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I have always used a cleaning rod with solvent after every shot for 15 shots on all my rifles... do you guys think there would be any negative effects in using a boresnake during break in? it sure would save a lot of time.

also, i know they claim the boresnake needs no solvent for cleaning... but i usually spray some nitro cleaner and let it coat the barrel for about 10 secs before running the snake through twice. anybody else use a cleaner with their snakes?
 

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There are some folks who don't believe in breaking in a barrel...including me...but lots of people swear by it and it can't hurt anything. Bore snakes are meant to be used with solvent. You put it on the short section forward of the brush. I use an eyedropper to do this. A boresnake works just as well as a cleaning rod and it's much handier at the range while you are doing your break-in procedure. It is also easier on your bore and muzzle crown than an improper or badly handled cleaning rod would be.

You can launder the boresnake by placing it in a net bag or tying it in an old sock and throwing it into the washing machine.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Think of it this way...
Barrel Break-in MUST be done, the Same way that FORD is THE ONLY real pickup out there.
Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night, you should do.
If you are a break-in person, fine. Will the bore snake work for you, of course it will.

Cleaning is cleaning, is cleaning.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Go to the Tips and Comments forum on this board for extensive comments on barrel break-in thoughts.
 

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All I did for my new Sendero was this. I only had one cartridge in my collection while waiting on my reloading supllies to arrive. So I cleaned, fired, cleaned, fired 5, cleaned, fired 5, and this time I left it dirty. In those few shots, it's already shot a group under a 1/2". So I think it's going to be ok ;)
 

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If you're going to do it, the conventional method (as I've heard it) is:
- fire one round and clean. Continue for a total of twenty rounds.
- fire three rounds and clean. Continue for a total of twenty or twenty one rounds.
- fire five rounds and clean. Continue for a total of twenty rounds.

I'm not so sure on the "continue for 20..." in the 3 rd and 5 rd sets

I did that with my last rifle, a stainless 22-250. The other rifles that were not broken in, or maybe broken in but not following the above method, all shoot fine. They will throw the first round or couple of rounds off by anywhere from .7" to 1.5". THe 22-250 will not throw the first round, but It must be cleaned after about 15 or 20 rounds or accuracy falls off measureably. THe others, after throwing the first round(s), shoot fine all day, up to about 40 rounds, which is the most I've fired in one session.

I can;t say the rifles act the way they do because I broke them in or didn;t do the break in, they're just my observations.
 

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My attitude towards break in is -- well, let's just say I don't bother with it. But if you're going to do it, I think you're less likely to damage the bore with a Boresnake than with a rod.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I've done the barrel break in thing . . . . . . . once. Before I knew better I just cleaned the mollygrubs out, grabbed XXX shells and went to town, er the range. Musta worked ok for all my older rifles, especially the old worn out 788 in .223. After at least 10,000 rounds it's STILL my go to gun.

RJ
 

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Seems some manufactures want you to do a 1 shot and clean for the 1st five shots and then every five and then every 10 or 20 and then? And then and then? Seems like more cleaning than shooting?
 

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Well, the method I tried to describe (probably unsuccesfully) above is from these forums and shooters at the range. As one fellow said "There are some very smart people shooting benchrest competition who say do it. There are some very smart people shooting benchrest competition who say don;t do it."

As far as I can tell, my improper break-in of my 30 and 25-06 hasn;t done any ill. The correct break-in (IF there is a "correct") of my 22-250 hasn't done any ill. I'll keep doing it (unless I forget, which I did on my .35Rem). I really can't see it damaging the rifle though, unless someone would do something to damage the bore during normal cleaning then, why would it?
 

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I'm in the process of doing a break in on a Rem 700VLS .243 cal. I've never done it before on any other rifle and just felt "what the heck" can't hurt to try as an experiment. I've just finished the first 20 round cleaning after each shot. It's painful to do, driving me crazy, but i have noticed that after round 10 or 12 that the bore cleans much faster than after the first few. I'm guessing that at the very least, there may be some benefit to the break in for this reason, and that would be fine with me because i am meticulous about keeping my bores clean and spent lots of time getting them spotless.

