1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

AR Gunsmith and Barrel Break-in

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by endus, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. endus

    endus

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Location:
    Libertarian Party Command Center
    My SPR build is nearing completion, and I need a good gunsmith to permanently attach an Ops Inc. brake/collar. The reason I am asking for recommendations is that I have had some issues with gunsmiths and the, "permanent" part of permanently attaching brakes in the past. It seems like a simple enough operation, but apparently not based on the results I have gotten. The Ops Inc. is a little trickier than your average brake since you need to fix both the brake and collar, and i would like to have the option of reversing the work on the collar (don't care about the brake) if I ever move to a free state. I have read online that this is quite possible.

    Second, the break in instructions for my CLE barrel seem to suggest shooting 20 rounds, wrapping a brass brush with a patch, inserting from the chamber end, moving it back and forth 5 times in the first half of the barrel, then pushing it out the muzzle and unscrewing it. CLE doesn't want you to even pull the brush back through the barrel...but they are OK with changing directions in the barrel 5 times? Everything I have ever read says this is a big no-no. What do you guys think? I want to follow the break in instructions as closely as possible - this is an expensive build designed for accuracy.

    Also, just want to plug CLE (Compass Lake Engineering). I ran into some trouble installing one of their gas blocks on one of their barrels. Things got a bit ugly, and they handled the situation above and beyond my expectations. I am still not sure if a part was out of spec or if I did something wrong (I have since bought a set of calipers to help with this) but they took care of it. Very very good company to do business with.
     
  2. Smcnearney

    Smcnearney NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    4
    do yourself a favor and head up to Peabody and see Steve at northeast arms. He is the best around and will work with what you need.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    12,033
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Location:
    Southeastern CT and Boston Metro West
    Barrel break in is mostly voodoo. I would suggest you simply do what the barrel maker says to do.

    Conrary to what most people think, all reversing inside the bbl does is wear the brush faster. When you reverse, you are pressing relatively weak brass bristles into a steel or chrome barrel. It kinks the bristles so they don't have as much tension.

    Don
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,403
    Likes Received:
    3,878
    CLE is top notch....
    Which barrel did you get ?

    I think if anything a good proper cleaning and a nice clean dry bore is more critical than break in?
    All else fails do as the manufacture says.

    The break in procedure just does not want you trying to pull the brush/jag back through into the muzzle/crown

    Also the compass lake instructions are not to bad.
    Wants you to clean before 20 rounds, then at 60 then again at 120. If I remember right.
    The want you to use JB bore cleaner?
    They say this will polish the chamber and bore?
    Then they want you to clean the bore free of copper after each range trip?
    Then the JB bore cleaner every 300?

    Seems like a lot of work....good luck.

    I'm not to quick to clean my bore after every range trip. I give it a wet patch let it sit for 5 min then dry patch it. Then oil patch for storage, then dry patch when back to the range. I give it a good copper wash around 300 rounds....my barrel doesn't seem to pick up to much copper.

    As for the brake/collar why not just pin the break and reserve the collar for when you get to a free state....then you could just remove the brake and install the collar.

    I assume the collar is for use to easily switch from brake to silencer?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. warwickben

    warwickben bubba Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    19,904
    Likes Received:
    2,615
    Location:
    Kyben pass (tewksbury ma)
    Silver braze is reversible . If you have mapp gas you could do it your self . Brownells sells silver suspended in flux. Put on threads heat and your done.

    Heat to remove and run a die to clean the threads up.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. xtry51

    xtry51

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    19,950
    Likes Received:
    7,914
    Location:
    NH (CT Escapee)
    I know Eddie Coyle has some voodoo like lapping bullets he's recommended in the past. They have different grade compounds to polish out the bore. I've never used them, but I've seen him post the link several times in the past.

    Me? I just buy quality barrels, load ammo for that gun and shoot it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,403
    Likes Received:
    3,878
    I contacted the manufacture of my barrel about break in. "That barrel is hand lapped (he mentioned to what degree but I forget) just clean the anti corrosive compound out of it and enjoy. Clean every few hundred rounds.

    - - - Updated - - -

    How does heat from mapp gas affect the metal finish.
     
  8. **DRB**

    **DRB**

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    4,873
    Likes Received:
    842
    Location:
    On my way out!
    I've posted this before, but this is from John Holliger of White Oak

    Q: How should I break in my barrel?
    A: I suspect that more barrels have been damaged than helped by "breaking in". Barrel makers take a lot of care to get a uniform finish on the inside of a barrel. Barrels are lapped not so that they will be smooth, but so that the finish and dimensions will be uniform over the entire barrel. When you use an abrasive cleaning compound you will change the finish on the inside of the barrel. Since some areas of the barrel are going to be protected by copper that you are trying to remove, and others areas are not, the surface finish is no longer going to be uniform. Since I got a bore scope I have backed off on my use of abrasive bore cleaners. I use them, but not nearly as aggressively, particularly on a new barrel.

    My personal break in procedure is to take a new upper to the range and zero the front sight and shoot a group or two. This will take about 15-20 rounds. I then bring it back to the shop and clean it good with shooters and a good quality brush. I check it with a bore scope, but generally very little copper fouling is present. Depending on how it looks I may hit the throat lightly with some JB. That's it, it is now broken in.

    This is for all for good quality hand lapped barrels. I will get a little more aggressive with mass produced barrels.

