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richhodg66
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Posted: November 21 2018 at 7:38am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

The topic has been beaten to death elsewhere and everybody has their opinions. But I am going to make a brand new rifle into a dedicated cast bullet shooter and think it may be wise to do this carefully, so I'm thinking a hundred or so standard jacketed loads, cleaning often, to smooth things up in case anything needs it.

I know opinions vary from "it's unnecessary, just go shoot", to "you need to thoroughly scrub between shots for at least 50,000 rounds while saying the proper incantations under a full moon" but what say you guys?

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Posted: November 21 2018 at 3:50pm | IP Logged Quote rich2

Well, here goes my $.02. I did a break-in on my Winchester Model 70 in .308 and this is how I did it. Fired 10 rounds and swabbed the bore between each shot, leaving the bore wet. Then I fired 5 strings of 5 rounds cleaning the bore in between strings and leaving it wet. Then, I fired 5 strings of 10 rounds. Cleaning the bore between each string and leaving the bore wet. Finally I fired the remaining 15 rounds and took the gun home and scrubbed and mopped the bore until a swab came out clean.

Did this help? I dunno. Because I did this to the gun right outt'a the box. So I have nothing to base the results on. However, I do know that that gun is without question the most accurate long gun I own or have ever owned. It'll shoot the Sierra 150 or 165 grainers over Varget into 1/2 groups all day long, as long as I do my part. But who's to say the gun wasn't that accurate before.

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hoghunter
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Posted: November 21 2018 at 4:34pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

I can't wait to see the responses. I'll bite so here's my take.

If you feel the bore needs "smoothed" out try some JB bore paste but don't over do it. Laying down a layer of copper by shooting jacket bullets first even after cleaning isn't going to help subsequent cast bullet performance.

Next point, there is no definitive answer to the question of the "proper" break in procedure for a new barrel for the simple reason it can't be proven or dis-proven because you can't test different approaches in the same new barrel.

If you have the patience to go through the laborious task of shot one shot, clean, shot another shot, clean, etc. more power to you. It won't hurt but I personally don't believe it's necessary.

I base this assertion on the new rifles I've had over the years. I would of course clean them thoroughly first to remove any rust preventative in the bore from the factory.

I would then shoot them, 10 to 15 rounds for initial sight it. I would then clean and resume my normal practice of shooting and cleaning after every 30 rounds. With few exceptions they all shot very well.



Edited by hoghunter on November 21 2018 at 4:36pm
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richhodg66
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Posted: November 21 2018 at 4:55pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

One of the gun rags, can't remember which one, did a very systematic experiment on this a few years ago. Seems like I remember it made no difference in accuracy, but made the bore slightly easier to clean (they counted how many patches through it til it came clean. Seems they used two identical new rifles, one shot and cleaned normally, one cleaned between shots for a while and then pretty often for a while longer.

I think I'll shoot some jacketed through it, if for no other reason than to get a baseline of how accurate it is. Copper fouling is not conducive to cast accuracy, but some rounds at .308 velocities shouldn't make it too hard to clean out. Like I said, I don't shoot jacketed anymore except through some .22 centerfires.

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JD45
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Posted: November 21 2018 at 9:29pm | IP Logged Quote JD45

I'm now a firm believer in no cleaning for jacketed now.

But for cast I'm not there yet. Lead builds up. In my competition .45ACP, I used to use the chore boy pad treatment to get the lead out fast. In 100rds. it looked bad again. 1000rds. with no cleaning looked like 100 did.

I have no experience with rifle cast bullets. I'd like to hear some opinions based on experience also.
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turbo1889
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Posted: November 21 2018 at 11:37pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

20 rounds of steel jacketed AP rounds
dipped in JPW/Liquid-Alox 50/50 mix for
lubricant to "de-birr" the inside of the
barrel then go clean well and go straight
to shooting cast lead.

That is my procedure when I can get my
hands on steel jacketed bullets to fit the
bore size.

Copper jacketed leave copper residue and
don't "de-birr" without a lot of shooting.
Lathe turned brass or bronze bullets with
proper relief grooves cut are better for
break in if you can't get steel jacketed.

