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Thread: Breaking in a new rifle...?

  1. #1

    Breaking in a new rifle...?

    Just wondering how people break in their barrels? I've had a look on youtube and they reccomend:
    1. clean the barrel before taking a shot, then take 5 shots cleaning after each and every shot
    2. Shoot 5 shot groups, cleaning after each and every 5 shots until 50 shots have been fired
    3. Your rifle is now bedded in...?

    Thoughts would be appreciated as am going to get a new gun soon - just been made redundant but luckily have the holy grail of partners: "it's ok hun we can live off my wage - if you want to take some time out and re-train then I'll support us, and use some of our savings to buy your gun, we'll just tighten our belts elswhere" Must marry her ASAP!!!


  2. #2
    I'm not Larry Potterfield...

    Most advice talks about numbers, but it's always best to be clear on what you are looking to achieve and act accordingly. every barrel - even from same maker can be different.

    The break-in process is looking to apply a finish to the bore. Some argue it is a polish, others that they are sealing pores and imperfections. The reality ( as usual ) is a bit of both. And that's not leave out those who believe it to be a waste of time!

    From dealing with hundreds of rifles, I believe it is worth doing.

    At the outset, keep in mind it is possible to wear out/ damage a bore faster by incorrect 'cleaning' than by shooting.

    Good kit pays for itself time after time. There's lots of good kit and some bad kit out there. I use Dewey rods - they work for me and they are my go to rod. We sell them, because I use them - not the other way round - but be aware of that bias on my part. There are plenty of other good rods. Look for a good bearing system, no exposed steel, a good cover/sheathing - or appropriate rod material. Avoid jointed rods as your main system - most have some flex and risk bore contact. Keep all rods clean and free from grit.

    Bore guides are a good idea - you want them to centre the rod, minimise scraping in the bolt -way, avoid throat damage and rod to rifling contact. Not least it helps if they assist in stopping solvent leaking into the action & stock. Possum Hollow tick all my boxes - if someone can let me know why they seem impossible to get just now I'd be grateful - we've a number on backorder since May and Possum Hollow won't answer my e mails & calls! In that vein - if anyone knows of a good small batch plastic tube extruder/ turning company in NE Scotland we are seriously looking at getting something made.

    To stop solvent leak it needs to be a good fit - or have a suitable o ring seal - as per Possum Hollow ( which is what Larry uses )

    A good bore solvent - again there are lots to choose from. I like Butch's Bore Shine, Tetra, Shooters Choice - there are others. For Copper removal I like Forrest Foam. Wipe out is popular on here - seems to work just fine.

    Good jag and patches - prefer spear type - as supplied with Dewey rod. Patch drops off at muzzle.

    Brushes - prefer nylon to brass. We are using a copper/brass solvent, its going to attack a brass brush, re-depositing the very stuff we are trying to get out. The centre spine should be something softer than the bore and finished in a tight loop rather than cut with exposed ends - risking scratches. Nylon works well.

    All brushes are grit magnets - they should be cleaned well after use and stored in a clean container. Brake cleaner is a good way to neutralise the solvent on the brush. Forget specialist shooting solvents - brake cleaner from Halfords is cheaper. Or if in my line of work buy it by the 5 litre can from an autofactor!

    Some form of cradle makes life easier - sand bags or a slotted cardboard box does the same job as a specialist shooter clamp/vice/ rest.


    Take new rifle. Strip and clean/ relube. Set it in your vice/ box/ stuffed Larry Potterfield etc.

    Fit bore guide. Run a couple of solvent wet patches through the bore and give it a minute. Wet patch again, then run dry patches through. If they come out spotless, you're done. If getting grey/ black streaks then try either a patch of brake cleaner or the nylon brush through a bore solvent wet barrel.

    Can be a pain, but do until you get a dry white patch out.

    Remove bore guide and carefully wipe out chamber.

    Fire first shot. Pause to marvel at what a great rifle you bought

    Repeat the above. This time as you push the cleaning rod up the bore, let it feedback to you what's going on.

    Likely it'll be harder to push than the first time. There's a good chance you feel particular resistance about 7-9" ahead of the chamber.

