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· The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
39,105 Posts
Hi Lenny,

Other than the benchrest shooters (and not even all of them agree) breaking in a barrel for jacketed bullets doesn't do much for accuracy. If the benchrest shooters can't agree.... then I don't think that it could be proven.

It will reduce fouling, because every time you fire a bullet down a perfectly clean barrel, it helps to knock off little burrs that are left from the manufacturing process.

But that will happen over time, anyway.

Now.... if you were going to shoot cast, that's a different story altogether. Lead bullets would take nearly forever to knock off the burrs, being so much softer than the barrel steel. In that case some careful break-in with jackted bullets could help, as does fire-lapping or hand-lapping.

Anyway you didn't hurt the barrel at all, and may have done yourself a favor in terms of dealing with fouling. Technically, reducing the fouling helps prevent accuracy from degrading over a longer number of shots, BUT that's only due to the reduction of fouling. It is not really changing the accuracy potential of the gun itself.

I've never done the barrel break-in, yet I can tell you that over time all of my rifle barrels foul less. They are getting the same thing, stretched out over a longer period of time. When I do clean them it's down to the bare metal, so it's a version of the same thing that you are doing. Only difference is, might kill a pig or deer (or several) between the heavy-duty cleanings.

On the bedding..... my suggestion would be to first free-float the barrel. A laminated stock should not need glass-bedding, theoretically. If you notice that point of impact is moving around with changes in the weather, then maybe you should look into this. But, I'll suggest that free-floating the barrel is the single biggest improvement you can make in terms of keeping a consistent point of impact.

If a target rifle only, then float the barrel, and experiement a little with some business cards or other thin material putting a little pressure on the barrel at different points. You are basically tuning the barrel for the load by doing that.

This is because some barrels shoot better with some pressure on the barrel from the forend. You will have to decide if you can live with any accuracy loss (if noticable) in return for a consistent point of impact. For a hunting rifle, it's not even a decision in my mind, small groups that don't go where you aim them are worse than useless.

How'd the shooting go, get any good groups? How do you like that Nikon?
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