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Old December 31, 2006, 09:13 AM   #1
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How to break in a new rifle?

Hello, I am brand new to this forum and I have questions. I have a new rifle (M77 Ruger .270). I am mainly a shotgunner so I am unsure of how to proceed. I have received alot of advice on how to properly break in a new rifle. Everything from clean barrel, fire three shots clean again and repeat until you have fired 25 rounds or clean the barrel shoot the h*** out of it and clean again. There have been many other bits of advice. Does it vary from rifle to rifle (brand, caliber etc.)? What is the best/proper procedure? One last question, I have been told that .22 rifles do not need as thorough cleaning because of the lubricated bullets of.22 ammo. Is this true? Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old December 31, 2006, 09:54 AM   #2
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Regaring barrel're gonna get lots of answers, many shooters have a prefered way to break in a barrel. The shoot5/clean/repeat procedure certainly won't hurt anything, is just time consuming.
And what about accuracy? Some guys claim their guns are only accurate when super clean and after a few rounds aren't accurate any more. Others (like myself) claim some of our rifles are more accurate after a little fouling. And how many shots does it take to break in a barrel? 100? 200? 500? I've heard some shooters claim that their Remington 700 barrels loose accuracy after 1500 rounds but that they'll never shoot that many rounds in their lifetime, that the gun is strictly hunting only. Hell, I'd have to rebarrel after my 8th or so range trip. More questions than answers huh....sorry.

Me...I say buy it, strip it, clean it, lube it, shoot the [email protected] out of it.
God's creatures big and small, eat them one, eat them all.
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Old December 31, 2006, 10:34 AM   #3
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Click on the search button, then "advanced search". Type in "barrel break in" in the key word box, then hit "search". You'll have more reading on the subject than you want. Here's one thread I found interesting, especially post #4 (go to the link).

I just broke in the barrel on my Remington 700 VLS in 223. I cleaned it when I took it out of the box, fired 120 rounds, cleaned it again. I think it had more crud in the barrel from Remington than after the 120 rounds
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Old December 31, 2006, 11:51 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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Me, I subscribe to Gale McMillan's view:

My gunsmith uncle gave me my first centerfire '06 in 1950. He'd been shooting the '06 since around 1924 or so.

None of the "Eatman boys" ever heard about barrel break-in prior to my coming to The Firing Line in 1998.

New rifle: Check for grunge and do a light cleaning on general principles. After that, shoot and do normal, routine cleaning...

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old December 31, 2006, 04:15 PM   #5
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My son and I have the same rifles and we have been shooting for years. He broke his barrels in using one of the popular methods and I did nothing but clean and shoot. When ever we exchanged rifles to see if there would be a difference in grouping, the results were always the same. I shot just as well with his rifles and he shot just as well with mine. Go figure?
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Old December 31, 2006, 04:18 PM   #6
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How I broke in my DPMS AR 15

Barrel Information at bottom of page.
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Old December 31, 2006, 05:07 PM   #7
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a lot of the mil spec barrels are chrome lined and therefore have a totally different break in than non lined models. Generally with chrome lined you can shoot several hundred rounds through before cleaning.

ART gave you a very good link to the Gale McMillian thread on barrel break in. During his time he was arguably the best long range shooter and maker of long range high precision rifles out there. His comapny still flurishes even after his passing.

For your ruger I would recommend stripping it and giving it a good cleaning and a light lubing in required areas. Run a brush with light oil down the barrel and then run swabs through it until they come out clean. This info is recommended of any gun new or used.

The rest of the info. here is my own persional break in procedures.

After the initial breakdown, and cleaning I take the gun to the range and with an unlined bore like yours has I like to shoot 1 round then run a brush and then a swab down it. Repeat for 4 more times. After your 5th total rd and cleaning I then go to 3 shot durations before cleaning. I do 5 sets and then move out to 4 sets of 5rds. This will put you through 2 boxes (40rds) of ammo. I then either go with 2 more 5rd groups/cleanings or 1 set of 10 rds and a cleaning. this will put you at the 50 rds mark. At this point I do another teardown of the rifle and a through cleaning of everything and depending on the condition of the bore I may either scrub the heck out of the barrel or plug it and let it soak for awhile with a good foam type cleaner. After reassembly I would consider the gun good to go for hunting and normal use. You should also be familiar with the gun by that point and any tweaking can then take place (i.e. trigger, bedding/glassing, floating, etc...).

