View Full Version : Barrel breakin

Big G
07-21-2010, 04:46 PM
I just purchased a Remington 700 stainless special 5R milspec .308 Will one of you more knowledgable guys suggest a good break-in procedure?? & what products to use?? Thank you all

Andrew B
07-21-2010, 05:01 PM
Check the barrel manufacturers websites - they have breakin procedures on their websites already written up

07-21-2010, 05:09 PM
So many opinions on this. Good bore guide very important. Hart Barrels say no break-in needed, others say shoot one clean etc........

Dennis Sorensen
07-21-2010, 06:26 PM
There are huge differences between mass produced factory rifles and custom made barrels by barrel makers...

You will find varying opinions about barrel break in...

...some say do it
...some say don't do it
...some even go so far as to say it is recommended by barrel makes so you will wear your barrel out faster... (That’s a myth)
...some even get pissed off talking about it

I particularly like what Lilja has to say about it.
"It is important to break-in a barrel though. The jacket material must be removed after every shot during the initial few rounds. If this isn't done the areas of the barrel that fouled will tend to pick up more fouling and it will build on itself. It is important to get a layer of powder fouling on top of the lands & grooves. This hard deposit will prevent the copper from stripping off the bullets. However, if the internal finish of the barrel is too rough the barrel will never be completely broken-in and fouling will always be a problem. Some barrels can't be broken-in. "
...there are breaking in procedures if you wish to do it. Factory barrels are considerably different than custom match grade hand lapped barrels.

I am going to post one method.

Breaking In A Barrel - Read fully before starting the procedure

When cleaning, always use a good bore guide and a good rod.

Start with a clean, lightly lubed barrel, fire one shot, then run a loose patch through with Sweets 7.62 or any other solvent that will “eat” jacket fouling. Saturate the bore and let it sit a few minutes. Sweets indicate jacket fouling with a blue colour.

Run patches through to dry the bore and then wet patch it again and saturate the bore. After a few minutes dry patch it again. Repeat until the jacket fouling is removed (no blue patches). That means the barrel is clean.

After cleaning with Sweets, brush with Hoppes #9 and dry patch the bore and then leave it slightly lubed with a wet patch of Hoppes #9 before firing.

Then fire one more shot, and repeat the above procedure. Do this for a total of 10 shots, and then proceed to fire 2 shots and then clean as above, for 10 more shots. (For a total of 20.) The barrel is now broken in. It should be cleaned after every 20 or 30 shots there after if possible, or less often if fouling is not a problem.

You will find when the bore is broken in properly; the cleaning procedure is very quick, because there is very little jacket fouling in the bore.

I prefer Sweets 7.62, because it shows “blue” if there is any jacket fouling. I never use a copper or bronze brush with Sweets, because it will eat them, and give a false blue indication of fouling. I never let any other chemicals mix with Sweets. That is why there is a lot of dry patching and swabbing with rubbing alcohol and dry patching between switching chemicals.

For storage after cleaning with Sweets, dry patch and then swab the bore with several patches using rubbing alcohol; this will dissolve any remaining ammonia. Then lightly oil the bore.

Here are some links to various barrel maker's break in procedures:





07-21-2010, 06:37 PM
I just purchased a Remington 700 stainless special 5R milspec .308 Will one of you more knowledgable guys suggest a good break-in procedure?? & what products to use?? Thank you all

My favorite method is from Benchrest Hall-of-Fame inductee Thomas "Speedy" Gonzalez: http://www.varminthunters.com/tech/sgycleaning.html. I use Butch's Bore Shine as suggested by Speedy, vice Speedy's special formula, to keep it simple.


If you want a super easy method for both fireforming and breaking in a barrel follow Joe Krupa's method:

Joe Krupa, Krooppc@aol.com, (313) 247-4344

Joe Krupa … Fireforming the 6PPC.

"When I get a new barrel, I break it in with 25 pieces of newly turned brass.

I clean the new barrel, and then shoot 10 pieces to both fireform and break in the barrel. Then I clean the barrel and shoot the remaining 15.

After that, I clean the barrel and start tuning it with the first ten. I am convinced that you break in a barrel by shooting it than by cleaning it." :)

07-21-2010, 10:43 PM
Wonder if Tubb's product would help on a factory barrel? May save some time and bullets?

