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Cleaning new pistol 5 times between shots before firing?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jawman, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. jawman

    jawman Well-Known Member

    Here's where my question comes from:

    Basically, the author is suggesting that when you get your new gun, do the following before normal shooting:

    1. Clean: Run 1 wet patch of solvent through the barrel. Then run a wet brush or boresnake with solvent through the barrel. Then run dry patches through the barrel until they come out clean and dry.
    2. Shoot 1 round.
    3. Clean it again, following the same cleaning procedure as stated above in #1.
    4. Shoot 2 rounds.
    5. Clean again as outlined in #1.
    6. Shoot 3 rounds.
    7. Clean again as outlined in #1.
    8. Shoot 4 rounds.
    9. Clean again as outlined in #1.
    10. Shoot 5 rounds.
    11. Clean again as outlined in #1.

    Now you are ready to do "normal" shooting, and shoot as much as you like.

    Okay, so is this truly helpful and a good idea to do or is it overkill?

    I know everyone has a different opinion and the answers will vary, but I'd like to hear what everyone has to say on this.

    Edit: If you agree with this, please explain why. If you do not agree, please explain why. If you agree somewhat and also disagree somewhat, well you get the picture.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    This sort of break in ritual is hotly debated for target rifle barrels.

    It is of no use in a pistol. I do agree with his recommendation to clean thoroughly before shooting, though. One of the very early TV shooting shows had a host who believed in cleaning a new barrel with soap and boiling water.
  3. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Well-Known Member

    I know some who do this with rifles, none who do so with pistols. These days, my new handguns are lucky to get a patch down the bore before I start shooting them. I check the bore for debris, load, and go. Has yet to show any ill effects.
  4. B!ngo

    B!ngo Well-Known Member

    Three letters:

  5. Joe I

    Joe I Member

    Ha! The inside of most pistol barrels are so rough from the factory, that a little fouling might help smooth them out!

    Seriously though, there are so many factors contributing to accuracy (or lack thereof) in a semi-auto pistol, that barrel break-in just isn't a factor.

    Since you wanted specifics, here's what comes immediately to mind...

    You only have a short sight radius to work with, and the sight picture is usually very coarse to speed sight alignment. The barrel-to-slide fit is often sloppy. Most chambers are loose to enhance feed reliability. Many barrels have a bore diameter that's actually a few thousandths OVER bullet diameter, which is extremely detrimental to accuracy.

    With all of that said, the single biggest variable in a handgun accuracy system is the shooter -- most pistol shooters have a problem with trigger control, dropping shots low and left and then blaming it on the sights. Or having trouble hitting a 10" circle from 15 yards away, which is well within the mechanical accuracy capability of most any pistol.

    It takes a lot of time and thousands of rounds to build skill in pistol shooting, and I wouldn't waste any of it on barrel break-in practices such as described above.
  6. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    I am interested to see if anyone can defend this practice, because I certainly don't see the benefit of it.

    But, then I have gone on record any number of times that I think most guns are over-cleaned anyway, an opinion that is shared by some and vilified by others. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter to me because they are not my guns and therefore I don't really care what people do with them maintenance wise.
  7. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Well-Known Member

    Follow instructions in owners manual. Some firearms contain a grit paste to finish the polishing process,over first few hundred rounds.
  8. Bovice

    Bovice Well-Known Member


    No, don't do that. That's a complete waste of time and cleaning supplies, and it'll make you look like a fool if somebody sees you.
  9. TyGuy

    TyGuy Well-Known Member

    No. No need to "break in" barrels for pistols or rifles. Search the google for articles about it.
  10. Bongo Boy

    Bongo Boy Well-Known Member

    I believe that procedure is for fussy old farts who don't have to be anywhere. Or perhaps for shooters who are more accustomed to shooting muzzle-loaders and haven' quite made the transition yet. :)

    But seriously, there's nothing wrong with field stripping and cleaning the gun when you first take delivery of it, and inspecting the gun thoroughly for any issues. Not something I've ever done, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't.
  11. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    "Homey dont think so." as the old clown used to say on a TV show...
  12. CajunBass

    CajunBass Well-Known Member

    I check to make sure there are no dirt dobber nests in the barrel and go shooting. :D

    Seriously, I might clean a new gun if it's dripping goo from the factory, but I don't worry about it too much.

    Anybody who follows the procedure in the OP must be younger than I am, and thinks he's going to live forever.
  13. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    Completely unnecessary for a production pistol. When you get a $3k benchrest *barrel*, then you probably want to be over-cautious.

    This should ALWAYS be done when taking possession of a new gun. Checking the chamber for any signs of cracks, ensuring the safety(s) function properly. I once got a new (used) gun and the firing pin was broke. Took it out on the range and it was just 'click click click'. Now I always check over my guns when I take possession. Things can break even on new guns just being shipped from the factory.
  14. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Agreed with all above.

    Do a thorough field strip, cleaning and oiling before shooting. Then run the gun through a warm up of 500-1,000 rds. Clean again and inspect.

    Afterward, field strip and clean every 500-1,000 rds, and maybe detail strip and deep clean every 2,000-3,000.
  16. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the author has severe OCD and wants to pass his rituals on to the next guy. Serious overkill and zero accuracy advantage.
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    My new book: "Zen and the Art of Spending More Time With a Cleaning Patch and a Bottle of Hoppes Than Pulling Triggers", should hit the shelves soon and will explain this in more detail... ;)
  18. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    Aside from being OCD and overkill, excessive incorrect cleaning methods will damage a barrel far faster than just shooting it.

    REPOMAN Well-Known Member

    I'm with Tuj...... If I'm going to damage a barrel.... I'm gonna do it while shooting...Not while cleaning it... Shooting is way more fun.
  20. ATLDave

    ATLDave Well-Known Member

    I have zero inclination to take advice from someone who begins with a non sequitur and then proceeds to loudly proclaim the virtues of some practice without even the most basic explanation as to why that practice would be good. He (the author of the linked article) offers some explanation as to why one should clean before the first shot (which I agree with). He offers an argument in favor of loading 2 rounds first, which at least is not crazy. He offers NO argument or explanation for how cleaning between the first round and the second and third does anything beneficial, and certainly no justification for the subsequent stages.

    Reminds me of the stuff one finds on performance car forums talking about various (and often diametrically-opposed) break-in regimens for car engines. At least there they have some theory that doing such-and-such causes the rings to seat better or something. Here, the guy just promises better accuracy and/or barrel life.

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