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Thread: Barrel Break In......June Precision Rifleman

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    10
    BREAK-IN....Not really breaking in the barrel...Mostly the chamber throat

    With any premium barrel that has been lapped, the lay or direction of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, so fouling is minimal. This is true of any properly finish-lapped barrel regardless of how it is rifled. If it is not finish-lapped, there will be reamer marks left in the bore that are directly across the direction of the bullet travel. This occurs even in a button-rifled barrel as the button cannot completely iron out these reamer marks.

    Because the lay of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, very little is done to the bore during break-in but the throat is another story. When your barrel is chambered, there may be reamer marks left in the throat that are across the lands, i.e. across the direction of the bullet travel. When the bullet is forced into the throat, copper dust is released into the gas, which at this temperature and pressure is actually plasma. The copper dust is vaporized in this gas and is carried down the barrel. As the gas expands and cools, the copper comes out of suspension and is deposited in the bore. This makes it appear as if the source of the fouling is the bore and subsequent bullets and deposits are fired over it: Copper, which adheres well to itself, will build up quickly and may be difficult to remove later. So when we break in a barrel, our goal is to get the throat polished without, allowing copper to build up in the bore. This is the reasoning for the "fire-one-shot-and-clean" procedure.

    Barrels will vary slightly in how many rounds they take to break in because of things like slightly different machinability of the steel, or steel chemistry or the condition of the chambering reamer, ect... For example a chrome moly barrel may take longer to break in than stainless steel because it is more abrasion resistant even though it is the same hardness. Also chrome moly has a little more of an affinity for copper than stainless steel so it will usually show a little more "color" if you are using a chemical cleaner. (Chrome moly and stainless steel are different materials with somethings in common and others different.) Rim Fire barrels can take an extremely long time to break in - - - sometimes requiring several hundred rounds or more. But cleaning can be lengthened to every 25-50 rounds. The break-in procedure and the clearing procedure are really the same except for the frequency. Remember the goal is to get or keep the barrel clean while polishing out the throat.

    Finally, the best way to break-in the barrel is to observe when the barrel is broken in: i.e when the fouling is reduced. This is better than some set number of cycles of "shoot and clean" as many owners report practically no fouling after the first few shots, and more break-in would be pointless. Conversely, if more is required, a set number would not address that either. Besides, cleaning is not a completely benign procedure so it should be done carefully and no more than necessary.

    It is a good idea to just observe what the barrel is telling you with its fouling pattern. But once it is broken in, there is no need to continue breaking it in.

    Initially you should perform the shoot-one-shot-and-clean cycle for five cycles. If fouling hasn't reduced, fire five more cycles and so on until fouling begins to drop off. At that point shoot three shots before cleaning and observe. If fouling is reduced, fire five shots before cleaning. It is interesting to shoot groups during the three and five shot cycles.
    Last edited by oliver88; 06-21-2019 at 09:13 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
    Posts
    10,175
    ^^^^ +1 ^^^^

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Odessa TX
    Posts
    135

    What can it hurt?

    A tip I was given was to clean the bore and run a patch of Lock-Eze and shoot Molly coated Bullets the first few shots.

    Being that I have a Hawk Eye, I shoot one shot and then take a look. If it looks fine I take another shot then look again. If at anytime I see something I don’t like I clean it till it’s gone and try it again.

    We all can agree that many barrels act different so I feel that it’s worth my time to use my resources and be patient to make sure that I don’t rush or bypass a process that “this” barrel might need.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kentucky-Home of the Kentucky Wildcats
    Posts
    2,206
    ^^^^^^+1^^^^^^
    I use danzac and have for years...have broken in bunches of barrels with coated bullets. I won't claim it to be fact, but if anything, I believe it helps a bit with fouling during break in, making the process easier and shorter. It's not unusual to get little or no blue within just a couple or three firings..sometimes less. The flame is doing 99.5% of the work and I'm convinced that danzac reduces copper fouling..for me.
    Danzac or coated bullets are another thread in themselves, so I'll stop there.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Guymon OK
    Posts
    51

    barrel break in

    I asked gunsmith about this years ago. He told me to turn 15 or 20 cases for my barrel, go fireform them, and my barrel is broken in. I don't know if this is right or not but my gunsmith is Larry Baggett. If it works for him it will work for me.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,225

    My observations on Barrel break in

    Some people follow the barrel break in instructions and shoot one clean,etc,etc, and some don’t.