    You need to get the barrel back to pristine. Give the solvent time to work. When you think you are there, hold the final white, dry patch about an inch short of the muzzle and have a close look in bright light. If you see any streaks, keep going.

    This is the impractical bit for those without ready range access. Have a read of the notes on the Border Barrels website - they leave Bore Foam in overnight - effectively firing one shot a day. That simply may not work for most people time wise.

    Very careful and thats VERY - use of JB compound can speed things a little. But far better to allow chemical rather than mechanical action to shift the fouling.

    Fire second shot. Repeat as above. This time there will likely be an easier push through the barrel. It wont be perfect, but it will get easier - if not this time, then at some point over the first 5-7 rounds.

    Repeat process for at least first ten rounds - it will make a difference.

    Given freehand and time, I will do this over however long it takes. Until the point is reached where I can tell by experience that the rod 'feels right'. Smoothly going up the entire length of the bore. Check with white patch at this stage and there should be very minimal or non existent streaks. Dry, the bore should be starting to look polished.

    Most Tikkas/Sako/Howa its between 8-14 rounds in total. Sauers/ Blaser tend to be there within 5-6 rounds.

    Brownings/ Ruger/ Remington - 15-20.

    Thereafter repeat after every 5 rounds for at least two cycles.

    A lot of effort? Yep - but you are investing up front. Think of the ammo you'll save in the long run - many rifles will behave without needing a fouling shot after proper break-in. Cleaning will tend to be a couple of wet patches, wait 15 minutes, final wet patch and three dry and you're done.

    Many will disagree - that's fine. I often have to abridge this process with clients collecting new rifles - where ( understandably ) they want to be the first to shoot it. Even abridged, they can feel the difference and the improvement over 5 or 6 rounds.

    Let us know how you get on.
    Stalking, Courses, Gear - Moray Outfiiting Website here - Welcome
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at the Stalking Fair, Scone & Moy 2017




  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Moray Outfitting View Post
    I'm not Larry Potterfield...

    Most advice talks about numbers, but it's always best to be clear on what you are looking to achieve and act accordingly. every barrel - even from same maker can be different.

    The break-in process is looking to apply a finish to the bore. Some argue it is a polish, others that they are sealing pores and imperfections. The reality ( as usual ) is a bit of both. And that's not leave out those who believe it to be a waste of time!

    From dealing with hundreds of rifles, I believe it is worth doing.

    At the outset, keep in mind it is possible to wear out/ damage a bore faster by incorrect 'cleaning' than by shooting.

    Good kit pays for itself time after time. There's lots of good kit and some bad kit out there. I use Dewey rods - they work for me and they are my go to rod. We sell them, because I use them - not the other way round - but be aware of that bias on my part. There are plenty of other good rods. Look for a good bearing system, no exposed steel, a good cover/sheathing - or appropriate rod material. Avoid jointed rods as your main system - most have some flex and risk bore contact. Keep all rods clean and free from grit.

    Bore guides are a good idea - you want them to centre the rod, minimise scraping in the bolt -way, avoid throat damage and rod to rifling contact. Not least it helps if they assist in stopping solvent leaking into the action & stock. Possum Hollow tick all my boxes - if someone can let me know why they seem impossible to get just now I'd be grateful - we've a number on backorder since May and Possum Hollow won't answer my e mails & calls! In that vein - if anyone knows of a good small batch plastic tube extruder/ turning company in NE Scotland we are seriously looking at getting something made.

    To stop solvent leak it needs to be a good fit - or have a suitable o ring seal - as per Possum Hollow ( which is what Larry uses )

    A good bore solvent - again there are lots to choose from. I like Butch's Bore Shine, Tetra, Shooters Choice - there are others. For Copper removal I like Forrest Foam. Wipe out is popular on here - seems to work just fine.

    Good jag and patches - prefer spear type - as supplied with Dewey rod. Patch drops off at muzzle.

    Brushes - prefer nylon to brass. We are using a copper/brass solvent, its going to attack a brass brush, re-depositing the very stuff we are trying to get out. The centre spine should be something softer than the bore and finished in a tight loop rather than cut with exposed ends - risking scratches. Nylon works well.

