How Do I Break-in My Defensive Carbine Barrel?

So you just bought your new Defensive Fighting Rifle… AR-15 or Ak-47.  You get home and clean it good…thinking ak

Your loading your magazines while still hanging onto your Dopa-mine and Serotonin cocktail  “just bought me a new rifle high”  while thinking  “I wonder if I’m going to hurt my barrel if I don’t break it in right?” How do I break in my new barrel anyway?

Maybe you’ve heard about breaking in your barrel or maybe you haven’t… I know I know… Your thinking “But I didn’t break in my other rifles barrels”. Well it might be time you started. There are several methods of barrel break-ins. Some people hate it and some people love it. It’s kinda like seat belts.

The way I am about to share with you is very basic. Perfect for a fighting rifle. And most everyone can afford to do it. (and its a blast because you get to shoot your rifle!)

During the break-in period of the first several hundred rounds, your AR-15’s internal small parts are rubbing against each other – anywhere there is metal to metal contact those areas are ‘breaking in’.  ar 15Areas you can think of right off the bat are in the upper where the bolt carrier is running inside the upper on rails. All the internal small parts like the hammer, trigger, selector, and disconnector all have a fresh finish on them that will smooth out as time goes on. Also the buffer inside the receiver extension tube and the bolt itself into the barrel extension will also begin to smooth out with continued operation. The same thing will happen with the rear takedown pin (the more you use it, the smoother it will operate).

As with any mechanical device your AR-15 should be lubricated. In the AR-15 keep a light coat of oil on all the parts at all times. You might also use a good quality metal treatment as well as lubricant. For the Ak family of rifles the same principles are used it just has different parts. Just be careful and always use your brain… Practice gun safety wherever you are and whatever your doing.

Barrel Break-in

barrel closeup  There are many ways that people recommend to break in their barrels. The following is a pretty good method, but certainly not required. Additionally (if you care) you might check on your rifles warranty and see if it does not hinge on any certain method of break in.

Olympic Arms claims that “many customers who shoot sub-minute of angle from their standard button-rifled AR-15 barrels and have done NOTHING special with regards to break in.” . But it just makes sense to do all you can to give TLC to your barrel. The saying “take care of it and it will take care of you” goes for a lot more things than just Wives and trucks…  Barrels work off the same principles.barrel

Breaking in a barrel does not mean it will make a barrel inherently more accurate. But what it will do is make it more consistent throughout it’s life, and allow it to consistently meet the barrels best level of inherent accuracy. Giving you the longest barrel life you can have for your fighting rifle.

That is why I recommend a good quality break in procedure.  And without further adieu…The:

Fire, Clean, Treat, Lubricate and Fire Method

  1. Clean the barrel well.
    • Make sure the patches come out clean and white.
    • Use the cleaner of your choice (do not use ammonia-based cleaners). Use of a lead or copper solvent is okay, but use only when necessary.
    • Make sure you have the barrel cleaned and any solvents removed or neutralized in the bore.
    • Apply the lubricant-bore treatment .
    • Dry the bore with a clean dry patch.
    • Use the quality ammunition of your choice and fire ONE round.
  2. Repeat Step 1 for the next 24 rounds.
  3. At round 25, repeat Step 1. Change from firing ONE round to THREE.
  4. Repeat Step 3 until you have fired 50 rounds total.
  5. At round 51, repeat Step 1. Change from firing THREE rounds to FIVE.
  6. Repeat Step 5 until you have fired 100 rounds total.
  7. After firing 100 rounds total clean and treat the bore as in Step 1, then fire for a group. Your barrel is now broken in.

You may choose to use another method if you wish, but then you would have read this article for nothing. So do everyhting at your own risk of killing yourself and be safe and have fun in your pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness (I mean... Property)!

Adapted from: Olympic Arms: FAQ



If you have a personal method for barrel break in that is different or want to give your insight on the subject please comment below!


Doc or no Doc…


Trust but Verify.





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