Perfect practice

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Badshot320, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Badshot320

    Badshot320 New Member

    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!:p
  2. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    Kind of odd comment you add at the end there buddy.

    Food for thought.

    I didn't break in my Remington 700 VLS in 223. Yet it shoots in the .4" at 100 yards.

    I didn't break in my RRA predator Pursuit Rifle yet it will shoot 3 shot groups into .2" with the first hand load and a varmint bullet.

    Also shooting free recoil doesn't work for every rifle. Nor does shooting free recoil work with every shooter. Free recoil shooting works best on rifles with wide flat forends and butts that are parallel to the forends so that they track nice and straight. Free recoil is not going to work on a hunting rifle with a skinny round forend. Also free recoil shooting is best done with lighter calibers that do not recoil much.

    Also some barrels might not copper foul as much but no matter what you do a barrel will always have copper in it after you shoot it. You are forcing a copper coated bullet down a steel tube what do you think is going to happen? Let me guess steel is going to wear off on to the bullet right?

    Proven how? Were there papers done on the subject? I see no proof. You can either waste time at the range shooting then cleaning then shooting then cleaning. I choose to not waste ammo like that. I shoot it and when done I might clean it.

    My remmy 223 gets cleaned up to 3 times a year.

    once before ground hog season.

    Once during if I feel like it.

    and once after the season is over and I am putting it away for the winter.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

  3. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

    The topic of "breaking in a barrel" is something that I have seen so many people get all worked up over. I don't really think there is any right or wrong way to do it. Personally, I don't worry about all that much and my rifles shoot sub moa all day long. I am pretty confident that my AR will shoot sub MOA after 300 rounds through it over the course of an entire weekend squirrel shooting, and I don't clean it till I get home.
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    sounds like your into that crazyiness of benchrest shooting. what your outlining is the overall proccess and shooting style of benchrest shooters and honestly their procedures are a bunch of hokum. after the first shot your bore is dirty so clean after every shot is a bit on the ridiculous side of things.

    if its your bag knock yourself out.

    ammunition consistancy is FAR FAR FAR more important than how clean your rifle is and whether or not your touching it. even making ammunition can be taken to a far extreme where returns of accuracy just are not worth the effort.

    if you like shooting a machine rest where you push a button from 60 yards away so your body heat doesnt warp the barrel and your breath doesnt nudge the bullet thats up to you. most people like the personal up close feel of KNOWING your the one that sent the rifle bullet down range not a clicker from a machine. but again if its your thing go for it. no one is gonna fault you for it but telling people its the "ONLY PROPER" way is a bit silly pants.
  5. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

    I still think his ending comment was inapropriate and a self centered slap in the face of every member here. JMHO........

  6. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    Jim I am with you on this one. I wasn't going to comment on it till them.
  7. Logan2302

    Logan2302 New Member


    I fell into this type of "barrel lapping" benchrest shooting back in the 70's. Shoot 1 round, clean;shoot one round, clean; then clean after every 5 shots for another 20 or so. Boy, what a pain. Took a lot of the fun out of it.

    After awhile I relaxed the process quite bit and I could still cover 5 shot groups with a dime (the gold standard back then for 22 cal), that was somewhere near .485" at 100 yards.

    My last rifle I bought, a sporter weight rem 700, I cleaned the barrel 2 times during the 1st 20 shells. Now about 200 rounds later, it'll shoot .7" groups no problem. I just wonder what it could really do by a better marksman.
  8. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

    Tried shooting my AR once free recoil and the results were terrible. For one reason or another, that gun likes to be bucked in really tight. Is it because of the roung hand guard and narrow butt stock?

    I get the best results by using the palm shelf, bucking the rifle in tight to my shoulder, making sure my check weld and eye relief are perfect, and the last two things that I concentrate on are my breathing and trigger pull. There are alot of other little things that are on my check list each shot, but I won't delve into the details too much.

    My point being is that there is no one right way to fire and "break in" each and every gun, and stating that there is only one way to do it is completely asinine.
  9. Badshot320

    Badshot320 New Member

    My last comment on the post was just for fun. If you took it serious then well you know..... Yes us benchrest shooters are crazy.
  10. M14sRock

    M14sRock Active Member

    I did notice the emoticon, so figured you were kidding.

    I used to break in barrels religiously, and more anally than you posted. But after speaking with the folks at Krieger, I gave it up. When they told me that barrel wear is due more to cleaning than shooting, I stopped.

    Also, it is not "JB Weld". Using JB Weld to season a bore could lead to bad things. However I do use JB Compound and Kroil to clean seriously dirty and fouled barrels. Kroil every time.
  11. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    I inspect them, lube them, zero irons at 50 with the first 20 rounds, inspect them again, maybe run a patch through, and then go back to 100 yards, zero optics, if any, and go nuts after that.

    Benchers are a whole 'nother animal and our goals are night and day different. With me it's making holes in the right place as fast as I can while moving, changing position or scenario. With them it's all loading densities, lock times, grand aggregates, flybusters and bugholes...with me it's trying to hit a silhouette in the face with two 223s at 25-30 yards while dynamic.
  12. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

    For me it's wishing i could still focus on the front sight with my bifocal vision, deciding which contact lens works best with a scope, putting another stick-on target on the end of a 3x4 piece of pine and seeing how deep different bullets penetrate, shooting the .223 into the same little dent the .22 made in a cinder block and measuring the hole, then repeating the process with a .308....shooting an occasional target to make sure the .4" group is still in the center of the target, not somewhere meat gets harvested.

    Barrel break-in? wear? I doubt it, from looking at the barrel and measuring the groups of my 70's vintage guns.

    Benchrest competitor? Nope...but i DO get it (honestly, i do...totally). To each his /her own.

    For me, minute of squirrel eyeball, woodchuck chest, coyote (nearly anywhere), Deer vitals (a huge 6 inch diameter circle for my self-imposed vital zone), etc, etc, etc....requires nothing but a good rifle (hard to buy a bad one these days) some ammo (hard to find ammo that won't do the above items these days) and plenty of time.

    My rifles get cleaned eventually around once a week. Accuracy (lol...i realize my conditions/standards may not appeal to some...but note the "occasional target") is unaffected.

    The internet brings world-wide flavor to stuff like this. Anybody can post anything. I'm just glad i grew up in the 60's and 70's before all this stuff mattered so much.
  13. dteed4094

    dteed4094 Member

    I suck, My guns get cleaned sometime after shooting and before the next time I shoot them, mostly depending on the weather conditions while out of the safe. Usually within a day or so. I tried the shoot 1 and clean, shoot 2 and clean, shoot 3 and so on to 20 on a new Savage 308 that wouldn't group better than 1 1/2 moa. and fouled like crazy. Had enough of that and shot 2 boxes of milsurp fmj to get the barrel pretty hot, took it home and cleaned the badly fouled bore. The next trip to the range it shot less than 1 moa and hardly fouled at all.