    All brushes are grit magnets - they should be cleaned well after use and stored in a clean container. Brake cleaner is a good way to neutralise the solvent on the brush. Forget specialist shooting solvents - brake cleaner from Halfords is cheaper. Or if in my line of work buy it by the 5 litre can from an autofactor!

    Some form of cradle makes life easier - sand bags or a slotted cardboard box does the same job as a specialist shooter clamp/vice/ rest.


    Take new rifle. Strip and clean/ relube. Set it in your vice/ box/ stuffed Larry Potterfield etc.

    Fit bore guide. Run a couple of solvent wet patches through the bore and give it a minute. Wet patch again, then run dry patches through. If they come out spotless, you're done. If getting grey/ black streaks then try either a patch of brake cleaner or the nylon brush through a bore solvent wet barrel.

    Can be a pain, but do until you get a dry white patch out.

    Remove bore guide and carefully wipe out chamber.

    Fire first shot. Pause to marvel at what a great rifle you bought

    Repeat the above. This time as you push the cleaning rod up the bore, let it feedback to you what's going on.

    Likely it'll be harder to push than the first time. There's a good chance you feel particular resistance about 7-9" ahead of the chamber.

    You need to get the barrel back to pristine. Give the solvent time to work. When you think you are there, hold the final white, dry patch about an inch short of the muzzle and have a close look in bright light. If you see any streaks, keep going.

    This is the impractical bit for those without ready range access. Have a read of the notes on the Border Barrels website - they leave Bore Foam in overnight - effectively firing one shot a day. That simply may not work for most people time wise.

    Very careful and thats VERY - use of JB compound can speed things a little. But far better to allow chemical rather than mechanical action to shift the fouling.

    Fire second shot. Repeat as above. This time there will likely be an easier push through the barrel. It wont be perfect, but it will get easier - if not this time, then at some point over the first 5-7 rounds.

    Repeat process for at least first ten rounds - it will make a difference.

    Given freehand and time, I will do this over however long it takes. Until the point is reached where I can tell by experience that the rod 'feels right'. Smoothly going up the entire length of the bore. Check with white patch at this stage and there should be very minimal or non existent streaks. Dry, the bore should be starting to look polished.

    Most Tikkas/Sako/Howa its between 8-14 rounds in total. Sauers/ Blaser tend to be there within 5-6 rounds.

    Brownings/ Ruger/ Remington - 15-20.

    Thereafter repeat after every 5 rounds for at least two cycles.

    A lot of effort? Yep - but you are investing up front. Think of the ammo you'll save in the long run - many rifles will behave without needing a fouling shot after proper break-in. Cleaning will tend to be a couple of wet patches, wait 15 minutes, final wet patch and three dry and you're done.

    Many will disagree - that's fine. I often have to abridge this process with clients collecting new rifles - where ( understandably ) they want to be the first to shoot it. Even abridged, they can feel the difference and the improvement over 5 or 6 rounds.

    Let us know how you get on.
    Great post as i will be picking up a new rebarrelled 17 rem soon.
    cheers
    dave

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Moray Outfitting View Post
    I'm not Larry Potterfield...

    Most advice talks about numbers, but it's always best to be clear on what you are looking to achieve and act accordingly. every barrel - even from same maker can be different.

    The break-in process is looking to apply a finish to the bore. Some argue it is a polish, others that they are sealing pores and imperfections. The reality ( as usual ) is a bit of both. And that's not leave out those who believe it to be a waste of time!

    From dealing with hundreds of rifles, I believe it is worth doing.

    At the outset, keep in mind it is possible to wear out/ damage a bore faster by incorrect 'cleaning' than by shooting.

    Good kit pays for itself time after time. There's lots of good kit and some bad kit out there. I use Dewey rods - they work for me and they are my go to rod. We sell them, because I use them - not the other way round - but be aware of that bias on my part. There are plenty of other good rods. Look for a good bearing system, no exposed steel, a good cover/sheathing - or appropriate rod material. Avoid jointed rods as your main system - most have some flex and risk bore contact. Keep all rods clean and free from grit.