I can't tell anything on accuracy yet, because Sierra gave me some poor advice and i went and bought the 95 gr. HPBT Match bullets which do not shoot well with this twist rate...(i say "poor" advice because on first call i was told these would be excellent for this rifle, then on second call when i inquired as to why the groups are so poor, the tech did some calculations and determined these are not appropriate for this rifle rate of twist) No disrespect to Sierra, love their products and support....just didn't work out on this one...
 

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I have never seen any evidence, documented OR anecdotal, that shows breaking in a barrel has any meaningful bearing on the life of the barrel, overall accuracy or anything else. The one exception I will make to that statement is I believe breaking in a barrel DOES result in the gun being generally easier to clean, with each subsequent trip to the range.

I make this claim based on the following experience. A friend of mine bought a Remington custom shop Model 700 in .308, with either a Hart or McMillan 20" bull barrel (can't remember which). He installed a Leupold 10X scope, a Harris bipod and had the trigger adjusted down to about 2.5lbs. He brought 80 rounds of Federal Premium ammo with 168gr SMK bullets. We basically followed the process that Stretch outlined above: Fire one, clean...fire 3, clean...fire 5, clean. At first, it took a whole lotta cleanin', to get the patches to come out clean. I was pretty much astounded to find that after the last rounds were fired, in 5-round groups, it was much easier to get a clean bore than it was when we started. (By the way, the 100 yard group, for 80 rounds was...one hole and it was just barely over 1.5 inches!)

Now, being the suspicious sort, I immediately tried to figure out why his gun barrel had gotten so much easier to clean, as a result of that process. I talked to my old buddy, Al, down at the range. (Al had been a bench rest shooter in the 60's and could still put 3 in an inch, even though he was well into his 60's, himself.) Al listened to my story, nodding his head and getting that quiet grin he always had whenever I asked a question that he could expound on. He explained it like this, and whether or not it's true, I took it as gospel and, later, proved it to myself. He said that all guns come with very minute machine and tool marks in the grooves and lands of the barrel. By breaking in a barrel he explained that those loads, and the subsequent scrubbing with the solvent and brass brush, helped smooth out those marks. Knowing a bit about the relative hardness of copper bullet jackets and brass, I felt this was a bit of a stretch, but he told me to take any of my rifles and pretend they were brand new. Shoot them as though I was breaking in the barrel...and see if they didn't clean easier after 50-100 rounds, than they did before.

I'll be danged if it didn't work, just like he said it would! Not only on my relatively new 270, but also on a (then) 20 year old 25/06. He pointed out that most folks hardly shoot their rifles, with a clean bore, enough to see this happen, and when I got to thinking about it, that made sense to me. He claimed that a guy would buy a new gun, shot 15-20 rounds through it, clean it, then repeat that 2-3 times a year. What he was trying to get through to my young and thick skull, was that firing a round in a CLEAN BARREL, is what it took to smooth out those tooling marks.

Now, I'm not going to try to convince anyone else that it works, but in my highly subjective opinion, it does! Also, I will offer the disclaimer that manufacturing processes have improved quite a bit and that the barrels on guns made in recent years may not benefit as much. However, that .308, which was purchased and broken in about 1990, surely did benefit, at least where cleaning was concerned.
 

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if cleaned improperly, break in would be enough to ruin a new bore. wonder how many people end up doing that?
would LOVE to see some scientific proof.--after nearly 40 yrs expierence with deep hole boring and using gun drills and oil fed reamers in making various barrels,im yet to see ANYONE show me PROOF of what you say.hammer forged barrels,are not the same as lead lapped,hook cut or button die barrels.regular cleaning at the start,will not smooth out any errors of a bad mandrel say on a G&K hammer forge.a bad barrel is bad till it dies. the throat is what goes and usually,the muzzle sees probs due to dirt entering.-nothing personal,but this stuff about barrel break in is B.S.-NEVER seen it work.would love to know how copper smooths out foulin and pick up in bore in a hundred rounds or so,can rectify itself.a basic understanding of metallurgy would help to dispel a lot of folklore.--sorry about the attitude if it comes through,but sh*te,its a pet hate.
 

