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elfmdl 08-22-2012 01:12 AM

Barrel break in
Does barrel break in really do anything?

tacticalfun 08-22-2012 01:13 AM

Allows it to return to its " home" or zero position after heating up. Reduces walk

Txhillbilly 08-22-2012 03:44 AM

Barrel break in procedure's have always been argued about.Some guy's do it,some don't.
I have always done a break in on new rifle's or barrel's.It help's in taking out the microscopic burrs in the bore left from the rifling tools,and makes it easier to clean the bore,and helps prevent copper fouling.

Intheshop 08-22-2012 09:10 AM

I do it because it lets me see how easy/hard the brrl is going to be to clean.Some brrls(these are factory sporters,no high $$ customs)are foulers and some are just dreamboats.The sooner I know how its going to behave the better.And to a slightly lessor degree,am studying the stock's characterstics as well.Shopnut

hardluk1 08-22-2012 05:34 PM

After coppering up a couple barrel when young I started to follow kreigers breakin directions and some info on how to clean out the old barrel I copper so badly. I found it payed off to take time to breakin a barrel with a new rifle. Atleast for me. Many guys just shoot the heck out of them and are happy with the results. Now .22's ,clean them well first then shoot the heck out of them with little cleaning of the barrel.

TLuker 08-22-2012 10:17 PM

Ditto what everyone else said. :)

billt 08-23-2012 11:32 AM

Gale McMillan, one of the best barrel makers of all time, summed up "Barrel break In's" quite well in this article. For what it's worth, I agree with every word of it for the same reason he did. In over 40 years of shooting, I have yet to see or hear anyone prove otherwise.

hardluk1 08-23-2012 06:02 PM

billt there is a major difference between higher end quality barrels and the barrels used by most all production firearm companies , even back 25 to 30 years ago when gail was assembling. Also mcmillian does not make barrels, they buy from top end barrel companies. The same ones that do have directions for break-in. A quality barrel today can be "broke-in" with as few as 10 rounds to 20 rounds. And that can amount to 1/2 to 1% of rounds fired during its compition life depending on cartidge of course. Do what the barrel tells you to do as far as cleaning goes. Cleaning during that time can also be very minimal also you do have to use the right products and then use it correctly. This is the info I have use for decades on krieger barrels or on production rifles. -

Note too that mcmillians point of view is concederd a dissenting view and many years old and he has been out of the game for 25 years. It is back in this families hands but still not there own barrels. The whole match game shooting field has learned thru time to do a better job along with better barrels and bullets. I will read what a high end barrel manfactor wants to do for breakin and try to follow there info. The aftermarket quality barrels are what mcmillian did and still uses after all.

billt 08-23-2012 07:36 PM

I have yet to see anything breaking in a barrel accomplishes. Other than accelerated wear. Every time I'm at the range, and there is some guy scrubbing more than he's shooting, his groups are no smaller than mine.

TLuker 08-23-2012 10:59 PM


Originally Posted by billt (Post 913516)
I have yet to see anything breaking in a barrel accomplishes. Other than accelerated wear. Every time I'm at the range, and there is some guy scrubbing more than he's shooting, his groups are no smaller than mine.

Copper fouling, after a certain point, makes your groups open up. A rough surface finish on your barrel causes a barrel to foul quicker and it makes cleaning more difficult. Some guns like a little fouling and that's why I added "after a certain point". Breaking in the barrel smooths out the rough surface finish of the barrel and that makes your gun shoot well for more shots in between cleaning.

Gale McMillan is using high end barrels and all high end barrels are hand lapped. The sole purpose of hand lapping is to smooth out the surface of the barrel for the reasons listed. Factory barrels on production rifles are not hand lapped and that's the reason for the break in.

It's all a matter of personal preference as to whether you should break in a barrel or not. As long as you keep your barrel clean (free of copper) and shoot regularly you will eventually smooth out the surfaces any way. Breaking in the barrel just speeds up the process. Personally I like to go ahead and do the break in to get the barrel smooth. Then I can concentrate on dialing in the gun, but again it's all personal preference. :)

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