19 posts • Page 1 of 1
By "new" I mean "from the factory with only test shots fired."
Does it need to be "broken in"? If so, how?
Proud Navy Dad
Proud CNU Dad
Generally, all you will get is opinions. It helps to know what the firearm is though and how you intend to use it.
If it's a Kimber, then you will need to put 500 rounds through it before they will consider the weapon "broken in"
I'm sure every manufacturer has their own magic number, so check the owner's manual already
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin
Additionally if you search the web you will find a million and one opinions about that subject.. My opinion is shoot the geun and enjoy yourself,,,Most modern guns are tough and can handle whatever you throw at em.. And if they don;t then they weren't that good to begin with.
" It's cool, I got this !!! " "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker
Well, I was hoping for a general answer as I have heard all sorts of opinions. I didnlt mean just rounds through the barrel. For example, I was told with my AR would take 100 rounds, one at a time, swabbing the barrel after each shot.
Proud Navy Dad
Proud CNU Dad
Just clean your gun before the initial firing to get the manufacturing oils out of it, then go shoot it and have fun. That's all I've ever done, along with the normal, regular cleaning that you're supposed to do, and mine shoot great.
Note that some guns, like some Porsches, are already a little "broken in" from factory pre-ship testing. Ruger, I understand, fires at least one round through each gun before it's shipped. Dunno about other manufacturers.
"San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
Freedom ain't free, folks. It takes work.
Generally barrel breaking is BS. There are special cases though and if your manufacturer requires a "break-in" period to honor their warranty (don't know of any off the top of my head), do it regardless.
Here is my two cents from a lot of research. Here is a good comment on why you break-in a barrel:
Of course this is from a thread recommending a barrel break-in process which for the types of barrels discussed, I'm about to not do.
Match Grade Barrels
If it has a real match grade barrel, do not do anything special to it. Those were lapped at the factory and are good to go. Just go out and shoot them like normal, but don't go hog wild. Leave some spacing (time delay) between the rounds. Clean like normal.
If it is a factory barrel there are some benefits to lapping it. Technically it is lapped when shot, but it is much slower than hand/fire lapping. The amount of benefit varies greatly from non-existent to extreme; such is the quality control of factory stuff...poor. The process is potentially only worth it if you are shooting a low cost tactical/benchrest rifle. If this is a tactical carbine (AR) or a hunting rifle, don't bother. David Tubbs makes a great fire lapping kit. Hand lapping instructions can be found here: http://snipersparadise.com/sniperchat/i ... ing+barrel
In summary, unless you have a low cost barrel (factory) and are trying to get the maximum accuracy (read not hunting, not self defense, not plinking, read as competition) most break-in procedures are pure superstition from an engineering point of view. Most benchrest shooters do it because they have developed a routine and would always wonder how much "better" it would have shot if they had just done X. Good quality chrome lined barrels, like ARs, don't have these burrs and should be treated like a match barrel. I.e. hard chrome don't stick too well to poor quality barrels with burrs.
Barrel break-in procedures are an attempt to make up for a poorly manufactured barrel. If really want accuracy, do it right and hand or fire lap it or just buy a better barrel in the first place.
Semi-autos have lots of moving parts and sometimes like to "wear in." All guns should be cleaned from the factory and lubed up properly before shooting for the first time. During the "break-in" period, slow fire is advised. Don't go crazy emptying mags, just slow aimed fire. After 100-300 rounds you will notice certain surfaces being "polished." Some springs will be "softer." After a few rounds (your call), have fun.
A note about springs.
The engineering answer is that springs do not wear out from long term compression or elongation when operated in a non-deforming range. Springs wear out with cycles. Practically this means that mags don't wear out being stored full of ammo, but rather loading and unloading (doesn't matter how they are unloaded either). Trigger/hammer springs, recoil springs, etc. also wear out with cycles. Some people will argue this till they are blue in the face and always bring up an example where it "obviously" happened. They are wrong, nothing more too it.