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would LOVE to see some scientific proof.--after nearly 40 yrs expierence with deep hole boring and using gun drills and oil fed reamers in making various barrels,im yet to see ANYONE show me PROOF of what you say.hammer forged barrels,are not the same as lead lapped,hook cut or button die barrels.regular cleaning at the start,will not smooth out any errors of a bad mandrel say on a G&K hammer forge.a bad barrel is bad till it dies. the throat is what goes and usually,the muzzle sees probs due to dirt entering.-nothing personal,but this stuff about barrel break in is B.S.-NEVER seen it work.would love to know how copper smooths out foulin and pick up in bore in a hundred rounds or so,can rectify itself.a basic understanding of metallurgy would help to dispel a lot of folklore.--sorry about the attitude if it comes through,but sh*te,its a pet hate.
Gunho tell us what you really think...lol. Seriously though thank you for you honest opinion and I would have to agree. I have some machining backround and if you think about the break in process I can't think of any common sense reality in any of it.
 

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I have never seen any evidence, documented OR anecdotal, that shows breaking in a barrel has any meaningful bearing on the life of the barrel, overall accuracy or anything else. The one exception I will make to that statement is I believe breaking in a barrel DOES result in the gun being generally easier to clean, with each subsequent trip to the range.

I make this claim based on the following experience. A friend of mine bought a Remington custom shop Model 700 in .308, with either a Hart or McMillan 20" bull barrel (can't remember which). He installed a Leupold 10X scope, a Harris bipod and had the trigger adjusted down to about 2.5lbs. He brought 80 rounds of Federal Premium ammo with 168gr SMK bullets. We basically followed the process that Stretch outlined above: Fire one, clean...fire 3, clean...fire 5, clean. At first, it took a whole lotta cleanin', to get the patches to come out clean. I was pretty much astounded to find that after the last rounds were fired, in 5-round groups, it was much easier to get a clean bore than it was when we started. (By the way, the 100 yard group, for 80 rounds was...one hole and it was just barely over 1.5 inches!)

Now, being the suspicious sort, I immediately tried to figure out why his gun barrel had gotten so much easier to clean, as a result of that process. I talked to my old buddy, Al, down at the range. (Al had been a bench rest shooter in the 60's and could still put 3 in an inch, even though he was well into his 60's, himself.) Al listened to my story, nodding his head and getting that quiet grin he always had whenever I asked a question that he could expound on. He explained it like this, and whether or not it's true, I took it as gospel and, later, proved it to myself. He said that all guns come with very minute machine and tool marks in the grooves and lands of the barrel. By breaking in a barrel he explained that those loads, and the subsequent scrubbing with the solvent and brass brush, helped smooth out those marks. Knowing a bit about the relative hardness of copper bullet jackets and brass, I felt this was a bit of a stretch, but he told me to take any of my rifles and pretend they were brand new. Shoot them as though I was breaking in the barrel...and see if they didn't clean easier after 50-100 rounds, than they did before.

I'll be danged if it didn't work, just like he said it would! Not only on my relatively new 270, but also on a (then) 20 year old 25/06. He pointed out that most folks hardly shoot their rifles, with a clean bore, enough to see this happen, and when I got to thinking about it, that made sense to me. He claimed that a guy would buy a new gun, shot 15-20 rounds through it, clean it, then repeat that 2-3 times a year. What he was trying to get through to my young and thick skull, was that firing a round in a CLEAN BARREL, is what it took to smooth out those tooling marks.

Now, I'm not going to try to convince anyone else that it works, but in my highly subjective opinion, it does! Also, I will offer the disclaimer that manufacturing processes have improved quite a bit and that the barrels on guns made in recent years may not benefit as much. However, that .308, which was purchased and broken in about 1990, surely did benefit, at least where cleaning was concerned.
As a life long hunter and owner of dozens of guns who is just now getting in to "accurate shooting" I found this post to be invaluable! Thanks!
 

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As a life long hunter and owner of dozens of guns who is just now getting in to "accurate shooting" I found this post to be invaluable! Thanks!

I feel it appropriate to mention another fact germaine to this discussion, and that is that the more you shoot a rifle, especially if you are concentrating on getting more accurate, the more accurate you will get.

As to ease of cleaning, if you want to see increased ease of cleaning, and you clean more often in the pursuit of that end -- why, by golly, she'll get easier to clean!:)

This is said not necessarily to completely pooh-pooh break-in rituals, but to point out that we humans DO engage in rituals, and tend to see the results we expect out of them.
 
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