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This question is not just for Ken,but others with more experience than I.I finally got my dies,the scope mounted,trigger cleaned,fixed,and adjusted,bolt and bore cleaned.The rifle is a unfired ' 68 L61R Sako .338 Win Mag.Time to load some and head to the range.I have read all sorts of things for barrel break-in,shoot one,clean one,5 X,etc.I am a bit odd,I am more interested in the why ,than the how.Like what are you doing by this cleaning?


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You're ironing the minute roughness of the bore surface smooth without ironing a lot of fouling into it.


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Then the powder residue solvent mixture is a mild abrasive?


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Nope.
<br>
<br>You're getting the bore clean as a whistle so the bullet does the ironing. If you leave the fouling in, then the bore surface will not be exposed to the bullet ... the fouling will act to "protect" the bore surface from further polishing/burnishing/ironing. But if you keep shooting a bullet through a squeaky clean bore, the bullet will iron out the bore's imperfections to a degree. Once that happens, the bore will foul less, and many times shoot better.
<br>
<br>That's a dumb guy's understanding of the concept. Hope I didn't make more of a fool of myself than already widely assumed. [Linked Image]
<br>
<br>Rick


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Thank-you,makes sense.


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Why do pistol shooters run two or four hundred rounds through a pistol barrel without cleaning to smooth out and polish the barrel before a thourgh cleaning? -- no


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Because they operate at less than half the velocity levels. Incorporate minute powder charges. Further,most guys figure them to be largely inaccurate anyhow. A new pistol barrel is generally under $100.
<br>
<br>A good custom barrel installation costs as much as many pistols. They can provide EXTREME accuracy and barrel care weighs heavily on accuracy potential and barrel life.
<br>
<br>Nobody breaks in a slingshot either.(grin)............


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I would like to add that I was instructed by Pac-Nor not to shoot a clean, unoiled bore. I do wipe the excesse out, but I always do shoot an oiled bore. E

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Go to www.kriegerbarrels.com and look on the right side for a side-bar that says "barrel cleaning & break-in". Very informative...especially the part about the throat of the chamber.

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No,
<br> For a better explanation of why some pistol shooters don't clean their barrels, go to Scheumann's website and read his take on barrel cleaning. In truth it has more to do with the nature of 416 Stainless Steel, heat generated from rapid fire, hardness of the steel, brushes, and the tendency of the metal to anneal. For what it's worth. Matt.
<br>


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Matt, what's the address.
<br>Thanks guys for the come back. -- no
<br>Stick, believe it, I have been breaking in my pea shooter, bean flip, Wrist Rocket, sling shot, N shooter, forever. Even have an aluminum frame with surgical tubing for power. Without marbles, (boy have you priced that ammo lately), mountain creek rocks are the best ammo around. -- no


