View Full Version : Gun cleaning and break-in: The REAL Story?

July 13, 2000, 09:21 PM
Alright, Dang it!

Here I've looked a several posts on a couple of threads and seen (and given) different advice about gun cleaning and break-in.

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Now I'm just confused and frustrated. My guns weren't real expensive, but they weren't cheap, either, and I believe in giving them the best care possible. But, I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong or just plain ignorant.

What follows is the cleaning and break-in procedure I've used on every new firearm I've gotten - with no apparent damage or loss of accuracy. (I have not used J-B Bore Cleaning Compound on any of my firearms.)

So, would some of you gun industry PROFESSIONALS and those with experience and credentials please look these over and maek your recommendations? (Please state what your experience and/or credentials are, as well.)

What's the right/best way to clean? Is break-in necessary or even slightly helpful? If so, what's the right/best way to break-in a firearm?

Thanks in advance.

Proper Gun Cleaning and Break-In
(from Field & Stream, February 1994, p. 71)

· One-piece stainless steel or plastic covered steel cleaning rod.
· Phosphor-bronze bristle cleaning brushes.
· Correct bore-size patches and 12-gauge patches. Chemicals:
· Venco Shooter's Choice or Hoppe's No. 9 Powder Solvent
· Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber
· Barnes' CR- 10* or Hoppe's Bench Rest No. 9 Copper Solvent
· Rem Oil

Tip: Shooter's Choice and Barnes CR-10 smell bad, use them outside or in the shed or garage; use the Hoppe's products (with adequate ventilation) when you must clean indoors.

Cleaning Procedures
1. Clamp the rifle down in something solid, like a padded vise. Place something under the muzzle to absorb drippings from the it.
2. Get a cleaning patch wet, not soaking, with Shooter's Choice or Hoppe's No. 9 and run it through the bore. Throw the dirty patch away and do it another three times with new patches each time. Do it until the patches come out gray instead of black.
3. Drip a few drops of Shooter's Choice or Hoppe's No. 9 on the bristle brush and scrub the bore a dozen times each way. There should be a spiral pattern of black goo in the rod, wipe it off, and clean off the brush with a squirt of Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber.
4. Go through the bore with new patches wet with Shooter's Choice or Hoppe's No. 9 until they come out nearly white.
5. Remove the copper fouling:
Using Barnes CR-10:
a. Wet a patch with CR-10 and run it through the bore halfa dozen times, it should now come out blue.
b. Wait a minute and do step 5 again, repeating it until the patch comes out with no blue on it. Using Hoppe's Bench Rest:
a. Run a patch through the bore with some Hoppe's Bench Rest on it.
b. Let it soak for about 12 hours and do it again with a clean patch. Do this until the patch comes out clean. It may take a couple of days.

6. Wipe down the rest of the gun using Hoppe's No. 9 on a 12 gauge cleaning patch or clean it with Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber and give it a little oil.
7. Dry the bore thoroughly and give it a coat of oil (Rem Oil, etc.). Then stand it on its muzzle on a newspaper to absorb the extra oil as it runs out.

Breaking-In A New Firearm
(from Sports Afield, January 1994, p. 19)
On a new firearm, for the first nine shots clean the bore after each shot. After the tenth shot, clean the gun thoroughly, until the patch comes out clean. Do the same for the next ten shots. Some recommend this procedure for the next 100 rounds that go through the barrel.

July 14, 2000, 11:23 AM
Gale said bore break-in is not only unnecessary, but can damage the rifling.

To paraphrase a popular sentiment, "Mac said it, I believe it, that settles it." ;)

July 14, 2000, 05:51 PM
I've been shooting and cleaning my guns for over forty years, and it seems to me that you are puting in a lot of work to clean your guns. If this is what works for you then continue, they are your guns and you are the only one that matters. You set the stndards for your guns, I dont see anything wrong with what you are doing, I dont work that hard at it but I bet mine are just as clean. Dont worry about what the other guy says you should do, its your decision, no one else's, keep up the good work. Those places that make and sell gun cleaning products have got to have some method to make you think their stuff and system is the best, its marketing, most of the stuff out there is about the same. Do it your way, its just as right as any other way.

[This message has been edited by Texaken (edited July 14, 2000).]

July 14, 2000, 07:44 PM
Wasn't it J-B Bore Cleaner that he said would damage the rifling, not necessarily the break-in process itself? It's not that I want to argue the point, it's just that I want to make sure that it's all perfectly clear, and that there are no doubts or remaining questions.

In http://www.thefiringline.com/NonCGI/Forum3/HTML/000896.html he said: "When some one uses JB on one of my rifles I void the warrantee! For two reasons. ! it dimensionally alters the barrel dimensions and not evenly and the second reason is the barrel maker laps the barrel with a grit of lapping compound that is most effective in preventing metal fouling. Then a customer polishes that finish away with JB."

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Coinneach:
Gale said bore break-in is not only unnecessary, but can damage the rifling.

To paraphrase a popular sentiment, "Mac said it, I believe it, that settles it." ;)[/quote]

[This message has been edited by seronac (edited July 14, 2000).]

Mouse Gun
July 14, 2000, 08:28 PM
If you use the proper cleaning tools(good rod and guide), technique(push or pull, depending on the rifle, everything out the muzzle and never come back across the crown) and do this in moderation you won't tear it up. When I push JB through the bore I remove the jag, with patch intact, put it back on the rod and push back through 5 times then change the patch and do it one more time, I only do this every 500 rounds. By pushing it all the way through and not scrubbing, this will help keep wear even. The rest of the time I'm just removing fouling and copper as it takes a while for the carbon to build just beyond the throat. I've got over 1000 rounds through my service rifle already this year and I broke it in the hard way and this thing shoots like crazy. I'm logging the entire life of the barrel and will have over 2000 rounds out of it by the end of the season. I will post it's progress to see if my cleaning process has helped or hurt it during the barrels life. If JB was bad I'm sure several shooters wouldn't be getting several thousand rounds out of their rifles before a rebarrel and they use JB more than I. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.