What is the best way to break in a new rifle?

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by Woodie, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. I recently bought a couple of new rimfires. I've doing a lot of reading about the proper cleaning and such. But like right from scratch, before the first round.
    Clean it with solvent and a brass brush? Bore paste? Fire 5 rounds and clean? Clean Every 5 rounds for the first... how many? brass brush each time?
    I know opinions will vary. But I'd like to hear a few and see if there is a general procedure.
    I've read the hot rounds maybe dirtier?
    What I thought I knew for sure for the first 50 years of shooting may not be the best. There are so many different solvents, cleaners, pastes it's hard to figure out. I bought new bore snakes, Otis kits, one piece coated rods.....now to make the most of it all.... I'd appreciate any views.
    I'm sure there are some others that would appreciate some advice also.
  2. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman Active Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Here is what I did when I bought my Howa 30-06.

    I cleaned it with a brass brush and penetrating oil. Then cleaned all the copper from it with Butches Bore Shine. I let it sit for maybe 3 minutes at the most. It took maybe 3 separate applications of oil then copper solvent then oil... i always start with oil then finish with oil every time I clean my bore.

    Then I loaded up 20 rounds of ladder test ammo and went to the range.
    I took one shot then cleaned it with the oil then copper solvent then oil then solvent until clean as a whistle.
    Took another shot and cleaned as before. I did that for 10 shots but most people just do it for 5. Then I cleaned it every other shot. until the bullets were gone.

    I don't shoot that many shots a day, (usually just one,) so I regularly clean my barrel after one or so shots anyway.

  3. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    this is a real good question. When I was younger i never broke in a bbl. As i got older and more serious about my rifles I started a long procedure for the first 100 rounds. Now I have recently seen a ar manufacturer (dont' remember who) take newly built rifles and test shoot some 10 rounds out of each rifle. 10 shots quick no cleaning no nothing. After looking back at my history with rifles that I have broke in and ones I have not, i can honestly say I dont think it matters.
  4. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    SW PA
    A 22 rimfire doesn't shoot copper cased bullets...

    Clean the bore and shoot it. When accuracy drops off clean it. Rimfires usually like to have a fouled bore to shoot their best. After i clean the bore it takes most of them about 20 shots to start shooting good again.

    And MOST important is to find the ammo that your gun likes. Buy different kinds and try them until you find the best for your rifle.
  5. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I too think it doesn't matter. When I was a young I bought and shot several rifles, cleaning them only when I thought I needed to. Today, I am still buying new rifles, and after trying to clean them, and break them in according to what I have read, they still don't shoot as good as the ones I just bought and shoot. Could be I'm just getting older and can't shoot as good as I used to be able to, or it could be that the older guns were made better. I don't really know which, but it just doesn't seem to matter to me.
  6. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    IMO this pretty much sums up the routine for a typical .22 rimfire. (Unless I've missed the boat for 40+ years of casual .22 use that is.)
  7. Thanks guys Just thought i'd ask.
    One thing I have learned in 62 years. There's a lot of smart people in the world and If you ask and LISTEN you might learn something.
    Now if it will just stop raining and blowing..... I've gotten to be a fair weather guy. If my dog won't go out in it - I won't either.
  8. RonC1

    RonC1 New Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    I think American Rifleman had an article on this recently. They make the point that those who think a gun barrel has to be 'broken in' will never be unconvinced. It is impossible to make a comparison since every gun is a little different anyway.

    Their conclusion was as stated above. Shoot as much as you want and clean when accuracy begins to change. No breaking in necessary regardless of caliber.
  9. Don't discount the 50 years, 1 piece rods are good, snake is good. Run a patch through the bore. clean and light lube the mechanism and shoot that gun. Enjoy, don't over think it. It just makes you tired and your brain hurt.
  10. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    I don't clean my rimfire barrels often...but I DO clean the actions after Every shooting session and keep them very lightly lubricated.

    Oil is like Grecian Formula...a little dab will do ya ;)

    And lately, I've switched over to boresnakes...I only use a brass rod when a Remington Golden Bullet gets stuck in the barrel because the cheap bastiches used a short powder load
  11. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    SW PA
    It depends on the caliber, barrel material, type of bullets you shoot through it and the machining processes used for the bore.

    I never break in a rimfire barrel or a chrome lined AR barrel. But I have broke in centerfire precision barrels as to the manufactures recommendations with good results. And I have ignored them and shot the snot of out one and it never did shoot as good as it should have. Was it the no break in? I don't really know.

    I bought a precision AR with 20" stainless barrel last fall, I am doing a break in and so far it is shooting real well, better than an AR I have owned. Would it shoot the same if I had just shot a bunch of rounds with no break in cleaning? I don't know.

    Bottom line...it doesn't hurt to do a break in of new non chrome lined centerfire barrels. And everyone has their own definition of accuracy. Mine is hard to reach and if it doesn't meet my expectations it's sold.
  12. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Knoxville Tennessee
    Run a 1000 rounds through it, give it a dip in a mud puddle, toss it into the kids sand box while still wet. Prop it up against the side of the garage and hit it with a garden hose to knock it over the turn the water on, let it sit out side in on the picknic table for a week.

    That should break it in nicely.
  13. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    When you buy a new rifle you basically want to clean off any rust preventative oil or grease that was applied at the factory. It is not my experience that commercial brands of modern firearms have much of this.

    With a brand new rifle I'd basically run a solvent soaked bore snake through it 5 or 6 times then hit the range.

    If you buy "brand new" military surplus it's a different story. I've spent a whole day getting all the cosmoline out of one.

    I tried following a break in procedure from an article I read on the internet. It consisted of cleaning after every round for the first ten rds, then after every other round for ten rds, then every three rds for twenty rds, every five rounds for twenty rds, finally after every ten rds until you've fired one hundred rds. Those may not be the exact sequence and number of rounds according to the article but it's close enough. I did this on a couple new pieces but honestly I couldn't tell much difference in performance so I don't bother with it anymore. It's a time consuming process. Any new rifle or handgun I buy i never fire more than fifty rounds without a thorough cleaning for the first couple hundred rds.
  14. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    IMO, both of the above says it all.
  15. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    I think the biggest thing is to use Good Quality Ammo...

    Don't use BULK junk like RGB's, Thunderduds, stuff of mediocre quality...

    Grab a few boxes of Aguila or CCI minimags and that way you know that if you have any issues they are GUN issues and not AMMO issues.

    I can't even count the amount of times some fella has posted about having problems with stovepipe jams and he's shooting crappy Remington Golden BullSquish ammo. Problem solved. Change the ammo. Suddenly, they notice, no more stovepipes.
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