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Found this post on BBL breakin?
<br>GALE Mcmillan
<br>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
<br>I answered this and lost it on transfer so will shorten this one and try to get my point across in fewer words. When some one uses JB on one of my rifles I void the warrantee! For two reasons. ! it dimensionally alters the barrel dimensions and not evenly and the second reason is the barrel maker laps the barrel with a grit of lapping compound that is most effective in preventing metal fouling. Then a customer polishes that finish away with JB.
<br>I wouldn't be as apposed to it if it were applied on a lead lap and very sparingly. It is very obvious when you look at a barrel with a bore scopes all the sharp edges are worn off the rifling. if it has JB used on it on a regular basis. As you know ,it is an abrasive of about 1000 grit. As for using it on factory barrels I will say that while it is difficult to hurt a production barrel but the thing that hurts a match barrel will do the same to a factory barrel
<br>I would rather see you use Otters Foul out as it is easy on the barrel. I have only used it on my 50 but it worked well on it.
<br>That is right. it is a waste of barrel and time. I don't know much about lined barrels but it may be that the barrel is rough due to the plating process. With high volume fire as in full auto it helps to protect against erosion and no one is concerned with accuracy as it is spray and pray.
<br>Look at it this way, A barrel starts out with nice sharp areas of the corners of the rifling . Along the way you build a big fire in it a few thousand times and it burns the corners off. Now take a barrel that to break in you put an abrasive on a patch and run it in and out. The result is that you take the corners off the rifling so that all that fire which would have started with sharp rifling is now starting with rifling that is thousands of rounds old. Which means that a lot of the life is gone. A lap always cuts more on each end where the compound reverses direction as it starts back through the barrel which means that it is enlarging the bore at each ends of the barrel. And last picture a patch riding along the barrel with abrasive on it. It is removing material at a given rate. It comes to a place where there is copper fouling and it rides over it cutting the same amount that it was cutting before it came to the copper. You continue until all the fouling is gone and what have you done? You have put the came contour in the barrel steel that was in it when it was metal fouled. It would not be as bad if it were used on a lead lap but I ask why would you want to abuse the barrel when you can accomplish the same thing without the bad side effects. There is Sweats, Otters foul out or just a good daily cleaning with a good bore cleaner till the fouling is gone. To top this off I will relate a true happening. I built a bench rest rifle for a customer and as usual I fired 5 groups of 5 shots and calculated the aggregate. It was good enough to see that the rifle was capable of winning the Nationals so I shipped it. I got a call from the new owner saying how happy he was with it the way it shot. About 4 weeks later the rifle showed up with a note saying it wouldn't shoot. Sure enough when I tested it was shooting groups three times the size if the ones I had shot before I shipped it. When I bore scoped it the barrel looked like a mirror and the rifling wasn't square it was half round. From that time on I put a flyer in each gun saying if any abrasive was use in it voided the Warrantee.
<br>Now I am not trying to stop you from doing what you want but just inform you what is happening when you use JB. Brass brushes are softer than barrel steel and does no harm. S/S brushes are harder than barrel steel is definetly a no no. Nylon may surprise you to know is very abrasive If you doubt this look at the carbide eye on your fishing rod where nylon line has worn groves into it.
<br>The metal shavings would have had to get in the barrel after it was test fired. The barrel was a hammer forged or buttoned barrel which is not machined and is very smooth finished. No one ever said not to clean a new rifle only that it is not necessary to break it in.
<br>

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I've read that piece by Gale,numerous times. I'll not argue with the man,we all see things differently.
<br>
<br>I break in my Custom barrels,but tend to hammer away with the Factory tubes. The reason,is because you can easily have $500 wrapped up in a good barrel and installation. An Ape could do much harm to even a mediocre barrel,with a cleaning rod. I subscribe to the theory of common sense.
<br>
<br>I'd not buy a new brand new motor for my truck,install it and hop it in it with the first turn of the key,to see how fast she goes. Others might. I would not.
<br>
<br>I've seen the effects of fouling and SEVERE fouling. I too use a Foul Out,because on a severe bore,I don't like to use the manual method,due to imparting even more wear and tear.
<br>
<br>In my experience,monitoring fouling is easy. Accuracy declines and that is a red flag,that your bore needs attention. Some brand spanking new barrels,are smoother than others. I've had enough to see that,for my own eyes.
<br>
<br>So I don't used a carved in stone cleaning regimen,nor break in procedure. I tend to shoot,until fouling is evident. Then I tackle it. With a proper sized patched jag and a deft touch,you can feel troubled areas of the bore.
<br>
<br>Like anything else,there is a lot of Smoke and Mirrors,but as always. Common sense will prevail. Use the method,you are most comfortable with..............


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Thanks for the opinions.I am not too sure about common sense prevailing,I haven't seen much of that.This old new Sako has a hammer forged Bofors steel barrel.I am certainly not benchrest,MOA or less off the bench on good days,thats all.


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I write for one of the rifle magazines and recently did an extensive test on barrels from factory to super-premium hand-lapped, using a bore-scope to observe fouling and range tests for accuracy. I concluded most crash-course break-in routines aren't any better than just cleaning the barrel when groups start to enlarge.
<br>
<br>Also, break-in helps rougher barrels more than super-smooth custom barrels. They're already smoothed by lapping at the factory!
<br>
<br>My standard break-in for factory barrels these days is to shoot the thing, then see if it's fouling bad. If it is, then I "clean" the bore using 220-grit lapping paste on a patch wrapped around a bore brush. Unless the barrel's hopeless, this really smooths them up, without eroding the throat like fire-lapping. Most factory barrels respond well to being cleaned with JB the first few times. Custom barrels can just be shot, then cleaned every 10-30 rounds as fouling indicates. Doesn't hurt them a bit.
<br>
<br>Most custom gunsmiths will privately admit the fancy break-in procedures are baloney, but such procedures have become so ingrained in the shooting public's consciousness that they hesitate to buck "common knowledge."


