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Thread: Barrel break in with Wolf?

  1. #1
    Bloodstained kcb38's Avatar
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    Barrel break in with Wolf?

    Good idea or no? I plan to do a simple break in procedure with my new BA barrel ( clean after each shot for the first ten, after each of a few groups of 3, etc...). Assuming you see a benefit in breaking in the barrel, do you think there's any drawback to doing it with bullets with a bi-metal jacket vs copper?
    - Kirk -

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    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    Joe Carlos's approach to barrel break-in with the AR15 seems to really be focused on the gas port more than anything.

    I think there is a lot to that, and his decades of experience with chasing accuracy in AR15s for the AMU are extremely difficult to argue with.

    He has a very detailed procedure he uses for his uppers that involves shooting a round, applying copper solvent to the barrel, placing the upper in an inverted position so the solvent soaks into the top inside of the rifling, especially at the gas port, then cleaning after an 8hr soak, and inspecting with a bore scope. He will spend days doing that until the gas port is in a very clean condition with no burrs.

    He got me thinking about break-in in a totally different light after listening to what he had to say, based on decades of daily experience with accurizing the AR15.



    Joe Carlos
    I don't use any brushes or other abrasives during break in. In part, you are trying to burnish shut the pores in the bore. Use of abrasives during break in will OPEN the pores which is opposite to your goal. AFTER break in, however, you will want to use an abrasive EVERY time you clean (each day you fire the rifle). The abrasive, such as a bore brush, will get the baked on hard carbon fouling that solvents won't remove.

    Most barrel makers recommend NOT pulling a brush or patch back up thru the barrel as this can damage the crown.
    Do NOT use bronze bore brushes with copper solvents as the solvent will "eat" the brush for lunch.
    Do NOT mix solvents! For example, during normal bore cleaning I use regular Hoppes No. 9 on the brush and then follow with patches of Hoppes Bench Rest to remove the copper. You can also do that with regular Shooters Choice and their hotter copper remover. What you want to avoid is using Hoppes on the bore brush and then following with
    a copper solvent made by a DIFFERENT company like Sweets or Shooters Choice.
    Be very, very careful and always use a bore guide when using brushes. Brushes offer a lot of resistance to being pushed thru the bore because they are fatter than the bore. That resistance can cause a lot of cleaning rod flex bending the cleaning rod into the land and ruining the barrel.
    For more information on gas gun barrel break in read my full article in the Oct. 2014 issue of "The American Gunsmith". For more information on bore cleaning read my article in the Jan. 2015 issue. These videos and my replies are very condensed versions limited by time and space.



    I wrote a dedicated article in the May, 2015 issue of "The American Gunsmith" on this fire lapping topic and I recommend that you read that as I will only be able to hit a few highlights from it in this response.

    When I went on as the match armorer for one of the major military shooting teams I found that I had inherited a lot of uppers that weren't shooting well. This was not due to barrels being shot out. Many of the uppers were not assembled properly so I tore them down and rebuilt them. The biggest culprit was failure to properly stabilize the barrel extension in the upper receiver. See my 2 pt. article in the March & April, 2013 issues of "The American Gunsmith" to learn how to do this right. Even a good barrel will fail to shoot optimally if the extension is not stabilized properly in the receiver.

    I also found a lot of uppers that had gas tube to float tube contact resulting in gas tubes being improperly aligned with the bolt carrier key. To learn how to fix this see my March, 2014 article in "The American Gunsmith".

    Having fixed all of the "usual suspects" I retested the uppers in the machine rest and found that some were still not shooting properly. The Team did not have enough budget money to purchase a bunch of new barrels to replace barrels that weren't worn out. So I resorted to fire lapping. In total as a military armorer and a civilian AR gunsmith I have probably fire lapped about 100 barrels. To the best of my memory every one of them improved! Remember, however, that these were barrels whose next step was going to be the trash can. I did not fire lap any barrels that were shooting well. Almost NEVER did such a barrel go from destined for the dumpster to being a tack driver. They did become "serviceable", however, and that was what I was hoping for.