I really wish someone would sell kits of
lathe turned long length almost all
bearing surface malleable soft iron solids
with many thin driving bands with
relief/lube grooves in-between in whatever
size you wanted. Pan lube and shoot them
for quick, easy, safe, effective initial
barrel "de-birring". I prefer that term
compared to "break-in".

I am NOT a fan of using any kind of
lapping compund or grit to "fire lap" a
barrel that wears the whole barrel
surface. What is desired is to take out
the machining marks and the birrs and
such. Which comes from shooting, steel
jacketed seems to accomplish that with the
least number of rounds fired to accomplish
the task. Copper washed steel jacket is
"okay" but non-wash bare steel is better
and use real lube coating instead of the
copper wash (previously mentioned 50/50).

Bronze lathe turned solids are second best
by quite a distance (expect 50+ rounds
required cleaning at least once half way
through if not more), brass lathe turned
solids are third down (expect 100 rounds
required cleaning every ten rounds).

As stated earlier I think lathe turned
malleable iron bullets as described would
work dandy as good or better then steel
jacketed but unless you have your own
lathe and skill to make your own that
isn't currently an option.

And yes I know my opinions on this are way
outside the norm. I may be the only guy
on the net suggesting that steel jacketed
bullets (often found in grungy old milsurp
AP ammo) is the best option for initual
break in of a brand new barrel but from my
experience it is what works best to smooth
out the remaining machining marks and
micro birrs inside the barrel while
wearing the barrel as a whole as little as
possible while accomplishing that and not
having to constantly clean out nasty
copper fowling (unless of course the only
steel jacked that can be had is copper
wash, remove as much copper wash as
possible off the bullets with steel wool
but short of pulling them and reloading
them you won't get it all off).

Edited by turbo1889 on November 22 2018 at 12:04am


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richhodg66
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 7:03am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

JD45 wrote:
I'm now a firm believer in no cleaning for jacketed now.

But for cast I'm not there yet. Lead builds up. In my competition .45ACP, I used to use the chore boy pad treatment to get the lead out fast. In 100rds. it looked bad again. 1000rds. with no cleaning looked like 100 did.

I have no experience with rifle cast bullets. I'd like to hear some opinions based on experience also.


In that 7x57 I am hunting with this year, I have shot several hundred rounds between cleanings with my practice load of the 135 grain "Soup Can" and either 10 grains of Green Dot or more recently 10 grains of 700X, no chrono, but should be going 1400+ FPS.

My standard cleaning regimen for it is a couple ofrf wet patches of Ed'd Red, let it sit a few minutes while I do something else, about half a dozen swipes through it with a bronze brush followed by another wet patch followed by a couple of dry patches. I have yet to see the first smear or leading. Granted, it's not a super fast load, but the bullets aren't real hard either. If your fit is right and you're using decent lube, cast can do some pretty amazing things. For what it's worth, I size everything for that rifle to .287, despite the rifle having a commercial barrel, whoever sporterized it kept the generous throat dimensions 7x57s seem to be known for.

It has been my experience that the old advice of sizing to.001 over groove diameter isn't good enough, they almost all do better with bigger diameter if it'll chamber.

Are you using some kind of commercial cast in your .45? Most commercial outfits are notorious for sizing small so as to prevent problems chambering and inexperienced reloaders seating bullets. Combine that with hard alloys that prevent any kind of upset for better obturation and lubes that are designed to stand up to shipping rather than prevent leading, you have a recipe for leading.

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richhodg66
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 7:11am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

turbo1889 wrote:
20 rounds of steel jacketed AP rounds
dipped in JPW/Liquid-Alox 50/50 mix for
lubricant to "de-birr" the inside of the
barrel then go clean well and go straight
to shooting cast lead.

That is my procedure when I can get my
hands on steel jacketed bullets to fit the
bore size.

Copper jacketed leave copper residue and
don't "de-birr" without a lot of shooting.
Lathe turned brass or bronze bullets with
proper relief grooves cut are better for
break in if you can't get steel jacketed.

