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Latest on recommended ammo and break-in procedure


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I spoke with George in customer service back in early December regarding the spring cap tightening issue. While I had him on the phone I took the opportunity to ask him about shooting high energy ammunition? He told me that his supervisor made a specific point of telling him and the other customer service reps that the R-1 is capable of handling ALL factory loaded ammunition. (That made perfect sense to me as Benelli offers the R-1 in magnum calibers)

I also asked him if there was a recommended break-in procedure to which he reminded me that the R-1 barrel is cryo treated (frozen) which takes the temperature of the steel down several hundred degrees below zero which changes the molecular structure of the steel. He then proceeded to educate me to the fact that the barrels are robotically drilled to precision tolerances. He said the "old" break-in procedures are not necessary for the R-1 and will not increase accuracy or add to barrel life. In short the "old" barrel break-in procedure before mentioned in several previous discussions on this site was an exercise started by the military 60 years ago and may have improved barrel life and accuracy back then but is no benefit to R-1 owners. Save your money and your ammo! All of the above info came from the horse's mouth from Benelli's customer service. I just thought I'd pass it along and share it with everyone.

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Thanks for the info. Picking my R-1 up this weekend (FINALLY!) and was wondering about whether I should follow the break in procedure or not. Also answered my other question about whether the barrel was cryo treated or not.

 

[ 01-10-2006, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: Bozhed ]

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I'm not sure I'd agree that George in CS is the "horse's mouth", but thanks for sharing the conversation all the same.

 

As I see it, other rifle manufacturers still very much recommend break-in, even though they use advanced processes as well.

So, if there's no harm, and potentially some good, my persoanl preference would be to stick with the procedure.

It gives a new rifle owner a good opportunity to get to know his weapon.

 

Besides, if Benelli puts all that effort into making such a precise barrel, why do they negate it with that horrible trigger?

 

Rifling can be done a number of various ways.

 

Given that George said they "drilled" them would lead me to believe that Benelli is using a method refered to as broach rifling. In this process, a hardened steel rod called a gang broach is passed through the bore as it is rotated.

 

Most precision barrel makers (PacNor, Shilen, Savage) use button rifling, whereby a hardened steel plug is forced through the bore under tremendous pressures. The process not only creates the rifling, but it also hardens and polishes the steel.

 

Other methods are hammer forging (Glock, Steyr, Remington) and electrochemical etching.

 

I'd be interested to know exactly which method Benelli (or their supplier) is using.

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So, let me get this straight.

 

Benelli doesn't care if you shoot High Energy ammunition (even when Federal's site says not to shoot them in semi-autos) and you don't need to break in your rifle?

 

Not that I don't believe you DreamHuntz, it just seems to go against what we've all been taught.

 

I wonder what's the opinion of Benelli's other CS agents and also their engineers. I kinda would like to get this right as I'm getting my R1 as soon as it is released in Canada (June/July) and I intend to give it the best care I can, like I do to all my rifles.

 

[ 01-11-2006, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: Chronos ]

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Correct me if I’m wrong.

I never assumed that the break-in procedure would prolong the barrel’s life (proper cleaning could). I always thought that the idea was to polish the bore for accuracy and reduced fouling, regardless of the type of the rifling.

So, I would suggest to stick with the procedure as Tucker said. Better safe then sorry.

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It is my understanding that the point about "any factory loaded ammuntion" being acceptable for use in the R-1 was stressed to the CS staff by the supervisor of that department.

My Dad recently bought a Remington 7400 in .270 caliber on examination of both rifles there is no comparision on the quality of construction of the Remington compared to the Benelli R-1. Unfortunatly I am not as familar with the Browning BAR but I do know that until recently when the R-1 came on the market those were the only (2) choices for a semi-auto high powered hunting rifles *thus the warning from Federal pertaining to High Energy ammunition in auto loading rifles. Let's have some other people call customer service and ask. Please follow-up your phone calls and post your findings. I believe the key to this question is in the gas port system design as that is where the possible damage can occur in the other the manufactors products

 

On the topic break-in procedure, No it can't hurt to do the "old break-in" procedure but the shooting range isn't my first choice of places to learn how to take my gun apart. I am beginning to wonder if this is the reason some of the newer R-1 owners are experiencing ejection and reloading problem issues. I have shot 5-6 boxes of ammuntion through my rifle with no malfunctions of any sort. I have only cleaned my barrel twice. My rifle shoot sub 1" groups consistantly when I concentrate and let the barrel cool down between shots. The trigger pull issue is just something you have to learn by shooting and becoming more familar with it. I have a Rem. Model 700 with a 2-1/2 pound pull trigger I am actually starting to like the trigger in my R-1 better and shooting better groups than the bolt rifle.

