How To Run In A New Barrel

So you've just purchased a new rifle and are heading off to the range or down to the back paddock full of excitement to have those first shots.
But, you've heard something about running in a new barrel. What does that mean, how do you do it and why?

It is usually a good idea to carefully run in the new barrel on your rifle. Whether it is a match grade target barrel or a new factory rifle. In the manufacturing process there will be some machining marks or burrs that the lapping process (if done at all) has not completely removed.
Also in the process of machining the chamber into the barrel there will also be some very small machine edges or burrs left particularly in the throat and leade area. The best way to remove these and prepare the barrel for long life is to go through a process of shooting and cleaning.
Initially there may be substantial fouling from the bullet jacket material. This is not unusual. By adopting a simple procedure like I have listed below here you should be able to have your new barrel prepared for normal use before too long. A little work and patience will usually be rewarded


clean barrel

Step 1

Make sure you have all the proper cleaning equipment to clean the rifle barrel. You need a good quality cleaning rod (or two rods), jags to contain the cotton patches, a quality bronze bristle brush of the correct calibre for you rifle and also a nylon one is helpful. Then you need patches. Either cut your own or have pre cut ones and a good solvent. The solvent should be capable of removing both copper fouling and powder fouling. Other recommended items include a bore guide which inserts into the action area of the rifle to prevent solvent leaking and seepage into the trigger and other mechanisms of the action and a rifle cradle to hold and support the firearm whilst you are cleaning it which makes the whole job so much easier.

clean bore

Step 2

Clean the barrel (and action) of the rifle before firing the first shot

Step 3

Fire shot number 1 and clean the barrel

Step 4

Fire shot number 2 and clean the barrel

Step 5

Continue this process for 5 shots

Step 6

Then move to firing 3 shots and then clean for a further 15 shots

Step 7

Then fire between 5 and 10 shots between cleaning depending on evidence of fouling


Generally after this you should find that at least the copper fouling will be reduced and depending on the cartridge you could fire between 25 and 60 shots before having to clean. After a little practice you should get to know how much it can handle.

Remember before you store you firearm you should anoint the bore, after cleaning, with a good oil to protect the bore. This also applies to stainless steel barrels as contry to popular belief stainless steels used to made rifle barrels can rust.

Hope this helps some and good luck. Refer to the page "how to clean a barrel" for more information on the actual cleaning process.

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