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I just dug way back into the archives and after reading a couple threads i realize I need to know more. What is 220 grit lapping paste? Where do you get it? and what's the difference between this and fire-lapping? If you do either of theese does it make any difference to cleaning your barrels or achieving greater accuracy?

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I like this bit of info it's from Legacy Sports International, its similar to what Browning recomends. It also explains the reason for doing so.

BREAK-IN PROCEDURE FOR GUN BARRELS USING JACKETED BULLETS
For the first ten shots we recommend using jacketed bullets with a nitro powder load (Most Factory Ammo). Clean the oil out of the barrel before each shot using a simple window cleaner (like Windex�) which will soak the oil out of the pores. After firing each cartridge, use a good copper cleaner (one with ammonia) to remove the copper fouling from the barrel. We do not recommend anything with an abrasive in it since you are trying to seal the barrel, not keep it agitated. After cleaning with bore cleaner, clean again with window cleaner after each shot. Use window cleaner because many bore cleaners use a petroleum base which you want to remove before firing the next shot. This will keep the carbon from building up in the barrel (oil left in the pores, when burned, turns to carbon). To keep the temperature cool in the barrel, wait at least 5 minutes between break-in shots. The barrel must remain cool during the break-in procedure. If the barrel is allowed to heat up during the break-in, it will destroy the steel�s ability to develop a home registration point, or memory. It will have a tendency to make the barrel �walk� when it heats up in the future. We have all seen barrels that, as they heat up, start to shoot high and then �walk� to the right. This was caused by improperly breaking in the barrel (generally by sitting at a bench rest and shooting 20 rounds in 5 minutes or so). If you take a little time in the beginning and do it right, you will be much more pleased with the barrel in the future. Look into the end of the barrel after firing a shot, and you will see a light copper-colored wash in the barrel. Remove this before firing the next shot. Somewhere during the procedure, around shot 6 or 7, it will be obvious that the copper color is no longer appearing in the barrel. Continue the window cleaner and bore cleaner applications through shot 10. Following the initial ten shots, you then may shoot 2 rounds, cleaning between each pair of shots, for the next 10 shots. This is simply insuring that the burnishing process has been completed. In theory, you are closing the pores of the barrel metal that have been opened and exposed through the
cutting and hand lapping procedures.

Last edited by Metsamies; 05/10/09.

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I've never broken in a barrel in my life. Have worn a few out though. They are either going to shoot or not. Most of them do but the ones that don't go down the road. Life is to short to spend more time cleaning than shooting!


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I have never not broken in a barrel and am yet to have one not shoot. I can't say if it works or not I am not sure but so far it has worked for me and so far not doing it has worked for you. I think the biggest thing is that you don't take a new barrel and heat it up really fast for the first few rounds.

Last edited by Metsamies; 05/10/09.

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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
I write for one of the rifle magazines and recently did an extensive test on barrels from factory to super-premium hand-lapped, using a bore-scope to observe fouling and range tests for accuracy. I concluded most crash-course break-in routines aren't any better than just cleaning the barrel when groups start to enlarge.
<br>
<br>Also, break-in helps rougher barrels more than super-smooth custom barrels. They're already smoothed by lapping at the factory!
<br>
<br>My standard break-in for factory barrels these days is to shoot the thing, then see if it's fouling bad. If it is, then I "clean" the bore using 220-grit lapping paste on a patch wrapped around a bore brush. Unless the barrel's hopeless, this really smooths them up, without eroding the throat like fire-lapping. Most factory barrels respond well to being cleaned with JB the first few times. Custom barrels can just be shot, then cleaned every 10-30 rounds as fouling indicates. Doesn't hurt them a bit.
<br>
<br>Most custom gunsmiths will privately admit the fancy break-in procedures are baloney, but such procedures have become so ingrained in the shooting public's consciousness that they hesitate to buck "common knowledge."


This is the ony case I've ever heard of where someone ACTUALLY TESTED whether break-in makes any difference.

As a target shooter I agree with MD's conclusions.

Reminds me of the moly craze agout 10-15 years ago. Moly "inceases velocity, improves accuracy, makes your barrel last longer," etc., etc. Yet when someone actually tested the assumptions, the only effect was that it lowered velocity because fome of the powder energy was used up in vaporizing the moly alreadyu in the barrel.

It ain't a fact until someone tests it.


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