However, it should be noted the key requirement that you don't elastically deform a spring. I'm certain that some springs in firearms are designed to operate at the max or past the max for non-deforming compression (we don't elongate many springs, but it applies either way). This means that when the spring is fully compressed it is actually being "bent" out of shape. The spring has elastically deformed. A bent spring obviously will no longer provide the same tension it did before being deformed. This is the bit of truth behind the myth. I believe that some manufacturers in order to get one or two more rounds in a mag, have designed the spring to deform when fully loaded. Clearly leaving a mag loaded accelerates this process. The same can be said for other trigger/hammer/recoil springs. When new, they provide too much tension, but "break-in" and are deformed just enough to function properly in that firearm.
However, at some point the deforming is done and no further "break-in" will be observed. Calling this "break-in" is mostly misleading and some obsessive compulsives will replace any spring that doesn't feel like a new one. Funny their firearms never work better than anyone else's and sometimes they work much worse.
Between parts self "polishing" and spring deformation, some manufacturers recommend a break-in period. You can't really screw it up if you cleaned and lubed it properly. The firearm may not function properly during that period and if you call tech support, they will more than likely tell you to shoot it some more and get back to them.
Most firearm manufacturers do at least a test firing. Some states/localities require casings be submitted from the manufacturer. Generally, they all do it, but it is usually 3 rounds.
It always cracks me up when people talk about the break-in process for sports cars.
They swear it has to be done, but anyone who has spent any time around real race engines already knows that is BS. Upon completion of assembly, race engines are warmed up (external heaters, idled, etc.) and then run through the revs under load (a test fixture). Running an engine hard to break it in (polishing essentially) creates an engine with more HP, more torque, etc. Most high end sports cars are also done this way. There are "secrets" about how to do this process, but they all involve running it hard; usually differences about how to rev it, load it, how long to run it at red line, etc.
These same manufacturers then recommend a slow break in period...it has nothing to do with the engine "needing" it. It has everything to do with idiots who think they have way more driving skill then they actually do. The "break-in" period is so they have some time to get use to the new fast car. Manufacturers and dealers stress the importance of it because it is bad policy to kill your buyers.
I think some manufacturers make up break-in periods so that new shooters who are limp wristing (etc.) don't send them in for warranty work.
As a side note...
Back in the old inline four turbo days of F1, BMW actually was buying used 1.5L engines with several hundred thousand miles on them. They found that the heat treat of such engine blocks was amazing and couldn't be replicated easily/cheaply. So they bought used engines, stole the block and built F1 race engines around it (rules required real production blocks IIRC). It allowed them to up the boost to insane levels because the new/old block engines could take it. This is the same class of engine they eventually got to put out at least 1200HP (estimate range from just over 1200 to 1500HP). No one really knows because they maxed out the dyno.
I agree on the barrel break in which is BS. There is such a thing as seasoning a barrel or a gun which is different...machined parts arent perfect and may have burrs, etc from the factory. Firing X rounds and some minor tune ups will knock those down.
With that I would not trust a pistol for SD until I've fired an arbitrary 100 or so rounds through it...
@Cowboy - +1 on the initial cleaning to get the factory gunk out...
No more catchy slogans for me...I am simply fed up...4...four...4...2+2...
I read an article once that was written by a barrel maker. I can't remember who it was but he said a quaility rifle barrel doesn't need to be " broken in ". I had always thought barrel break in was a bunch of BS anyway.
The point of breaking a barrel in is to "polish" it. Quality barrels (read not factory) don't need this because they already had it done when they were made. Sure, a rifle with a factory will settle down a bit quicker if you clean it after every shot, but it isn't a big deal. The burrs will get knocked down either way. Generally, for anything a factory barrel is good enough for, it simply doesn't matter IMHO.
If for some reason you are competing or need maximum accuracy out of a factory barrel, hand lap it and be done.
I did the break in thing with one of my 6.8 ARs. Best group ever with it, 3/4" 5 shot group at 200 yards. I did the same thing with my Remington 700, it gets 1/2" groups at 100 yards. The 6.8 AR and 5.56 AR didn't get that treatment. They're not sub-MOA. I'll keep doing the break in thing with new rifle barrels.
I'll make a deal with all of you. If you are unsure about the need for a break-in of your firearm, lend it to me with the necessary ammo and I'll do the break-in for you.
