The age old question, "Breaking in the New
Barrel". Opinions very a lot here, and this is a very subjective
topic. For the most part, the only thing you are breaking in, is the
throat area of the barrel. The nicer the finish that the Finish
Reamer or Throating Reamer leaves, the faster the throat will break
Shoot one round and clean for the first two rounds
individually. Look to see what the barrel is telling you. If I'm
getting little to no copper out of it, I sit down and shoot the gun.
Say 4 - 5 round groups and then clean. If the barrel cleans easily
and shoots well, we consider it done.
If the barrel shows some copper or is taking a
little longer to clean after the first two, shoot a group of 3
rounds and clean. Then a group of 5 and clean.
After you shoot the 3rd group and 5th group,
watch how long it takes to clean. Also notice your group sizes. If
the group sizes are good and the cleaning is getting easier or is
staying the same, then shoot 4 - 5 round groups.
If fouling appears to be heavy and taking a while
to clean, notice your group sizes. If group sizes are good and not
going sour, you don't have a fouling problem. Some barrels will
clean easier than others. Some barrels may take a little longer to break
in. Remember the throat. Fouling can start all the way from here. We
have noticed sometimes that even up to approximately 100 rounds, a
barrel can show signs of a lot of copper, but it still shoots
really well and then for no apparent reason, you will notice
little to no copper and it will clean really easy.
This is meant as guide lines only. There is no
hard and fast rule for breaking in a barrel.
Always use a good quality, 1 piece cleaning rod
(such as Dewey,
Boretech, etc...). Always use a bore guide. Whether
cleaning a bolt action rifle or a semi-auto, good bore guides
cleaning rods are available from a number of sources (such as
We prefer to use the Parker-Hale type cleaning
Jags. Cut your patches to the proper size. If the patch squeaks
going down the barrel, it is to tight. Roll your patches around the
jag tip like a cigarette. This gives an even patch versus poking the
patch in the center. When you use the latter method the patch
doesn't fold evenly. Using the first method of rolling the patch,
gives you more surface area and keeps the tip of the cleaning rod
centered going down the barrel.
If you use a brush, we recommend one caliber
smaller or an old worn out one. Roll a patch around the brush.
Always push the brush, Breech to Muzzle. Remove the brush before
pulling your rod back through! NEVER pull the brush
back over the crown. More damage to a good barrel is done from
cleaning than actual shooting. The first to suffer is the crown.
The crown is the last thing the bullet touches when it leaves the
gun. Any damage here affects accuracy no matter what.
Good 1 piece quality cleaning rod.
Nice cotton patches
Don't drag the brush back over the crown!
Never mix your solvents!
Either in a jar or in the barrel, unless you are a chemist and
know how they are going to react with one another and with the
steel. Play it Safe.
Good Luck and Good Shooting!