    So my advice to you and others is to fix all other potential problems before resorting to fire lapping. Fire lapping will shorten barrel life and that will be quite
    variable. Barrels made from cheaper soft steel will suffer the most.

    Almost every barrel maker will void any warranties if they find out that you have fire lapped their barrel. So if you have a barrel that is not shooting well I would contact the maker and see if they will replace it BEFORE resorting to fire lapping. I would also NEVER substitute fire lapping for a proper barrel break in. The video that I made is a condensed version of an article I wrote in the Oct., 2014 issue of "The American Gunsmith". I suggest you read it. It is important that you give ANY barrel about 200 rds. after the formal 10 shot break in before making judgments about it.

    In conclusion, I am sorry this is so long. It is a very involved topic. I haven't had to resort to fire lapping a single barrel in about a decade. If you buy a barrel from a reputable custom maker who performs a proper hand lapping at the factory you shouldn't have to resort to work-arounds to get it shooting right. Barrels from companies such as Bartlein, Krieger, Brux, or Lilja should not require fire lapping.

    If you have any further questions feel free to contact me directly at NCC1701@penn.com

    Thanks!
    Last edited by LRRPF52; 02-07-2018 at 05:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRRPF52 View Post
    Joe Carlos's approach to barrel break-in with the AR15 seems to really be focused on the gas port more than anything.

    I think there is a lot to that, and his decades of experience with chasing accuracy in AR15s for the AMU are extremely difficult to argue with.

    He has a very detailed procedure he uses for his uppers that involves shooting a round, applying copper solvent to the barrel, placing the upper in an inverted position so the solvent soaks into the top inside of the rifling, especially at the gas port, then cleaning after an 8hr soak, and inspecting with a bore scope. He will spend days doing that until the gas port is in a very clean condition with no burrs.

    He got me thinking about break-in in a totally different light after listening to what he had to say, based on decades of daily experience with accurizing the AR15.
    LR52:

    Whats wrong with bore scoping to see if there is a bur at the gas port, then lapping it out if one exists?

    LR55

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    In the video, he mentions the gas port sometimes comes out on a land.

    I just bought a few BHW barrels and noticed the gas port was not drilled on the exact top of the barrel.

    Put the two together and I'm betting BHW drills the hole on a groove for less scraping.

    The slight misalignment of the gas block is inconsequential for a hidden gas block.

    Can anyone confirm this?

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    Bloodstained kcb38's Avatar
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    So do you guys think that the bimetal jacket of Wolf would be a bad choice to do this type of break in? Or would it be a non-factor?
    - Kirk -

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb38 View Post
    So do you guys think that the bimetal jacket of Wolf would be a bad choice to do this type of break in? Or would it be a non-factor?
    Isn’t the pill in the wolf undersized? My question is why run an undersized pill down the pipe for breakin?
    Knowing everthing isnt as important as knowing where to find it.

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    Bloodstained Wafavre2's Avatar
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    I would pass on the Wolf. Harder and smaller than standard bullets. With Wolf will you break in the total depth of the groove or only most of the groove? I would think a softer jacket that fills the grooves to the bottom would do a better job of break in. Wolf steel cases can be harder on the extractor if the gas system is not regulated correctly. If it’s a $100.00 barrel go for it. If it a $900.00 barrel Feed it the good stuff.

    Will

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    Bloodstained kcb38's Avatar
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    The only reason I considered it is price per round. That, and I have a few hundred rounds of Wolf but not too much of the good stuff on hand at the moment. I didn't know their bullets were actually smaller. Thanks for the input, guys.
    - Kirk -

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    20 rounds of Hornady Black. If one really wanted to do a break in, fire one, copper solvent clean, rinse and repeat x10. Fire 2, copper solvent clean, rinse and repeat x5. Done.
    Sticks

    Curiosity was framed. Poor judgement killed the cat.

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    Bloodstained kcb38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    20 rounds of Hornady Black.
    That's the plan. Got some delivered today. Bud's had a half decent price.
    - Kirk -

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    You could just go out and shoot the rifle without worrying about it.

