Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Breaking in a new barrel, or re-breaking in an old one:

Now comes the break-in, i`ve heard from a few people to run boiling water down the BBL and then use dish soap, scrub, rinse with more boiling water, then clean with sweets 7.62 or something similer, then dry patch, then use JB paste and scrub with a patch on a jag. Then make sure you clean all of the JB paste out,then oil,shoot,then run wet patches of shooters choice between each shot for about 5 shots then after every 10 or so,up to 50 or 100 shots.They said that oiling the BBL before shooting it, that it will coat the inside, and with the first round going down it that, that will "season" it.(like you have to season a good fry pan?) I dont know, anyone want to help.

Keith Camardo <BATCAM1>
BEAV., OR. USA - Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 15:59:38 (EST) 

Brent - I would not use soap and water on a new bore, and I would not oil the bore before a shot. The bore and chamber needs to be dry. If you get oil into the chamber you could have a nasty surprise and at minimum a difficult time extracting the case. Clean after every shot with Shooter'e Choice and Sweet's for the first 30 - 40 rounds and then JB. Clean after every 5 rounds for the next 30 to 40 rounds and JB. Clean after every 10 rounds for 20 to 30 rounds then JB. Then have a ball. by cleaning after every 20 rounds for the next 100. After that the weapon can be cleaned after each set of not more than 50 to 60 rounds. Always dry patch before shooting and inspect the barrel for patch threads. They will destroy the rifling in your bore. Take care with the brushing during break in. The brushes will leave as much copper fouling as the bullet when you brush the devil our of the bore, especially if you reverse the direction of the brush while it is in the bore. First use the Shooter's Choice and let set. Swab with a wet patch of Shooter's and then folow with a couple of dry. Clean with the Sweet's until the patches stop coming out blue. Then lay in the Shooter's again until they come out clean. It is a pain to break in a new barrel. Do not fire lap the barrel unless you have the money to buy a new barrel.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Thursday, November 12, 1998 at 23:59:00 (EST) 


This question my have been addressed before but I'm new to this site.

Can someone tell me what is the best way to brake in a new rifle. I just bought a Remington 700vs .308 and would like to start shooting but I want to be sure the barrel is broken in correctly.

Thanks for your help.

Joh Manning <psi/>
USA - Saturday, November 14, 1998 at 02:57:01 (EST) 

O.K. re:cleaning and break-in, someone said awhile back to look at, and they do have a fine section re:cleaning but there section on break-in is`nt up yet, but it does say that in an up coming report that they will talk about mollying the BBL during break-in. My question is "HELP", I have recently purchased a V.S. in .308 and within the last week bought and mounted my new M3 LR 3.5*10.And now it`s time to go shooting, and I have been getting alot of mixed-up info RE:"BREAK-IN", my god I only want to shoot(is that too much to ask) Some say don`t, some have very detailed procedures. If break-in is a standard thing that all of you long range guys do then why is`nt there a standard way to break-in? SORRY about that out burst, but I would like to do it right the first time, as that is the only chance I`ll get. What about J.B. paste? Is it too abrasive or is there a limited amount of use that is o.k.What about mollying the BBL? Also Armament says while using a brush that you should make sure to push the brush completly out of the BBL before pulling the brush in the next direction. I thought that you guys only pushed your cleaning products and brushes through, no pulling? BATCAM1 OUT
P.S. I know that some of you have e-mailed me in the past on this subject, but my computer had the time setting to save the mail set to low and it only saived the info for only a day.

Keith Camardo <>
BEAV., OR USA - Monday, November 16, 1998 at 22:26:03 (EST) 

Hello everyone, is there anyone out there who could clear up some of the "gossip" about proper barrel break in procedure and maintainance of a sniper grade barrel. Ive heard so many things that not all can be relevant, such as only move a patch from breach to muzzle, then remove it and retrieve the rod. Is this trully necessary? I mean a copper jacketed bullet goes through there at close to 3000fps, how can a cloth patch do any harm. Also on a new rifle how much should one clean per shot to break in? and per shot after break in? What products are the best for these tasks? Thank you to anyone who can help clear up any of this mess, and to the rest of you shooters out there drop a line to Carlos Hathcock, its the least you can do after what hes done for this sport, the address is in the hot tips, cold shots section.
.308 gunner <CGarr23113>
Salinas, CA USA - Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 16:27:52 (EST) 

That is true you should only push the patch through one direction. the reason for this is not the copper but the resedue and other particles that come form the combustion of the primer. It is my understanding that some of these particles are quite hard and can scratch the barrel. I think once you have shoved the first 3 to 4 wet patches through and then a dry patch or two you could safetly start to scrub it with the back and forth motion with out doing any harm. By the time I get to the Sweets 7.62 I scrub the crap out of it.As far as the right break in procedure, everyone has their own way but I usually follow the rule of, fire one and clean for the first 10 and the fire 2 and clean for the next 20 then fire 3 and clean for the next 30 then I start shooting. This process is probably anal retentive but it sure makes for nice smooth barrels that are easy to clean. I also clean it throughly befor going to the range for the first time and then polish it with JBs to start it off. Once the gun is broke in I usually try to clean it every 20 to 25 rounds. Thats not to say I wont shoot a heck of a lot more if need be. Hope this helps.

Pat <>
USA - Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 18:28:33 (EST) 

308gunner: Another reason to never clean from the muzzle end is that on any barrel, let alone a top quality one, you do not want to damage the crown by dinging the snot out of it with a cleaning jag. You also NEED a bore guide like the Sinclair Rod guide or others. This stops the cleaning rod from bowing in the bore and causing uneven wear in the rifling. Something more problematic with a steel uncoated rod. Not to mention aligning the patch with the axis of the bore.