For pistols I usuall do the initial disassembly, clean, lube, inspect, reassemble then I shot at least 100-200 rounds through the sucker and then another strip, clean , lube. I usually like to put around 500 rounds through a pistol before calling it broke in and before using as a backup or carry gun. This guarantees that all the "bugs" are wrung out and any irregularites are remidied.

To each his own, but this is my procedures.

One word of advice though DO NOT USE ABRASIVE "FINISHING" BULLETS/COMPOUNDS ON YOUR BARREL!!!! ( unless of course you are a master barrel maker and know how to properly hand lap a barrel)

This is in reference to the lapping compounds and the TUBBS final finish bullets.
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Last edited by UniversalFrost; January 1, 2007 at 01:19 PM.
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Old December 31, 2006, 09:43 PM   #8
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Shoot it, let it cool a bit, shoot it some more.

When you are out of ammo or daylight, go home and clean it.

If your barrel is cut-rifled (don't remember on Rugers) and not lapped, then you are doing the lapping for the first couple of hundred rounds....


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Old January 1, 2007, 10:25 AM   #9
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I appreciate all the advice. I really got alot of information from the links and I used the search engine. I like the clean, shoot until tired/dark, clean again. Once again thanks. Great forum.
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Old January 1, 2007, 02:59 PM   #10
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First of all if you have not fired your first round under the light of a full moon ya' wasted your time an' powder.

"Break in" is on of the biggest farces in the shooting communtiy. Generally needed only with average to poor quality barrels. For example my Century SAR-1 shot tighter groups after I ran more rounds through it.

But if it makes you feel better follow one of the Secret Spells to Gur-Rant-Tee a sub MOA rifle.

Or, just shoot it and clean it in a consistant manner. That way the bore will remain "dressed" with the same amount of fouling from shooting session to shooting sesssion.
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Old January 1, 2007, 06:46 PM   #11
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Gimmicks, gimmicks and more gimmicks

Shoot your rifle and clean it thoroughly afterwards. "Break in procedure" is an old wives' tale. I don't know who started it, but like all out-of-control gimmicks, it took on a life of its own. It was (falsely) trumpeted high 'n low as the secret of success. Many rifle and barrel makers knuckled under and offer "break-in procedures" to keep their gullible customers happy.

Another gimmick is "fire lapping". How else could you convince a gullible customer to literally sand down the inside of his barrel, removing thousands of rounds of barrel life? Promise improved accuracy by sanding down minor machining marks? Get real!

Then there is "cryogenic freezing". Any materials engineer will tell you that stress in steels are relieved by elevated temperatures (several hundred degrees), not by cryogenic temperatures.
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Old January 1, 2007, 08:32 PM   #12
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Give the bore a quick once over with a brush, oil up the bolt and go shoot it. Rifle break-ins are a bunch of hooey if you ask me. My .270 shoots just as well after a couple hundred rounds as it did the day i bought it.

Just enjoy that ruger .270, i love mine
I love the smell of fresh shotgun in the morning.
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Old January 1, 2007, 09:56 PM   #13
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Then there is "cryogenic freezing". Any materials engineer will tell you that stress in steels are relieved by elevated temperatures (several hundred degrees), not by cryogenic temperatures.
I've read numerous claims of improved accuracy after cryo-treating. I had my SAKO .338 WinMag barrel cryo-treated in an attempt to improve its accuracy. It made no difference in accuracy. It still shot 2"-3" groups at 100 yards.
A Krieger barrel made it shoot under 1".
And, no, I didn't use any break-in procedure. I just took it out and shot a few groups with it and sighted it in, and cleaned it when I got home.
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