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I've heard there's no need to "break in" a .22 caliber barrel. I want my first rifle (other than a Sears .22 that I got as a kid) treated properly as I dropped serious coin on my Daniel Defense M4. Should I just check for copper residue and clean it with a copper solvent after each of the first 5 rounds or so?
I'll be hitting the range very soon with the AR, my new Savage .17 HMR with serious glass, and my new (used) Winchester Trapper in .45 Colt.
Thanks for any help.
 

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I don't know if barrel break in is a sham or not.

But no one has ever done a scientific test to prove that "Barrel Break In" actually does any good. By that I mean no one has taken 20 new barrels and used a break in proceedure on 10 and just shoot it and clean when you are done on the other 10 and then compared the results on accuracy, velocity and barrel wear over 10,000-20,000 rounds. Even if they did a test like that it would only have meaning for that brand of barrel. Maybe if I win the lottery I'll buy 20 rifles and 400,000 rounds of ammo and have a barrel break in party.

If done properly with a good, coated, once piece cleaning rod, bore guide, bronze brushes, brass jag, ext.... following a barrel break in proceedure won't hurt anything. But improper cleaning or cheap cleaning equipment can destroy a bore in a few strokes.

I don't think there is any need to break in a top of the line target barrel. It already should be lapped and about as smooth as it can get.

Your DDM4 has a chrome lined barrel and everything I have read says there is no sense in trying to break one in.

Your .45 Colt Trapper is used so there is no sense trying to break it in, it's already been shot who knows how many times. You can't undo what has been done to it.

Your Savage .17 HMR is a mass produced factory rifle and might benefit from a barrel break in proceedure. FWIW I followed the fire 1 shot, clean for 5 times then fire 5 shots and clean for 5 times routine with my Savage 93R17FV when I got it. I don't know if it helped, it seems to shoot 3/4" groups at 100 yards like all the rest of the 93R17's I've seen. But if made me feel like I was doing something.
 

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Before this devolves into the typical barrel break in thread, understand that practically nobody who advocates "barrel break in" means running an abrasive bore scrubber through the barrel. The anti's will use Gale MacMillan as an example, but MacMillan always addressed scrubbing the barrel with abrasive scrubber during "break in".

Most of us mean running solvent, brush, and a patch through the barrel between shots for an even burnishing of the new barrel. If you consider the burnish process, it makes sense. If you have a rough spot in the barrel that picks up copper from rounds, the subsequent shots will likely increase that area and prevent the entire circumference of the barrel from being evenly burnished. The idea is to let the entire inside of the barrel to wear and break in evenly.

Several barrel makers and rifle manufacturers advocate barrel break in. Weatherby is one that stands out in my mind. Weatherby is known for it's accuracy, and I can attest to that reputation. I would think there is a reason Weatherby advocates barrel break in.


IMO, why not? What will it hurt? It will cost you a little time and solvent, that's all. And you will never get the chance to go back to the newness of the barrel and start over. A chrome lined AR barrel probably won't benefit from it. IOW, better safe than sorry.

Every firearm I "broke in" is amazingly accurate. Even with a hot barrel.


Again, nobody is saying to run an abrasive scrubber through it. That will definitely speed up the wear. But as far as solvent, brush, and a patch, what does it hurt? It's a kind of cost vs. benefit thing. It costs very little, but could be a great benefit.
 

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Savage also lists a barrel break in proceedure on their FAQ's

http://www.savagearms.com/customerservice/faqs/

What is the barrel break-in procedure? [Link to this answer]



Although there may be different schools of thought on barrel break-in, this is what Precision Shooting Magazine recommends:

STEP 1 (repeated 10 times)

* Fire one round
* Push wet patches soaked with a powder solvent through the bore
* Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction)
* Push dry patches through the bore (2 times)
* Push wet patches soaked with a copper solvent through the bore
* Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction)
* Push dry patches through the bore (2 times)
* Push a patch with 2 drops of oil through the bore

STEP 2 (repeated 5 times)

* Fire a 3 shot group
* Repeat the cleaning procedure from STEP 1 after each group

STEP 3 (repeat 5 times)

* Fire a 5 shot group
* Repeat the cleaning procedure from STEP 1

They recommend the use of a patch with 2 drops of oil after the cleaning so that you are not shooting with a dry bore. It is also advisable to use a powder solvent and copper solvent from the same manufacturer to be sure they are chemically compatible.
Like Rooster said what is it going to hurt? The above proceedure takes 50 rounds to do and probably a couple hours at the range. As long as you use quality cleaning gear you aren't going to hurt anything worse than simply firing 50 rounds through the gun anyways.
 