Every gun is different. Even two guns straight from the factory shoot very differently and want different loads. This is the reason you end up with stories that go like this:
"My brothers, best friends, uncle has a stock Remington 700 that will out shoot your custom rifle. He shoots 1/4MOA groups with factory loads all day. Why did you spend $X on a custom rifle when you could just buy a stock one and shoot just as well?"
The point is, that while there almost certainly is a factory Remington 700 that can out shoot a custom rifle, it isn't the norm. Most shoot 1-1.5MOA. You get a decent number (I'm making this number up, but the concept holds), say 20% that will shoot under 1MOA. Perhaps, 5% will even hold under 3/4MOA. Factory guns have HUGE variances and sometimes the tolerances stack up in your favor.
The other reason for this is what I call the "magic group." We've all had them. You occasionally get an outstanding group and of course that is what ends up on the Internet. Take your Remington 700, shoot 10, five shot 100yd minimum distance groups (five at a minimum). If there are obvious fliers (probably you), I'll let you toss one of the five out from the MOA calc. Of the ten "corrected" groups I'll let you through out 2 or 3 of the largest groups. Of the remaining 7 or 8 corrected groups, average the MOA. If it is less than 1/2MOA, I'll be impressed both by your shooting and that rifle.
On any given day (rifle quality aside) most shooters can't hold sub MOA on demand. I don't mean the best group, but virtually every group. People claim their rifles are 1/2MOA when they shot it once (and usually a 3 shot group too). I've seen and owned factory rifles that maybe one group in 10 or 20 is 1/2MOA...that isn't a 1/2MOA rifle, you just go lucky. The only group that makes it on the Internet is the one "magic group."
It is true with some, a friend of mine had a Benelli the needed 200 or so rounds of 00 buck before it ran right. I was there when he was breaking it in. It jammed every shot at first but became better as time went on. By the time we got to 200 it was flawless. Barrels?I don't have a clue! I don't shoot well enough to know anything about accuracy!
‚ÄúSocialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.‚ÄĚ
As I said before, there is a lot of myth about it and it has become superstition among many match shooters. I.e. they do it out of habit and would always worry if they didn't..."could I have won that last match if I did X?"
Here is a summary of what the barrel manufacturers say.
The biggest of them against it is McMillan: http://www.6mmbr.com/GailMcMbreakin.html
In other posts McMillan really hates barrel break-in.
They only did it because they got so many calls/emails about it.
Krieger: http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/RapidCat/ ... anyId=1246
They never claim anything about accuracy, but rather just ease of cleaning.
Lilja: http://www.riflebarrels.com/support/cen ... enance.htm
Lilja is one of the few that seem to push it.
Bartlien seems impartial.
There are lots of others, but those are some of the big names.
Just wanted to clarify a few things. The Remington 700 is a CDL. I get consistent 1/2" groups at 100 yards with a specific hunting load. The SPR in 6.8 SPC was getting consistent 1" groups at 200 yards, the 3/4" was the best of the day. I went through a lot of loads getting to those groups. The barrel on the SPR is an ER Shaw. The break in was recommended by the builder of this particular upper. Everyone at the 6.8 Forums who use this guys uppers do the same thing I did and get amazing accuracy out of these barrels. Maybe it's a psychological thing. I don't know. But if it isn't counterproductive, why not do it anyway? I dropped $600 for this upper. I spent $1100 on the Remington. If I spend $50 extra on ammo to do the break in, what's the big deal? It may not be necessary, but if it makes me feel better about it, I'll do it.
My new weapon break in is clean it, lube it and shoot it. If I had a Benelli that jamed after every round from the box, you can bet your butt that it would be back to the factory and let them suffer the expense of the ammo to break it in.
It is important to field strip, lubricate and inspect a pistol before firing.
I run at least 50 rounds of FMJ, in pistols, and then test JHPs. Depending upon how the gun feels, I may continue running ammunition through the pistol. To me, it takes about 200 rounds to feel springs loosen up from the factory, in Semiautos.
If it is a polymer, 50 rounds and a box of 20 JHPs work for me: Glock, S&W or SA XD. I put my diamondback DB9 up to 650 or so rounds when I realized it was never going to be reliable. I sold that POS.
19 posts • Page 1 of 1
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