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Break in period?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ndh87, Dec 28, 2007.

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  1. ndh87

    ndh87 Member

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    I just ordered up a SA Mil-Spec and i've been wondering about the break in period i keep seeing mention of in different threads.

    I was just wondering what the point of this is and what your really supposed to do for it
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Almost any new semi-auto pistol being made in modern times has roughness, machining marks, etc. on the slide and frame rails.

    Some folks, like Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, etc. take the time to hand-fit and hand-lap individual slides and frames together with fine lapping compound.

    Lesser manufactures don't do that, so you get what the machines spit out.
    (But they don't cost three grand like a Wilson or Brown either!)

    After a two or three hundred rounds, parts wear into each other to some extent, friction is reduced somewhat, and the gun just runs better.

    Besides, those break-in rounds allow you to learn the gun yourself, break you in to it, and expose any problems it might have with certain brands of ammo.

    It's time well spent with any new gun, but especially a semi-auto.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  3. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Concerning the 1st paragraph, it's unfortunate: but true...
    However, Wilson, Ed Brown, Kimber, etc. still have an announced break-in period and it makes you wonder why?:(
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Because they are tighter than Dicks hatband, which is tighter than 1911's were designed to be.
     
  5. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Lots of folks have different ideas and preferences about this sort of thing.

    They often have different experiences to 'justify' their preferences, or at least explain why they feel a certain way about this subject.

    I remember reading a NIJ (National Institute of Justice) recommendation some years ago that service pistols should be fired for function for 300 rounds before being placed into service. Don't personally know of anyone that follows that recommendation, though.

    I like to generally run 150+/- rounds through any high quality 'stock' service pistol, produced by one of the major manufacturers who do a lot of LE business, to give it a 'shake down'. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I like getting to know a pistol during this time.

    Just from the perspective of checking magazine function I often like to run a box (50/ct) of rounds through each magazine, if possible. Again, sometimes more, and sometimes less. Depends.

    Some pistols, especially those of 'tighter tolerances', may benefit from the 'working surfaces' becoming worn together during the first few hundred rounds; burred edges discovered; any damaged or out-of-spec parts discovered; the need for sight adjustments discovered (although I've often found that it's more often the shooter who requires some 'adjustment', rather than the sights, but sometimes sights certainly may require an adjustment ;) ); sometimes recoil and magazine springs may become 'better suited' to the 'needs' of some shooters after the pistol has been fired a couple or so hundred rounds; some pistols may exhibit a 'preference' or 'dislike' for some ammunition which is discovered during initial familiarization/break-in, etc., etc..

    It's may also be fair to say that sometimes some infrequent 'things' which may happen during the first couple of hundred rounds, may not happen again ... after the pistol has been 'broken in', so to speak.

    Bottom line? Dunno. Depends.

    I have discovered conditions involving parts manifest themselves during the first couple of hundred rounds fired through a new pistol which required parts replacement, though, so you never know.

    Sometimes a 'problem' which occurs during the first magazine load may truly be a PROBLEM which requires immediate correction or repair ... and then again some things may just be an unfortunate hiccup while the factory sharp edges are becoming mated to themselves. When in doubt, ask the factory warranty/repair technicians, or a licensed gunsmith authorized to perform warranty repair for the manufacturer.

    Hey, I watched a P226 & P220 EACH exhibit single feeding failures during their first magazine loads, in the hands of two different firearms instructors, using standard service ammunition, right out of the box. ;) They both did fine afterward, FWIW, during additional testing and evaluation.

    Things happen sometimes ...

    Best to catch it on the static range, I'd think ...
     
  6. DMK

    DMK Member

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    +1 And don't forget to lube it well during the break-in period. I highly recommend cleaning it before first the shooting(removing the gummy storage lube and dust) and lubing it very generously before firing it.


    I like to run at least 200-400 rounds of ammo though my semi-autos before I trust them. Don't forget to make 100-200 rounds of that SD ammo if this is a SD gun or CCW. I know that's hard to do with todays ammo prices.
     
  7. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

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    I clean and lube any new pistol before I shoot it. The only pistol I have ever had problems with is a Firestorm .22. All my other pistols (12) have been good to go from the start. Maybe I've been lucky but a pistol shouldn't need a break-in period to run correctly out of the box.
    Now shooting 200-300 rnds before using it as a carry pistol is a good idea, so you can identify any problems and get them fixed.
     
