Barrel break in?

Chucknduck

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So I bought a new sako a7 300 win mag. I'm in the process of getting a scope and will be sighting in soon. Anyways I've never actually broke in a barrel I've just sighted in and gone hunting. What process do you guys do or do you even bother?
 

Rancho Loco

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Adjust trigger, work up a load, sight in, start practicing. That A7 will shoot with little fuss straight out of the box.
 

danr55

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Sakos all have hammer forged barrels. No lapping or excessive cleaning required. Clean the barrel after the first 20 rounds and then shoot it until it starts moving the point of impact. Note the total number of rounds fired and reduce that by 20% and that becomes your regular cleaning interval. You will note that a cold shot (round fired down a clean cold barrel, will impact differently than a round fired through a fouled barrel. )
 

nrpate05

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I just broke in a new weatherby and did what weatherby recommended. For the first 10 rounds clean after each shot. For the next 30 clean every 3 shots. Seemed to work as the rifle did shot a bit better after the break in. Can't say that's the best method or that it works for every rifle. Does Sako recommend a procedure? Couldn't hurt to call them if it doesn't say anything on the website.
 

Muleyfanatic

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I typically use the following
Clean rifle before firing round
Clean after every shot for first ten rounds
Clean after 6 shot for the next 30 rounds
This sounds like a lot of shots but I have had good results with this method. The velocities seem to stabilize once you get it broke in. Just my 2 cents but everyone has their own opinion.
 

Rancho Loco

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Buy rifle.
Adjust trigger.
Install scope.
Start shooting.

That's barrel break in.

A rifle shooting better after 50 or a 100 rounds is the shooter getting used to the feel of the rig, and the trigger.
 

Schaaf

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I typically use the following
Clean rifle before firing round
Clean after every shot for first ten rounds
Clean after 6 shot for the next 30 rounds
This sounds like a lot of shots but I have had good results with this method. The velocities seem to stabilize once you get it broke in. Just my 2 cents but everyone has their own opinion.


My break in has always been along these lines. Clean after every round for the first 10, then after every 5 for the next 50 and then I clean one final time after 10 additional rounds.

I've always had good luck with this.
 

Chucknduck

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When you are cleaning between shots do you just run patches till they come out clean? Does it matter what solvent you use?
 

Schaaf

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Yeah I make sure they're clean.

I use Hoppes 9 and Montana Extreme Copper Cream, I don't use the Copper Cream every time though. Usually about every 2 or 3 rounds at first and towards the end I use a little every 5 rounds.
 

pabearhunter

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I use ammonia for 2 patches then run patches till the barrel is clean. Use only good cotton patches.
 

Tjay

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I have done it both ways and find no difference in accuracy. I now work up my loads and clean when done shooting. If it makes YOU feel better clean as much as you want otherwise just enjoy shooting your new gun.
 

ol_spark

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I've done it both ways also and agree with Tjay, no difference. Barrel break in usually has to do with copper fouling. By cleaning between the first few shots you'll be able to tell when the bore quits copper fouling. Some quit in 3 rounds others not so easy, depends on barrel. Some people care about copper fouling, others don't. One thing for sure is that barrel makers like for you to put a lot of rounds through your barrel so they can make another. At the end of the day you will find that a good barrel will shoot good from the start so just shoot it. Cleaning a new barrel before the first shot is fire is always good advice.
 

Lawnboy

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I have a Shilen barrel on my gun and I'm not sure if the gun mentioned in the thread has a similar type but this is from their website.

How should I break-in my new Shilen barrel?
Break-in procedures are as diverse as cleaning techniques. Shilen, Inc. introduced a break-in procedure mostly because customers seemed to think that we should have one. By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal. All our stainless steel barrels have been hand lapped as part of their production, as well as any chrome moly barrel we install. Hand lapping a barrel polishes the interior of the barrel and eliminates sharp edges or burrs that could cause jacket deformity. This, in fact, is what you are doing when you break-in a new barrel through firing and cleaning.
Here is our standard recommendation: Clean after each shot for the first 5 shots. The remainder of the break-in is to clean every 5 shots for the next 50 shots. During this time, don't just shoot bullets down the barrel during this 50 shot procedure. This is a great time to begin load development. Zero the scope over the first 5 shots, and start shooting for accuracy with 5-shot groups for the next 50 shots. Same thing applies to fire forming cases for improved or wildcat cartridges. Just firing rounds down a barrel to form brass without any regard to their accuracy is a mistake. It is a waste of time and barrel life.
 

TimeOnTarget

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I have a Shilen barrel on my gun and I'm not sure if the gun mentioned in the thread has a similar type but this is from their website.

How should I break-in my new Shilen barrel?
Break-in procedures are as diverse as cleaning techniques. Shilen, Inc. introduced a break-in procedure mostly because customers seemed to think that we should have one. By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal. All our stainless steel barrels have been hand lapped as part of their production, as well as any chrome moly barrel we install. Hand lapping a barrel polishes the interior of the barrel and eliminates sharp edges or burrs that could cause jacket deformity. This, in fact, is what you are doing when you break-in a new barrel through firing and cleaning.
Here is our standard recommendation: Clean after each shot for the first 5 shots. The remainder of the break-in is to clean every 5 shots for the next 50 shots. During this time, don't just shoot bullets down the barrel during this 50 shot procedure. This is a great time to begin load development. Zero the scope over the first 5 shots, and start shooting for accuracy with 5-shot groups for the next 50 shots. Same thing applies to fire forming cases for improved or wildcat cartridges. Just firing rounds down a barrel to form brass without any regard to their accuracy is a mistake. It is a waste of time and barrel life.


Excellent post. I tried finding this yesterday but got side tracked.


I personally think barrel break in on factory rifles is more beneficial than a custom rig with a high end barrel on it.
 

ol_spark

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Shilen's instructions indicate they are there because customers seem to think we should have them not because you need to. Custom barrels are different than factory. A few strokes of JB will hand lap the rough factory barrel quicker than shooting a few shots then cleaning. Copper fouling is what you should be cleaning out between those shots. If you are not using a cleaner to remove copper and can't tell when it is all gone why bother. A lot of cleaners are ammonia based but some are not. Usually in cleaning between shots the patches will come out blue if copper is present. That happens after the dirty brown or black carbon from powder is removed. In theory this shoot and clean method should reveal less blue coloring on patches which should indicate less copper fouling in barrel and a smoother bore. Depends on how rough the barrel was to start with. Some a good after three shots some are good after two hundred. JB Bore paste is a mild abrasive and using it is like hand lapping with benefits as Shilen indicates. Use sparingly.
 
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