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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My next build is going to be a varmint upper so I was wondering what you guys do to break in your barrels?

I know there are slightly different ways to do it.

The barrel is going to be a 24" WOA SS match.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Whatever the manufacturer says.

I did this with my stainless barrel.

1 shot then clean (3 times)
3 shots then clean (1 or 2 times, I forget)
5 shots then clean (1 time)
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whatever the manufacturer says.

I did this with my stainless barrel.

1 shot then clean (3 times)
3 shots then clean (1 or 2 times, I forget)
5 shots then clean (1 time)
Thats pretty much what I do, but I let the barrel cool before shooting again
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You know, I have only broken in one barrel but I will never do it again. Show me what breakign it in does that just shooting the darn thing doesnt do. This is a hotly debated topic. I read an article somewhere that said a barrel manufacture came up with this long break-in prcocedure for his bench rest rifles. His theory was that if the barrel was good for (just for round numbers) 1000 rounds and his barrel breakin would use 100 rounds, he could sell more barrels because they were being worn out prematurely just through breakin.

Its up to you but I see no solid evidence that it will do anything that just shooting it wont do. Now I will admit that rifle barrels tend to settle into tighter groups after 50 rounds or so.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thats pretty much what I do, but I let the barrel cool before shooting again
Very good point. The soak time of the copper solvent is more than enough time to cool most barrels.

Its up to you but I see no solid evidence that it will do anything that just shooting it wont do. Now I will admit that rifle barrels tend to settle into tighter groups after 50 rounds or so.
If you have a burr in there from rifling without the break-in you'll just keep building up copper on it with every shot. If you shoot, clean, shoot, it'll knock the burr down instead of building material on it. Button rifled don't normally get a burr but better safe than sorry.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would have to agree with doing it like the manufacture says, if they say anything. Some don't give any specifics on how to do it. There is a bullet manufacture that makes bullets just for breaking in a barrel. Noy sure of the name right off the top of my head, but I have seen it in several books like Midway or Midsouth. :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do a search on The Firing Line for "Gale McMillan", who probably knew more about barrels than anybody on Earth. Gale said it's silly to "break-in" a barrel.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you have a burr in there from rifling without the break-in you'll just keep building up copper on it with every shot. If you shoot, clean, shoot, it'll knock the burr down instead of building material on it. Button rifled don't normally get a burr but better safe than sorry.
Good post darkvibe, although I have heard another explanation for why you should break in the barrel, that is related to what you are talking about. Most of the time, especially if a barrel is of a higher quality and lapped, there will be absolutely no burrs in the rifling of the barrel. Where you usually will get burrs is from reaming the barrel to chamber it in whatever caliber you want it to be in. Because of the shape of the bullets that we use today, it can be a bit hard to totally remove all the burrs from the chamber/neck. Some people believe that if you fire rounds through the barrel without properly breaking it in, you have the potential to push these burrs from the neck and chamber into the barrel. The next shot will do as darkvibe said and cause a build up over the burr and copper burrs from the bullet. This would later cause more fowling and possibily affect how the bullet flies. I've seen lots of tests by Krieger and Lilja that say that breakin doesn't have a negative affect on barrels or their life, but has the possibility of helping. So why would you not break your barrel in? My Krieger barrel costs a little over $400 BEFORE it is reamed or threaded to be put on my rifle. Why the heck would you not break in a barrel if it's not gonna hurt it, when it might help your barrel?

Itchy Trigger, I know of nobody that recommends you break in your barrel with 100 rounds. I also don't know of ANY caliber currently that will burn out a barrel in 1,000 rounds that are even loaded somewhat "hot". I'm building a .300 WSM and even loaded extremely hot it will last at least 3-5 times as many rounds as what you're talking about for the entire life of the barrel. If one uses moderate loadings, then you could get many more than that out of it. This is also just before when the barrel needs to be set back, so technically the barrel still has at least twice as many rounds as the first "life" of the barrel. Cleaning your rifle is NOT going to hurt it. So you fire 15 or 20 rounds cleaning the rifle. Most bench rifle shooters that I know will clean their rifles ever 15 shots or so anyway, some a few rounds less, some a few rounds more. Some tactical shooters don't clean their barrels for a LONG LONG time, unless they start shooting bad. Most people who shoot AR's or varmint rigs are NOT going to change their barrel after 3,000 rounds, some BR shooters don't, especially if they're found a "hummer". MOST manufacturers DON'T recommend a 100 or 150 round break in period, so it's not really that big of an issue. It doesn't mean that you can't aim and try to see how the barrel is shooting. It merely means that you have to clean it after you do so, it isn't gonna hurt it. Gayle McMillan also said "if you have a bad barrel, there's not much you can do to hurt it or help it." He says that you shouldn't use polishing compounds to break in a barrel because of what it can do to the bore. He doesn't say that it's necessarily bad to clean your barrel after every shot or two a solvent. He also warns that as long as you're using the right brushes, etc, it's not gonna hurt the rifling.

Edit: Here is a page on Krieger's website that talks about copper fouling and how not polishing the throat of the barrel can impact it. I'll see if I can find more stuff from lilja, etc. http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Break_In__Cleaning-c1246-wp2558.htm
 
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