Breaking in new barrel ???

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Picked up my new Howa 308 today and am hoping to get out tomorrow, is there any need to break in the barrel or is all this a myth ??. Any thoughts or advice much appreciated.

jimmy milnes

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I have done on last two pal shoot one clean for five shots tben shoot three and clean for five groups then five and clean for three groups, end of the day will it hurt to do it anyway ?


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I've never broken in any of my rifles and never had any heavy fouling issues , poor accuracy or other problems I think its a waste of time, effort and barrel life.

I got a new Tikka T3 .308 Supervarmint ten days ago dropped into a GRS stock and had been doing a bit of load development, settled on a load and shot 50 odd rounds now without cleaning. Its spectacularly accurate. (I did clean it when I got it to remove any muck from manufacturing though.)

See what Gale McMillian says about barrel break in: How to Break-in a Barrel

​I say get out and shoot it and enjoy it! I personally could not be bothered to shoot one and clean, shoot two and clean etc. etc. I clean when I feel I need to or accuracy starts to drop off.
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doing mine at the moment...
i am going down the route of ,
fire 1 shot clean 5 times,
fire 2 shots clean,
fire 3 shots clean & so on...
try & stay away from bronze brushes & use nylon ones. what i found with mine was that i couldn't believe the amount of copper that was left in the barrel after the first shot it was unreal! could see it easily in daylight in the last cm or so of the barrel, it took an overnight soak to remove it all!! after the first 5 though it just stopped & cleans up in no time..
but one thing i made sure of was i give it plenty of time in between shots to keep the temp down...
no doubt other people do it other ways for instance check out border barrels website..


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I recently started polishing the crowns on my rifles - one polish with metal polish to a high shine and now the crap from the mod can just be wiped off with a dry patch (as it can't get a hold on a smooth surface).

i don't know if breaking in my barrels has made them more accurate, but they definitely clean up easier. I imagine its for the same reasons my crowns clean easier after being polished.

Custom barrels come polished so don't need running in (supposedly). I guess it therefore makes sense to run in new factory barrels so they get polished... can't hurt anyway!


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very interesting link that
especially the "memory" part, didn't expect them to be hand lapped barrels and using window cleaner!


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It's an American "publication" hence the "Windex" which is an American product.

At one time nearly all barrels were hand lapped but I am also surprised that Howa still do this. The problem is that here in the UK the rifles have to go through proof so it sort of negates part of the procedure don't you think?


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Just having a Maddco barrel fitted to a Sako 75 action. These barrels come with quite specific 'running in' instructions, if the maker thinks its worth it I will make the effort.


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IF I were you , I would do exactly what the rifle makers recommend , that way there,s no come back , just in case some things not quite right, with your new rifle , OK very rare but it can Happen


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Never "broken in" a new barrel factory or custom, by the time you get through zeroing the rifle and tactile familiarisation getting used to trigger and such you have pretty well done the job. If it doesn't,t shoot after that it was crap anyway. Get it, shoot it and enjoy it, "Straight powder".
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