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    He could, but since he took the time to ask the question, we can and should assume he is addressing concerns. I would shy away from wolf for break in. The under sized bullet may cause less than ideal polish.
    Nothing kills the incentive of men faster than a healthy sense of entitlement. Nothing kills entitlement faster than a healthy sense of achievement. Liberty leads to the ability to achieve. Nothing kills liberty faster than politicians that believe they are entitled to your achievements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kswhitetails View Post
    He could, but since he took the time to ask the question, we can and should assume he is addressing concerns. I would shy away from wolf for break in. The under sized bullet may cause less than ideal polish.
    If you're shooting Wolf ammunition there is no benefit to worrying about a break in.

  14. #14
    Warrior Kswhitetails's Avatar
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    Who is shooting Wolf to break in their Grendel? Not the OP, he noted his plan to use Hornady Black for that purpose five days ago.
    Nothing kills the incentive of men faster than a healthy sense of entitlement. Nothing kills entitlement faster than a healthy sense of achievement. Liberty leads to the ability to achieve. Nothing kills liberty faster than politicians that believe they are entitled to your achievements.

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    Bloodstained kcb38's Avatar
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    I finally got some decent glass mounted and I'm hoping to put some rounds downrange this weekend. I'm not addressing any concerns in particular with the break in but I'm of the mindset that if there's any benefit, then it's worth my time. If not, it can't hurt. I want to get as much accuracy as I can out of the parts I have so I've really tried to pay attention to the details on this build. I figure a proper break in is the final step in that process.
    - Kirk -

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb38 View Post
    I finally got some decent glass mounted and I'm hoping to put some rounds downrange this weekend. I'm not addressing any concerns in particular with the break in but I'm of the mindset that if there's any benefit, then it's worth my time. If not, it can't hurt. I want to get as much accuracy as I can out of the parts I have so I've really tried to pay attention to the details on this build. I figure a proper break in is the final step in that process.
    kcb:

    If you bought a quality barrel and it needs such a 'break in' to shoot well, it isn't a quality barrel.

    If you bought a cheap barrel and expect it to shoot like a quality barrel if you use some sort of break in process, you are wasting your time and will end up with a cheap barrel that shoots no better than before you 'broke in the barrel'.

    I don't think the Wolf ammo will do any damage to your barrel. I also don't think it will improve anything. You go cheap on a barrel and your chances increase that it won't do well past about 200 yards.

    If you want to save some money, buy a tub of JB bore paste and use it in the barrel as written in their directions. Will take ten minutes and you are done.

    LR55

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    Bloodstained kcb38's Avatar
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    It's a Ballistics Advantage barrel. Not junk but not a high end hand lapped barrel either. I don't expect a break in procedure to increase the accuracy potential of the barrel, but I don't want to give up any accuracy unnecessarily either. Some folks swear by the break in, some folks say it's a waste of time. The way I figure, it can't hurt as long as I don't get crazy with abrasives or solvents. I'll clean the barrel at home, head to the range, shoot 10 rounds or so, cleaning in between, then a few groups of 3, cleaning in between, and then see what the patches look like and proceed from there. If nothing else I'll get some trigger time with the new rifle and get the scope roughed in.
    - Kirk -

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    ...And get proficient at cleaning.
    Sticks

    Curiosity was framed. Poor judgement killed the cat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb38 View Post
    It's a Ballistics Advantage barrel. Not junk but not a high end hand lapped barrel either. I don't expect a break in procedure to increase the accuracy potential of the barrel, but I don't want to give up any accuracy unnecessarily either. Some folks swear by the break in, some folks say it's a waste of time. The way I figure, it can't hurt as long as I don't get crazy with abrasives or solvents. I'll clean the barrel at home, head to the range, shoot 10 rounds or so, cleaning in between, then a few groups of 3, cleaning in between, and then see what the patches look like and proceed from there. If nothing else I'll get some trigger time with the new rifle and get the scope roughed in.
    kcb:

    Roger.

    May want to get a tub of JB anyway. It is pretty good stuff and you will use it periodically. I would JB a barrel every thousand rounds or so and I do believe it worked very well with performance.

    One of the various 'break in' procedures used JB after the five and ten shot strings.

    LR55

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