Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Mar 12, 2013
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Maryland
Jeff,

When you're burnishing with the 2 products, do you push and pull the rod through, or just push through the direction of bullet travel?

Sorry if this seems like a minor question, I've always been instructed to never go muzzle to breech.
 

MMP

Private
Feb 5, 2014
6
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Wisconsin
Good stuff! I work at Rock Creek barrels and it's spot on! Hand final lapping does the break in for you! I've lapped a handful of factory barrels and groups sometimes are cut in half. When you lap a barrel you are basically getting the "scratches" ,if you will ,parallel to the rifling. This limits fouling. I've literally bore scoped thousands of barrels factory and custom. Its amazing what you can learn if you know what your looking at!

After I chamber one of our barrels I like to shoot it 5 times and then take the bolt out and look down the barrel from the muzzle. That tells me a lot. I'm looking for fouling patterns.

One thing I have done and I haven't seen posted yet is after chambering I sometime polish the throat with some 1200 grit lapping compound . I'm just polishing where the lands are cut out from the chamber reamer. Like the original post said, "you want a smooth transition for the bullet as it engages the lands.

My two cents.. I just became a registered member today.
 
Sep 5, 2004
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McKinney, TX
MMP,

Welcome to the hide and a great response! It always amazed me how Mike could get things done in a timely fashion. Everytime I'd call him it would turn into a hour or so on the phone getting a brain dump. The man really knows his barrels and internal ballistics inside and out and sharing what he knows, not to mention he builds some of the best barrels in the industry.
 
Jan 31, 2014
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Well I was just trying to find info on break in and if it's worth it. I emailed Krieger on their explanation and an issue I have concern with today and am waiting on a response. I've put 200 rounds through my new SSG3000 with out a proper break in procedure and am worried I may have fouled my barrel. I guess I'll just give her a good cleaning with some good solvent and continue to keep knocking out clays and 1/2" groups. Thanks for the in depth post.
Russ
 
Guys--

I'm a total; neophyte (newbie) to this whole process of breaking in. Elsewhere, with reference to lapping/breaking in/seasoning factory barrels utilizing lapping compounds, the posters were adamant that the strokes with the compound were to be in the direction the bullet travels. Pull, don't push the rod, taking care not to damage the crown. In the quote below, reference is made to "a hundred passes

"...Next [Mike] uses a second product for Sentry Solutions product called BP-2000, which is a very fine moly powder. Applied to a patch wrapped around a bore brush, he makes a hundred passes through the barrel very rapidly before having to rest...."

My question is this: Do I take this to mean that his passes are bi-directional, or is the bore brush removed, the rod reinserted, and the brush reattached at the breach end before the next pass? This is probably obvious to most "old hand" on this board, but I'm coming at this with "beginner's mind."

Thanks in advance for your guidance.
 

Bender

Something witty here
Feb 12, 2014
2,800
2,549
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Cheyenne WY.
Objective research on Barrel Break-in procedures

Just spent two hours reading this.

First I admit I never "broke in" a barrel out of pure ignorance.

Second, I admit, I now will never "break in" a barrel out of pure laziness.

The "empirical" data some of you pocket protector wearing nerds demand was given by LowLight and ACTUAL barrel manufactures. Seems like some of you guys would rather shove a rod down the hole instead of shooting the damn thing. These guys do this for a living. To the rest of us, this is a hobby.

This is Snipers Hide forum after all........not clean crap and obsess over traditions forum.

See you on the line.
 
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Likes: beenjammin
Nov 15, 2009
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Charlottesville, Virginia
It's my opinion that more barrels are ruined by cleaning rods than anything else. I only clean a new barrel every 10 rounds or if I see A LOT of copper fouling at the muzzle; then i use a foaming copper remover and let the chemicals do the work while I take notes in log book, double check fasteners for loosening, or shoot another gun. After 10 minutes max, I give is a quick brush with JBs, a swab of Slip 2000, a dry patch, and get on with shooting. Maximum number of rod strokes: maybe 20.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 
Jan 31, 2014
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Krieger got back to me pretty quick and from their explanation I gathered that barrel break in can "reduce" copper fouling... So if your rifle shoots great, then doesn't, do what you would normally do and clean it with a copper solvent. No break in for me fellas...
 
May 10, 2014
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North Carolina
Whether barrel break in has beneficial results or not it helps me get familar with my new rifles. I don't believe it does harm if u are using quality products to clean with. It gives me an excuse to pump some rounds down the tube
I think the consensus here is that shooting the prescribed amount of rounds for barrel break in only deteriorated the barrel that much quicker. Secondly, many many shooters don't use the right cleaning products or methods, further deteriorating their barrels.

I was a sniper in the army and my first trip to the range with my M24 was going to be for barrel break in and to gather DOPE for the rifle. But as I was about to begin the shoot one clean one method with a metal cleaning rod, my STL corrected me prior to using that rod. And I was going to use it without a bore guide! It was a great lesson for me and one that practice every day.
 

vitalemj

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 4, 2011
107
4
18
38
Fort Pierce, FL
Good stuff! I work at Rock Creek barrels and it's spot on! Hand final lapping does the break in for you! I've lapped a handful of factory barrels and groups sometimes are cut in half. When you lap a barrel you are basically getting the "scratches" ,if you will ,parallel to the rifling. This limits fouling. I've literally bore scoped thousands of barrels factory and custom. Its amazing what you can learn if you know what your looking at!