I really wish someone would sell kits of
lathe turned long length almost all
bearing surface malleable soft iron solids
with many thin driving bands with
relief/lube grooves in-between in whatever
size you wanted. Pan lube and shoot them
for quick, easy, safe, effective initial
barrel "de-birring". I prefer that term
compared to "break-in".

I am NOT a fan of using any kind of
lapping compund or grit to "fire lap" a
barrel that wears the whole barrel
surface. What is desired is to take out
the machining marks and the birrs and
such. Which comes from shooting, steel
jacketed seems to accomplish that with the
least number of rounds fired to accomplish
the task. Copper washed steel jacket is
"okay" but non-wash bare steel is better
and use real lube coating instead of the
copper wash (previously mentioned 50/50).

Bronze lathe turned solids are second best
by quite a distance (expect 50+ rounds
required cleaning at least once half way
through if not more), brass lathe turned
solids are third down (expect 100 rounds
required cleaning every ten rounds).

As stated earlier I think lathe turned
malleable iron bullets as described would
work dandy as good or better then steel
jacketed but unless you have your own
lathe and skill to make your own that
isn't currently an option.

And yes I know my opinions on this are way
outside the norm. I may be the only guy
on the net suggesting that steel jacketed
bullets (often found in grungy old milsurp
AP ammo) is the best option for initual
break in of a brand new barrel but from my
experience it is what works best to smooth
out the remaining machining marks and
micro birrs inside the barrel while
wearing the barrel as a whole as little as
possible while accomplishing that and not
having to constantly clean out nasty
copper fowling (unless of course the only
steel jacked that can be had is copper
wash, remove as much copper wash as
possible off the bullets with steel wool
but short of pulling them and reloading
them you won't get it all off).


OK, the use of a steel jacketed bullet is new one on the old argument, to me at least, and to my mind anyway makes sense. Got a source for those?

Lacking steel jacketed, would the Barnes solid copper be a good substitute?

I have very limited fire lapping experience, only ever did it once, not sure it made any difference, but the rifle did what I wanted it to do and I ceased worrying about it, standardized on a load and went hunting. I think if you read up on it and do it carefully, there's not much chance you're going to do any harm, but I'm going to have to have a good reason before I do it.

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M700
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 3:14pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Barnes copper bullets, the TSX, copper-fouled the heck out of my 25-06 when it was new.

I was convinced that the solid copper bullet would be the ultimate high velocity hunting bullet and was loading them to 3340 fps, with the 100 gr TSX. Reasonably accurate, but wow...

The brand new Remington barrel fouled so badly that after 10 - 15 rounds I had to do a thorough cleaning of the barrel.

I'd say it was a combination of:

High velocity
Soft copper bullets
Rough Remington barrel

When I switched to normal bullets, jacketed with harder "gilding metal" the jacket-fouling greatly decreased.

Many years and many rounds later, the rifle remains quite accurate.

FWIW, Guy
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M700
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 3:16pm | IP Logged Quote M700

On the other hand, using the 168 gr TSX in my Krieger barreled 308 Win resulted in very little fouling.

I'd guess that was the result of:

Very smooth, hand-lapped, cut-rifled barrel
Lower velocity, about 2700 fps

Guy
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turbo1889
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Posted: November 22 2018 at 5:08pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

richhodg66 wrote:
OK, the use of a steel
jacketed bullet is new one on the old
argument, to me at least, and to my mind
anyway makes sense. Got a source for
those?


I've got a lifetime supply of them for
8mm.

They are fairly easy to obtain for "fat 30
cal." via Eastern block ammo (scrub the
copper wash off of them).

I have found them in standard 30 cal. via
7.62x51 NATO foreign loads (pull the
projectile and load it for other
chamberings).

After much searching I have also found
foreign surplus 9x19 ammo that the
projectiles we're lead core yet attracted
a magnet and not just at the tip. I
pulled all those bullets and used them to
season fresh barrels in various 35 caliber
chambered guns.

After much internet searching a decade or
so back I managed to find some 338 cal.
steel jacketed bullets that were some kind
of vintage dangerous game bullet that I
used to season a 338-straight carbine
barrel (wildcat made from blowing out
5.56/223 brass straight at the base of the
shoulder).

