Breaking In A New Barrel by Shane Hurkmans
When do you think the first recorded shooting games were started? The 16th century, 18th century, or the 13th century. (Answer later)
How do I break in a barrel on a new gun? I have been asked this every time I go somewhere.
Well, there are lots of ways to do this but this is the way I break in a barrel. First things first though, every gun that is shipped from the factory has been test fired. So you have all that copper and powder fouling in the barrel that you can ‘t see.
When you get home the best thing to do with the gun is clean it with whatever solvents you like to use. Clean the action and barrel like you would right after you have shot it. This will help with the break in of the gun. Next go out and buy yourself at least 60 rounds of ammo for that gun. If you are going to shoot factory rounds pick a round you think you are going to us in that gun. (Reminder) every gun shoots different ammo better then others so you may have to try different ammo to see what works the best in your gun. Now when I shoot a new gun to break it in I try to use a bullet weight that falls in the middle of that particular calibers range. For example I would pick 150 to 180 grain for a 30-06. Most factory guns are made to shoot all different kinds of bullets. And the twist of the gun will shoot bullets better from the middle of the road. Now when you are going to the range you need to have a few things.
Here are the steps I suggest.
1. Two ram rods, one for patches and one for a brush.
2. A powder solvent and a copper solvent. The best you can buy will do.
3. Lots of patches.
4. Safety classes and ear pugs.
When you get set-up plan on spending a few hours there.
1.Shoot the first round, brush the barrel and clean it with powder solvent and a patch of copper solvent. Patch barrel till patches comes clean.
2.Shoot two rounds, brush barrel and clean with powder solvent, dry patch barrel till clean.
3.Shoot two more, brush and clean with copper solvent.
4.Shoot three, repeat with powder solvent.
5 Shoot three more and repeat cleaning process.
6.Shoot four and repeat cleaning process.
7.Shoot four more and repeat cleaning process.
8.Shoot five and repeat cleaning process.
9.Shoot five more and repeat cleaning process.
10. If you think you need more rounds through your gun keep going, but with every set of rounds clean the barrel.
In my experience I have never gone over a 100 rounds to break in a barrel. Most barrels break in between 30 and 55 rounds. By this time you should see that it takes less dry patches to clean the barrel. And your accuracy should be there.
Most guys that only hunt a few times a year will just shoot their guns and wonder why it takes so long to get a clean patch. Cleaning your gun does not have to be a chore. By following this process all it takes is a few passes and your done. Now you can shoot and shoot till you think you need to clean it, or if the accuracy goes down hill.
If you are a reloader you can do this with a reduced charge of powder and a cheap bullet. You do however have a choice, you can do just the same as what is have written or you can buy a pressure (fire) lapping kit. This kit can be bought at your local gun store. It’s just the same as what I did but with different steps.
Now for you guys that buy guns that are used, you can restore an older gun buy giving it a little T.L.C. If you buy a gun from someone that tells you that it doesn’t shoot straight, take it home and make a plug for the chamber. Then pore a solvent down the barrel, like Hoppe’s #9, and stand the gun up in the corner and let it sit for the night. The next day clean the barrel until you get a clean patch. Then take a copper solvent and do the same. Let it sit over night and clean it till you get a clean patch with no copper on it. I’ll make a bet that the gun will shoot straighter than when you first bought the gun.
The first recorded shooting sports were in the 13th century. Although animals and birds were used as targets. This would outrage some of those in the world today, shooting live animals and all. There are records of shooting clubs in Germany and Switzerland in this time period. We know these games as trap and silhouette shooting. So the next time you go to the range you can think of when the shooting sports started.
I hope every one has a great season this year. And please for whatever you are hunting be it with a bow, a rifle or a shotgun, always remember the safety rules.