    Bore guides are a good idea - you want them to centre the rod, minimise scraping in the bolt -way, avoid throat damage and rod to rifling contact. Not least it helps if they assist in stopping solvent leaking into the action & stock. Possum Hollow tick all my boxes - if someone can let me know why they seem impossible to get just now I'd be grateful - we've a number on backorder since May and Possum Hollow won't answer my e mails & calls! In that vein - if anyone knows of a good small batch plastic tube extruder/ turning company in NE Scotland we are seriously looking at getting something made.

    To stop solvent leak it needs to be a good fit - or have a suitable o ring seal - as per Possum Hollow ( which is what Larry uses )

    A good bore solvent - again there are lots to choose from. I like Butch's Bore Shine, Tetra, Shooters Choice - there are others. For Copper removal I like Forrest Foam. Wipe out is popular on here - seems to work just fine.

    Good jag and patches - prefer spear type - as supplied with Dewey rod. Patch drops off at muzzle.

    Brushes - prefer nylon to brass. We are using a copper/brass solvent, its going to attack a brass brush, re-depositing the very stuff we are trying to get out. The centre spine should be something softer than the bore and finished in a tight loop rather than cut with exposed ends - risking scratches. Nylon works well.

    All brushes are grit magnets - they should be cleaned well after use and stored in a clean container. Brake cleaner is a good way to neutralise the solvent on the brush. Forget specialist shooting solvents - brake cleaner from Halfords is cheaper. Or if in my line of work buy it by the 5 litre can from an autofactor!

    Some form of cradle makes life easier - sand bags or a slotted cardboard box does the same job as a specialist shooter clamp/vice/ rest.


    Take new rifle. Strip and clean/ relube. Set it in your vice/ box/ stuffed Larry Potterfield etc.

    Fit bore guide. Run a couple of solvent wet patches through the bore and give it a minute. Wet patch again, then run dry patches through. If they come out spotless, you're done. If getting grey/ black streaks then try either a patch of brake cleaner or the nylon brush through a bore solvent wet barrel.

    Can be a pain, but do until you get a dry white patch out.

    Remove bore guide and carefully wipe out chamber.

    Fire first shot. Pause to marvel at what a great rifle you bought

    Repeat the above. This time as you push the cleaning rod up the bore, let it feedback to you what's going on.

    Likely it'll be harder to push than the first time. There's a good chance you feel particular resistance about 7-9" ahead of the chamber.

    You need to get the barrel back to pristine. Give the solvent time to work. When you think you are there, hold the final white, dry patch about an inch short of the muzzle and have a close look in bright light. If you see any streaks, keep going.

    This is the impractical bit for those without ready range access. Have a read of the notes on the Border Barrels website - they leave Bore Foam in overnight - effectively firing one shot a day. That simply may not work for most people time wise.

    Very careful and thats VERY - use of JB compound can speed things a little. But far better to allow chemical rather than mechanical action to shift the fouling.

    Fire second shot. Repeat as above. This time there will likely be an easier push through the barrel. It wont be perfect, but it will get easier - if not this time, then at some point over the first 5-7 rounds.

    Repeat process for at least first ten rounds - it will make a difference.

    Given freehand and time, I will do this over however long it takes. Until the point is reached where I can tell by experience that the rod 'feels right'. Smoothly going up the entire length of the bore. Check with white patch at this stage and there should be very minimal or non existent streaks. Dry, the bore should be starting to look polished.

    Most Tikkas/Sako/Howa its between 8-14 rounds in total. Sauers/ Blaser tend to be there within 5-6 rounds.

    Brownings/ Ruger/ Remington - 15-20.

    Thereafter repeat after every 5 rounds for at least two cycles.

    A lot of effort? Yep - but you are investing up front. Think of the ammo you'll save in the long run - many rifles will behave without needing a fouling shot after proper break-in. Cleaning will tend to be a couple of wet patches, wait 15 minutes, final wet patch and three dry and you're done.

    Many will disagree - that's fine. I often have to abridge this process with clients collecting new rifles - where ( understandably ) they want to be the first to shoot it. Even abridged, they can feel the difference and the improvement over 5 or 6 rounds.