Basically it's hit and miss, depending on
what caliber you are working with if you
can find something steel jacketed that is
close enough to do the job.

Quote:
Lacking steel jacketed, would the
Barnes solid copper be a good substitute?

. . .


Those are softer copper then the jackets
of even just normal bullets.

I have had occasional access to a manual
lathe and can run one half-ass. When I
haven't been able to find steel jacketed
bullets in the past for certain caliber
sizes (7mm, 6.5mm, 44, 45, etc . . .)
Where I have a barrel that I want to do
right then I have just taken some good
bronze rod stock and turned it down to
correct diameter, cut some relief grooves
and then just cut short lengths off and
used that. Takes time and effort and is a
pain in the neck.

I would have already have tried malleable
iron but the guy who owns the lathe don't
want me cutting that with that lathe. He
uses it himself as a dedicated non-ferrous
work area and for his business needs to
keep it non-contaminated with ferrous and
iron that sort of powders away and gets
everywhere was like his worst nightmare.
All his ferrous stuff he does on a CNC on
the other end of his shop which is like
never available because he is almost
always got it setup for runs for his
business.

My woman as I have mentioned previously
now has a micro-CNC lathe that hooks up
directly with a laptop she got
specifically for making turned brass
bullets from rod stock for her big bore
guns because she got tired of paying $2-$5
per bullet from the custom shops for odd
large sizes. She so far though has
refused to let me play with it, and I
don't really know how to work the CNC.
What she has is also dry cut and it works
with specific brass rod stock. Don't know
if it would work cutting hard marine
machine bronze rather then soft brass
cutting dry like that and same goes for
malleable iron and she already gave me
"THE LOOK" when I suggested setting the
unit in a tupperware tub and standing over
it with a squirt bottle of cutting fluid
and squirting it on as the CNC does it's
thing, so I know that option is out, as in
never mention it again.

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hoghunter
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Posted: November 23 2018 at 5:30pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

Another thought - while I don't shoot cast bullets out of my rifles I shoot a fair amount out of my pistols.

The one cleaning product I found exceptional for removing lead is Bore Tech Rim Fire Blend. This works very well for center fire lead reloads also. It's non toxic and odor free also.

PS I'm not a Bore Tech saleman.   

Edited by hoghunter on November 23 2018 at 5:39pm
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hoghunter
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Posted: November 23 2018 at 5:37pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

richhodg66 wrote:
Seems they used two identical new rifles, one shot and cleaned normally, one cleaned between shots for a while and then pretty often for a while longer.


That's the problem in designing a conclusive test for this issue - there is no such thing a "two identical new rifles".

However your example is better than nothing. I just never used those elaborate break in cleaning procedures for a new rifle and I've never experience any accuracy problems attributed to inadequate break in. Maybe I'm just lucky.
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Paul B.
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Posted: November 26 2018 at 1:04pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

There is an excellent thread over on "The Firing Line" on barrel break in
by the late barrel maker Gale McMillan. He said if anyone used one of
those break in procedures on one of his barrel the warrantee would be
void. The thread went for three pages as I recall and it was all a very
good read. It's in the rifles forum marked general under the title " The
wisdom of Gale McMillan (Multi-page thread 1 2 3 )" A lot of the pro
and con was discussed.

For the record, I've never bothered for two reasons. One, most of my
rifles have been purchased second hand and were probably broken in
in one way or another by the previous owner. Two, prior to my wife's
illness I averaged two, sometimes three days a week at the range,
especially before hunting season. Any new rifle or one that I had
rebarreled was quickly broken in just but load development and
practice.

