The experts don’t always agree on breaking in a new rifle barrel.
With so many great choices available for new deer rifles, many of you will be heading afield with virgin guns this fall.
Not all the experts agree, but it seems intuitive that a brand new rifle would require some kind of break-in period. The logic says there can be rough edges and imperfections in the barrel from the manufacturing process, and that it takes a number of rounds traveling through the barrel to smooth them out.
If that’s the case, and we suspect that it is, copper and other fouling will catch on those rough spots.
If you clean often while your gun is new, you should be able to remove that fouling, allowing bullets to continue to smooth the barrel and thereby getting a consistent-shooting bore. If you don’t clean your rifle, those spots can gather more and more fouling, magnifying barrel imperfections and degrading accuracy.
An online search about how to break in a barrel will reveal many schools of thought on exactly how many shots to take before cleaning. One thing they all have in common, though, is you should clean the barrel until you no longer see copper fouling on a white patch.
Nearly all the break-in advice recommends frequent cleaning during the first shooting session, when burs and imperfections are most pronounced.
Because the act of cleaning a rifle barrel can cause issues in itself, always follow proper cleaning protocols.
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