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For the most part, its useless.


Unless you have tool marks and chattering in the barrel, then it might help to use some of the abrasive bullets to smooth the barrel down.

Modern, factory produced rifles, do not need, nor will they really benefit from being "broken in" by running a patch down the barrel after each shot.


I never "break in" my barrels, and I've yet to see someone out shoot me because his barrel was broken in. Usually, he was a better shot.
 

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If you are dealing with a precision sniper rifle, I could say that barrel break in would not hurt. Anything else, go out and shoot it.
 

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If you are dealing with a precision sniper rifle, I could say that barrel break in would not hurt. Anything else, go out and shoot it.
If you paid for a precision rifle, the barre should have been prepped and finished correctly at the manufacture, if not then it needs to go back and be replaced.
 

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For me it depends on the barrel. Chrome lined I just blast away and then clean. Everything else (stainless, chromoly), I break-in. Like vafish, I wish I had the means to do an actually scientific test to see if it really matters. If the manufacturer recommends a break-in it doesn't hurt.
 

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Before this devolves into the typical barrel break in thread, understand that practically nobody who advocates "barrel break in" means running an abrasive bore scrubber through the barrel. The anti's will use Gale MacMillan as an example, but MacMillan always addressed scrubbing the barrel with abrasive scrubber during "break in".

Most of us mean running solvent, brush, and a patch through the barrel between shots for an even burnishing of the new barrel. If you consider the burnish process, it makes sense. If you have a rough spot in the barrel that picks up copper from rounds, the subsequent shots will likely increase that area and prevent the entire circumference of the barrel from being evenly burnished. The idea is to let the entire inside of the barrel to wear and break in evenly.

Several barrel makers and rifle manufacturers advocate barrel break in. Weatherby is one that stands out in my mind. Weatherby is known for it's accuracy, and I can attest to that reputation. I would think there is a reason Weatherby advocates barrel break in.


IMO, why not? What will it hurt? It will cost you a little time and solvent, that's all. And you will never get the chance to go back to the newness of the barrel and start over. A chrome lined AR barrel probably won't benefit from it. IOW, better safe than sorry.

Every firearm I "broke in" is amazingly accurate. Even with a hot barrel.


Again, nobody is saying to run an abrasive scrubber through it. That will definitely speed up the wear. But as far as solvent, brush, and a patch, what does it hurt? It's a kind of cost vs. benefit thing. It costs very little, but could be a great benefit.
I have gone through the lenghty process of breaking barrels in on some guns and not others. Some of my most accurate rifles did not go through the break in. In my opinion it is a waste of time and ammo and solvent. You also do lose something with barrel break in procedures. Barrel life. The number of rounds you shot simple reduces your barrel life by that number that could have been fired for fun.
Pat
 

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I have gone through the lenghty process of breaking barrels in on some guns and not others. Some of my most accurate rifles did not go through the break in. In my opinion it is a waste of time and ammo and solvent. You also do lose something with barrel break in procedures. Barrel life. The number of rounds you shot simple reduces your barrel life by that number that could have been fired for fun.
Pat
Who says you can't be having fun while breaking in a barrel, or testing velocity and accuracy of new loads?

You don't have to just burn ammo up while breaking a barrel in, you can do something useful with those shots. Heck even if you just are getting used to the trigger it's not wasted ammo. The only thing you are wasting if barrel break in does nothing is time, a little solvent and some patches.

That and the proceedure I listed from Savage takes 50 rounds. If you can notice 50 rounds in the life of your barrel you are a better man than I am.

Logically I don't see what the difference between cleaning often during break in and just shooting it then cleaning when you are done.

I really would like to do a test and see if it does make a difference. Maybe 11 years from now when my youngest is out of college I'll be able to.
 

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Hmmm...I'm debating the break in process for a new BCM SS410 that I'll be testing out on Friday, it's a replacement for the first one that never did shoot well.

I don't have a chamber guide for AR's...yet. The barrel is supposed to be a Krieger and they do recommend a routine posted on their website.

The last one I just fired at the range and carefully cleaned when I got it home, but it never shot well from the get go.
 
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