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That's a valid point on the variety, or lack thereof, of semi-auto rifles. Before the R1 there was the BAR and 7400 and that was pretty much it going back for quite a few years.

 

The 7400 was never made to handle magnum rounds and thus would probably be suspect with hot long action rounds. The BAR was made to handle magnum rounds and thus should be able to handle moderately hot factory rounds but seeing as there are probably 4 7400's out there for every BAR, it wouldn't make a lot of sense for Federal or whomever to point out only one type of semi-auto as possibly being useable especially when Federal had no control over Browning suddenly changing specifications. Better to leave the liability to the rifle manufacturer and buyer.

 

I have a 7400 in 30/06 and it is a tempermental rifle when it comes to loads. I also have a BAR in .270 and you can pretty much run any factory round through it within reason. The quality difference between the two is quite apparent as is the R1 to the 7400 but seeing as 7400's are nearly 1/2 to 1/3 the cost, what can you say.

 

This is just an hypothesis on my part, but I would be willing to bet that an R1 and BAR can handle hot factory versions of 30/06 just fine considering they don't exactly change a whole lot in there .300 WM versions.

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I had to admit I really didn't know exactly what hammer forging a barrel was. I've seen button rifling done and actually got to watch my rem700 barrel being cut rifled at Mike Rock's shop. Its a slow and actually pretty boring process (cut rifling) but interesting to see how it's done.

 

Now back to hammer forged. I had to look around the internet for a description of the "gist of it" and ran across this article/page

 

http://www.border-barrels.com/articles/bmart.htm

 

It goes through the basic method of how any barrel is made, including hammer forging. What it seems to boil down to is the interior barrel finish that each process leaves behind. Cut and button rifled barrels have machining marks and irregularities left behind from the process. Therefore hand lapping, fire lapping, or barrel break in is required/needed to maximize accuracy. However if the hammer forged barrels are as smooth as indicated (by the article and Benelli's comments), there may be little gained through a "break in" procedure for them. But this also means that no harm will be done by doing the "old school" break in procedure too, so just do it...if you only gain 1/4inch on your groups you still gained a 1/4 inch!

 

As for ammo your on your on your there. I would guess you could get away with the higher pressure ammo in the R1. The barrel could handle it, but I question how long the gas system would last or if jams and misfeads would be more prevelant. My personal opinion on "High Energy" or "Heavy Magnum" ammo is that they kick like a SOB in any rifle and I have yet to see a rifle that shoots any of these hot loads as good as normal loads or even acceptably in terms of accuracy. Thus I don't think they are worth it, merely a marketing gimic (have you seen the upcharge on those things!!!). Plus I have a 300WM R1, what the heck in North America would I need a high energy load to hunt? small hybrid cars? Elk wearing body armor?

 

Anyway if you put hot loads in the R1 and you have to have the bolt and bolt carrier surgically removed from your shoulder, your lawyer is going to have a tough time getting you any compensation LOL!!! Sounds funny but I heard this happened in Washington state. I used to shoot at a range outside Tacoma. I went shooting on Sunday and apparently on Saturday a guy had accidentally hand loaded a 300weatherby mag, hot, with a fast burning handgun powder. The bolt from his bolt action blew back into his shoulder and he left on a stretcher! didn't see it, but it probably happened in some form.

 

Badger

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  • 4 weeks later...

Now We Know...

I recently shot my rifle using 165 gr. Federal "High Energy" bear claw bonded ammo with no problems. My rifle performed flawlessly with no problems what so ever. I wasn't very impressed with the group as far trying to zero in my scope but that was not my intention. I was mainly wanting to see if the gun would shot High energy without damage and cycle properly.

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