Lee Shaver’s Barrel break in

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Renegadehunter

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I read an article years ago that talked about the drill bits used to drill barrels. Can't remember who wrote it now.
The author said that the most desirable barrel to have is the 2nd barrel a new bit drilled, 3rd barrel was a close second. He said the 1st barrel the bit is still too sharp, the 2nd was perfect, the 3rd was still pretty darn good, then 4th it was starting to get dull and 5th it was just too dull by then. This was in reference to having a barrel that gave a bit better accuracy and was also a bit easier to get clean.
I've bought used or inherited almost all the rifles I own (which, by the way, were all lost in a tragic boating accident). I have two CF rifles I have bought new, both Remmington's. The first one is a 7mm/08 that I did not first polish out the bore or really do a barrel break in procedure on when first shooting it (I did clean out the factory grease). The 2nd is a 22-250 that I did polish, and I also shot and cleaned between the first 5 shots and then between every 5 shots to 30 shots. I realize two rifles isn't much for a "test", but the 22-250 will shoot any factory load I put in it at 1 MOA...and many at 1/2 MOA...and is super quick to get clean patches out of when cleaning. The 08 on the other hand is picky about what factory loads it will keep within 1 MOA and doesn't return clean patches near as quickly as the 22-250.
Barrel break in certainly doesn't hurt anything, at least it doesn't if a bit of common sense and knowledge is applied, and when I get a new rifle I'm itching to handle it anyway.
 
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I have a new Ruger American 450Bushmaster. I thoroughly cleaned it and loctited the scope mount screws(they were only snug), went to the range and zero'd it. Then I did the steel wool and polish treatment. Im hoping to get it to the range this weekend to see if it has improved any. I cant shoot much more than 20 rounds as the ammo is scarce right now. (I also changed the trigger from stock to a timney)
 

Frank in Fairfield

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I have a new TC Triumph. I will probably shoot it tomorrow. It is my first and only modern muzzle-loader. I am a student of Doctor Sam Fadala. He wrote volumes about breaking in muzzle-loader barrels. He allows that a properly fitting patch will take of any barrel lapping needed and the amount of shooting needed will be good for your accuracy. It may take longer but it will be more fun. IMHO
 
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Maybe 30 years ago I picked up a Renegade from a pawn shop. I could see and feel a pitted bore and the set trigger was so far out of adjustment that the trigger was not functional at all. After some haggling I may have paid 85 bucks for it. Took it apart and cleaned it up, got the trigger running and set nicely and then I started using a wool wad and a red rouged patch on a .535 ball as a fire lapping system. I’m sure I fired 10 or 15 of those balls over 30 grains of 3f cleaning to bare steel every time. Some pitting remained but the rifle came around well enough that I didn’t feel badly about making a gift of it to one of my best friends.
 
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I have a new Ruger American 450Bushmaster. I thoroughly cleaned it and loctited the scope mount screws(they were only snug), went to the range and zero'd it. Then I did the steel wool and polish treatment. Im hoping to get it to the range this weekend to see if it has improved any. I cant shoot much more than 20 rounds as the ammo is scarce right now. (I also changed the trigger from stock to a timney)
I recently got an American in 7mm-08. How much difference can you feel in the Timney?
 
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I read an article years ago that talked about the drill bits used to drill barrels. Can't remember who wrote it now.
The author said that the most desirable barrel to have is the 2nd barrel a new bit drilled, 3rd barrel was a close second. He said the 1st barrel the bit is still too sharp, the 2nd was perfect, the 3rd was still pretty darn good, then 4th it was starting to get dull and 5th it was just too dull by then. This was in reference to having a barrel that gave a bit better accuracy and was also a bit easier to get clean....
....Barrel break in certainly doesn't hurt anything, at least it doesn't if a bit of common sense and knowledge is applied, and when I get a new rifle I'm itching to handle it anyway.
Well I don’t know about that but I’m the seventh son of the seventh son and I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of great shooting rifles!
 

exarcher

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Have any of you fellas heard of hand lapping a new barrel? I do it on all of my new barrels. Sure saves you a lot of time and trouble down the road.
I wouldn't presume to think i could "hand lap" a new match barrel better than the guys who "lapped" it at the factory.... barrels on many "factory" guns are possibly a different matter,, I've scoped some that looked like railroad tracks.. I know 2 or 3 guys who decided to lap their match 22 rimfire barrels & they shot worse,, when scoped, they had lapped the lands clean off several inches of the bore!!! Polishing with steel wool can do nothing but take off the loose, rough edges,, it won't take off any steel otherwise.
 

eekjellander

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I wouldn't presume to think i could "hand lap" a new match barrel better than the guys who "lapped" it at the factory.... barrels on many "factory" guns are possibly a different matter,, I've scoped some that looked like railroad tracks.. I know 2 or 3 guys who decided to lap their match 22 rimfire barrels & they shot worse,, when scoped, they had lapped the lands clean off several inches of the bore!!! Polishing with steel wool can do nothing but take off the loose, rough edges,, it won't take off any steel otherwise.
Like you said it removes nothing ,just burnishes/polish and all my barrels new old /even my new Rice barrel ($500.00) gets the Shavers treatment as it dosen"t hurt and sure helps to varying degrees (see I don"t) want to start a discussion on that as it tends to end poorly/Ed
 
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Lee Shaver's lapping method is all that's needed, cheap and easy. The fit of the jag, patch and layer of 0000 steel wool is reasonably important. It should take a smack from a hammer to the push the lapping payload down the bore and always use a chamber or muzzle guide. I lap all rifled bbls from muzzleloader (I have the luxury of removing breech plugs and lap them from the chamber end) to centerfire, and even handguns. Almost all bbls, even the so-called lapped ones, will benefit. YMMV.
 
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Yall are just an amazing bunch of folks, trying to explain the same thing a bunch of different way, in an effort to educate us less experienced. THANKX
 
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I wouldn't presume to think i could "hand lap" a new match barrel better than the guys who "lapped" it at the factory.... barrels on many "factory" guns are possibly a different matter,, I've scoped some that looked like railroad tracks.. I know 2 or 3 guys who decided to lap their match 22 rimfire barrels & they shot worse,, when scoped, they had lapped the lands clean off several inches of the bore!!! Polishing with steel wool can do nothing but take off the loose, rough edges,, it won't take off any steel otherwise.
I wouldn’t trust those two or three guys with any tool sharper than a butter knife... it takes a lot of lapping to remove the lands. About the most you could say for them would be they’re persistent!
 

exarcher

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Like you said it removes nothing ,just burnishes/polish and all my barrels new old /even my new Rice barrel ($500.00) gets the Shavers treatment as it dosen"t hurt and sure helps to varying degrees (see I don"t) want to start a discussion on that as it tends to end poorly/Ed
I've had many match barrels,, (that i installed myself) on custom centerfire rifles, & one thing i've always noticed is they come "dirty" with lapping medium still in the barrel.. another thing the 0000 would do is scrub out the last of it left in the little "out of the reach" places.. which should help reduce fouling..
 

exarcher

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I wouldn’t trust those two or three guys with any tool sharper than a butter knife... it takes a lot of lapping to remove the lands. About the most you could say for them would be they’re persistent!
match rimfire barrels have almost no lands to begin with.. one of the most desireable (accurate) barrels was the shilen "octagon" (because looking at the bore, it looked like a stop sign) Mr. Shilen quit "lapping" them himself because it was so easy to ruin them... (he would make them special order, & you do your own lap,, i figured if he had difficult time & messed up too many to be profitable,,i ought not try it myself!) This has been a number of yrs now, so all may have changed..
 

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