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Breaking in a new barrel
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lone wolf

Joined: Jan 05, 2007
Posts: 33
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

I recently acquired a new Tikka T3 heavy barrel in .223. Any words of wisdom from members on the pros & cons of breaking in a new barrel ?
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Joined: Nov 25, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Well I'm not a barrel Expert but I'm going to qoute one (Gale McMillan):

The break in fad was started by a fellow I helped get started in the barrel business . He started putting a set of break in instructions in ever barrel he shipped. One came into the shop to be installed and I read it and the next time I saw him I asked him What was with this break in crap?. His answer was Mac, My share of the market is about 700 barrels a year. I cater to the target crowd and they shoot a barrel about 3000 rounds before they change it. If each one uses up 100 rounds of each barrel breaking it in you can figure out how many more barrels I will get to make each year. If you will stop and think that the barrel doesn't know whether you are cleaning it every shot or every 5 shots and if you are removing all foreign material that has been deposited in it since the last time you cleaned it what more can you do? When I ship a barrel I send a recommendation with it that you clean it ever chance you get with a brass brush pushed through it at least 12 times with a good solvent and followed by two and only 2 soft patches. This means if you are a bench rest shooter you clean ever 7 or 8 rounds . If you are a high power shooter you clean it when you come off the line after 20 rounds. If you follow the fad of cleaning every shot for X amount and every 2 shots for X amount and so on the only thing you are accomplishing is shortening the life of the barrel by the amount of rounds you shot during this process. I always say Monkey see Monkey do, now I will wait on the flames but before you write them, Please include what you think is happening inside your barrel during break in that is worth the expense and time you are spending during break in

The metal shavings would have had to get in the barrel after it was test fired. The barrel was a hammer forged or buttoned barrel which is not machined and is very smooth finished. No one ever said not to clean a new rifle only that it is not necessary to break it in.

Tikka barrels are hammer forged so I included the last section which deals with them. Smile

The original posting ->


A thousand hills, but no birds in flight, ten thousand paths, with no people's tracks. A lonely boat, a straw-hatted old man, fishing alone in the cold river snow.
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Joined: Nov 08, 2006
Posts: 1175
Location: Manitoba, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Hey lone wolf, welcome.

Good article from Dimitri there, I'd say...go shoot a coyote, must be plenty out your way. Then the barrels all broke in and so are the sights or scope Very Happy Very Happy

"If God hadn't meant for man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat!"
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Joined: Jul 21, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Welcome lone wolf. I take them out and shoot them, and while I'm working up a load for them they must be getting broke in cause I've never had a new rifle that didn't shoot well. Smile

A cruel truth is much more desirable than a really nice lie.
'Tis far better to walk alone than to follow a crowd or an a**hole going the wrong way.
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Joined: Jul 15, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

There is one product that does indeed add to your shooting if used to break in a rifle barrel. I have used the product on my new barrels for a number of years and while it might not help with anything but cleaning, it really does make cleaning a barrel easy. It also prevents rust on the outside, I do the multiple coats on my carry guns. It also can be used as a dry lube for actions and slides.

I have had folks tell me the same thing. Then I clean their barrel back to steel and coat the inside as directed. Not one shooter has failed to go out and buy a can after they saw the results. You can do as you wish.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill
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Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 1065
Location: On the Prairie

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

Service rifle highmaster and rifle builder John Holiger says "go shoot it" when you ask him how to break in a Nor Pac or Douglas barrel that he installs.

+1 on the cleaning it . If you feel a tight spot with a cleaning jag, or it seems to foul after just a few shot, the Tubb's final finish will slick up the bore and make cleaning a breeze. ( that is the coated bullets you lfire ap the barel with)

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a government agency...
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

For a good insight into why barrels should be broken in, pull up the Krieger website. Krieger is one of the top barrels for competition. OTOH, other manufacturers believe no barrel break in is required. My opinion is that it does no harm to the barrel and can be done while sighting in a scope and with just a few extra rounds. And, if it does have an advantage, great.

One thing I do recommend to new rifle purchasers is to thoroughly clean the barrel before the first trip to the range. All rifles are factory test fired with high pressure proof rounds; seldom are they cleaned prior to shipping. On my most recent purchase, it took some effort to get a clean barrel.
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Joined: Dec 27, 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Breaking in a new barrel Reply with quote

I'm getting a shilen barrel replacement of my 7x57 Mauser. Anyone got any info on breaking in this barrel. Gracious. Freedyf

Hold'em, squeezem - make the first shot count, you may not get seconds.
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