How To Break In A New Rifle Barrel

By Archer | Rifle

Mar 25
Double Barrel Rifle

The technique of breaking in the barrel of a new rifle is more often than not, disregarded by uninitiated marksmen. Nevertheless, the break-in procedure is a subject that still continues to be a hot debated topics by seasoned sharpshooters. Are you a marksman still on the learning curve? Then you might be eager to find out about the various queries to breaking in a new rifle’s barrel.

The first question that’d obviously arise is how to break in a new rifle barrel? The question that inevitably follows is why does the new barrel of a rifle need breaking-in? Is there any scientific procedure that needs to be followed for completing the break-in task?

Rifle Barrel Front Shot
Image Via Flickr CC: kyle post

Brand new rifles come with barrels whose steel bores are somewhat uneven characterized by microscopic spots, feathers, and burs that have rough edges. Evening out these blemishes goes a long way in achieving a polished bore. This helps the barrel to propel the ammo with greater speed and accuracy ultimately leading to a better shot. The necessity to abide by the barrel break-in method will depend upon whether your rifle is a custom-made product or mass-produced.

The Rifle Break-In Process in a Nutshell

Contrary to what you might think, the entire issue of barrel break-in is usually regarded as nebulous and hence misunderstood more often. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the steps involved in the whole technique (of barrel break-in) are simple to follow. Almost all shooters are more or less aware of the basic concept. Manuals and leaflets provided with customized as well as factory produced rifles outline the barrel breaking-in procedure.

You can browse on the net for websites and portals that offer a step-by-step explanation on how to get started and complete the process. The information may vary in terms of specifics from one website to another. However most techniques recommend you to fire a series of 1, 3, and 5 shots in succession followed by cleaning the barrel after every round of 1, 3, and 5 shots.

The Break-In Steps

The break-in steps that you’d to follow in order to accomplish a steady accuracy from the new rifle have been outlined below:

  • Fire 1 round and clean-follow this technique for the next 10 shots
  • Shoot a series or succession of three shots and clean-complete at least 15 rounds, each time firing three shots and then cleaning the bore
  • In the last stage, fire five shots, thereafter clean, and then fire a copper fouling shot. Close the process by firing three shots for the purpose of accuracy

Man Shooting With a Rifle
Image via Pixabay CC0

Take into consideration that shooting every round in rapid succession may lead to the bore of the rifle getting intensely hot. So, you might end up choking the barrel if you persist with your firing. The remedy is to let the bore cool down sufficiently after you’ve fired a round. You can run your fingers over the barrel or poke a finger inside to feel the degree of hotness.

Dos and Don’ts About How to Break in a New Rifle Barrel

While cleansing the barrel, simply abide by the ensuing instructions:-

  • Always use a good quality cleaning rod. Preferably one made from carbon fiber that’ll not abrade the copper layering or damage the muzzle crown or bore yet cleanse thoroughly
  • Always start cleaning from the chamber end
  • The greater the deposit of copper and powder dust/fouling in the bore’s grooves, the less intense will be the grip of the bullet by the rifling. Get rid of all powdery and coppery residue inside the barrel using a high-quality solvent like Sweet 7.62 Solvent or Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent
  • Clearing the bore of copper fouling takes quite an effort. Go for another cleaning round by using a copper fouling remover including J-B and Shooter’s Choice. Wrap a strip of Scotch Brite around the cleaning rod and dip it in the solvent. The patching should be thick enough for the rod to move to and fro inside the barrel thoroughly. Never use a naked brush, ensure you’ve made a good patch on it or on the cleaning rod before cleaning.
  • Run the cleaning rod  back and forth 5-6 times so that the coat is perfectly smeared throughout the bore and thereafter leave aside the bore for about a couple of hours
  • Now you can run the patch 15-20 times for getting rid of the copper fouling
  • Never use an aluminum or stainless steel cleaning rod
  • Also refrain from leaving solvents containing concentrated ammonia for a long time inside the bore-as it can cause erosion of the copper layering

Conclusion

So what is your take-away from the barrel breaking-in process related with a new rifle? Always keep in mind that all this hue and cry about barrel break-in is not just about fulfilling a trend. After all, you want to fire shots with accuracy and to do that you’d have to make sure that the bore stays at all times.

Since the bore tends to pick up impurities in the form of copper fouling, you’d need to clean it from time to time. Also the steel bore of a new rifle will have tiny burrs and patches. For filing these, breaking-in the barrel would be necessary. Remember to clean from the barrel end and not the muzzle end. Using a bore scope helps in positioning the cleaning rod concentrically and always opt for a rod made of carbon fiber instead of one made from aluminum or stainless because you want to avoid scratching or abrading the bore or chamber.

** Are you thinking of investing in a rifle scope? Check these articles out:

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