View Full Version : Barrel Break-In
I found this ratio on the web:
25 cycles of one shot and clean.
5 cycles of 3 shots and clean.
3 cycles of 5 shots and clean
Is it appropriate for breaking-in a new .30 cal Garand Criterion barrel. All my previously-purchased milsurps were well broken-in already. This is my first experience with a "new" barrel, so i wish to do it right.
Thanks in advance.
Gale McMillan (the guy who MAKES barrels and is in the BENCHREST HALL OF FAME).
Senior Member posted September 25, 1999 10:10 AM
The break in fad was started by a fellow I helped get started in the barrel business . He started putting a set of break in instructions in ever barrel he shipped. One came into the shop to be installed and I read it and the next time I saw him I asked him What was with this break in crap?. His answer was Mac, My share of the market is about 700 barrels a year. I cater to the target crowd and they shoot a barrel about 3000 rounds before they change it. If each one uses up 100 rounds of each barrel breaking it in you can figure out how many more barrels I will get to make each year. If you will stop and think that the barrel doesn't know whether you are cleaning it every shot or every 5 shots and if you are removing all foreign material that has been deposited in it since the last time you cleaned it what more can you do? When I ship a barrel I send a recommendation with it that you clean it ever chance you get with a brass brush pushed through it at least 12 times with a good solvent and followed by two and only 2 soft patches. This means if you are a bench rest shooter you clean ever 7 or 8 rounds . If you are a high power shooter you clean it when you come off the line after 20 rounds. If you follow the fad of cleaning every shot for X amount and every 2 shots for X amount and so on the only thing you are accomplishing is shortening the life of the barrel by the amount of rounds you shot during this process. I always say Monkey see Monkey do, now I will wait on the flames but before you write them, Please include what you think is happening inside your barrel during break in that is worth the expense and time you are spending during break in
Can I use Moly coated bullets to break-in my barrel?
Some bullet and barrel makers say that the best way to break in a barrel that is to be used with moly bullets is to break it in with moly coated bullets. Others say to use uncoated bullets to break the barrel in, then start using coated bullets. We hear from a tremendous amount of top-notch shooters and gunsmiths and they all have their own opinions on this subject (as you already know). In compiling this wealth of information, we have come to this conclusion: There is no BEST way. Some barrels seem to break-in very quickly with coated bullets. Some seem to take longer. We've had shooters tell us that if a barrel didn't seem to want to really "come-in" with coated bullets, a few uncoated bullets down the barrel actually helped the initial break-in. Then they went back to the coated bullets with good results. Our recommendation is to load and tune the rifle with jacketed, uncoated bullets. Then try the moly coated ones.
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How should I break-in my new Shilen barrel?
Break-in procedures are as diverse as cleaning techniques. Shilen, Inc. introduced a break-in procedure mostly because customers seemed to think that we should have one. By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal. All our stainless steel barrels have been hand lapped as part of their production, as well as any chrome moly barrel we install. Hand lapping a barrel polishes the interior of the barrel and eliminates sharp edges or burrs that could cause jacket deformity. This, in fact, is what you are doing when you break-in a new barrel through firing and cleaning.
Here is our standard recommendation: Clean after each shot for the first 5 shots. The remainder of the break-in is to clean every 5 shots for the next 50 shots. During this time, don't just shoot bullets down the barrel during this 50 shot procedure. This is a great time to begin load development. Zero the scope over the first 5 shots, and start shooting for accuracy with 5-shot groups for the next 50 shots. Same thing applies to fire forming cases for improved or wildcat cartridges. Just firing rounds down a barrel to form brass without any regard to their accuracy is a mistake. It is a waste of time and barrel life.
I'll err on the side of safety and common sense - cleaning sufficiently but not excessively....and only on Tuesdays!
Criterion barrel? My break in: shoot it a bunch... clean when arriving home.....:banana100:
With any new barrel I have to personally finish ream I shoot one then clean, repeat 5 times, shoot 5-clean, shoot 10-clean. Then I take it home and give it a scrub with JB's. Done.
What I think I'm accomplishing is to smooth out the final tool marks left by the reamer. Barrels I've done this to seem to copper foul less and clean up faster and easier. Not a controlled study and no scientific evidence; just what seems to happen.
It's only 20 rounds (one box of ammo), one range session, and I'm targeting the front sight for windage at the same time.
Anything over that (and maybe even that) is probably a waste.
Anything at all for a barrel that doesn't need finish reaming is almost surely a waste too.
I've always been pretty much the same way. I'll bring a rod etc with me to the range and give it a wet wipe whenever I think I should. I don't count rounds. Mostly just to see if I get a shift in POI.
Never gave it a thought until the gunwriters began talking about break-in. Then I began talking to people about it. The true benchrest shooters with their high dollar barrels tend to stick with the procedure. Off the shelf shooters really can't tell the difference.
Guys, I talked to the manager of Bentson(Sp) Man., maker of barrels once, He told me pretty much the same thing. People expect them to come up with a break-in of sorts, believing it's necessary. Bentson, like most of the premier barrel makers, handlaps their barrels so no break-in is necessary. Although their barrels are single-cut they still handlap them. Then inspect them under magnification to make sure there are no burrs. Kreiger does the same thing.
He said it makes everybody happy, the ammo mans., the Bore-Solvent makers, Barrel-makers and gunstores because everybody is making money on the break-in and the Customer is happy because he has a reason to shoot more.
Shooting highpower I have worn out a few barrels. I've used break-in routines on some and others I didn't. Honestly, I can't say I noticed any difference. If it makes you feel better about your equipment go ahead, but it probably isn't necessary.
Even Anshutz recommends barrel cleaning ONLY when you have lost accuracy.
The rifle barrel cleaning ritual began in the "OLD DAYS" when it was noticed the barrels were being destroyed by the black powder residue attracting moisture from the air, making sulphuric acid. We generally do not shoot Corrosive ammo now days, unless we get a good deal on some out of country manufactured, or pre-1955 US manufactured ammo.
Most shooters in CMP/NRA competition shoot sighters to make their barrels dirty, and verify their sight settings. Many that I know will clean their barrels ONLY when they have lost accuracy, or at the end of a shooting season, whichever comes first.
I clean a barrel when it loses accuracy or if I have shot Corrosive ammo.
The Kreiger barrel I received on my Frank White AR15 had a break-in proceedure not too disimilar to the original posters. I followed it. Then after about 3 to 4 hundred rounds the accuracy improved (the groups tightened up some more). I don't clean the rifle after a 20 round stage. A green barrel shoots a bit different so I want it shot in before a competition. I cleaned about every 300 or 400 rounds after that, sometimes sooner ... just because.
Jim in Salt Lake
I'll clean a rifle after shooting if it's going to sit in the safe for a while. I clean my Anschutz at the end of the smallbore season since it may sit over the summer while highpower is going on. I'll run a patch through the barrel at the beginning of the season to clean the oil out.
I've only tried to break in one barrel, didn't notice any difference.
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