    Let us know how you get on.
    Thank you so much - what an absolutely superb post, really appreciate the time you obviously took to do this

    Will let you know how I get on!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Moray Outfitting View Post
    I'm not Larry Potterfield...

    Most advice talks about numbers, but it's always best to be clear on what you are looking to achieve and act accordingly. every barrel - even from same maker can be different.

    The break-in process is looking to apply a finish to the bore. Some argue it is a polish, others that they are sealing pores and imperfections. The reality ( as usual ) is a bit of both. And that's not leave out those who believe it to be a waste of time!

    From dealing with hundreds of rifles, I believe it is worth doing.

    At the outset, keep in mind it is possible to wear out/ damage a bore faster by incorrect 'cleaning' than by shooting.

    Good kit pays for itself time after time. There's lots of good kit and some bad kit out there. I use Dewey rods - they work for me and they are my go to rod. We sell them, because I use them - not the other way round - but be aware of that bias on my part. There are plenty of other good rods. Look for a good bearing system, no exposed steel, a good cover/sheathing - or appropriate rod material. Avoid jointed rods as your main system - most have some flex and risk bore contact. Keep all rods clean and free from grit.

    Bore guides are a good idea - you want them to centre the rod, minimise scraping in the bolt -way, avoid throat damage and rod to rifling contact. Not least it helps if they assist in stopping solvent leaking into the action & stock. Possum Hollow tick all my boxes - if someone can let me know why they seem impossible to get just now I'd be grateful - we've a number on backorder since May and Possum Hollow won't answer my e mails & calls! In that vein - if anyone knows of a good small batch plastic tube extruder/ turning company in NE Scotland we are seriously looking at getting something made.

    To stop solvent leak it needs to be a good fit - or have a suitable o ring seal - as per Possum Hollow ( which is what Larry uses )

    A good bore solvent - again there are lots to choose from. I like Butch's Bore Shine, Tetra, Shooters Choice - there are others. For Copper removal I like Forrest Foam. Wipe out is popular on here - seems to work just fine.

    Good jag and patches - prefer spear type - as supplied with Dewey rod. Patch drops off at muzzle.

    Brushes - prefer nylon to brass. We are using a copper/brass solvent, its going to attack a brass brush, re-depositing the very stuff we are trying to get out. The centre spine should be something softer than the bore and finished in a tight loop rather than cut with exposed ends - risking scratches. Nylon works well.

    All brushes are grit magnets - they should be cleaned well after use and stored in a clean container. Brake cleaner is a good way to neutralise the solvent on the brush. Forget specialist shooting solvents - brake cleaner from Halfords is cheaper. Or if in my line of work buy it by the 5 litre can from an autofactor!

    Some form of cradle makes life easier - sand bags or a slotted cardboard box does the same job as a specialist shooter clamp/vice/ rest.


    Take new rifle. Strip and clean/ relube. Set it in your vice/ box/ stuffed Larry Potterfield etc.

    Fit bore guide. Run a couple of solvent wet patches through the bore and give it a minute. Wet patch again, then run dry patches through. If they come out spotless, you're done. If getting grey/ black streaks then try either a patch of brake cleaner or the nylon brush through a bore solvent wet barrel.

    Can be a pain, but do until you get a dry white patch out.

    Remove bore guide and carefully wipe out chamber.

    Fire first shot. Pause to marvel at what a great rifle you bought

    Repeat the above. This time as you push the cleaning rod up the bore, let it feedback to you what's going on.

    Likely it'll be harder to push than the first time. There's a good chance you feel particular resistance about 7-9" ahead of the chamber.

    You need to get the barrel back to pristine. Give the solvent time to work. When you think you are there, hold the final white, dry patch about an inch short of the muzzle and have a close look in bright light. If you see any streaks, keep going.

    This is the impractical bit for those without ready range access. Have a read of the notes on the Border Barrels website - they leave Bore Foam in overnight - effectively firing one shot a day. That simply may not work for most people time wise.

    Very careful and thats VERY - use of JB compound can speed things a little. But far better to allow chemical rather than mechanical action to shift the fouling.

