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Old November 23, 2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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Barrel Break-in

There are a lot of people out there who claim that in order to make your new rifle as accurate as possible, you have to break in the barrel by firing, then cleaning over and over. I understand that this is supposed to help polish the barrel, but does it really make a difference? If so, what is the proper way to do it?
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Old November 23, 2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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Do a search on barrel break in. You will find all you want, and more.
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Old November 23, 2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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Old November 23, 2011, 01:02 PM   #4
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Two good articles to read.
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Old November 23, 2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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There is no credible source that has ever said a barrel will be more accurate, some start out great, some take some time, the biggest advocates of the breakin process do so because a lot of guns foul more because of rough throats/leades and this may help from heavier initial fouling more than anything else.

New barrels often have tool marks in the throat, they pick up gilding metal until a bit of shooting smoothes them out and fouling reduces. All you're doing is keeping it minimal initially.

At the end of the day, some do, some don't, there's no downside. When I get a new SS benchrest barrel I'll shoot something like 3,5,5,5 with cleaning between then go shoot it.

Last edited by tim s; November 23, 2011 at 08:03 PM.
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Old November 23, 2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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Not again!

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Old November 23, 2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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It's one of those things...everyone has an opinion. THe real answer, whatever it is, is lost to history...and the internet

I break in my barrels. Has it made my rifles more accurate? Don't know...

Just have to read, and form your own opinion about the procedure...
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Old November 24, 2011, 06:12 AM   #8
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I have treated a new barrels both ways. Ican not say one way or the other. If you want to do a bunch of extra cleaning........and wear out the bore with your cleaning rod...........
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Old November 24, 2011, 07:03 AM   #9
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What barrel do you have? Does the maker recommend a break-in procedure?

White Oak says theirs are ready to go when you get them.
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Old November 24, 2011, 09:32 AM   #10
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thanks for all of the replies. i have a Remington model 700, I think im going to break it. I mean it can't HURT anything can it?
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Old November 24, 2011, 09:53 AM   #11
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for AR-15's and similar weapons, my "break in" is one dry patch thru the bore twice, then just shoot and shoot and shoot some more, i rarely ever "clean" the bore after that, just regular FCG cleaning.

if shooting a gas impingement rifle/carbine NEVER EVER try cleaning the gas tube, it is self cleaning.
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Old November 24, 2011, 09:55 AM   #12
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Old November 24, 2011, 04:06 PM   #13
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A lot of the "myth" about barrel break-in stems from the fact that the process was developed back when most barrels were broached, not button-rifled. With a broach-cut barrel, you would fire and clean in a sequence until you had no more copper shavings visible on the patch, typically 25-50 rounds. By doing so, you would burnish the barrel and remove any slight burrs left from the rifling process. Today, most barrels are either button-rifled or hammer-forged, neither of which will take much to "break in", possibly 10-20 rounds max, as all you are trying to do is smooth out the leades.

So, is barrel break-in a myth? Not in my opinion, when it was developed it was a real benefit. Today, with hand-lapped barrels, it is just another one of those things that is becoming obsolete (like cleaning your rifle right after shooting it) and will soon go the way of the dodo.
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Old November 24, 2011, 04:47 PM   #14
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I love what's on Shilen's website... "Shilen, Inc. introduced a break-in procedure mostly because customers seemed to think that we should have one."
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accuracy , barrel break in , barrel life

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