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One of the bore break-in instructions in one of posted articles is that you don't clean your gun from the muzzle. However, if you follow the article's other recommendations you will have to clean your gun about 20 times by the time you have shot 100 rounds (1 cleaning for each of the first ten rounds, 1 cleaning every three rounds for rounds 11-25, etc). Does that mean I have to disassemble my SU-16 barrel that many times to clean it during the first 100 rounds? I'm not that patient or methodical. Also, taking apart my rifle that many times out on the range seemes awkward and risky. Is there an easier way to clean my rifle under these conditions? Or will running my patches from the muzzle to the breech and back do so much harm that it will offset the efforts I am making to break-in the bore?
 

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Bore cleaning is a chore, no doubt about it.
For the SU-16, I used an Otis flexible cleaning system... you can simply insert the end into the chamber, thread it through the barrel, and then you pull your brush or patch through from the muzzle.
It all depends on how accurate you really NEED your rifle to be. If you really REALLY need the tightest groups possible, you'll do the complete break-in.
If, on the other hand, your requirements aren't so demanding (Defense, Plinking, etc.), you can get away with less cleaning. The accuracy difference won't be big. In other words, you may be shooting a 2 1/2 inch group at 100 yards when it could have been a 2 inch group.
It seems to me that if you're not competing, you can do a "sporting" break-in. A cleaning after the first shot, then after five shots, then perhaps another twenty five shots could do it, with another, very thorough scrubbing at 100 rounds.
For the great majority of us, the difference won't even be noticeable.
Flyer
 

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My first post!

Regarding cleaning from the muzzle end: The reason you shouldn't do it is stems from the risk of damaging the crown...the point at which the bullet leaves the muzzle. Damaging the rifling at the muzzle is the best way to destroy accuracy.

There are plastic guides that protect the crown and allow you to safely insert a cleaning rod, so it can be done.

As far as "breaking in" is concerned, I am not personally convinced that it is the actual break-in process that helps. What does help is keeping your rifle clean and in good working order. It just so happens that the folks who take the time to break-in are usually the same ones who take good care of their rifles and end up with the best accuracy.

I could be wrong on this one...I just don't see how you "break-in" steel with copper or lead.

Maybe it is witchcraft, but I do go through a break-in procedure...and I will when I pick up my SU on the 26th! :D
 

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Re:

DaveN007 said:
My first post!

Regarding cleaning from the muzzle end: The reason you shouldn't do it is stems from the risk of damaging the crown...the point at which the bullet leaves the muzzle. Damaging the rifling at the muzzle is the best way to destroy accuracy.

There are plastic guides that protect the crown and allow you to safely insert a cleaning rod, so it can be done.

As far as "breaking in" is concerned, I am not personally convinced that it is the actual break-in process that helps. What does help is keeping your rifle clean and in good working order. It just so happens that the folks who take the time to break-in are usually the same ones who take good care of their rifles and end up with the best accuracy.

I could be wrong on this one...I just don't see how you "break-in" steel with copper or lead.

Maybe it is witchcraft, but I do go through a break-in procedure...and I will when I pick up my SU on the 26th! :D
Same for me except I will pick it up on the 28th :(
 

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Re:

DaveN007 said:
I could be wrong on this one...I just don't see how you "break-in" steel with copper or lead.

Maybe it is witchcraft, but I do go through a break-in procedure...and I will when I pick up my SU on the 26th! :D
There's more to it than the obvious smoothing of rough edges in the bore... and you're right, a copper jacketed shell isn't going to do much to the steel in your bore... they make special bullets specifically for this purpose. The repeated action of firing and cleaning WILL smooth the edges to a degree. There's another factor; the opposite of sharp, outward edges... pits. The whole process is designed to "season" the bore. Both smoothing the high spots down and filling the low spots in. By low spots, I really mean microscopic pits in most cases. The metal is porous to a degree and the breakin will seal it up.
 

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Re:

Midiman said:
DaveN007 said:
I could be wrong on this one...I just don't see how you "break-in" steel with copper or lead.

Maybe it is witchcraft, but I do go through a break-in procedure...and I will when I pick up my SU on the 26th! :D
There's more to it than the obvious smoothing of rough edges in the bore... and you're right, a copper jacketed shell isn't going to do much to the steel in your bore... they make special bullets specifically for this purpose. The repeated action of firing and cleaning WILL smooth the edges to a degree. There's another factor; the opposite of sharp, outward edges... pits. The whole process is designed to "season" the bore. Both smoothing the high spots down and filling the low spots in. By low spots, I really mean microscopic pits in most cases. The metal is porous to a degree and the breakin will seal it up.
This makes sense.

I have read about fire lapping...where you run bullets coated in an abrasive that gets progressively finer to smooth out the lands and grooves.

A guy at my range who shoots a custom 6mm tack-driver swears by it.
 

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Re:

Flyer said:
Bore cleaning is a chore, no doubt about it.
For the SU-16, I used an Otis flexible cleaning system... you can simply insert the end into the chamber, thread it through the barrel, and then you pull your brush or patch through from the muzzle.
It all depends on how accurate you really NEED your rifle to be. If you really REALLY need the tightest groups possible, you'll do the complete break-in.
If, on the other hand, your requirements aren't so demanding (Defense, Plinking, etc.), you can get away with less cleaning. The accuracy difference won't be big. In other words, you may be shooting a 2 1/2 inch group at 100 yards when it could have been a 2 inch group.
It seems to me that if you're not competing, you can do a "sporting" break-in. A cleaning after the first shot, then after five shots, then perhaps another twenty five shots could do it, with another, very thorough scrubbing at 100 rounds.
For the great majority of us, the difference won't even be noticeable.
Flyer
I ordered the Otis kit as recommended. I haven't had a chance to get out to the range to break the gun in yet. Now heres my question. Should I use JB bore paste before I break it in muzzle to breech with a muzzle guide and jag? Or just do the break in with the otis kit. I am still not a believer in the break in process mainly because copper is softer than steel. I don't see how it would smooth the barrel out in only 100 rounds. I understand there are tiny high spots and low spots (microscopic pits.) that will be filled in it and leveled by the bullets jacket. Won't a copper solvent defeat the purpose of the break in to smooth out the barrel (filling in the low spots?) Wouldn't lets say 10,000 (example) strokes of a bronze brush accoplish similar results? None the less I am still going to do it, but just curious about bore paste.
 

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I'd say you can skip the bore paste.
Just get the bore nice and clean for those first crucial shots... and before the first, make sure to run a patch through the bore so it's BONE dry. This increases friction and speeds up the break-in.
Flyer
 

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Re:

Operator86 said:
I ordered the Otis kit as recommended. I haven't had a chance to get out to the range to break the gun in yet. Now heres my question. Should I use JB bore paste before I break it in muzzle to breech with a muzzle guide and jag? Or just do the break in with the otis kit.
You can't really use the JB paste properly with a flexible system. You need to be able to scrub (push back and forth) with the stuff. I definitely wouldn't want a bunch of bore pasted patches ending up in my action either.
 
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