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View Full Version : Proper break-in on fresh AR?


Richtheposer
05-31-2009, 11:55 AM
Hey guys,
I'm making my way out to Angeles shooting range today for the christening of my first/only AR build. First off thanks to all the members that have help with the process along the way, and the invaluable "AR legality" spreadsheet. Onto further matters:

The long and short of it is that I have finished the AR build, following Brownells "how to" to the T. I've performed as many quick checks for proper gun operation as I can do at home, cleaned and lubed the entire gun... now break-in procedure?

A few others at work have told me about break-in as being shooting 5 rounds, feild strip it, clean, lube, 10 rounds, repeat twice and then your a-ok. If its not abundantly clear already, this is a first for me.

Richard
Thanks everyone!

Richie Caketown
05-31-2009, 12:02 PM
for my break in i shot about 60 rds through it at a range ... i did 25 then cleaned it , fired the rest , then cleaned at home

KAVEMAN762
05-31-2009, 12:11 PM
I thought you only need to break in "match" style AR's? shoot one rnd, clean, one rnd clean, etc.,etc.

Ive got a stag15 "beater rifle" that im doing some long term testing on, and I havent cleaned it for over 1500 rounds and I have no problems(the rifle has over 2500 rnds through it. I know that is a dumb thing to do, and maybe dangerous, but honestly the chamber and bolt(gas tube is probably getting clogged, but no malfunctions yet), after inspection, dont look much worse than my LMT's with 200 rounds through them. And I dont get the crazy brass shavings like some on here. Sorry off topic!

1859sharps
05-31-2009, 1:19 PM
suggested barrel break in steps.

1. shoot, enjoy and don't over heat the barrel. ie lots, and lots of un necessary rapid fire.

2. repeat step 1 as often as financially possible.

http://www.snipercountry.com/Articles/Barrel_BreakIn.asp

AlliedArmory
05-31-2009, 1:42 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=188644&highlight=break+in

this was posted 3 days ago. please use the search feature

tomd1584
05-31-2009, 1:59 PM
clean barrel.
lube BCG.
shoot as much ammo as you can afford.

fabguy
05-31-2009, 2:17 PM
lol, (1859sharps) & (tomd1584) I guess I did it right.

dchang0
05-31-2009, 2:31 PM
I may have done it wrong--shot about 300rnds through it, somewhat rapid-fire, on its first day (built a carbine specifically for a tactical course). Maybe that's why my barrel's accuracy hasn't been so good, LOL!

Time to slap in a new barrel!

popeye4
05-31-2009, 3:13 PM
If it has a chrome lined barrel, it is as broken in as its going to get.

Barrel break-in is used to smooth out the rough spots in freshly cut barrels. All that cleaning between shots won't hurt, not sure it really helps that much. Sometimes it can help reduce some copper fouling, but my personal opinion is that it is over-rated as far as NEEDING to be done.

aermotor
05-31-2009, 8:30 PM
Just shoot it. These things aren't babies. They aren't fragile. They are meant to be abused and will take it well. Shoot all day at the range or whatever, then clean it when you get home.

Ruiner
05-31-2009, 8:51 PM
I may have done it wrong--shot about 300rnds through it, somewhat rapid-fire, on its first day (built a carbine specifically for a tactical course). Maybe that's why my barrel's accuracy hasn't been so good, LOL!

Time to slap in a new barrel!

What are your accuracy expectations, what barrel are you using and what ammo are you using?

q2on
05-31-2009, 8:58 PM
This is what I did with my first AR: disassemble the bolt/carrier for fun, run a patch down the barrel for fun, reassemble. Then take it to the range and shoot it a whole bunch! It should run flawlessly.

Then take it home and clean it... or not. Just clean it every month or so when you're shooting it. I usually put a few drops of lube down the 2 gas ports on the side of the bolt carrier every 200 rounds or so. No failures so far after about 500 rounds and only 2 cleanings! (probably one too many to be honest).

Ruiner
05-31-2009, 9:48 PM
Yep, clean then shoot it. Thats all it should take.

gemini1
05-31-2009, 9:50 PM
When I first tried my rifle, I just loaded one round on one mag then two on the other. After the rifle functioned as it's suppose to, I just went on and on till I spent about 100 rounds. Went home and just stored the rifle. Went back to the range a week later and fired another 100 rounds. It was only after the 200 rounds did I cleaned the rifle.

ddimick
05-31-2009, 11:30 PM
I've been researching this same topic, and the answers vary greatly. The consensus appears to me that it's largely unnecessary for a chrome-lined barrel but desirable for a stainless barrel.

