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I have finally got my FAC and bought a .308 Sabatti with 26" barrel. I understand from the instructions that came with the gun that I need to clean the barrel frequently to start with. It comes with a hugely complex and multi stage cleaning routine suggestion. It says that you should thoroughly clean the barrel every shot for the first ten rounds and then every five for another fifteen. The RFD however sold me a big bag of flannel patches, some cleaning solution, a rod with brass attachment for the cleaning patches and a nylon brush for the rod. He said to clean it every five for the a while.

I appreciate this is not an expensive gun compared with the weapons used by those in serious competition, but it's a big investment for me (if SWMBO gets wind of how much I spent on it I will probably end up divorced) and I want to look after it. Can you guys tell me what I should do to keep it at it's best.

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There's a lot of speculation on this subject with some saying don't bother at all and others saying you must put a ridiculous amount of bullets/cleaning in. 

What I have always done is...

Shoot and clean every 1 shot for the first 10.

Shoot and clean every 3 shots twice (six shots)

Shoot and clean every 5 shots. Once, 

That equates to 21 shots. 

On the 3&5 shot groups allow the barrel to cool slightly between each shot.

So my barrel break in is similar to that of the manufacturer.

These don't have to be 'wasted' shots they can be used to bring your zero closer or just plink at some gongs. 

The idea of barrel break in is to smooth out any machining marks created during manufacturer

I have done this with the last 3 rifles I brought and all have been OK from what I have seen, 

There are a lot of different procedures if you google but most do suggest some sort of break in. 

I'm not saying this is the correct procedure but it's what I do and I'm sure others will have their own take on the subject. 

Most of all.... Happy shooting

 

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Post #2 is the routine I follow, no matter how little the rifle cost me. ;)

If you reload you can use the break in procedure to work up a base load and obviously fire form the cases.

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On 23/11/2017 at 10:07 AM, rhhudson said:

There's a lot of speculation on this subject with some saying don't bother at all and others saying you must put a ridiculous amount of bullets/cleaning in. 

What I have always done is...

Shoot and clean every 1 shot for the first 10.

Shoot and clean every 3 shots twice (six shots)

Shoot and clean every 5 shots. Once, 

That equates to 21 shots. 

On the 3&5 shot groups allow the barrel to cool slightly between each shot.

So my barrel break in is similar to that of the manufacturer.

These don't have to be 'wasted' shots they can be used to bring your zero closer or just plink at some gongs. 

The idea of barrel break in is to smooth out any machining marks created during manufacturer

I have done this with the last 3 rifles I brought and all have been OK from what I have seen, 

There are a lot of different procedures if you google but most do suggest some sort of break in. 

I'm not saying this is the correct procedure but it's what I do and I'm sure others will have their own take on the subject. 

Most of all.... Happy shooting

 

This is exactly what i have always done.

Some would say it's over the top but it works for me.

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Yep, thats pretty much about what I do as well. 

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Thanks for all the feedback. Really looking forward to Wednesday night when I can take it to club and have another go!

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I'm interested to know what a patch removes that a bullet travelling at 2800fps doesn't ?

if it makes you happy clean it....Don't forget your rifle has already been fired at proofing and probably by the manufacturer.....I'm sure they spend all their time cleaning barrels 🤔

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1 hour ago, Gluv said:

I'm interested to know what a patch removes that a bullet travelling at 2800fps doesn't ?

Apply this theory to other aspects of life and never buy another lavatory-roll!

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17 minutes ago, Dalua said:

Apply this theory to other aspects of life and never buy another lavatory-roll!

😀

never the less,if you could just explain how that patch/ brush whatever removes imperfections in the bore that the said bullet at 2000 odd fps with 50000? Psi of hellfire behind it doesn't I would be most grateful 🤔

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When you look down the barrel after it's been fired there's defo a fair bit o crap left from the chemicals making the explosion. I guess the bullet travelling at lots of miles an hour is the first to leave the barrel party. From the way it was explained to me, the products of combustion left are fairly corrosive to the barrel. Given how much I paid for my .308, I'm defo cleaning it! What I don't understand is why almost everyone says not to clean .22 rim fire barrels.

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18 hours ago, Gluv said:

😀

never the less,if you could just explain how that patch/ brush whatever removes imperfections in the bore that the said bullet at 2000 odd fps with 50000? Psi of hellfire behind it doesn't I would be most grateful 🤔

I use a dry patch before it goes back in the cabinet to remove the loose stuff that the last bullet though leaves behind, that way it reduces the chance of any of it falling back into the action.

