Barrel Break-In Procedures I Use With Success
Breaking A Barrel In Isn't Hard Work, But It Is Time Consuming...
FIRST Clean the bore! Make it cleaner than it's ever been before. You will need some special tools for this cleaning operation, so if you missed it, Click Here
The BIG Idea.
Scratches, Stray tool marks, Pits & Imperfections in the steel all slow the bullet down, and mark up the bullet jacket.
The more the jacket is deformed, the more erratic the flight characteristics.
If you were to bore scope the barrel, you would think you were looking at the surface of the moon!
Scratches look like rivers, pits look like craters, and rifling looks like canyon walls, and you can really see the damage done to the bullets, and the debris left behind by the bullet and powder burn.
Copper won't allow the barrel metal to 'Heal', and the powder residue is hard carbon that will further scratch the barrel.
By 'Breaking In' the barrel, we will attempt to polish or smear the barrel metal out and remove or reduce the damaging pits and scratches.
By cleaning the copper from the barrel, either from the factory test shots or from actual usage, you will need to start with a good bore solvent that is designed to remove copper.
There are several out there and the ones with Ammonia seem to work best.
Ammonia will turn copper blue-green on your patches, so you will know when the copper is removed.
THIRD, You will need to fire the rifle, one round at a time, and clean THOROUGHLY between rounds!
No copper can be allowed to remain in the barrel.
After about 6 to 10 shots you will notice the barrel cleans much easier!
This means the imperfections in the barrel are closing up and being polished over.
Fire single shots and clean well after each shot for about 20 rounds, then shoot groups of two or three for the next 20 rounds, cleaning after each group.
When you have completed this exercise, your barrel will be noticeably brighter and smoother looking inside, and if you were to bore scope it again, you would find that most of the smaller imperfections are completely gone, and the larger ones are greatly reduced.
FOURTH You will now notice a BIG difference in accuracy.
Some things you may notice...
A. First round wonder. The first round or two out of a clean barrel may want to wonder around before the barrel 'Settles Down' and shoots in the same place.
Get into the habit of firing a couple of 'Fouling Shots' before you start scoring.
If you are hunting, verify zero, clean the rifle, then fire the fouling shots, and your rifle is ready to go the next morning. (anyone that doesn't verify zero before hunting is nuts!)
My hunting rifles take 1 to 3 fouling shots to settle down, but my 1,000 yard match rifle may take as many as a dozen before the barrel starts shooting on zero.
B. Shooting 'High'. With the barrel smoother, and less friction surface on the bullet, your bullets may seem to be shooting 'High'.
The increased bullet speed in the barrel means more muzzle velocity, and without the extra scratches on the bullet, it will keep velocity better, making the rifle shoot 'Flatter'.
This is often interpreted as shooting 'High'.
Just adjust your range card for the bullet drop you are currently getting.
C. Cleaning Time.
Bore cleaning time will be greatly reduced, and you may indeed think something is wrong with your bore solvent.
It's probably not the bore solvent, the barrel just has so many less places for the copper and powder residue to hide it just cleans faster.
(No one I know complains about this once they get used to it!)