I havent seen a thread (not saying there hasnt been one) that really discussed breaking in a new rifle or improving a used rifle that involved all the steps that need to be taken to really work up a load, break a rifle from copper fouling, proper cleaning, and achieving the most accuracy.
Im sure everyone has different ways of going about skinning a cat but just because the hide is off doesnt mean its right.
First off with any rifle new or used copper is the bad guy. If it fouls it doesnt shoot as good as its capable of. And yes I know that almost everyone has had or seen a rifle with a copper lined barrel that shot like a freakshow but we all know this isnt normal. Everyone has their preference when it comes to a copper solvent but I prefer Shooters Choice. It works. Shoot 1 fouler round (fouler is 1 round thru a clean bore to achieve a average bore condition in order to compare points of impact or true groups of multiple rounds) then shoot 1 score round. Now I use a carbon cutter type of cleaning agent first. Like a foaming carburator clean just to cut the powder residue. Then with a carbon free bore you can apply your copper cutter. New barrels or a barrel that has never been "seasoned" properly has alot of rough areas that will accumilate copper. Most copper cutters will show a blue color on a cleaning patch after sitting for a minute or 2. That blue color is copper! After 3 or 4 patches of copper cutter and you start seeing blue you are on the right track to eliminating it. On new bores or especially an older gun that was never broken in sometimes this processing of getting rid of the copper can be quite labor intensive but trust me its well worth the effort. Now your bore is clean and copper free.
Shoot 1 fouler and 2 score rounds. Dont be tempted to shoot the rest of that 20 round box out! After all we are doing this to achieve the most accuracy we can get. Repeat the cleaning process.
Shoot 1 fouler and 2 score rounds again and do the cleaning process, now 1 of 2 things is going to happen. 1 you should little to no copper fouling now or 2 you still have fouling and this is where you need to draw the line. Copper is NOT your friend and we need to get rid of the little rough spots for it to build up. To some people this is going to sound crazy and if you light of heart then read no farther. What needs to be done now is "lapping" the barrel with a fine lapping compound like JB weld lapping compound. Finer the better. With your cleaning jag put a small ammount of the compound on a cleaning patch and work it down the bore 20 strokes, now clean the bore with a light lube like Rem oil and patch it out with dry patches till clean and relap it another 20 strokes. Now you should be able to feel tight and loose spots in the bore. Repeat this process until the bore is "smooth".
Shoot 1 fouler and 2 score rounds and do the cleaning process, hopefully now your not experiencing any copper fouling. If you are then repeat the lapping process. ( I know this is tiresome but after all this is to achieve more accuracy)
Once you have knipped the copper in the butt you can move on to working a load/trying different brands of ammo to find out what works best. 3 shot groups are usually more then enough to determine whether a load is going to work or not. Sorry I forgot to meantion, your gun is very clean now, cleaner then it was when it was new. Lets keep it this way. Once it no longer copper fouls I suggest shooting no more then Four 3 shoot grps inbetween full cleanings. Putting your rifle on a rest,bipod,sand bag, anything stable and consistant is what needs to be done to determine whether or not a load is better or worse.
Im not going to insult your intelligence or ability by telling you how to shoot by ill give my opinion on consistency. The less contact you have with the gun the less chance of human error. Dont kiss the stock, press your shoulder into the rifle. Take your hand off the forearm, shoot it free recoil unless its a large bore thats gonna cut you with the scope.
Trying handfuls of different ammo threw a dirty barrel isnt going to show you whats best. Now some people once finding a great load for their rifle shoot 1 round, clean, 1 round, clean etc to determine without a doubt that the first round is always going to count.
If you cant show enough self control to do the 1 fouler, 2 score, clean process then this will not work but I promise that by eliminating copper from your rifle you will see a very noticable improvement in accuracy. Hell you may see a HUGE improvement in a older weapon by "seasoning" that bore.
This is a proven method that I hope can help you.
If anyone has anything to add to this to make it better would be great.
If you disagree with me then YOU SUCK!