How many "Break in" procedures have you seen or heard of? Let me guess. You heard "buy this bullets to break in bore" or "use this bore compound" or "shoot 3 shots, then clean, then shoot 5, then shoot 10, and after 100 its broken in" etc etc etc. So count me in with another site on the internet telling you about a method. Get ready for it. Here is the secret method.
There is no standardized barrel break in procedure because every barrel breaks in differently. You really only need to understand a few things about breaking in a barrel. These might be:
- If you clean after a few shots, etc, on new barrel, and you see excessive copper, then the barrel is not broken in yet.
- If you clean after a few shots, and you see little copper and after a several more shots, the barrel cleans up with good looking patches quickly, its broken in.
That is it. Regarding 1. A new barrel is newly machined. It might have some rougher spots or tiny burs inside it , so when you shoot it, those rough spots or tiny burs will essentially shred, like a cheese grater, a tiny layer of the bullet jacket, thus excessive copper in your barrel. Barrels that are smooth and lapped well from a good barrel maker with quality process, will "generally" break in very very quickly, as you will see. If you check the patches and see more than normal copper, and you keep shooting, what will happen is the rough spots or tiny burs will smooth out and eventually it will stop copper deposits in the bore to normal. Its super easy to understand when your barrel is broken in, and when it needs to be shot more. You just look at the patches. A broken in barrel will clean up to basically clean patch between 4-7 patches after taking say...50-100 shots. So you go to the range, shoot 50 shots, it should clean up within 7 patches pretty well. That is normal.
This is really common sense, as there is no magic amount of bullets you shoot, then your barrel is broken in. Some barrels could be broken in almost immediately, some take 100 shots for example. Good, quality barrels, that have hand lapped barrels, and more attention to detail, will generally break in faster. Because of course they will.