I break my pistols in the way your friend breaks in his rifles. I find that when I'm done, a shooting session leaves far less residue in the barrel than it did before I broke it in. Others who know more than me say phooy! Just go out and shoot it like you stole it.
I don't know. The break in process makes me feel like the gun has been bonded to me and made special. There are other like it, but this one has had special care and is mine alone.