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Q:
do you really have to break in a new rifle's barrel?

Question by Stephen08. Uploaded on August 14, 2010

Answers (19)

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from jay wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Absolutely!

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from Happy Myles wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Yes. Even on a new non custom barrel it helps with cleaning, as well as accuracy.

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from gfr2395 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

uhh YA

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from fishwhisperer wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Yep.

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from cmikles1 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

No you don’t need to. I’m sure I’ll have many readers knocking down my door for such sacrilegious remarks, but it is simply a myth.
There are two reasons that many believe that a barrel break-in is necessary, the first is to wring out all the accuracy potential. Supposedly if a rifle is not properly broken in if it hasn’t been though some type of drawn out shoot then clean regimen. A break-in process will remove the slight curling on the edges of the lands, but this is not accomplished by the cleaning. This is accomplished by the bullet scraping off the excess metal and expelling them out the end of the barrel. It would be more economical and efficient to just shoot a couple of boxes of ammo through a new gun. This myth reminds me of the one where you must drive your new car really fast to break in the engine. It accomplishes smoothing out any machine marks quickly, but is just as easily accomplished by driving the car normally.
The second reason a barrel break-in a supposedly necessary is that it make a rifle easier to clean. Like before a couple of boxes of ammo will smooth out any tool marks that will catch fouling.
I would recommend not wasting your time with a break-in session. You will find out that you will have a gun just as accurate.
If you don’t believe me, just look at this article in American Rifleman which explains this myth better. http://www.americanrifleman.org/ArticlePage.aspx?id=1945&cid=3

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

first clean it really good cause theirs gunk in them left over from the machines and if they bake on i dont think you can get it out but yes break it in

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from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

first clean it really good cause theirs gunk in them left over from the machines and if they bake on i dont think you can get it out but yes break it in

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from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago
from cmikles1 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

I forgot you would need to wipe it out first.

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from dermesej wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

A guy working at bass pro told me they coat the inside of the barrel with a lubricant for shipping. He said you have to clean that out first

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

blackdawgz +1

and dermesej your absolutely right and a +1 for you to!

For High Power Competition before the match I coat the barrel with Break Free. BF works great on fouling reduction, but you must shoot at least 3 rounds before you you shoot for sighting shots and score.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

I guess that I'm old fashioned and stupid but when I put on a new barrel or get a new rifle I always do a break in period before I get to shooting strings of shots. I've never had a bad barrel by using a break in period so why take a chance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

I asked this question of Bugle magazine and Wayne Van Zwoll's answer was to just go shoot it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Clean it and sight it in. I guess that's a "break in" period. Can't imagine anyone taking a new gun into the field without sighting it in first.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

My breaking in of a rifle barrel consists of scrubbing the barrel good with JB bore cleaner followed by Kroil and then commercial bore cleaner and then to the range. I try not to get the barrel too hot the first few times before I clean it again. After that I just shoot it normal.

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from santa wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Machining of the barrels in years past was not as good as it it today so what was good pratice 30 years ago is not nearly as necessary with our better manufacturing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

If you have a premium stainless steel barrel, it really isn't necessary but it won't hurt anything other than take a few rounds off of the effective barrel life. I get this from the VP of Engineering for the top U.S. and Canadian sniper barrel supplier (with whose barrels they are registering those 2.2 mile first shot hits). I still do it though to make sure that I give the barrel every possible chance for success. Barrels are tight when they are brand new and I snake the barrel with copper cleaner and lubricant after each of the first 10 rounds and then each three rounds until I hit 20 rounds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

IMHO~ YES and DITTO! DakotaMan.

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from MLH wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Another very well known barrel maker recommends break-in. So ... go figure. Until someone collects a significant amount of data on barrels shot with and without break-in we will never know. And even if proven worthless many people will continue to do it - human nature.

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from jay wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Absolutely!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago
from Happy Myles wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Yes. Even on a new non custom barrel it helps with cleaning, as well as accuracy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfr2395 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

uhh YA

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishwhisperer wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Yep.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dermesej wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

A guy working at bass pro told me they coat the inside of the barrel with a lubricant for shipping. He said you have to clean that out first

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

blackdawgz +1

and dermesej your absolutely right and a +1 for you to!

For High Power Competition before the match I coat the barrel with Break Free. BF works great on fouling reduction, but you must shoot at least 3 rounds before you you shoot for sighting shots and score.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

I guess that I'm old fashioned and stupid but when I put on a new barrel or get a new rifle I always do a break in period before I get to shooting strings of shots. I've never had a bad barrel by using a break in period so why take a chance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Clean it and sight it in. I guess that's a "break in" period. Can't imagine anyone taking a new gun into the field without sighting it in first.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

If you have a premium stainless steel barrel, it really isn't necessary but it won't hurt anything other than take a few rounds off of the effective barrel life. I get this from the VP of Engineering for the top U.S. and Canadian sniper barrel supplier (with whose barrels they are registering those 2.2 mile first shot hits). I still do it though to make sure that I give the barrel every possible chance for success. Barrels are tight when they are brand new and I snake the barrel with copper cleaner and lubricant after each of the first 10 rounds and then each three rounds until I hit 20 rounds.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

IMHO~ YES and DITTO! DakotaMan.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

first clean it really good cause theirs gunk in them left over from the machines and if they bake on i dont think you can get it out but yes break it in

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

first clean it really good cause theirs gunk in them left over from the machines and if they bake on i dont think you can get it out but yes break it in

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmikles1 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

I forgot you would need to wipe it out first.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

I asked this question of Bugle magazine and Wayne Van Zwoll's answer was to just go shoot it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

My breaking in of a rifle barrel consists of scrubbing the barrel good with JB bore cleaner followed by Kroil and then commercial bore cleaner and then to the range. I try not to get the barrel too hot the first few times before I clean it again. After that I just shoot it normal.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Machining of the barrels in years past was not as good as it it today so what was good pratice 30 years ago is not nearly as necessary with our better manufacturing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Another very well known barrel maker recommends break-in. So ... go figure. Until someone collects a significant amount of data on barrels shot with and without break-in we will never know. And even if proven worthless many people will continue to do it - human nature.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmikles1 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

No you don’t need to. I’m sure I’ll have many readers knocking down my door for such sacrilegious remarks, but it is simply a myth.
There are two reasons that many believe that a barrel break-in is necessary, the first is to wring out all the accuracy potential. Supposedly if a rifle is not properly broken in if it hasn’t been though some type of drawn out shoot then clean regimen. A break-in process will remove the slight curling on the edges of the lands, but this is not accomplished by the cleaning. This is accomplished by the bullet scraping off the excess metal and expelling them out the end of the barrel. It would be more economical and efficient to just shoot a couple of boxes of ammo through a new gun. This myth reminds me of the one where you must drive your new car really fast to break in the engine. It accomplishes smoothing out any machine marks quickly, but is just as easily accomplished by driving the car normally.
The second reason a barrel break-in a supposedly necessary is that it make a rifle easier to clean. Like before a couple of boxes of ammo will smooth out any tool marks that will catch fouling.
I would recommend not wasting your time with a break-in session. You will find out that you will have a gun just as accurate.
If you don’t believe me, just look at this article in American Rifleman which explains this myth better. http://www.americanrifleman.org/ArticlePage.aspx?id=1945&cid=3

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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