August 21st, 2018

Barrel Break-In — Essential Procedure or Total Waste of Time?

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrels
Photo courtesy Sierra Bullets.

The question of barrel break-in is controversial. Some folks advocate an elaborate, lengthy cycle of shooting and brushing, repeated many times — one shot and clean, two shots and clean and so on. This, it is argued, helps barrels foul less and shoot more accurately. Others say minimal break-in, with patching and brushing after 10-15 rounds, is all you need. Still others contend that break-in procedures are a total waste of time and ammo — you should just load and shoot, and clean as you would normally.

We doubt if there will ever be real agreement among shooters concerning barrel break-in procedures. And one must remember that the appropriate break-in procedure might be quite different for a factory barrel vs. a custom hand-lapped barrel. This Editor has found that his very best custom barrels shot great right from the start, with no special break-in, other than wet patches at 5, 10, and 15 rounds. That said, I’ve seen some factory barrels that seemed to benefit from more elaborate break-in rituals.

What’s the best barrel break-in procedure? Well our friend Eric Mayer of Varminter.com decided to ask the experts. A while back Eric interviewed representatives of three leading barrel manufacturers: Krieger, Lothar-Walther, and Shilen. He recorded their responses on video. In order of appearance in the video, the three experts are:

Wade Hull, Shilen Barrels | Mike Hinrichs, Krieger Barrels | Woody Woodall, Lothar Walther

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrelsDo I Need to Break-In a New Rifle Barrel?
Eric Mayer of Varminter.com says: “That is a simple question, [but it] does not necessarily have a simple answer. Instead of me repeating my own beliefs, and practices, on breaking-in a new rifle barrel, I decided to answer this one a bit differently. While we were at the 2016 SHOT Show, we tracked down three of the biggest, and most popular, custom barrel makers in the world, and asked them what they recommend to anyone buying their barrels, and why they recommend those procedures. We asked the question, and let the camera run!” Launch the video above to hear the answers — some of which may surprise you.

Long-Term Barrel Care — More Experts Offer Opinions
Apart from the debate about barrel break-in, there is the bigger question of how should you clean and maintain a barrel during its useful life. Some folks like aggressive brushing, other shooters have had success with less invasive methods, using bore foam and wet patches for the most part. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. In reality, there may not be one solution for every barrel. Different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa).

CLICK HERE for Long Term Barrel Care Article »

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning: Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

“Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.” — Chip Lohman

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August 21st, 2018

Carry Nation — 17.25 Million Americans Have Carry Permits

Concealed Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC Report

The United States has become a Carry Nation. Today, 7.14% of all American adults have concealed handgun carry permits. In 15 states over 10% of adults have permits, with the highest rate (22%) in Alabama. In 2018, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to over 17.25 million — a 273% increase since 2007.

Concealed Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC ReportChanges in state laws have fueled the large growth in the number of persons carrying concealed handguns. Permits are more readily available. In fact, in 14 states now a permit is essentially not required to carry in nearly all parts of those states.

Here are the findings of the 2018 Center for Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) Report on Concealed Carry Permits. READ Full Report HERE.

— Last year, 2017, the number of permits grew by about 890,000.

— Outside California and New York, about 8.63% of the adult population has a permit.

— In fifteen states, more than 10% of adults have permits, up from just eleven last year.

— Alabama has the highest rate — 22.1%. Indiana is second with 17.9%, and South Dakota is a close third with 17.2%.

— Four states now have over 1 million permit holders: Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

— Fourteeen states have Constitutional Carry, meaning that a permit is no longer required in almost all regions of those states.

More Guns, Less Crime

This graphic shows the huge increase in the number of permits in the past 20 years. And during that period, the incidence of violent crime rate has decreased significantly.

Concealed Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC Report

Women and Minorities Exercise Their Carry Rights

The permit issuance numbers continue to grow much faster for women and minorities. Between 2012 and 2018, the percentage of women with permits grew 111% faster than the percentage of men with permits rose. In the same period, the percentage of Asians with permits grew 29% faster than the percentage of whites. Permits for Black Americans grew 20% faster than for whites.

Carry Permits Handgun Expo CRPC Report

Carry Guard Expo Convention Next Month
Marking the growth in concealed carry permits in the USA, there is now a large trade show dedicated to the concealed carry movement. The NRA’s Carry Guard Expo will be held September 14-16, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia. There will be lectures, seminars, and demonstrations of the latest in carry firearms, holsters and accessories.

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August 21st, 2018

Affordable Barrel Vise from Grizzly.com

Grizzly Barrel Vise clamping barrel swap

Grizzly.com has a handy product that should prove very useful for readers who need to swap barrels. This CNC-Machined aluminum barrel vise can be used in your home workshop, or on the road. In the field the vise can be fitted to a block of wood which can then be temporarily clamped to a bench. Or, as you can see below, you can mount the vise to a trailer hitch for use during a match or varmint hunt. The barrel vise is currently on sale for $42.95.

Grizzly Barrel Vise clamping barrel swap

This vise was designed by a member of the U.S. Shooting Team for quickly changing barrels up to 1.5 inches in diameter. Made of T-6061 Aluminum, the top clamping part of the vise is spring loaded so you can hold the gun with one hand while tightening the two nuts with the other. Grizzly notes: “Sometimes the action and scope can even remain on the rifle stock while the barrel is changed out.”

Clamping Range: Secures 7/8″ to 1.5″ Diameter Barrels
Block Dimensions: 5″ x 2.5″ x 1.4″ (Upper); 7.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.1″ (Lower)
Bolt Diameter: 3/4″ | Mounting: Use 1/2″ Hex Bolts to secure

IMPORTANT: This vise was designed for 7/8″ to 1.5″-diameter barrels. It may not work correctly with barrel diameters outside that range, or with unusual barrel contours. Not recommended for fine, polished blued steel barrels unless you protect the barrel surface before clamping. For most situations, where practical, we would remove the barreled action from the stock before using the vise.

Product Tip from EdLongRange. We welcome Reader Submissions.
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