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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless in .30-06 2.5 years ago. Since then I've probably put 100 rounds through it but I didn't do any kind of special break in. I think I ran a brush through it after every couple of shots for the first dozen or so and that's about it.

I know that whatever damage that may have been done is irreparable, but is there anything that could / should be done? I typically clean the gun after every box of shells with Blue Wonder gun cleaner on a wire brush, scrubbing the bore down and letting it sit and then clean that all out by running patches through until they come out clean and then put a light coat of oil in it.

After reading the "Breaking in a barrel" thread I'm going to change up my cleaning routine too, I'm just wondering if there's anything else I should do?
 

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Adam you didn't harm your barrel in any way by 'not breaking it in' it may just foul a litter faster but so what just clean it when it starts to foul, i have done both 'break in and no break-in' don't read to much into on barrel break in techniques. with proper cleaning[ using one piece coated rods like a DEWEY, bore guides, quality jags and brushes like PRO SHOT or TIPTON your barrel will be top notch so don't lose any sleep on not 'breaking it in'
 

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I think all that barrel break in crap is hogwash. Bad cleaning techiques will screw up your barrel faster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just ordered a Tipton Carbon Fiber rod and Tipton brass jag, plus a Mike Lucas bore guide for it. This gun is a shooter (to me) already and I want to keep it that way.
 

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You can still 'break' it in. Just clean it really well with copper solvent and then start the process. You're probably half way there already. I did this with one of my rifles and notice easier cleaning....no substantial gain in accuracy though. I did notice a little better accuracy, but it wasn't enough to say that was the reason....could have been just me shooting better, etc.

The breaking in of a barrel isn't hogwash at all. It simply smooths out the machining marks leaving a more uniform bore that doesn't foul as quickly or as badly. It's not rocket science and it's a logical and smart thing to do for the benefits it provides. It makes a real difference with lead bullets as I've been finding out.
 

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Breaking a barrel in smooths the barrel by the bullet laying the steel over in one direction, throat to muzzle. As compared to a custom hand lapped barrel where the roughness is removed by abrasives. If you didn't break in the barrel then the copper gets deposited between the ridges and the steel can only get pushed over so far as it is lying on deposited copper. This is the reason for a shoot one and clean routine, to not allow the copper to buildup and to allow the steel to lay down completely. Not a big deal for you, just means you will need to do a thorough chemical cleaning, a brush will only remove the surface copper. There are lots of copper solvents on the market.

I have an old 50s vintage 270 FN belgian mauser that lost its superb accuracy many years ago. I figured the barrel was shot out, then I learned about copper in the barrel. Over a period of a week 3x a day (before work, after work, before bed) I used copper solvent to clean it. After the 8 hour sitting period the patch would come out blue again. Today the gun shoots as good as it always did.

Barrel break-in does not necessarily improve accuracy, if it does then that is an added benefit. Break-in allows a barrel to shoot accurately longer. Copper begets more copper, copper sticks to copper better than it does steel. When the barrel begins to copper foul it will foul quicker. A smooth interior bore prevents copper from accumulating. Excessive copper definitely causes random pressure levels and resultant random accuracy as the excess is pushed down the barrel. The other benefit is much easier cleaning, copper is much easier to remove from a smooth bore compared to a rough bore.

Some people claim their gun shoots better when it is dirty. This is because they developed their loads and sighted it in with a copper fouled barrel. After they clean the barrel it simply is a different barrel. If the bore is smooth and you keep it that way then your POI will not change when it is cleaned. My guns for any practical purpose shoot to the same point of impact when the barrel is cold and clean just the same as it does when they are warm (not excessively hot)and after 20 rounds. I don't worry about their POI after a complete cleaning.
 

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Very good explanation!
 

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BrownTrout said:
I think all that barrel break in crap is hogwash. Bad cleaning techiques will screw up your barrel faster.
BINGO!! Clean your barrel properly and using care in not damaging the crown and your barrel is fine. I have owned rifles that had pitted, rough barrels and shot very good becaause the crowns were undamaged.
 

