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Old 08-24-2012, 01:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLuker View Post
Copper fouling, after a certain point, makes your groups open up.
On my first trip to the range a few years back with a new Ruger Stainless Model 77, I fired 100 rounds in 5 shot groups. The gun never saw a cleaning rod before, or during that range session. Of all the 5 shot groups I fired that day, (20), the last 5 shot group was the smallest. I never cleaned or "broke in" the barrel. What do you think is taking place during a "break in" shot, that is not taking place when you simply shoot the weapon at the target?
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:50 AM   #12
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I have yet to see anything breaking in a barrel accomplishes. Other than accelerated wear.
Calling the lapping action "wear" isn't clever.

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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.
Typical Straw-man argument. No one has made the [will shoot smaller groups] argument.

The Gale McMillan article is one of the most ill-conceived conspiracy theories of all time.

Quote:
Consider this: every round shot in breaking-in a barrel is one round off the life of said rifle barrel.
That means the other evil barrel makers would suggest shooting in the air or maybe the dirt?

How should I break-in my new Shilen barrel?
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During this time, don't just shoot bullets down the barrel during this 50 shot procedure. This is a great time to begin load development. Zero the scope over the first 5 shots, and start shooting for accuracy with 5-shot groups for the next 50 shots.
Or maybe they all would suggest a specific number of shots?

Krieger BREAK-IN & CLEANING:
Quote:
Finally, the best way to tell if the barrel is broken in is to observe the patches; i.e. when the fouling is reduced. This is better than some set number of cycles of "shoot and clean" as many owners report practically no fouling after the first few shots, and more break-in would be pointless. Conversely, if more is required, a set number would not address that either. Besides, cleaning is not a completely benign procedure so it should be done carefully and no more than necessary.
They don't sound all that evil, do they?
Shilen
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By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal. All our stainless steel barrels have been hand lapped as part of their production, as well as any chrome moly barrel we install. Hand lapping a barrel polishes the interior of the barrel and eliminates sharp edges or burrs that could cause jacket deformity. This, in fact, is what you are doing when you break-in a new barrel through firing and cleaning.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by billt View Post
On my first trip to the range a few years back with a new Ruger Stainless Model 77, I fired 100 rounds in 5 shot groups. The gun never saw a cleaning rod before, or during that range session. Of all the 5 shot groups I fired that day, (20), the last 5 shot group was the smallest. I never cleaned or "broke in" the barrel. What do you think is taking place during a "break in" shot, that is not taking place when you simply shoot the weapon at the target?
Many people that advocate barrel break-in also advocate shooting with a very fouled bore. Some shoot 500 or more without cleaning.


Right there is 8000 rounds before copper cleaning.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by billt View Post
On my first trip to the range a few years back with a new Ruger Stainless Model 77, I fired 100 rounds in 5 shot groups. The gun never saw a cleaning rod before, or during that range session. Of all the 5 shot groups I fired that day, (20), the last 5 shot group was the smallest. I never cleaned or "broke in" the barrel. What do you think is taking place during a "break in" shot, that is not taking place when you simply shoot the weapon at the target?
During a break in you clean after every round or every so many rounds. That cleaning removes the copper fouling from the barrel. When you fire your next shot after cleaning the bullet makes direct contact with the steel in the barrel rather than the copper fouling that has built up on the steel. That smooths out the barrel and more important it also takes the high spots off the lands so that future bullets will contact all of the lands at the same time rather than catching a high land and copper that has built up unevenly on the lands. By high I don't mean that one is closer to the center of the barrel. I mean one is closer to bolt or further away (slightly closer or further).

If you clean every so often and remove the copper you will get that same bullet to metal contact and eventually smooth out the bore anyway, but it will take much longer.

I first read about breaking in a barrel 20 something years ago in a article where Kenny Jared was interviewed and in the interview he explained the whole thing. He also explain the use of JB bore cleaner for breaking in a barrel or cleaning a fouled barrel. I went and bought some at a local gun shop. I used it as described in the article on an extremely well used 1944 Lee Enfield .303 to remove the fouling. My groups went from just over 3" at 100 yards to 1" and all I did was remove the copper fouling. I've been a believer every since and I've used it to break in all of my new rifles every since.

