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Old March 8, 2013, 03:20 PM   #1
FlyFish
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Cleaning new AR barrel

I recently acquired a new DPMS assembled upper for my AR (in .223/5.56). A small tag that came with it said that the barrel and chamber should be cleaned after every round for the first 25 rounds (!) and then after every 10 rounds up to a total of 100 rounds. If I do the math right, that's about 33 cleanings in the first 100 rounds.

Now, I like to take care of my guns so I'll probably just follow the instructions, but I'm wondering if those of you who are more knowledgeable about rifle barrels than I am, which probably means most of you, think that such a rigorous cleaning schedule is really necessary as part of the breaking-in.

And, by cleaning, do you think they really want the full patches, jag, brush thing or would running a bore snake through be good enough?

TIA
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Old March 8, 2013, 03:30 PM   #2
Bart B.
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I don't think its necessary.

But thousands swear by it.

There's been a couple of barrel makers that think it's a good idea. That's 'cause lots of people clean barrel wrong and wear them out too fast. So they'll be able to sell more barrels that way.

Bore snake? Personally, I think they're one of the best jokes or myths in the firearms industry since someone claimed rimless bottleneck cartridges lay in the bottom of the chamber when fired.
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Old March 8, 2013, 03:55 PM   #3
maestro pistolero
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It can't hurt. I have always done it. And I use the rounds to work on zeroing at the same time.

I would use a cleaner that dissolves copper, as well, since the whole theory about this is that copper can build up on the vestigial tool marks that are left behind after the manufacturing (edges, and scrapes, etc..

I prefer nylon rather than bronze brushes. I'd rather let the chemicals do the work than cause undo barrel wear. I may be overly cautious. Take care not to mess with the barrel crown. Always push or pull out straight out through the muzzle, one direction only. Never reverse directions mid-stroke.

Theoretically, at least, you are preventing copper deposits from building up on these irregularities that may become very hard to remove. It is also supposed to make cleaning easier down the road. It seems like it has worked for me.

Again, it can't hurt.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; March 8, 2013 at 04:01 PM.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:38 PM   #4
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If you clean correctly it will only help. The premise behind barrel break-in seems to be that most factory barrels have tiny imperfections. Shooting rounds through the barrel polishes these imperfections out through heat and pressure. If you do not clean between rounds then copper that gets deposited into these imperfections will stay there and those imperfections may not get polished out.

I've only broken in one barrel before but it seems to be working. Ive noticed that as I've been cleaning, the barrel has been getting progressively less fouled for a given number of shots and the deposits seems to come off more easily than before.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:06 PM   #5
Revoliver
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Here's what I've done specifically for the barrel of every gun I've gotten.

Run a couple dry patches through the barrel. This gives you a quick determination of any obvious burs and general level of cleanliness.

Run a couple of wet patches through the barrel. This gives you a quick determination of any tight spots and cleans the barrel regardless of the level of cleanliness. Then a couple dry patches.

Go to to the range to sight in and put around 100 rounds through it. This will give you a nice fresh lawyer of fouling and either work out any trouble spots not detected earlier or alert you to trouble.

Come home after the range trip and run a couple of wet patches followed by a couple of dry patches until the patches come out clean.

Put it away knowing it's good to go.


EDIT: To reiterate, this is just what I do, everyone has their own rhyme and reason and therefore it is just to show you exactly that.

Also, I use quality ammo for this process.

Last edited by Revoliver; March 9, 2013 at 02:00 AM.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:11 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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"...copper that gets deposited into these imperfections will stay there and those imperfections may not get polished out."

That seems like a sort of, "Huh?"

You clean copper from the bore in normal use because of a buildup, right? If you have some sort of indentations (exaggerated words: hole, scratch), then the copper would merely be a filler and out of the way.

Sure, shooting burnishes the bore, but it seems to me that only a buildup would reduce the bore diameter, and that usually takes hundreds of rounds. Seems to me that any copper that "hangs up" in imperfections would go away as burnishing continues.

At some point the burnishing is pretty much as good as it will ever be, and it would be after that for any buildup of copper to occur which would be detrimental to accuracy.

