to do after getting it!