I've sent my upper manufacturer an email asking them for their recommended procedure, I'll post what I hear back from them on this thread (Sabre Defense 5.56 18" SS SPR). I suggest anyone in doubt do the same.

Eroland7
05-31-2009, 11:32 PM
rub some dirt on it, and shoot the dirtiest ammo you can find, then clean it. Done deal...

series8217
06-01-2009, 12:12 AM
It's a rifle. Shoot the piss out of it.

enchantor
06-01-2009, 12:17 AM
Follow these instructions very carefully or you may have serious issues

1) Go to the range with all your ammo and shoot it all
2) When you get home, do a standard cleaning and lube
3) Don't forget to smile while you get through steps 1 through 2

Texas Boy
06-01-2009, 2:04 AM
I was very fortunate that another Calgunner pointed me to this very important video on barrel break in:

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RaceDay
06-01-2009, 8:36 AM
Great video. I'll definitely have to make sure to get a bull barrel and not a cow barrel.

Here is my barrel break-in procedure. Clean it to get any remaining machine oil and/or fines out of the barrel. Shoot a bunch of rounds at range. Get home and can't realize 30 cal rod (only rod you can now find) is too big so just run a 22/223 bore snake down the barrel to clean it.

ddimick
06-01-2009, 1:15 PM
Attached is the break-in procedure recommendation I received from Sabre Defense, text is below in case anyone has difficulty with the PDF.

New Rifle Break-in Procedures

There are many different break-in procedures and just about everyone will offer a different opinion on what they consider the best method. You should know that Sabre Defence test fires every rifle and complete upper assembly before it leaves the factory with at least 10 rounds of ammo. We typically fire five rounds slow fire and five rounds rapid fire to make sure the rifle functions properly before it ships to the customer. With that said, it still does not hurt to follow a break-in procedure when you begin to shoot the rifle.

We typically recommend firing one round and then running a solvent-soaked patch and then a dry patch down the barrel (always breech to muzzle) after each round for the first ten rounds. Then repeat the same procedure after every five rounds for the next 25 rounds and then after each 10 rounds until you have fired one-hundred rounds. A new barrel can have some burrs from the button and reamer along the lands of the rifling and in the throat area. By cleaning often, you will remove any small metal or copper filings that might be in the barrel and therefore prevent them from being “pressed” into the barrel by subsequent rounds.

Our barrels are made from either Chrome-Moly Vanadium or 410 Stainless Steel which are much more durable than any 4140, 4150 or 416 Stainless Steel alloys used by most other barrel manufacturers and therefore may require a longer break in procedure than other barrels. You will probably have to shoot several hundred rounds before the barrel reaches its maximum potential for accuracy.

So basically clean it a bunch and then shoot the piss out of it. They didn't differentiate between chrome-lined and stainless. I dunno guys, I wish there was some kind of empirical data on this subject. I'm going to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. YMMV.

aplinker
06-01-2009, 7:08 PM
Barrel makers lose nothing from recommending complicated procedures. It makes their barrels sound special, makes the user think it's their fault if the barrel doesn't shoot straight, and gives them an "out" should something go wrong.

If it makes you feel better, by all means, go for it.

Attached is the break-in procedure recommendation I received from Sabre Defense, text is below in case anyone has difficulty with the PDF.



So basically clean it a bunch and then shoot the piss out of it. They didn't differentiate between chrome-lined and stainless. I dunno guys, I wish there was some kind of empirical data on this subject. I'm going to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. YMMV.

Ruiner
06-02-2009, 8:21 AM
Barrel makers lose nothing from recommending complicated procedures. It makes their barrels sound special, makes the user think it's their fault if the barrel doesn't shoot straight, and gives them an "out" should something go wrong.

If it makes you feel better, by all means, go for it.

+1 I recall a barrel maker who's only reason for making a special "break-in procedure" was that users demanded it. Otherwise they recommend just shooting it. Forgot who it was tho.

ERdept
06-02-2009, 8:36 AM
I just shot it, about 400 rounds. then cleaned it.


Some with tactical long range barrels say just shoot it. if it cleans well in the first 10 rounds, keep shooting then clean it when done. Shoot and clean, no special break in.

WeekendWarrior
06-02-2009, 10:23 AM
When I bought my DPMS 308 upper assembly, the factory recommendation was once every round for the first 25 rounds, and then every five founds for the next set of 25 round