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Today I purchased a NIB Savage Axis (standard model, no frills) in .223.

SavageAxis-223-StandardModel.jpg

(I will update the photo after I mount the scope; I already had a 25 year old but NIB Bushnell Sportview 3x-9x - 32mm, Waterproof in Silver, and a set of Weaver #46 blocks that fit the Axis perfectly)

I was looking for a basic, inexpensive ($279), light weight, MADE IN USA, .223 to plink with and teach "center fire" to my adult daughters and young grand daughters (no male offspring).

I am well aware of the need to break-in a new firearm following a thorough cleaning and lube after removing it from the box.

Savage mentions a "recommended" break-in procedure, and lists 3 optional break-in methods:

Savage Arms

Barrel Break-In Procedure
Schools of thought


There may be different schools of thought on barrel break-in, however, this is what Precision Shooting Magazine recommends:

STEP 1 (repeated 10 times)

Fire one round
Push wet patches soaked with a powder solvent through the bore
Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction)
Push dry patches through the bore (2 times)
Push wet patches soaked with a copper solvent through the bore
Push a brush through the bore (5 times in each direction)
Push dry patches through the bore (2 times)
Push a patch with 2 drops of oil through the bore

STEP 2 (repeated 5 times)

Fire a 3 shot group
Repeat the cleaning procedure from STEP 1 after each group

STEP 3 (repeat 5 times)

Fire a 5 shot group
Repeat the cleaning procedure from STEP 1

They recommend the use of a patch with 2 drops of oil after the cleaning so that you are not shooting with a dry bore. It is also advisable to use a powder solvent and copper solvent from the same manufacturer to be sure they are chemically compatible.

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MY QUESTION is:

Is any one of the 3 options the best?

Is it really necessary to run the cleaning patches after every 1, 3 or 5 shots during the break-in?

Are ANY of them REALLY necessary? (I always do a complete cleaning after every trip to the range)


THANKS!

TD
 

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I've never had a precision rifle, so I've never followed a break in procedure. Other than my own informal one with a new rifle, which is:

1. Clean gun, lube gun, and lightly lube the bore.

2. Shoot enough to sight in with iron sights (if installed) and with a scope (if mounted).

3. Shoot a few more groups, then go home. This might be as few as 20 rounds or as much as 60 rounds in a bolt gun.

4. Clean normally while running a few patches of copper solvent just to check for blue patches. Maybe some lead solvent if non-jacketed bullets are used.

I find the most important thing for accuracy is still finding an ammo type that your gun likes best. Plus, in thin sporter barrels like that Axis, letting the barrel cool for 10 or 20 minutes between magazine loads helps keep groups tight at the range.
 

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There are many schools of thought on the subject, many benchrest competitors don't clean their barrels at all, some people use an abrasive bullet coating to lap the barrel. I just shoot and clean it every time with a wet patch (hoppes) and use a brush as little as possible.
 

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I have never "seasoned" a barrel and don't think it has had a difference. I agree with chicharrones, I believe finding the correct ammo has the most to do with it. My rifles all are more accurate than I am and changing ammo has made a huge difference.
 
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First off, congrats on the new Axis! I've been eyeballing them for a couple years and although I wouldn't go as far to call it a precision rifle, I'd be proud to own one. Second, maybe I'm old school or just ignorant but I'm a little baffled by the whole "break in" thing. I was taught at a young age that one never just shoots ANY new gun out of the box and a thorough scrubbing and swabbing of the bore came first. Dry patch the bore and then with just a drop of gun oil, pull a patch through to put just a very fine film of lube in the barrel. After that, shoot the cowboy hell out if her. Have things changed that much? If so, I'm all ears and am willing to be schooled.
 

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I have a bolt action rifle and I did follow the break in procedures as you described. There are some people who say that it is necessary and there are some that don't. If you're into precision shooting then you'd probably want to break in your barrel, especially if you're shooting out to 1000+ yards. At that range every little detail will be important. If you're just hunting at 100 yards then maybe not. Either way I break in my barrels for all my rifles just for the heck of it. Plus it's a good excuse to go to the range =)
 
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I've done a similar procedure on quite a few of my Centerfire Rifles, and it does make a difference. My procedure was to shoot one round, clean bore with "Gunsrubber", and repeat for 10 rounds. Bore was to be kept dry during firings.

Precision Rifle or not, it wears in the Barrel nicely and seems to aid the sealing of the Bore to Bullets. You will notice that you will have less powder fouling.
 

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My tightest groups have come from a new rifle with just a good cleaning. I personally don't believe in breaking in a gun other than learning it. But that's just my opinion .Some ammo does respond better, my EBR hates 55 grain. :guns:
 
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