View Full Version : Barrel Prep at the Range...?

December 18, 2009, 10:48 PM
Im not a competitive shooter but i thought this would be a good place to post....Im wrapping up the first handloads for my Rem 700 chambered in 22-250 and will be testing them the next calm day out.

My question is what condition should the barrel be in to obtain the most accurate results of what each load really shoots like? At this time, the barrel has been thoroughly cleaned with solvent and there is no fouling present. The bullets are 50 grain C/T Ballistic Silver Tips with the "lubalox" coating. Thanks

December 18, 2009, 11:23 PM
I'm not an expert on this caliber or bullet, but generally your results will be more consistent once you've put a few rounds through a newly cleaned barrel - hence the term fouling rounds or fouling shots. But it is a good idea to start with a cleaned barrel for testing so that you're not shooting through the fouling from a different load. Also it's advisable to shoot at a moderate pace so that your barrel doesn't heat up too much. Some people let the barrel cool down significantly between each shot.

December 19, 2009, 07:57 AM
I will make double the rounds for the first load then, so i can still see what the load will do with proper fouling. I dont know how the coating will affect the barrel. Its not exactly moly but im guessing some will foul off in the barrel as well as some copper maybe.

Do most shooters run the brush through the barrel in between each set of loads or just shoot the whole session without cleaning?

December 19, 2009, 08:52 AM
has the barrel been broken in?

December 19, 2009, 09:03 AM
Typically people use 3 - 5 fouling shots, just to dirty the bore a bit.

December 19, 2009, 10:39 PM
The gun has fired 80 rounds exactly. I know that for sure because i have shot up the only 4 boxes of 20 that i have bought for it. The first 40 rounds were the moly coated v-max and the last 40 were the regular, non coated v-max and now it has been cleaned throughly and brushed with solvent.

In the past, with most random guns, my first shot fouls out then the next one usually hits the permant poi. So, it is still advised to take a few more?

How about brushing without any solvent between the 5 shot test groups-is this necessary?

Bart B.
December 26, 2009, 09:36 AM
Good barrels properly fit do not need to be fired a few times before getting serious. Nor do they need to be cooled down after X number of shots.

Otherwise, folks shooting matches would not be able to shoot their first shot from a cold barrel goes to the same place as their last one when 20 to 30 shots are fired every 20 to 30 seconds apart. All shots go into 3/4ths MOA at 1000 yards, 1/2 MOA at 600 yards, 1/3 MOA at 300 yards and 1/4th MOA at 100 yards. Consider what happens in a military rifle match were folks shooting M1's or M14's starting with cold, clean barrels put 24 shots in 50 seconds into the silhouette target. They use barrels about worn out for these events but they'll still shoot 1 MOA at 600 yards or 1/2 MOA at 100 yards doing this. Think about how hot those barrels are when the last 8 rounds are fired.

With barrels fit to receivers not having their face squared with the barrel tenon or improperly stress relieved, they will change point of impact as they heat up. A common issue with factory rifles. Not with properly built match rifles.

Barrels with a rough bore may need a few shots to fill in the pits with jacket material so subsequent bullets don't have copper wiped off unbalancing them. This is typical of cheap barrels and many military barrels are this way.

December 26, 2009, 09:46 AM
Chances are my rifle will change poi when hot since it is a factory gun. I dont have alot of rounds to waste, so i will probably clean it well once more then run alot of patches through it to ensure it is dry and use the extra round that i loaded for the first group as the foul round and just go from there. I havent heard anyone comment on whether or not they brush the barrel in between groups or leave it dirty through the entire test session, so i assume its not necessary. Although, that would be the condition my rifle would be in on the hunt- Throughly cleaned, with one fouling shot done before i go to the stand.

December 26, 2009, 12:35 PM
The barrel question also includes the stock. Is the gun bedded? Will the stock move with temperature or humidity changes? Is the barrel free floated? Even so an unaltered factory gun could shoot fly speck groups for no known explanation. Unless obvious defects exist dry patch your rifle and shoot. Benchrest competitors dry brush and dry patch between shot strings. It is important to them. You may find it important for you too. Remember also that you are an equal part of the accuracy equation. Fundamentals of marksmanship. Position, sighting, rigger control, breath control, followthrough.

December 26, 2009, 06:39 PM
A standard factory barrel will probably foul so much after 20-30 shots it will be shooting a 2-3 moa group, whereas a custom barrel will shoot consistent for a couple of 100 rounds. Trust me, I have tried it.

December 26, 2009, 07:16 PM
Thanks guys. I clean my rifles thoroughly often, so i dont feel i will see inaccuracy due to neglect.

This gun is a Remington 700 ADL with the synthetic stock and has been fully bedded, all the way out to the tip of the stock. The barrel is 24" and the trigger pull has been set to @ 2lb. I shoot off of a caldwell lead sled and only shoot on a calm day and sunny, if possible (for the cronograph). I keep a cleaning rod at the bench and have been running two passes of a dry bruch through it in between each set/group. I think i may just continue with the same routine for now. The C/T ballistic silver tips have that "lubalox" coating so it may help decrease copper fouling, im not sure yet. I heard it helps. I always clean the bore after each session at the range and after hunting, if i take a shot.