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In all, and over the years, I've had a number of rifles. Four of them had been bought brand new. Like a sparkly-eyed whippersnapper on a Christmas morning, I went loaded with my gear and rifle off to the range to 'break-in' that first cherished rifle. I was meticulous, precisely following instructions off some well-informed website advising on the break-in process which would enable me to accurately hit a V-bull while shooting around a corner with one arm behind my back.

If I recall correctly I put through 1 shot and clean, 2 shots and clean again, 3 shots and clean again ad-infinitum....up to 10 times. Then the exact meticulous procedure undertaken down to 5 times, cleaning after each shot fired. I also cleaned using a copper solvent a couple of times throughout both these regimes. Hey presto!..best shooting rifle on the range, perhaps? Took me a bag of patches; 1/4 bottle of boreshine; and a decidedly aching shoulder...oh, and nigh-on the whole bloody day.

Back in the day, this was with a Rem 700, at the far end of the range on the first shooting bay, a decent sort of chap unloaded from his wagon a white cardboard box, opened it, and unwrapped a new T3 hunter (wood) stock with sporter-profile barrel. I watched him take out a portable cleaning station and he put in a bore-guide and ran 2 dry patches through the tube - that was it, nothing else. He then proceeded to shoot that rifle for the next couple of hours, then with a smile, put the rifle in a gunslip and off he went. I was (I think) on my eleventh relay of cleaning my barrel, still meticulous and enduring what I had read about barrel break-in procedures on this wonderful thing called the internet - each to their own I thought.

As a result of what I thought was a perfect demonstration of being able to follow precise 'break-in' instructions, I did indeed have a very accurate rifle as evidenced after yet another thorough cleaning when I returned home, and then by printing a precise first shot on the very next outing at the range

My second newly bought rifle (Win model 70).. wasn't so 'fortunate' to receive the afore mentioned rigid break-in treatment. I was rushing out the house and forgot the cleaning products that would help make my new model 70 shoot around corners. Me, being me, could not wait to put a shot through the barrel. I chanced the next shot without cleaning, and the next, again without cleaning, and the same again for 30 rounds. Dismayed, with that 'sinking' feeling I left the range absolutely convinced my new barrel was ruined because of my own impatience of wanting to shoot, but not being able to clean the barrel as I had done with the previous new rifle.

On my next outing with that same second rifle, much to my delight there was no difference whatsoever in the accuracy; the lands in the barrel could not have melted and the grooves must have been still grooves. The throat still had its tonsils and the rifling down the tube was still spiral. I kept that rifle for over three years and it shot as good on the day I sold it, as the day it was bought new - one of those I wish I'd kept

Apologies for the long-winded post, but the time it's taking you to read this, you now have some kind of understanding of I how felt when going through what I went through when laboriously undertaking such a tedious, boring, and time consuming pointless waste of precious shooting time

In my practical experience, 'barrel break-in' made no difference whatsoever on the first new rifle compared to the second new rifle. The subsequent 2 rifles I had from new (which I still have) had the same treatment as the second rifle above - they shoot as good as they always have

You will hear all kinds of well intentioned advice like the one on 'tooling', when the barrel was made and the tooling marks have to be 'flattened' out ...Hmmm

Whatever the well-intentioned info, and I'm sure it is ...... it hasn't made a blind bit of difference to any of the new barrels I've used

ATB

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1 hour ago, cooter said:

I use a dry patch before it goes back in the cabinet to remove the loose stuff that the last bullet though leaves behind, that way it reduces the chance of any of it falling back into the action.

Don't get me wrong when I've been shooting for the day I clean the carbon out with patches and put an oily one down last of all .No need for copper cleaning or brushes until accuracy goes south imo 👍

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Here are some simple facts.

Stainless barrels and chrome moly barrels are not the same on their internal finish.

Button rifled are not the same as cut rifled, and hammer forged barrels are like neither.

Spend some time with a gunsmith who KNOWS what the differences are, and get him to show you with a borescope.

You will then understand why some barrels must be broken in, and some less so, and some, none at all.

Chrome moly barrels have a lot more pores than a stainless barrel. Unless you shoot and clean , you will fill the pores with copper/carbon. If not cleaned, these pores will never have the chance to "level out" along with the tooling marks in there from when the barrel was made.

The barrel will then hold copper all its life, and be a pig to clean, as layers of copper/carbon will build up and be very difficult to remove.

This barrel will then exhibit the classic sign of " it won't shoot for 20 rounds when i,ve cleaned it" tale.

REM's usually start to shoot and group around 50 rounds.

Tikka's/sako's usually less.