    Sorta reminds me of, buying a new car. There is a brief section ,in the owners manual that addresses, “Break In”. How many people do you think actually follow those instructions?
    How many people do you think even reads the owners manual.

    I stopped doing the barrel break in process many years ago. I observed that some barrels never showed any copper fouling and some never stopped copper fouling.

    I have changed my barrel ,during a match, from one that was “broke in” to one that had never been shot. Done this several times. Sometimes,the barrel that was not broken in, shot better than the one it replaced. I have seen Larry Baggett and other shooters change barrels at a match, for a variety of reasons. Some of those barrels had never been broken in.

    You don’t have to be a Hall Of Fame shooter to recognize that there are few absolutes in this sport. Larry Baggett told me one time, if you want to learn this game,”Figure it out yourself”.

    I have not seen in, 20 years, any evidence to support the claim that barrel break in instructions are necessary. New barrels either shoot or they don’t.

    I have shared this story before, Barrel Maker Ed Shilen, told me once that a gunsmith definitely can make a barrel not shoot. Ed Shilen knew a thing or two about Rifle Barrels. just some food for thought.


    Glenn

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Poetry, Tex.
    Posts
    6,304
    Quote Originally Posted by oliver88 View Post
    BREAK-IN....Not really breaking in the barrel...Mostly the chamber throat

    With any premium barrel that has been lapped, the lay or direction of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, so fouling is minimal. This is true of any properly finish-lapped barrel regardless of how it is rifled. If it is not finish-lapped, there will be reamer marks left in the bore that are directly across the direction of the bullet travel. This occurs even in a button-rifled barrel as the button cannot completely iron out these reamer marks.

    Because the lay of the finish is in the direction of the bullet travel, very little is done to the bore during break-in but the throat is another story. When your barrel is chambered, there may be reamer marks left in the throat that are across the lands, i.e. across the direction of the bullet travel. When the bullet is forced into the throat, copper dust is released into the gas, which at this temperature and pressure is actually plasma. The copper dust is vaporized in this gas and is carried down the barrel. As the gas expands and cools, the copper comes out of suspension and is deposited in the bore. This makes it appear as if the source of the fouling is the bore and subsequent bullets and deposits are fired over it: Copper, which adheres well to itself, will build up quickly and may be difficult to remove later. So when we break in a barrel, our goal is to get the throat polished without, allowing copper to build up in the bore. This is the reasoning for the "fire-one-shot-and-clean" procedure.

    Barrels will vary slightly in how many rounds they take to break in because of things like slightly different machinability of the steel, or steel chemistry or the condition of the chambering reamer, ect... For example a chrome moly barrel may take longer to break in than stainless steel because it is more abrasion resistant even though it is the same hardness. Also chrome moly has a little more of an affinity for copper than stainless steel so it will usually show a little more "color" if you are using a chemical cleaner. (Chrome moly and stainless steel are different materials with somethings in common and others different.) Rim Fire barrels can take an extremely long time to break in - - - sometimes requiring several hundred rounds or more. But cleaning can be lengthened to every 25-50 rounds. The break-in procedure and the clearing procedure are really the same except for the frequency. Remember the goal is to get or keep the barrel clean while polishing out the throat.

    Finally, the best way to break-in the barrel is to observe when the barrel is broken in: i.e when the fouling is reduced. This is better than some set number of cycles of "shoot and clean" as many owners report practically no fouling after the first few shots, and more break-in would be pointless. Conversely, if more is required, a set number would not address that either. Besides, cleaning is not a completely benign procedure so it should be done carefully and no more than necessary.

    It is a good idea to just observe what the barrel is telling you with its fouling pattern. But once it is broken in, there is no need to continue breaking it in.

    Initially you should perform the shoot-one-shot-and-clean cycle for five cycles. If fouling hasn't reduced, fire five more cycles and so on until fouling begins to drop off. At that point shoot three shots before cleaning and observe. If fouling is reduced, fire five shots before cleaning. It is interesting to shoot groups during the three and five shot cycles.
    Y0u are c0rrect!

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