    For general cleaning and barrel maintenance we use Hoppes #9 for cleaning, Break Free CLP for lube, and only use Dewey rods.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. wahsben

    wahsben NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Messages:
    10,229
    Likes Received:
    2,934
    Location:
    Ma.
    http://www.davidtubb.com/final-finish-loaded-ammo. David Tubb has bore lapping & bore polishing bullets & ammo. Some if not all of it is available at Midway and probably elsewhere too.


     
    1 person likes this.
  10. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    2,629
    Location:
    A Fair Haven in an unfair state.
    I have a ery complex procedure for breaking in a barrel. I load ammo and I shoot it. Be careful not to miss a step or its not effective.
     
  11. Nickle

    Nickle

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,995
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    Vermont, a Free State
    Here's what some real high quality barrel makers say:

    http://www.hartbarrels.com/faq/

    And, by the way, I've used more than a few Hart barrels. Shot some mighty small groups with them too. Still got a bunch of rifles with them.

    https://kriegerbarrels.com/faq#breakin

     
    1 person likes this.
  12. warwickben

    warwickben bubba Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    19,904
    Likes Received:
    2,615
    Location:
    Kyben pass (tewksbury ma)
    The melting point for high temp silver is lower then the melting point of the metal of the barrel .
    So it's not heating your barrel/brake more then when some one tig welds a pin in.

    It depends on the finish of the part .
     
  13. Delta Elite

    Delta Elite

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    89
    The directions for all of my Noveske barrels were very clear on break in.
    Clean it then shoot it, The End.
    These barrels have been lasers since day one with zero break in ritual. Do what the maker suggests.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,403
    Likes Received:
    3,878
    Just wondering I have pinned a few brakes over the past few years and if the silver solder flux works easy enough with out hurting the finish much then that's good. Right now I just pin on bottom side of brake a good bbbzzztt with the welder. Quick clean up and hit it with cold blue and gtg...

    These threads alway remind me of being a kid with my dad dropping what ever needed to be fixed at the gunsmith he went to in VT.
    Sign on his desk said " I have fixed more clean guns than dirty guns"
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  15. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    12,033
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Location:
    Southeastern CT and Boston Metro West
    In case anyone cares. Here is the ATF documentation on approved "permanent" methods of muzzle device attachment.

    Don

    https://www.atf.gov/file/58196/download
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. KMM696

    KMM696 NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    3,242
    Likes Received:
    552
    Location:
    Western PRofMA
    I've silver-soldered one brake on an FAL with MAPP. I degreased the threads, but didn't degrease the surrounding parkerized areas. I suspect the finish appearance changes came from burning oils remaining on the barrel, because when I degreased that area afterward and reoiled, the finish blended right in with the unheated areas. If I do it again, I'll degrease more.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. endus

    endus

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Location:
    Libertarian Party Command Center
    17.9" Douglass blank 1:7 SPR barrel. M4 ramps...basically all the options. :D

    Yea, shoot, that's another thing. I want to get the JB cleaner.

    I was amazing about cleaning my guns when I first started...not as much now. But...this is an SPR which I'll use for longer range shooting, so the round count won't be as crazy, and I do want to keep it very clean. I have my AKs and will be building an M4 for more "spirited" shooting.

    For the brake/collar, the brake is actually threaded on the outside to allow you to attach a can, as you said. So, I'm sure MA would still consider it a threaded barrel, so I need to attach the collar that covers those threads permanently.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. endus

    endus

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Location:
    Libertarian Party Command Center
    This is exactly what I want to do. I tried it with a previous rifle and just a portable/disposable MAP gas torch from sears. It didn't work out.

    I was thinking that this is what I would ask the gunsmith to do, though...seems like the most easily reversible.

    Thanks!
     
  19. warwickben

    warwickben bubba Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    19,904
    Likes Received:
    2,615
    Location:
    Kyben pass (tewksbury ma)
    If your brake is really thick you'll need some thing bigger .
     
  20. endus

    endus

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Location:
    Libertarian Party Command Center
    Thank you, sir!

    The instructions I got from the barrel manufacturer...that's the only reason I am asking. My plan was to clean it with a patch, maybe a brush, just like with any other rifle but the instructions talked about going back and forth, etc.

    Going forward I will probably just use my usual cleaning method (hoppes 9, etc.) but it's this break in period that's messing me up.
     
  21. endus

    endus

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Location:
    Libertarian Party Command Center
    Hahaha!

    With the M4 I built for my old man this is exactly what I did. He cleans religiously, but I didn't have him do any voodoo procedures for it. :D

    This rifle is my attempt to build something for precision, and, well, it also cost a shitload of money. So I'll do whatever voodoo procedures and then go back to my usual for my next rifle.
     
  22. endus

    endus

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Location:
    Libertarian Party Command Center
    Degreasing may have been part of the prob when I tried silver solder as well. I thought I had cleaned it up very well, but the solder did not flow as well as I was expecting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The AK brake I did was a standard 74 brake which is def pretty thick. This one is a bit smaller.

    Thanks, though....I think I may give silver solder another try. I'll see if I can find a better torch for not too much money and really go the extra mile with de-greasing. It would be nice to do this final step myself and not have to have someone else put the finishing touch on the build.
     
  23. Mel

    Mel

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Southern NH, Northern MA Commuter
    Hah!
    -- Wow, I think you just broke my brain. I... can't even understand why someone would do this to their gun! Do the proper thing- put it in a drawer, by your bed, and never shoot it. Sure-fire way to break it in during a break in. {Not recommended advice}
     

Share This Page