Pedersoli barrel break-in recommendations


With muzzle loading rifles shooting patched round balls, some shooters like to remove the sharp edges on land tops because these tend to cut tight fitting patches.

ML grooves are usually cut much deeper than on ctg rifles so making land tops a bit less sharp cornered works OK since the patch material goes pretty deep into those grooves anyhow.

But... with breech loaded ctg. rifles we use only .004" groove depth and want the obturated lead bullet to be as near perfect a fit as possible so prevent gas pressure leaking around the moving rotating bullet.

As such a BPCR barrel wears (from cleaning patches, dirty rods, wrong type of rod material, bullet wear and flame erosion) the barrel loses some of the accuracy it had when those lands had brand new sharp corners.

In the old days, a new barrel with sharp land edges was said to have "Gilt Edge" accuracy. The term came from the paper stock and bond certificates issued by the very strongest companies which had gold leaf (looking) edging called Gilt Edge. If you bought stock in a gilt edge company you were buying the best stock (or so they wanted you to believe.)

Anyhow, when a once accurate barrel lost some accuracy it was commonly sent back to the maker to have it "refreshed", which meant that it was re-rifled a few thousandths larger and the sharp land edges were restored. A new, larger mould was sometimes provided by the barrel maker when this refreshing was done. Now the owner would say his "Gilt Edge was restored.

Today, we make replica BPCR with barrels having much tougher steel which could be said to have virtually zero wear...when used with BP and lead bullets. Many shooters using BP and lead can report over 10,000 rounds fired and the barrel retains original accuracy. One of my own Pedersoli Sharps in 45-70 has a bit over 10K shots through it and another has over 5K shots, with both having original accuracy today.

Smokeless powder loads and copper jacketed bullets do wear barrels in the throat and leade regions to an extent NOT seen when BP and lead bullets are used.

Depending upon the method of rifling used by some barrel makers, there could be some land tops having sharp thin fuzz or whiskers of steel still attached to the corners of the land tops. These are somewhat irregular and if profuse, have a poor affect on that barrel's accuracy until they are worn off or removed in some manner. If they are removed by the normal shooting of lead bullets and the action of cleaning patches, the lands are left with clean sharp edges and accuracy is at it's Gilt Edge best.

In the case of Pedersoli barrels...we finish all BPCR barrels with a process that imparts the tiny taper to the rifling (from breech to muzzle) and at the same time, removes the little wire fuzz or whisker from each land top.

As a result, we do not require ANY sort of special time taking and expensive "break-in" shooting with jacketed bullets. With a new Pedersoli rifle, just clean the barrel well to removed shipping grease and then commence shooting in a normal manner.

The use of abrasive pastes or lapping mixtures that cut steel should be avoided. The firing of grit coated bullets is also never to be done as it quickly ruins the original sharp edges on the lands. This process has helped certain rusted or damaged barrels to shoot better but is dangerous and harmful with a nice new barrel or a used one that is in good condition.

If a barrel has become badly leaded...fix the cause of that problem so it will not happen again.

The optimum method to remove copper or lead from any barrel is by "unplating" the metal by use of the Outers Foul-Out unplating device which will not attack or harm barrel steel and only acts on the offending fouling metal. The other methods is to use are suitable solvents on tight patches, worked over several days carefully and alternated with a "bronze brush" to help loosen the fouling metal.

It is also OK to use JB Bore Cleaning Compound, which quickly scrubs out stubborn lead or copper while not removing precious steel edges. This JB product is used by most bench rest shooters to get all the copper out and it works the same way on lead. I hope these comments prove of use to you.

For Davide Pedersoli & Co.
Dick Trenk