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Tundra, I agree with your post. I guess I should have clarifired my hogwash comment. Adam never stated in his original post if he was worried about accuracy or fouling the barrel. Still I've tried the break in procedures on some of my rifles years ago and didn't see any super benefit. At least not enough to fuss over it. Like I said in my prior post, proper cleaning is more important. The last five to six rifles I've bought I haven't broken any in. I just can't see spending the time doing that. I'd rather be shooting when I'm at the range. My rifles can soak overnight and be cleaned the next morning. Thats just me. To each his own I guess. I used to clean them constantly, now my magic number is around 50 rounds. Some rifles more some less. I know and have heard from my buddy whos a gunsmith that he's seen more crowns on barrels ruin accuracy due to guys pulling boresnakes through after every round or pushing brushes all the way out the end of the barrel and pulling it back in and out and in and out. Different strokes for different fokes.
 

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stetam, I didn't see your post i was typing I guess--Im a slow typer. Anyhow, I agree with you on the crown thingy. You ever talked to guys in deer season or see em at gas stations riding with their muzzles on the floor of the truck.
 

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Adam, Tundragriz is on the money. 6 years ago when I was in the Army I was issued my M-14 for designated marksman school. Step 1 before any range time was a two day cleaning "blitz" to remove copper, and more copper and more copper and more copper... amazing how much green came out of the barrel! Good cleaning tools and proper technique will prolong the life of your shooter. I'm thinnking of a T3 in .06 myself.
 

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Here is some info from those that have a "serious" interest in barrels.

Krieger
http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Break_In__Cleaning-c1246-wp2558.htm

Lilja
http://www.riflebarrels.com/support/centerfire_maintenance.htm

Pac-Nor
http://www.pac-nor.com/care/

Shilen
http://www.shilen.com/faq.html#question10

Clymers
http://clymersultra.com/clymer_ultra_013.htm

and a few more not in the barrel making business but with just an interest in accuracy:

Barnes "From The Lab" section
http://www.barnesbullets.com/resources/newsletters/december-2008-barnes-bullet-n/

http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.rifle-bore-cleaning.html

http://www.rifle-accuracy-reports.com/barrel-break-in.html

Personally I have attended accuracy seminars by Kenny Jarrett, Darrell Holland, and Gunsite Academy, all three endorse a barrel break-in procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the help guys and keep it coming!

I've definitely learned a lot from this thread alone!

Steve, I LOVE my Tikka! I've shot at 4 animals with mine and killed all 4 with 1 shot a piece. I've got good "mojo" going with that rig! haha
 

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hunterx said:
Ya done ruined the gun now.
I can use it for parts.
Give ya a 50 bucks for it.

But all laughing aside, ....I'll give ya $60.

Good explanation Tundra.
 

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JasonN said:
The breaking in of a barrel isn't hogwash at all. It simply smooths out the machining marks leaving a more uniform bore that doesn't foul as quickly or as badly. It's not rocket science and it's a logical and smart thing to do for the benefits it provides. It makes a real difference with lead bullets as I've been finding out.
How can you smooth out machining marks in steel with copper? Or the bronze in a brush?

The only way to accomplish that would be with an abrasive.
 

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HiCountry

Very astute. Copper has a hardness of B50 and Stainless has a hardness of B80. These hardness numbers are approximate since there are various grades of Cu and SS but they illustrate that SS is harder than Cu.
 

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This is one of those situations that doesn't have a right or wrong answer and it comes down to a personal preference!

As for a "serious" interest in barrels...OF COURSE they would recommend a break-in! Your taking off the "useful" life of the barrel! LOL
Also, don't most "custom" barrel manufacturers hand lap their barrels? If that is the case than why "break-in"?

I haven't broken in ANY of my rifle barrels and I can honestly say, in my case, I notice no damage or ill effects!

I wouldn't mind seeing a side by side comparison of a "broke-in" rifle and a non "broke-in" rifle to see if there are any positives other than easier cleaning. That is of course if one exists!
 
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