  8. ndh87

    ndh87 Member

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    I knew about cleaning before the first range trip, I try to make a habbit of that, especially with my Mil Surps since i dont like being drenched in cosmo:cool:

    As far as target vs SD/carry ammo, since its a 1911 I'll probably be using standard ball ammo for both. Since i'll be shooting ball on the range I'll be more used to that than any other round. I was planning on picking up a few different types, federal, winchester, umc, etc. and seeing which one works best.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    There are two separate but related issues here:

    1. Shooting to break the gun in – in other words burnish the metal at certain fit points where they may be binding. No good service pistol needs this. Those which are good, such as Glock, Sig, Beretta, Ruger, H&K, etc. function reliably out-of-the-box. In addition, lubrication – beyond removing storage grease – shouldn’t be an issue either. A good pistol will function bone dry. The only substantial exception is certain post 1970, 1911 style pistols, which might be better classified as big-boy toys. Put bluntly, if it don’t function it wasn’t made right.

    2 . Shooting to familiarize the user with the weapon. Minor adjustments and zeroing the sights would be included in this. But the pistol should function reliably with the manufacturer’s magazines, and tweaking shouldn’t be necessary. If it is you don’t have a serious service pistol.

    Unreasonable expectations? Not really. During World War Two Colt and several other contractors made hundreds of thousands of 1911A1 .45 pistols that worked out of the box, didn’t require breaking in, didn’t require special lubrication, nor anything but the issue magazines. For the most part the principal European makers, Ruger and maybe Smith & Wesson are still doing this today.
     
  10. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Colts don't require breaking in. How do I know? I took a NIB STS, Colt Series 70 Reproduction and ran it head-to-head against a NIB G17. I wanted to see which would fail first. After 3,000 rounds through each pistol, neither had failed.

    My 4 Glocks did not require breaking in.

    My 8 Colts did not require breaking in.

    My Browning High Power did not require breaking in.

    My 3 SA-XDs did not require breaking in.

    My Ruger P89 did not require breaking in.

    My PKK/S did not require breaking in.

    My P3AT did not require breaking in.

    My Bushmaster Carbon 15, Model 21 did not require breaking in.

    My 3 Ruger Mark IIs did not require breaking in.

    What did I miss...yall knew it was comin' didn'n ya? Uhhh. :p Kimbers.

    Oh lordy how many Kimbers have I owned? Don't ask. Most of my Kimbers had to be broken in. First the company claimed 150 rounds. Then it was 250, then 400, then 500. Good crips already. It's nothing more than a BS excuse to slow down the return to the "custom" shop to get fixed what never should have been sent out in the first place.

    Come to think of it, I could have saved all this typing and just said, the only company, whose pistols I have bought, that claims that break-in is needed...is Kimber. Of course in fairness to Kimber, perhaps I just have limp wrists. :neener:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2007
  11. stevereno1

    stevereno1 Member

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    Amen on that kimber! My thumb safety broke OFF! and I sent it in to yonkers to get fixed, and they did a piss poor job. no positive action, the finish was crap, and I am now pissed off at the company as a whole.
     
  12. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    My point is you cannot have it both ways....Regardless of either points above, mfgr's always have the caveat of the "break-in"...? When I took Machine Shop 101, they called it unacceptable tolerances & it was tossed in the bin for more refinishing....QC seems to be a problem in either of the above scenarios....Wilson or RIA....:scrutiny:
     
  13. tegemu

    tegemu Member

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    I don't think you can define a specific number of rounds or time as a break in period. For me, when I can put 200 successive trouble free rounds through the weapon - it's broken in.
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Break-in...as in burnishing/smoothing mating parts and seating lugs? It'll occur within a couple hundred rounds. Oil is a good idea in the guns that are tightly fit.

    Break-in, as in...If you have repeated malfunctions, shoot it until it (maybe) corrects itself? Sheepdip. That's another way of saying to the buyer:

    "Oh, go play with your toy and stop bothering us."
     
  15. steelyblue

    steelyblue Member

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    Anyone disgusted with your Kimbers, please send them to 2416 W. Rogers Rd Edinburg, Tx 78539 for immediate disposal. lol... After all, you would'nt want to SELL that trash to anyone else, would you?
     
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