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Thread: New pistol break in period?

  1. #1
    Member chris441's Avatar
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    New pistol break in period?

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    Hi there, I have seen some posts on another forum and they kept referring to after break in. What is the break in period of a pistol, is there anything in particular that needs to be done in that period out of the normal cleaning?

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    Kind of like you're supposed to break in the engine of a new car, same for guns. Some come out of the box and function perfectly. Others need to have 500 or so rounds put through them to get everything working properly.

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    Member HGF Gold Member dosborn's Avatar
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    Each company usually states that in the manual.

    Put 500 rounds through it (including some JHP/Bonded) and if you don't have any problems I would feel confident that it's broke in. There may be a few out there that recommend more (most are less) but I don't know about them.

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    Put 500 rounds through them before what? Like with a car, you break it in for 5000 miles without going over 3,000 rpms, for example, and then you can drive balls out. How does this apply to a handgun? Shoot 500 rounds, and then what? It is more accurate? I guess what I'm getting at is a gun is like an on/off switch, where a car is like a dimmer switch, and I don't see how you can "baby" your handgun for the first few shots, and then unleash it once it's broken in. I hope that makes sense

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    Some semi-autos need a break-in period, the Kahrs being a good example. I've also heard/read that the tightly built 1911's will need this too, but I've not ever seen it. OTOH, the majority of semi's do not need any type of break-in. The good ones shoot just fine from the get-go.

    Unless your user's manual states the need for a particular break-in, I wouldn't worry about it at all. Just clean a newly-acquired handgun, and go shoot....
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  6. #6
    Member HGF Gold Member dosborn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrobwoot View Post
    Put 500 rounds through them before what? Like with a car, you break it in for 5000 miles without going over 3,000 rpms, for example, and then you can drive balls out. How does this apply to a handgun? Shoot 500 rounds, and then what? It is more accurate? I guess what I'm getting at is a gun is like an on/off switch, where a car is like a dimmer switch, and I don't see how you can "baby" your handgun for the first few shots, and then unleash it once it's broken in. I hope that makes sense
    I think the point in "break in" is to ensure that the brand new handgun you just purchased is going to function properly and safely. Some guns have smoother triggers after 500-1000 rounds and like mentioned before, the slide to frame fit works itself out in most cases. Most of us intend to use, not abuse.

    And I think "baby" the gun is the wrong term. I think it's "lets be slow and patient to make sure something doesn't break and go KB in my face" on the the first few rounds. That's my opinion anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dosborn View Post
    And I think "baby" the gun is the wrong term. I think it's "lets be slow and patient to make sure something doesn't break and go KB in my face" on the the first few rounds. That's my opinion anyways.
    You're right. "Baby" is the wrong term. In some guns, you need to expect some failures when they're new. Whether it's ejection issues, feeding issues, stiff triggers, etc. some brands require a few hundred rounds to work out all the kinks.
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  8. #8
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    No such thing on a SIG. Unless you consider tight mag springs, to be a breaking in period. Or some models the slide release, take down levers/pins, de-cockers, (certain models) are stiff. I specifically mention SIG because other than a Walther PPS, they are the only handguns I've purchased new. So I'm not sure about the others. But all the things I mentioned above are not what I believe, the definition of "break in period" means. More so towards the way of, overall action of the weapon. Feeding, extracting, etc. etc.

    I dunno, I guess one could look at it from both ways. But when I hear the term "break in period" in regards to a weapon. That's how I perceive it.


    Cheers folks,

    SIGness

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    I have been polishing my new semi-autos for years, to break them in, as taught to me when I began gunsmithing. Simply clean it well, polish all frame-to-slide contact points with a dremel. You can use various compounds, but automotive rubbing compound works well. Also polish the hood, chamber, lugs and feed ramp. Of course, apply a light lubricant (sprays are fine) and blow it throughout the gun with air. Also clean and inspect the magazines as they are the most common problem with s/a's. Some guns are magazine sensitive as to the manufacturer (aftermarket), as well as ammo sensitive (we all know this-right). This procedure is the same as firing 200 rounds or so. It's that easy. Enjoy.
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  10. #10
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    Break in for me means getting the parts worn in to the point that it functions properly and is 100% reliable. This includes slide to frame contact points, barrel to slide contact, trigger/sear, spring break-in, etc.. For some guns there is no break in because they work perfectly right out of the box. My Beretta 92FS and Walther PPQ were examples of guns that worked perfectly for me from the first shot. I recently bought a new CZ999 that would eject the casings into my face about every 3rd or 4th shot. In addition the gun would fail to go into battery about 1 in 10 rounds and require a nudge to get the slide to seat. On the advice of a gunsmith at the range, rather than take it back I just kept shooting it. Somewhere around the 600 round mark I was only getting a very rare ejected casing to the face, and by 1000 rounds the gun was working perfectly with no FTF issues.

    I haven't tried polishing parts as mentioned above, but I can see how that might speed the process on a finicky gun. I don't think I would do it on a gun that functioned perfectly.
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  11. #11
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    I clean and service all new guns and a trip to the range, A revolver did not have a smooth trigger on it like my Colt, I sat and watched TV night after night and worked the action
    on it , it smooth out for the next hunting trip for me. I like the trigger on the gun now, so I guess some need use to work smooth.
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    my habit is to open and clean out any debris and old oil(except for a Wilson combat --that has lapping solution in it for a reason). I now use super-lube liquid multi for break in of all my guns(including those tight 1911s). it treats the metal. It is super slick --no issues at all. I also tend to add a drop or 2 of fp-10 as most gun makers like that lube as well. then the fun begins--lots of break-in rounds down range

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_T View Post
    Break in for me means getting the parts worn in to the point that it functions properly and is 100% reliable. This includes slide to frame contact points, barrel to slide contact, trigger/sear, spring break-in, etc.. For some guns there is no break in because they work perfectly right out of the box. My Beretta 92FS and Walther PPQ were examples of guns that worked perfectly for me from the first shot. I recently bought a new CZ999 that would eject the casings into my face about every 3rd or 4th shot. In addition the gun would fail to go into battery about 1 in 10 rounds and require a nudge to get the slide to seat. On the advice of a gunsmith at the range, rather than take it back I just kept shooting it. Somewhere around the 600 round mark I was only getting a very rare ejected casing to the face, and by 1000 rounds the gun was working perfectly with no FTF issues.

    I haven't tried polishing parts as mentioned above, but I can see how that might speed the process on a finicky gun. I don't think I would do it on a gun that functioned perfectly.
    great to hear the sage advice from your GS. MY NEW les Baer had 2 rounds(/200) that did not fire. I am assuming the slide did not close properly and the firing pin could not reach the primer. the round did fire once the gun completely went into battery. thanks for this post

    happy hoilidays

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