I also have no idea why some guns shoot like they do and I have no idea why your M77 shot better after that much fouling? I do know that most guns take several shots to get just a little fouling in the barrel before they really start shooting but most also start to open up after that many rounds. I would've loved to have tinkered with that M77 just to see what was going on there. Maybe another bullet would have shot better with just little fouling and that particular load liked a lot of fouling? Or maybe it just shoots better with a lot of fouling period? I honestly don't know.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:36 AM   #15
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running a brush like a scrubie back and forth in the barrel is not a good practice.

i typically dont clean my barrels agressively. i just use some hoppes on a patch run it through the bore one way. then dry patch and hoppes then dry and hoppes. after that its clp and dry for a few cycles. if its getting stored a soaked clp patch and put it away.

i have yet to clean my rra A2 national match. its still turning in half moa groups and better with iron sights. all its had was a wet clp patch now and then for storage. i run dry through the bores before shooting.

my bcm carbine has about 1k downrange and ive yet to do more than a wipe down of the bcg and recievers. its a solid moa gun.

im building a krieger barrelled precision ar15 and ill follow krieger's breakin even though i dont think it really matters. but i also dont think it will hurt anything. im sure they know more about their gear than i do and since im tossing down the price of an entire S&W MP15 base gun on just the barrel it cant hurt to follow their advice...

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Old 08-24-2012, 10:39 AM   #16
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I will say,probably the single biggest factor on really good,used gun prices is extremely fouled bores.Back when moly coated bullets were all the rage.....snagged a cpl with "shot-out" brrls.And theres been at least a 1/2 dz that were also,shot-out using regular bullets....that once given a proper cleaning,have served us very well in the accuracy dept.

We also have a cpl rifles whos bores are so dang rough that they simply won't shoot...with a clean brrl.This is where handloading comes in.We can load a cpl scorcher's and send'm down the bore.It'll coat or foul these guns pretty quick.Then they'll hold decent acc for 50-100 rounds.Got some others that after 10 shots you can see groups start to open up?

I learned an awful lot about fouling,shooting lead.How it gets in there...what the effect is....and ways to prevent it.One thing also became drastically apparrent,each brrl has its likes/dislikes.

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by elfmdl View Post
Does barrel break in really do anything?
As you have seen it depends on who you ask.

Let's go back and break down what custom barrel makers say:
www.shilen.com
Quote:
How should I break-in my new Shilen barrel?
Break-in procedures are as diverse as cleaning techniques. Shilen, Inc. introduced a break-in procedure mostly because customers seemed to think that we should have one. By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal. All our stainless steel barrels have been hand lapped as part of their production, as well as any chrome moly barrel we install. Hand lapping a barrel polishes the interior of the barrel and eliminates sharp edges or burrs that could cause jacket deformity. This, in fact, is what you are doing when you break-in a new barrel through firing and cleaning.
Here is our standard recommendation: Clean after each shot for the first 5 shots. The remainder of the break-in is to clean every 5 shots for the next 50 shots. During this time, don't just shoot bullets down the barrel during this 50 shot procedure. This is a great time to begin load development. Zero the scope over the first 5 shots, and start shooting for accuracy with 5-shot groups for the next 50 shots. Same thing applies to fire forming cases for improved or wildcat cartridges. Just firing rounds down a barrel to form brass without any regard to their accuracy is a mistake. It is a waste of time and barrel life.
I find it interesting that they provide a procedure not because they think it is needed but because the customers do. But to your question they believe it polishes the interior of the barrel and eliminates sharp edges or burrs that could cause jacket deformity. Nothing about accuracy, barrel life or fouling but certainly you could infer that a smooth barrel would foul less.

www.kriegerbarrels.com
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With any premium barrel that has been finish lapped -- such as your Krieger Barrel --, the lay or direction of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, so fouling is minimal compared to a barrel with internal tooling marks. This is true of any properly finish-lapped barrel regardless of how it is rifled. If it is not finish-lapped, there will be reamer marks left in the bore that are directly across the direction of the bullet travel. This occurs even in a button-rifled barrel as the button cannot completely iron out these reamer marks.