After I chamber one of our barrels I like to shoot it 5 times and then take the bolt out and look down the barrel from the muzzle. That tells me a lot. I'm looking for fouling patterns.

One thing I have done and I haven't seen posted yet is after chambering I sometime polish the throat with some 1200 grit lapping compound . I'm just polishing where the lands are cut out from the chamber reamer. Like the original post said, "you want a smooth transition for the bullet as it engages the lands.

My two cents.. I just became a registered member today.
MMP I see you haven't been on for a while but hopefully thins forward to your email. When you Polish where the lands meet the reamer marks with 1200 git compound what are you using? A cotton bore swab or something else? As MMP is no longer monitoring if anyone else is familiar I am interested in the correct way to polish the throat as described. Thanks.
 

BroncoMustang

Sergeant of the Hide
May 5, 2018
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A guy who goes by TiborasaurusRex has a number of videos on YouTube. One that pertains to barrel break in is entitled "SNIPER 101 Part 43 - Barrel Break In Procedures Compared." As of this writing, it has been viewed 248,942 times. I hope that this helps.
 

gilbh

New Hide Member
Jun 11, 2018
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I agree with everything you say but what I think is you should clean the first few rounds down the barrel and then after that no more cleaning except when it really needs it. This is the reason why. number 1 when chambering a barrel the reamer cuts in one direction and it will push a burr over on one side of the land and most of the time the other side is burr free but it is possible for it to have a burr also. Now when the gun is fired the bullet can only do a couple things to this burr since it is connected to the land it will either roll over or break off or just a little piece may break off and the rest may just roll over. No one can know what actually happens unless you bore scoped between shots. So where did this piece go? or not go? and the next bullet down the barrel may grab it and drag it down the barrel scratching it. Sorry I have no proof of this but I would rather do preventative Maintenance just for the first few shots.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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Good information all around. I do have a question though. And please take this as a legitimate question, I'm not trying to get anybody wound up or defensive, but would just like to understand...if shooting the rifle and sending projectiles down the barrel smoothes out rough areas of the metal, or tooling marks, how does a gunsmith look through a borescope and see damage that has permanently been made by a cleaning rod? Doesn't shooting the next handfull of rounds smooth those marks out also? And aren't most cleaning rods made of "softer" metal than the bore? I know I have seen multiple times on these threads where people point to more marks being put in the bore by use of cleaning rods without bore guides than damage from not " breaking in" a barrel.
Thanks for info and a very nice write up by Jeff.
Chris
 

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2009
3,156
236
63
Pacific Northwest,USA
I have long thought that it would be the height of arrogance for me to think I could improve on the barrels from the really respected barrel makers like Kreiger, Obermeyer, Rock Creek, Schneider, Lilja others just by shooting some abrasive coated bullets through the barrel, or by running a few patches through them. Their knowledge of what a finished barrel is supposed to be like inside is why people pay premium prices for those barrels.
 

TXSGFmrCWO3

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 30, 2018
123
27
28
Fort Bend County, Texas
Reading the earlier statement about the process of treating the bore with the alcohol/moly mixture, waiting for the alcohol to dry, then polishing the bore with patches saturated with moly powder made me think...

Since hBN (hexagonal Boron Nitride) is much more slippy than moly, why not use that?

To be honest, I did toy with the procedure a bit a few years ago. Now that I see it actually may have merit, I think I'll try it on the new factory barreled Howa 6.5 Creedmoor action I just got.

Action plan; mix hBN with 90% isopropyl alcohol and saturate the bore with wet patches, let the alcohol evaporate. Instead of patches with hBN powder, I'm thinking of heavily dusting a bore mop to pass back and forth through the bore about 200 times. The nano sized super lubricant hBN should reduce friction considerably, especially since I shoot only hBN coated bullets.

I'm also considering heating up the barrel with a hair dryer before the exercise. When I learned about hBN coating, I ran across suggestions that heating the bullets help the hBN penetrate better.

One very important consideration with trying something like this: the bore guide MUST seal the bore from getting hBN into the chamber. Experts would probably agree that you don't want the chamber to be so slippery that cases will not seal against the chamber wall.
 

TXSGFmrCWO3

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 30, 2018
123
27
28
Fort Bend County, Texas
Well, that's done. I took my alcohol/hBN powder solution, shook it up, and applied it liberally to a succession of three patches through the bore of my new, unfired Howa 1500 barreled action, heavy #6, 24 inch in 6.5 Creedmoor.

After letting it dry thoroughly for a couple of hours, I then saturated a patch with hBN powder, tapped off the excess, and proceeded burnishing the nano particles into the bore by stroking the patch back and forth through the barrel, concentrating more on the throat with short strokes. After several patches and around 300 passes through the bore, I clean patched the bore three times and cleaned the chamber to ensure all loose powder is removed.

We will see what happens when I break in the barrel. I intend to push around 40 factory rounds through the new barrel, waiting for it to cool completely between firings with no further cleaning.
 
Sep 5, 2004
310
4
18
McKinney, TX
Not all cleaning rods are the same. The coated ones from Dewey and Tipton are safe on a bore. The stainless steel ones and the ones you screw together in sections along with the type of tips can do damage. I stay away from anything stainless steel (rods & tips) going down my bore. I use bore foam products to clean and cotton patches and on occasion nylon cleaning brushes now and for the past few years. They work great for me!

I think over the past few years folks have or are figuring out a lot of the nonsense and myths of break-in procedures and cleaning. Take care of your weapon properly and should last you a lifetime!
 
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