I have also said the same thing about "break in" for many years. I have done rigid "break ins" and just shoot the damn thing. I have never been able to see a difference in results that I could quantify.
But then again who am I?
FACT: Even the finest double-hand-lapped, stainless steel match-grade barrel is going to have tooling (reamer) marks, running perpendicular to the direction of bullet travel, remaining on the leade when it is new. These reamer marks are not unlike “the teeth on a very fine file.”
The bore-scope view below shows these reamer marks on the leade of a new, unfired Krieger stainless steel match-grade barrel.
The following pic shows the same barrel as above, after having a 20 round break-in procedure performed on it; there’s nary a reamer mark to be found on the leade.
The next pic shows a bore-scope view of a stainless steel Noveske Afghan barrel (that did not have a break-in procedure performed on it) after firing 150 rounds. While not nearly as pronounced as before the first shot was fired, some of the reamer marks are still clearly evident on the leade after firing 150 rounds.
Last edited by Molon; 01-29-11 at 20:20.
Member of the General Population
I looked up Noveske's cleaning suggestions after build with his SPR barrel and went with the KG products. What the heck, I've used KG Gun Coat in the past and know it to be a good product.
The KG2 bore polish is to keep the copper knocked back some while leaving some in the micro pores of the metal. There is absolutely no reason to do a chemical copper strip on a regular basis. (I've known for years of shooting C&Rs that a "little" copper in the barrel is a good thing and actually improves accuracy.)
A few patches with the KG1 (carbon killer) followed by same with the KG2 (bore polish) followed by a flush with KG3 (solvent/degreaser), and oil. This is the fastest and most efficient cleaning method I've ever used. I generally don't even use a brush - if I do it's 2 - 4 one way passes only.
I've always believed the first cleaning (before firing a round) should be a good one, however.
Last edited by shootist~; 01-29-11 at 22:25.
Barrel break in is voodoo.
Gale McMillan who made some of the most accurate rifles in the world said 'break-in' doesn't work and actually does more wear than just shooting. Until I'm a barrel maker making record holding barrels I won't second guess these barrel makers.
How to Break-in a Barrel
-- A Dissenting Point of View
Gale McMillan, of McMillan Stocks fame, was one of the finest barrel-makers and benchrest shooters of all time. Here he argues that elaborate barrel break-in procedures do more harm than good.
Comments collected from Gale's Gun Forum postings.
"As a barrel maker I have looked in thousands of new and used barrels with a bore scope and I will tell you that if every one followed the prescribed [one shot, one clean] break-in method, a very large number would do more harm than good. The reason you hear of the gain in accuracy is because if you chamber a barrel with a reamer that has a dull throater instead of cutting clean sharp rifling it smears a burr up on the down wind side of the rifling. It takes from one to two hundred rounds to burn this burr out and the rifle to settle down and shoot its best. Any one who chambers rifle barrels has tolerances on how dull to let the reamer get and factories let them go longer than any competent smith would.
Another tidbit to consider--take a 300 Win Mag that has a life expectancy of 1000 rounds. Use 10% of it up with your break-in procedure. For every 10 barrels the barrel-maker makes he has to make one more just to take care of the break-in. No wonder barrel-makers like to see this. Now when you flame me on this please [explain] what you think is happening to the inside of your barrel during the break in that is helping you.
Consider this: every round shot in breaking-in a barrel is one round off the life of said rifle barrel. No one has ever told me the physical reason of what happens during break-in firing. In other words what, to the number of pounds of powder shot at any given pressure, is the life of the barrel. No one has ever explained what is being accomplished by shooting and cleaning in any prescribed method. Start your barrel off with 5 rounds and clean it thoroughly and do it again. Nev Maden, a friend down under that my brother taught to make barrels was the one who came up with the [one shot one clean] break-in method. He may think he has come upon something, or he has come up with another way to sell barrels. I feel that the first shot out of a barrel is its best and every one after that deteriorates [the bore] until the barrel is gone. If some one can explain what physically takes place during break-in to modify the barrel then I may change my mind. As the physical properties of a barrel don't change because of the break-in procedures it means it's all hog wash. I am open to any suggestions that can be documented otherwise if it is just someone's opinion--forget it.
It all got started when a barrel maker that I know started putting break-in instructions in the box with each barrel he shipped a few years ago. I asked him how he figured it would help and his reply was if they shoot 100 rounds breaking in this barrel that's total life is 3000 rounds and I make 1000 barrels a year just figure how many more barrels I will get to make. He had a point; it definately will shorten the barrel life. I have been a barrel maker a fair amount of time and my barrels have set and reset benchrest world records so many times I quit keeping track (at one time they held 7 at one time) along with High Power, Silhouette, Smallbore national and world records and my instructions were to clean as often as possible preferably every 10 rounds. I inspect every barrel taken off and every new barrel before it is shipped with a bore scope and I will tell you all that I see far more barrels ruined by cleaning rods than I see worn out from normal wear and tear. I am even reading about people recommending breaking-in pistols. As if it will help their shooting ability or the guns'. "
Molon's I can't see those pics, any way you could send me a raw link?
Regarding copper removal, I work for a circuit board manufacture. We remove copper from surfaces to make a living. While I understand that there may be imperfections in the lead/chamber area or even rifling that get “polished” with each round fired , hence leaving some copper behind. If the copper is not loose it is not coming out with a solvent available to a consumer doing the shoot one clean method.
We remove 700 microns ( .0007” ) of copper in a process that takes a few minutes, that is using industrial strength chemicals. I don’t see how copper can be removed in a few seconds and a patch. I have seen copper come out of my new barrel after cleaning the powder fouling (just so I can see any evidence of copper) then allowing the copper solvent to sit for 30 minutes then run a dry patch through. I’m not sure what the chemical will do to stainless steel so I follow up with bore cleaner.
From Krieger Barrels Inc.
“With any premium barrel that has been finish lapped -- such as your Krieger Barrel --, 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, by necessity there are reamer marks left in the throat that are across the lands, i.e. across the direction of the bullet travel. In a new barrel they are very distinct; much like the teeth on a very fine file. When the bullet is forced into the throat, copper dust is released into the gas which at this temperature and pressure is actually a 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 when it is actually for the most part the new throat. If this copper is allowed to stay in 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 . . .”
Continued at: http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Break_...246-wp2558.htm
Last edited by Molon; 01-30-11 at 11:40.
Member of the General Population