Seems like it, anyhow.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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copper sits in these holes or scratches and the copper corrodes and causes further damage and enlargement of the imperfection because of electrollisis and it also traps and holds some of the harsh chemicals that you use to clean the barrel later on.
barrel break in is crucial from the first shot. If you got some rough or tough spots you may need to us some JB bore paste to smooth it up. It is a lot of work and seems like a pain but I guarantee that breaking it in properly will make it a lot easier to clean down the road.
Like some of you I also turned my nose up at barrel break in procedure. But then I got a borescope, and that changes your whole attitude. I know for a fact that I ruined several rifles by ignoring the break in procedure and I lost accuracy in less than 700 rds. And after looking at it with a bore scope I knew why. pits, corrosion it looked like they were stored out side the garage.
Now that I have a borescope I have bought new rifles and I take it with when I am going to buy the rifle. I inspect them before I leave the gun shop. The last one was a Rem 700. The dealer had 3 of them and I wouldn't accept any of them. The barrels out of the factory where that bad. He talked to the rep and got another one in and when I looked at that one it was as smooth as a babys butt. So iI took it and broke it in properly. Now it takes about 10 minutes for patches to come out clean.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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My experiennce with DPMS is save yourself the trouble and fire lap it. It needs it, BAD!
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Old March 9, 2013, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Bore snake? Personally, I think they're one of the best jokes or myths in the firearms industry since someone claimed rimless bottleneck cartridges lay in the bottom of the chamber when fired.
Yep I have learned that bore snakes don't work all that well . For a while that was all I ever used . One day I watched a video by Ryan Cleckner from the national shooting sports foundation and how he cleans his rifles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WRO17sk_dI

. I pulled out one of my just cleaned after shooting 308s and cleaned it the way he said to . OMG the gun was SO dirty still . It was like mud coming out of the end of the barrel . It was like I had never cleaned it . The only time I use a bore snake now is on a new just out of the box rifle . Just to clean any foreign materials out before shooting . Well I guess I still use them on my .22lr they seem to work OK for them .
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Old March 9, 2013, 12:57 AM   #10
emcon5
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Quote:
It can't hurt.
Sure it can. The cleaning rod can be a lot harder on a barrel than bullets.
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Old March 9, 2013, 05:19 AM   #11
maestro pistolero
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Sure it can. The cleaning rod can be a lot harder on a barrel than bullets.
True enough. But you left out my admonition (quoted below) and the entire context that this is a break-in procedure, not something that is done repeatedly during the entire life of the barrel. I would agree if your point is that one should be familiar with the use of, and reason for a bore guide, and the hazards of excessive cleaning.

As in all things, moderation is the key. There must be a balance between cleaning too little, too much, or cleaning in a harmful way. I don't mean to tilt at windmills, as you may be saying the same thing.
Quote:
I prefer nylon rather than bronze brushes. I'd rather let the chemicals do the work than cause undo barrel wear. I may be overly cautious. Take care not to mess with the barrel crown. Always push or pull out straight out through the muzzle, one direction only. Never reverse directions mid-stroke.
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Old March 9, 2013, 07:04 AM   #12
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Go to to the range to sight in and put around 100 rounds through it. This will give you a nice fresh lawyer of fouling . . .
Now that's one of the funnier typos I've seen in a while. I'd be quite happy if I could get the rifle to shoot within one minute-of-lawyer.

Seriously, though, thanks for all the discussion on this. Very informative for someone like me who's basically been a pistol shooter for some decades.
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Old March 9, 2013, 08:29 AM   #13
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I used a bore snake during breakin of one barrel and found it didn't properly remove what I intended to remove. I'm not anal about the breakin procedure but I also feel there's a need to clean the new bore often. It depends on what you want the rifle to do for you later. On a causal use carbine, maybe after each of the first 5 rounds and after each 3 for the next 15 would be quite enough. I've seen some real good shooting rifles that were fired 10-15 shots before cleaning from the beginning.
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Old March 9, 2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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"My experiennce with DPMS is save yourself the trouble and fire lap it. It needs it, BAD!"

What does this mean? For the record I just shot a DPMS 308 with a 16 inch barrel brand new. I am familiar with the break in procedure but I decided it wasn't necessary. Because I am not planning for this gun to be a sniper rifle it didn't really matter to me. I shot 20 rounds through it and cleaned it.
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Old March 9, 2013, 04:03 PM   #15
Bart B.
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In my experience wearing out 16 or so .308 Win. and 30 caliber magnum barrels in competition, they all shot great starting with the first round fired. Never worked up a load for each, either, as long as the same bullet was used.
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Old March 9, 2013, 10:34 PM   #16
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My break in procedure for my match rifles, including AR, M1a and FTR, is to run a solvent patch through the bore when new then a dry patch. Then to the range to sight it in and ensure proper function, about 20-30 rounds. Then light cleaning with solvent.

Then off to the races.
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Old March 9, 2013, 10:41 PM   #17
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Good to know^^^^^^
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Old March 11, 2013, 03:02 PM   #18
reynolds357
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Bart, are you referencing match grade barrels?
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:29 PM   #19
timelinex
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What are your accuracy expectations from this rifle? (1/4 moa,1/2 moa, 1 moa ?)
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