Because the lay of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, very little is done to the bore during break-in, but the throat is another story. When your barrel is chambered, by necessity there are reamer marks left in the throat that are across the lands, i.e. across the direction of the bullet travel. In a new barrel they are very distinct; much like the teeth on a very fine file. When the bullet is forced into the throat, copper dust is removed from the jacket material and released into the gas which at this temperature and pressure is actually a plasma. The copper dust is vaporized in this plasma and is carried down the barrel. As the gas expands and cools, the copper comes out of suspension and is deposited in the bore. This makes it appear as if the source of the fouling is the bore when it is actually for the most part the new throat. If this copper is allowed to stay in the bore, and subsequent bullets and deposits are fired over it, copper which adheres well to itself, will build up quickly and may be difficult to remove later. So when we break in a barrel, our goal is to get the throat “polished” without allowing copper to build up in the bore. This is the reasoning for the "fire-one-shot-and-clean" procedure... (edited for space please refer to link for complete text)
They have a different view. They are concerned with polishing the throat not the bore. Note that they say cleaning between rounds makes it easier to remove the copper fouling in the barrel not that it improves the contact between bullet and barrel for quicker/better break-in (it could be considered a reasonable hypothesis but I have not seen the scientific proof). Again nothing about accuracy or barrel life.

Let's see what a couple of gun makers say:
www.legacysports.com Howa

howa.jpg

Interestingly enough Howa is concerned with sealing the surface and does not want any abrasion. They suggest removing copper fouling but no reason why. Their procedure is based on increasing consistency and accuracy of the rifle. They note that copper should be reduced as you use the process and state that theoretically the process seals the pores that are exposed by lapping.

www.savagearms.com
Quote:
What is the barrel break-in procedure?
Although there may be different schools of thought on barrel break-in, this is what Precision Shooting Magazine recommends:
STEP 1 (repeated 10 times)
•Fire one round
•Push wet patches soaked with a powder solvent through the bore
•Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction)
•Push dry patches through the bore (2 times)
•Push wet patches soaked with a copper solvent through the bore
•Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction)
•Push dry patches through the bore (2 times)
•Push a patch with 2 drops of oil through the bore

STEP 2 (repeated 5 times)
•Fire a 3 shot group
•Repeat the cleaning procedure from STEP 1 after each group

STEP 3 (repeat 5 times)
•Fire a 5 shot group
•Repeat the cleaning procedure from STEP 1

They recommend the use of a patch with 2 drops of oil after the cleaning so that you are not shooting with a dry bore. It is also advisable to use a powder solvent and copper solvent from the same manufacturer to be sure they are chemically compatible.
This is the typical break-in procedure but I think it is interesting that Savage does not state that they require a break-in or what advantages it might provide but rather it is what is recommended by a magazine. There is no "we" say but rather "they" say.


So you can take all of that and decide for yourself what may or may not happen during break-in.
Most of the data is subjective because you can never take the same barrel and try both break-in and non break-in to see which works best ... any results are specific to one barrel, one process. Many instances and examples from both schools of thought show excellent results with no way to knowing what might have happened having followed a different process.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:02 PM   #18
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This is Remington's break in procedure for the M24 sniper rifle. It's the most extensive procedure I've seen. It takes a while just to read it.