Wayne Shaw
07-22-2010, 06:52 AM
Dennis' post is spot on, especially about NOT shooting a dry bore. I think though it may not be necessary to go through the whole 10 shot exercise if the barrel is showing you it's not fouling anymore. A PPC or 30BR usually cleans up fairly quickly (being broken in) as apposed to a fast twist barrel with long bearing surface bullets, like a 6.5/284 with 140's.

07-22-2010, 07:58 AM
Art. You are mixing apples and oranges.
The poster is asking about a Remington Factory Barrel.
Joe Krupa is shooting Krieger or Bartlein 6PPC barrels.
I am with Joe. For Benchrest Barrels.
And Dwight Scott and all the other big names have a good read.

07-22-2010, 08:00 AM
By the way.
I went through the Tubb method for my first bolt action. Shoots pretty good now. :mad:

Boyd Allen
07-22-2010, 10:21 AM
Look for reviews on which solvents are the most aggressive on copper. Clean the barrel before shooting it. Do a one shot and clean for a few rounds.The number will depend on how rough the barrel is. Look for a reduction in color on the patches. When you see the amount of color starting to diminish, switch to 3 shots and clean. At this point you can be doing some practicing where you watch the flags. (or surveyors ribbon on sticks) Look at how the second and third shots come together. After 5-6 three shot groups. Shoot a string of say 15 to see how many shots it takes for the barrel to come to a stable condition and start repeating. Look for any problems with it fouling out before the end, causing the groups to open up. After this, do a through cleaning. Get all of the color out. To make sure it is not brush color, run a couple of wet patches through, after brushing, and then soak. In my experience, a good factory stainless barrel stands a better chance of breaking in to the point where fouling is not much of a problem than the typical factory chromoly barrel. A Savage varmint barrel that I have (stainless) would show a little color for the first 200 rounds, but shot fine, after minimal break-in. After that, it cleaned up like my lapped barrels. If you happen to get a real rough one, I think that you could do one shot and clean till it wore out and not solve the problem. I met a fellow at the range who was stuck on at the three shot and clean on a stainless barreled Ruger, in .270. He was a careful reloader, but had not been able to get it to group to his expectations. I suggested that he shoot a longer string without cleaning. It started to group after 5-6 shots. Since it was a game rifle, I told him to make sure and foul it to that point before going hunting, do his hunt, clean, and do the same thing before the next one. He went home happy.

07-24-2010, 12:24 AM
Lots of experience in this area. This is what I THINK.
Chrome Moly factory stuff is hammer forged, generally.
Factory stainless bbls are button rifled.
Custom stainless or chrome moly are either buttoned or cut.
I have had factory Rem bbls that took a whole lot of shoot/clean in various degrees of one shot –clean ad nauseam.
The trick is to get em smooth enough without having a copper/carbon/copper carbon layer building up.
Back when, I had new Rem factory bbls that took two or three patches and a brushing to get the thing clean even before I took it to the range. My guess is that this helped? Still mined copper out of it for a while. I have used lots of time and solvent doing this. Usually after you get to a point to where things feel a little smother the guns shoot ok. AFTER OF COURSE you hog out the fore end and skim bed.
The last Rem CM bbl that I cleaned took 200 rounds to get to where two patches, one brushing and two patches would get the job done.
Use Sweets applied without any bronze stuff in the application method as your barometer.
Cleaning with a bore scope would be nice…
I don’t have one either.
Just finished break in on a Savage LRPV in seven twist stainless.
Cleaned, Shot, Cleaned, cleaned shot, cleaned shot 5x done.
Bottom line is that the newer stainless bbls are lots easer to get ready.
Only so much to expect in the first place.
I have had four Stainless custom bbls that were lapped.
Shot/cleaned , shot cleaned twice then five shots /cleaned /DONE!
Only blue was from jags and brushes.
Hundred years ago used Hoppes. Now use Butches or TM. Both work great.
Like I said, this is what I think!! Hope it helps
Tim Thompson
Hanover PA

07-24-2010, 11:53 PM
You need to know if the barrel is button rifled, such as a Broughton, or cut, such as a Krieger or a Bartlein. Cut barrels take much more time to break in - I do 100 rounds - than do button rifled - 15 rounds or so. Most commercial barrels are of the cut variety AND, unlike high end barrels, they are not lapped at the factory. Ergo, for a commericla barrel I try to use Tubb's coated bullets because they work really well. If you spend $250 - $350 for a custom barrel and another $175 or so to have it chambered, take your time and do it right.