    Fire second shot. Repeat as above. This time there will likely be an easier push through the barrel. It wont be perfect, but it will get easier - if not this time, then at some point over the first 5-7 rounds.

    Repeat process for at least first ten rounds - it will make a difference.

    Given freehand and time, I will do this over however long it takes. Until the point is reached where I can tell by experience that the rod 'feels right'. Smoothly going up the entire length of the bore. Check with white patch at this stage and there should be very minimal or non existent streaks. Dry, the bore should be starting to look polished.

    Most Tikkas/Sako/Howa its between 8-14 rounds in total. Sauers/ Blaser tend to be there within 5-6 rounds.

    Brownings/ Ruger/ Remington - 15-20.

    Thereafter repeat after every 5 rounds for at least two cycles.

    A lot of effort? Yep - but you are investing up front. Think of the ammo you'll save in the long run - many rifles will behave without needing a fouling shot after proper break-in. Cleaning will tend to be a couple of wet patches, wait 15 minutes, final wet patch and three dry and you're done.

    Many will disagree - that's fine. I often have to abridge this process with clients collecting new rifles - where ( understandably ) they want to be the first to shoot it. Even abridged, they can feel the difference and the improvement over 5 or 6 rounds.

    Let us know how you get on.
    You are right, many will disagree. I, on the other hand, agree 100%.
    A very good post in my opinion.
    Andy.

  6. #6
    Very kind of people to say. Appreciate it was a bit long ( again ).

    I hate it when people dictate things, so always try to keep things open ended. Then again that can make things vague - sometimes you can't win! But people frequently look in amazement at the Sako 75 loan-out rifle on our DSC1/ Intro courses etc and ask how it performs like that day in day out - the above covers 90% of it.

    Others may be quite happy from their own different experience - vive la difference.
    Stalking, Courses, Gear - Moray Outfiiting Website here - Welcome
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at the Stalking Fair, Scone & Moy 2017




  7. #7
    Good post Paul - just about everything there that I do with a new rifle. I would just add that I am a fan of Kano Kriol in the cleaning process. There has always been a debate about whether to shoot in a barrel or not and even some learned rifle people have deemed it a waste of time. My take has been that breaking in a barrel will certainly do it no harm and it would have to be sighted in anyway. I also hope the bore snake people will read your post - lol

    You mentioned " if anyone knows of a good small batch plastic tube extruder/ turning company in NE Scotland we are seriously looking at getting something made."
    I know they do not make plastic guides or are from the NE but have you looked up the website of The Shooting Shed ? They make bore guides and other bespoke items for the shooter/reloader and best of all they are British.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Moray Outfitting View Post
    I'm not Larry Potterfield...

    Most advice talks about numbers, but it's always best to be clear on what you are looking to achieve and act accordingly. every barrel - even from same maker can be different.

    The break-in process is looking to apply a finish to the bore. Some argue it is a polish, others that they are sealing pores and imperfections. The reality ( as usual ) is a bit of both. And that's not leave out those who believe it to be a waste of time!

    From dealing with hundreds of rifles, I believe it is worth doing.

    At the outset, keep in mind it is possible to wear out/ damage a bore faster by incorrect 'cleaning' than by shooting.

    Good kit pays for itself time after time. There's lots of good kit and some bad kit out there. I use Dewey rods - they work for me and they are my go to rod. We sell them, because I use them - not the other way round - but be aware of that bias on my part. There are plenty of other good rods. Look for a good bearing system, no exposed steel, a good cover/sheathing - or appropriate rod material. Avoid jointed rods as your main system - most have some flex and risk bore contact. Keep all rods clean and free from grit.

    Bore guides are a good idea - you want them to centre the rod, minimise scraping in the bolt -way, avoid throat damage and rod to rifling contact. Not least it helps if they assist in stopping solvent leaking into the action & stock. Possum Hollow tick all my boxes - if someone can let me know why they seem impossible to get just now I'd be grateful - we've a number on backorder since May and Possum Hollow won't answer my e mails & calls! In that vein - if anyone knows of a good small batch plastic tube extruder/ turning company in NE Scotland we are seriously looking at getting something made.

