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Breaking-in a new rifle barrel

Posted on: 16th May 19 at 8:12 am by Realtree Global

Steve Wild explains the method of changing, cleaning and breaking-in a new rifle barrel. Switching the barrel on his Blaser R8 Professional Success from a .308 to .223.

With the lambing season now in full swing, Steve is required to do significantly more fox shooting and lamping. Once the barrel has left the factory there are slight imperfections, breaking-in and cleaning out the barrel helps increase the accuracy and longevity.

The first task for changing the barrel of the Blaser R8 Professional Success from a .308 to .223 is to strip the rifle down. After removing the scope, trigger mechanism and bolt slide, you can safely remove the barrel by simply unscrewing two allen screws. Now with the .308 barrel removed, line up the .223 with the locating holes and re-attached using the allen screws.

Next, it’s time to change the bolt face, which can be done by lifting up the clip removing the .308 and replacing it with the .223. Due to the magazine being incorporated into the trigger mechanism, this will also need changing. Again, this a simple process of removing the plastic clipping and swapping the .308 magazine to the .223.

Once the trigger and magazine mechanisms have been re-attached and before re-fitting the scope, Steve cleans the barrel. Rifle maintenance is a vital, it is important to make sure you regularly clean the barrel and remove any dirt, grime and dust.

Cleaning the rifle barrel

Firstly, Steve uses a wire brush attached to a rod and gently runs it through the barrel. He then attaches a small piece of cloth to clean away any unwanted substances. Steve continues to pass the cloth through the barrel, using a new cloth each time, until there is no residue coming out of the other end.

Now that the barrel has been thoroughly cleaned, Steve re-attaches the scope and begins the process of zeroing the rifle. The rifle scope Steve uses is the Hawke Endurance 30 WA SF 4-16×50 scope, which has a ballistic reticule that has been specifically designed for .223 and .308 calibre.

Testing the rifle barrel

Setting up his rifle on the target range, Steve fires five shots and repeats the process of cleaning the barrel and then takes a further five shots. He continues this process until the barrel is completely clean. Once there is no further residue within the barrel, it’s time to re-attached the moderator.

Steve then takes five more shots to embed the bullets into the barrel. The barrel is now broken in and the shot groups have significantly tightened up throughout the process.

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