Border/sassen blanks usually start to group around 20 rounds onwards.

Most barrels usually show a difference at 200 rounds. Which is why i always tell customers that an early developed load may change at the 200 round mark. The barrel usually "speeds up"

Barrels most definitely "break in"

How you choose to treat that barrel in its early life is entirely up to you.

No simple answer, all brands behave differently.

What beggars my belief is that people will spend x amount of money on a new rifle/scope, but can't be arsed to spend half a day, breaking it in properly.

 

 

 

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Just follow the manufacturers instructions. Seems to me in the worst case scenario,it can do no harm,but not to follow some sort of break in procedure may indeed adversely effect your nice new barrel. 

Can't believe this subject is so devisive. 

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Baldie’s (Dave’s) last sentence sums it up really. 

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I'm surprised there isn't more of an accepted practice.

In club last night there was a chap who served for his country before losing both legs in combat, who says he doesn't do barrel cleaning, period! Yet others are religious about it - unsurprisingly a newbie like me can get easily confused. 

I now have launched fifty rounds down the barrel of my Sabatti and have noticed that the grouping is getting better at 50metres. 

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Visit the HPS-TR website. There’s a comprehensive guide on there about barrel break-procedure.

It’s not a lot different to what has already been suggested but it explains what is happening.

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16 hours ago, Gluv said:

Don't get me wrong when I've been shooting for the day I clean the carbon out with patches and put an oily one down last of all .No need for copper cleaning or brushes until accuracy goes south imo 👍

Carbon is the biggest bugger and copper as I think Baldie said recently is a 'lubricant'.  But as with everything, moderation is the key and I'd prefer to be on the clean side of 'average'..

rhhudson's advice is excellent and when qualified by Baldie, you'll not get much better.  The only think I'd add, is watch your rifle's (muzzle's) crown - that you don't bugger it with the brush/jag or whatever.

 

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Unless you have a borescope, it's impossible to tell how clean your barrel is...............the carbon left from a round will be hammered into the metal by the subsequent round, and so on. In time, this will form a glassy black streak when viewed through a borescope.

A clean patch emerging from the muzzle simply means that the patch is clean, ie there is no LOOSE carbon in the bore.

You'd have to patch out after every round to avoid this. A microscopic film of copper "wiped" off the bullet is beneficial, particularly with button rifled barrels. In addition to it's lubricating properties, it acts as a release agent when the time comes to deep clean the barrel with a copper solvent, allowing the carbon glaze to lift as the copper under it dissolves.

So, for a new barrel, I patch out to remove any crud left by the proof house, and swab the chamber with brake cleaner to remove the oil.

(AFAIK, the proofhouse fire shots, both with a dry chamber, and an oiled chamber to stress the bolt.)

Then I fire one, patch out, fire another, patch out, and repeat ten times. I figure this will minimise the amount of carbon pressed into the bore, and will allow a thin film of copper to build up. Then it's good to go.

After that, clean and oil every 100 rounds or so., always putting a dry patch through and de-greasing the chamber before each shooting session.

Re-Pete

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Re-Pete said:

(AFAIK, the proofhouse fire shots, both with a dry chamber, and an oiled chamber to stress the bolt.)

 

 

 

No, they don't do that

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2 hours ago, bradders said:

No, they don't do that

Only two weeks ago I was discussing this very thing with Carl at the London Proof House, he confirmed that the last of the three proof rounds is oiled for the reasons stated by Re-Pete.

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1 hour ago, Big Al said:

Only two weeks ago I was discussing this very thing with Carl at the London Proof House, he confirmed that the last of the three proof rounds is oiled for the reasons stated by Re-Pete.

Well that's new on me...

From what I gather, proof requires firing two rounds, and unless I'm not mistaken, you chaps who build rifles with oddball calibres have to supply ammo, and I believe that's two rounds?

Regarding the oil, how much, which kind and viscosity, and at what temperature?

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4 minutes ago, bradders said:

Well that's new on me...

From what I gather, proof requires firing two rounds, and unless I'm not mistaken, you chaps who build rifles with oddball calibres have to supply ammo, and I believe that's two rounds?

Regarding the oil, how much, which kind and viscosity, and at what temperature?

I send in 3 cases, they all come back fired.

As for the oil, Im sure they will tell you if you ask them nicely, personally Im not fussed.

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Then I wonder if all the good gents, at all the proof houses, also follow cleaning procedures and clean those barrels after each test shot they fire?

Failing to do so seems like closing barn door but horse already bolted.... for everyone deciding to commence their own break-in regime on the return of the rifle

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