Someone mentioned fire lapping. I've only done one barrel and
deviated somewhat from the instructions. The rifle was a Winchester
M70 Featherweight in 7x57. It copper fouled so badly that it usually
took a solid eight hours of work to get the copper out. I bought a
cheap fire lapping kit that came with three grits, course, medium and
fine. Rathe than run ten bullets with each grit I went with cast bullets
instead of jacketed and used only five bullets per grit. I made up a
fourth set of five bullets using JB bore paste as a final grit. The barrel
still fouls very slightly but is easy to clean. One has to be a bit careful
when fire lapping as it not only polishes the bore but cuts away at the
throat. That's one of the reasons I only used five bullets rather than the
recommended ten. The end results were good, almost no fouling and
accuracy in that rifle is superb. No that the fouling problem is gone I
can say, if it's not broke, don't fix it. It's now"not broke".
Paul B.
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joed
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Posted: November 26 2018 at 3:28pm | IP Logged Quote joed

My method of breaking in a rifle barrel consists of shooting 20
rounds and cleaning thoroughly.   I normally send 20 more through
it and clean again.   

From this point I shoot it as I intend to use the rifle and clean it at
the end of the day.   

I don't believe in any other procedure. I've done this with every rifle
I own.   Even the place that built my varmint rifle told me to use this
procedure.

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hoghunter
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Posted: November 26 2018 at 5:34pm | IP Logged Quote hoghunter

joed wrote:
My method of breaking in a rifle barrel consists of shooting 20
rounds and cleaning thoroughly.   I normally send 20 more through
it and clean again.   

From this point I shoot it as I intend to use the rifle and clean it at
the end of the day.   

I don't believe in any other procedure. I've done this with every rifle
I own.   Even the place that built my varmint rifle told me to use this
procedure.


Totally agree!
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Tom W.
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Posted: November 26 2018 at 7:21pm | IP Logged Quote Tom W.

I shoot a LOT of cast in my 30/30 A.I. and my 30-06 A.I.
mostly for fire forming and just plain plinking. I haven't
had any leading in many years since I lube them with
whatever I can find and then tumble lube them in JPW. The
30-06 hunting loads are 180 gr GameKings with 47 grains of
Varget.
My handgun bullets all get lubed with White Label Lube's
Carnauba Red and again I've not had any leading. I've used
it for many years from 9mm on up to .480 Ruger loads with
.44 mag, .45 Colt, .45 acp and .454 loads with good
results. I can't remember when I've used a jacketed
bullet. My handgun loads aren't little wimpy loads,
either. I practice with what I carry. I will admit that
the .454 was too much for me though.

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Pete D.
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Posted: December 05 2018 at 4:36am | IP Logged Quote Pete D.

richhodg66 wrote:
One of the gun rags, can't remember which one,
did a very systematic experiment on this a few years ago. Seems like I
remember it made no difference in accuracy, but made the bore slightly
easier to clean (they counted how many patches through it til it came
clean. Seems they used two identical new rifles, one shot and cleaned
normally, one cleaned between shots for a while and then pretty often
for a while longer.

I think I'll shoot some jacketed through it, if for no other reason than to
get a baseline of how accurate it is. Copper fouling is not conducive to
cast accuracy, but some rounds at .308 velocities shouldn't make it too
hard to clean out. Like I said, I don't shoot jacketed anymore except
through some .22 centerfires.


I am in the “just go shoot” school of thought.
Since you have read the article mentioned above and are well aware
that this topic has been beaten to death before this and nothing new
has emerged here, one wonders what you hoped to accomplish by
starting yet another barrel break in thread.
No response needed. I am just wondering.
Pete

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richhodg66
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Posted: December 05 2018 at 5:10am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Just curious what other's thoughts are and I enjoy conversing with like minded people. Also, sometimes, someone has an idea that challenges conventional thought and I like to listen whether I agree with it or not.

The attitude you're demonstrating with your post is the reason this board is dying, thanks.

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Posted: December 05 2018 at 2:47pm | IP Logged Quote joed

M700 wrote:
On the other hand, using the 168 gr TSX in my
Krieger barreled 308 Win resulted in very little fouling.

I'd guess that was the result of:

Very smooth, hand-lapped, cut-rifled barrel
Lower velocity, about 2700 fps

Guy

I've been shooting Nosler 85 gr varmint bullets out of my .25-06
with Krieger barrel at 3620 fps.   Fouling has been minimal, 2
patches most for cleanup.    I'm totally sold on Krieger.

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