M24 Cleaning and Maintenance Procedures

The M24 Sniper Weapons System (SWS) is a precision military grade weapons system
capable of extreme accuracy if correctly maintained and cared for. Many times M24’s
are damaged due to incorrect cleaning techniques.
The M24 should be cleaned and maintained as any custom style precision weapon
system in that the carbon and copper left in the weapon during firing must be removed
to retain accuracy though the life of the system.
The following procedures are recommended by Remington Arms Company to
guarantee that the M24 SWS delivers the required performance in the field. In the
following procedures you will find barrel break in, routine maintenance, cleaning
materials list and information of painting the weapon system. All of these issues pertain
only to the M24 SWS but can be applied to any “sniper” or precision rifle.
BARREL BREAK IN
The M24 comes from Remington ready to shoot, however it is recommended that the
gun be broken in to enhance the life and accuracy of the weapon. Should you need to
immediately employ or use the weapon you may disregard the break in procedure;
however weapon life may suffer depending on how it is used. In order to break the
weapon in follow the following steps;
1. Clear the weapon.
2. Remove the bolt.
3. Insert the bore guide.
4. Dry patch the barrel to remove any obstacles.
5. Remove the bore guide
6. Reinsert the bolt
7. Load one round
8. Fire one round
9. Clean the weapon (see ROUTINE MAINTENANCE)
10. Repeat this (firing 1 round and cleaning) until you have fired 10 rounds
11. Load and fire 3 rounds
12. Clean the weapon (see ROUTINE MAINTENANCE)
13. Repeat this another 9 times (10 iterations total) (firing 3 rounds and cleaning) for a
total of 40 rounds being fired through the rifle (1 round x 10 and 3 rounds x 10)
14. Load and fire 5 rounds 15. Clean the weapon (see ROUTINE MAINTENANCE)
16. Repeat this another 9 times (10 iterations total) (firing 5 rounds and cleaning) for a
total of 90 rounds being fired through the rifle (1 round x 10, 3 rounds x 10 and 5
rounds x 10)
17. Load and fire 10 rounds
18. Clean the weapon (see ROUTINE MAINTENANCE)
19. This should be 100 rounds total fired through the rifle, the M24 is now broken in.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE
1. Clear the weapon.
2. Remove the bolt.
3. Insert the bore guide.
4. Dry patch the barrel to remove any obstacles.
5. Using a copper or bronze brush and carbon solvent scrub the bore 3-5 times
ensuring that the brush remains wet (it may be necessary to add a small amount of
solvent to the brush in the middle of this process).
6. Remove the brush, install the jag onto the rod, wrap a patch around the jag and run
patches through the bore until the patches are coming out reasonably clean.
7. Soak a patch in copper solvent and scrub the bore 3 – 4 times ensuring that
sufficient copper solvent is left in the bore. Leave the bore wet for no longer than 5 -
10 minutes before removing the copper solvent.
8. Remove and wipe down the rod.
9. Clean the bolt by wiping down the exterior of the bolt with carbon solvent, clean the
bolt face by using a patch wet with copper solvent (it there are brass deposits)
ensuring to dry the bolt face. Approximately every 300 – 500 rounds disassemble
the bolt and clean off old lubrication and reapply a light lubrication to the firing pin
spring and pin reassemble the bolt.
10. Dry patch the bore until the patches come out reasonably clean.
11. If putting the rifle away for an unknown amount of time, leave a light amount of a
non-PTFE (Teflon) based lubricant or solvent (carbon solvent) in the bore to inhibit
rust and corrosion. If using the weapon within a day, leave the weapon bore dry
12. ALWAYS DRY PATCH THE BORE BEFORE FIRING!!
13. The exterior of the optics should be wiped off with a dry rag. They can be wiped with
a semi-dry lubricant if needed. The lenses should always be covered more so when
cleaning the weapon (if mounted) to keep solvents from spraying onto them. The
lenses can be wiped off with lens paper in a circular motion starting in the middle
working out. If working in a humid or wet environment tissue can be placed into the
lens caps to absorb moisture
14. The trigger assembly should never be lubricated more than just a drop if in an
environment where corrosion or rust is a problem (lubricant only attracts dust and
dirt)
15. The magazine follower should be wiped off with a rag and light lubricated if rust and
corrosion is a problem
16. The magazine spring should be wiped off with a rag and light lubricated if rust and
corrosion is a problem 17. If the weapon has seen extensive field work or subjected to airborne dirt and sand
the barreled action should be removed from the stock and cleaned out; particular
attention should be paid to the recoil lug area for debris
USE OF BORE PASTES
In general bore paste will not harm the barrel of the M24. Bore pastes should be used
carefully and moderately. Bore paste is not a solution to poor cleaning techniques; they
are an aid to barrel maintenance and accuracy retention. Bore paste should be used
when needed and not for every cleaning; usually bore paste can be used approximately
every 3
rd
or 4
th
cleaning. Bore paste must be used after the weapon has been cleaned
as outlined above. To use bore paste follow the steps outlined below.
1. Ensure the weapon is clear
2. Insert the bore guide
3. Apply a liberal amount of bore paste (enough to penetrate the patch)
4. Attach the patch to the jag
5. Insert the rod/jag into the bore guide
6. Without pushing the rod out the end of the rifle, stroke the bore 5 – 10 times
7. On the last pass push the rod/jag out of the rifle. The patch will be very black, this is
normal.
8. Remove the patch from the jag and pull the rod/jag out of the rifle
9. Wipe the rod off with a rag
10. Spray a patch with WD40 or carbon solvent
11. Attach the patch to the jag
12. Insert the rod/jag into the bore guide
13. Push the rod through the rifle, the patch will be dirty
14. Repeat this with clean patches until the come out relatively clean