    To stop solvent leak it needs to be a good fit - or have a suitable o ring seal - as per Possum Hollow ( which is what Larry uses )

    A good bore solvent - again there are lots to choose from. I like Butch's Bore Shine, Tetra, Shooters Choice - there are others. For Copper removal I like Forrest Foam. Wipe out is popular on here - seems to work just fine.

    Good jag and patches - prefer spear type - as supplied with Dewey rod. Patch drops off at muzzle.

    Brushes - prefer nylon to brass. We are using a copper/brass solvent, its going to attack a brass brush, re-depositing the very stuff we are trying to get out. The centre spine should be something softer than the bore and finished in a tight loop rather than cut with exposed ends - risking scratches. Nylon works well.

    All brushes are grit magnets - they should be cleaned well after use and stored in a clean container. Brake cleaner is a good way to neutralise the solvent on the brush. Forget specialist shooting solvents - brake cleaner from Halfords is cheaper. Or if in my line of work buy it by the 5 litre can from an autofactor!

    Some form of cradle makes life easier - sand bags or a slotted cardboard box does the same job as a specialist shooter clamp/vice/ rest.


    Take new rifle. Strip and clean/ relube. Set it in your vice/ box/ stuffed Larry Potterfield etc.

    Fit bore guide. Run a couple of solvent wet patches through the bore and give it a minute. Wet patch again, then run dry patches through. If they come out spotless, you're done. If getting grey/ black streaks then try either a patch of brake cleaner or the nylon brush through a bore solvent wet barrel.

    Can be a pain, but do until you get a dry white patch out.

    Remove bore guide and carefully wipe out chamber.

    Fire first shot. Pause to marvel at what a great rifle you bought

    Repeat the above. This time as you push the cleaning rod up the bore, let it feedback to you what's going on.

    Likely it'll be harder to push than the first time. There's a good chance you feel particular resistance about 7-9" ahead of the chamber.

    You need to get the barrel back to pristine. Give the solvent time to work. When you think you are there, hold the final white, dry patch about an inch short of the muzzle and have a close look in bright light. If you see any streaks, keep going.

    This is the impractical bit for those without ready range access. Have a read of the notes on the Border Barrels website - they leave Bore Foam in overnight - effectively firing one shot a day. That simply may not work for most people time wise.

    Very careful and thats VERY - use of JB compound can speed things a little. But far better to allow chemical rather than mechanical action to shift the fouling.

    Fire second shot. Repeat as above. This time there will likely be an easier push through the barrel. It wont be perfect, but it will get easier - if not this time, then at some point over the first 5-7 rounds.

    Repeat process for at least first ten rounds - it will make a difference.

    Given freehand and time, I will do this over however long it takes. Until the point is reached where I can tell by experience that the rod 'feels right'. Smoothly going up the entire length of the bore. Check with white patch at this stage and there should be very minimal or non existent streaks. Dry, the bore should be starting to look polished.

    Most Tikkas/Sako/Howa its between 8-14 rounds in total. Sauers/ Blaser tend to be there within 5-6 rounds.

    Brownings/ Ruger/ Remington - 15-20.

    Thereafter repeat after every 5 rounds for at least two cycles.

    A lot of effort? Yep - but you are investing up front. Think of the ammo you'll save in the long run - many rifles will behave without needing a fouling shot after proper break-in. Cleaning will tend to be a couple of wet patches, wait 15 minutes, final wet patch and three dry and you're done.

    Many will disagree - that's fine. I often have to abridge this process with clients collecting new rifles - where ( understandably ) they want to be the first to shoot it. Even abridged, they can feel the difference and the improvement over 5 or 6 rounds.

    Let us know how you get on.
    Outstanding post in my opinion. You know your onions. With bit of experience the Rod `tells` you all you need to know.
    Dare i suggest the Mods pin this for future reference?

    Yorkie.

  9. #9
    Clean any/all factory solvents out of the barrel.

    Shoot it.

    The break in was already spoiled by the fellow who test fired the gun. ~Muir

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Clean any/all factory solvents out of the barrel.

    Shoot it.

    The break in was already spoiled by the fellow who test fired the gun. ~Muir
    Love it...this very true, especially after the proof house got their thieving mitts on it! Lol

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