Reusing a patch is just being cheap. Why risk damaging a quality barrel by trying to save a percentage of a penny by using a cruddy patch. Push the crud out and do not draw it back in.

Like most guys, the typical break in goes, fire a round and clean for 10 rounds, fire three rounds and clean for 20 rounds and fire five round and clean for up to 100 rounds. It is tedious and annoying but the results pay off. JB bore paste is a godsend during break-in. It gets the build up out between shots so that the new projectile can burnish the bore. Do not go crazy with it though! Same with Sweets.
scott <>
USA - Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 22:51:19 (EST) 

Sorry for the confusion, that break in process if for a TOTAL of 100 rounds. 50 if you are in a hurry and do not have the time.
USA - Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 22:52:33 (EST) 

I wonder about all this barrel breaking in. I do clean new guns often when shooting them in figuring that there may be some harmfull tool shavings in there. But if a man were to lap that barrel and smooth and clean it before firing wouldn't that beat hell out of a bunch of fussing and cleaning? Someone straighten me out on this thing? All barrels shoot better for the next 100 shots up to about 500 anyway and one old savage I had in .223 shot better the last 3000 rounds than it did the first. Hope that don't go against the laws of physics.

B.Rogers <>
USA - Thursday, December 17, 1998 at 13:29:22 (EST) 

Hey Guys,
I am going to be breaking in my first new rifle (700pss). I have seen you guys discuss what solvents to use while breaking in a rifle, but I have no idea how often I should clean the barrel during break - in,
after every round, every three rounds etc. If anyone could give me some insight it would be much appreciated!!!
James Castago
USA - Monday, January 25, 1999 at 14:39:32 (ZULU) 
On factory barrels I clean it with Hoppes and Sweets 7.62 until there is no copper or blue on the patch. I then scrub it with JBs and then once its good and clean start breaking it in. I shoot one round and clean it with shooters choice for the first 10rds then every 3 for the next 30 and then every 5 for the next 50. Others do it different but this has made for some very nice cleaning barrels for me. They say the first 10 rounds down the barrel are the most important. I then try to clean every 20 to 30 rounds after my gun is broke in. Hope this helps, just my opinion for what its worth.
Pat <>
USA - Monday, January 25, 1999 at 15:16:48 (ZULU) 
I just bought a second PSS in 308. I bought it used as a project rifle. It wasn't properly broken in by the original owner. So, for the last 4 days I've been pulling copper out of the bore. I'm close to having all of the copper out and would like to treat the bore to resist copper build-up. Is it possible to "re-break-in" a rifle bore? I haven't found any posts or opinions on how to correct these problems yet. I'd like to hear how the group would deal with this problem. Thanks!

Zero <>
Louisville, KY, USA - Monday, February 08, 1999 at 15:28:17 (ZULU) 

On re-break in
Yup... just start over, as you would a new gun.
A rifle isn't like a gasoline engine where you can damage
it by not taking care in the first stages.
The purpose of "breakin in" a rifle, is to polish off some of
the rougher tool marks and micro burrs, so that copper won't
build up so quickly, and it'll be easier to clean. If the gun
has been shoot a lot, without cleaning, all that has happened
is that the first shots laid a layer of copper over the tool
marks, and then the bullets rode over the copper, making the
layer thicker and thicker... and taking days to clean out,
but the original rough tool marks and micro burrs are still under
the copper.
Clean it with a good copper remover like Hoppes BR copper remover,
or Sweet's, and start from the begining.

USA - Monday, February 08, 1999 at 16:15:07 (ZULU) 

Pablito is right once again, you can start over. I would add one more thing, that would be to use JBs Bore paste and scrub it with that, before you start the break in, it will get out any stubborn copper that is left in the bore.

Pat <>
USA - Monday, February 08, 1999 at 17:29:53 (ZULU) 

Break-in. Yes, you can re-break-in a rifle, or more correctly, break it in for the first time. Most plain old meat hunters do not even know of the concept. Hell most don't even shoot their hunting rifle for 10 rounds a year, and that is usually a day before the opener! I would highly recommend re-breaking-in any rifle purchase. Some thoughts: PeteR mentioned Hoppes BR9. With all due respect to Pete, this is not the cleaner of choice to remove the nasty build up you will find in an uncared for rifle. BR9 is a great cleaner for a top quality barrel with few imperfections. But if you want to get all the copper out of a factory bore, using BR9 could take a decade. I am talking days of repetative cleanings. No, if you want to get it out completely and get it out quick, Sweets 7.62 is about it. This stuff is nasty and aggessive but it will do the job. Follow up with a lot of dry patches and then follow up with Hoppes number 9 - the regular kind, not the copper eater! NOTE: Never allow Sweets and Shooters Choice in the same barrel at the same time. The results will make you feel real stupid.

Once you have gone at it with the Sweets, and dried the bore out, try JB bore compound. This stuff will get every last trace of copper that the sweets missed. Follow the instructions closely. Once done with that (per instructions), follow up with plain old Hoppes again. Hoppes is a good mild cleaner that can be used to "wash" the barrel out, getting rid of all the crap.

After break-in, you should not need a heavy copper cutter like Sweets. I like to use Shooters Choice MC#7 for a regular cleaner, but I still follow up on the dried out bore with Hoppes. You could use alcohol as an alternative. I just have this thing about not leaving a barrel that was cleaned with a strong clearer, sit with out a diluting agent. I use JB about every 100 rounds just to stay ahead of any build up and using this method have found that copper does not build up much after this. But every bore is different, so you will have to experiment to find what works.

Anyway, you can DEFINITELY bring back a bad barrel that was not properly broken in the first time.

Scott <>
USA - Monday, February 08, 1999 at 19:48:50 (ZULU) 

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