We get countless numbers of calls from customers asking the best way to break in their new Ballistic Advantage barrel. Doing a search on the internet can leave someone overwhelmed with a huge selection of articles on this topic. One might ask, how many rounds and what type of cleaning procedure should be used between each grouping of rounds?

There is a remarkable difference between a production barrel and a quality custom aftermarket barrel surface finish and thus a corresponding break in procedure that is applied. I would like to explain first. Not all barrels are created equal. Production barrels tend to have more machine marks than custom barrels and conversely aftermarket barrels usually have better finishes and polished surfaces. This will affect how you will break in your barrel.

At Ballistic Advantage we supply the cleanest finishes and the highest quality QPQ Melonite coated and stainless steel barrels available. We suggest that you follow the following procedure when breaking in a new Ballistic Advantage barrel.

No matter how polished the finish is inside the chamber of a barrel, tooling marks in the throat will always be across the direction of projectile travel. When a bullet is fired, copper dust that is dissolved in the expanding hot gasses, travels through the bore and then condenses on the bore and the rifling. To the untrained eye, fouling appears to be caused by the bore due to the projectile travel but in fact it is the cross sectional feed lines in the throat that cause fouling. Now, with this understanding we see that barrel break in is really a smoothing effect about the throat.

The following break in procedure is based on experience and should be considered only as a guide. Results may vary based on a number of different variables. Some of these variables might require more or less cycles. Initially, you should perform the one shot and clean for five shots. Try this and observe if the amount of fouling reduces between cleanings. If it does not, continue with your one shot procedure until foiling is perceived to be reduced. At this point begin a 3 shot then clean procedure. Again take note of the amount of fouling and when it has reduced, then it is time to move up to 5 shots then clean. Do not be alarmed if your seating depth gets longer during this break in period. Typically the throat will grow .005 – .01 of an inch during break in.

Typical break in cycles:

Stainless Steel

  • 5-10 one shot cycles
  • 1 three shot cycle
  • 1 five shot cycle

Chrome Molly

  • 5-25 one shot cycles
  • 2 three shot cycles
  • 1 five shot cycle

We are always open for suggestions here at Ballistic Advantage. Please leave a comment and let us know how this procedure worked on your barrel. We are continually trying to improve our processes and your feedback is always welcome.

Quality AR barrels and AR replacement parts

by: Gregg Fikes