Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Essentially barrel break in is the act of smoothing or burnishing the bore and groove of your barrel. This creates better consistency of the bullets travel through the barrel. Today with the shooting industry’s demand for accuracy, most high quality bbl makers lap their barrels to remove minor tooling marks and create as uniform a finish as possible. This is generally done when the barrel is at the “blank” stage before the barrel has been contoured, crowned and chambered. While this technique of lapping does give a great result the post lapping machining done during the chambering process adds more tooling marks.
Now you may wonder. Why not just lap the barrel post all machining? While this can be done it is extremely difficult to do without damaging the barrel. What generally happens if this is not performed perfectly is material is removed from the crown unevenly as the lap passes back and forth through the muzzle causing uneven gas venting behind the bullet deteriorating accuracy. Also if special care is not exercised scratching and gouging of the throat is possible.
Live fire barrel break in can minimize these problems and is much, much more fun! Breaking in a barrel consists of a series of shooting and cleaning sequences. Everyone has their own specific sequences, but the end results are usually very close to the same. This sequence that we have developed over the last 15 years is very simple and has given good results.
First make sure that the barrel is clean and free of any oil or solvents from shipping or the manufacturing processes. Fire either a 5 shot group or two three shot groups
With the bore guide inserted, run the soaked patch through the barrel breach to muzzle, removing it at the muzzle. Repeat this with a new soaked patch 3 times or until no black is showing on the patch. Then, using the correct- for- caliber size nylon brush soaked, scrub the barrel back and forth making sure the brush completely exits the muzzle and chamber before reversing direction. Repeat this step 20 times for a total of 40 passes through the barrel. Follow this with a dry patch removing as it exits the muzzle. Repeat this until the patch comes out clean and dry.
Next, using the smaller brush, run a soaked patch through the bbl scrubbing back and forth for a total of 20 passes through the barrel. Again, make sure that the patch exits the barrel on both ends before reversing direction. You will notice a blue tint on the soaked patches, this is from the copper being dissolved. Follow with dry patches until the patches come out clean and dry. Repeat this process until the soaked patches show no blue coloration.
Note: The small- for- caliber nylon brush is meant to be used with a cleaning patch wrapped corner to corner like a diamond in place on a standard jag. The bristles of the brush keep the patch pressed tight against the bore and groove and increase the surface area of the patch to bbl contact.
Shoot another 5 rounds or 2 Three-Shot groups
As you repeat this sequence, you will begin to notice that your patches start to become clean quicker. This is because the rough surfaces that are holding brass are being smoothed out a little at a time. experience shows 50 rounds on average is the sweet spot for most barrels. Some will smooth up faster and some will take longer depending on the bbl and the cartridge it is chambered for. Some barrels in the prime of their life will clean up with no brushing with as little as five to ten passes with the soaked patch. Remember that every barrel is different; this is a guideline, not an absolute process and enjoy your time at the range with your rifle.
Note: After each cleaning sequence, you will want to make certain that there is no solvent or oil residue left in the chamber. When the cartridge is fired it expands and the brass will “grip” the chamber walls. Solvents and oils will not allow this to happen and will increase the amount of thrust directly to the bolt face. This can often times be misinterpreted as excessive chamber pressure.