Can anyone give me any top tips about cleaning/ shooting in a new barrel?
Can anyone give me any top tips about cleaning/ shooting in a new barrel?
Fire 1, clean
Fire 2, clean
Fire 3, clean
Fire 5, clean
Fire 10, clean.
Clean every 10 for next 50.
When you say clean will a run through with a patch do or is it the full procedure each time? Ta.
This is as 'heated' a topic as the ones on cleaning! Same caveat as on the cleaning thread - it's your rifle and your choice. No 'Jihad' required if views do not exactly match yours! ( anyone know if there's a Youtube of Emo Philips? the US comedian and his 'die heretic' skit? )
Mike Norris posted about a year back regards barrel break-in. To put it mildly, not everyone agreed, but perhaps a worthwhile read. I think it was in reply on an existing thread.
If you've taken delivered of your custom rifle with match grade Lija etc barrel - then almost certainly the barrel will already be 'broken in'. The purpose of 'breaking in' is to condition the surface of the bore with a viw to obtaining one or more of the following - consistency, ease of cleaning, accuracy, preferred pressure and so on. By firing one shot through a pristine barrel, thoroughly cleaning back to pristine state and repeating, you are influencing the bore surface - smoothing inconsistencies and the like.
How can 'soft' copper affect 'hard' steel? Well once things are travelling at 3x speed of sound, high pressure in the tens of tons, hot gasses way up there and so forth it doesn't sound quite so incredible. Why clean each time - so the surface you want to affect is the one you work - not the layer of material left on it by the last shot. So it needs cleaning back to bore each time. Ross Seyfried in the 80's noted that a very light oiling of the bore can assist, but that seems counter intuitive.
Any system of shoot x, then shoot y number of rounds then you're done kind of leap-frogs the intended purpose. You shoot until the desired effect is achieved. ( all this assuming you buy into break in theology - many do not ).
If I am doing it, I fire one, clean - and when cleaning 'feel' what the bore is telling me. Often there's a hesitantion about 6-9" ahead the chamber and may be in other spots. As the process continues, these hesitations decline and may vanish completely or remain at a level so fine you are happy with it.
As a final check when I think I'm there, I'll fire one. Put a clean white patch down the bore and stop it 1-2cm short of the crown - then have a look at the bore with a good light and observe how fouled it is and general 'shine' from the bore.
Every rofle seems different and I've not found it possible to say Howa need X, Sako Y, Browning Z etc. Though Good Sako's work in 2-3 shots, Sauers seem fine straight off, Howa's 10-20 shots.
Mike mentioned this in his write -up and I honestly don't know why it should be, but from observation - you can do a break-in process at any stage in a barrel's life, but it never seems as effective as when done from new.
If anyone is now busy cleaning spittle from their screen because of any perceived insult, slight or heresy - it's your problem not mine!
Brilliant answer. Thanks for taking the time.
I tend to keep shooting one, cleaning one, until this hesitation is gone (and the patch passes smoothly through the entire length) and then moving up to shooting 2 and patching. If on first patching I feel no hesitation, I move up to shoot 3 clean one, and so-on, until I can shoot 10 and patch through smoothly. Also, once when shooting 5 or more, as well as the smooth patching technique (feeling for tight spots where minute amounts of fouling can build up), I look for blue (copper) on the patch. I continue shooting limited numbers between cleans, until no blue is present, only the blackish powder residue fouling.
The idea I think (as Moray have indicated) is that tiny imperfections which are quick to attract fouling are removed or smoothed out and for this process to work, the barrel must be free of any copper wash up the barrel or other metallic fouling. The benefit longer term is to help the bore to be more resilient to copper fouling. By "polishing" the bore it is also said to make the throat area particularly more resistant to erosion by offsetting the effects for longer. Some cleaning compounds (like M-Pro 7) also contain conditioning compounds which help to maintain a pristine bore. Of course, the caveat here is that some barrels from new may benefit less than others from "break-in" and for some it may be unecessary. They way I look at it, it can't do any harm, and most likely is a good thing, so I have always done it. I was told that I didn't need to for my new Tikka but I went ahead anyway, and discovered that there were two tightish areas of the bore from new. One about 9 or 10 inches ahead of the chamber and one a few inches from the muzzle. They were both removed by gentle break in and cleaning.
It always amazes me on a seemingly perfect looking bore that you can feel these inconsistencies, but you can. The rifles I've broken in this way all shoot very well. I can't say whether that's because they're just good barrels, concentric and less prone to heat warping etc, or whether the break-in is simply helping consistency, but my experience of these rifles is that that they shoot better than the ones I've not taken this trouble with from the start.
People are free to do what they want with their own rifles, or criticise break-in as unnecessary but it's worked for me, as has regular barrel cleaning thereafter.
Last edited by ChesterP; 28-03-2016 at 16:09.
ChesterP - thank you for the kind comments. Not unsurprisingly, i agree with what you wrote!
I had a couple of PM's regards 'wasting ammo, time and barrel life'. There's no reason this process cannot be combined with getting sights set up etc. There may be a few tweaks required as things progress - but rarely anything major. Definately not suggesting any kind of chore be made of it.
There was a page about this on the old Border Barrels website. From memory, they recommended the same routine as N.F.W.M. detailed above, filling the bore with Forrest Bore Foam for 24hrs each time before cleaning. They reckoned copper could build up on any minute burrs that were present in a new barrel.
Having this in mind, I wondered if a patch should be inserted from the muzzle end to help remove any copper that, I assume, would have built up on the breach side of the burr(s), or would the foam have completely dissolved it?
It's amusing just why some consider a relatively few rounds in say 10,000 rounds of barrel life to be important LoL! You're spot on. Use the initial bedding in rounds for load development or whatever. No round shot should be ideally without purpose.I had a couple of PM's regards 'wasting ammo, time and barrel life'. There's no reason this process cannot be combined with getting sights set up etc. There may be a few tweaks required as things progress - but rarely anything major. Definatelynot suggesting any kind of chore be made of it.
Last edited by ChesterP; 29-03-2016 at 00:31.
This bore conditioning is why the old quality barrel makers used to hone the bores. The honing using a lead lap removed the burrs if any and removed any tight spots and left a highly polished finish to the surface of the bore but of course this proceedure took time and cost money.
There also the be Ball Burnished proceedure that you could have done this only did the bore and not the grooves and I read something on this a little while ago. It was in relation to target rifle barrels but do not know if it is stilll being offered.