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Old 08-24-2012, 08:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCH2FLY View Post
Most of the data is subjective because you can never take the same barrel and try both break-in and non break-in to see which works best ...
Of course you can. One way is not to break-in the barrel for close to 30 years, then preform a break-in procedure. I'm surprised you've forgotten.

This is my Win94's barrel which I bought new, after about 3 decades of use. It developed a carbon ring, (I suspect from not using a bronze brush,) and that picure was taken right after I got it spotless.

Note that it is not mirror-like.

Here is the barrel after the barrel break-in.

The barrel is totally mirror-like.
Before the break-in the rifle would copper foul; after the barrel break-in it doesn't copper foul at all.

It is never too late to preform a barrel break-in.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:22 PM   #20
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Hard to beleive the old m-24 takes that many rounds to break in unless they were closer to old production quality , just heavier. The new ones atleast in SS R5 barrels should be ready to shot to there best quickly. But they will know the quality of the finish and it may be simpler to just shoot and clean.

Just remember GALE MCMILLIAN bought barrels from others short chambered . HE did not make barrels. And he has been out of the game for decades. AND his view of cleaning is not looked at favorably. His sons also don't make barrels, they buy also from top barrel companies. Only finish chamber work and cut off and chrowning needed. Its a different world today also than in gales day too. Better high end barrels today and way smaller groups than gale ever could have thought of.

billt How tight does your ruger shoot and at what distance and how many rounds fired in a group. Just because some guy is scubbing away does not mean ether of your all's rifle shot well Dummy's buy expensive barrels to and don't follow directions. Do you match shoot or just randamly bang away at stuff. I can have a nice day shooting and clean mine with a nylon brush one wet patch , 10 minutes setting an a couple to dry patchs when done. Thats what quality breakin can do. NO scubbing away after the very first time to the range with a new barrel. Heck no scubbing even then. To some accuracy is sub 2" at 400 yards with factory ammo years after being built, half that with handloads .


Some guys are completely happy to burn through many hundreds or thousands of rounds and never new what it was like to own a fine shooter to begin with so cleaning or not does not really matter. The average ar or ak can probably shoot it till it melts and the shooter may not know the difference

It is nice to own a rifle that cleans easy and is more accurate than the run of the mill rifle. Then build one with a quailty barrel and find what its like to own a rifle that is truely accurate and easy to clean up. Not some factory ruger. I like rugers too that what my custom hunter is based off of.

How long a barrel is accurate also has a lot to do with the cartidge . There was a right up in 6mmbr that a guys 22-250 that had 4 or 6000 rounds fired in a custom rifle but could still out shoot many others . A barrel can have fairly serve throat erosion and still group well if the rest of the barrel is very good. Depends greatly on the cartidge . Take a 223 and shoot it 5 times as long as a 7mm mag also.

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